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CRIMINAL DEFENSE AND FAMILY LAW

Even if you have led an exemplary life since your youth, a conviction for a past crime can cause problems that follow you into the prime years of your life. Not only can having a criminal record affect your employment and educational opportunities, it can limit your ability to get decent housing, ruin your relationships, and rob you of self-esteem. Fortunately, in January 2017, recognizing that people who find meaningful work are less likely to keep committing crimes, several new Illinois laws went into effect that make it easier for people with past convictions to become functioning members of society.  These...

Chicago Traffic Defense Lawyer

It says something about crime in Chicago when the Police Department is on pace to spend nearly $200 million on overtime in 2017.  This is 40 percent more than last year’s record and is occurring despite a two-year hiring surge that is supposed to allow for attrition and increase the force by 970 officers. According to The Chicago Sun-Times,Annual murder totals in Chicago by year), Chicago was responsible for nearly half of 2016's increase in homicides in the U.S., though national crime rates stayed near historic lows. An increase in police officers is bound to lead to more arrests, and if you...

Illinois Cyber Crime Attorney

Illinois prosecutors have a duty to uphold justice, but too often their goal instead becomes winning the case and seeking out the harshest punishment possible. This results in problems such as wrongful convictions and miscarriage of justice, as well as increased overcrowding in our jails. A Fordham University study found that between 2000 and 2012, the American prison population rose by about 100,000, from 1.5 million to 1.6 million, with a staggering 8.4 million being admitted to prison for some period of time. According to an article in The Atlantic, sentencing guidelines and problems with human biases which have led to a need to...

Divorce "Tax Break" Will Soon Be Eliminated

The probation system in the United States is broken -- prison and jail populations and correctional budgets have skyrocketed, and the system is too underfunded to function properly. At their peak, the numbers of individuals on probation have exceeded 5 million, double the number of people in prison and jail in America. According to a report by The Executive Session on Community Corrections, entitled Less Is More: How Reducing Probation Populations Can Improve Outcomes, since probation is the most underfunded of agencies within the criminal justice system, those sentenced to probation can run into difficulty even if managing to avoid jail completely....

If you own a business and are facing a divorce, you have reason to worry, as the stakes can be high.  If you aren’t careful, you might wind up having your ex as a business partner, or even worse, you might have to sell the business to raise cash. The divorce rate is high in the United States. According to a 2010 report by the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia, 40 to 50 percent of all first marriages end in divorce, and the rate is even higher for second marriages.  If you got married years ago and your...

It’s always best when divorcing spouses can agree on how to divide their property, but if they cannot agree, the Circuit Court will have to divide the marital estate.  Illinois is an equitable distribution state, which means your property may not be divided equally.  Instead, a judge will divide marital property in what is considered to be a fair and just manner after evaluating your individual circumstances. In the meanwhile, once a spouse files for divorce, the court automatically issues a court order prohibiting either spouse from disposing of property without the permission of the court or the other spouse. Divorce,...

The Best Places in Illinois to Raise a Family

Family law in Illinois has undergone major changes in the past two years.  Anyone in a divorce or child custody and support situation should be aware of the changes, as they may have direct effects on your situation. The compassionate and experienced Illinois family-law attorneys at Wolfe & Stec, Ltd., understand the stresses and financial pressures of divorce and recognize the concerns parents have for the well-being of their children.  If you are considering divorce, or if you have any issues with how the new laws affect you, we offer a free initial consultation to examine your individual situation and help...

Finally, there are starting to be changes to an unfair bail system that caused many nonviolent, low-level offenders to spend weeks or months in jail just because they didn’t have enough money to be released. Under the old system, people who didn’t have the cash were stuck in jail during their pre-trial period, and some spent more time in custody than they were ultimately sentenced to serve. As a start in rectifying this situation, on June 9, 2017, Governor Rauner signed a new law (SB 2034) called the Bail Reform Act.  The Act, which takes effect on January 1, 2018, provides rights...

Illinois law is constantly changing, and the year 2017 has brought quite a few changes to criminal law.   If you have been arrested and accused of a crime, you should be aware of the changes, as they may directly affect your defense case and should be discussed with the attorney who is helping you fight for freedom. The experienced and seasoned Illinois criminal law attorneys at Wolfe & Stec, Ltd., understand the seriousness of your situation and offer aggressive representation for clients facing criminal charges. We know the courts and the criminal justice system and how to plea bargain, negotiate guidelines...

You’re divorced, and you are taking care of your children through child support, but what will happen to them if you suddenly die?  The purpose of child support is to ensure that children receive what is needed to maintain a decent quality of life, but this can quickly change if one parent passes away.  Therefore, when ordering a parent to pay child support, the Illinois courts will generally require the parent who is obligated to pay child support to get a life insurance policy that covers the support amount. Life insurance is a relatively inexpensive way to cover children’s needs when a...

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