Many people don’t stop to think about the potential legal ramifications of taking a shortcut through someone’s property or going urban exploring at an abandoned site. However, you and other Illinois residents may want to consider the fact that you could face criminal charges for trespassing, no matter how innocent your intentions were.
"Embezzlement" is a term you may have read in Illinois newspapers or heard on TV. You may already know that it is a white-collar crime and involves stealing from your employer. However, according to FindLaw, what distinguishes embezzlement from simple theft is that you must be in a position of responsibility for the assets that you have allegedly taken.
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?
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.
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.
At the Law Offices of Johnson & Buh, we know that many criminal cases in Illinois never go to trial because the prosecutor offers and the defendant accepts a plea bargain. We also know that while a plea bargain may be the best choice for any given defendant, you should never accept one unless and until you know exactly what you are agreeing to do and the consequences thereof.
Many drivers in Illinois and elsewhere react differently to stressful situations behind the wheel than they would in person, and you might agree. If someone bumps into you at the grocery store, you both might apologize and go on your way. However, a mistake in traffic can have different results.
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.
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.
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.