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Wheaton criminal defense and appeals attorney
According to some studies, approximately 10,000 innocent people are convicted every year in the United States. That is why there is a process in place to protect innocent people from human error in the criminal justice system. Post-conviction matters generally refer to the legal process that takes place once a defendant is convicted for a crime after going to trial. If a defendant has been found guilty, he or she can challenge a conviction or sentence. There are different legal actions one can take to protest a guilty verdict, such as filing an appeal or a federal “habeas corpus” proceeding. These matters are usually intended to exonerate the defendant, which means proving he or she is innocent. If you or someone you know is facing a jail sentence after being convicted of a crime, hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney can help you exercise your legal rights by filing an appeal or petitioning for post-conviction relief.

An Appeal Versus a Post-Conviction Petition

Direct appeals are limited to issues contained in the trial court record or the transcripts of the court proceedings. This can also include any documents filed in connection with the case. With a direct appeal, a defendant can only cite errors that are documented in the court record from the trial. If an error cannot be shown in the trial court record, it generally cannot be used in a direct appeal. 

In a petition for habeas corpus, a convicted party can raise doubts about the legality of his or her imprisonment. If the petition shows that the imprisonment warrants investigation, a judge may issue a writ of habeas corpus.

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DuPage County traffic violation defense lawyerYou may have heard the phrase, “Driving is a privilege, not a right.” A person must obtain a driver’s license before he or she can legally operate a motor vehicle on Illinois roadways. The privilege of driving is earned by passing a Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) test and agreeing to follow the rules of the road. If drivers do not obey these regulations, the Secretary of State can take away their driving privileges by suspending or revoking their license. In Illinois, traffic violations are usually categorized as “petty” or “misdemeanor” offenses. Depending on the alleged violation, a driver may be able to fight the ticket and have the charges dismissed altogether.    

Common Types of Traffic Violations

Disobeying traffic laws can result in serious consequences due to the danger it poses to other drivers or pedestrians on the road. For this reason, law enforcement officers patrol the highways in an effort to prevent accidents due to reckless or negligent driving habits. Depending on the circumstances, a police officer can issue a ticket to a driver who violates these rules. 

Some of the typical traffic violations include but are not limited to the following:

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Wheaton criminal record expungement attorney

Any criminal act is taken seriously in the state of Illinois. Charges can impact an alleged offender’s personal and professional life, even if they are eventually dropped or dismissed altogether. In some cases, being arrested can go on a person’s criminal record, even if he or she is not convicted of the crime. This can occur if someone finds him or herself in the wrong place at the wrong time and is falsely accused. 

You may have heard the term “expungement” before, but what does it really mean in regard to someone’s criminal record? The state of Illinois offers eligible persons the chance to clear their criminal records and to receive the fresh start they deserve. 

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DuPage County ordinance violation defense lawyerMany people may have heard of different types of city violations, but they may not fully understand their meanings or consequences. An ordinance violation is a charge issued by local governments for violations of their municipal rules. In many cases, a person may unknowingly violate a rule because he or she did not even know the activity was illegal. It is important to note that this type of violation is typically processed in the local courts as opposed to the state circuit courts. This means it is not the same as a criminal charge; rather, it is typically civil rather than criminal in nature. However, these violations can still incur steep fines in addition to other consequences. 

Examples of Ordinance Violations

The United States criminal justice system contains various levels. For example, each state has its own set of criminal statutes, and federal laws apply throughout the country and override state laws. Cities, counties, villages, towns, and municipalities have the power to pass and enforce ordinances that apply to their own jurisdictions. It can often be difficult for a person to know what constitutes a violation since they may differ from town to town.

The following are some common examples of violations:

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Wheaton, IL traffic violation attorney gps cell phoneDistracted driving involves any activity that takes a motorist’s attention away from safely operating a vehicle. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 9 people are killed and more than 1,000 injured in crashes involving distracted drivers every day in the United States. However, many of today’s drivers rely on their smartphones as a navigation tool while traveling. Even if it is a place to which they go often, global positioning system (GPS) apps may be used by drivers to find the fastest route to their destination. Under a new Illinois law that went into effect on July 1, 2019, using an electronic device while driving can result in a traffic violation for the driver. Even if a motorist is simply holding a cell phone when behind the wheel, he or she can be stopped and issued a traffic ticket. 

New Illinois Moving Violation Law

Prior to the new law, if a driver was stopped for using a cellular phone or electronic device while driving, that was considered an “equipment violation.” This meant offenders did not risk suspension or revocation of their driver’s license by the Illinois Secretary of State. Under the old law, a warning was issued for a first offense, and subsequent tickets issued were non-moving violations.

Under the new law, all offenses involving driving while using an electronic device are considered moving violations. Three moving violations within a one-year period will result in driver’s license suspension for drivers 21 years and older. Drivers under 21 who receive two moving violations within a year will lose their license. The most common device is a cell phone, but the law also includes tablet computers and almost any mobile device with a screen. 

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