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The Dangers of Fake IDs, Part One: Using a Fake ID

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For many, one of the most memorable parts of attending a college or university is going out to bars and restaurants with friends. Traditional college students start their courses around age 18 while the drinking age in the United States is 21. Students must, therefore, wait to patronize certain establishments for several years while older students can drink there freely. It can be extremely tempting to attempt to sneak into bars or order a drink at a restaurant for many underage college students. When sweet-talking the doorman or server does not work, some students try using a fake driver’s license or other false identification to gain entry into 21-and-over establishments. Buying or using a fake ID may seem like no big deal, but it is a crime and those found guilty of this crime can face very serious consequences.

You Can Lose Your Driving Privileges for Using or Buying a Fake ID in Illinois

Illinois state law says that it is illegal to acquire, distribute, use or even simply possess a faked or fraudulent state ID card or driver’s license. Furthermore, helping someone else obtain or use a fake ID is illegal. The state can and will suspend or even revoke a person’s driving rights if they are caught possessing another person’s license or state ID card. The revocation of driving privileges can happen even without a conviction.

A Conviction Can Land You in Jail

Some may incorrectly assume that simply “borrowing” another person’s ID is allowed as long as it was not bought, however, even using a sibling’s ID and passing it off as your own can result in a conviction. Claiming that someone else’s license is your own or possessing an ID with fraudulent information on it can lead to a Class A Misdemeanor charge. Furthermore, simply attempting to buy a fake ID can land students in legal trouble as the possession of falsified documents with the intent to buy a fake ID is also illegal. Trying to forge or alter a driver’s license is against the law as well.

A Class A Misdemeanor conviction can result in penalties including up to one year in jail and $2,500 in fines. Those convicted will carry that conviction on their criminal record forever.

Let Us Help

If you or your child has been arrested on suspicion of using a fake ID, you need a qualified Will County criminal defense lawyer to fight for your rights. Schedule your free initial consultation at the Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba, P.C. by calling (815) 740-4025 today.

As the Holiday Season Approaches - Don't Drink and Drive

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In Chicago, the warm summer months have given way to cooler fall weather. This can mean only one thing: soon it will be the holiday season. While children prepare their Halloween costumes and treat bags, many adults are preparing for holiday parties and work get-togethers. A good percentage of these holiday events will involve alcohol.

It is no wonder that alcohol-related car accidents occur more frequently during the holidays. Research shows that approximately 300 people die in car accidents involving alcohol in the week between Christmas and New Year’s every year. Drunk driving not only puts your life and the lives of the other motorists on the road in danger, it also puts you at risk of receiving a DUI (driving under the influence). Being charged with a DUI can mean losing driving privileges or even spending time in jail.

Do Not Assume You Can Tell When You Are Too Intoxicated to Drive

Most people know that the legal limit for blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.08 percent. However, many people do not realize what 0.08 percent BAC feels like. They may incorrectly assume that they are not legally impaired if they do not feel drunk. The reality is that it is nearly impossible to gauge how intoxicated a person is just by how they feel or act. Some people who are legally impaired may only show subtle signs of drunkenness while other individuals begin slurring their words or stumbling after only a few drinks. Many factors can influence a person’s BAC including

• Gender;

• Age;

• Weight and body type;

• Rate of alcohol consumption;

• Medications – especially those which cause drowsiness;

• How strong or weak the drinks were;

• Metabolism;

• Hydration;

• Emotional state;

• Stomach contents; and

• Alcohol tolerance.

Even if you have gotten away with it before, never assume that you are safe to drive after drinking. The best way to avoid a DUI and the possibility of causing a car accident is to never drink and drive.

Impaired Driving is Against the Law

Another misconception about DUIs is that a motorist can only be charged with a DUI if he or she had a BAC of over 0.08 percent. However, in Illinois, you can still be charged with a DUI even if your blood alcohol content is under the legal limit, if you are “impaired”. You will need a skilled attorney to contest any DUI arrest in court.
Have You Been Charged with a DUI?

Contact the knowledgeable Joliet Illinois criminal defense lawyers at the Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba by calling (815) 740-4025. Schedule your free initial consultation today.

Guilt Beyond a Reasonable Doubt

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In the American criminal justice system , a suspect is presumed to innocent until the government proves beyond a reasonable doubt that the suspect has committed a crime. Obviously, the most debatable part of that is “beyond a reasonable doubt.” What types of doubts are reasonable? And, reasonable doubt by whom? If you or someone you love has been charged with a crime, it is important to understand this crucial element of criminal law.

What Does Beyond a Reasonable Doubt Mean?

Depending on where you look, you might find dozens of variations on the definition of “beyond a reasonable doubt.” For example, West’s Encyclopedia of American Law says that “beyond a reasonable doubt” means that the only logical conclusion that can be drawn from the presented facts is that the defendant committed the crime. Other sources define the standard as proof “to a moral certainty.”

It is also important to remember whose doubt matters in a given case—a consideration that depends on the type of trial. In a jury trial, it is the members of the jury who must be convinced of the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. A jury verdict in Illinois must be unanimous so all 12 jurors must agree. Even if the judge has reasonable doubts in a jury trial, only the doubt of the jurors matters. In a bench trial, the judge must be convinced beyond a reasonable doubt.

Intentional Lack of Explanation

“Beyond a reasonable doubt” is not the same as “beyond all possible doubt.” A juror or judge may have some lingering doubts that are unreasonable and illogical, yet still return a guilty verdict. It is, however, sometimes difficult for jurors to decide what types of doubts are reasonable and what types are unreasonable. To that end, they will not usually get much direction from the court.

Judges, as well as prosecutors and defense lawyers, in Illinois are advised against trying to define reasonable doubt for juries. In fact, some verdicts have been overturned explicitly because the judge or one of the attorneys tried to explain what constitutes reasonable doubt. Therefore, jurors must usually decide for themselves what reasonable doubt means to them.

Building Your Best Defense

When you have been charged with a crime that you did not commit, you need an advocate who can show the jury that there is enough reasonable doubt to return a not-guilty verdict. Contact an experienced Joliet criminal defense attorney to discuss your case and your available options. Call 815-740-4025 for a free consultation at the Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba today.

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