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Drinking and Driving on New Years Eve

joliet drinking and driving

The winter holiday season is something many of us look forward to. We get together with friends and family to share special meals and often, a holiday cocktail or two. Oftentimes, people celebrating do not keep track of how many drink they have had. They end up driving home with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) above the Illinois legal limit of 0.08 and are charged with driving under the influence (DUI).

While Christmas and the surrounding days are generally considered a family holiday, they are still linked with an increase in drinking and driving traffic fatalities. The number of traffic stops related to drinking and driving increases by over 30 percent on Christmas Eve. New Year’s Eve , which is known for partying and binge drinking, is an even more dangerous night to be driving. In fact, more than 42% of the traffic accidents on that day are a result of drinking and driving. It is especially bad in years that New Year’s Eve falls on a weekend.

Serious Criminal Consequences and Loss of Driving Privileges

If you are pulled over by the police and tests determine that your BAC is 0.08 or more, or if you refuse testing, your driving privileges will be suspended , and you will likely be charged with DUI. While yor suspension and charges are pending, you will be allowed to continue driving for 45 days which gives you time to fight the arrest and suspension. After this period, first-time offenders who fail chemical testing for blood alcohol content will have their license suspended for 6 months. Those who are suspected of driving under the influence and refuse to submit to chemical BAC testing will have their license suspended for 12 months for a first offense. Repeat offenders will face a one-year suspension for failing a test and three years for refusing.

Because driving under the influence is so dangerous to other drivers, the criminal penalties for a DUI are severe. For first-time DUI offenders, the penalties could include driver's license and registration revocation, a maximum imprisonment of six months in jail, a fine of at least $1,000, community service, and required participation in a drug or alcohol rehabilitation program. Any subsequent charges of DUI only increase the punishment in both fees, fines and jail time.

Police know that these holidays are times of increased drinking and will therefore have more officers patrolling the roads. In order to avoid a DUI this New Year’s Eve, have a designated driver, use public transportation or a ride sharing program, or simply do not get into a car if you have been drinking.

Facing DUI Charges?

If you are facing DUI charges, you need an attorney that is proficient and knowledgeable in this area of the law. Rely on a skilled Joliet criminal defense attorney to protect your rights while building an aggressive defense strategy on your behalf. The Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba provides every client with a meticulous review of their case using years of experience and reliable resources. Contact our office today at 815-740-4025 to schedule a free consultation.

Juvenile Defendants and Jury Trials

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Having the option of being tried in court before a jury of one’s peers is a right our country’s justice system guarantees. However, in most cases involving juvenile crime , the opportunity to seek a jury trial is not offered in Illinois. This policy was recently upheld by the state’s Supreme Court.

First Time Offenders

In Illinois, the rules pertaining to hearings for juvenile offenders are different depending on the criminal history of the defendant. Those rules were challenged when a Cook County Circuit Court Judge ordered a jury trial for a juvenile defendant charged in the shooting death of another teen.

In Illinois, jury trials are afforded to juvenile offenders with a history of repeat or violent offenses. First time offenders do not have the option of jury trials. An initial ruling in this case found part of that Illinois law unconstitutional. In ruling on an appeal, the Illinois Supreme Court issued an opinion that the statute pertaining to jury trials for repeat offenders was distinctive enough from those pertaining to juveniles with no previous criminal history.

Since the incident in question occurred, the juvenile charged in the shooting has been held by the state. One possible outcome, if convicted, would see her released in one year, since the nearly five years which she has been in custody would count toward a sentence.

Repeat Offenders Receive Harsh Sentences

It has been widely reported that detainees in some Illinois juvenile detention facilities are being charged with felonies for reported attacks on staff members. In many cases, those detainees receive sentences that result in a transfer into the state’s adult prison system, where they serve out those sentences.

This is in stark contrast to a downstate teen who received probation and community service and was ordered to pay restitution for throwing a punch that ended up killing another teen while both attended a party.

Work with an Experienced Will County Juvenile Crimes Defense Lawyer

If your son or daughter is under the age of 18 and facing a juvenile court hearing, it is important to protect their rights, while understanding the juvenile justice system. A delay in retaining the help of a knowledgeable Joliet juvenile crimes defense attorney could cost more than just money; it could also cost your child their freedom. When you need an attorney who provides thorough and aggressive representation, contact the Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba, P.C to schedule a free consultation and learn how we can put our resources to work for you. Call 815-740-4025 today to speak with an experienced Illinois juvenile crimes defense lawyer.

Holiday Season Causes Uptick in Shoplifting

joliet shoplifting attorney

Shoplifting can be detrimental to business owners, as billions of dollars’ worth of merchandise are stolen from retail stores every year. Often, the holiday season is the time of year when shoplifting is especially problematic. In a season that lasts just over a month, shoplifters cost retail stores approximately $6 billion. The toll is especially hard on large retailers like Walmart, Macy’s, Target, and Gap.

Why Shoplifting is Worse During This Time of Year

The holiday season is the time when many retailers make a large percentage of their annual sales—as much as one-third of the year’s entire revenue. However, the winter holidays are also the time of year when retailers incur 37 percent of their annual shrink loss.

During the winter shopping season , the average store’s product mix changes considerably. More expensive merchandise is often displayed to entice holiday shoppers and encourage impulse buys. With more valuable items available, shoplifters are also more tempted. This also means that even if the same quantity of items is stolen during the holiday season, those items cost more on average. Consequently, stores end up losing more through theft than at other times of the year. The increase in shoplifting can also be linked with the overall surge of shoppers. More foot traffic in a given store often correlates to more stealing.

Some shoplifters who steal during this time of year are also more likely to rationalize their behavior. They may convince themselves they are stealing because their child’s Christmas is at stake rather than for financial or personal gain. Such justifications, obviously, do not hold up in court when that person is arrested for retail theft.

The merchandise loss for retailers in the US was $132 per person in 2016, with similar numbers forecasted for 2017. Of that total, about $50 per person is expected to be incurred during the holiday season. These losses place an enormous burden on retailers and result in stores being forced to raise their prices in order to cover their losses. This ultimately means that shoplifting costs honest shoppers who pay for it in higher prices.

Caught Shoplifting?

Petty theft and shoplifting are often dismissed as insignificant crimes because they involve taking something of relatively little value. However, the consequences can be significant. At The Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba, we know that sometimes good people make poor choices. If you have been charged with shoplifting or retail theft, you need an experienced Joliet criminal defense attorney to protect your rights, while building an aggressive defense strategy on your behalf. Contact our office today at 815-740-4025 to schedule a free consultation.

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