A DUI charge in Illinois comes with penalties that can severely affect anyone’s life. However, a misdemeanor DUI charge can turn into a felony charge for several reasons. Once the charge becomes a felony, the penalties become harsher. Here is a look at how a misdemeanor DUI charge can become a felony charge in Illinois.
- Repeat Convictions
Illinois gives you two chances when it comes to typical DUI charges. The first and second convictions are Class A misdemeanors. Even as misdemeanors, these convictions can upset your routine and your life. Between the two convictions, those penalties can include:
With so many drivers on the road, car accidents are an unfortunate reality. If you’re ever involved in a car accident, the hope is that it’s minor and barely disrupts your life. When the accident isn’t minor and it results in a major disruption in your life, you might consider hiring a lawyer — especially if the accident wasn’t your fault.
Assessing the Physical Damage
When a car accident occurs, some of the damage is immediately obvious, like any damage to your car and other property. You’ll need a professional appraisal to know the extent of the damage. The insurance company will provide the appraisal, but you can also consult experts independently.
You may suffer from obvious physical damage to your body as well. Besides the initial visit with any medical professionals on the scene, make sure you do a follow-up with your doctor.
You’ll want your doctor to go into detail with notes about any injuries you suffered in the accident. These notes should include treatment plans and recommendations for missing work. These notes are essential for when you go to file a disability claim.
Recognizing Temporary and Permanent Disability
The damage to your body and to your life may be less obvious than that to your car. Certain injuries, such as broken bones, are clear. However, soft tissue injuries are notoriously hard to diagnose and heal. These injuries can include deep bruising and sprains.
Depending on your job and the extent of your injuries, you may have to miss work or cut down your hours. Naturally, missing work impact your finances. Keep note of how much time you’re missing work for purposes of your claim. You may receive some temporary disability compensation.
Permanent disability comes into play when a medical professional has decided that you have reached maximum medical improvement, which means continuing treatment is unlikely to yield further results. Permanent partial disability means you have lost part or all of a body part or use of said part.
Illinois uses different methods for calculating how much compensation you might be due for permanent disability. However, it all comes down to making sure you get adequate documentation from your doctors.
Knowing When to Hire a Lawyer
For the most part, you can hire a personal injury lawyer any time you’ve been injured in a car accident. However, some instances require the help of a professional.
Once you’ve assessed all the damages, consider the cost of legal advice over what you’ll get in return. CarInsurance.org recommends settling the claim yourself if the damages amount to under $1,000. If out-of-pocket expenses plus lost wages are much higher, consider hiring a lawyer.
In that vein, if you’ve suffered any long-term or permanent disability, you should consult a lawyer. It’s difficult to prove how long-term or permanently disabling injuries impact your life, especially if they’re not immediately obvious. A personal injury lawyer will consult with all your medical professionals and be able to paint a better picture of the disability.
You might think that it’s obvious that you weren’t at fault in the accident. However, the insurance company might try to dispute liability by exposing technicalities. Personal injury lawyers are just as conversant in the laws and technicalities as the insurance attorneys.
Finally, some insurance companies start by low-balling settlements as a negotiation tactic. When this happens, a good choice is for you to hire a lawyer to get a fair settlement — or any settlement at all.
A lot of paperwork and red tape goes into settling a car accident case, even when you’re not at fault. Consult with Daniels Long & Pinsel, LLC if you’ve been injured in a car accident.
Has your neighbor put in a new fence that seems closer to your home than the old one? Or does he or she have a tree whose roots and branches extend into your yard? If you have a situation like either of these or a similar one, the time has come to pull out your home’s deed. Issues like this might qualify as a boundary dispute.
What Is a Boundary Dispute Exactly?
Boundary disputes occur when different property owners claim to own the same piece of land. They also occur when property owners disagree with how neighboring land is used (such as a tree extending into your yard). These important disagreements can sometimes be solved amicably. However, they often turn into contentious debates that require legal intervention.
For that reason, if you think you have a boundary dispute, you should approach it carefully. You need to protect your property and your interests. For the best results, follow the steps we’ve provided below. Hopefully, our approach can help you settle your dispute with ease.
Step #1: Recognize the Dispute
The first step towards resolving a property boundary problem is knowing it exists. You should always know where your property line is. Yet, people often don’t pay attention to their boundary lines and property deeds until an issue arises.
If you think there might be a problem, check your home’s documentation. You can even order a survey.
Step #2: Kindly Approach Your Neighbor
If you discover a boundary dispute, your next step should involve kindly approaching your neighbor about the boundary issue. Often, a simply and polite conversation can resolve a problem, or at least start the resolution process.
Remember not to do anything that could cause a legal issue in the future. Be careful and approach your neighbor with a conciliatory tone. Don’t agree to anything that doesn’t make you feel completely comfortable. You want to keep all your options open as you start the resolution process.
Step #3: Talk with a Lawyer
If you can’t find a simple solution to your property line dispute, you should talk to a real estate legal expert as soon as possible. A property lawyer will help you avoid any mistakes that would forfeit your case. They can also help you collect the necessary evidence and documentation to prove you side in a case.
Step #4: Pursue Mediation
Once you have a lawyer to advise you, it’s time to advance talks with your neighbor. First, have your attorney send a letter explaining the basics of the dispute. Ask to have a time to meet with an independent party to find a solution.
In mediation, you can create a specific agreement to survey and properly define property boundaries. With your neighbor, you can draft agreements and licenses to equitably divide the two properties. If you want a more formal solution, you can agree to have a judge draw a fair boundary line.
Step #5: File a Lawsuit
If negotiations get you nowhere, your last option is to file a lawsuit. Together with your lawyer, you can build a case to protect your property from your neighbor’s encroachment. From the start of the process, be sure to document each step. Take note of any proof of your claims and your neighbor’s responses. Keep these just in case, as these items can help you make a successful claim.
While boundary disputes can get tense, success allows you to fully enjoy your property. If you think you have a possible boundary dispute, talk to a legal professional today. He or she can give you personalized advice to guide you through each step of the process.