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Geneva Illinois Law Blog

Illinois divorced dads are spending less time with their kids

Many states are pushing towards shared child custody between divorced parents – emphasizing both parents’ roles in raising a child. Unfortunately, a new study showed that Illinois ranks in the bottom five states for the amount of custody time awarded to fathers.

According to Custody X Change, a father is likely to receive about 35 percent of child custody time nationally. In the state of Illinois, the average father only receives 23.1 percent of child custody time. It’s a drastic difference between the 20 states that offer the average father 50 percent of custody time.

Penalties for driving on a suspended license in Illinois

There are many ways to get your driver’s license suspended or revoked, ranging from reckless driving to intoxication to not paying court-ordered child support. At the Law Offices of Johnson & Buh, we understand it can be frustrating to have a suspended license, especially when you have important places to go, such as your job or picking your child up from school. It might be tempting to assume you can get in your car for a short drive, crossing your fingers that you will not get caught, especially if you can’t afford to pay the fines associated with your suspension. However, the consequences for driving with a suspended or revoked license in Illinois are even steeper than the original penalties.

According to FindLaw, the following penalties can apply if you are pulled over driving with a suspended license:

  • A misdemeanor charge, with a minimum of 10 days to up to one year in jail
  • A $2,500 fine
  • Possible community service for 30 days

Can field sobriety tests prove intoxication?

If you know someone who has been charged with a drunk driving offense, you might be wondering just what evidence the police officer or officers involved may have used to support making the arrest. Contrary to what you and many other people may think, the field sobriety tests commonly used before a person is arrested for driving under the influence are not able to conclusively prove that they were actually impaired.

According to FieldSobrietyTests.org, there are three standardized field tests approved for use by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Their purpose is not to prove a person's guilt but to collect results that shows the potential for impairment. It is this potential impairment that is needed for a law enforcement officer to legally place a person under arrest and charge them with a DUI crime.

What nervous bankers mean for marijuana in Illinois

Marijuana is becoming more and more legal nationwide. Decriminalization laws are reducing the toll minor drug offences are taking on jails and prisons; medical marijuana is being prescribed by doctors across much of the country; and the entire West coast, among other states, has legalized cannabis for recreational use. Despite this, recent movement by banks may change Illinois’ future with the drug.

The marijuana trade has pulled in considerable revenue since becoming legal in many states. Despite being legal for prescribed medical use in Illinois, some banks are reluctant to work with the revenue cannabis generates, which could lead to major upsets to marijuana sales in our state.

Is swatting a crime?

You may have heard about the prank called “swatting.” This joke often occurs after a disagreement online, but anyone can do it – from teenagers trying to prank their school officials to experienced callers dialing in false reports against government officials, politicians or social media personalities. It is important for you and other Illinois residents to understand that there are serious consequences to making a fake call to authorities.

Swatting is thus named because the intent is to lure law enforcement or armed SWAT teams to an unsuspecting target’s address by claiming there was a violent crime or that a crime is in progress. You may remember an incident that occurred last December. According to Vox, a man called police after a gaming dispute, claiming to be the swatting target and saying he was holding family members hostage and had killed his father. Not only was the subject of the prank unaware what was happening when he answered his door to law enforcement wielding firearms, he had not been involved in the game that sparked the argument. Tragically, the man was killed when officers mistakenly thought he was reaching for a weapon. The man who made the call is facing charges for manslaughter and making a false police report.

How to get your driver's license back after a suspension

Your driver’s license suspension has ended and you are ready to driver yourself around again.

Not so fast: you may not realize that you don’t automatically get your driver’s license back in Illinois. You must take legal action to get it reinstated so you won’t have to risk getting arrested for driving without a valid license. To do this properly, you need a lawyer with experience in driver’s license reinstatements.

You have control over your child support spending

When you begin receiving your child support checks, you may be concerned about whether your ex-spouse can dictate how you spend the money, or if the family law court will monitor your spending. This may be especially worrisome if your ex was controlling during your marriage or if he or she is currently making comments about your child support spending. At the Law Offices of Johnson & Buh, we understand that this can be stressful. You and other Illinois can be reassured when you know your rights surrounding child support.

FindLaw states that custodial parents receiving child support have a wide range of freedom in how to spend it. As you know, child support is for the benefit of your children, but you know best how this money should be spent for their comfort and well-being. Therefore, you might use child support for your children’s physical needs, such as putting a roof over their head, keeping them warm in the winter and cool in the summer and for keeping them clothed. You can use child support to buy school supplies and for extracurricular activities, such as sports and music lessons. Child support can also be used to pay for doctors’ visits, medication and food. You can save the money for an emergency or to pay their college tuition.

The difference between plea bargaining and diversion

You may have heard how some people charged with criminal acts plea down their charges to a lesser offense. It is true that many criminal cases do not even make it to a trial. However, you may not know that plea bargains are not the only avenue open to someone in Illinois charged with a crime. Particularly for first time offenses, courts are open to a process called diversion that can eliminate the need for pleading guilty at all.

Plea bargaining is generally more well known than diversions. As the American Bar Association describes it, plea deals involve a defendant pleading guilty to a lesser or to fewer charges than originally charged with. The process is still subject to approval by a court judge, who may or may not accept it. However, in the event a plea deal goes through, an individual does not have to suffer the uncertainty of a long trial and a lengthy prison sentence.

Are co-parenting arrangements better for children?

You never thought your life would be like this-- surrounded by broken pieces of what was once a family. You love your children but having ‘mom’ and ‘dad’ together is no longer an option. Not only do you carry the stress of your personal story not going the way you thought it would—but you’re also worried about how this will affect your children.

Custody issues are among the most stressful aspects of the divorce process. Historically, family courts have readily granted one parent more custody time than the other. Standard custody agreements currently incorporate the “every other weekend” method. But is this really the best arrangement for custody rulings?

Drunk driver caught with open liquor bottle in passenger seat

Illinois police officers recently arrested a woman passed out with her engine running at a gas station parking lot. What they discovered was an open liquor bottle resting on the seat next to her and a record of over six DUI arrests in multiple states across the country. Law enforcement officers have named her among the “worst DUI offenders” in America.

The woman smelled heavily of alcohol and was found in a state of physical and mental dishevelment. She claimed to be looking for one of her 11 children at the time of the arrest. But police admitted her into custody after refusing to take a sobriety test. The woman, 41 refused to tell the truth about her name, birth date, and made false allegations of being pregnant, which forced officers to take her to the hospital.

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