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Consequences of Driving Without a License in Illinois

Traffic violations are not generally considered serious offenses, but that only covers categories such as failing to signal or tailgating. These are petty offenses that warrant a fine in most cases. However, traffic violations such as driving without a valid license are criminal offenses, and carries potentially serious penalties.

Driving without a license is the same as driving with a license that has been suspended or revoked; they are at a minimum a class A misdemeanor in Illinois. Habush Habush & Rottier S.C.® warns that you could spend as much as a year in jail and pay a fine up to $2,500. If you have been involved in an accident where someone got injured, it may be classified as a felony with escalating severity depending on the circumstances such as the severity of the injury to a third party. In such cases, you could be looking at up to 7 years imprisonment and a $25,000 fine, not including expenses for the treatment and compensation of the injured party.

It is certainly an inconvenience having your driving privileges suspended, but not more than spending time in prison and getting a criminal record. If your driver’s license is suspended and you don’t know why, you need to find out so that you can take the necessary steps to lifting it. A notification of license suspension may not detail why, so it is your responsibility to get a court purposes abstract (the driving record) from the office of the Secretary of State.

When the suspension falls under safety responsibility issues or mandatory insurance suspensions, you will need to obtain a certificate of financial responsibility or the SR22 and concomitant car insurance from an accredit insurance company.

Elements of Wire Fraud

White collar crimes involve schemes or misrepresentations to ultimately and illegally obtain money or property and involve no physical violence, so in many instances the sanctions are lighter than for violent crimes. However, there are some types of white collar crimes that carry heavy penalties in terms of prison time and fines. One of these is wire fraud, which is a federal crime from the get go.

To distinguish wire fraud from other types of fraud, the US Code stipulates that the crime was perpetrated using some type of communication over a wire such as the telephone, or more currently relevant, by electronic means. As such, e-mail scams such as the promise of a lot of money in return for a small deposit or personal information are considered wire fraud.

Wire fraud is quite common, occurring in a variety of scenarios. In Houston, three cases of wire fraud were brought against a store owner, two University professors, and two building contractors. The store owner pleaded guilty to 11 counts of wire fraud and faces up to 30 years in prison plus a possible $1 million per count in restitution. A competent Dallas criminal defense lawyer should be able to argue for a lighter sentence considering that the store owner only got a total of $350,000 in the scheme.

The two essential elements of a crime which the prosecution must prove exists to bring a case of wire fraud is provided under the US Code (18 U.S.C. § 1343). These are:

  • That the defendant knowingly and intentionally devised or participated in a scheme designed to defraud another person or entity of money
  • That the defendant used wire or electronic communications in part or in whole to perpetrate the fraud

There are some later additions to the mail and wire fraud statute, most particularly honest services fraud, which does not require any communications over wire or the post office. In the case of the building contractors mentioned earlier, for example, the charge of wire fraud were brought in because they bribed a public official to favor them in awarding city contracts for developing or maintaining buildings.

It can be easy to unknowingly participate in a fraudulent scheme, and if it involves any form or electronic communication, it becomes a federal crime. If charged with wire fraud, lose no time in retaining a qualified criminal defense lawyer to fight for your rights and freedom.

Defining Securities Litigation

Most people would shy away from anything that sounds as complicated as securities litigation, but for the purpose of defining it in everyday language, suffice it to say that it is legal relief for investors that bought securities without knowing the full story behind it. In the US, the parameters of securities litigation are established primarily by two federal laws: the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

Securities are financial instruments such as stocks or bonds which corporations offer to the public for sale through the stock exchange, which is monitored by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). When an investor buys into a corporation by purchasing securities, they are doing so in the belief that it will generate a profit for them. When a corporation or the brokers who serve as middle men in the transaction fails to disclose information that impacts on the decision to buy, they can be held liable.

Under the aforementioned laws, issuers of securities are mandated to register them with the SEC unless they are exempt. They are also required to provide full details about the company that is relevant to prospective investors, which includes any known risks. Registration with the SEC does not mean that the government endorses the company or its offerings, though; it only means the SEC has determined that such a company exists and eligible to make a public offering. The company must provide regular updates about their status by filing quarterly reports to the SEC, including audited financial statements (AFS). In most cases, securities litigation is based on the failure of the company to provide truthful or incomplete information to the SEC and their investors, such as by manipulating the AFS to reflect non-existent profits.

However, it would be a mistake to think that securities litigation is simple; it isn’t. The nature of securities and the laws that govern it are complex, requiring the specialized knowledge of a securities litigation lawyer to understand them, let alone engage in litigation. If you believe that a corporation or broker is engaged in securities fraud, you should consult with a securities litigation lawyer to assess and handle the case for you.