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Geneva Illinois Law Blog

How do I pay my reinstatement fee online?

Losing your driver's license is a huge inconvenience, but getting it reinstated is not in Illinois. The Office of the Illinois Secretary of State created a system to allow you to pay your reinstatement fees online. This means you no longer have to physically go somewhere to pay the fees. Since this is often the last step you take before getting your driver's license back, having the ability to do it so easily from the comfort of your own home is very nice.

To access the system, you need to go to the Secretary of State's website. You have to have a credit card to pay with. You can pay only one fee at a time. For every payment you make, the system charges a 2.35 percent fee. To get to your records and ensure you pay the correct fee and amount, you need to have either your driver's license number or your full name and birthdate. After you pay, you get a receipt by email.

What to know about marital property division in Illinois

When it comes to the division of marital property, Illinois is an “equitable property” distribution state, meaning a marital estate is divided equitably by a court. Equitable distribution isn’t always equal down the middle, but relative to each situation.

While some states divide property 50/50, a judge In Illinois will consider many factors when dividing a marital estate. Firm guidelines don’t exist per se, so instead, each case is handled individually based on its own set of circumstances and the court has the discretion to decide what’s fair.

Eyewitness misidentification: What you should know

If you have been accused of committing a crime in Illinois, you may be asked to participate in an eyewitness identification lineup. Witnesses are then asked to choose the suspect from the line of potential perpetrators. The problem lies in the fact that the eyewitness identification process can lead to errors, which may cause innocent people to be convicted of a crime they did not commit. According to the Innocence Project, 362 people were freed from prison after DNA evidence found they were actually innocent of committing a crime. Eyewitness misidentification was involved in more than 70 percent of these cases. What causes witnesses to choose the wrong people from a lineup?

First, inadvertent gestures and comments made by the lineup administrator may prompt witnesses to choose a certain person from the lineup. Administrators should be blind to the case, and not know any details of what is going on with the matter. Furthermore, poor organization of the lineup can lead to mistakes as well. For example, if the perpetrator is said to have had a beard and a tattoo on his arm, there should be more than one person in the lineup with a beard and tattoo. If there is only one person matching the description, the witness is most likely to choose this person, regardless of whether they are guilty or not.

Am I okay to drive? 3 Ways to check.

Drinking alcohol makes us less self-aware. So, when it’s time to go home, some of us might feel apprehensive about driving.

Consuming any amount of alcohol limits a person’s driving skills. But, exceeding the legal Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) limit of 0.08 percent can result in severe penalties under criminal charges. If you often find yourself unsure about whether you’re too drunk to drive, here are a few easy ways you can check.

Should you consider taking a paternity test?

As a parent in Illinois who is in the process of getting a divorce, you will also have to deal with matters like child custody and support. If you do not already have established paternity over your child, it may be something to look into.

BRT Laboratories, INC, takes a look at the different reasons that fathers just like you end up taking paternity tests. Of the reasons, some have to do with matters of inheritance or life insurance policies. If you're worried that a child may be overlooked for inheritance or be unable to access life insurance in the case of your passing, a paternity test may be right for you.

Stop wrongful accusations for a fair divorce

Why do people falsely accuse their spouses of various crimes, such as battery and assault? In Illinois, the answer is sometimes simple: They could want the kids, the house or the money. 

At the Law Offices of Johnson & Buh, we tenaciously pursue every legal option available in order to restore our clients' reputations in preparation for a successful divorce process. Regardless of how bad any situation you found yourself in might seem, there could still be a solution that saves you from long-term consequences, such as inordinately burdensome support payments or unfavorable childcare decision-making privileges. 

Spousal support available in Illinois divorces

Couples choosing to divorce may feel anxious and experience many emotions. Yet these feelings usually heighten when one spouse worries that he or she will not have the funds to maintain the same standard of living when the divorce is finalized. Perhaps you did not receive a degree or training, and you are concerned that you will not have the opportunity to find a high-paying position immediately.

Just like child support offers monetary benefits to children affected by divorce, spousal support, or maintenance, exists in Illinois to allow one spouse to continue to benefit from a former spouse’s income. Illinois divorces work to ensure that no spouse proves detrimentally affected by the division of assets. Should you find yourself heading toward divorce and feel as though you may need spousal support, it is essential that you speak with an experienced attorney, so that you have accurate representation in obtaining your required support.

Should I hire an attorney if I want an uncontested divorce?

Alternative dispute resolution methods like mediation and collaborative law are on nearly everyone’s minds when they are considering a divorce. After all, who wants to go through a contentious, expensive and lengthy court battle if you can get your divorce over with in a few mediation sessions? However, you and other Illinois residents should understand that while these uncontested divorce options have numerous benefits, they are not always as simple as they seem.

Your uncontested, or amicable, divorce options would most likely involve mediation or collaborative law, as the American Bar Association explains. In a collaborative divorce, you and your spouse would consult your own attorneys. Everyone involved agrees not to litigate, which means your attorneys would be required to resign from the case if you can’t reach solutions to your disputes.

What do you need to do to get your license back after DUI?

When you are convicted of a DUI, the state of Illinois will automatically suspend your license for at least six months or up to one year, if you are a first offender. Before you can drive again, you need to complete a few things.

It can be important to remember that you are not alone. Police arrest around 1.5 million individuals each year for drunk driving. These people are also in situations where they are doing everything they can to regain their license and driving privileges.

Illinois residents can face criminal charges for hazing

There are many rites of passage for those going into high school and college, especially when it comes to sports or academic clubs. Hazing is not considered an acceptable tradition, although it still occurs frequently in schools across the country. According to Illinois law, those who participate in hazing rituals may face criminal consequences.

The Illinois General Assembly explains that hazing is unlawful when such a ritual is not permitted or sanctioned by the organization the members belong to and when it results in bodily harm. Usually, hazing is a misdemeanor charge. However, when someone suffers great bodily harm or loses his or her life due to a hazing incident, the act can be considered a felony.

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