Archive for the ‘Illinois Criminal Law’ Category

The Importance of Remaining Silent when Accused of a Crime

When accused of a crime, most people will naturally wish to express their innocence and explain exactly how they have done nothing wrong. It is only human nature to want to defend oneself against accusations. However, doing so can be disastrous from a legal perspective, which is why it is best to remain silent and seek an attorney at once.

As a police officer or other official accuses a person of a crime, that person is generally under a great deal of stress. That stress will often make even the most intelligent and articulate person misspeak, thereby giving incorrect or otherwise harmful answers to the questions. Moreover, police officers are trained to ask questions in a manner that will produce useful evidence for the prosecution. Furthermore, human memory is imperfect, and the police and prosecution will try to use the smallest inconsistencies against the accused.

Looking back at the hundreds of cases in which I have represented clients who spoke to the police before consulting with me, the majority of those clients caused some amount of harm to their case. Often the harm was small, and did not cause any real problems. Other times, the harm was great. For that reason, I always prefer to hear that a client has chosen to remain silent.

The reality is that many people speak to the police before consulting with an attorney. That is simply a fact of life. As such, a large portion of my work in many criminal cases is seeking to undo the harm that a client has caused by speaking to the police. That can be accomplished through a variety of means, with a Motion to Suppress being the most common approach. If the Motion to Suppress is granted by the court, then the statements made by the client can no longer be used against the client. It is not uncommon for a Motion to Suppress being the single most important aspect of a case, which is why it is so important to handle that Motion correctly.

A Self Defense Gun Case from Rock Island County, Illinois

Earlier this year, I had the honor of representing a woman named Judy, who used her gun to defend herself, her sister, and her sister-in-law after they were violently attacked in a parking lot in Rock Island County, Illinois. Much to her surprise, Judy was charged in Case Number 2010CF1076 in Rock Island County, Illinois, after telling the police about the attack she suffered. After a variety of motion hearings, we proceeded to a jury trial on February 7, 2012. The result of that trial was a verdict of Not Guilty, at which point the court ordered that Judy’s gun be returned to her right on the spot. Judy was then able to walk out of the courthouse with her pistol, return home, and accept an even better employment offer that had been on hold as she awaited trial. With Judy’s permission, I am sharing her story here. Read the rest of this entry »

Criminal Sexual Assault in Illinois

In 1961, the State of Illinois revamped it criminal laws, eliminating the crime of “rape.”  In place of “rape,” a variety of new crimes were created, including “criminal sexual assault.”  Under Illinois law (720 ILCS 5/12‑13) the crime of criminal sexual assault is committed when a person does any of the following:

  • commits an act of sexual penetration by the use of force or threat of force;
  • commits an act of sexual penetration and the accused knew that the victim was unable to understand the nature of the act or was unable to give knowing consent
  • commits an act of sexual penetration with a victim who was under 18 years of age when the act was committed and the accused was a family member
  • commits an act of sexual penetration with a victim who was at least 13 years of age but under 18 years of age when the act was committed and the accused was 17 years of age or over and held a position of trust, authority or supervision in relation to the victim.

Criminal sexual assault is a Class 1 Felony, making the penalty range from 4 years to 15 years in an Illinois state prison, and a fine of up to $25,000.00.  Illinois’ Truth in Sentencing law applies to criminal sexual assault, meaning that a person convicted of criminal sexual assault in Illinois must serve at least 85% of their prison sentence.  Criminal sexual assault is also a non-probationable offense in Illinois, which means that a person who is convicted must (generally) go to prison, rather than receive probation.

Those convicted will also be required to register as a sex offender, which imposes serious restrictions upon where they may live and work.

Individuals who have previous conviction(s) of criminal sexual assault or a similar crime from another state and are again convicted can receive a sentence of up to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Anyone who is facing a criminal sexual abuse charge is wise to promptly retain an experienced attorney.  Having the right attorney in this kind of case is vital, given the severe penalties that are imposed upon conviction.  Sexual crimes also carry with them a great deal of social stigma, and the right attorney can often help a person put their life back together after their innocence is demonstrated in court.  This can include bringing a lawsuit against an individual who falsely accused the client of criminal sexual assault.

Battery and Aggravated Battery in Illinois

In Illinois, the crime of battery is defined by Read the rest of this entry »

Identity Theft and Facilitating Identity Theft in Illinois

In the State of Illinois, it is a crime for a person to use another person’s identification to obtain goods, Read the rest of this entry »

Assault and Aggravated Assault Charges in Illinois

In the State of Illinois, the crime of Assault is defined by law (720 ILCS 5/12 et seq.) to be conduct that “without lawful authority . . . places another in reasonable apprehension of receiving a battery Read the rest of this entry »

Marijuana (Cannabis) Possession Charges in Illinois

In Illinois, the legal term for Marijuana is “Cannabis,” rather than “Marijuana,” “weed,” “grass,” “ganja,” etc.  Possession of Cannabis is a serious crime in Illinois, and anyone charged Read the rest of this entry »

Call my law office 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to speak with a live receptionist and schedule your free consultation:

Eric D. Puryear
Attorney at Law (IL & IA)
Puryear Law P.C.
3719 Bridge Ave # 6
Davenport, IA 52807
Illinois Phone: (309)644-4955
Iowa Phone: (563)484-4494
Text Message: (563)484-4494
Fax: (866)415-5032
Email: [email protected]


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Eric D. Puryear, Attorney at Law  Puryear Law P.C. * 3719 Bridge Ave # 6, Davenport, IA 52807
Toll-Free: 888-919-3719 * IL Phone: 309-948-6699 * IA Phone: 563-265-6961 * Fax: 866-415-5032 * [email protected]