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CRIMINAL DEFENSE AND FAMILY LAW

Our current system of mass incarceration is not working and is not sustainable.  As a result, people’s attitudes about what to do with nonviolent offenders are changing.  A recent nationwide poll found that 60 percent of Americans believe that rehabilitation and treatment are the most appropriate response to people who have committed nonviolent offenses. Currently, as many as one in three American adults have some type of criminal record.  While some ex-prisoners will continue to lead a life of crime, most of them try to rebuild their lives and avoid the criminal justice system.  The discrimination they face while struggling to do so greatly reduces...

Phone showing many social media apps.

If you have been arrested and accused of a crime, be aware that anything you post on social media may be used against you in court. While you may be tempted to complain about the events of your arrest by tweeting, instagramming, or updating your status on Facebook, social media can be a key source of evidence for the prosecutor in criminal investigations. Anyone who has been charged with a criminal offense in Illinois should be especially careful to avoid revealing any information that will lead to conviction, as penalties may include jail time, fines, penalty assessments and other costs. A...

With advances in technology, it’s easier than ever to spy on your divorcing spouse in an effort to get information that will help your case. There are cameras and recorders on cell phones, as well as GPS trackers and features such as Find My iPhone. You can buy spyware online, hack into your spouse’s computer or “bug” your house and get information on how to do it all on the internet. You can make video and audio recordings of your spouse engaging in behavior that would cause the courts to look less favorably upon them and increase the chances of...

The Best Places in Illinois to Raise a Family

It’s hard enough for people to adjust to a divorce, but when ex-spouses remarry, have children with their new mates, and bring children from their original marriages into the family, major complications can result. According to a survey analysis  by University of Massachusetts Boston Professor Emily Wiemers and others, almost a third of U.S. households headed by adults under age 55 have at least one stepparent, as do couples over age 55 with adult children.  These step-relationships are changing the American family.  Not only do they increase the size of the extended families created, but the stresses and emotional strain involved in some...

If you have sustained a brain injury, does it increase the chances you will commit a crime? And if a damaged brain does lead to damaged and even criminal behavior, what does that mean for the law, the courts, sentencing, and determining whether someone is guilty or innocent? These kinds of neurological questions are winding up in the courtroom. According to an article in Newsweek, a study by Duke bioethicist Nita Farahany and reported by Wired "found that the number of judicial opinions mentioning neuroscience or behavioral genetics more than doubled between 2005 and 2012." How the courts regard the answers can directly...

Illinois Criminal Defense Lawyer

It’s a new year, and with it come changes in Illinois laws, which may work either for or against you should you be charged with a crime, undergoing a divorce, operating a business, or even just driving or residing in our state. Due to the complexity of Illinois criminal law, it is essential to get top-notch legal assistance if you are accused of violating any law.  The experienced Illinois lawyers at Wolfe & Stec, Ltd. are skilled trial lawyers who believe each case is unique, with its own set of circumstances and requirements. We will work with you to find the most...

The United States imprisons more people than any other country, and as many as one in three American adults have some type of criminal record. Unfortunately, incarceration carries a lifetime of consequences. According to the Center for American Progress, report, “One Strike and You’re Out,” having even a minor criminal record can be a life sentence to poverty, presenting obstacles to employment, housing, education and training, public assistance, financial empowerment, and more. The report shows that the consequences and stigma of having a criminal record are in contrast to research documenting that once an individual with a prior nonviolent conviction has stayed crime-free for three to...

If you’ve been married a long time and find yourself thrust into a divorce situation, you are not alone.  Although divorce is becoming less common for younger adults, so-called “gray divorce” for older adults is on the rise. According to an article in the Journal of Gerontology, the divorce rate for adults 50 and older has roughly doubled since the 1990s in the United States, to 10 divorces for every 1,000 married persons aged 50 and older in 2015.  In that same period, the divorce rate has almost tripled for those aged 65 and over, and the rate has also climbed...

Who polices the police when they do something they shouldn’t?  Chicago has made an attempt to do so by opening the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) in order to make more information about police misconduct available to the public. The goal was to make misconduct investigations transparent and let the public quickly learn the outcomes. However, according to ...

Weather can kill, and prisoners are more vulnerable to the effects of extreme weather than most Americans. While some prison systems attempt to keep temperatures within a healthy range, a 2015 In December of 2004, Charles Platcher, 31, who was serving a 40-year sentence in Menard Correctional Center, died from hypothermia -- too low body temperature -- on a day it was 26 degrees outside.  Because two valves that supplied heat to the prison's medical unit were defective, the temperature dropped to 60 degrees in Platcher's cell, and his body temperature to 84.7 degrees.  When the body’s core temperature gets that...

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