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Recent blog posts

Orland Park criminal defense attorney, prescription drugsAlthough DUI is usually associated with drunk driving, Illinois law actually prohibits operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of any drug or controlled substance. This can even include a legal prescription drug. To avoid a DUI conviction, a defendant must prove not only that he or she had a valid prescription, but he or she also used the drug in a manner that did not prevent him or her from driving safely.

Driver Must Prove Xanax Did Not Impair His Driving

In a recent Illinois case, police arrested a man for DUI after blood and urine tests revealed the presence of alprazolam in his system. Alprazolam, better known as Xanax, is a prescription drug used to treat anxiety disorders. The defendant held a lawful prescription for Xanax, with instructions to take two pills per day.

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Orland Park criminal defense lawyer, proving my innocenceAlthough television legal dramas might lead you to think the criminal justice system is infallible—the heroic police and prosecution always manage to catch the clearly guilty defendant—the reality is there are many people in Illinois sitting in prison for crimes they did not commit. In fact, the National Registry of Exonerations at the University of Michigan reports 195 wrongful convictions in Illinois—most of them from Cook County—have been identified and overturned since 1989.

Illinois Man Exonerated After Years in Jail

Defendants in sexual assault cases are especially vulnerable to false convictions based solely on the testimony of an unreliable accuser. An Illinois appeals court recently looked at whether or not an accuser may challenge a defendant's actual innocence even when the state concedes there was a wrongful conviction.

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Orland Park personal injury lawyer, personal injury settlement, medical liensFollowing a car accident, your first priority is seeking treatment for your injuries. As we all know, medical care is expensive, especially if you lack sufficient insurance. Even a simple accident can lead to thousands of dollars in unpaid bills. Additionally, Illinois hospitals are not shy about collecting on those bills, even if the injured victim has yet to receive any compensation from the parties responsible for his or her accident.

Court Rules Hospital Did Not Have to Bill Victim's Insurer

Illinois law permits all health care providers—hospitals, doctors, et cetera—to file a lien against “all claims and causes of action” held by an injured person who seeks treatment. In other words, if you are injured in a car accident, the hospital that treats you can legally claim part of any potential personal injury lawsuit that you file. The law limits such medical lien to “reasonable charges” for the care provided, which in no case may be more than 40 percent of the “verdict, judgment, award, settlement, or compromised” secured by the injured victim.

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Orland Park criminal defense attorney, criminal trialIf you are facing felony charges, it is important to make sure the court respects all of your constitutional rights. While even the best judges make honest mistakes, such errors can prove costly when you are facing the loss of your freedom and the permanent taint of a felony conviction. Therefore, a defendant should never hesitate to object—or in some cases appeal—when a judge fails to follow the law.

Murder Conviction Overturned After Judge Kicks Out Defendant's Grandmother

A recent Illinois case illustrates how a seemingly minor procedural error can be a big deal in a felony case. The defendant here was tried for murder. A jury convicted the defendant and the judge sentenced him to 100 years in prison.

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Orland Park criminal defense attorney, surveillance location privilegeThe Constitution affords all criminal defendants, such as those facing drug charges, the right to “confront” the witnesses against them. This means that if you are arrested and charged with a crime, you have the right to cross-examine the arresting officer and any other prosecution witnesses at trial. However, law enforcement often tries to undermine a defendant's right to confrontation by withholding information that might benefit the defense and undermine the prosecution. 

 

Drug Conviction Reversed After Improper Invocation of Privilege

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Orland Park criminal defense attorney, police handcuffDrug crime cases often begin with seemingly routine traffic stops. Illinois law enforcement officers may use a minor traffic crime, such as speeding, as a pretext to stop and search a vehicle suspected to contain evidence of illegal drug activity. While the Constitution is supposed to protect all citizens against “unreasonable” searches, in practice there are a number of loopholes that judges allow police to exploit.

Court Reinstates Drug Charge After Questionable Search

One recent Cook County drug case, which is still pending, began with an unverified “tip” from an unidentified informant. Someone allegedly informed a Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) agent in San Diego that a woman was illegally transporting drugs to Chicago. This agent then told his counterparts in Chicago. 

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breathalyzer tests in Illinois, Orland Park DUI lawyerBeing pulled over, no matter the reason, is always an unnerving experience. If you are pulled over under the suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI), it is possibly one of the most serious crimes a driver can face when it comes to breaking the law behind the wheel. The crime is severe, and the consequences can be tragic, especially when the offense could have been prevented entirely by taking a cab home or calling for help.

You must make a choice.

If you are an Illinois driver who has been pulled over due to suspicion of operating under the influence, one of the first things you can expect to face upon arrest is a breathalyzer test. Although you are confronted by law enforcement to submit to this test, it is up to you to refuse or submit. You have the right to make a choice. It is important to note, however, that many criminal defense attorneys encourage their clients to refuse to submit to the test, due to one major advantage: By refusing, you are preventing yourself from potentially failing it, which can ultimately help you in a court of law. It is important to consult with a qualified attorney if you refuse a breathalyzer test.

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