The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola


47 DuPage Court, Elgin, IL 60120

Recent blog posts

Understanding Misdemeanor Charges in Illinois

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Aurora, IL criminal defense lawyerMisdemeanor charges are plentiful in the state of Illinois. Though a misdemeanor will typically carry a penalty lesser than a felony, it should be taken no less seriously. There are several different types of misdemeanors one can face charges of in Illinois. Each misdemeanor carries its own penalties and sentencing. An experienced criminal defense attorney is a good friend to have when facing misdemeanor charges or any criminal charges in Illinois.

Understanding Illinois Criminal Charges

Not all misdemeanor charges require legal representation but a good lawyer is always something to consider when being charged with any criminal offenses. Misdemeanors are categorized as a lower class of criminal charge, felonies being the higher of the two. A petty offense is the lowest charge possible, only resulting in a fine. Which charge you receive depends on the specifics of the crime.

A misdemeanor penalty will often require a fine and/or a year or less in a county or local jail. It can often also require probation, community service, or a combination of the two in place of jail time. As misdemeanors are a lower class criminal offense, they rarely mandate a prison sentence, whereas felonies are often penalized with one year or more in a state prison.


What Happens If I Refuse a Breathalyzer Test?

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Kane County criminal defense lawyerIllinois is an implied consent state, meaning anyone who gets behind the wheel of a motor vehicle is consenting to sobriety testing. Sobriety testing is often used in determining whether or not a driver was driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI). Refusal to accept a breathalyzer test to record your current blood alcohol content (BAC) level can have serious consequences, which could see your driver’s license suspended or worse. An attorney who handles DUI defense cases can easily guide you through what to expect when facing such charges and formulate a defense for your trial.

The Penalties For Refusing a Breathalyzer Test

Refusal of a breathalyzer test can see your driver’s license summarily suspended for a minimum of one year; depending on whether this is a first-time offense, you have not been convicted of a DUI in the last five years. Repeat offenders with DUI convictions are looking at a driver’s license suspension of three years.

Drivers who refuse a breathalyzer test will also not be eligible for a monitoring device driving permit (MDDP), even as first-time offenders. Evidence of your refusal can be used against you in your DUI trial. The prosecutor can then say that your refusal is evidence of guilt to conceal intoxication.


Will I Go To Prison For Using Fake Money?

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Kane County criminal defense lawyerAttempting to make a gas station purchase using Monopoly money is more likely to get you laughed at than anything else. However, using counterfeit bills to buy anything could land you in deep trouble with Illinois law. Using counterfeit money carries very steep penalties, which include having a hard time in prison. Forgery and fraud charges are no laughing matter. Facing these charges alone is a mistake, and you would do well to consult a criminal defense attorney experienced in fraud defense cases.

What is Counterfeit Money?

For currency to be counterfeit, it must be forged, altered, or falsely made. The bills must also look authentic enough to the real thing, so much so that they could fool the average person for a prosecutor to make any counterfeit charges stick. However, a prosecutor could still charge you with fraud, forgery, or theft by deception. Other fabrications that can be considered fake include:

  • Federal bonds
  • Gold and silver certificates
  • Certificates of deposit

Can I Be Charged If I Was Unaware The Money Was Counterfeit?

Charged, yes. Convicted, no. Defendants must have knowledge and intent to defraud to be convicted of using counterfeit currency. So, if you received the bills from a previous transaction unaware that the currency was counterfeit and used them to make a purchase, at which point they were flagged as counterfeit, you do not have the intent to defraud required for conviction. Regardless, the police can still arrest you and charge you for the counterfeit currency even if you deny knowing it because they need only probable cause to make an arrest.


The Most Common Traffic Violations in Illinois

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Kane County traffic violations lawyerTraffic violations are a common occurrence in the state of Illinois and the country as a whole. But which infractions are the most common, and what penalties are you likely to face when charged? When staring down charges for traffic violations, you must understand your rights and secure an experienced defense attorney to defend you.


It is quite the obvious entry to the list as it is the most common traffic violation you will come across in Illinois. Obeying the speed limit can prevent you from being pulled over and slapped with a speeding ticket. Speeding puts both you and others on the road in potential danger. The side effects could be deadly for all parties involved.

Illinois has two different types of speed limits: basic and absolute. The basic concerns speed limits in specific road conditions such as rain storms or icy roads. Absolute is the typical maximum speed limit imposed on the posted speed limit signs.


Understanding Scott’s Law

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Aurora traffic violations defense lawyerScott’s Law has been in effect since 2002, yet some individuals still may not fully understand it and the penalties they can face when violating the traffic law. Illinois continues in its attempt to educate drivers on the proper procedures regarding Scott’s Law and the safety of emergency responders, even implementing a change to the law in 2017 to apply to all vehicles displaying flashing emergency lights. Violating Scott’s Law can carry minor to severe penalties, depending on the offense. A strong lawyer committed to defending your rights will help you better understand the traffic violations you face and how best to defend yourself against them.

What is Scott’s Law?

Scott’s Law, also called the “move over” law, requires drivers to proceed cautiously when passing stopped emergency vehicles by slowing down and switching lanes to avoid a collision with the vehicle or any individuals in the area. The emergency vehicles should display alternating flashing yellow, red, red-and-blue, blue, or red-and-white lights to indicate they are authorized emergency vehicles.

The law is called “Scott’s Law,” as it was named after Chicago Fire Department Lieutenant Scott Gillen. Lt. Gillen was struck and killed while assisting in the scene of an accident. The law was enacted to help protect emergency personnel and first responders who are stopped along the side of the road in official duties.

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