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Few people who commit white collar crimes (financial crimes) have a real understanding of the criminal justice system. In fact, most have a spotless criminal record and may not have even had to deal with so much as a minor traffic ticket. As a result, they can feel overwhelmed when facing charges. Some may also underestimate the impact of a conviction. This makes preparation and the experience of an attorney invaluable to those being charged with a white collar crime. The following explains further, and provides details on where to find assistance.

Money-Related Crimes Often Prosecuted as Felonies

Because the amount of money typically determines the severity of a financial crime, and because most white collar crimes involve significant amounts of money, the charges typically fall into the felony category. These are the most severe types of crimes, and they can result in an imprisonment term of one year or longer. Furthermore, felony convictions can impact your life, long after you have served your time. It remains on your criminal record which can make obtaining employment and a safe place to live all the more difficult.

Few Convicted of White Collar Crimes are Prepared for Prison Life

While Hollywood and television may inflate the prison experience, it is still one that individuals convicted of a white collar crime find jarring. It is a life unlike anything they have experienced and may not have even had any exposure to. As such, it is critical that any person facing charges for a white collar crime do everything in their power to mitigate their case and/or avoid conviction. This is where an experienced attorney can help.

Get Aggressive Legal Representation

If you or someone you love is facing criminal charges, it is critical that you seek experienced and aggressive legal representation for your case. This can ensure your rights are protected, which can increase the odds of a favorable outcome in your case. However, you must not go for just any attorney. Instead, you should choose one that has an in-depth understanding of white collar crimes and the consequences that can accompany a conviction. At the Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C., we prioritize the best interest of our clients. Seasoned and committed, we will fight to protect you from the consequences of your charges. Learn more about how we can assist with your case. Call 815-666-1285 and schedule a consultation with our Joliet criminal defense lawyers today. Source:

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camera footage, Illinois criminal defense attorneyAlthough you may not know it, whenever you are driving in an and around the Chicago area, you are probably never too far from a POD, or police observational device. These PODs are video cameras that have been installed around the city to help provide an additional level of public safety, as well as to contribute to law enforcement efforts. Of course, police-related video cameras have become a hot-button issue of late, in the wake of several violent incidents, but PODs can also assist with other, more commonplace investigations, including those for traffic violations and driving under the influence (DUI).

Discovery Violations

In June of 2012, a man was arrested on charges of driving under influence of alcohol. As he prepared for his defense, he subpoenaed all available audio and video recordings related to his arrest and processing. In the immediate area the arrest, there were at least four POD cameras, and the defendant specifically identified their locations in his request. The Chicago Police Department responded that no dashcam footage of the arrest was found. Repeated requests were met with the response that the footage from POD cameras had been overwritten and were no longer available.

The trial judge determined that the Chicago PD's failure to provide properly-subpoenaed information represented a discovery violation, subject to sanctions. The court decided that based on the missing video, the testimony of officers on the scene was to be excluded, effectively ending any chance of conviction on DUI charges. The State appealed, claiming that the trial judge acted outside of appropriate discretion by precluding the officers' testimony, but, just last month, an Illinois appellate court affirmed the original decision.

Proper Procedures

While the State claimed the video of the defendant's arrest would provide nothing of substance to the case, the law requires strict adherence to the rules of discovery and courtroom procedure. This is to ensure that the rule of law is applied equally and that the rights of the accused are never compromised. When you are facing criminal charges of any type, you deserve to have access to any and all evidence. Attempts by prosecutors or the state to suppress information, no matter how inconsequential it may seem, could possibly violate your rights and jeopardize your future.

Contact an Attorney

If you have been charged with driving under the influence or any other crime, you need an attorney committed to protecting your rights at every step of the criminal justice process. Contact an experienced Will County criminal defense lawyer at the Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C., to learn about how we can help you.


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sobriety test, SFST, Will County DUI defense attorneysConsider, if you will, being pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence, or DUI. The officer asks if you have been drinking, and whatever answer you give, you are asked to step out of the car and submit chemical and sobriety testing. Based on your own memory, what are some the tests likely to be used? Will you need to recite the alphabet in reverse order? Will you be asked for the third digit of your zip code? While it may be entertaining to think of various methods that could be employed to trip up an intoxicated driver, law enforcement officers generally rely on a series of assessments approved by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) known as the Standardized Field Sobriety Test, or SFST.

What is Included in the SFST?

The SFST is a battery of three separate designed to help on-the-scene law enforcement estimate a driver's level of intoxication. These tests can be used to complement a chemical testing procedure, such as a breathalyzer, or to provide justification for a DUI arrest in the event the chemical testing is inconclusive or otherwise not available.

You have probably seen or at least heard about each of the three tests that comprise the SFST, as they have been in use for more than 60 years. The SFST includes the:

  • Horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN) test: The subject must follow a slowly-moving object—a pen, flashlight, or the officer's finger—with his or her eyes only. The officer is looking for involuntary jerking of the eyeball, called nystagmus, which is often exaggerated by intoxication.
  • Walk-and-turn test: The subject must walk nine steps, heel to toe, on a straight line, either marked on the pavement or imaginary, turn 180 degrees and walk nine steps back. The officer is looking for signs of impairment such as poor balance, confused counting, and more.
  • One-leg stand test: The subject must stand on one foot, with the other foot about six inches above the ground, counting aloud for approximately 30 seconds. The officer is, again, looking for trouble balancing, confused counting, and other signs of being impaired.

Challenges to the SFST

There are many ways to dispute an officer's conclusions from field sobriety tests, including preexisting physical afflictions that can affect the very factors the tests are designed to observe. For example, a person suffering from inner-ear problems and vertigo may have marked difficulty balancing regardless of alcohol consumption. Thus the walk-and-turn and the one-leg stand would likely be rather poor indicators of that person's intoxication level. In fact, current estimates place the accuracy of the SFST around 90 percent, which means that about one out of every ten tests could misidentify a suspect as being intoxicated when he or she is not.

If you have been charged with DUI based on the results of field sobriety tests, contact an experienced Will County criminal defense attorney. Our knowledgeable team is prepared to help you challenge the testing procedures as appropriate, along with any other aspect of your arrest. Call the Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C., today for a free, confidential consultation at one our two convenient locations.


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cell phone use, distracted driving, Illinois Traffic Violations AttorneysThe next time you stop at a red light, look at the drivers on either side of you. Despite laws against it, there is a good chance that at least one of them will be using a cell phone or mobile device. While most people understand that texting while driving can be particularly dangerous, due to the inherent distraction of reading and sending message, simply talking on cell phone can be equally, if not more, hazardous. In fact, according to some estimates, cell phone use contributes to more than a quarter of all auto accidents, while texting plays a role in about five percent.

Know the Law

It is important for Illinois drivers to fully understand what is legal regarding the use of cell phones and mobile devices behind the wheel. First and foremost, text messaging and emailing from a phone or mobile device while driving is against the law for all drivers. Texting is only permitted if the vehicle is pulled off of the road and onto the shoulder, or is stopped in normal traffic patterns and is in neutral or park.

All cell phone use, except for legitimate emergencies, is prohibited for drivers who are 18 and under. Drivers over the age of 18 are permitted to conduct cell phone conversations, but only with the use of a hands-free device. Hand-held cell phone is illegal for all drivers in the state.

Potential Penalties

While an electronic device violation may not seem to be a big deal, the consequences can add up quickly. If cell phone use is found to have contributed to an accident causing severe injury or death, the violation can be criminally prosecuted as a misdemeanor or felony respectively. A simple violation of the law regarding cell phones and mobile devices will result in a first-offense fine of up to $75. Subsequent offenses result in higher fines: $100 for a second offense, $125 for a third offense, and up to $150 for every offense thereafter. Furthermore, beginning with a fourth offense, a driver is in danger of having his or her driver's license suspended by the Illinois Secretary of State.

If you have received a citation for illegal cell phone use or texting while driving, contact an experienced Joliet traffic violations defense attorney today. We can help you review the circumstances of your case, ensure the ticket was issued correctly, and work toward reducing its impact on your record. Call the Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C. to schedule your free, confidential consultation with one of our skilled legal professionals.

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credit card fraud, debit card fraud, theft, criminal defense lawyer, Illinois, ChicagoCredit and debit card fraud schemes are a hot topic in the news lately with breaches at major department stores. Illinois officials are on the alert for fraudulent activity as well after two Bolingbrook men were recently arrested for credit card fraud involving spoofed computer addresses and purchased of electronics. Being accused of credit card fraud in Illinois is a serious matter requiring input from an Illinois criminal defense attorney. If you have been charged with fraud, your first step should be to contact a lawyer.

Criminal offenses regarding credit card and debit card fraud in Illinois include false statements to obtain a card, possession of another person's debit or credit card, possessing another individual's lost card, sale of another person's debit or credit card, using counterfeited cards, usage of an altered card, or any behavior involving account numbers or cards with the intent to defraud.

White collar crimes in general often have in-depth investigations on behalf of the authorities. With an increasing focus on identity theft and credit card fraud, more man hours and training time is spent on handling these cases, giving the authorities an upper hand. You need someone to represent your interests in court, too.

Your defense to credit card fraud charges might include the following:

  • insanity;
  • compulsion;
  • abandonment of criminal purpose;
  • entrapment; or
  • lack of knowledge.
Depending on what was obtained with unauthorized credit card information, you could be charged with a misdemeanor, a Class 3 felony, or a Class 4 felony.
  • If less than $150 in property was obtained during a six month period, the charge will be a misdemeanor;
  • If more than $300 in property was obtained, you can be charged with a Class 3 felony.
  • All other offenses fall under the category of a Class 4 felony, which is punishable by time in prison and fines.
Do not let a credit card fraud charge ruin your future- contact a Joliet criminal defense attorney today.
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