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Plainfield, IL violent crimes defense attorney

Social media has many benefits, but certain online sites also make it easier for teens and adults to “cyberbully” one another. Cyberbullying is defined as an act of demeaning, humiliating, or even threatening the safety of someone else through electronic means such as email, social media, and text messages. This type of behavior can be classified as harassment, which can have negative consequences. Harassment can leave deep scars on the mental health of a person, and this is especially true for young people. The victims of cyberbullying often engage in self-harming, and in some cases, they have gone on to commit school shootings. With this in mind, cyberbullying could be considered a violent crime in Illinois.

Does Illinois Have a Cyberbullying Law?

According to a recent study from Rasmussen College, 58 percent of teenagers admitted to being bullied online. 75 percent of kids admitted to having visited websites that focus on hateful comments about another minor, and 70 percent witnessed bullying via social media. It took some time, but cyberbullying is now enforced in Illinois, and legal punishments may be appropriate in order to put an end to online bullying. Illinois has an Anti-Bullying Law, which covers both face-to-face bullying and cyberbullying. It also covers acts of bullying that do not happen on a school campus. This way, a student can feel comfortable letting teachers or administrative staff know that he or she is being bullied online so action can be taken against the perpetrators.

Behaviors that are considered criminal include the following:

  • Harassing someone based on gender, race, or another protected status or distinguishing characteristic

  • Making violent and/or death threats

  • Making obscene phone calls or sending harassing text messages

  • "Sextortion" or child pornography

  • Stalking

  • Taking photos of someone to invade their privacy

What Are the Punishments for Cyberbullying?

While posting a demeaning comment online may seem like an innocuous activity, certain types of posts or actions could result in criminal consequences, including charges related to harassment or stalking. However, for teenagers, the social and academic punishments can seem just as severe as any legal action that can take place after cyberbullying someone.

In the state of Illinois, students who cyberbully can face any of the following penalties:

  • Suspension from school for up to 10 days

  • Expulsion from school for a period that does not exceed two years

On top of that, any legal action that takes place will result in a negative mark on the bully’s record. In the long run, one "inappropriate" comment that is made online can hinder a person’s ability to get into a desirable college or get a decent job.

Contact a Joliet, IL Cyberbullying Defense Attorney

Although many may not consider cyberbullying a violent crime, it can lead to violent outcomes. It is best to not engage in hateful behavior on the Internet, since this will not only avoid causing serious harm to another person, but it will also make sure you do not face legal consequences. If you or someone you know has been accused of cyberbullying, hire a lawyer from Tedone & Morton, P.C. to help build a strong defense strategy on your behalf. To schedule a free consultation with a Will County criminal defense lawyer, call our office today at 815-666-1285.




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Will County underaged drunk driving defense attorney

The state of Illinois has serious consequences for those who drink and drive. When a minor under the legal drinking age of 21 decides to operate a vehicle while intoxicated, they may face severe punishments that can have a lasting effect on the young person’s life. Illinois has a "Zero Tolerance Law" for underage drinking and driving. Under this law, a minor driver who is found with any amount of alcohol in their system will have their license suspended and will have to take a driving course before having their driving privileges reinstated. Even those minors who are caught attempting to purchase alcohol with a fake ID can suffer consequences.

Illinois Zero Tolerance Law

A conviction under the Zero Tolerance Law may not lead to punishments that are as serious as those for a regular DUI conviction. However, if a minor is stopped under suspicion of drunk driving, the officer who makes the stop can decide which charges will apply: DUI, Zero Tolerance, or both.

A driver under the age of 21 who is convicted under the Zero Tolerance Law will have their driving privileges suspended for three months for a first offense and one year for a second offense. DUI convictions can lead to:

  • First conviction: Revoked driving privileges for a minimum of two years

  • Second conviction: Revoked driving privileges for a minimum of five years

During a traffic stop, the minor driver may be asked to submit to a roadside breathalyzer test or field sobriety tests. These tests may be used to establish probable cause to make an arrest. Following the arrest, the driver will be asked to submit to a chemical test of their blood alcohol content. If they refuse, driving privileges will be suspended for six months for a first offense or two years for a second offense.

Other Offenses That Can Lead to Suspended Driving Privileges

It is tempting for minors to want to drink alcohol before their 21st birthday. However, Illinois law clearly states that if a minor attempts to purchase alcohol with a fake ID, they will have their driving privileges suspended. Loss of driving privileges can also occur if the underaged person is caught possessing alcohol either in or out of a motor vehicle. If a minor is convicted of the illegal purchase, possession, receipt, or consumption of alcohol, the penalties are as follows:

  • Six-month driver's license suspension for first offenses;

  • One-year driver's license suspension for second offenses; and

  • Revocation of driver's license for subsequent offenses.

When the suspension term is up, a driver will have to complete a remedial driving course before being issued a new license. In some cases, the driver will have to retake a driver’s education course and final exam before earning their new license.

Contact a Joliet, IL Criminal Defense Lawyer

Minors are not the only ones to blame for a Zero Tolerance and/or DUI conviction. Parents can face consequences if they knowingly allow their child to drink alcohol and then let them get behind the wheel of a car. Everyone involved can have their lives altered after a DUI conviction. This is why having a knowledgeable lawyer from Tedone & Morton, P.C. in your corner is important when facing criminal charges. Our Will County underage DUI defense attorneys will be able to build a strong defense strategy and help keep your minor child’s driving privileges intact. To schedule a free consultation, call our office today at 815-666-1285.



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Will County forgery defense attorney

The state of Illinois classifies forgery as a “deceptive offense.” This means that the act involves defrauding a person or business with the intent to receive personal gain or cause financial loss to the victim. Forgery is punishable in Illinois as a felony offense, and those who are caught can face serious consequences from fines to jail time. It is important to understand what actions constitute this white-collar crime and the consequences for someone accused of it. 

What Is Forgery?

Any act that defrauds (illegally obtaining money from a person or business) a specific victim is classified as forgery. This includes any of the following:

  • Creating or altering documents that make defrauding someone possible

  • Delivering documents that can defraud someone

  • Possession with intent to deliver fraudulent documents

  • Unlawfully using someone else’s signature

  • Unlawfully using someone else’s device PIN number to create an electronic signature

Someone can also be charged with forgery if he or she creates a false academic degree without the words “for novelty purposes” displayed somewhere on the document. If the words are not included, the offender will be charged with a Class A misdemeanor.

Forgery is almost always considered a Class 3 felony punishable by two to three years in prison, periodic imprisonment of up to 18 months, fines of up to $25,000 per offense, and restitution payments. Charges are decreased to a Class 4 felony status if only one Universal Price Code Label is used in the offense. Punishments include a one- to three-year prison term, periodic imprisonment of up to 18 months, fines of up to $25,000, and restitution payments.

Defensive Strategies for Forgery Charges

In order for the prosecution to successfully convict someone of forgery, they must prove intent to defraud beyond a reasonable doubt. With the help of a knowledgeable attorney, a defendant can fight back with several strategies, such as:

  • No intent to defraud

  • Mistake of fact

  • Duress or compulsion: The offender was coerced into doing something he or she would not have done on his or her own

  • Infancy (for offenders who are under 13 years of age)

  • Insanity

Contact a Joliet, IL Criminal Defense Attorney

In most cases, forgery is considered a felony under Illinois law. Penalties can range from jail time to steep fines, depending on the circumstances. If you or someone you know has been accused of this crime, you need skilled legal counsel. A lawyer from Tedone & Morton, P.C. can thoroughly examine your case and advocate on your behalf to protect you from a negative outcome. To schedule a free consultation with a Will County forgery defense lawyer, call our office today at 815-666-1285.




Joliet, IL domestic violence defense attorneyChildren learn from the early years of their life what is right and what is wrong. They do this by observing the behavior of their parents, or those adults closest to them. Therefore, if a minor is in a household that experiences acts of domestic violence, the child is more likely to mimic the behavior later in life. According to the Office of Women’s Health (OWH), more than 15 million children live in homes that have experienced domestic violence at least once. These children are more at risk for abusive acts that can lead to being arrested and charged with simple assault.

The Reality of Children Caught in Abusive Households

Illinois law defines domestic violence as any one member of a household causing injury by means of choking, biting, hitting and similar acts to any other member of the household including:

  • Blood relatives

  • Spouses

  • People who share the home

  • Parenting partners

  • People with disabilities and their assistants

When a child is caught in the middle, it does not matter if he or she is being physically abused. The abusive behavior will still affect his or her mental health. The OWH reported that children who witness domestic violence can develop anxiety and depression when they become teenagers. Minors can also experience symptoms of poor self-esteem and even have their physical health be put at risk of diabetes, heart failure, and obesity.

The best thing a parent can do to keep his or her child away from any abusive behavior is to get out of the relationship--however hard it may be--to protect from any negative long-term effects.

How Does a Child Become the Abuser?

Children who see violence happening in the household can think that it is normal behavior and can act violently to either conform or to protect themselves from others. Teenagers can become bullies out of self-defense so they do not have to suffer more abuse.

In many cases, when minors become abusive, they target their violence toward those who share domestic space with them, according to a study done by the U.S. Department of Justice.

The report concluded that one in every 12 cases of domestic violence that was brought to authorities nationwide involved an abuser under the age of 18 years old. It also stated that juveniles are more violent the older they get, as shown by these statistics:

  • 16 percent of reported assaults were by minors under 12 years old.

  • 25 percent of reported assaults were by minors ages 12-17 years old.

  • 44 percent of reported assaults were by recent adults ages 18-25 years old.

These offenders can be arrested and taken to court to face simple assault charges. Depending on the nature of the crime, a child can face time in a juvenile detention facility, fines, and/or community service.

Contact a Joliet, IL Criminal Defense Attorney

Any case of domestic violence should be taken seriously. In many instances, a pattern of abusive behavior starts with parents or adults and transfers to a child in the household. It is important to know that even minors can be charged with simple assault in domestic abuse situations. If you or your child is facing charges of domestic violence, hire a lawyer from the Law Offices of Tedone & Morton, P.C. to help defend you from consequences. To schedule a free consultation with a Will County domestic violence defense lawyer, call 815-666-1285.




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Plainfield, IL drug charges defense lawyer

Illegal drug possession and use have climbed rapidly throughout the United States in recent years. The use of opioids has become more prevalent, and these drugs were responsible for 68 percent of fatal overdoses in 2017. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, approximately 47,600 people died in 2017 due to an opioid drug overdose. It is important to understand Illinois laws regarding the possession of illegal drugs in the event you are faced with such charges, even if you were simply a witness to an overdose and called for help. 

Who Is to Blame For Overdose Deaths?

In Illinois, a person who sold the drugs that led to a fatal overdose can be prosecuted for drug-induced homicide. However, Illinois is also one of 40 states in the United States that upholds the Good Samaritan Law, which protects both the victim of the overdose and the person who calls the police for help from facing charges.

The Good Samaritan Law was established to encourage people to call the police for help if they see someone who is overdosing on drugs. In many cases, people hesitate because they do not want to get into trouble, but this law ensures the callers will not be charged unless:

  • They are in possession of more than three grams of heroin.

  • They are in possession of more than three grams of morphine.

  • They are in possession of more than 40 grams of prescription opioids.

  • They are in possession of other illegal drugs of various amounts.

If the above circumstances apply, the person(s) in possession of the drugs will face felony charges.

What Are the Punishments for Drug Possession?

The state of Illinois has specific rules and punishments depending on the type of drug and the amount of the drug that is found in an offender’s possession. Possession of cocaine, heroin, morphine, methamphetamines, and LSD is a felony charge, regardless of the amount of drugs found. The punishments increase in severity when more drugs are found:

  • 15-100 grams: fines of up to $200,000 and a prison term of 4-15 years.

  • 100-400 grams: fines of up to $200,000 and a prison term of 6-30 years.

  • 400-900 grams: fines of up to $200,000 and a prison term of 8-40 years.

  • Over 900 grams: fines of up to $200,000 and a prison term of 10-50 years.

If a person is caught selling these drugs, he or she will face even more fines--up to $500,000-- and a prison term of up to 60 years, depending on the amount sold.

Contact a Joliet, IL Criminal Defense Attorney

Under certain circumstances, the Good Samaritan Law can protect those individuals who may be in possession of drugs, but if a fatality occurs from an overdose, a police investigation could lead to serious criminal charges and penalties. If you are facing drug possession charges, hire a lawyer from the Law Offices of Tedone & Morton P.C. to make sure your rights are not compromised during an investigation. To schedule a free consultation with a Will County drug charge defense lawyer, call 815-666-1285 today.



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