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IL juvenile lawyerIn 1899, Illinois was the first state to do something that no other state had done before -- create a juvenile justice system. Prior to then, juveniles were tried in adult court and were treated as adults were. Illinois lawmakers realized that juveniles had different needs and abilities than adults did and that a separate court and justice system was necessary. The juvenile justice system emphasizes the importance of rehabilitating and protecting youth after they commit a crime -- not punishing them. The juvenile justice system also awards certain rights to both children and their parents or guardians when they are in trouble with the law. Many people may not know about these rights, but it is important that you exercise those rights if your child has gotten into trouble.

Rights of Juvenile Offenders

Every person is guaranteed certain rights by the United States Constitution, but juveniles have special, additional rights because they are a part of the juvenile justice system. Rights that juveniles have include:

  • Right to Remain Silent: Like all other American citizens, children who are arrested and interrogated by police have the right to remain silent. They must be notified of this right before any interrogation begins. This is known as the right against self-incrimination.
  • Right to Legal Representation: Another one of the rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, children have a right to be represented by a lawyer during the criminal process. If you do not have the means to hire a private lawyer, a public defender who is knowledgeable about juvenile justice will be appointed to your child.
  • Right to Talk to a Parent or Guardian: Before your child submits to any questioning, they should inform the officer that they would like you to be present during questioning. Police must immediately try to contact you.
  • Right to Know the Charges Against Them: Police are required to tell your child what charges are being held against them and why police believe they committed a crime.

Rights of Parents

Parents also have rights when their child is arrested. These rights include:

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IL defense lawyerIn 2017, speeding was a contributing factor in 26 percent of all fatal traffic accidents. This is why many states, including Illinois, have made speeding a serious traffic offense when you go more than a certain speed over the speed limit. Any driver who speeds is breaking the law, but when a person who holds a commercial driver’s license (CDL) speeds, the consequences can be more severe and can affect their lives in different ways. Many people who hold a commercial driver’s license rely on the validity of that license for their main source of income. Speeding while you are driving a commercial vehicle is a big no-no and can result in strict penalties.

Illinois Speeding Laws

For all drivers, Illinois speeding laws are applicable. If you are caught driving more than 26 mph over the posted speed limit, but less than 35 mph over, you are breaking the law and can be hit with criminal charges. This is a Class B misdemeanor, so you will face up to six months in prison and up to $1,500 in fines. If you are caught driving more than 35 mph over the posted speed limit, you will be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. This means you can face up to a year in prison and up to $2,500 in fines.

Special Considerations for CDL Drivers

According to Illinois law, you also face greater consequences if you hold a CDL -- whether or not you were actually driving a commercial vehicle at the time of the incident. If you hold a CDL and you were caught driving more than 15 mph over the posted speed limit, you have committed a serious traffic violation, regardless of the vehicle you were driving at the time. A serious traffic violation is an offense that CDL drivers must take seriously. After two convictions for serious traffic violations within three years of each other, the driver’s CDL must be disqualified for at least two months.

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IL defense lawyerEach year, inventory shrinkage due to theft or shoplifting causes the U.S. retail industry to lose over $45 billion. This is why most stores have placed an increased focus on loss prevention strategies. In the state of Illinois, retail theft is taken very seriously and comes with severe consequences. If you get caught trying to shoplift an item, the situation is not as easy to resolve as just paying for the item and going on your way. If you are caught shoplifting, you will be charged with retail theft, which can easily turn into a felony, depending on the circumstances of your case.

General Definition

When you think of retail theft, you probably think of the first definition of retail theft in the Illinois Penal Code. According to the code, a person commits retail theft when he or she takes possession of any merchandise in a retail establishment with the intention of retaining the merchandise and permanently depriving the retail establishment of the merchandise without paying for it. General retail theft is a Class A misdemeanor, which carries a penalty of up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. While this is the most common form of retail theft, it does come in other forms.

Other Retail Theft

Contrary to what many people may believe, there is more than one form of retail theft. In Illinois, the following offenses are also punished as retail theft:

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