Spousal Maintenance Changes for 2018

Spousal Maintenance Changes for 2018 O'Dekirk, Allred & Associates IllinoisIf you weren’t aware, there are spousal maintenance changes for 2018 that our legal team at O’Dekirk, Allred & Associates in Joliet want to share with you. Changes to alimony (known as maintenance in Illinois law) became effective on January 1, 2018, so it may be important to know about these changes if you are in the middle of divorce proceedings, plan to file for divorce this year, or are looking to have an existing spousal maintenance decision adjusted.

Definition of Maintenance

In Illinois, maintenance is the court ordered financial support that is paid by one spouse to another as a part of their divorce settlement. Under the new guidelines the term “permanent maintenance” is now “indefinite maintenance” which is used to describe maintenance payments that do not have a specific expiration date. Unless the divorce specifies otherwise, indefinite maintenance continues until one spouse dies, the receiving spouse remarries, or the receiving spouse cohabitates on a continual conjugal basis.

If there is a substantial change in circumstances, spousal maintenance may be modified. However, there are divorce settlements that have explicitly non-modifiable maintenance and such maintenance cannot be adjusted no matter the circumstances.

Raised Application Amount

Under the original 2015 law, statutory maintenance guidelines were applied when the gross combined income per year was less than $250,000. This was a guideline and the Illinois courts took other circumstances into consideration, such as the total length of the marriage, ages of the spouses, and differences in assets and income. Other factors were also considered, including physical and emotional problems. These will all continue under the 2018 changes.

According to the spousal maintenance changes for 2018, the threshold for the maintenance guidelines will be raised to a combined gross income per year of $500,000 or less. This means that more couples will be subject to the statutory guidelines. For those couples whose combined income exceeds this amount, they are not necessarily subject to the guidelines, though they could still be used. Additionally, the courts can still deviate from the guidelines for those couples who should be subject, but the court will need to provide a solid rationale for doing so.

If you need the spousal maintenance changes for 2018 explained further, please contact us here at O’Dekirk, Allred, and Associates in Joliet. We can help you with your divorce and help you determine how these new rules will affect you.

Changes to Duration of Payments

The most substantial change in the Illinois law is with respect to the calculation of the duration of the maintenance payments. In 2015, the duration of payments was decided using a basic calculation. To determine the length of the payments, the following formulas were used:

  • If the marriage lasted 5 years or less, the length of the marriage was multiplied by .20. So, if you were married for 4 years, (4 times .2 equals .8 years) the length of the payments would equal 9.6 months.
  • 5-9 years would be multiplied by .40
  • 10-14 years would be multiplied by .60
  • 15-19 years would be multiplied by .80
  • Marriages that lasted 20 years or more will have a maintenance length that is equal to the marriage or the maintenance will be permanent.

Under the spousal maintenance changes for 2018, the length of time will usually be less than it was under the old law. People married less than 5 years are subject to the same percentage as are those who happen to divorce at the end of the cutoff of the previous benchmarks (years 9, 14, and 19). Those people who stayed married for 20 years or more are also subject to the same rule as before though the wording used is different. Everyone else will find that the duration of their payments will be less than it would have been under the old law. Under the new law, the duration is calculated using the following breakdown:

  • Marriages that lasted less than 5 years are multiplied by .20
  • Marriages that lasted 5 years are multiplied by .24
  • Marriages that lasted 6 years are multiplied by .28
  • Marriages that lasted 7 years are multiplied by .32
  • Marriages that lasted 8 years are multiplied by .36
  • Marriages that lasted 9 years are multiplied by .40
  • Marriages that lasted 10 years are multiplied by .44
  • Marriages that lasted 11 years are multiplied by .48
  • Marriages that lasted 12 years are multiplied by .52
  • Marriages that lasted 13 years are multiplied by .56
  • Marriages that lasted 14 years are multiplied by .60
  • Marriages that lasted 15 years are multiplied by .64
  • Marriages that lasted 16 years are multiplied by .68
  • Marriages that lasted 17 years are multiplied by .72
  • Marriages that lasted 18 years are multiplied by .76
  • Marriages that lasted 19 years are multiplied by .80
  • Marriages that lasted 20 years or more, the maintenance will be as long as the length of the duration of the marriage or it will be indefinite

Already Divorced?

The spousal maintenance changes for 2018 does not mean that couples that are already divorced can use the new rules to renegotiate the length of their existing maintenance. There must be a substantial change in circumstances for maintenance to be modified or terminated.

Unchanged Elements

Some elements of the Illinois law are unchanged. It is still the case that all spouses are not entitled to maintenance. One spouse must have a demonstrated need and the other must have an ability to pay. Additionally, Illinois is still gender-neutral when it comes to awarding maintenance. Husbands can be awarded maintenance much like wives can.

The determination of the spousal maintenance amount is still made using the same formula and takes into consideration the economic lifestyle of the couple. Additionally, if a spouse waives maintenance, the waiver is still forever binding.

If you may be affected by the spousal maintenance changes for 2018 and need a lawyer for your divorce case, contact us here at O’Dekirk, Allred, and Associates in Joliet for your free consultation. We can discuss everything with you and help determine how these new changes may change the maintenance outcomes of your divorce.


Blogs and articles by O’Dekirk, Allred and Associates, LLC are for educational purposes only and to give you a general understanding of the law, not to provide any legal advice or be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed, professional attorney in your state or jurisdiction. The information presented may not reflect the most current legal developments, verdicts or settlements. These materials may be changed, improved, or updated without notice. O’Dekirk, Allred and Associates, LLC is not responsible for any errors or omissions in the content of this site or for damages arising from the use or performance of this site under any circumstances.

Criminal Law Process for a Felony in Illinois

Criminal Law Process for a Felony in Illinois O'Dekirk, Allred & Associates JolietHere at O’Dekirk, Allred & Associates in Joliet, we are very familiar with the criminal law process for a felony in Illinois and have helped numerous clients through each step. If you find yourself facing any type of felony charges, including a DUI or drug offense, we can provide you with aggressive representation to ensure the most positive outcomes.

Before we get to the criminal law process for a felony in Illinois, let’s look at the three basic kinds of crime in the state.

  • Minor violations are generally considered petty offenses. These types of violations are frequently punished with a fine.
  • The next level is misdemeanors. In Illinois, these crimes can carry as few as 30 days in jail or as many as 364 days. Additionally, fines can range from $1,500 to $2,500.
  • The most serious category is a felony which can carry a sentence of up to 60 years. While the penalties vary, the process for all felony charges is essentially the same.

After an Arrest

The police officers that were involved in an arrest must communicate with the State’s Attorney Felony Review office. Police cannot independently charge someone with a felony. The decision to charge someone with a felony rests with the State’s Attorney who gathers information from the officer. The defendant’s criminal history is reviewed and the defendant may be interviewed in an effort to decide if felony charges are appropriate.

The State’s Attorney may reject the charges if there is insufficient evidence or if the circumstances are inappropriate for a felony charge. If the State’s Attorney accepts the charges, the police will process the defendant and the defendant will be held for a bond hearing. If the felony charges are rejected, police can still file misdemeanor charges which they do have full authority over.

Bond Hearing

Within 72 hours of an arrest, a bond hearing is generally held. The bond court judge is presented with basic facts and charges for the case, as well as the defendant’s criminal history. The defendant’s attorney will make a presentation on behalf of the defendant. After both sides have presented, the judge will make a determination about the terms of release.

Preliminary Hearing

The next step in the criminal law process for a felony in Illinois is a preliminary hearing. A judge will be presented with evidence to determine that a felony crime was committed and to determine if there is reason to believe the defendant was responsible for committing it.

The state will present witnesses and the defense can ask these witnesses questions as well. The standard for a preliminary hearing is much lower than at the trial. At this point, a judge is simply determining that there is a likelihood that the defendant committed the crime. If the judge determines that there is no probable cause, the defendant wins the hearing and the case is generally dismissed.

The Indictment

Many cases are presented to a grand jury instead of having a preliminary hearing. The state can charge a person with a felony by presenting evidence to a grand jury. A grand jury is composed of 18 people from the community. The proceedings are conducted in secret and the defense cannot cross-examine the witnesses. The majority of felony cases go through a grand jury process. The grand jury is responsible for determining the same issues as a judge at a preliminary hearing.

If the grand jury believes a crime was likely committed by the defendant, an indictment will be issued which is the official document accusing a person of a crime. With an indictment, a warrant will be issued if the defendant is not already in custody. The State’s attorney can bring cases to the grand jury even if the charges were originally dropped at the preliminary hearing.

Trial Court

Following the indictment or preliminary hearing, the case goes to the county’s Chief Judge. The Chief Judge is responsible for assigning the case to another judge in the county using a prescribed random process.

Arraignment

After assignment to a specific trial court, the defendant is formally arraigned. This is where the charges can be formally read. This is often waived to save time. The defendant’s lawyers already know what the felony charges are. More importantly, at an arraignment, a plea of guilty or not guilty is formally entered.

Discovery

During this part of the process, the state is responsible for sharing all evidence. The state is required to share specific types of evidence in its possession with the defense, particularly any evidence that has major implications of guilt or innocence for the defendant.

Motions

Motions are requests for something specific to be done. For example, the defense can submit a motion to quash arrest, motion to suppress a statement, or motion to suppress evidence to the judge during the pre-trial process. The decision of the judge on these motions can have a very large impact on the outcome of a trial.

Plea Agreement

If the State’s attorney, the defense attorney, and the defendant agree on a penalty, a plea agreement will avoid a trial and it is often the way that many cases conclude. In the criminal law process for a felony in Illinois, the judge also participates in the plea agreement if the defendant agrees in open court. The defendant must agree to it because the judge will often learn things that would not be known otherwise to the judge. If a plea is agreed to without the judge, the judge has the ability to impose a different penalty than the one agreed to by the defense and the state.

Trial

If the case is not settled, it will continue to either a jury trial or bench trial (which is a trial by a judge). The defendant will be found guilty or not guilty of their felony crime and based on the results, the judge will impose the penalty.

The criminal law process for a felony in Illinois can be complicated. If you need a defense attorney with experience, contact us here at O’Dekirk, Allred & Associates in Joliet. Our attorneys can help you through each step and use their experience to achieve the best possible outcome for your case.

Common Questions About Child Custody in Illinois

Common Questions About Child Custody in Illinois O’Dekirk, Allred and Associates JolietHere at O’Dekirk, Allred and Associates here in Joliet, we wanted to cover common questions about child custody in Illinois. Child custody can be fraught with concern and frustration. Getting answers to common questions can help you understand custody and can help allay concerns and fears about custody issues.

Who gets custody?

When a court must determine who gets custody, they usually use “the best interest of the child” as their standard. There are a number of factors when the court weighs custody issues. When a court weighs factors, no one factor is a controlling factor and not all factors will have the same significance. Some of the factors that go into determining parental custody include:

  • Each of the parents’ wishes and preferences
  • The child’s wishes, often taking the age of the child, maturity, and education into account
  • Parents’ interactions with child
  • Adjustment of the child to school, community, and home
  • Physical and mental health of involved parties
  • Any violence exhibited by either parent
  • The willingness and ability of parents to have a close and on-going relationship, as well as encourage and facilitate a close relationship with the other parent.

Joint Custody and Sole Custody—How are They Different?

This is one of the more common questions about child custody in Illinois. When parents are able to cooperate, communicate, and work together for the sake of their child, joint custody may be awarded. In joint custody, parents share decision making for major decisions that include healthcare, education, and religion.

A Joint Parenting Agreement is drawn up when joint custody is awarded. The agreement outlines each parent’s rights and responsibilities for their child and determines the residence arrangements. The agreement also specifies what should be done when there is a disagreement about a parenting decision.

If one parent is not suitable or able to be appropriately responsible for parenting decisions or if the parents cannot cooperate effectively with each other, sole custody may be awarded to one parent. Sole custody designates one parent as having sole authority for the child’s major life decisions.

Sole custody does not mean one parent no longer gets visitation rights and joint custody does not mean that the parents split visitation rights equally. There is a visitation schedule that is either court ordered or agreed to by both parents. Visitation schedules may dictate that one parent has most of the time or that the time is shared to varying degrees. Regardless of sole or joint custody, both parents have a right to school, medical, dental, and child care records.

Joint Custody and Child Support—Does Custody Determine Support?

The parents’ financial resources and the needs of the children are the main factors in determining child support but other factors such as parenting time do play a role in determining each parent’s financial responsibilities. Parents may have joint custody and share time equally, but one parent may be expected to pay more.

Can You Prevent Visitation if Child Support has Not Been Paid?

You cannot refuse visitation based on whether or not child support has been paid. At the same time, you cannot refuse to pay support if you are prevented from seeing your child. Denying visitation or child support can result in being found in contempt of court.

Can My Child Decide Which Parent to Live With?

Another of the common questions about child custody in Illinois, children in the state do not get to outright choose to reside with one parent. The child’s wishes can be taken into consideration as one factor in determining where a child will reside.

What Happens when Parents Cannot Agree on Custody?

When parents cannot reach an agreement on custody, the court will sometimes mandate mediation. A mediator is trained and appointed by the court as a neutral third party. Mediators work to help parents reach an agreement on custody. Mediation discussions remain confidential regardless of the outcome and if the parties are unable to reach an agreement, the issue will proceed to trial.

Sometimes, when parents cannot come to an agreement, the court will appoint a guardian ad litem (custody evaluator) to assist the court in making a determination about custody, based on the best interest of the child. The custody evaluator’s determinations will be taken into consideration when the custody issue goes to trial and the judge makes a determination.

Can I Increase My Chances of a Larger Custody Agreement?

An experienced family attorney, such as O’Dekirk, Allred and Associates in Joliet, can advise you about ways to increase your chances at a better outcome and answer your questions about child custody in Illinois.

Here is an additional list to help you when proceeding with a divorce and wanting to achieve your goals in regards to the time you wish to be granted with your children.

  • Do not make the other parent’s visitations difficult or complicated. Also, do not interfere with their visitation rights.
  • Do not yell at the other parent or your child.
  • Avoid any physical confrontations.
  • Make all child support payments
  • Do not take your child out of daycare or school for a non-emergency without discussing it with the other parent.
  • Try to engage in positive interactions as much as possible with the other parent and your child.
  • Consult with your attorney before making any significant changes to your living arrangements.
  • Do not unfairly or excessively criticize the other parent to others or your child, even if you feel your criticisms are all warranted.
  • Do not deny the other parent phone contact when the child is with you.

What Should I do at a Custody Trial?

In a custody trial, it is important to present yourself in the best possible light. Be sure to dress professionally and exhibit good conduct at all times. Be calm during all testimony and try to maintain neutral facial expressions – no matter what. It is important to avoid letting the judge see expressions of anger or frustration. Let your attorney object when objections are needed. If you need to tell your attorney something in court, write a note. It is important to conduct yourself professionally at all times in court.

If you have additional common questions about child custody in Illinois, contact us here at O’Dekirk, Allred and Associates in Joliet. We can help you with your custody issues and work diligently on your behalf to achieve the best possible outcome.

Why You Need a Real Estate Lawyer

Why You Need a Real Estate LawyerToday, O’Dekirk, Allred & Associates in Joliet discusses why you need a real estate lawyer. We know that buying a home is one of life’s most significant purchases, involving a lot of paperwork and various legal issues. Even as a seller, it’s not as easy as finding a buyer and collecting a check. Everything must be handled systematically, contracts need to be read and understood, and if anything goes awry, both buyers and sellers need legal protection.

Let’s break down why you need a real estate lawyer even further…

Purchasing a Home

For the majority of home purchases, a seller contracts with a real estate agent, usually in writing. This contract is called a brokerage contract. When the agent (also referred to as the broker) locates a buyer, any negotiations that need to take place are done through the broker because the broker is responsible for acting as an intermediary between the two parties, the buyer and seller.

Once the parties have reached an informal agreement on an offer, a formal written contract is drawn up and signed. The buyer must then pay or obtain financing if they don’t have it already. A title search, inspection, and appraisal are performed. Eventually, the buyer takes possession of the property and the seller receives the agreed upon amount of money.

Like any purchase, there can be issues. For example, some houses, like cars, can turn out to be lemons. This is when and why you need a real estate lawyer.

Unclear Terms

A real estate lawyer will help you avoid problematic terms in the sale of your home. Some of these problems begin with the brokerage agreements. Many real estate agents use standard forms. These forms can lead to problems. For example, if there is no agreement to the contrary, the seller may have to pay a brokerage commission, even if the property doesn’t sell. Also, the seller can end up paying more than one commission.

Using a residential real estate attorney can help ensure that particular options are available to you as either the buyer or the seller. A real estate lawyer can ensure that a seller or buyer has the right to negotiate on his or her behalf. Lawyers can also help if there are issues and the seller needs to withdraw from the contract.

There are a number of laws and issues that a real estate lawyer can prevent and they can help prepare buyers and sellers. Real estate lawyers also ensure that their clients are better aware of what their contracts mean and whether it is really in their best interest to sign. If you need a real estate lawyer, contact us here at O’Dekirk, Allred & Associates in Joliet.

Consultations

Even if one not necessary during negotiations, the buyer or seller may want to consult with a real estate lawyer regarding the tax consequences of the sale. Income tax for the seller, in particular, can be substantial. A great reason why you need a real estate lawyer prior to the sale is to learn about and take advantage of various tax provisions to lessen the impact.

Purchase Agreement

The single most important document in a property sale is the purchase agreement. Using a real estate lawyer to step through the purchase agreement for the sale can help offer an opportunity to tailor the agreement to better address the needs of the parties involved.

Here are some common examples of things a real estate lawyer can help determine:

  • Was there a lawful addition to the property or has the property been altered?
  • Will future changes to the property that the buyer wants to make be legally allowed?
  • If an inspection reveals lead-based paint, termites, asbestos, or radon, what will happen?
  • What will occur if the property is found to contain hazardous waste?
  • If the closing fails to take place, what happens? What are the legal consequences? What happens to the earnest money and down payment?
  • Will the down payment be held in an escrow account? Will a lawyer oversee the escrow account? What are the escrow instructions and are they appropriate?
  • Does closing depend on the buyer getting financing? Is the condition appropriate for this sale? Most buyers need to finance most of the purchase price for a home with a mortgage. The purchase agreement should include a carefully worded condition that the purchase agreement is contingent upon the buyer obtaining financing.

Title Search

Once a purchase agreement is signed, it is appropriate to determine the title for the property. It is important that both the buyer and the financial institution offering to finance are satisfied with the results of the title search. It is also important to ensure that the legal description is accurate and that there are no issues with prior or adjoining owners.

Review of the title and ensuring the accuracy of the legal description can be confusing which is why you need a real estate lawyer. They can help determine if there are any exceptions to the title or whether there are potential problems.

Zoning

A real estate lawyer can also ensure that you are aware of any zoning issues. The title search does not include any zoning information. If there are future plans for improvement, the real estate lawyer can help determine whether any zoning ordinances would be violated.

Closing

Even the finish line can be problematic. All closing papers must be prepared, as well as the sale transaction. A real estate lawyer can help a buyer or seller with all of the closing paperwork and ensure that everything is appropriate and properly executed.

It is also helpful to have a real estate lawyer present just in case any last minute disputes arise. If other parties involved have a lawyer present and you are without one, your interests could be unprotected.

As you can see, there are many reasons why you need a real estate lawyer, so make sure your interests are protected during one of biggest events in your life. At O’Dekirk, Allred & Associates in Joliet, we want to make sure that the buying or selling of your home is a positive experience. Let us guide you through the process and provide peace of mind.

What is a Personal Injury Case Worth?

What is a Personal Injury Case WorthAt O’Dekirk, Allred, and Associates in Joliet, our clients often ask what is a personal injury case worth? In calculating what your case may be worth, there is a great deal that must be considered in damages: what have your injuries actually cost, both physically and mentally. Damages should also consider if the defendant needs to pay enough that the payment is a form of punishment, particularly in cases where such an injury or accident may occur again or is egregious in nature.

In personal injury cases, the plaintiff is the injured person. Money damages are generally paid by the person or company (the defendant and/or their insurer) who is legally responsible for the accident or injury. Damages can be settled out of court by negotiating a settlement. Such negotiations can involve the parties, their attorneys, and the insurance companies, for example. If a negotiation is not reached or agreed to by all parties, the case may go to trial where a jury or a judge may award damages.

Personal Injury Cases and Compensatory Damages

When it comes to what is a personal injury case worth, most of the damages are considered to be compensatory. This means that the award is supposed to compensate for whatever was lost during the injury or accident. Compensatory damages are intended to use money to make the injured party “whole” from a monetary standpoint. A dollar figure is intended to match the damage from the accident or injury. This can be straightforward for some compensatory damages.

For example, the cost of medical bills or property damage can be fairly easy to calculate. Other damages, such as pain and suffering, can be much more difficult to quantify. For example, if a plaintiff can no longer enjoy participating in his favorite hobby as a result of injury, finding a monetary amount to compensate can be more difficult.

Types of Compensatory Damages

There are different kinds of compensatory damages that are frequently involved in personal injury cases which can make it difficult to determine what is a personal injury case worth. Here are some of the more common types of damages that are awarded these types of cases.

Medical Treatment: Personal injury awards almost always cover the cost of medical treatment and care associated with the injury or accident. Medical treatment covers the treatment you have already received, as well as the estimated cost of all medical care and treatment expected or needed in the future as a result of your injury or accident.

Income: The accident or injury may have affected your ability to make money in the future and this loss can be calculated in the total compensatory damages. This is called compensation for a loss of earning capacity. Additionally, the loss of wages and salary that already occurred as a result of the accident or injury should be included.

Property Loss: Physical property that was damaged or destroyed as a result of the accident should be included in your compensatory damages. You should be able to be included the fair market value of the property that was damaged or destroyed.

Pain and Suffering: The physical discomfort caused by the accident or injury, as well as emotional stress that continues as a result of the accident, are all considered to be a part of pain and suffering. This component also takes likely future pain and suffering into account when determining the award and the defendant’s negligence.

Emotional Distress: This type of punitive damage is often involved in more severe accidents or injuries. This is intended to compensate for anxiety, fear, sleep loss or other emotional impacts that have occurred as a result of the accident. Emotional distress may be a part of pain and suffering in some states. Additionally, emotional distress can also include depression, anger, loss of appetite, mood swings, lack of energy, and sexual dysfunction.

Loss of Enjoyment: If you can no longer enjoy day-to-day activities such as exercise, hobbies, and other pursuits, you may be entitled to this type of personal injury award.

Loss of Consortium: Often this type of personal injury award is awarded because the injury or accident has impacted the plaintiff’s relationships, often the plaintiff’s spouse. Sometimes there is a loss of companionship or the couple’s sexual relationship has been altered. Sometimes “loss of consortium” in some states considers family members separately, so these damages can be awarded to family members that are affected not necessarily the injured party.

Damages Can Be Affected by Plaintiff

Plaintiffs in personal injury cases need to be aware that their role in the accident or possible inaction following injury can reduce the amount of damages awarded, and affect what is a personal injury case worth.

Comparative Negligence: If you were even partially responsible for your accident or injury, it is likely that your damage award will be lower as a reflection of your role. Usually, this is because many states have a standard for “comparative negligence” that looks at a plaintiff’s degree of fault in personal injury award decisions.

Contributory Negligence: There are a few states that use contributory negligence in personal injury lawsuits. Contributory negligence means that if you are even partially to blame for an accident, you may not be entitled to any compensation at all.

Failure to Mitigate Damages: Many states expect that a plaintiff will take reasonable steps to minimize the harm caused by an accident. For example, if a plaintiff fails to seek medical attention and this failure causes their injury to be worse, the award for damages may be significantly less. So if you have been injured in an accident, it will be important to make sure that you are receiving appropriate medical treatment both so that you take care of your health, but also to protect your ability to receive damages.

If you have been injured in an accident and are considering pursuing a personal injury case, contact us at O’Dekirk, Allred, and Associates in Joliet to discuss what is a personal injury case worth. We can help you determine whether to pursue legal action and help you determine how much of an award we can help you pursue.

 


Blogs and articles by O’Dekirk, Allred and Associates, LLC are for educational purposes only and to give you a general understanding of the law, not to provide any legal advice or be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed, professional attorney in your state or jurisdiction.

Use all blogs and articles at your own risk. The information presented may not reflect the most current legal developments, verdicts or settlements. These materials may be changed, improved, or updated without notice. O’Dekirk, Allred and Associates, LLC is not responsible for any errors or omissions in the content of this site or for damages arising from the use or performance of this site under any circumstances.

By reading our blog and articles you also understand that there is no attorney-client relationship created between you and O’Dekirk, Allred and Associates, LLC.

Do You Need a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Illinois?

Need a Criminal Defense Lawyer in IllinoisDo you need a criminal defense lawyer in Illinois? While self-representation is an option, we at O’Dekirk, Allred, and Associates in Joliet do not recommend it. In fact, the overwhelming majority of defendants in criminal cases choose to be represented by a lawyer, particularly if there is a possibility of jail or prison. While it can be difficult to obtain good statistics, experts estimate that less than 1% of defendants choose self-representation and there are a number of important reasons why.

Legal Inexperience

While it may be tempting for a person to defend his or herself, self-representation can have severe drawbacks. Though law books contain a great deal of information, there is a lot to be gained from the actual time spent defending people in various cases and situations. Building a solid criminal defense comes from a comprehensive understanding of the written law, as well as the realities and actualities of the Illinois criminal justice system. The actual practice of criminal law can be quite very different than the knowledge offered in books.

Prosecutorial Discretion

When it comes to do you need a criminal defense lawyer in Illinois, a very good reason can be found by examining the power of a prosecutor. Their role determines much of what happens in a criminal case. Though from an average person’s view, there may only be one criminal act involved in a case, a prosecutor can charge a defendant with a number of crimes stemming from one act. The reasons for multiple charges ranging in severity can vary based on the merits of the case. The defense for a set of charges can become far more complicated and confusing to the uninitiated.

Whether you’re facing a felony or even a misdemeanor, having an experienced defense lawyer, like the ones we have at O’Dekirk, Allred, and Associates in Joliet, can be an immense asset when it comes to facing harsh punishments like prison.

Novice v. Experience

Prosecutors have honed their legal abilities over time, both in and out of the courtroom. A prosecutor is not generally going to make things easy for a pro se defendant. Prosecutors will take full advantage of a novice in the courtroom because they want to win their cases regardless of who is performing the defense. They will use procedures and courtroom technicalities to trip up pro se defendants.

Prosecutors also have a great deal of experience with various defense strategies and they are well aware of how to effectively deal with any strategy a novice will use in the courtroom. Pro se defendants will generally be outmatched in courtroom experience, which can be not only detrimental but also costly in terms of outcomes. If you’re wondering do you need a criminal defense lawyer in Illinois, just think about facing an experienced and winning prosecutor in the courtroom.

The Power of Elections

Prosecutors and judges are elected officials whose records become the target of opponents in every election. The politics of these positions can play a huge role in how things play out in the courtroom. Prosecutors and judges are expected to be tough on crimes such as drug offenses and DUI cases. It is naïve to think that such pressures will not have an impact on how cases will be tried and prosecuted.

A lawyer who is knowledgeable of the local political scene will be able to better navigate the system to the benefit of the defendant. Someone who is self-representing will rarely have any level of knowledge of the role of politics in the particulars of their case.

How Will an Attorney Help?

No matter how well educated or smart a person is, when deciding do you need a criminal defense lawyer in Illinois, remember that the criminal justice system is much too complicated for even the smartest among us to effectively represent ourselves. Additionally, defense lawyers:

  • Have time to dedicate to the case because it is their job. Pro se defendants may have jobs of their own or responsibilities that limit the amount of time they can spend on their own defense.
  • Negotiate with prosecutors, often achieving lesser charges and reduced sentences. Often defense lawyers have a working relationship with the prosecutor, which allows for more savvy negotiations, something a self-representative would not have, making successful negotiation less likely.
  • Are familiar with local procedures, customs, and preferences. For example, your defense lawyer may know that your prosecutor doesn’t have the real authority to settle your case. Your defense lawyer may also be able to make arguments that they know are likely to appeal to the judge or prosecution.
  • Interview witnesses for the prosecution. The defendant may have trouble getting witnesses to share information. Witnesses may be fearful or angry and uncooperative with the defendant but cooperate fully and helpfully with a criminal defense lawyer.
  • Understand the true cost of pleading guilty. They know consequences that may or may not occur to the defendant or the defendant’s friends and family.
  • Hire investigators that can be effectively used during the trial. An investigator can sometimes be used to offer contradicting information for witnesses who may embellish their courtroom stories. This can be much more effective in court than a pro se defendant saying, “the witness had a different version of events the last time we spoke.”

Personally Invested

When deciding do you need a criminal defense lawyer in Illinois, remember that as a defendant, you’re going to have a personal stake in all the courtroom proceedings. This high level of personal and emotional investment can sometimes cloud your judgment. Having an impartial and professional criminal defense lawyer can help keep the strategies and responses clear and effective, something that cannot always be achieved in pro se defenses.

After the Trial

If your defense attorney fails to properly defend you, this can be used to appeal your case or have a conviction reversed. People who choose to self-represent cannot use this argument. Though they may have made mistakes in their defense, the law does not allow them to use their own poor performance as a reason to re-examine the case.

Do you need a criminal defense lawyer in Illinois? Ultimately, the short answer is yes. We at O’Dekirk, Allred, and Associates in Joliet can help if you or someone you know needs a defense lawyer. We have experience with criminal trials and can get you the level of defense you need and deserve.

 


Disclaimer: Blogs and articles by O’Dekirk, Allred and Associates, LLC are for educational purposes only and to give you a general understanding of the law, not to provide any legal advice or be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed, professional attorney in your state or jurisdiction.

Use all blogs and articles at your own risk. The information presented may not reflect the most current legal developments, verdicts or settlements. These materials may be changed, improved, or updated without notice. O’Dekirk, Allred and Associates, LLC is not responsible for any errors or omissions in the content of this site or for damages arising from the use or performance of this site under any circumstances.

By reading our blog and articles you also understand that there is no attorney-client relationship created between you and O’Dekirk, Allred and Associates, LLC.

The Basics of Divorce in Illinois

The Basics of Divorce in IllinoisAt O’Dekirk, Allred & Associates in Joliet, we help a number of clients through the basics of divorce in Illinois. If you are looking at the prospect of a divorce, the following overview will help you get an understanding of the process.

Do You Need a Lawyer?

First, it is important to understand that a divorce can have long-term consequences for you. You may not understand or even be aware of all of them, even if you and your spouse agree on everything. Given the potential consequences, getting good legal advice is important and may ultimately result in you needing a divorce lawyer.

Self-representation

Representing yourself is called proceeding “pro se”. If you feel you may pursue representing yourself or cannot afford to hire an attorney, you should contact your local circuit’s domestic relations division. They should be able to provide you with information and resources for “pro se” divorces. You can find local circuit court information at the Illinois State Court website.

Residency Requirement

The law requires that either you or your spouse must have resided in the state of Illinois for the last 90 days prior to filing for divorce in Illinois. Service members who are stationed in Illinois can also legally file for divorce if they have been stationed in the state for a minimum of 90 days. For Illinois courts to make any decisions regarding child custody or visitation rights, the children in question must have been residents of the state for the last six months.

“No Fault” Divorces in Illinois

If a couple has irreconcilable differences, or can no longer get along and have lived apart for at least two years, they may qualify for a no fault divorce. If both spouses agree in writing, the court may consider reducing the separation to six months. In Illinois, even if spouses share the same house, they can meet the requirement of living apart if they inhabit different spaces of their home. The separation can start even if the spouses still share finances and even while there are efforts to reconcile, such as marriage counseling.

“Fault” Divorces

There are several grounds for fault divorce in the state of Illinois. The statutes include:

  • Physical or mental cruelty
  • Excessive use of drugs or alcohol
  • Felony conviction or conviction of an “infamous” crime
  • Adultery, bigamy, or impotence
  • At least one year of willful desertion
  • Attempted murder of the other spouse
  • Passing a sexually transmitted disease to the other spouse

In Illinois, there is little benefit to establishing a fault divorce. Illinois courts do not take a fault into consideration when deciding to divide property or award alimony. Depending on the nature of the fault though, fault may be taken into consideration during child custody or visitation decisions. An attorney can provide guidance as to whether choosing a fault divorce would be beneficial.

Filing for Divorce

In Illinois, divorce is also called dissolution of marriage. The spouse who wants the divorce files a “Petition for Dissolution of Marriage” with their resident county’s circuit court. The petition must include some basic information about the grounds for dissolution, current living arrangements, and children from the marriage. The appropriate sheriff’s office or process server will “serve” the other spouse with the petition and a summons (also required).

Length of Process

The basics of divorce in Illinois includes a timeframe that can vary widely based on your particular circumstances. If your divorce is uncontested and you are your spouse are in agreement on all the arrangements, your divorce can be as quick as one month. Contested divorce cases, can be lengthy. Some of these cases can take as long as two years or more.

Cost

There is a fee to file your petition and an additional fee to serve your spouse with papers. The total for both is generally around $300. The current specific fees for your area are available from your circuit court office. Attorney, expert, and mediator fees all vary widely and can be unpredictable because of individual rates and time required. The more you and your spouse are in agreement and the fewer issues there are to resolve, the lower your cost will be. If there is a great deal of difficulty reaching agreements, your divorce could become quite expensive.

Joint Simplified Divorce

If you and your spouse meet all the criteria, you may qualify to file a joint simplified divorce petition. This type of divorce is allowed in Illinois if:

  • You and your spouse are in agreement on all issues at the time of filing
  • You and your spouse own no real property
  • You and your spouse have no children together
  • You and your spouse have been married for less than eight years
  • You have a total combined income of less than $35,000 annually
  • You and your spouse have been separated for a minimum of 6 months
  • No alimony or spousal support is being requested.

If you meet all the criteria, your local court will have the appropriate forms for a joint simplified divorce.

“Prove-Up” Hearings

In uncontested divorces, you and your spouse can enter a Marital Settlement Agreement (MSA) and your divorce can be resolved with a “prove-up hearing” which is a simple court appearance. Your lawyer can lead you through a “prove-up” hearing so that it is not overwhelming. They will ask questions about your Petition and you will summarize your MSA for the court records.

Now that you know the basics of divorce in Illinois, you can contact us here at O’Dekirk, Allred & Associates in Joliet if you need guidance on getting a divorce or need an attorney to help you through the process. We’ll protect your rights and make sure you’re thoroughly represented in case any disputes arise. Our goal is to secure the outcome you deserve.

 


Disclaimer: Blogs and articles by O’Dekirk, Allred and Associates, LLC are for educational purposes only and to give you a general understanding of the law, not to provide any legal advice or be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed, professional attorney in your state or jurisdiction.

Use all blogs and articles at your own risk. The information presented may not reflect the most current legal developments, verdicts or settlements. These materials may be changed, improved, or updated without notice. O’Dekirk, Allred and Associates, LLC is not responsible for any errors or omissions in the content of this site or for damages arising from the use or performance of this site under any circumstances.

By reading our blog and articles you also understand that there is no attorney-client relationship created between you and O’Dekirk, Allred and Associates, LLC.

Illinois Law and Prenuptial Agreements

Illinois Law and Prenuptial AgreementsAt O’Dekirk, Allred, and Associates in Joliet, we have numerous clients who come to us for help in understanding Illinois law and prenuptial agreements. These days, it’s not that unusual for a couple who’s considering marriage to also contemplate whether or not a prenuptial agreement is right for them. The first step is seeing how this arrangement works in the state of Illinois.

The Basics of Prenuptial Agreements

Prenuptial agreements create a financial understanding both during and after a marriage. It’s made before marriage and it is essentially a contract between spouses. Prenuptial agreements determine how a couple will handle their debts, financial issues, and assets both during their marriage and if they ever decide to divorce. They are also used to delineate the financial circumstances of each spouse and make determinations about how everything will be managed if there is a divorce. The agreement becomes effective upon marriage.

Who Might Want a Prenuptial Agreement?

A prenuptial agreement may not seem all that romantic, but they can often be very useful and actually improve marital happiness by addressing your financial issues ahead of time. Though prenuptial agreements used to be somewhat unusual, over time they have become very common. There are a number of reasons to consider a prenuptial agreement, such as:

  • If you have children from a previous marriage. You may want or need to protect their inheritance, as well as their future financial interests.
  • If you have a business, you may have interests that would need protection in a potential divorce, or even potentially during your marriage.
  • If you have assets, retirement accounts, or property, you may want these to be clarified as personal assets which will not be split if a divorce occurs.
  • You may want an agreement about any property or assets that are acquired during your marriage to outline how such acquisitions will be handled both during the marriage and after the marriage if there is a break-up.

What Can a Prenuptial Agreement in Illinois Cover?

In Illinois, prenuptial agreements can cover some or all of the following:

  • Whether one spouse pays another alimony in case of a divorce. This can include both the amount and the duration.
  • Each spouse’s property ownership following a divorce.
  • Each spouse’s right to sell, transfer, manage, use, or dispose of property both during the marriage and following the occurrence of a divorce.
  • Either spouse’s responsibility for having a will that will carry out the terms in the prenuptial agreement.
  • The ownership rights of either spouse in the death benefit from the other spouse’s life insurance policy.
  • Any other issue that can be legally part of a contract between two people.

Can a Couple Make Amendments to a Prenuptial?

Yes, if both spouses want to alter or revoke their prenuptial agreement they can as long as they are still married. Alterations to the prenuptial agreement must be signed by both spouses and the changes they wish to make must be in writing.

Illinois Law and Prenuptial Agreements, Child Custody

Prenuptial agreements cannot determine or change a child’s right to receive child support. The right to child support belongs to the child, not the parent or legal guardian, and as a result, parents cannot determine, change, or cancel child support via a prenuptial agreement.

Additionally, prenuptial agreements cannot decide child custody. Depending on the situation, parents or the court will decide custody for the child or children at the time of the divorce, based on the child’s best interest at the time of the divorce.

Illinois Law and Prenuptial Agreements, Enforcement

Like a number of other states, Illinois uses the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act (UPAA). UPAA guidelines outline for the courts whether a prenuptial agreement is enforceable in the state.

Prenuptial agreements do not require a witness beyond the couple involved, and the document must be in writing and signed by both spouses. Additionally, prenuptial agreements are not required to be recorded by a court clerk. While a listing of both spouses debts, assets, and property is not legally required, a court is more likely to enforce the agreement when it is clear that both parties had a clear understanding of each other’s financial situation.

Avoid Nullifying Enforcement of Your Prenuptial Agreement

There are circumstances, which will prompt a judge to not enforce the terms of your prenuptial agreement. These include:

  • If one spouse signed the agreement under duress. Duress is not simply that the marriage would not take place unless the prenuptial agreement was signed. There must have been the kind of threat that the spouse had no other choice but to sign. The amount of time between the signing of the agreement and the marriage may play a role in this determination as well
  • If following the agreement would result in one spouse needing public assistance
  • The terms of the agreement are unconscionable (or severely unfair/unjust)
  • If not all assets were disclosed or the disclosure was dishonest (i.e. the spouse did not waive receiving the financial information)
  • If there was no other way for a spouse to know about the other’s financial situation

It is up to the judge hearing the divorce case to decide whether the prenuptial agreement is unenforceable due to the circumstances. Attorneys are not required for the judge to make a determination whether the agreement is enforceable.

Other Situations that Invalidate the Agreement

There are additional circumstances that would invalidate a prenuptial agreement. If one spouse was too young to marry, the agreement will be invalidated. Also, if a spouse was still married to another person, the agreement will be considered invalid. Spouses who are mentally deficient, legally incompetent, or insane cannot be expected to have fully understood the prenuptial agreement and such a situation would render the agreement invalidated.

Now that you understand more about Illinois law and prenuptial agreements, come to O’Dekirk, Allred, and Associates Joliet for help in putting your prenuptial agreement together so that you and you spouse are better protected both during your marriage and in the unfortunate event of divorce. Simply contact us today for a free initial consultation.

Domestic Violence and Orders of Protection

domestic violence and orders of protectionO’Dekirk Allred and Associates in Joliet knows how important it is that you understand domestic violence and orders of protection in Illinois. If you are involved in a case involving these issues, we can help whether you’re facing a threatening situation or have an order of protection filed against you. During an initial consultation with us, we’ll help you understand the laws, as well as provide information regarding moving forward with our firm as your legal representation.

Legal Definition of Domestic Violence in Illinois

The State of Illinois defines the five types of domestic violence as: physical abuse, harassment, intimidation of a dependent, interference with personal liberty, and willful deprivation. Knowing the definitions of each type will help you understand if your situation may fit one or more of these categories. If you are uncertain, seeking legal assistance is a wise choice both for guidance and help.

  1. Physical abuse: This includes sexual abuse, physical abuse, confinement, and restraint. Physical abuse also encompasses actions that create a risk of physical and immediate harm as well as unnecessary, repeated, and purposeful sleep deprivation.
  2. Harassment: Necessary behavior that results in emotional distress such as creating a disturbance, repeated phone calls, following you, and keeping you under surveillance. Harassment can occur at your home, work, or school. Other types of harassment include threatening, confinement, or restraining you. Hiding your child or threatening to take your child away can also be a form of harassment. If someone is accused of doing this, but was fleeing from a domestically violent situation, there is an exception for such a circumstance.
  3. Intimidating a dependent: If an abuser forces a dependent to participate in or watch physical force, confinement, or restraint of another person, this is considered to be intimidation of a dependent.
  4. Interfering with personal freedom: Forcing you, by threatening intimidation, violence, suicide, deprivation, or restraint, to do something you don’t want or not allowing you to do something you have a right to do.
  5. Purposeful deprivation: Putting a person at risk of emotional, physical, or mental harm by willfully denying medical care, shelter, food, medication, or other necessary help.
 
Orders of Protection

If you or a loved one is experiencing domestic violence, there are several types of protection orders available. Orders of protection provide a legal safeguard from a household or family member who has committed domestic violence against you or a minor or dependent. Seek legal advice if you are uncertain which type you should pursue or if you need assistance.

Emergency Orders Emergency orders can be given by a judge based on just your testimony. In most situations, the abuser does not get any prior notice and is not required to be present in court for the order to be granted. These are granted if the harm you are trying to prevent would be likely to occur if the abuser were notified. To get an abuser out of your shared home, the judge must believe that the hardship to the abuser is outweighed by the immediate danger to you. The emergency order can allow you to obtain your personal property, if you have an immediate and pressing need, as part of this order or if the judge believes the abuser would likely get rid of the property once he or she discovered you were asking for it. Emergency orders can be filed on weekends, holidays, or even at night. The emergency order remains in effect until you can have a full hearing, often in 14-21 days, for a plenary order.

Interim Orders A full court hearing is not required for an interim order to be granted; however, the abuser must be notified of your court hearing date and the abuser or his or her lawyer must have made an appearance before the court. Interim orders can last for up to 30 days and are often used to fill the time between your emergency order and a plenary order.

Plenary Orders This type of order is good for up to two years and can be renewed as many times as is needed. A court hearing where both you and the abuser have an opportunity to present evidence is required. It is a good idea to have a lawyer present at plenary hearings, particularly if you suspect the abuser will bring a lawyer. Our lawyers here at O’Dekirk, Allred & Associates have represented both sides of plenary orders and are ready to take on your case.

Common Questions

Can an advocate come to court with me for support? In most cases, victims of abuse can use a domestic abuse advocate or lawyer to help you prepare your petition and you may have an advocate with you in court to confer with during your court hearing unless the judge does not allow it.

In which county am I allowed to file a protection order?

You may file for a protection order in the county you reside in, the county where the abuser resides, the county where the abuse took place or even where you are temporarily located. Filing in your temporary county is allowed if you left your home to avoid additional abuse and could not obtain safe temporary housing in the county of your residence.

If you are requesting the abuser be removed from your residence as part of your protection order, you can only file in the county of the residence or in a neighboring county or you must meet one of the following exceptions: you are filing for divorce and the order of protection; you have fled the county to avoid abuse and can only qualify for exclusive possession as part of an emergency order of protection.

Understanding the laws about domestic violence and orders of protection in Illinois can help you navigate your situation and ensure the best possible outcome. If you find yourself on either side of a domestic violence case and need legal assistance, advice, or support, contact O’Dekirk, Allred & Associates. We offer free consultations and if needed, thorough representation.

How to Get Your License Reinstated After a DUI in Illinois

How to Get Your License Reinstated After a DUI in IllinoisYou need to be able to drive, so if you want to know how to get your license reinstated after a DUI in Illinois, contact O’Dekirk, Allred and Associates in Joliet. Did you know in Illinois, if your driver’s license is revoked, there is no automatic reinstatement of your driving privileges? We understand the license reinstatement process and can help you get a restricted driver’s permit and then your driver’s license back.

If you are convicted of driving under the influence the Secretary of State is required to revoke your driver’s license. Once your license is revoked, you can only get your license back through the Formal Administrative Hearing office at the Secretary of State.

The hearing process is not easy. You will be asked questions about your past and your DUI arrests as well as your current and past alcohol and drug usage. That’s why it helps to have one of our attorneys on your side.

At your hearing, you will be required to submit evaluations, treatment documents, even letters from witnesses who can attest to your character and/or behavior. The Secretary of State will look at your arrest reports, tickets, driving record, and court disposition sheets from your DUIs. You will be placed under oath and have to answer questions about what’s in these documents.

Formal and Informal Hearings

There are informal and formal hearings for license reinstatement. If you’ve only had one DUI, you can have an informal or a formal hearing, but if you’ve had two or more DUIs, or an offense involving a fatality, you must have a formal hearing. While each case is unique and laws may change, let’s take a look at some of the basics.

Basics of an Informal Hearing

  • Available on a walk-in basis, no appointment needed
  • You will be required to fill out several documents, then wait to be called
  • There is only the Hearing Officer, you and your DUI defense attorney present
  • There is no record of the hearing, therefore you will not be able to appeal
  • The Hearing Officer will submit facts and recommendations to the Department of Administrative Hearings for final review and decision
  • You will receive an official Order within 90 days
  • You may be denied, granted a restricted driving permit or be eligible for reinstatement
  • You must wait 30 days if you are denied and want another hearing

Basics of a Formal Hearing

  • It requires a written request to the Secretary of State and filing fee
  • A written notice will be sent to you with the date and time of the hearing
  • Depending on your risk level (see below) a variety of documentation is required
  • An Administrative Judge, employed by the Secretary of State, conducts the hearing. An SOS prosecutor will also be present.
  • A Hearing Officer will administer oaths, possibly ask you questions, rule on motions and evidence, then provide the state with ruling recommendations
  • The hearing is tape-recorded, which also means you may file an appeal if necessary
  • All evidence/documentation will be submitted and testimonies will be heard
  • The Hearing Officer will submit facts and recommendations to the Department of Administrative Hearings for final review and decision
  • You will receive an official Order in 4-8 weeks
  • You may be denied, granted a restricted driving permit or be eligible for reinstatement
  • You must wait 4 months if you are denied and want another hearing

Risk Classification Levels

When it comes to how to get your license reinstated after a DUI in Illinois, these classification levels will have bearing on your hearing, including documentation required, and all steps you’ll need to take to be eligible to have your license reinstated in some format.

Level I Minimal Risk

  • Only one DUI arrest – no prior convictions or court-ordered supervisions or statutory summary suspensions or prior reckless driving conviction reduced from DUI
  • Took the breath test and registered a BAC under 0.15
  • Show no other signs of alcohol abuse or dependence

Requirements

  • Completion of a 10-hour Driver Risk Education (DRE) course.

Level II Moderate Risk

  • Only one DUI conviction – no prior convictions or court-ordered supervisions or statutory summary suspensions or prior reckless driving conviction reduced from DUI
  • A BAC of 0.15 to 0.19 or refused to take the breath test on their first DUI
  • Show no other signs of alcohol abuse or dependence

Requirements

  • Completion of the DRE course
  • At least 12 hours of alcohol counseling

Level II Significant Risk

  • At least one prior DUI conviction or court-ordered supervision or statutory summary suspension or one prior reckless driving conviction reduced from DUI
  • Register .20 or higher on the blood or chemical breath test (breathalyzer)

Requirements

  • Completion of the DRE course
  • At least 20 hours of alcohol counseling
  • 1-3 months of aftercare monitoring

Level III High Risk, Dependent

  • 3 DUI arrests in the last 10 years from current DUI
  • Signs of alcohol abuse and/or dependence

Requirements

  • Completion of inpatient alcohol treatment or 75 hours of intensive outpatient counseling, or official agency waiver of treatment
  • Prove that for at least the last 12 months before the hearing, you have not used ANY alcohol and illegal drug
  • Prove establishment of an ongoing support/recovery program like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or other documented program

Level III High-Risk, Non-Dependent

  • 3 DUI arrests in the last 10 years from current DUI
  • Less than three signs of alcohol abuse and/or dependence

Requirements

  • Completion of inpatient alcohol treatment or 75 hours of intensive outpatient counseling, or official agency waiver of treatment
  • Prove “non-problematic” alcohol/drug use for at least the last 12 months before hearing
  • Submit a provider report ruling out dependence and alternative cause for behavior

Types of Restricted Driving Permits (RDP)

Instead of making your eligible to reinstate your license, the Secretary of State may issue you a restricted driving permit that allows you to drive certain places, including:

  • To and from work
  • Support/recovery meetings such as AA or classes
  • Scheduled medical appointments for you and family members
  • School (including daycare) for you and family members

A driver’s license revoked for a DUI makes daily living extremely difficult and can hamper both your family and work life. Let our attorneys at O’Dekirk, Allred and Associates in Joliet guide you through the process of how to get your license reinstated after a DUI in Illinois. We understand how important your driving rights are to you and will put you in the best position to succeed at your driver’s license reinstatement hearing. Our goal is to get your life back on track.