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Monmouth Criminal Defense Blog

2 things to consider about plea deals

If you are ever arrested and charged with a crime in Monmouth, one question you might find yourself contemplating is if you should accept a plea deal. Prosecutors often offer them to alleged offenders in exchange for them giving the prosecution something it wants in return. For example, a person who is facing several criminal charges might receive a plea bargain offer for the prosecution to drop all charges except for one. The defendant must plead guilty to the one charge for the prosecution to honor the deal. 

Plea bargains can mean a shorter incarceration sentence, fewer legal expenses and a lesser charge. They also prevent the need for a jury trial. However, there are circumstances where it might be better for you to take your chances in court. Accepting a plea deal requires you to waive some of your legal rights. It is important for you to have a thorough understanding of your circumstances to make a well-informed decision. Here are a few pointers to help you determine if you can benefit from a plea deal: 

Vandalism and its penalties

The law regards respect of other people's property as very important. Therefore, when someone defaces or alters the property of others, he or she is likely to face charges for the property damage

It is critical for anyone who faces this type of charge to understand what a conviction could entail. There are a few things to know about vandalism and its penalties.

The basics of juvenile vandalism charges

Everyone makes mistakes as a child, and sometimes, those mistakes come with serious consequences. If your teen faces vandalism charges, it is important you understand what this property crime charge entails.

Understanding the basics of vandalism charges may assist you in choosing the best form of defense. There are a few key facts you need to know about such charges.

If you have a DUI conviction, can you ever drive again?

You may be as sorry as you can be about your drunk driving charge, and indeed, most first offenders find a conviction for DUI to be a frightening experience. The penalties are harsh and include heavy fines, but what bothers you most may be the ignition interlock requirement.

In the state of Illinois, all DUI every drunk driving offender must have a breath alcohol ignition interlock devices (BAIID) installed in his or her vehicle. This is the only way to restore driving privileges.

Could your minor child be prosecuted for sexting?

Teenagers have embraced digital technologies in ways that many adults will never fully understand. Sexting, the sending of sexually explicit pictures, is a way teenagers are connecting with each other. When it comes to consenting adults over the age of 18, sexting is generally legal. In contrast, pictures of children under the age of 18 are considered child pornography. Teenagers who send and receive nude or sexual pictures of each other could be charged with a serious crime. 

Having a talk about sexting with your teenager might be awkward. It can be difficult to discuss sexuality with someone, but your teenager needs to realize the seriousness of sexting. The American Academy of Pediatrics makes these recommendations: 

  • Talk about technology use with your children, not just sexting. Let your kids know that you are checking in with them for their safety, not because you want to embarrass them or that you do not trust them.
  • Keep the computer in a public place in your home.
  • Talk to other parents about their children's social media use. This helps you keep up with the platforms kids are using.
  • Talk to your children about privacy settings and using good judgment in sending any message, including gossip, bullying and rumors, not just nude pictures.
  • Make sure your children know the consequences of sending sexual images. 

What is auto-brewery syndrome?

As a motorist, you are probably aware of the repercussions you could face if you decide to drink alcohol before getting behind the wheel. What you may not realize, however, is that there are a number of conditions and situations that may affect the results of the breath test authorities typically use to assess your level of impairment. While some who are arrested for drunk driving have had the charges dropped after demonstrating their breath test results were affected by electronic interference, bodily functions or certain medications, another explanation that has become increasingly common is known as auto-brewery syndrome.

Factors that impact the accuracy of a breathalyzer test

Seeing those flashing blue lights in your rearview window is never fun, but it can lead to quite a serious situation if authorities believe you have ingested alcohol prior to getting behind the wheel. If you are pulled over and a law enforcement official suspects you are under the influence of alcohol, he or she will likely give you a breathalyzer test to determine if you have imbibed, and if so, to what extent. A Driving Under the Influence charge can prove damaging financially as well as emotionally, and the latter is particularly true if you genuinely were not drinking alcohol prior to being pulled over.

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