Waukegan, Illinois Legal Blog

Are field sobriety tests reliable?

When a police officer suspects someone of driving under the influence there is a process he or she must follow. In order to make an arrest, the officer must first find probable cause to take action.

One of the most common ways of doing so is by requesting the driver to submit to a field sobriety test. There are a variety of tests that an officer may ask the driver to perform, each of which have the potential to provide the police with probable cause to make an arrest.

What is considered drunk driving in Illinois?

Drunk driving is a behavior that Illinois law enforcement officials attempt to prevent. However, establishing intoxication in a driver can be difficult and may be subject to errors and omissions that call into question the veracity of drunk driving test results. This post will generally discuss what is considered drunk driving in the state, but all drivers facing DUI and other drunk driving charges should seek professional guidance that takes into account the specific details of their cases.

In Illinois, a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% is considered per se intoxication for a drunk driving arrest. That means that law enforcement officials do not need further evidence of intoxication to show that a DUI was committed. Illinois' 0.08% per se limit is consistent with that of other states throughout the nation.

What is domestic violence in Illinois?

Claims of domestic violence are very serious and can be addressed in both the civil and criminal courts in Illinois. When allegations of physical violence or harm are made against an Illinois resident, they may have to defend themselves against these charges. Convictions on criminal domestic violence charges, including domestic battery and aggravated domestic battery, can have significant consequences that may affect the individual's rights.

Domestic violence may occur when a person inflicts harm against someone in their family. The alleged harm may be emotional, physical or sexual. Many different family relationships are covered by the state's domestic violence laws, including but not limited to spouses, dating partners, roommates and caregivers.

First responders have rights despite Firefighter’s Rule

A 23-year-old Illinois firefighter has filed a lawsuit stemming from injuries he says he sustained from an emergency call. Most Americans would find nothing unusual about this, other than concern for the young man’s health.

But some firefighters, police, paramedics and others in dangerous emergency professions might be surprised to hear about the suit, due to something often called the “firefighter’s rule.” They and their families should know that first responders do have rights and options under Illinois law.

Research suggests gray divorces are financially disruptive

Whenever two people in Illinois decide to divorce, they should expect to experience some changes to their financial situations. Particularly if one of the parties works for an income and the other works to raise kids and support the home, both spouses may see their general wealth drop after their divorce is finalized. Though money can be an issue in any divorce, recent research suggests that gray divorcees -- those who divorce after the age of 50 -- experience greater and more significant financial troubles than their younger counterparts.

Gray divorcees often see their savings and wealth cut in half when they divorce. That may be attributable to their long-term marriages and the need to split marital property fairly. Though it is not the case for all older divorcees, many gray divorcees are at or near retirement when they end their marriages and may not have work-based income to rely on when they split from their partners.

How is child support determined in Illinois?

When an individual retains their parental rights over their child, they are expected to contribute to the financial needs of their offspring. If their child lives with them then they may make daily contributions to their child's care when they buy them food, pay to keep a roof over their head or purchase them new shoes, clothing and school supplies. However, when a child does not live with their parent that parent may not have the same level of regular involvement in the child's day-to-day care.

In such situations a noncustodial parent in Illinois may be asked to pay child support for the benefit of their child. Child support is based on how much the child's parents make as income. The income shares model is used, which takes into consideration the earnings of both a child's custodial and noncustodial parents.

The elements of negligence in a personal injury claim

Negligence is a fundamental legal topic and is often a major part of personal injury claims. While this post is intended to provide readers with a general understanding of what must be proven to prevail on a claim of negligence, it is important that readers understand that this post offers no legal advice. In order to understand if a reader has a viable claim of negligence, it can help to contact an Illinois attorney who works in the personal injury field of law.

The first element in a claim of negligence is the presence of a duty. While some relationships (doctor-patient, priest-penitent) have recognized duties between them, others are not as clear. However, in general individuals have a duty to act reasonably given their circumstances. For example, when driving a car a person has a duty to obey traffic laws and to conduct themselves responsibly to avoid injuring others.

Life after a DUI conviction

Everyone makes mistakes. In one way or another, everyone makes a mistake that they wish they could take back, but you can’t. For some people, their most significant error is drinking and driving.

A DUI conviction is the mistake that follows you throughout your life. There are moments where you wish you can drive back in time to stop yourself, but you can’t. So what can drivers expect from life after a DUI conviction?

Does Illinois law recognize no-fault divorce?

A divorce is a legal process that dissolves the relationship between two people who are joined in marriage. In order to file for divorce in Lake County and other areas of the state, at least one of the parties to the divorce must have lived in Illinois for at least 90 days. When they prepare their pleading to file for divorce, they will have to decide if their divorce will move forward on fault or no-fault grounds.

A no-fault divorce is one in which neither of the parties has to show that the actions of the other is the reason for the end of their marriage. In Illinois, a person may claim that their marriage has been irretrievably broken and cannot be fixed. Alternatively, if two married people decide to separate and maintain their separation for at least 2 years, they can proceed to divorce court on no-fault grounds.

What is needed for a valid search warrant in Illinois?

When investigating crime, police in Lake County collect various kinds of evidence to bolster the state's case. One major category of evidence is physical evidence. For drug crimes, physical evidence could include drugs and paraphernalia allegedly found in the suspect's possession. When collecting this evidence, police must follow rules laid down by the U.S. Supreme Court and the Illinois Supreme Court.

As a general rule, police need a search warrant before they can enter a person's home on private property. One exception is that police may not need a warrant to stop a suspect from destroying evidence on their property. There may also be an exception to the rule if the evidence is in plain view. If the police come onto a suspect's property for a legitimate purpose and they see the evidence in plain view, any ensuing search and seizure may be legal.

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