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Plainfield, IL criminal defense attorney DUI

The act of drinking and driving is taken seriously by Illinois courts. As a result, the penalties for driving under the influence (DUI) include both administrative and criminal consequences. A first or second DUI is typically a misdemeanor offense in Illinois. While a misdemeanor conviction will still result in heavy fines, a driver’s license suspension of one year, and possibly jail time, felony DUI is punished much more harshly. A third or subsequent conviction for drunk driving or DUI involving certain aggravating factors is considered a felony offense in Illinois. If you are convicted of felony DUI, you could face years in prison and other life-changing consequences.

Receiving a Third, Fourth, or Fifth DUI Conviction

First and second DUIs are typically misdemeanor offenses in Illinois. Many individuals can avoid significant jail time and eventually regain their driving privileges after a first or second DUI. However, if a driver is convicted of driving under the influence for the third time, the penalties increase significantly. A third DUI is a Class 2 felony “aggravated DUI” punishable by three to seven years of imprisonment, a maximum fine of $25,000, and a 10-year driver’s license suspension. A fourth DUI is also punishable by three to seven years in prison and the offense is non-probational. A fifth DUI is a non-probational Class 1 felony punishable by a maximum prison sentence of 15 years. Fourth or fifth DUI convictions also result in a lifetime suspension of the offender’s driving privileges.

DUI Involving Aggravating Factors

There are several situations in which a first-time DUI is a felony offense in Illinois. A DUI may be classified as a felony if certain aggravating circumstances are present. Driving a school bus under the influence, DUI resulting in serious bodily harm, DUI with a suspended or revoked license, and driving under the influence without auto insurance are all Class 4 felonies in Illinois. DUI resulting in death and a second DUI with a passenger under 16 are both Class 2 felonies. If you are convicted of aggravated DUI, you face significant jail time and other consequences that have the potential to radically change your life.

Contact a Will County DUI Defense Lawyer

If you or a loved one were charged with DUI, the consequences can last a lifetime. That is why it is important to contact the Law Offices of Tedone & Morton, P.C. for help. Our team of skilled Joliet criminal defense attorneys has experience defending against both misdemeanor and felony DUIs. We can help you fight for your freedom. Call 815-666-1285 or 815-733-5350 to arrange a free consultation.



Plainfield, IL divorce attorney asset division

Society typically focuses on the romantic aspects of marriage. However, the joining of two lives through marriage is not only a romantic union, it is also a legal and financial union. Determining how marital property should be divided between the spouses is often one of the most complicated parts of the divorce process. This is especially true if the spouses own complex assets or have a high net worth. If you are preparing for a divorce in Illinois, it is important to know how certain assets may complicate the process.

Small Businesses

If you or your spouse own a business, this may complicate your divorce significantly. In Illinois, only marital property is divided during a divorce. Separate property, meaning property that a spouse owned before getting married, is not divided. However, it is possible for a business that was acquired before marriage to be “transmuted” or transformed into marital property. If you acquired a company during the marriage or you owned a company before getting married but your spouse contributed time or money into growing the business, he or she may be entitled to an equitable share of the company. Often, a spouse who wishes to retain sole ownership of a business “buys out” the other spouse’s portion of the business by giving up assets of a similar value. Before a business may be divided in a divorce, the identity and the value of the business must be determined.

Certain Assets Are Hard to Value or Fluctuate in Value

Some assets are hard to divide during divorce because determining the value of the asset is difficult. Cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin or Ethereum is an alternative form of payment that has skyrocketed in popularity recently. The value of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies fluctuates dramatically and there are several different methods of determining its value. Retirement plans – especially pensions or defined benefit plans – are often difficult to value as well. Real estate, investments, stocks, and intellectual property may also be hard to value.

Heirlooms and Items of Sentimental Value

Family heirlooms and other property with intangible or sentimental value is another issue that may add contention to an Illinois divorce. These items may not have great worth financially, but they are valuable to a spouse for personal reasons. Dogs, cats, and other pets are often considered beloved members of the family; however, pets are classified as property per Illinois law. Heated arguments over the ownership of pets and other property of personal or sentimental significance are not uncommon during a divorce.

Contact a Joliet Property Division Lawyer

If you or your spouse own complex assets like investments, stocks, businesses, cryptocurrency, retirement accounts, or real estate, it is likely that these assets will complicate property division during your Illinois divorce. A highly skilled Will County divorce attorney from the Law Offices of Tedone & Morton, P.C. can help you negotiate a property division settlement or, if needed, advocate on your behalf during litigation. Call 815-666-1285 or 815-733-5350 to schedule a free consultation.



Plainfield, IL criminal defense attorney sexual assault

Being accused of sexual assault, rape, child sexual abuse, or another sex crime can have life-changing consequences. If you were charged with this type of criminal offense, your personal reputation, career, and your very freedom may be on the line. If convicted, you could be looking at months, years, or even decades behind bars. You may also be required to register on the public sex offender registry. Developing a robust defense strategy is the best way to fight sex crime charges.

Avoiding Self-Incrimination by Refusing Police Interrogation

Many people do not realize it, but a strong defense strategy often starts before the criminal defendant even hires an attorney. If you have been accused of a sex crime, the best thing you can do to protect yourself is to remain silent. Do not answer police questions. The police may imply that you “must have something to hide” if you do not answer their questions, but this is only a tactic used to get you to talk. You have a Constitutional right to avoid self-incrimination. The best way to do this is to decline police questioning and ask for your lawyer.

Identifying Flaws in the Prosecution’s Case

Your lawyer may help you find evidence that contradicts the charges being brought against you and use this evidence to cast doubt on the prosecution’s claim. Remember, criminal charges are held to the highest possible standard of proof. This means that the prosecution must prove the required elements “beyond a reasonable doubt.” By finding inconsistencies or holes in the prosecution’s case against you, you may be able to weaken their case and demonstrate that there is reasonable doubt about your guilt. For example, your lawyer may find evidence that proves that you were not at the alleged crime scene when the alleged crime took place.

Discrediting the Accuser and the Prosecution’s Witnesses

Not everyone who has been accused of a sex crime actually committed a sex crime. Some people use false accusations of sexual assault or other sex crimes to seek revenge on the accused. Others bring false claims to avoid tarnishing their reputation. For example, an accuser may regret a consensual sexual encounter and therefore claim that the encounter was non-consensual. Some parents may even use false accusations of child sexual abuse in an attempt to gain an advantage in a child custody dispute. Your lawyer may be able to present evidence that damages the accuser’s credibility or trustworthiness. For example, if your lawyer can show that the accuser has been deceptive or manipulative in the past, this may cast doubt on the credibility of his or her current claims.  

Contact a Plainfield, IL Sex Crimes Defense Lawyer

If you or a loved one have been charged with a sex crime, the penalties can be severe if convicted, and that is why you need an attorney who understands how to build a robust defense strategy. Contact the highly knowledgeable Will County criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Tedone & Morton, P.C. to obtain the legal support you deserve. Call today to schedule a confidential, free case consultation at 815-666-1285 or 815-733-5350.



Will County child support attorney

The cost of going to college increases with every passing year. If you are like many parents, you probably have concerns about how to finance your child’s college education. You may wonder how college expenses are dealt with when parents are unmarried or divorced. Does Illinois require parents to help pay for college? Does the parent who pays child support automatically pay for university-related expenses? Whether your child is college-aged or you still have a few years before he or she heads off to university, it is important to know how Illinois law deals with college expenses.

Child Support for College Students in Illinois

College expenses are handled differently than typical child support. When the child is still a minor, it is presumed that the obligor pays child support. Regular child support typically ends when the child turns 18 and graduates from high school. Once the child is an adult, this presumption no longer exists. It is up to the parent seeking non-minor child support to show that non-minor support is appropriate. Per Illinois law, courts may require one or both parents to contribute to college expenses, but this requirement is not automatic.

When deciding whether or not to order child support for post-secondary expenses, Illinois courts consider each parent’s financial circumstances, the child’s income or assets, the standard of living the child would enjoy if the parents were married, and the child’s academic records.  

How Much Each Parent Must Pay Toward College Expenses

As with other family law issues, parents may be able to negotiate an agreement about how much each parent will contribute toward their child’s college education and submit the agreement to the court for approval. If an agreement cannot be reached, the court has the authority to allocate college expenses between the parents.

Parents may be ordered to contribute to their child’s tuition and fees, housing expenses, books, living expenses, and other education-related costs. There is a statutory cap on what parents can be ordered to contribute to a child’s college expenses. Illinois uses the current cost of tuition and housing at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to set this cap. Parents are only required to pay for their child’s undergraduate degree. Furthermore, non-minor support for college expenses may terminate if the child does not maintain at least a “C” grade point average.

Contact a Will County Non-Minor Child Support Lawyer

The cost of college tuition and housing can be astronomical. For help understanding your rights and obligations regarding non-minor child support or for help petitioning the court for non-minor support, contact an experienced Joliet, IL child support attorney at Law Offices of Tedone & Morton, P.C. Call to schedule a free consultation at 815-666-1285 or 815-733-5350.





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Will County criminal defense attorney

Being charged with a criminal offense can be a confusing and overwhelming experience. If you have been accused of drug possession or distribution, a weapons violation, theft, domestic violence, or another crime, it is essential to know your rights. Criminal defendants are afforded rights by the U.S. Constitution and other legislation. Among these important rights are the right to due process, the right to an attorney, and the right to avoid self-incrimination. However, the rights of suspects and criminal defendants are limited. One issue that is commonly misunderstood is whether police are allowed to lie to individuals suspected of a crime.

Understanding the Tactics Police May Use During a Criminal Investigation  

There are many myths regarding police conduct during interrogations and investigations. One popular myth is police officers must always identify themselves as police. You may have heard that a law enforcement officer has to tell you that he or she is a police officer if you ask him or her. This is simply not true. Police are authorized to lie about their identity – even when directly asked.

Furthermore, police are permitted to lie to suspects during a criminal investigation. While interrogating a suspect, the police may claim that they have evidence that they do not actually have. They may even claim that another criminal suspect has confessed and implicated the suspect in a crime. These are only a few of the tactics police may use to encourage a suspect to confess or to gather information about an alleged crime. This is why it is essential for criminal suspects to decline police questioning until their attorney is present. You have the right to remain silent because you have the right to avoid incriminating yourself. One of the best ways to reduce the chances of a criminal conviction is to assert your right to remain silent and calmly ask for your attorney.

What Is the Difference Between Lying and Entrapment?

Law enforcement officers are subject to restrictions when it comes to lying. Police officers cannot, for example, threaten a criminal suspect or the suspect’s family with physical violence in order to elicit a response. Police officers are also prohibited from coercing an individual to commit a crime who would not have otherwise committed the crime. This is referred to as “entrapment.” There is a thin line between a legal “sting operation,” in which an undercover police officer pretends to be a regular citizen, and entrapment. If you suspect that you were the victim of entrapment, contact an attorney right away.

Contact a Joliet, IL Criminal Defense Attorney

If you or a loved one have been accused of a crime, a skilled Will County criminal defense lawyer from the Law Offices of Tedone & Morton, P.C. can provide the legal advocacy you need. Our team understands the tactics that police use during interrogations and can help you avoid self-incrimination. We can help you build a strong defense against criminal charges. Call us today at 815-666-1285 or 815-733-5350 to schedule a free, confidential consultation.



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