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Expunging & Sealing Florida Criminal Records

It is difficult to get a job in today’s economy, especially for an individual with a criminal record. For those with a criminal history in Florida[1] there is a process for some individuals to clean their records. For eligible individuals there are 2 potential outcomes for clearing a Florida criminal history. One is for the […]

Interstate Extradition in the United States

Every State of the United States has legal authority regarding people present within its boundaries. A State does not have authority over a person present in another State. For example: If a person is wanted for a crime committed in Illinois is found in Florida, an arrest can only legally be made by Florida law […]

Florida Misdemeanor Law

While less serious than felonies, a Florida misdemeanor arrest and guilty finding leads to criminal records with the FBI and state police. Florida misdemeanors carry a maximum punishment of a fine and up to one year in jail. Crimes for which a person may be punished by more than one year in jail or in […]

Affirmative Defenses to Criminal Charges: Self-Defense, Necessity, Entrapment, Insanity & Intoxication

In some criminal cases the defendant admits committing a criminal act. A legal excuse or justification may exist. This is an affirmative defense. For a person to be guilty of a crime, there are two things that must exist. The person must perform an action that is prohibited by law, and do so with an […]

Driving With a Suspended License in Illinois

The State of Illinois can suspend or revoke a person’s driving privileges for 36 reasons. Over 500,000 people in Illinois are unable to legally drive. Driving[1] with a suspended or revoked license (DWLS) in Illinois[2] is a serious matter. It is a criminal offense. Many people assume getting a ticket for driving while suspended is no different than any […]

Illinois Misdemeanor Law

While the penalties less serious than felonies, a misdemeanor arrest and guilty finding leads to criminal records with the FBI and state police. Illinois misdemeanors carry a maximum punishment of a fine and incarceration of up to 364 days in jail. Crimes for which a person may be punished by more than one year in jail or […]

Plea Bargaining in Criminal Cases

If every criminal case went to trial, the criminal justice system would effectively shut down. The answer developed to address this problem is the plea bargain. A “plea bargain” is an agreement between the prosecutor, the defendant’s attorney and the defendant. In return for the defendant entering a plea of guilty to a criminal charge, […]

The Role of Law Enforcement in Domestic Battery and Domestic Violence

Some states refer to the crime as Domestic Battery, some as Domestic Violence.  The essence is a personal criminal act by one person upon another with whom there is a family or household relationship. A domestic battery is a battery involving family or household members. Family or household members[1] are related by blood or marriage, former […]

The Purpose of Criminal Punishment

People who break the law are punished. Criminal penalties range from a small fine or community service to the death penalty. Why are criminals punished? To justify imposing punishment on one of its members, a society must have a purpose. Most people accept that there are consequences for criminal conduct. The consequences are generally unpleasant […]

Principles of Criminal Liability

A crime has been charged. The defendant pleads not guilty. What must the state prosecutor prove? Why? There are basic principles underlying the prosecution of a crime. A crime is composed of elements. These elements include a mental state, prohibited action and lack of legal justification. Each of these elements must be proven by the […]