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May 2017 Archives

The weight of eyewitness testimony in a criminal trial

Eyewitness testimony is a critical part of many criminal trials in Illinois and across the country. People who were present at the scene of the crime often tell their accounts of what happened when the crime occurred. The judges and juries listening to these eyewitness accounts place heavy weight on the details of their stories. In fact, testimonies may sway the jury to declare the defendant guilty or not guilty, simply based on the account of one or more people. What many people don't realize, however, is that many of these accounts are not accurate and are often unreliable when it comes to giving solid facts regarding the crime. Eyewitness misidentification, environmental influences and limitations of the human memory can all cause errors and potentially send an innocent person to prison.

Ignition interlock devices: How do they work?

If you have been pulled over by a law enforcement officer on suspicion of drinking and driving, you may be charged with a DUI. If convicted, you may be faced with a range of penalties, including fines, loss of driver's license and mandatory use of an ignition interlock device. Illinois law requires even first-time DUI offenders to have an ignition interlock device installed on their vehicles. According to the Office of the Illinois Secretary of State, approximately 12,000 drivers are using IIDs at any given time in Illinois. These devices are designed to keep people from committing another drunk driving offense while allowing them to get to where they need to go.

Can a police officer search my car?

If you have ever had a law enforcement officer in Illinois ask to search your vehicle, you may have been confused about what your rights were. Any request, whether made casually by an officer asking to "take a quick look in your car" or forcefully with your removal from the vehicle, must be backed by certain guidelines in order to be considered a legal move. Here is everything you need to know about car searches.

How common are weapons crimes in Chicago?

While the state has developed programs and enforced laws in an attempt to reduce violence, Illinois, and specifically the city of Chicago, is still experiencing a large number of weapons crimes. The University of Chicago Crime Lab created a study to determine just how common these incidents are.

Misdemeanors, felonies and petty offenses explained

If you have been charged with a criminal offense in Illinois, you may be confused by the many terms used in court documents. We at Jim Ryan and Associates not only fight for your rights, but also work to make sure you understand exactly what these complicated terms mean.

Could auto-brewery syndrome be responsible for your DUI?

If you have been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol in Chicago but do not believe you were drunk, you may be surprised to learn that a condition may be responsible for your ticket. Experts are finding that there are some people who produce alcohol in their gut and can become drunk without ever touching a drop of alcohol.

How can I expunge a battery charge?

A criminal record can have a major effect on several aspects of your life for years to come, including the jobs you can apply for. For this reason, many citizens in Illinois seek to have their records expunged and the charges erased. The first step in knowing if this is a possibility for you is knowing who qualifies for this action.

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The Naperville, Illinois, law firm of Jim Ryan & Associates is available to serve people throughout the Chicago metropolitan area with a focus in DuPage County, the western suburbs and Naperville, in communities such Downers Grove, Wheaton, Carol Stream, Bloomingdale, Addison, Itasca, Warrenville, Woodridge, Oswego, Yorkville, Roselle, Aurora and Elmhurst. We also represent students and parents of students who attend any of the area schools and universities, including Naperville North High School, Naperville Central High School, Neuqua Valley High School, Waubonsie Valley and North Central College.

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