An Illinois and Wisconsin Criminal Defense Attorney answers: What are the consequences and options if my son or daughter lives in Illinois but got a ticket or citation for underage alcohol possession or consumption in Twin Lakes, Wisconsin from the Kenosha County Sheriff at the Country Thunder Concert or in the Country Thunder Campground camping area?

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OVERVIEW OF COUNTRY THUNDER FESTIVAL AND COMMON CITATIONS AND OFFENSES

Once a year the Country Thunder music festival takes place in Kenosha County Wisconsin, specifically in the Village of Twin Lakes. This years festival is scheduled to take place July 21-24, 2016. If past history is any indication of the future this festival will likely result in a massive number of citations and arrests in Wisconsin for Illinois residents and Wisconsin residents alike. The most common citations are for underage consumption or possession of alcohol and usually occur within the festival camping and campground areas. The Kenosha County Sheriffs are dispatched to these campgrounds often on ATV or other smaller vehicles or may also be on foot patrol. In the past I have represented young people charged with citations and violations for obstructing justice, underage consumption of alcohol, underage possession of alcohol, possession of cannabis, disorderly conduct, criminal trespass and other violations related to Country Thunder and the surrounding festival camping areas.

 

POTENTIAL CONSEQUENCES FOR UNDERAGE CONSUMPTION OR POSSESSION OF ALCOHOL CITATIONS FOR ILLINOIS RESIDENTS

The immediate potential consequence to an Illinois resident for an underage possession or consumption of alcohol violation is suspension of Illinois driving privileges. The Illinois Secretary of State provides in relevant part:

  • Driver’s License Suspension for Alcohol Consumption — A person under the age of 21 who is found guilty or granted court supervision for a violation of state law or local ordinance relating to illegal consumption, possession, purchase or receipt of alcohol, regardless of whether a vehicle was involved will face a loss of driving privileges, in addition to any fine imposed. Court supervision for any of these offenses will result in a 3 month suspension of driving privileges; a first conviction results in a 6 month suspension of driving privileges; a second conviction results in a 12 month suspension of driving privileges and a third or subsequent conviction will result in a revocation of driving privileges.

It should be noted that the State of Wisconsin does not recognize the Illinois concept of Court Supervision so if an Illinois resident pays or ignores a citation for underage possession or consumption of alcohol they will suffer a conviction that could result in a suspension of driving privileges as outlined above. An additional repercussion of a conviction for underage possession or consumption of alcohol is the record of that offense as a forfeiture, criminal charge or ordinance violation. Often these tickets are not criminal in nature, but may still affect college applications or future job prospects for a young person.

 

WHAT ARE THE OPTIONS FOR AN ILLINOIS RESIDENT TO AVOID THE POTENTIAL NEGATIVE CONSEQUENCES OF A CONVICTION FOR UNDERAGE POSSESSION OR CONSUMPTION OF ALCOHOL?

The best option is to avoid any conviction for the offense at all. Theses offenses are often handled very differently between State and Municipal Prosecutors. Attorney Richard Albanese has assisted many young clients is securing deferred prosecution agreements that result in amended lesser charges or even dismissal depending on the jurisdiction that issued the citation. Often the Illinois resident charged with Underage Consumption or Possession of Alcohol does not even need to appear in court and can often meet certain conditions to resolve the matter during college breaks if attending school out of State with my representation in the matter. If you live in Illinois or Wisconsin and got a Wisconsin ticket for underage drinking or possession or any other violation please contact the Richard Albanese Law Office immediately as some of these violations have court dates for as early as a week or a few weeks after the event. Do not pay fines that will result in a permanent conviction on your record as there are other options available to you. Even if you or your son or daughter who received and underage possession or consumption of alcohol citation mistakenly paid the ticket prior to the initial court date it still may not be too late to reopen the case. Contact the Richard Albanese Law Office immediately for a free consultation at 312-882-1973 or by email atRichardAlbaneseLawOffice@gmail.com or on the web at http://www.criminalandtrafficdefenseattorney.com.

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I’m an Illinois driver with a Speeding Ticket in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. How can a Criminal and Traffic Defense Attorney licensed in Illinois and Wisconsin help me?

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Milwaukee is a great midwest city. It is the home to professional sports teams such as the Bucks and Brewers as well as Marquette University and many excellent theaters and restaurants. The famous Summerfest music festival is well known across the country and Illinois residents and others flock to Milwaukee or find themselves passing through the town en route to other final destinations. It is unfortunate that many drivers in Illinois are cited for speeding through Milwaukee including CDL drivers. Often Illinois and other out of state drivers choose the path of least resistance and impulsively pay the speeding ticket they received in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I have received many calls from Illinois drivers that were even told by Wisconsin police to just pay a ticket as if it would have no effect on an out of state license. Although this may be the best advice for Wisconsin drivers it certainly is not the best choice for Illinois Licensed Drivers. The costs of an out of state conviction can multiply fast down the road. The consequences include potential suspension of driving privileges in Illinois, increased insurance premiums and further expenses involving the reinstatement of an Illinois driver’s license. Often times people have received bad advice from friends, family colleagues at work or simply don’t know the law in Illinois regarding out of state convictions. Let’s explore the issues and consequences further.

 ILLINOIS LICENSE SUSPENSION FOR THREE CONVICTIONS 

In Illinois, if a driver receives three convictions for any moving violations in a twelve month period, their license will be suspended in Illinois. Illinois law provides that a driver is eligible for court supervision twice within a twelve month period as well. Court supervision does not count as a conviction and will not cause a suspension of driving privileges. In essence you can get two supervisions and still have convictions to spare if the tickets are far enough apart and the prosecutors and judges are willing to grant the two supervisions without imposing a conviction. The imposition of court supervision also serves to reduce the risk of increased insurance premiums as these citations are not generally reported to insurance companies. Illinois traffic laws allow for momentary lapses in judgment with regard to speeding but for Illinois drivers who get ticketed in Milwaukee, Wisconsin or other nearby towns, the law may not be so forgiving.

COURT SUPERVISION NOT RECOGNIZED IN WISCONSIN LAW

Unlike the Illinois system, Wisconsin law does not recognize the concept of court supervision and thus EVERY disposition of a speeding ticket is a conviction when a guilty or no contest plea is entered. The imposition of a conviction against someones driving record most commonly occurs when an Illinois driver gets a speeding ticket in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and then just sends in payment. Once the ticket is paid the conviction is entered and then reported to Illinois where it becomes part of the driver’s record with the Secretary of State, unlike a Supervision disposition. Insurance companies will also be made aware of the conviction and increased premiums could result that stay in place for years, penalizing an Illinois Driver with added expense for years to come that all could have been avoided.

HOW THE RICHARD ALBANESE LAW OFFICE PROTECTS ILLINOIS DRIVERS

Although Court Supervision is not an option in Milwaukee, Wisconsin there is still hope for complete relief for Illinois Drivers. Generally speaking, with proper representation most Wisconsin State and Municipal prosecutors are willing to amend a speeding charge to a non moving violation when appropriate for respectful drivers with a otherwise clean record. The end result is that an Illinois Driver can pay a modified or amended ticket in Wisconsin that will have no impact on their Illinois License. Once you have retained Richard Albanese you will likely not have to appear in court to contest your ticket, which saves not only a long trip back to Milwaukee, Wisconsin from Illinois, but also saves time and the expense of having to take a day off work to appear on a citation. Please feel free to contact the Richard Albanese Law Office today at 312-882-1973 or at http://www.criminalandtrafficdefenseattorney.com or atRichardAlbaneseLawOffice@gmail.com for a free consultation on your speeding ticket in Kenosha, Racine, Dane County, Lake Geneva, and any other city in Wisconsin.

An Illinois and Wisconsin Criminal Defense Attorney Answers the Question: I got a Ticket or Misdemeanor or Ordinance Violation for Underage Drinking or Disorderly Conduct at Country Thunder in Wisconsin and live in Illinois. What are the Potential Consequences and do I need a Criminal Defense Lawyer?

 

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This weekends Country Thunder Concert in the Twin Lakes or Genoa City or Kenosha County area of Wisconsin will likely result in a massive number of citations and arrests in Wisconsin for Illinois residents and Wisconsin residents. In the past our office has handled numerous citations and violations for obstructing justice, underage drinking, underage possession of alcohol, disorderly conduct, criminal trespass and other violations related to Country Thunder and the surrounding camping areas. Theses offenses are handled differently between State and Municipal Prosecutors. An Illinois or Wisconsin youth can face loss of driving privileges and parents can face increased insurance premiums from even a minor violation. Additional consequences include permanent convictions that can have negative effects on college admissions and potential future employment. If you live in Illinois or Wisconsin and got a Wisconsin ticket for underage drinking or any violation please contact the Richard Albanese Law Office Immediately as some of these violations have court dates for as early as next week or a few weeks. Do not pay fines that will result in a permanent conviction on your record as there are other options available to you. Contact the Richard Albanese Law Office immediately for a free consultation at 312-882-1973 or by email at RichardAlbaneseLawOffice@gmail.com or on the web at http://www.criminalandtrafficdefenseattorney.com.

 

I Live in Illinois but got Arrested or Charged in Wisconsin for a Felony or Misdemeanor or Ordinance Violation, do I need a Criminal Defense Attorney licensed in Illinois and Wisconsin?

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The Richard Albanese Law Office routinely represents citizens of Wisconsin and Illinois that are charged with Misdemeanor and Ordinance Violations in Wisconsin. For the Wisconsin client the law is pretty straight forward, as the laws of the state apply to the Wisconsin citizen without worrying about how another state may view a particular offense. The more difficult situation arises when an Illinois resident is arrested or charged with a misdemeanor or ordinance violation in Wisconsin. The reason being is that the client must be concerned not only with Wisconsin, but the effect a Wisconsin Sentence may have in Illinois. This blog post will explain some of the basic differences between the States and some issues for a potential interstate client to consider.

Illinois Court Supervision vs. Wisconsin Convictions

The first major difference in Wisconsin compared to Illinois is that the disposition of “court supervision” exists in Illinois as an option to sentence first offenders for garden variety misdemeanors such as battery, Retail theft, Criminal Damage to Property, Disorderly Conduct and others.  Illinois law recognizes people make mistakes and the law allows for a mistake so long as it is not too serious of a crime or circumstance. Wisconsin Law has other options for dealing with first offenders, but court supervision is not one of them. Every guilty disposition in Wisconsin on a misdemeanor offense will result in a conviction. An Illinois citizen who faces a misdemeanor charge in Wisconsin should be aware of this fact as it can have devastating effects down the road.

Why does it Matter if I Live in Illinois and get a Misdemeanor Conviction in Wisconsin?

A common question I answer all the time for clients is, “How will this misdemeanor case affect my future?”.  The misdemeanor conviction in Wisconsin can have devastating effects on a client’s career and education aspirations.  If a job or school application asks, “Have you ever been convicted of a criminal offense?”, and you have a Wisconsin Misdemeanor conviction the answer the client must put down is “Yes”.  If the same exact crime is committed in Illinois and a client gets court supervision and successfully completes the supervision the answer to the same question is “No”. That is a huge consideration to think about when hiring an attorney if you live In Illinois and got a misdemeanor charge or arrest in Wisconsin. Richard Albanese is licensed in both States and routinely handling cases in both Illinois and Wisconsin gives the Richard Albanese Law Office the ability to advise an Illinois client of important points a Wisconsin client may not have to consider. The good news for the Illinois client who is charged with a misdemeanor in Wisconsin is that despite the lack of supervision as a sentencing option there are other options for disposition than just a conviction.

Hold Opens, Deferred Prosecutions and Ordinance Violations  

A skilled Criminal Defense attorney handling cases for Illinois clients in Wisconsin as well as Wisconsin residents will always fight for an alternative disposition to a criminal misdemeanor conviction. A “Hold Open” is the most favorable potential disposition for a Wisconsin criminal case. A Prosecutor may agree to hold open a case for a set period of time and if the defendant does not violate any other laws and completes certain other conditions the case will be dismissed. This is similar to a deferred prosecution but less forma in terms. As discussed at length in my other posts, deferred prosecution is also a disposition that is available for criminal offenses in Wisconsin and Illinois to defendants of both states. A deferred prosecution is a formal agreement that often requires a guilty plea to be entered and the defendant to waive certain rights. Once the terms of the agreement are met by the defendant, the case is dismissed and no conviction is entered. Wisconsin offers deferred prosecution agreements on many charges, including some felonies. If a deferred prosecution or a hold open is not available an ordinance violation alternative might be. Unique to the Wisconsin legal system is the ordinance disposition. In Illinois law a ticket or ordinance may be charged by a local Prosecutor but it is rare to see a felony or misdemeanor reduced to an ordinance. The benefit of the ordinance violation is that it allows a defendant to maintain a criminal conviction free record as an ordinance is classified as a non-criminal, fine only offense. These dispositions help young people who may be looking for jobs or college admissions. It is important to also keep in mind the decision to grant these dispositions rests with the prosecutors and judges. As a former Prosecutor Richard Albanese has a good sense of what may be required of a defendant to have the best chance to obtain these dispositions.

If I live in Illinois, do I need two Criminal Defense Attorneys for my Wisconsin Criminal Case?

Thankfully, the answer is no. You need one criminal defense attorney who is licensed in both States and knows the laws of both States and what consequences a criminal case disposition will have for you in each State. The Richard Albanese Law Office bridges this information gap everyday for Illinois and Wisconsin clients who are not familiar with the Laws of their neighboring States. Richard Albanese is licensed to practice law in both Illinois and Wisconsin and offers exceptional representation across the States of Illinois and Wisconsin. Our office can answer interstate criminal case questions with confidence because Richard Albanese handles cases daily in both States and keeps up with the changes in laws of both States. Call today for a free consultation regrading any Criminal or Traffic case in Illinois or Wisconsin. The Richard Albanese law office can be reached at (312) 882-1973 or RichardAlbaneseLawOffice@Gmail.com or on the web at http://www.criminalandtrafficdefenseattorney.com.

A Criminal Defense Attorney Explains Why a Chicago Felony Case is Transferred to Skokie Court

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Many people charged with Chicago felony cases find themselves accused of crimes based on situations that occurred in the city of Chicago. Most people believe that their case will then be heard at the main criminal courthouse in Chicago at 26th and California. It can be quite a surprise for someone to learn that after an indictment or preliminary hearing a Chicago felony case is now assigned to a judge in Skokie. Some defendants are both surprised and angered when they learn they may have to travel to Skokie to face their charges for crimes that occurred in the city. The purpose of this post is to explain why some Chicago felonies end up in Skokie and what to do if you need a criminal defense attorney to handle your felony case in Skokie. 

Why is my Chicago Felony case in Skokie?

As a result of large felony caseloads across the city of Chicago many cases get transferred to Skokie after preliminary hearing or indictment. There are enough cases assigned to Skokie that there are currently  four full time courtrooms dedicated to handling Chicago felony cases only, these courtroom numbers are 107, 108, 208, and 209. That is double the number of rooms assigned for Skokie area suburban felony cases for crimes that occurred in the suburban towns such as Skokie, Evanston, Desplaines, Niles and many others. The felony cases that are assigned to Skokie come randomly from 26th and California, but generally originate out of Branch 50 at 5555 W. Grand Avenue in Chicago or Branch 42 at 2452 W. Belmont Avenue in Chicago. Once a felony case is assigned to Skokie it generally stays there even if a substitution of judge is requested the case usually will end up in front of another Skokie judge. 

When do I Find out if my Chicago Felony Case is Assigned to Skokie?

If a case is indicted or has a finding of probable cause after hearing in the branch courts there will be an assignment date set at 26th and California. If the case is going to be assigned to Skokie this is the first time to learn that fact and the case will be continued to a future date in Skokie.  If the case does not get assigned to Skokie it will be arraigned in a Chicago Felony courtroom at 26th and California that same day. It is important to recognize that the assignment process is not influenced by the prosecutors, police or defendants but is done through random process by the presiding judge. If your case is assigned to Skokie please use this helpful link to find your way to the courthouse and for contact information:

 http://www.cookcountycourt.org/ABOUTTHECOURT/MunicipalDepartment/SecondMunicipalDistrictSkokie.aspx

How do I find a Criminal Defense Attorney for my Skokie Felony Case?

Although on paper the laws remain the same across the State of Illinois there can be great differences in how cases are handled across Cook County. Wherever your case is you want a Criminal Defense Attorney who is familiar with all the ins and outs of a particular court. No attorney goes to all courts enough to know the rules and procedures or even how cases are handled by particular judges. If you want an experienced criminal defense attorney to handle your Chicago Felony case in Skokie you should look for criminal defense attorneys with the most experience practicing in Skokie. 

Richard Albanese, Experienced Former Felony Prosecutor in Skokie

I served as a prosecutor in Skokie almost eight years of my career as an Assistant State’s Attorney. I served five years as a Chicago Felony Prosecutor in Skokie. I worked on a daily basis in front of several judges handling Chicago felony cases in Skokie that are still assigned to those courtrooms. I have handled literally thousands of these felony cases in my career and have argued countless motions as well as bench and jury trials in Skokie. I find myself very comfortable and confident handling all cases in Skokie and am happy to put my knowledge and experience as a former prosecutor to use for you defending your case. Please contact the Richard Albanese law office today at (312) 882-1973 for a free consultation. 

 

Lake County Criminal Defense Attorney Richard Albanese explains why you need an attorney if you are charged with a Misdemeanor

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WHAT IS A MISDEMEANOR IN LAKE COUNTY?

I will often receive calls from potential clients saying they don’t have a serious case, but think they may need a lawyer. Usually, these cases are misdemeanors and although the person accused of the crime may not think it is serious I can guarantee you that the police, prosecutors and judges in the Lake County court system will take it very serious. Under Illinois Law a misdemeanor is simply a crime whose range of sentence is 1-364 days in jail. That does not mean everyone with a misdemeanor in Lake County goes to jail. Other sentencing options may include court supervision, conditional discharge, or probation. Often times community service or fines may be ordered in place of jail time as well. A misdemeanor offense can be fought in court with motions, and a bench trial or jury trial. The state must prove a defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt at trial. One should keep in mind though that unlike most traffic tickets a misdemeanor carries a potential jail sentence. If a person misses court there will generally be a arrest warrant issued.

WHAT KIND OF LAWYER DO I NEED TO REPRESENT ME ON A MISDEMEANOR IN LAKE COUNTY?

All types of law are becoming increasingly specialized. You do not want your real estate lawyer handling your misdemeanor any more than you want your criminal defense attorney handling your bankruptcy case. You need an attorney with the proper focus and concentration in criminal defense to represent you on your Lake County misdemeanor case. Richard Albanese has seen both sides of thousands of misdemeanor cases as a misdemeanor and felony Prosecutor for well over a decade as well as a criminal defense attorney in Lake County. Richard will provide you with a no nonsense evaluation of your misdemeanor case and explain your options although the final decision on how to handle the case rests with you, the client. Put a former Prosecutor on your side and call the Richard Albanese Law Office today for a free consultation about your misdemeanor case at (312) 882-1973 or visit our office on the Web at http://www.CriminalandTrafficDefenseAttorney.com.

I’m an Illinois Driver with a Speeding Ticket in Wisconsin, what are the consequences? An Illinois and Wisconsin Criminal Defense Attorney outlines the advantages of hiring a lawyer to represent you on a speeding ticket in Dane County, Madison, Kenosha, Racine, Lake Geneva and other cities in Wisconsin

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It is unfortunate that many drivers in Illinois choose the quick and easy way out when it comes to speeding tickets they received in Wisconsin. The costs of an out of state conviction can multiply fast down the road. The consequences include potential suspension of driving privileges in Illinois, increased insurance premiums and further expenses involving the reinstatement of an Illinois driver’s license. Often times people have received bad advice or simply don’t know the law in Illinois regarding out of state convictions. Let’s explore the issues and consequences further.

THREE STRIKES AND YOUR OUT!

In Illinois, if a driver receives three convictions for any moving violations in a twelve month period, their license will be suspended in Illinois. Illinois law provides that a driver is eligible for court supervision twice within a twelve month period as well. Court supervision does not count as a conviction and will not cause a suspension of driving privileges. In essence you can get two supervisions and still have convictions to spare if the tickets are far enough apart and the prosecutors and judges are willing to grant the two supervisions without imposing a conviction. The imposition of court supervision also serves to reduce the risk of increased insurance premiums as these citations are not generally reported to insurance companies. Illinois traffic laws allow for momentary lapses in judgment with regard to speeding but for Illinois drivers who get ticketed in Wisconsin, the law may not be so forgiving.

NO SUPERVISION IN WISCONSIN!

Unlike the Illinois system, Wisconsin law does not recognize the concept of court supervision and thus EVERY disposition of a speeding ticket is a conviction when a guilty or no contest plea is entered. The imposition of a conviction against someones driving record most commonly occurs when an Illinois driver gets a Wisconsin speeding ticket and then just sends in payment. Once the ticket is paid the conviction is entered and then reported to Illinois where it becomes part of the driver’s record with the Secretary of State, unlike a Supervision disposition. Insurance companies will also be made aware of the conviction and increased premiums could result that stay in place for years, penalizing an Illinois Driver with added expense for years to come that all could have been avoided.

HOW THE RICHARD ALBANESE LAW OFFICE PROTECTS ILLINOIS DRIVERS

Although Court Supervision is not an option in Wisconsin there is still hope for complete relief for Illinois Drivers. Generally speaking, with proper representation most Wisconsin State and Municipal prosecutors are willing to reduce a speeding charge to a non moving violation when appropriate. The end result is that an Illinois Driver can pay a modified ticket in Wisconsin that will have no impact on their Illinois License. Once you have retained Richard Albanese you will not have to appear in court to contest your ticket, which saves not only a long trip back to Wisconsin from Illinois, but also saves time and the expense of having to take a day off work to appear on a citation. Please feel free to contact the Richard Albanese Law Office today at 312-882-1973 or at http://www.criminalandtrafficdefenseattorney.com or at RichardAlbaneseLawOffice@gmail.com for a free consultation on your speeding ticket in Kenosha, Racine, Dane County, Lake Geneva, and any other city in Wisconsin.