Illinois Criminal Defense Blog
Monday, December 9, 2013
Retail Theft is a serious offense. Illinois law imposes severe penalties on those convicted of theft from retailers. The typical case of retail theft involves a situation in which an individual knowingly took an item or items from a store without paying. This is referred to as shoplifting.
The penalty for retail theft depends on the dollar amount of the goods that were taken. The offense can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the value of the items involved. The possible sentence for a misdemeanor retail theft includes up to one year in jail and fines. Should the offense be charged as a felony, however, the penalties are considerably more severe, including higher fines and possible prison time. In addition, this type of felony conviction cannot be expunged.
A individual arrested for this offense should expect to receive notices in the mail demanding payment for civil penalties. The law stipulates that the store can collect up to $1,000 in addition to the value of the goods taken. All too often people believe that if they pay the penalty, the case will be dropped. However, this is not the case.
If you have been charged with a retail theft in Illinois, call the Law Offices of M. Fakhoury for a confidential case review. Former prosecutor Matt Fakhoury has a proven track record representing clients charged with retail theft throughout the Chicagoland area. Call us today at (847) 920-4540.
Thursday, October 3, 2013
The New Driver’s License Law for Immigrants in Illinois Without a Valid Visa
In January of 2013, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed SB 957 into law. This law enables immigrants without a valid visa or green card to obtain a state-issued driver’s license, known as a Temporary Visitor Driver’s License (TVDL). When signed in January of 2013, it was estimated that the law would go into effect in Fall of 2013 -- in other words, NOW! Illinois is now the fourth state to authorize undocumented immigrants to drive legally.
The TVDL is an existing document that is now available to many foreign-born individuals living in Illinois. Since 2005, Illinois has issued TVDLs to individuals who do not have social security numbers, but who do have lawful immigration status. SB 957 makes TVDLs available even to undocumented motorists who need to drive for employment, educational, or other purposes.
The requirements to obtain a TVDL are as follows:
• Proof of Illinois residence for at least one year;
• Proof of a valid passport or consular ID;
• Proof of ineligibility for a Social Security Number;
• Pass all applicable vision, written, and road tests;
• Proof of insurance for the vehicle to be used for the road test;
• Pay a $30 fee.
For more information on Illinois’ newest driver’s license law, call the Law Offices of M. Fakhoury today. We offer free and confidential consultations -- (847) 920-4540.
Friday, August 30, 2013
With Labor Day just around the corner, Chicagoland residents are anxiously awaiting the extended weekend. That extra day of weekend relaxation is wonderful (and often long overdue). If you plan on celebrating this Labor Day weekend, make sure everyone has a safe ride home. Make sure you and others do not get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol.
While my clients understand the risks of driving while intoxicated, they sometimes underestimate (a) just how much alcohol they consumed and (b) the physical and mental impairments stemming from said alcohol consumption. Please plan ahead and designate a sober driver prior to any weekend celebrations. There will be extra police patrols in force this weekend. Police can and will use any minor violation to conduct a traffic stop, especially if they suspect the driver is under the influence.
Drunk driving is a serious offense in Illinois. A DUI conviction could result in fines, a license suspension, and even jail time. If you have been arrested for DUI, it is imperative to work with an experienced attorney. As a former Cook County prosecutor, Attorney Matt Fakhoury will aggressively and strategically defend your DUI case.
Call the Law Offices of M. Fakhoury today for a free case review -- (847) 920-4540
Thursday, August 15, 2013
The laws in Illinois regarding retail theft have been significantly overhauled in the past several years. Most importantly, the penalties for retail theft have been dramatically increased.
The offense of retail theft is found under 720 ILCS 5/16-25. The statute states that a person is guilty of retail theft when he or she knowingly takes possession of any merchandise displayed or offered for sale in a retail establishment. The key here is intent: the accused must have the intention of permanently depriving the merchant of property without paying for it.
I recently had a client in my office who had been charged with felony retail theft. She had altered an item’s price tag by replacing it with that of an item with a lesser price tag. While she acknowledged her actions were unethical, she did not realize that she was in violation of the law and would have to answer to felony charges.
Despite the complexities of 720 ILCS 5/16-25, a retail theft case is still beatable in a court of law. I have defended numerous people who have unintentionally left a store without paying for merchandise. One woman simply forgot she had an item in her hand when she exited the store, while another man simply left an item in his grocery cart and strolled out of the store, with a cart full of purchased groceries and one item for which he did not pay.
A retail theft conviction can have a devastating impact on your life. Potential employers, college admissions counselors, and even vocational licensing boards often exclude those charged or convicted of a retail theft.
If you have been arrested for retail theft, it is imperative to resolve the case in a manner that does not impact the rest of your life. Do not let a retail theft conviction become a life sentence. Contact the Law Offices of M. Fakhoury for a free and confidential case review. (847) 920-4540
Monday, July 29, 2013
While drinking and driving is never advisable and needlessly puts lives in jeopardy, the truth of the matter is that DUI violations are common in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs.
If you have been charged with a DUI in the Chicagoland area, it is imperative that you hire an experienced and knowledgeable attorney. As a former Cook County prosecutor, attorney Matt Fakhoury will fight your case from start to finish, thereby ensuring the best possible outcome.
Former prosecutor Matt Fakhoury is an incredibly experienced DUI attorney. Mr. Fakhoury represents clients charged with DUI in Cook and surrounding counties. As a former state’s attorney, Matt Fakhoury has prosecuted hundreds of DUIs, including Aggravated DUI. DUI law is incredibly complex. As such, it requires a criminal defense attorney with substantial experience in this realm of the law. Whether facing a misdemeanor DUI or a felony DUI, attorney Matt Fakhoury has the experience, compassion, and knowledge to fight your case the right way.
Most do not realize the heavy penalties associated with a misdemeanor DUI. A misdemeanor DUI conviction can result in jail time and steep fines. A felony DUI conviction can result in substantial prison time. If you have been charged with a DUI in Cook County, contact the Law Offices of M. Fakhoury for a free and confidential case review --
Wednesday, July 10, 2013
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has officially signed a law known as Julie's Law, which increases the legal penalties for those who exceed 25 mph over the posted speed limit. Julie's Law, which will go into effect July 1st, 2013, prohibits judges from issuing court supervision, a type of driving probation that can be likened to a slap on the wrist for speeders.
Speeding is one of the most common offenses in Cook County -- yet its severe consequences are often overlooked by Chicagoans. Most Illinois drivers are unaware that speeding can be charged as a Class A misdemeanor, which carries the same penalties as drunk driving and battery offenses -- also Class A misdemeanors. While speeding over 25 mph may still be charged as a Class A misdemeanor, Julie’s Law will intensify the penalties and bar judges from placing speeders under court supervision.
This new law will likely result in an upswing of Cook County residents jailed for speeding violations, which legislators hope will prevent speeding-related accidents and deaths.
While a speeding ticket may appear to be a simple citation, do not underestimate its legal consequences. As a former traffic prosecutor, Attorney Matt Fakhoury has an extensive record of success in fighting speeding violations. If you have been cited for speeding in the Chicagoland area, call the Law Offices of M. Fakhoury today for a free case review.
ILDefense.com or 847-920-4540
Friday, June 28, 2013
720 ILCS 5/12-1 defines the offense of Assault in Illinois: A person commits an assault when, without lawful authority, he or she knowingly engages in conduct which places another in reasonable apprehension of receiving a battery.
“Conduct” is the most important word in the definition of assault because it implies that words alone do not constitute an Assault. The words have to be coupled with action in order for an assault to occur.
For example, making a fist and chasing after someone while yelling “I’m going to kill you” is an Assault. But standing 30 feet away from someone and simply saying “I’m going to kill you” without any other action is not an assault.
Police routinely arrest people for assault even when an assault truly did not occur. Unfortunately, our system of justice makes it easy to arrest someone with little evidence to support the charge. However, it is much harder to convict someone in a court of law because the evidence must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. That is why it is vital to hire an attorney who understands the law and can establish your innocence.
Contact The Law Offices of M. Fakhoury – A Chicago Criminal Defense Firm for a Free Consultation at 847-920-4540 or ILDefense.com
Monday, June 17, 2013
Allegations of domestic violence can have lasting effects. In addition to legal penalties, including jail time and steep fines, a person convicted of domestic battery will be adversely affected in a divorce and/or child custody case.
If you have been accused of domestic violence in Chicago, hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney is the best way to fight the case and protect your future. As a former prosecutor, Attorney Matt Fakhoury is aware of the tactics the State will use in prosecuting you. Domestic battery charges are often filed solely based on the alleged victim's accusations, regardless of the evidence (or lack thereof).
At the Law Offices of M. Fakhoury, we concentrate in representing those charged with Domestic Battery in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs. Time is of the essence when defending yourself against accusations of domestic battery. Call Attorney Matt Fakhoury today for a free case review -- 847-920-4540.
Thursday, May 23, 2013
While most are aware of the risk of drinking and driving during Memorial Day Weekend, there is typically a rise in DUI arrests during this time of year. In preparation for the increased numbers of motorists on the road, Chicago law enforcement and state patrol officers will often set up DUI checkpoints. The best offense is a great defense: when planning your Memorial Day weekend, designate a sober driver.
While it is obviously the best decision not to drink and drive, mistakes do occur -- often when impaired by the consumption of alcohol. If you are arrested for DUI, do not hesitate to call the Law Offices of M. Fakhoury. Former prosecutor Matt Fakhoury has extensive experience representing those charged with DUI throughout Chicago.
With offices located in Schaumburg and Skokie, we are just minutes from the Rolling Meadows and Skokie courthouses. In addition, our prime locations are just 15 minutes from Downtown, making DUI representation throughout the Chicagoland area thorough, effective, and convenient.
Call the Law Offices of M. Fakhoury today for a free case review. Our firm will work vigorously to defend you in court and ensure the best possible outcome for your DUI case. You can count on the Law Offices of M. Fakhoury to provide you with the best defense.
Sunday, May 12, 2013
A Domestic Battery conviction can ruin your life. As a former prosecutor, Attorney Matt Fakhoury is aware that a contentious divorce may sometimes lead to accusations of domestic violence when one spouse accuses the other of a battery in an attempt to gain leverage in a divorce.
In cases of Domestic Battery, the police will arrest the accused and take him or her to the police station lockup. After posting bond, the accused is released, but is not allowed to return to the home for a minimum of 72 hours. In addition, an order of protection is often issued and a court date is assigned. During this period, the defendant is not allowed to be in the family home. If there are children involved, he or she will have to wait several weeks, if not months, before being allowed to see the children.
If you have recently been charged with Domestic Battery, Attorney Matt Fakhoury has the experience to aggressively defend your case. A conviction can significantly affect your life and will have permanent, lasting effects. Under Illinois law, Domestic Battery is a Class A misdemeanor. A second Domestic Battery conviction could be a felony. Attorney Matt Fakhoury will aggressively defend you in court and seek to avoid a conviction.
If you have been accused of Domestic Battery in Illinois, it is imperative that you hire an attorney. At the Law Offices of M. Fakhoury, we will review the evidence against you and carefully examine all aspects of your case. We will meticulously craft a thorough, aggressive defense that addresses the specific elements of your case, thereby assuring the best possible outcome.
Do not allow a Domestic Battery accusation to impact your life and future plans. Call the Law Offices of M. Fakhoury today for a free case review at (847) 920-4540.
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Being arrested for driving on a suspended or revoked driver's license is a serious offense in Illinois. Your license may have been suspended for a number of reasons, from failure to pay child support, to lack of insurance, or even a DUI.
Without proper representation, your suspension could be lengthened or your license permanently revoked. Defendants are often under the impression that driving on a suspended license is simply a ticket/citation. However, depending on the circumstances, this seemingly simple citation could be charged as a felony.
If you have been arrested for driving on a suspended or revoked license, call former prosecutor Matt Fakhoury today. As your attorney, Matt Fakhoury will vigorously defend you in court.As a former traffic prosecutor, Matt Fakhoury has an extensive record of success in fighting suspended or revoked license cases. Matt Fakhoury and his team will listen to your side of the story, and craft a thorough defense based on your individual needs.
For a free case review, call Attorney Matt Fakhoury today: (847) 920-4540.