Anderson Attorneys & Advisors

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2150 Manchester Road, Suite 101, Wheaton, IL 60187

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DuPage County child abuse and neglect attorney

Illinois was one of the first states to establish child protection laws, mandating the reporting of child abuse and neglect, and it created one of the country’s first child abuse hotlines. The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) was established in 1964 as the nation’s first cabinet-level state child welfare agency. DCFS is responsible for protecting children through the investigation of suspected abuse or neglect by parents or caregivers who are in a position of trust or authority over a child. Located in Wheaton, Ill., the Children’s Center is part of the Dupage County Children’s Advocacy Center within the State’s Attorney Office. It is specifically for minors who are being interviewed based on reported child abuse or neglect. 

Investigating Reports of Child Abuse or Neglect

When authorities receive a report of potential child abuse or neglect, the initial response may lead to a criminal investigation. These investigations may involve the accused party or parties as well as the alleged victim. They may be conducted by child protective services employees, police officers, or a multidisciplinary team. The purpose of the investigation is to determine if a child has been harmed or is at risk of being harmed in the future. In addition, its goal is to reduce the danger and increase the safety of the child, while determining the need for services to support the child and the family. In some cases, someone can be wrongfully accused if the accusations are based on false information, evidence, or even mistaken identity. 

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DuPage County child abuse defense attorney

One of the main duties parents have is to protect their children from any harm or danger, such as abuse (physical, sexual, or emotional). This can also include neglect, which means not meeting a child’s basic needs, such as providing him or her with adequate food, housing, or medical care. Abuse can also include excessive corporal punishment or leaving a child alone at home, at a park, or in a vehicle. That is why certain people are required by law to immediately report any suspected abuse or neglect of a person under 18 years of age to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). Even if you are not a parent or legal guardian of a child, you still may be responsible for a child’s welfare if you are a caregiver for that child. 

What Is a Mandated Reporter?

While there are many Illinois laws regarding child protection and welfare, the most important one is the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act (ANCRA). Under this law, a wide array of professionals and other individuals are required to report suspected abuse or neglect if they witness it or have knowledge of it. A mandated reporter is a person who, as a result of his or her profession, is legally obligated to report any suspicion of child abuse or neglect to the authorities. These laws are in place to prevent children from being abused and to stop any further abuse or neglect as soon as possible.

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Wheaton, IL cannabis DUI defense attorneyThe state of Illinois passed several new laws that went into effect on January 1, 2020. One of these laws made it legal for Illinois citizens who are 21 or older to use recreational marijuana. However, there are certain restrictions that apply to the use and possession of cannabis, including limits on the amount of the drug a person can possess. If a person does not follow the law, he or she can face criminal charges. In addition to these concerns, cannabis users should be aware of the potential for arrests for driving while under the influence (DUI) of marijuana.  

Illinois DUI Laws

While a person may be charged with DUI if they operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 percent or higher, drivers can also face DUI charges if they are impaired due to marijuana use. In addition, people must transport the drug in a sealed container that is not accessible while the vehicle is in motion. 

If a police officer stops a motorist and suspects that he or she is under the influence of marijuana, the officer may administer field sobriety tests. If the driver fails or refuses these tests, he or she may be placed under arrest and taken to the local police station for chemical testing of blood or urine. If a driver who used marijuana has a THC level of 5 nanograms or more per milliliter of blood, or 10 nanograms per milliliter or higher of another bodily fluid, he or she can be charged with DUI.  Under certain circumstances, THC can remain in a person’s body for weeks or even months after use. This makes testing for a cannabis DUI complicated, since the drug does not pass through the body in the same way as alcohol, and there is no industry-accepted version of a breathalyzer for marijuana.  

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DuPage County traffic ticket defense lawyerLaws are put in place to provide for the overall safety of a community and ensure the rights of citizens are protected. These regulations exist at the local, state, and national levels. The state of Illinois saw more than 250 new laws go into effect on January 1, 2020. Ranging from legalizing recreational marijuana to increasing penalties for certain traffic-related crimes, these changes are meant to better protect Illinois residents in a variety of areas. It is important for Illinois motorists to be aware of the significant changes to traffic laws in order to avoid criminal charges that could result from a traffic violation.    

Scott’s Law 

Also referred to as the “move over law,” Scott’s Law requires all Illinois motorists to slow down, change lanes, and proceed with caution while passing emergency or disabled vehicles. This gives first responders whose hazard lights are flashing more room to attend to incidents on the side of the road. It was originally signed into law in 2000 after Lt. Scott Gillen of the Chicago Fire Department was struck and killed by a drunk driver. 

As of January 1, 2020, the fines and penalties for breaking this law have been increased. A first offense carries a fine of $250, and subsequent violations will result in a $750 fine. The Scott’s Law Fund was also created to produce informational materials as well as hire off-duty Illinois State Police officers to enforce this very important law.

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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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