Recent Blog Posts

How Can Record Sealing Benefit Me?

 Posted on November 29, 2022 in Criminal Defense

DuPage County Criminal LawyerWhether the conviction was for DUI, domestic battery, theft, or another offense, having a criminal conviction on your record can impact your life dramatically. A criminal record can make it difficult to find and maintain employment, pursue higher education opportunities, and secure housing. Being found guilty or pleading guilty to a crime can also harm your personal reputation, because of the social stigma associated with having a criminal record.

If you have been convicted of a crime, you may be able to have your record hidden from view through a process known as record sealing

What is Record Sealing? 

Record sealing and expungement are legal processes that clear criminal records. The main difference between the two is that record sealing hides your record from public view, while expungement completely destroys your record. In most cases, individuals can get a crime erased from their record through expungement if they were acquitted, pardoned, or successfully completed probation. You can also get the record of an arrest expunged if charges were never filed or if the case was dismissed. 

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Can You Still Get Alimony During Divorce in Illinois?

 Posted on November 14, 2022 in Alimony

DuPage County Family Law AttorneyModern families often have two spouses who work outside the home and earn a living. In today’s world, many wives make just as much money as their husbands – if not more. Consequently, some people wonder if alimony is even available in a 2022 divorce.  

Illinois law does allow for alimony, technically called “spousal maintenance,” during a divorce. There are a few different ways that a spouse may be entitled to maintenance payments. If you are ending your marriage, it is important to know how spousal maintenance may come into play during your divorce.

Who Can Get Spousal Maintenance?

Spouses may agree to a spousal maintenance arrangement, or a spouse seeking maintenance may petition the court for a spousal maintenance order. Illinois courts award spousal maintenance when divorce leaves one spouse at a serious financial disadvantage. For example, if a woman has not worked outside of the home in several decades because she has been raising the couple’s children, she would likely have a very difficult time securing adequate employment and becoming financially self-sufficient. Consequently, the court may award her spousal maintenance. While the majority of spousal maintenance recipients are women, the law makes no distinction between men and women.

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What To Do If You Are Charged with Sexual Assault After a College Party  

 Posted on November 04, 2022 in Criminal Defense

DuPage County Sex Crimes LawyerFor college-aged individuals, fall holidays and football games often involve parties in which people are drinking alcohol and using drugs. It is not uncommon for college students to be accused of engaging in non-consensual sexual conduct during these types of events. Party attendants may be accused of having sex with someone who was too intoxicated to consent to the activity, or even charged with forcing someone to have sex against their will.

If you or your college-aged child have been accused of sexual assault or rape, make sure to secure strong legal counsel right away. Allegations like these have the potential to completely derail a person’s future, leading to years of incarceration and a lifetime of stigma.

Do Not Talk to the Police

People accused of crimes they did not commit often think they can clear things up by simply being honest. Instead of taking advantage of their right to remain silent, they speak freely to police without an attorney present. Unfortunately, this rarely works out the way a criminal defendant hopes. The prosecution can take what was said during police interrogations and twist it to demonstrate the defendant’s guilt. If you were accused of sexual assault, do not answer the police officer’s questions. Wait until you have a chance to talk to your lawyer before deciding what information to share.  

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Determining the Best Parenting Time Schedule For Your Family's Needs

 Posted on October 19, 2022 in Family Law

Naperville Family Law AttorneyIllinois uses the term "parenting time" instead of "visitation" when referring to the time a parent spends with his or her child. Divorced spouses and unmarried co-parents must contend with several complex issues. Determining a parenting time schedule is often of the most challenging aspects of a shared custody arrangement. This is especially true if a parent has an unpredictable work schedule or if parents disagree about how to share time with their children. If you are a parent currently going through a divorce or separation, consider the following factors when designing your parenting time schedule. 

Reaching an Out-Of-Court Agreement Regarding Parenting Time 

The amount of parenting time each parent has can be decided by the parents or ordered by a judge, depending on the circumstances of each case. If parents can reach an agreement about parenting time and other matters, they can save themselves the time, expense, and stress of going to court. Parents who are able to communicate and cooperate with one another are more likely to be successful in reaching an agreement about parenting time. 

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Are DUI Alcohol Breath Tests Accurate? 

 Posted on October 14, 2022 in DUI

DuPage County DUI Defense LawyerAnyone who has been stopped on suspicion of drunk driving is familiar with alcohol breath tests or "breathalyzers." These devices are used by the police to determine if a suspect has been drinking. The officer instructs the driver to blow into the device. After a few moments, the device displays a number indicating the driver's blood alcohol concentration (BAC). Are these devices accurate? Can extraneous factors interfere with the device's ability to detect intoxication? Can an individual charged with driving under the influence (DUI) avoid conviction if the breath alcohol device results were incorrect?

Factors That Can Interfere with Breath Alcohol Tests

Breath alcohol tests determine a person's BAC by analyzing the amount of alcohol on their breath. However, these tests are not infallible. Various circumstances can interfere with the test and lead to inaccurate or unreliable results.

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My Spouse is Lying about Income and Property During Divorce. Now What? 

 Posted on October 06, 2022 in Divorce

Naperville Marital Property LawyerFinancial transparency is crucial to the divorce process. Spouses can only divide their shared assets and debts when they fully understand what they own and what they owe. Spousal support and child support calculations require an accurate understanding of each spouse’s income.

If one spouse is not being truthful about his or her income and assets, it can have a major impact on the divorce settlement. The innocent spouse may be ordered to pay more support than he or she can truly afford, or may end up with a smaller share of the marital property.

If you believe your spouse is lying about income and assets, there are steps you can take to uncover the truth.

How Spouses Falsify Financial Information During Divorce

There are many ways that a spouse can try to hide income and assets during divorce. Some common methods include:

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Does an Illinois Arrest Show Up On Your Record if You Were Not Convicted? 

 Posted on September 23, 2022 in Criminal Defense

DuPage County Criminal LawyerAlthough a surprising percentage of people have one or two offenses on their criminal record, having an arrest or criminal charge on your record can still damage your future. Employers and landlords who perform background checks may see an arrest record and refuse to proceed with the candidate. Even if someone is arrested but not convicted of the offense, the simple act of being arrested can cause substantial harm.

Many people falsely believe that they only have a criminal record if they have been convicted of a crime or spent time in jail. Unfortunately, this is not the case. An arrest shows up on a criminal record or criminal history and stays on your record until you take specific legal action to have it removed through expungement or sealing. 

How Can I Clear My Record in Illinois?

In Illinois, there are two ways to clear your record of an arrest: by sealing your records or by expunging your records. Record sealing means that your criminal record is no longer accessible to the public. This includes employers, landlords, and schools. However, your record is still accessible to law enforcement and the courts. Expunging your record means that your criminal record is destroyed and is no longer accessible to anyone.

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Gaslighting: How Abusers Use Psychological Manipulation to Manipulate Their Spouses 

 Posted on September 16, 2022 in Family Law

DuPage County Domestic Violence LawyerAbusive marriages are more common than many people realize. Unfortunately, many domestic violence victims suffer in silence, hoping that their abusive husbands or wives will change their ways. Victims may also stay in abusive marriages because the abuser has convinced the victim that the abuse is somehow his or her fault. Gaslighting, or using psychological manipulation to make a person question his or her perception of reality, is one tactic abusers use to control victims.

If you want to divorce a manipulative, controlling, or abusive spouse, it is important to prepare yourself, understand the tactics used by abusers, and gather a support system who can help you.

What Does Gaslighting Look Like?

The term "gaslighting" refers to a 1944 movie called Gaslight in which an abusive husband tries to convince his wife that she is going mad. Gaslighting can take many forms, but it often involves an abuser trying to convince his or her victim that he or she is crazy, delusional, or paranoid. For example, an abusive husband might tell his wife that she is imagining things when she sees him flirting with other women. He might say that she is overreacting when she expresses jealousy or anger about his behavior.

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Can You Be Charged with Shoplifting for Accidently Misusing the Self-Checkout?

 Posted on September 09, 2022 in Criminal Defense

DuPage County Shoplifting Defense LawyerAutomated self-service checkouts are becoming more and more popular. You can find these devices everywhere from grocery stores to gas stations. Using the self-checkout at a store can be convenient, but it also comes with its own set of risks. One of those risks is being accused of shoplifting if you make a mistake while scanning your items.

Many people assume that an innocent mistake cannot lead to criminal charges. However,  it is entirely possible to be accused of retail theft even if you never intended to steal an item. In Illinois, retail theft may be a misdemeanor or felony depending on the value of the item(s). 

Self-Service Checkouts Can Lead to Theft Accusations 

Shoplifting is increasingly prevalent in Illinois and throughout the U.S., and asset protection is a top priority for commercial retail establishments. Businesses are taking various measures to combat retail theft, including the prosecution of individuals who allegedly steal using self-service checkouts. 

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Watch What You Post Online During Your Illinois Divorce

 Posted on August 24, 2022 in Divorce

DuPage County divorce attorneyThere is no doubt that social media has become a major part of our lives. Most people have at least one social media account where they document the events and activities they participate in. Facebook alone has more than two billion users and is also cited in one out of every five divorces that occur in this country as it has become a conduit to discover evidence of infidelity and other bad behaviors a spouse may be engaging in.

In addition to having the potential to harm a relationship, social media posts can also be harmful while someone is going through a divorce. It is important to remember that posts, photos, and comments can be used against you by your spouse’s attorney, even affecting how child custody is decided by the court.

Be Mindful of What You Post

Ideally, you should avoid social media until your divorce is final; however, it is understandable that most people do not want to take that step. If you are going to engage in online activity, then you should be fully aware of what you are posting and cognizant of topics you should avoid altogether, including avoiding posting any details about the divorce.

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