bail, money, Illinois Criminal Defense AttorneyYou probably have heard the terms “bail” and “bond” used interchangeably related to the arrest of an individual. It may have been a friend, family member, or even a celebrity, but it is not uncommon to hear or read that a person has been “bailed out of jail” or has “posted bond.” Although the terms are related, they do not mean exactly the same thing and understanding the difference may be helpful if you are ever confronted with such situation.

What is Bail?

If you have been arrested on criminal charges, you are entitled by law and the Constitution to a trial. Due to scheduling and backlogs, however, there may be a significant amount of time between the arrest and your required appearance in court. To ensure that you appear when scheduled, the court has three basic options:

  • Release you on your own recognizance: It has been determined that you can be trusted to appear when ordered without additional action;
  • Hold you without bail: Allegations of certain crimes are deemed serious enough that bail is denied, or, in capital cases, you have been deemed a danger to the community; or
  • Set bail for your conditional release: You are required to give the court financial or property security that you will appear as ordered.

Bail is a form of collateral that you must give the court as a means of guaranteeing your appearance at trial. It may be paid in the form of cash or property, which is forfeited to the court in the event you fail to appear. When you do appear, previously paid bail will be returned to you minus administrative fees.

Bail Bonds

The amount of required bail set by the judge may be far more than you can afford to pay in cash or liquid assets. In such a situation, you may consider a bail bond. A bail bond is an arrangement in which security is established with a 10 percent initial payment and a guarantee to pay the full bail amount with interest should you fail to appear. Other states allow commercial entities, or “bail bondsmen,” to sell and enforce bail bonds, but it is extremely important to recognize that Illinois does not permit the commercial sale of bail bonds.

Bail bond arrangements are permitted, and may be established with a 10 percent deposit, but the entire bond process is handled by the court. As opposed to posting the full amount of bail, your bond with the state allows you to create an agreement with the court that, should you fail to a appear, a judgment or order will be entered against you for the full amount of bail.

If you have been arrested and charged with a crime, understanding the bail process is only the beginning. Fortunately, an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney is equipped to help you throughout every step of your case. Contact our office today to schedule a free consultation.

Posted in Bail, Criminal Defense, Illinois Criminal Defense Attorney | Tagged , , , , , ,

laws, divorce law, Illinois Family Law AttorneyWhile it may be easy for most people to believe that have a fairly good grasp on the laws of the state in which they reside, many are often surprised by the sheer volume of enacted legislation that governs their lives. In Illinois, there are countless pages of statutes which provide guidance regarding criminal matters, operation of a motor vehicle, and civil procedures, including divorce and related concerns.

The bulk of Illinois law dealing with divorce can be found in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, or IMDA, which constitutes its own section (750 ILCS 5) of the state’s statutory code. Many of the provisions in the IMDMA are rather straightforward, but others may seem a little curious.

For example, you may not know that, under Illinois law:

  1. Residency restrictions apply to filing for divorce: At least one spouse must have been a resident of Illinois, or stationed in Illinois as a member of the armed forces, for at least 90 days prior to petitioning for divorce;
  2. The venue of divorce proceedings does not impact the validity of the outcome: The law provides that proceedings shall be held in either party’s county of residence but may occur anywhere in the state. Either party may object to the location of the proceedings, but only at the very beginning of the process, as venue is not jurisdictional in Illinois;
  3. No-fault divorce requires a separation period: The prescribed period of separation for a divorce on the grounds of irreconcilable differences is supposed to be no less than two years. By agreement of the parties, however, the separation period may be reduced, but to no less than six months;
  4. Infidelity is grounds for divorce, but often affects little else: Grounds for divorce in Illinois include bigamy, abandonment, and adultery among others. The law explicitly states, however, that marital misconduct (which includes cheating) cannot be considered when dividing marital assets or determining spousal support; and
  5. Spouses should not expect a 50/50 split of marital property: Illinois is an equitable distribution state which means that marital property, assets, and debts are to be allocated in accordance with what is just and fair, based on the consideration of a number of factors. Equitable does not necessarily mean equal, and, in many cases, they are vastly different concepts.

If you are considering divorce, Illinois law regarding the process has likely taken on a new importance to you. For help in understanding the law and how it may apply to your situation, contact an experienced Arlington Heights divorce attorney today. Our knowledgeable team will work with you in developing an approach to divorce that will allow you and your family to achieve the best possible outcome.

Posted in Division of Property, Divorce, Illinois Family Law Attorney, Illinois law | Tagged , , , , , , ,

running from police, Supreme Court, Illinois Criminal Defense AttorneyWhile the death of a young Baltimore man in police custody a few weeks ago caused extreme levels of civil unrest around the city, one of the frequently overlooked aspects of the case was that the man’s initial arrest was preceded by his running from an interaction with the police. Obviously, the police department’s handling of the man’s arrest and his subsequent death are more significant concerns, and the officers involved have been indicted. However, the circumstances leading up to his arrest pose the question: Is running from the police prior to being stopped against the law?

An individual cannot be arrested on the grounds of running from the police. The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects citizens from unlawful search and seizure of property, and allows a person to go about his business or remain silent during an investigatory police stop. While running from police is not against the law, however, there are situations in which running may lead to additional problems for a person who makes that choice.

Police officers are legally permitted to conduct an investigative stop, sometimes called a Terry stop, in reference to a U.S. Supreme Court case entitled Terry v. Ohio, if there is reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. Reasonable suspicion for the stop does not rise to the level, necessarily, of probable cause that is needed for arrest, but the stop may allow law enforcement to move from reasonable suspicion to probable cause as a result of what the officer finds.

Courts have been very mixed on whether running from police creates an acceptable level of reasonable suspicion to justify a stop of the individual. As stated above, running is not a crime, but it may give the impression that criminal activity exists. However, the United States Supreme Court decided, in a case involving the arrest of a Chicago man, that all factors, including an individual’s decision to run and the atmosphere of criminal activity in the vicinity, may be included in an officer’s determination of reasonable suspicion.

Thus, a person who runs from police in a high-crime area may produce the reasonable suspicion that he or she was involved in criminal activity. He or she is often able to be stopped, and the results of the stop may lead to his or her arrest. There are many concerns that a double-standard exists in this regard, and that allowing stops on the basis of running from the police in higher-crime areas unfairly targets minority groups.

If you have been arrested following an incident of running from police, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in Rolling Meadows. We will review your case thoroughly and help you understand your options in protecting your rights. Call today to schedule your free consultation.

Posted in Fourth Amendment Rights, Illinois Criminal Defense Attorney, U.S. Supreme Court | Tagged , , , , , ,