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Homewood Legal Issues Blog

Plea deals come with many benefits and some drawbacks

The vast majority of criminal cases never make it trial even though many of them qualify for a jury trial. This is due to plea deals being reached before the case ever makes it to trial. These agreements are made between the prosecutor and defendant.

While plea deals do have some very important benefits for all parties involved, they aren't without opposition. For the men and women who are dealing with the plea bargain process, looking at both the benefits and the drawbacks is imperative.

You might face unforeseen penalties with a criminal conviction

If you are facing criminal charges in Cook County, you may worry about what might happen if the court convicts you. For instance, if a police officer charges you for driving under the influence (DUI), you could potentially end up spending time in jail and get saddled with expensive court costs and fines. Unfortunately, the penalties may not end there.

A criminal conviction can affect your life in many ways unrelated to jail time or fines. For example, you could lose your job — or if you are a student — your financial aid. In addition, you could also face other court ordered penalties.

Protecting your commercial license after a DUI

You've always enjoyed driving a commercial vehicle. You get to travel, and you're paid to do what you love. Normally, you never touch a drink before you're behind the wheel, and for good reason. If you drink and drive, you could lose your license. Even worse, the Commercial Driver's License is revocable if your blood alcohol concentration is .04 or higher, which is a much lower limit than others have to contend with.

You understand that your vehicle is larger and more dangerous than others, so the limits make sense. You want other people to be safe around your vehicle, just like you want them to keep you safe on the roads, too. Unfortunately, although you stopped drinking several hours before getting behind the wheel, you were still intoxicated. After weaving once or twice, a cop pulled you over.

What to expect when you file for divorce in Illinois

For many people, filing for divorce is a source of great anxiety. After all, ending a marriage isn't a decision to be taken lightly. There can be unpredictable consequences to a divorce, especially in situations where you and your spouse simply cannot agree on terms for your divorce.

Some couples have the benefit of a prenuptial agreement to guide the divorce process. This document can outline the expectations for the division of assets, as well as how the couple may handle issues such as child custody and spousal support. In lieu of a prenuptial agreement, however, you should know what to expect if the courts will set the terms for your divorce.

Can you refuse a breath test during a DUI stop in Illinois?

It's a nightmare scenario, especially for people who drive commercially for a living. You get pulled over by the police, who administer a field sobriety test. Basic health issues, ranging from diabetes to anxiety or even a bad knee, could result in an officer suspecting you're under the influence. In that scenario, the next step usually involves the officer performing a chemical test, such as a breath test, to determine alcohol impairment. In some scenarios, officers may collect blood, saliva or urine for testing. Some people might consider refusing to allow the officer to perform a chemical test. Doing so, however, has serious implications for your legal situation.

Illinois law requires you to submit to testing

4 reasons your commercial driver’s license may be suspended

Commercial driving privileges are closely followed by state and federal agencies. As a result, the rules around why your commercial driver’s license (CDL) and for how long can be suspended are plentiful.

Losing your CDL can be devastating if you rely on it for your occupation. To protect yourself from suspension, be aware of the four main reasons a CDL can be suspended and the duration of each suspension.

You must understand the standardized field sobriety test

Even though you understand the risks of drinking and driving, there could come a point when you consume alcohol and then get behind the wheel of a vehicle.

Many people make this mistake because they believe they are sober enough to drive.