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Does Illinois Have Red Flag Laws?

Posted on in Criminal Defense

Cook County criminal defense lawyerYes, Illinois does have red flag laws in place to confiscate arms if necessary. However, Illinois rarely uses the red flag law. In fact, it ranks very low on the list of states in the use of red flag gun laws. So, the chances are rather slim for the state to confiscate your lawfully acquired weapons unless you are facing gun charges in the use of those weapons. As such, it is a smart move to have an experienced gun charges defense attorney on standby to help fight them.

What Are “Red Flag” Gun Laws?

Illinois passed its own red flag law in 2019, allowing family members to petition for the removal of firearms from those who pose a threat to others or themselves. Red flag laws are also known as firearm restraining orders in the state of Illinois and are a tool to be used by the public and prosecutors to help ensure neighborhood safety.

Can The State Confiscate My Weapon If Used in a Crime?

If the state determines that you used a weapon unlawfully, then they do have the right to take away your weapons. As outlined in the Illinois statute, any weapon used or possessed by the convicted offending party will be seized and confiscated by the trial court.


Chicago DUI LawyerDriving under the influence (DUI) is a bad enough legal issue without having to add something as complicated as death. Sadly, tragedies can strike even when accidental or unprovoked. Facing DUI charges that involve the death or deaths of individuals carries serious penalties. A skilled criminal defense attorney experienced in aggravated DUI cases can provide much-needed guidance and defense to your situation.

On The Shoulders of the Prosecution

Illinois statute outlines aggravated DUI as a person is guilty while driving intoxicated and involves great bodily harm or death to another person or people. Great bodily harm and death are two separate cases that require the prosecutor to prove the driver was directly the cause of the harm or death inflicted on the other person or persons. A conviction by the prosecution will carry steep penalties for the defendant who will see mandatory prison time on top of penalties reserved for DUI.

What Are The Penalties for an Aggravated DUI Conviction?

By default, an aggravated DUI is a class 4 felony. A conviction of aggravated DUI that resulted in great bodily harm or permanent disability to another or others will see you facing a minimum of 12 years in prison alongside DUI charges based on the number of prior DUI offenses.


IL defense lawyerHomicide is the killing of one human being by another. It is a serious crime in Chicago, and anyone who is accused of it can face life in prison. However, it is important to remember that the victim of an attempted homicide can also be charged with a crime. This is because the initial criminal charges do not always distinguish between who is the aggressor and who was simply using violence to protect themselves in a situation involving violent crime.

Speaking with a criminal defense attorney can help when facing homicide charges. You do not have to face them alone. An attorney can help you understand the charges, and your rights, and develop a defense strategy to fight them.

What is Considered Homicide?

In Illinois, there are two degrees of homicide charges: first-degree murder and second-degree murder.


Cook County, IL traffic violation lawyerAs drivers, we navigate the bustling streets of Chicago daily, commuting to work, running errands, and exploring the vibrant city. However, with the privilege of driving comes the responsibility to follow traffic laws and regulations. Traffic violations can happen to anyone, and understanding the rules of the road is essential for every motorist in the Windy City.

Obey the Limits, Avoid the Risks

The speed limits in Chicago are carefully determined based on road conditions, traffic flow, and safety considerations. Exceeding the speed limit not only increases the risk of an accident but also carries the possibility of heavy fines and a license suspension. To guarantee the safety of all road users, it is critical to drive at a safe and acceptable speed while adhering to posted speed restrictions.



Chicago, IL criminal defense lawyerWhen it comes to criminal charges, being aware of the distinctions between different offenses is crucial for building a strong defense. In the city of Chicago, Illinois, two commonly misunderstood charges are burglary and robbery. Whether you find yourself facing burglary or robbery charges, understanding the nuances of these offenses is essential to protecting your rights and navigating the legal system effectively.

Understanding Burglary Charges in Chicago

Burglary is a serious offense in which an individual unlawfully enters a building or structure with the intent to commit a felony or theft inside. It is important to note that the mere act of entering a property without permission does not automatically make it a burglary. The intent to commit a crime upon entry is a crucial element that must be proven by the prosecution. In Chicago, burglary charges can be classified into different degrees based on various factors such as the presence of weapons, damage caused, or whether the structure was occupied at the time of the offense. Penalties for burglary convictions can range from probation to significant prison time, depending on the circumstances and the defendant's prior criminal record.

Deciphering Robbery Charges in Chicago

Robbery, on the other hand, is characterized by the use of force, intimidation, or threat during the act of taking another person's property. Unlike burglary, robbery involves a direct confrontation with the victim. In Chicago, robbery is considered a felony offense and is further classified into different categories based on aggravating factors, such as the presence of a weapon, injuries caused to the victim, or the victim's age or disability. Robbery convictions can result in severe consequences, including imprisonment, fines, restitution, and a tarnished criminal record.


IL defense lawyerThe security of our homes and personal spaces is very important and yet, sometimes it can be taken for granted. Unfortunately, instances of home invasion can shatter that sense of safety and leave lasting emotional and physical scars. In Illinois, the law takes home invasion seriously and provides stringent measures to protect individuals and their properties.

What is a Home Invasion?

Home invasion refers to the unlawful entry into a dwelling with the intent to commit a felony or inflict harm on the occupants. It is important to note that mere unauthorized entry without criminal intent does not constitute home invasion. Illinois law recognizes the severity of this crime and has established specific statutes to address it comprehensively.

What are the Elements of a Home Invasion?

To secure a conviction for home invasion, the prosecution must prove several essential elements beyond a reasonable doubt. These elements typically include:


Cook County criminal defense lawyerIf you have been charged with driving on a suspended or revoked license in Chicago, Illinois, you may be wondering what your options are and what consequences you could face. At the Luisi Legal Group, we understand how stressful and overwhelming this situation can be, and we are here to help you navigate your legal options. 

What Circumstances Can Result in a Suspended or Revoked License?

There are several reasons why your driver's license may be suspended or revoked in Illinois. Some of the most common reasons include:

  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Accumulating too many points on your driving record
  • Failing to pay fines or appear in court
  • Being convicted of certain crimes, such as reckless driving or leaving the scene of an accident

It is important to note that driving on a suspended or revoked license is a serious offense, and you could face additional penalties if you are caught.


Cook County Criminal LawyerMost people are aware that if you are charged with retail theft or shoplifting in Illinois, you may face harsh criminal consequences that could seriously affect your future. These effects frequently include being able to find work, qualify for housing, and receive loan approval, among other things. With all mentioned above, it is important to speak with an experienced criminal defense lawyer. 

What Are the Penalties for Retail Theft?

The severity of the punishment for retail theft typically depends on the value of the goods that were either stolen or attempted to be stolen. You will likely be charged with a Class A Misdemeanor, which has a maximum punishment of one year in jail and a fine up to $2,500, if the value of the item was $300 or less. If the value of the item exceeded $300, you may be charged with a Class 4 felony, which carries a potential jail term of one to three years.

What Are Your Options?

Individuals who have been charged with retail theft may have a number of ways to handle their case. The choices that are available, if any, rely heavily on the unique facts and circumstances of each case. For a first-time offender in particular, the following are some possible lines of action:


cook county drug crime defense lawyerIf you or someone you know has been arrested for a drug paraphernalia charge in Illinois, it can be a scary and overwhelming experience. However, it is important to stay calm and take the necessary steps to protect your rights.

Contact a Criminal Defense Lawyer Immediately

The first and most important step is to contact a criminal defense lawyer immediately. A skilled lawyer can guide you through the legal process, explain your rights, and defend your case in court. It's important to find a lawyer who is familiar with Illinois drug laws and has experience handling drug paraphernalia cases. A lawyer can provide you with the legal representation and advice you need to navigate the legal system.

Be Aware of Penalties for Drug Paraphernalia Charges in Illinois

The penalties for drug paraphernalia charges in Illinois can be severe, including fines, community service, probation, or even jail time if there are additional charges. If you are convicted of a drug paraphernalia charge, it could also affect your employment opportunities, housing options, and future criminal record. Therefore, it is important to take your case seriously and work closely with your lawyer. Your lawyer may be able to negotiate a plea bargain, reduce your charges, or even have your case dismissed. However, it is important to remember that every case is different, and there is no guarantee of a specific outcome.


chicago DUI defense lawyerWhen a driver in Illinois refuses to submit to or fails a chemical test for an alleged driving under the influence (DUI) offense, it can result in a statutory summary suspension of driving privileges. State law provides that a person fails a chemical test when they have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or more, a THC level above the legal limit, or other illicit substances in their system.

Statutory summary suspensions are automatic and become effective 46 days after the date of a suspension notice. People can request judicial hearings to challenge arrests, but the requests may not stop suspensions from taking effect. 

DUI Testing Penalties in Illinois

The statutory summary suspension is an administrative process.  A DUI criminal charge is separate from the statutory summary suspension penalties and will be prosecuted and adjudicated in the courts. 


cook county domestic violence defense lawyerThe Illinois Domestic Violence Act of 1986 is established under 750 Illinois Compiled Statute (ILCS) § 60. Domestic battery is one of the most common kinds of domestic violence offenses committed in the state. Domestic violence charges are only applicable when allged crimes are commited against certain types of people.

Under 750 ILCS § 60/103(6), domestic violence offenses involve harm against spouses, former spouses, parents, children, stepchildren and other people who are related by blood or by present or prior marriage, people sharing or formerly sharing a common dwelling, people with a child in common, and people with dating or engagement relationships. Domestic violence can include physical abuse, harassment, intimidation, or interference with personal liberty.

Domestic Battery Penalties in Illinois

When law enforcement responds to a possible domestic violence incident, chances are very high that at least one person is going to be placed under arrest. People can face domestic violence charges even when police officers do not obtain any evidence of violence.


chicago dui defense lawyerMost people in Illinois are aware that the state imposes criminal penalties for drinking and driving, but fewer realize that criminal penalties for driving under the influence (DUI) crimes increase with repeat offenses. If you were arrested for a second or third DUI offense, you may be facing severe criminal penalties. It is important to work with a DUI defense lawyer who can help you defend yourself against the charges. 

Repeat DUI Penalties in Illinois

There are administrative penalties for failing a chemical blood alcohol content that are separate from any criminal penalties resulting from a DUI conviction. Many DUI traffic stops begin with police officers requesting that the alleged offender submit to breath alcohol testing. Failing a breath test leads to driving privileges being suspended for six months. Failing a chemical test a second or subsequent time will be punishable by driver’s license suspension of one year. If a person refuses to submit to chemical testing, then their driving privileges are suspended for one year for a first offense and three years for a second or subsequent offense.

Multiple factors can impact a person’s sentencing for a DUI crime in Illinois. In addition to the number of time a person committed the offense and their blood or breath alcohol content (BAC), their own age and the age of their passengers can also be important. For most first DUI offenses, a person will be charged with a Class A misdemeanor that is punishable by up to 364 days in jail, a fine of up to $2,5000, and one year revocation of driving privileges.


chicago drug crime defense lawyerIllinois legalized marijuana in 2020, and adults over 21 years of age are able to legally possess, consume, and purchase cannabis in the state. However, it must be consumed on private property or properties with on-premises consumption licenses.  Public consumption is still illegal in Chicago. It is also illegal for people to consume cannabis in any vehicle or operate a motor vehicle under the influence of cannabis. Cannabis may be transported in a vehicle but it cannot be accessible by any occupant of the vehicle during transportation and must be in a child-resistant container. Cannabis purchased in Illinois cannot be transported to another state.

Marijuana can be purchased at licensed dispensaries, but the possession limitations include 30 grams for Illinois residents and 15 grams for non-residents. The limitations for cannabis-infused products are 500 milligrams of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) for Illinois residents and 250 milligrams of THC for non-residents.

If you were charged with a criminal offense related to marijuana, contact a drug crime criminal defense lawyer for help. 


Cook County DUI attorneyRoadside sobriety testing can be embarrassing, frightening, and sometimes confusing. Officers do not always use the most reliable or reasonable methods for attempting to make a snap judgment about a person’s level of intoxication. More than that, roadside sobriety testing can sometimes be greatly unfair, occasionally to the point where the results genuinely reveal little or nothing about whether a person is intoxicated. Police officers are often more interested in making a DUI arrest than in ensuring fair and reasonable field sobriety tests, on which they frequently base their decisions to make an arrest. Many factors, from weather-related challenges to improper footwear or poorly articulated instructions, can create unfairness, and even affect the validity of a roadside sobriety test. If you suspect that you were set up to fail a roadside sobriety test, it is important to raise this point with your criminal defense attorney. 

Unfair Challenges During Roadside Sobriety Tests 

If you have ever seen roadside sobriety testing demonstrated, it was likely in a well-lit area on a mostly flat surface. Under conditions like these, field sobriety tests can offer relatively strong evidence of a person’s intoxication or sobriety. However, your field sobriety tests may not offer much information about your state at the time of arrest if you were faced with unfair challenges such as:  

  • High winds - High winds can throw off a person’s sense of balance, particularly when they are attempting to stand on one leg or walk in a perfectly straight line. Officers may claim that a person was swaying from side to side when in reality, they were struggling against high winds.


When to Consider a Plea Bargain

Posted on in Criminal Defense

Chicago criminal defense lawyerEveryone wants their case to be dismissed, or at least to be acquitted at trial. In many cases, getting off the hook completely is entirely possible. If the evidence is not so strong, or the police have violated your rights in a serious way, then hoping for dismissal or acquittal is not unreasonable at all. However, courts do not just dismiss cases once criminal charges have been filed without a very good reason. In some cases, taking a plea bargain may be the best strategy for minimizing the impact the charges could have on your life. Before you consider changing your plea or taking any other offer made by the prosecution, it is crucial to discuss your options with an experienced attorney. 

Situations in Which Taking a Plea Bargain May Make Sense

One of the big risks of going to trial is that if you are convicted at trial instead of pleading guilty to a lesser offense, you may face harsher sentencing for a more serious crime. Some factors that may push you and your lawyer toward accepting a plea bargain include: 

  • Avoiding a felony - Being a felon can mess up the rest of your life in a way that having a misdemeanor would not. If your original charge is a felony offense, and you are offered a plea bargain that would reduce it to a misdemeanor only, it may be better to play it safe. 


IL defense lawyerViolence is all too common in Chicago. The city is known for having constant struggles with violent crime, often including a disproportionate amount of homicides and shootings. Attempts to crack down on violent offenses are underway - and you do not want to get caught in a wave of prosecutions against those accused of committing them. If you have been charged with an assaultive offense, it is important that you understand what your particular charge actually means. You may find that your charges seem incredibly aggressive or are far too severe in regards to what actually happened. In many cases, an attorney can have very serious felony charges reduced to something much less serious during the process of plea bargaining. But first, you need to know exactly what it is you are accused of doing.

What are Battery and Aggravated Battery?

Battery or aggravated battery - The basic definition of battery in Illinois is making unjustified physical contact with a person that either causes them bodily harm or is insulting and likely to provoke them. In its misdemeanor form, battery could include actions like slapping or pushing someone.

Aggravated battery is much more serious. It is a felony. This offense is charged when a battery is committed and an aggravating circumstance exists, such as:


IL defense lawyerGetting charged with a DUI can be frightening. If you find out that you have been charged with a felony DUI, the situation is even direr. Felony charges can carry more than a year of prison time should you get convicted. While most DUIs are charged as a misdemeanor, even a first DUI can lead to felony charges in the wrong circumstances. Or, repeated DUIs can be charged as a felony. In some cases, it is possible for an attorney to help have your charges reduced back to a misdemeanor or dismissed. A lot will depend on the specific facts of your case, such as whether you injured someone and whether the police officers did everything correctly. The first thing you need to do is reach out to a qualified criminal defense attorney.

What Is Misdemeanor DUI?

A simple first or even second DUI is generally going to be charged as a misdemeanor. If you were simply pulled over with a BAC that was a bit too high, you are more likely than not looking at a misdemeanor, which carries less than a year of jail time. If this is your first offense, then a good attorney can typically make a strong case that jail time is not appropriate. Your attorney is very likely to suggest that you take the initiative of getting treatment for alcohol abuse.

Why Would a DUI be Charged as a Felony?

If you are being charged with a felony DUI, it is probably for one of these reasons:


IL defense lawyerBeing charged with a crime you did not commit can be a nightmare. One of the most common offenses that innocent people are charged with is domestic violence. It is shockingly easy to be arrested for domestic violence based on a false accusation, often by an angry romantic partner. There are a number of reasons that people make these false accusations. It is extremely easy for a simple fight between a couple to spiral out of control. Perhaps a neighbor called the police because they heard yelling and the police arrested you for lack of a better solution. Or maybe your romantic partner intentionally filed a false police report out of spite. However it happened, it is extremely important that you focus on building a strong defense. A domestic violence conviction is heavily stigmatized and can impact the rest of your life.

Steps Innocent People Can Take After a Domestic Violence Arrest

How you handle the accusation will make all the difference. Steps you should take include:

  • Get a lawyer - The most important thing you can do to help yourself is to find a good lawyer. A domestic violence charge is far too serious to handle on your own.
  • Obey the protection order - If you were arrested for domestic violence, you were most likely served with a protection order that prevents you from contacting the alleged “victim” or going to their home. If you lived with the liar, this means you cannot return home. As difficult as it may be, it is extremely important that you strictly obey the terms of the restraining order. A violation can get you arrested again, and that charge might stick even if the original domestic violence charge goes away.
  • Do not post about it - As tempting as it may be to lambast the person who made the false accusation on social media, or to vent about the situation to your followers, do not do this. It is best to avoid mentioning the charge or the alleged “victim” on social media entirely.
  • Show up for court - As frightening and uncomfortable as it may be to appear before a judge for something you did not do, you absolutely must show up for court dates. If at all possible, try to find an attorney before your first court date.
  • Prepare for trial - Domestic violence charges are very rarely just dropped. You may need to go to trial to fight the charge.

While being charged with a crime you did not commit is incredibly scary, dismissal or acquittal is possible. However, you must handle your case correctly.


IL defense lawyerDrivers of commercial vehicles, including long-haul trucks, delivery vehicles, and other vehicles driven for work-related purposes, put significant time and effort into obtaining a commercial driver’s license (CDL). Since this type of license is a requirement for certain occupations, the loss of a CDL may affect a person’s ability to continue earning an income, and it could cause significant financial difficulties for them and their families. Because of this, drivers will need to be aware of CDL violations that could affect them, and they will want to respond promptly to traffic tickets or other issues that could affect their careers.

CDL Disqualifications for Traffic Offenses

Certain types of offenses are considered to be “major violations” that will result in the automatic disqualification of a CDL. DUI is one of the most common of these offenses. When driving a commercial vehicle, a person will be considered to be intoxicated if they have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .04 percent or higher or if they are under the influence of controlled substances. However, a commercial driver may also lose their CDL if they are convicted of drunk or intoxicated driving in a non-commercial vehicle.

Other offenses that are considered major violations include leaving the scene of an accident while driving a commercial or non-commercial vehicle, committing a felony while operating a vehicle, or committing vehicular homicide while driving a commercial vehicle. In most cases, a person’s first major violation will result in the disqualification of their CDL for one year, and a second major violation will result in a lifetime disqualification. However, if a person uses a vehicle to commit felony drug crimes related to manufacturing or distributing controlled substances, they will face a lifetime disqualification for a first offense.


Chicago criminal lawyerOriginally published: December 26, 2016 - Updated April 20, 2022

Update: At our law firm, we have consistently kept up with all of the changes to the laws regarding marijuana use in the state of Illinois. A few years ago, we put together the post shown below as a consideration in the decriminalization of cannabis that was going on at the time. We highlighted some expert opinions that expressed concern over the use of drug-sniffing dogs in the state as the criminal penalties for low-level marijuana possession were being lifted.

Today, these concerns have grown even further as the state of Illinois has fully legalized the recreational use of cannabis for adults in the state. As of January 1, 2020, an adult over the age of 21 is permitted to possess and consume cannabis for recreational purposes and to purchase cannabis from state-licensed dispensaries.

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