Blogs | Law Office of Jack L Zaremba


Criminal Arrest Procedures

will county arrest procedures

Criminal prosecution typically begins with an arrest. It is important to understand Illinois law regarding arrest procedures because if the authorities violate a defendant’s rights from the get-go, it could prejudice the state’s case. The following comes into play when a peace officer is allowed to make an arrest:

1. The officer has a warrant ordering that person’s arrest;
2. The officer has reasonable grounds to believe there is a warrant for that person’s arrest (issued in Illinois or in another jurisdiction); or
3. The officer has reasonable grounds to believe that the person is committing or has committed a criminal offense.

(Note that Illinois law requires the arresting officer to ask the arrestee if he has minor children at home. If so, the officer will assist the arrestee in finding someone to look after them.)

Anyone who watches television has probably heard the term “citizen’s arrest.” In Illinois, such an arrest may be performed by any person who has reasonable grounds to believe a criminal offense (other than an ordinance violation) is being committed.

Differentiating Between a Warrant, Summons and Notice

It is also important to distinguish between several legal terms of art that can be confusing: a “warrant of arrest,” a “summons” and a “notice to appear.” A warrant of arrest is a written court order directing a peace officer to arrest a specific person. However, that is not the only procedural mechanism for effectuating an arrest. For example, a summons is a written court order commanding a specific person to appear in court at a stated time and place. A court may issue a summons whenever it is authorized to issue a warrant of arrest. Similarly, a notice to appear is a written request (issued by a peace officer rather than a court) to appear in court at a stated time and place. The officer may issue a notice whenever he is authorized to make a warrantless arrest.

The court summons must:

• Be in writing;
• State the name and address (if known) of the person summoned;
• Explain the nature of the offense;
• Include an issuing date and municipality/county;
• Be signed by the judge (including his title); and
• Command the person to appear in court at a specified time and place.

The notice to appear must:

• Be in writing;
• State the name and address (if known) of the person;
• Explain the nature of the offense;
• Include the signature of the officer who issued the notice; and
• Request the person to appear in court at a specified time and place.

A court may issue a summons or a warrant of arrest if the person fails to appear.

Keep in mind that a warrant will not be quashed (and a person who is in custody for a criminal offense will not be discharged) due to technical irregularities in the warrant, unless the irregularities affect the substantial rights of the defendant.

The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects against unreasonable searches and seizures. This includes an unlawful arrest. If you have been arrested and suspect that your rights have been violated, contact one of our Will County criminal defense attorneys today. We can assist those in Frankfort, Joliet and the surrounding area.

Popping Tags Is Still Retail Theft

popping tags joliet criminal defense

When the average person thinks about shoplifting—which is a form of retail theft —he or she is likely to envision the offender slipping unpurchased merchandise into a purse, under a shirt, or into a pocket. Shoplifting charges, however, cover a broad range of activities that all deprive the store of full payment for the merchandise. Retail theft costs stores billions of dollars each year, despite anti-theft efforts and improvements in related technology.

How to Get Arrested Despite Paying For Merchandise

A recent pop song extolled the fun involved with “popping tags.” For those unfamiliar with what this is referencing, it refers to those with a limited amount of funds available, or who just want a thrill or to save money, go into a store and switch the price tag of the item with one from an item at a lower price point. They then go to the cashier and pay the lower cost. In Illinois, this constitutes theft , which occurs anytime someone deprives the merchant of the full retail value of a product. By paying the lower price, the behavior prohibits the store from making their money.

Other actions that fall into the shoplifting category include:

• Stealing an item;
• Changing an item’s packaging;
• Under-ringing the price of an item; and
• Label alteration.

Far-Reaching Impacts

The consequences of shoplifting affect not only the store but the community as well. The store lost money on that particular sale, but with the tags switched, someone else may pay the higher price on another item. How many times have you gone into a store, reached the counter to pay only to discover that the cost was three times the amount you expected? Perhaps you looked at a price tag and thought the item was outrageously priced? Did you purchase the item? Probably not. It is unlikely that the store will recoup the money from that sale, and the other item also may not sell.

Many stores are forced to increase the price of all products to recover from such losses, which ultimately impacts all of the store’s customers. If the prices become too high, shoppers will go elsewhere, forcing many stores to close.

All future customers may be forced to:

• Pay more for merchandise;
• Spend more in gas or travel expenses to go other places;
• Seek assistance from a store employee to purchase high-value items;
• Deal with lower staffing levels in stores due to cutbacks; and
• Endure scrutiny from increased loss prevention officers in a retail outlet.

Illinois Consequences

The state of Illinois imposes harsh criminal penalties on those found guilty of shoplifting charges. If you are facing such charges, it is important to seek legal guidance right away. Contact an experienced Joliet criminal defense attorney at the Law Office Jack L. Zaremba to get the help you need. Call 815-740-4025 for a free consultation today.

Reckless Driving - Will County Criminal Defense

Will County Reckless Driving Defense

Reckless driving is one of the most frequently charged traffic violations . This is due, however, to the fact that the offense is defined broadly in the law and encompasses a multitude of behaviors. From speeding to failing to slow through a curve or rapid lane changes, reckless driving remains a “go-to” charge for many law enforcement officials. If you are facing reckless driving charges, it is important to know what that entails and the possible consequences of a conviction.

What Is Reckless Driving, Anyway?

According to Illinois law , the definition of reckless driving is operating a vehicle with, “with a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.” A conviction, therefore, requires proof of the mindset of intentionally endangering others or a complete lack of consideration. If the prosecution successfully proves purposeful disregard for safe driving, the allegations are more severe than careless or improper driving.

A few behaviors that may qualify as reckless driving include:

• Dangerously driving above the posted speed limit;
• Failing to yield the right-of-way;
• Driving without proper lights;
• Not signaling or otherwise not looking before lane changes; and
• Running stop signs or red lights, placing others in danger.

Worst Case Scenario

Many clients ask specifically about the worst-case scenario in the event of a conviction. While we build strong cases to reduce the charges or have them dropped entirely, it is understandable to want to know what potential punishments are, especially if the prosecution has an airtight case. If convicted, reckless driving is generally a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in county jail and fines of up to $2,500.

The good news is you are not likely to lose your driver’s license solely as the result of a reckless driving charge. Keep in mind, however, that if you have two other violations within the last 12 months, a third conviction can cost you your driving privileges.

We Can Help

If you are facing allegations of reckless driving, it is important to remember that it is a criminal offense and you should consider retaining an attorney to aid in your defense. To learn more, contact an experienced reckless driving defense lawyer in Will County . At the Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba, we understand how a single reckless driving charge can affect your life and we are prepared to help you protect your rights every step of the way. Call 815-740-4025 for a free consultation today.


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