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St. Charles Illinois Legal Blog

Criminal defense for man accused of felony robbery

The moments during which a crime takes place can be terrifying, especially if weapons are involved. Even if the person committing the offense is standing directly in front of a witness, the witness may be looking at the weapon and not be able to give police a clear description of the suspect. Illinois police investigations based on eyewitness accounts or even surveillance video may be flawed, and those facing charges would do well to build a strong criminal defense.

One man is in jail on a $100,000 bond after his arrest in connection with two separate robberies. The latest incident occurred at a gas station just before 4 a.m. The clerk at the store reported that a man had tried to buy a pack of cigarettes when his credit card was declined. Witnesses say the man reacted with threats before pulling a gun from his waistband and demanding the cigarettes. The clerk complied, and the man ran out of the store with the cigarettes.

Family law issues include avoiding tax burdens after divorce

If divorce is looming, an Illinois spouse likely has many concerns about how to manage financially. Like any financial issue, it helps to do some careful planning to reduce the chances of struggling in the future. Family law analysts say that those who are divorcing typically have three areas to focus on when it comes to their finances: tax ramifications, asset division and income reduction.

The new tax law eliminates the deduction for those who pay alimony. Those who finalize their divorces before the end of the year and are ordered to pay alimony will still benefit from the tax deduction, so it may be advantageous to settle quickly if alimony is on the table. However, while taxes can have a major effect on one's future, it is never good to rush a divorce settlement without proper consideration of all the ramifications.

Selling real estate requires patience and preparation

When it is time to put the house on the market, most buyers have common goals. They want to sell the house as quickly as possible, and they want to get the best possible price. However, real estate is not an exact science, and it is not always easy to predict whether a home will get snatched up or languish for months without a bite. Illinois home sellers may benefit from some tips to attract buyers and close the deal.

Preparing the house itself is critical for getting buyers in the door and obtaining a fair price. Sellers who overlook factors like curb appeal may be disappointed in the low number of people interested in looking further at the property. It is important not to rush to get one's home on the market, but to take the time to prepare the house for sale, decluttering its rooms and making essential repairs and upgrades that add value.

Immigration and the benefits of a green card

Many who come to Illinois from other countries have faced a number of challenges. The process of gaining entry to the United States through the immigration system is tedious and can be difficult. Some wait for years for permission to enter lawfully, but when they finally receive their green card, they may be unsure of the rights and responsibilities their lawful residency allows them.

Perhaps the most important thing about receiving a green card is that permanent residents have access to schools, health care, jobs and housing free from discrimination. Green card holders may also own property and apply for a driver's license. If a permanent resident is otherwise eligible, he or she may apply for federal benefits, such as Medicare or Social Security.

An ignition interlock device may keep you driving after a DUI

As a resident of Illinois, if you have been convicted of a DUI, then you are aware of the strict penalties you can face. You may have to endure losing your license, paying steep fines and maybe even face jail time. In addition, if you were recently convicted of a DUI, you may find that you are required to have an ignition interlock device in your vehicle to keep you from driving while under the influence.

The device works by having the driver blow into a mouthpiece to determine if they are suitable for driving. If the device detects a higher-level concentration of alcohol in your system than what is allowed, it will prevent you from starting the car.

Are work barriers for those with criminal backgrounds loosening?

Being convicted of a crime can have many long-term implications. For one, it could cause a person to encounter employment barriers. A recent article suggests though that Illinois is seeing a lowering of some of these barriers.

What you should know about an order of protection

There's two sides to every story. However, having an order of protection filed against you can feel very much one-sided. You might have a lot of questions about what will happen next, or how you should react. It's important to remain calm and do some research on what an order of protection really means. 

What does equitable distribution mean in a divorce?

What do a couch and a car have in common during a divorce? Both items are property, and only one spouse will walk away with it. While a piece of furniture doesn't seem like much to fight about, couples struggle with resolving property issues. A main reason why is because of equitable distribution. 

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