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Illinois immigration lawyerAlthough first-generation immigrants in the United States are consistently shown to commit crimes at lower rates than those who were born in American, immigrants face disproportionate risks from being convicted of a crime - up to, and including, deportation. Even immigrants with green cards can be deported for violating certain laws.

Not all criminal convictions trigger deportation proceedings, and it is important to know which crimes could get you deported. If you are not a U.S. citizen and you have been accused of a crime, or even if you are just being investigated for a crime, it is important to retain aggressive legal immigration and criminal defense representation from an experienced Illinois attorney.

Crimes of Moral Turpitude

“Turpitude” is a somewhat old-fashioned word that means “evil” or “wickedness.” American courts have defined crimes of moral turpitude as those which involve fraud, larceny, and the intent to harm people or things. For example, theft - taking someone else’s property with the intent to permanently deprive that person of it - is usually a crime of moral turpitude. So are assault, domestic violence, and many other crimes involving lying, cheating, or violence. However, some crimes of this nature are considered petty enough not to be classified as a crime of moral turpitude, such as shoplifting goods valued under a certain amount of money.

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Illinois divorce lawyerYou may have been surprised when your spouse served you with divorce papers, but now it is time to take action. Regardless of how you feel about divorce - whether you want it or not - the way you respond to the initial divorce papers will have a major impact on how the rest of the process goes for you. Here are some steps to take if you need to respond to divorce papers in Illinois.

Take a Moment to Think it Through

It can be tempting to react right away to bad news by getting angry, calling your spouse, or responding to the divorce papers with hostile demands. Even if you think your spouse has been totally unreasonable, take a moment to think through the situation before you do anything else. Do not contact your spouse. Do not post about the situation on social media. Do not talk to your kids about it. It is essential to keep a level head and act from a place of rationality.

Find Out When You Need to Respond

The divorce papers will have a date on which you need to respond to the initial filing. This is usually 30 days from your receipt of the papers. You may choose not to respond, but that will not stop the divorce from going through; instead, without a response from you, your spouse will likely be granted the things they are asking for.

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Lombard boating accident lawyerEvery year, hundreds of people die and many thousands more are injured in boating accidents. Although one of the best parts of living in Illinois is the easy access to Lake Michigan, summer boating accidents are common and frequently underreported. One major reason for not reporting a boating accident - even one involving serious injuries - is that everyone on a boat is frequently under the influence of alcohol or drugs. A group of friends may not want to put one another at risk of facing legal repercussions for irresponsible behavior and so agree to keep quiet about an accident that caused someone serious injury.

For the injured party, unfortunately, this usually means they are left dealing with the consequences of a boating accident on their own. This can mean expensive medical bills, missing time at work, ongoing physical therapy, and emotional trauma from the accident. These expenses may mount up to the point where the victim needs help and is no longer willing to stay silent. If this sounds familiar to you, know that you do not have to go through this alone. You may have legal options.

What Should I Do If I Was Hurt in a Lake Michigan Boating Accident?

Although thousands of boating accidents happen every year, the vast majority are attributable to just a few causes. These include:

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Illinois family law attorneyWhen a couple decides to create a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, they usually have questions about what, exactly, the agreement can include. Can they set limits on alimony? What about child support? Can parents agree to split custody of the kids 50/50 now, while they get along well and are not in a heated divorce?

Enforceability is perhaps the most important part of a prenuptial agreement because if a contract is not enforceable, it is a waste of time and money, and a couple ends up fighting over the issues they hoped to protect themselves and each other from. To make sure your prenuptial agreement is enforceable, read this blog about what a prenuptial agreement can address, and then contact an Illinois premarital agreement attorney who can help you create your own.

What Issues Can a Prenup Cover in Illinois?

Perhaps the easiest way to understand what a prenuptial agreement can cover is first to examine what it cannot. Anything related to a child of the marriage - such as child support, parental responsibilities, or parenting time - cannot be addressed. This is because these are separate areas of Illinois law that can only be decided by a family law court at the time a couple legally separates or divorces.

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Illinois student visa attorneyStudents coming to study in the United States are often excited at the prospect of many years of hard work and preparation finally coming to fruition. If you are attending an Illinois university this fall, you may have many questions about what your student visa allows you to do now that you are here. If you have not yet applied to an Illinois university, you likely have questions about student visas and perhaps even what your options may be once your studies are through. Whatever your situation may be, you can get help from an Illinois immigration attorney who knows the law and can answer your questions.

F-1 and M-1 Student Visas

An F-1 student visa allows a student to come to the U.S. and attend an accredited college or training program and work towards a degree or certificate. An M-1 student visa is similar to an F-1 student visa, except that it allows students to attend non-academic programs, such as vocational training in mechanics, cosmetology, or a similar non-academic field.

F-1 student visa holders can usually only work for their university during the first year. Even with on-campus work, not any job will do; the job must generally be located on the university’s campus and the student must be paid from their university’s payroll. Students cannot work more than 20 hours per week during the school year, but they may work more than 20 hours between semesters or during summer vacation. Any off-campus work must usually be related to the student’s area of study and needs to be authorized beforehand.

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