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Peoria Criminal Defense Blog

Will you consider virtual visitation in your Illinois divorce?

Most Illinois parents would agree that the job of raising children comes with plenty of challenges and plenty of joy. When parents divorce, they may struggle to find a way to deal with the added obstacles of parenting from two different households. In many cases, even an amicable split does not allow one parent to spend as much time with the children as he or she would like.

Work schedules, distances between homes and other care requirements of the children could prevent parents from enjoying more of a 50/50 split in parenting time. That does not eliminate the need for both the children and the parent to have as much time together as possible. Adding virtual visitation could help fill that gap and ease any apprehension associated with missing milestones in the lives of each child.

Driver accused of DUI now faces additional charges

A 16-year-old boy was recently taken off life support at an Illinois hospital. He suffered critical and life-threatening injuries when a car struck him as he rode his bike. The driver allegedly responsible failed to remain at the scene at the time of the accident. After the teen's death, prosecutors announced that they will upgrade the charges against the driver to include a charge for causing a fatal accident, along with a DUI charge.

Reports indicate that workers at the establishment where the man was prior to the accident believed he was intoxicated after several beers. The driver reportedly told police that he recalls several individuals on bicycles on his way home, and that he may have struck one of them. He was inquiring about the condition of that person. Furthermore, he supposedly gave a statement to police that he fled from the accident out of panic.

Can you refuse a breath test to avoid an Illinois DUI?

There are a number of reasons why you could feel nervous about a breath test. Maybe you believe you've had blood sugar issues, and a breath test could show a false positive. Perhaps the officer doesn't seem to understand how to use it properly, or maybe the device itself seems faulty. You are likely worried about incriminating yourself with a bad test.

Unfortunately, refusing to take a breath test during an impaired driving traffic stop is actually a crime in itself. While the police cannot force you to take a chemical test, they can charge you with a crime for refusing to take one. The end result could be criminal and civil penalties, including loss of your license. While you can refuse a breath test, you break the law when you do so, which could very well result in your arrest and temporary incarceration.

What may your finances look like after an Illinois divorce?

Unless you will be getting a 30 percent raise anytime soon, you will more than likely be facing a different financial landscape now that your marriage has ended. As you work through the issues involved in your Illinois divorce, you may benefit from a thorough review of your current financial situation versus what it will be post-divorce. You may need to ask yourself numerous questions before you begin making requests regarding property division and support issues.

Do you know what assets and liabilities you and your spouse share? Do you have any separate property with which you will walk away from the marriage? Will you be paying child support or alimony or receiving it? The answers to these questions may shape your negotiations with your soon-to-be former spouse.

Search at one home allegedly reveals drug crimes at second home

When Illinois law enforcement officials look into suspected criminal activity involving drugs, they often obtain search warrants in order to locate evidence that could further their investigations and lead to arrests. When they execute those search warrants, they sometimes find information that allegedly leads to others parties and other search warrants. By the time officials are done, one or more individuals could be facing charges for drug crimes.

This is what happened recently to two Illinois men. Law enforcement officials executed a search warrant on a house in which one or more occupants were suspected of criminal activity. Information allegedly discovered at that location supposedly led investigators to conduct a raid on a second home. When the search was over, the two men were under arrest.

A family law point of contention: Child support

You will more than likely pay child support if your relationship with the mother of your child does not last (whether you are married or unmarried). To be fair, more mothers are paying child support to fathers these days, but the majority of those who pay are still fathers. Most Illinois fathers who make these payments only know that they have to do it. This issue is one of the most hotly contested in family law even though most parents would agree that financially supporting their children is a necessity and requirement of being a parent.

Often, child support cannot be accurately calculated without a decision regarding custody being made. It may be calculated one way if a custodial parent is designated and calculated another way in circumstances where joint custody is awarded. Once a decision regarding custody is made, child support can be ordered.

Give your parenting plan the best start possible after a divorce

Like many other Illinois parents, you decided to work with your soon-to-be former spouse in order to continue raising your children. You decided that despite the divorce, your children deserve to have both parents in their lives. Now all you need to do is come up with a plan that gives you the best possible chance of succeeding as co-parents. Should be easy, right? Perhaps not, but it will be worth it.

If you negotiate your own parenting plan, you can design it to fit the needs of your family. You retain control of what parenting will look like post-divorce. Having this freedom is a bonus, but that does not mean that you and the other parent do not need to formulate some ground rules.

Can a smartphone keep a DUI off your record?

One of the things that many Illinois residents complain about when it comes to the way courts may handle charges for driving under the influence is that the root of the problem does not receive the attention it needs. Alcohol treatment classes are temporary and do not provide the incentives many people need to remain sober, so they may end up as repeat offenders. However, one county is trying out some new technology for smartphones that could keep a DUI conviction off an individual's record.

If prosecutors and the court determine that an individual is a good candidate for the program, he or she receives the chance to do just that. In order to participate, the individual must enter a guilty plea. He or she still attends alcohol education classes and pays fines, but the conviction is put on hold for one year.

Illinois man faces charges in fatal DUI-related crash

Fatal car accidents happen far too often here in Illinois and elsewhere under a variety of circumstances. In some cases, the crashes occur due to unforeseeable events, but in others, the outcome could have been predicted. Drinking or taking drugs before getting behind the wheel can aggravate any charges filed in connection with an alleged DUI-related crash since there is an assumption that engaging in this type of behavior automatically puts people's lives in danger, and the driver does not care.

Authorities claim that a 25-year-old Illinois man acted without concern for others on the road back on June 11. He is believed to be at fault for a crash that took the life of an 18-year-old woman. As he drove northbound on Interstate 57 that day, his vehicle strayed through the median and into the southbound lanes where it struck the vehicle driven by the now-deceased woman. Her passenger, another 18-year-old woman, reportedly suffered serious injuries.

Hypoglycemia could lead to a DUI charge

Imagine driving to the supermarket for your weekly shopping excursion. Everything was fine one minute, and the next, a Peoria police officer is helping you out of your car after you hit a utility pole.

You can barely walk, you are slurring your speech, and you cannot maintain your focus. The officer interprets all these symptoms as those of a drunk driver. You are now facing a driving under the influence (DUI) charge but you have not had a drop of alcohol or taken any other substance that could cause impairment. You were not under the influence of anything, you simply had low blood glucose levels.

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