If you find yourself in legal trouble, you might have no idea what to do next. The court may offer you the chance to plead guilty, or perhaps you will go to trial. Regardless of the choices in front of you, the court may offer you a diversion program as a punishment. Not sure what a diversion program is? You are not alone. This guide explores diversion programs Illinois commonly offers.
What Are Diversion Programs?
Diversion programs are post-conviction programs designed to give an individual the opportunity to avoid punishments typical of this criminal conviction for that crime. In most cases, you can avoid prison completely by becoming part of a diversion program. Diversion programs are often a form of rehabilitation.
Not everybody who defends themselves in court claims they did not commit a crime. In fact, many people who plead not guilty claim they may have had legal cause to commit a crime, including assault.
In cases like these, defendants rely on their attorneys to protect their rights in court by building an affirmative defense during trial. Assault is one of those crimes that can be difficult to challenge in court, but an affirmative defense is often helpful.
Two people charged with driving under the influence (DUI) may not receive the same penalties even if the court convicts both of them. Mitigating and aggravating circumstances exist that determine the charges and penalties each DUI suspect gets. Below are some of the mitigating factors that may help your DUI case.
Good Driving Conduct
The court may consider your behavior behind the wheel before your arrest. Good behavior may earn you a favorable view from the court, and the reverse is also true. For example, you may enjoy reduced penalties if you have generally obeyed the speed limit, stopped at the trafficked lights, and avoided weaving in and out of lanes. However, dangerous driving tactics in your past may attract higher penalties.
For many people, the risk of incarceration is the worst consequence of a driving under the influence (DUI) conviction. While prison time does sound horrible, other consequences of a DUI conviction exist whether you serve time or not. The following are some of these consequences.
A DUI conviction can have a terrible effect on your finances. According to some estimates, you will spend not less than $18,030 on your first DUI conviction, and the amount has no way to go but up for your subsequent convictions. The amount seems high because:
One of the challenges posed by new technology is the creation of laws surrounding the new ways of the world. Technology has the potential to solve many problems in society today, but it can also cause more problems to pop up.
Sexting is one of those activities, and it may feel like a legal gray area. Illinois has established some laws that may be used when sexting becomes part of the equation. Continue reading to learn more about the ways in which sexting can become illegal.
Many crimes fall under the category of inchoate or incomplete crimes. These are crimes someone may plan, agree to commit, or request someone else carry out. In all these cases, the ensuing crime doesn’t have to occur. The incomplete crime itself can represent a crime. Here is what you should know about incomplete crimes.
What Are Incomplete Crimes?
Inchoate is a word meaning something just beginning or not fully formed. An inchoate crime is one that doesn’t quite get off the ground. Incomplete crimes imply the intent was there, even if nothing came of that intent. Generally, incomplete crimes fall into three broad categories:
Do you face an unsure future because of a possible conviction? While you may be concerned with the charges that could put you behind bars, you may be interested to learn you have options for serving time outside of prison.
Date rape refers to sexual assault where the victim and rapist know each other. The victim in these cases may refuse to give consent or may be unable to give consent due to disability or the influence of drugs or alcohol. In spite of the fact that the term “date rape” implies that an individual has a romantic connection with a partner, the offender could be a friend, acquaintance, family member, or co-worker too.
If you are charged with date rape, you need legal counsel. Sexual assault is a serious crime, and you could be facing time in prison if you are found guilty. Read on to learn more about date-rape charges in Illinois
The Laws Surrounding Date Rape
In a legal sense, date rape is not very different from the standard rape perpetrated by a stranger. Date rape is charged the same way a standard rape is. The law defines rape as a sexual assault involving penetration.
Rape may involve threats or use of force, but it doesn’t have to in order to qualify as rape. In fact, if the perpetrator knows that the victim cannot give consent, their actions will be considered rape. Additionally, Illinois allows either participant to withdraw consent from sexual activity at any time.
Aggravated rape involves the use of dangerous weapons and the intention of causing bodily harm to the victim. Additionally, aggravated sexual assault includes the use of a disabling drug.
The Use of Disabling Drugs in Date Rape
Disabling drugs are a common tactic used to impair victims of sexual assault, including date rape. Common drugs include ketamine and rohypnol. The perpetrator may put the drugs inside the individual’s drink, prompting them to become weak, grow confused, lose their memory, or even pass out.
If you are charged with using disabling drugs, penalties are more serious than if you were charged with rape without this factor.
The Consequences of Date-Rape Convictions
Illinois law indicates that a rape conviction can lead to time in prison, large fines, and a criminal record. Date rape is a felony, so the punishments are harsh. Criminal sexual assault comes with a sentence of up to 15 years in prison, or as many as 30 years if the charge is aggravated due to the use of a weapon. If you have a prior conviction for sexual assault, you may face a lengthier prison sentence.
You may also have to register as a sex offender if you are convicted of date rape. Your name and address will be visible to the general public, and your housing options become more limited. You could also face challenges seeking a job.
The Defense for Date Rape
The most common type of defense used in date-rape cases is that the victim consented to sexual intercourse. This makes the case a matter of “he said” versus “she said.” The jury must have reasonable doubt in order to convict you, so placing this doubt is critical.
Your attorney may also argue that this was a case of mistaken identity. Perhaps the victim was assaulted, but you are not the person who did it. Again, your attorney will plant seeds of doubt for the juries.
A criminal defense attorney also looks for evidence to assist your defense. For instance, your attorney will examine the results of blood alcohol tests and seek out witnesses. They will help you establish your case in court based on evidence.
The only way to ensure that you are protecting yourself with fair representation in court is to hire a criminal defense attorney. Call Daniels, Long & Pinsel, LLC, today to discuss your legal options for defense.
Having a restraining order filed against you can be frightening. You may wonder what consequences it may have on your job or the place that you live. If you feel that the restraining order was taken out unfairly, you may wonder how you can fight it. Restraining orders generally err on the side of the individual requesting it, as this is the safest action. If you want to protect yourself legally, you need to act now.
What Is a Restraining Order?
A restraining order is sometimes known as a no-contact order. It means that you cannot contact or go near the individual who took it out. Usually, a specific distance is specified, such as 200 yards. You cannot use any method of communication to get in touch with the individual who filed the order. That includes text messages, social media accounts, and postal mail.
Sometimes you may also be required to relinquish any firearms you have and refrain from getting any firearms.
What Happens If You Violate a Restraining Order?
Violating a restraining order could lead to an immediate arrest. You could also be fined. The judge will, however, need to determine whether you intentionally violated the restraining order. If you went to a shopping center and the individual in question was there, it may be an accident. If you showed up after the individual was there and you had reason to know that they were there, on the other hand, it could be seen as intentional.
It should be noted that the person who requested the restraining order can violate the order as well. A no-contact order means neither of you can contact the other. If the person who took out the restraining order attempts to contact you, they are in violation of the order themselves. They can be jailed or fined as well.
How Can You Object to a Restraining Order?
When a restraining order is taken out against you, you are served with a notice. This notice tells you who you need to avoid and under what terms you have to avoid them. However, a restraining order hearing will take place. You absolutely need to attend this hearing, though you should not make any attempt to contact the individual beforehand.
During the hearing, you can present your own side. This will usually require showing that you have no malicious intent towards the person, that you have not been harassing them, and that you don’t intend to harm them. You have the right to bring both a lawyer and witnesses.
This is important. A lawyer is going to be able to protect you against the worst consequences of a restraining order, especially if you believe that you don’t deserve the restraining order.
What Consequences Could a Restraining Order Have?
Should you fight a restraining order or just go about your day? You may assume that if you have no need to contact this person, you might as well just leave it be. However, a restraining order can have consequences, especially if you accidentally run into the person and it appears as though it was intentional.
If the person in question lives with you or works with you, a successful restraining order could be very damaging to your lifestyle. Some employers won’t hire someone who has had a restraining order out against them. The fact that you’ve had a restraining order filed against you can even be introduced into child custody disputes.
If you’ve had a restraining order unfairly lodged against you, it’s time to fight it. Before the hearing occurs, you need to hire an attorney. If you don’t hire an attorney, you could end up with a restraining order on your background check for a long time to come. Contact Daniels, Long & Pinsel, LLC, for more information.
If you have been charged or accused of domestic violence, you might feel like you have no ability to fight back. These charges can be hard to navigate simply because the accusations often hinge on one person’s word against another. Law enforcement officers may not be able to fully grasp the full story or how any physical injuries occurred.
You need the assistance of a criminal defense lawyer if you have been accused of any type of domestic violence. Your lawyer can help you to present your side of the story to the court. For people falsely accused, taking the right steps during court hearings can make a huge difference in the actual sentencing and final charges.
Comply With Temporary Orders
Even though it might not seem fair, the plaintiff or alleged victim of domestic violence can use their own legal representation to request a temporary restraining order (TRO) against you. This restraining order can be filed almost as soon as injuries or complaints are made with law enforcement.
The TRO may place many restrictions on you, including preventing you from contacting the plaintiff at all or even banning you from a shared residence. You might feel as though the TRO is unjust or not valid because you are not guilty of committing any violence against your partner or child.
However, remain compliant with any restraining order served. A lack of compliance could strengthen the plaintiff’s case against you and bring additional criminal charges against you.
Remember, these orders are temporary and your lawyer will be able to fight back so you can again have full communication with your spouse, partner, or children as soon as possible. Breaking a restraining order, on the other hand, only makes it easier for a temporary order to become permanent in subsequent hearings.
Request a Continuance
To protect victims of domestic violence, cases move to resolution quickly so that hurt and abused individuals can get the safety they need from batterers. However, the speed of decision making can make it hard for innocent accused to prepare a full defense.
Your lawyer may request a continuance to extend hearing dates so that you can prepare more adequately. Usually, your lawyer has to provide a good reason for the continuance. Preliminary evidence to show the tenuous nature of the case and the validity of the accusations helps to make sure you have more time.
Provide your lawyer with as much information as possible, including injuries you might have sustained, journal entries detailing your relationship, and evidence to show your role in the domestic living situation.
For example, if you are accused of abusing your child by an estranged spouse, you might show a long history of safe and dependable parenting. You might also get statements from neighbors, friends, teachers, and doctors about your history with your child.
Prove Self Defense
After you get your court hearing dates, prepare your solid defense. You have a few ways to adequately defend against accusations of domestic violence. If it is violence against a partner with injuries, your best claim is self-defense. You might have to prove that you feared for your life because of threats or past experiences.
If the accusation is violence against a child, you may need to show how injuries occurred outside or your actions or show that the injuries were accidental and therefore do not constitute assault. Your lawyer can help you to provide as much proof as possible, including bringing in witnesses and showing your stellar history around children in the past.
In he-said-she-said situations, defending against domestic violence charges can be difficult. You will need a lawyer to help you avoid fines, prison time, or separation from your children. Contact us at Daniels, Long & Pinsel, LLC, for more information about how to handle your specific case.