Wheaton sexual assault charges defense lawyerWith the recent trend of “Me Too,” in which sexual assault survivors, mostly women, have shared their stories, many people have come forward with accusations. Being accused of sexual assault is very serious, since it can be charged as a Class 1 felony in Illinois. People have the right to tell their stories, but what if the perpetrator is wrongly identified?

Sexual Assault Charges in Illinois

Under Illinois law, criminal sexual assault is described as performing forceful penetration of a victim, including in cases when the perpetrator knew that the victim could not give consent or did not understand the situation, when the victim was a family member under the age of 18 years old, or when the victim was between the ages of 13 and 18 was in the trusting care of a perpetrator who is at least 17 years old. Aggravated criminal sexual assault, which is a Class X felony, includes the above, but requires the use or threat of a weapon, the infliction of bodily harm, endangerment of the victim’s life, commission of sexual assault while committing another felony, or a victim who was at least 60 years old, had a physical disability, or was intoxicated with substances without their consent or medical purpose.

False Accusations of Sexual Assault

Sexual assault is a life-altering experience for a survivor, and while victims are encouraged to come forward with information, a case of mistaken identity can negatively impact the accused. It can be shocking to be accused of a felony crime, and you may wonder what steps you should take to defend yourself against these charges and clear your name. If you have been falsely accused, you should start by writing a statement of the situation from your point of view. Try to remember every detail about your relationship or experience with the accuser.

You should also be ready to provide evidence. This may include DNA, which ultimately can prove your innocence, or information showing that you were not present when the assault took place. Contact any witnesses to the alleged offense or events before or after it took place, as well as anyone who can testify that you were in another location at the time. Providing as much information as possible not only shows transparency but may prove a case of mistaken identity.

If you have been falsely accused of sexual assault, it is important to get immediate legal representation to fight your case. Sexual assault survivors deserve and receive sympathy, and it is easy to point fingers after an allegation. However, evidence and an experienced attorney will help clear your name. Even if you are innocent, it is important to take steps to prepare a strong defense.

Contact a Wheaton Criminal Defense Attorney

Although all survivors deserve closure after a sexual assault, false accusations or mistaken identity can ruin the life of the accused. Contact a DuPage County sex crimes defense lawyer today to learn about your options for addressing criminal charges and clearing your name. Call our offices at 630-933-8400 to schedule a free consultation.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?docname=072000050hart.+11&actid=1876&chapterid=53&seqstart=14300000&seqend=20800000

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Wheaton child support lawyerIn recent years, the way child support obligations are determined in Illinois has changed. Previously, the amount of child support a parent had to pay was a percentage based on the paying parent’s income and the number of children. For example, a person would pay 20% of their income for one child or 28% of their income for two children.

Today, Illinois practices an “income shares” system when it comes to deciding how much a parent contributes to the support of his or her child after divorce. Using a chart provided by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, a child support obligation is determined based on the parents’ combined net income and the number of children. This amount is then divided between the parents according to each parent’s percentage of the combined income.

In some cases, additional calculations may need to be performed to divide the support obligation between parents who share near-equal amounts of parenting time. The court may also choose to deviate from guidelines in order to protect the best interests of the child. Parents may also be required to contribute to expenses such as child care costs, educational expenses, and extracurricular activities.

Child Support Enforcement

Every child has the right to financial support from both parents, so when one parent refuses to pay child support, everyone loses. This affects the child and the custodial parent. A non-paying parent can face serious consequences, and they will be required to pay child support owed, as well as interest on delinquent payments. If a parent has not received multiple child support payments, they can reach out to the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services Child Support Services. A parent who refuses to pay court-ordered child support may be held in contempt of court, which can result in fines, driver’s license suspension, or jail time.

Termination of Child Support

Children rely on their parents for support, especially during the first few years of their lives. However, once a child is legally an adult at 18 years old, a parent is no longer obligated to make child support payments, unless they are ordered to do so in a special circumstance, such as a disability. Parents may also be required to contribute to children’s college expenses. A parent may no longer be required to pay child support if the child is active in the military, if they have been emancipated and are self-supporting, or if parental rights are terminated through a legal process such as adoption.

Contact a DuPage County Family Law Attorney

Court-ordered child support is necessary to provide for a child’s needs, and when one party is not fulfilling their obligations, there are systems in place to make sure payments are made. Contact an experienced Wheaton divorce lawyer if you need help determining or enforcing child support. Call our offices at 630-933-8400 to schedule a free consultation.

Sources:

https://www.verywellfamily.com/what-to-know-about-child-support-1269626

https://www.illinois.gov/hfs/childsupport/Pages/default.aspx

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/075000050K505.htm

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felony DUI, DuPage County DUI lawyerWhen you are convicted of drunk driving, it has the potential to change your life forever. Your license can be suspended, leading to difficulties keeping personal commitments—including work—and you may even spend time in jail. Just the first offense of a driving under the influence (DUI) charge can result in the loss of your driving privileges for up to six months.

In some cases—especially if it is your first DUI offense—you may qualify for a Monitoring Device Driving Permit, meaning that you may be able to drive while your license is technically suspended. This, however, means you will need to pass a breathalyzer test every time you get behind the wheel of your personal vehicle in order for it to start. Of course, if you refuse to submit to chemical testing after your arrest, the suspension of your license will last even longer—a total of one year for a first offense. The total estimated cost of a DUI if you are convicted is estimated at around $16,000 all-told.

Aggravated DUI in Illinois

If that sounds devastating, it is hardly comparable to that of a felony DUI conviction, also known as aggravated DUI. A conviction on charges aggravated DUI is far worse with more severe penalties and higher fines applicable in most cases. Every year in the state of Illinois roughly 300 people die in alcohol-related crashes. As such, it is perhaps understandable that the state takes a hard line against felony DUI, including a DUI causing a crash that resulted in serious injuries or death. Felony DUI charges may also be applicable if the person charged has before been convicted of a DUI. In Illinois, a third DUI offense automatically becomes a felony charge.

You could also be hit with a Class 4 felony DUI charge even if it is your first DUI conviction if a minor under the age of 16 was in the car at the time of incident and the child was injured in a DUI-related accident. If this occurs and the driver does in fact have a previous DUI conviction, this then becomes a Class 2 felony charge, and the applicable penalties increase accordingly.

We Can Help

While a DUI charge is always serious, you may have options available to you that can help you avoid a conviction and long-term damage to your future. Contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in Wheaton to discuss your situation today. Call 630-933-8400 for a free consultation today.

 

Sources:

http://www.isp.state.il.us/traffic/drnkdriving.cfm

http://www.madd.org/laws/law-overview/DUI_Felony_Overview.pdf

https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/publications/pdf_publications/dsd_a118.pdf

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speeding, Wheaton traffic violations attorney Speeding has become the norm for many drivers. Most cruise the highways at five or ten miles per hour over the speed limit without being concerned they will receive a speeding ticket. This mentality can be troublesome and cause drivers to continue speeding up over time. In fact, one survey shows that a remarkable 80 percent of drivers thought it was okay to drive ten or more miles above the posted speed limit. What many divers forget is that exceeding the speed limit is against the law. In Illinois, speeding drivers can be at risk of a misdemeanor charge depending on how much they were speeding. This means that drivers who exceed the speed limit may actually end up spending time in jail.

Excessive Speeding

Drivers are at risk of being charged with a Class B misdemeanor if they drive between 26 to 34 miles per hour over the speed limit. If found guilty, the driver faces a sentence of up to 180 days in jail and up to a $1,500 fine. Moreover, 20 points may be added to their driver’s license. Divers who drive over 35 miles per hour above the speed limit can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. If found guilty, he or she may have to spend up to a year in jail and pay up to a $2,500 fine. A conviction such as this can result in 50 points added to a driver’s license.

Some traffic violations result in charges that can be dismissed if the person charged completes the requirements set by the court. In these cases, there is no conviction on the driver’s record and no points are applied to the person’s driver’s license. This is referred to as court supervision. Excessive speeding charges, however, do not typcially qualify for court supervision. This means that a conviction could mean added license points. After a certain amount of license points are accumulated, drivers may lose their license entirely.

The current point system for Illinois drivers provides that:

  • 15- 44 points can result in a two-month suspension;
  • 45 – 74 points can result in a three-month suspension;
  • 75-89 points can result in a six-month suspension;
  • 90-99 points can result in a nine-month suspension;
  • 100-109 points can result in a year long suspension; and
  • A driver’s license may be revoked after he or she has accumulated 110 points or more.

Let Us Help

If you have been arrested and charged with speeding, contact an experienced Wheaton criminal defense attorney. Call the Law Offices of Salvatore C. Miglore & Associates at 630-933-8400 today for a free consultation.

 

Sources:

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/11/10/no-respect-for-speed-limits

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/062500050K11-601.5.htm

http://www.ilga.gov/commission/jcar/admincode/092/092010400000200p

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firearm laws, Wheaton criminal defense attorneyThe state of Illinois currently requires that each person who owns firearms must have a valid Firearm Owner’s Identification (FOID) card issued in his or her name. One must have a valid FOID in order to buy or possess firearm ammunition as well. In short, if you do not have one of these identification cards, you could face criminal charges if you are found to be in possession of either a firearm or ammunition. To qualify for a FOID card, you must apply through the Illinois State Police and pay the required fees.

Concealed Carry Permits

Illinois also maintains a concealed carry law, meaning that legal firearm owners are permitted to carry a concealed firearm. To do so, an individual must first obtain a concealed carry permit in addition to his or her FOID card. The concealed carry permit application process is also handled by the Department of State Police.

There are very strict rules in place regarding what a concealed carry permit allows a holder to carry. The firearm in question must be handgun—the permit does not allow the concealed carry of a long gun, rifle, or shotgun. The permit allows the holder to carry such a firearm in a manner that makes the weapon completely or mostly invisible to the public, including inside a purse or vehicle. Concealed carry permits do not apply to non-firearm weapons such as stun guns, Tasers, paintball or pellet guns, or spring guns.

Transporting a Firearm

Understanding that a firearm may be considered concealed if it is in a person’s vehicle, is it legal for a FOID holder to transport a legally owned firearm without a concealed carry permit. The answer, fortunately, is yes. According to the Illinois Criminal Code, there are several ways to do so. The easiest way is to unload the firearm and place it in a case, carrying box, or other container. If you do not have a box or cannot obtain one easily, the firearm may also be transported if it is not immediately accessible, such as in the trunk of your car. Finally, it is also permissible to break the firearm down so that is non-functioning for transport.

Without a concealed carry license, it is a Class 4 felony to carry an uncased, loaded firearm immediately accessible. While there are several options, officials recommend always transporting a firearm unloaded and in a secured case designed for the purpose.

Call Us for Help

If you are facing charges related to the improper transport of a firearm or any other weapons-related offense, contact an experienced DuPage County criminal defense attorney. Call 630-933-8400 for a free consultation with Salvatore C. Miglore & Associates today. We have the knowledge and skill to help you protect your rights and your future.

 

Sources:

http://www.senategop.state.il.us/portals/0/concealed-carry/13%20concealed%20carry%20report.pdf

https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/documents/transportyourfirearmlegally.pdf

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identity theft, DuPage County criminal defense attorneyAll forms of identity theft may be considered federal crimes and are often prosecuted on the federal level. Federal crimes tend to be much more severe, with graver consequences for the offender when tried in federal court compared to those handled at the state level.

Identity theft encompasses a rather wide range of activities, as well as mediums through which offenders obtain the information that enables them to commit such crimes. There are, however, specific types of personally identifying information that are commonly utilized for these kinds of theft.

Damaging Personal Information

Personal information that is typically helpful for an individual in acquiring benefits and financial services can be extremely damaging when used by an identity thief to fraudulently acquire money, credit, goods, or services. Such commonly-used identifying information includes:

  • Online passwords: Many banks, brokerage firms, and other financial institutions offer online services their customers, and customers must set up usernames and passwords. Too often, victims will use the same, easy-to-remember passwords for a variety of online accounts, meaning that if one is compromised, others could be as well. If an identity thief gains access to a login information, the victim may not even discover that there is a problem until significant damage has been done;
  • Debit, credit, and other bank account numbers: In many cases, identity theft crimes target a victim’s regular bank accounts. Whether an account is a credit line or a debit or savings account, the actual account number and attached personal details may be used to make purchases and transfer funds. These activities are usually discovered when the victim sees transactions that he or she never authorized on his or her monthly statements; and
  • Social security numbers: A person’s Social Security number is one of the most valuable pieces of identifying information that can be used illicitly by identity thieves. Access to a Social Security number enables an offender to open new credit card accounts, and just as commonly, commit tax fraud. For example, a thief may use a Social Security number to file a tax return in the victim’s name and steal the refund. This sensitive number can also be used to illegally acquire health insurance and other medical services under the victims’ name.

Seek Legal Help Today

If you are currently under investigation for possible involvement in any kind of identity theft, it is important to take the proper steps to protect yourself. Whatever the circumstances, reach out to a knowledgeable, experienced DuPage County criminal defense attorney the moment you are accused. Call 630-933-8400 for a free consultation at our firm today.

 

Sources:

https://www.identitytheft.gov/Warning-Signs-of-Identity-Theft

https://www.identitytheft.gov/Info-Lost-or-Stolen

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sexting, Wheaton sex crimes attorney“Sexting” is a relatively recent addition to our everyday vocabulary. Perhaps you have heard the word in passing conversation or the news. Sexting is the act of sending sexually explicit photographs to another individual by way of an electronic device. The behavior is made accessible with the assistance of inexpensive mobile device options capable of sending and receiving photos and videos. Although teens and young adults comprise the age group most likely to acknowledge that they “sext”—an amalgamation of the words “text” and “sex”—people of all ages are participating as well. Adults looking to spice up their relationship may enjoy some benefits from sexting, but no matter the age, there is a concern over the legality of the behavior. It is possible for you to be arrested for a sex crime because of a simple sext?

Adults Are Not Exempt

While what happens in the bedroom should generally remain the behind closed doors, occasionally some bit of evidence or some story is eventually revealed to an unanticipated audience, leading to the potential embarrassment of the consenting adult. When sexting is involved, however, there could be legal ramifications for the behavior. Although in most instances, sexting between consenting adults is perfectly legal, great care is necessary to keep it legal. It is absolutely critical to:

  • Avoid sending explicit messages to anyone under the age of 18;
  • Avoid receiving explicit messages from anyone under the age of 18;
  • Prevent child enticement; and
  • Refrain from obscene or harassing behavior.

Teens Should Not Participate

The rules and regulations set in place by legislature years ago did not ever imagine the existence of sexting between teens. While laws may change down the road, as of now, many of them remain the same as they were before the proliferation of mobile technology. Many do not realize that is it illegal under the Illinois Child Pornography Act to take or receive a nude picture of an individual under the age of 18, even if that the subject of the photo is the one sending it.  The act of taking the picture or video recording of a lewd, suggestive, or nude act exhibiting part of the genitals (including female breasts), buttocks, or pubic area could be considered child pornography if the subject is under the age of 18. Asking for such a picture may be solicitation or enticement. Forwarding it or otherwise transmitting it to other individuals may be considered reproducing or disseminating child pornography. Participating in any of the above acts could subject an individual to federal intervention.

Possible Consequences

The mere rumor of a sex crime, especially involving a child, is enough to damage any reputation. In addition to the embarrassment, a conviction also carries potential jail time, fines, and a possible requirement to register with the state’s sex offender registry. Registered sex offenders are prohibited from living in certain locations and may be limited regarding the daily activities enjoyed by adults with their growing children.

If you have been charged with a sex crime as the result of sexting or any other activity, contact an experienced Wheaton criminal defense attorney. Call 630-933-8400 for a free consultation with Salvatore C. Miglore & Associates today.

 

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/072000050K11-20.1.htm

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domestic violence. DuPage County criminal defense attorneyMany people feel that when they are charged with domestic violence, the deck is stacked against them and they will be convicted. This is far from the truth. Not all domestic violence accusations are true; many are not even based on any facts whatsoever. These accusations can be used as a powerful weapon in other proceedings (such as in family law cases) and are often as an unscrupulous strategy. If you have been accused of domestic violence, an attorney can help defend against meritless claims depending on the facts of your case.

What Illinois Law Considers Domestic Violence

Acts constituting domestic violence include:

  • Hitting;
  • Choking;
  • Kicking;
  • Threatening;
  • Harassing; or
  • Interfering with the personal liberty of another.

In order for such acts to be considered domestic violence, the act must be perpetrated on an accused’s family or household members, who are defined as:

  • Family members related by blood;
  • A spouse or former spouse;
  • People who live or used to live together in a home, apartment or other common dwelling;
  • People who have or allegedly have child together or a blood relationship through a child;
  • People who are dating or used to date, including same-sex couples; and
  • People with disabilities and their assistants.

Possible Defenses to Domestic Violence Charges

Violence between two people is not often one-sided, so self-defense is a common defense in a domestic violence case. If you can show that your actions were intended to protect yourself from serious injury, you may be able to have the charges reduced or dismissed.

Another common defense is that you were defending another person at the time you committed the violent act. These defenses should only be argued if you are certain that it will be successful since the defenses require the accused to admit to perpetrating violence.

Finally, with any criminal matter, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the crime. Sometimes a case may be dismissed due to lack of evidence, which is often the situation in a domestic violence proceeding.

Contact a Wheaton Domestic Violence Defense Attorney

A domestic violence conviction can affect your ability to be around family members and could weigh negatively on any pending child custody matters. Your employment may also be jeopardized. Therefore, it is critical to fight domestic violence charges aggressively. Contact an experienced DuPage County domestic violence attorney to get the help you need. Call 630-933-8400 for a free consultation today.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ChapterID=59&ActID=2100

http://www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/women/idva.html

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traffic violations, DuPage County criminal defense attorneyIn Illinois, driving is a privilege, not a right. This means that the state can take away your ability to drive for a number of reasons, including being convicted of traffic violations. With some offenses, you may lose your driving privileges on the first infraction, and with others, you can receive several tickets before you lose your license. Losing your ability to drive often means that your ability to work and attend to personal responsibilities may be compromised. If you determine that you may be at risk for driver’s license suspension, you should contact a skilled attorney so that your rights can be protected.

Appointed Lawyers and the True Cost of Traffic Violations

When the crime you are accused of is punishable by imprisonment, the state will provide you with a public defender. However, many traffic violations are not punishable by imprisonment, so if you want legal counsel, you must retain a lawyer yourself. Also, many people prefer hiring a private defense attorney, as public defenders are often overworked, underpaid, and unable to dedicate the necessary attention to each case they are assigned.

Keep in mind that there are hidden costs beyond the traffic ticket fine. According to some sources, a traffic ticket could increase your insurance premiums for five years. Taking that into consideration, the total cost of an Illinois speeding ticket is about 6.2 times the ticket fine. On average, drivers will pay $744 for a speeding ticket with a fine of $120.

When You Can Lose Your Driver’s License

When you are issued a traffic ticket, you have three options. You could:

  • Pay the fine, plead guilty, and incur a conviction;
  • Pay the fine and request court supervision, which typically means attending traffic school and avoiding additional traffic violations for a certain period of time; or
  • Contest the ticket and attend a hearing, which is essentially a bench trial in front of a local judge.

While it may be tempting to simply plead guilty, pay the ticket, and put the matter behind you, supervision often means that the conviction will not appear on your record so long as the terms of supervision are met.

If you have three convictions on your driving record within a 12-month period, the Illinois Secretary of State can suspend your driver’s license for up to six months. If you are under 21 years old, your license can be suspended if you have two convictions within a 24-month period.

Contact a Wheaton Traffic Violations Attorney

Many people do not understand the consequences associated with traffic violations until they are in court and it is too late to mount a proper defense. Our goal is to keep you on the road with a clean driving history. If you are facing traffic violations, contact an experienced DuPage County criminal defense attorney. Call 630-933-8400 for a free consultation with Salvatore C. Miglore & Associates today.

 

Source:

https://www.isba.org/sites/default/files/publications/pamphlets/Traffic%20Courts.pdf

https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/insurance/true-cost-speeding-ticket-illinois-il-insurance/

http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/drivers/teen_driver_safety/gdl.html

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identity theft, DuPage County criminal defense attorneyThe world of identity theft is diverse and vast, encompassing a range of activities that all have the power to lead offenders to a number of unpleasant consequences. A conviction on charges of identity theft crimes can result in community service, prison time, hefty fines, and overall damage to one’s reputation. A majority of these crimes start with the invasion of privacy via the internet and through tampering with personal mobile devices, posing great risks for anyone who is involved with such activity merely by association.

Sources of Temptation for Identity Theft

Sometimes, all it takes to place yourself at risk for potential identity theft charges is to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, or in the case of online security, tampering with the wrong device or with someone’s personal information via the internet. Accessing sensitive personal information by meddling with of any of the following modes of online data is considered a federal crime and can mean serious repercussions:

  • Discarded devices: When some individuals dispose of personal devices, such as old laptops or mobile phones, they do not always properly wipe the hard drive, leaving any personal information still stored on the drive easily accessible for tampering. Whether you accidentally stumble upon access to someone’s information through acquiring a previously owned device or you simply meddle out of curiosity, it is important to be aware that handling anyone else’s personal information online without their knowledge may be treated as a criminal offense;
  • P2P networks: Peer-to-peer, or P2P, file-sharing networks are extremely popular for sharing games, music, and movies, but they are also commonly targeted by identity thieves for obtaining personal financial information. Users sometimes believe that by closing the file-sharing program window, they have closed their connection to the network which is not the case. Do not make the mistake of exploring someone’s files or distributing pirated or copyrighted material via a P2P network, or you could be looking at criminal charges;
  • Email accounts: If you use email as a method to deceptively acquire someone’s personal information under any circumstances, you are engaging in federal criminal activity. Among the many ways email scams are used to commit identity theft, “phishing” messages are especially prevalent. Phishing involves impersonating a legitimate medium for requesting sensitive personal information. Other examples of email-related identity theft activity include hacking accounts, as well as dating and tech support scams.

As our technology capabilities continue to evolve and improve over time, new identity theft tactics will emerge, increasing the number of hazards for internet users worldwide. If you or someone you know has been accused of being involved in an identity theft act of any kind, it is imperative to speak with a skilled Wheaton criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to protect your rights and reputation. Call 630-933-8400 today for a free, confidential consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/topics/online-security

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/topics/identity-theft

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