Helping Individuals In and Around Marion, Illinois

Helping others in Marion, ILMarion, Illinois, a dispersed urban area that developed out of the early 20th Century coalfields, serves as the largest retail trade center in Southern Illinois.  The 17,413 residents of Marion share their home with the Illinois Star Centre Mall and the Southern Illinois Miners baseball team.

Marion is also the home of the clock tower above Marion Square and the Lawler Brown Law Firm which offers a full range of legal services to local area residents and members of their families including:

  • Personal Injury
  • Wrongful Death
  • Criminal defense
  • Traffic violations
  • Hunting violations
  • Oil and gas including lost mineral rights
  • DUI/DWI
  • Probate
  • Estate Administration
  • Real Estate
  • Business law
  • Workers’ Compensation

Marion Accident Cases 

Our experienced attorneys can also assist Marion, Illinois, residents with accident and injury cases including:

  • Automobile accidents
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Wrongful death

If you or a family member have been injured in an accident, it is important to speak to a Marion personal injury attorney as soon as possible to communicate with insurance companies or file a lawsuit where necessary.  If you have suffered property damage or sustained injuries from an accident, our attorneys can help you receive all of the compensation that you deserve.

Marion Criminal Defense Cases 

If you or someone you love has been arrested or charged with a criminal offense in Marion, Illinois, it is important to speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.  All criminal arrests and charges are serious and require immediate attention including:

  • Reckless driving
  • Speeding
  • Distracted driving
  • Drug offenses
  • Disorderly conduct
  • Underage consumption of alcohol
  • Driving under the influence

Every case will vary and may have unique legal issues.  When you are arrested for a crime or receive something as ordinary as a traffic ticket in Illinois, call our office before pleading guilty. A guilty plea and paying a minor traffic ticket can cost you hundreds or more in increased insurance rates, denial of the ability to rent vehicles, and more. The consequences of pleading guilty to more serious crimes are even more severe and can have life altering effects.  Our legal team is highly experienced and understands how Illinois laws apply to these types of cases so we can best protect your rights.  

Other Marion, Illinois, Legal Matters 

Our skilled lawyers also assist Marion residents with a variety of other legal matters including probate and estate administration, real estate and business law matters.  At the Lawler Brown Law Firm, we have extensive familiarity with many different types of cases and we are prepared to assist you today.

Our office is centrally located in Marion, Illinois; easily accessible via Interstate 57, exit 54.  At right, please find a map noting the location of our office courtesy of Google Maps. For detailed directions from your starting location, simply click the map and you will be directed to Google Maps for further assistance or call for a free consultation today at 618-993-2222.

Providing Legal Services To Herrin, Illinois, Residents

Herrin is referred to as the “friendliest town in all of Southern Illinois” and is home to the Herrin Doughboy statue at the corner of North Park Avenue and Adams Street, serving as a tribute to all those who fought in WWI.

The Lawler Brown Law Firm provides legal services to Herrin families covering many different areas of the law including:

  • Personal Injury
  • Wrongful Death
  • Criminal defense
  • Traffic violations
  • Hunting violations
  • Oil and gas including lost mineral rights
  • DUI/DWI
  • Probate
  • Estate Administration
  • Real Estate
  • Business law
  • Workers’ Compensation

Herrin Injury Cases

Our experienced attorneys also represent Herrin, Illinois, residents with all types of accident and injury cases including:

  • Automobile accidents
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Wrongful death
  • Dangerous property

If you were injured in an accident, an experienced Herrin personal injury attorney can determine what individual or business entity is responsible for your damages. If you suffered property damage or a loved one was killed or injured in an accident, our attorneys can help you receive all of the compensation that you deserve with our hands-on approach to cases.

Herrin Criminal Defense Cases

Any criminal arrest or charge, from a simple speeding ticket to a felony, is a serious matter that requires an experienced Herrin attorney to make certain that your rights are protected.  If you are arrested or charged with a criminal offense, contact a Herrin criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.  The lawyers at the Lawler Brown Law Firm represent clients in connection with all criminal matters including:

  • Reckless driving
  • Speeding
  • Distracted driving
  • Drug offenses
  • Disorderly conduct
  • Underage consumption of alcohol
  • Driving under the influence

Other Herrin, Illinois, Legal Matters

Our skilled lawyers also assist Herrin residents with a variety of other legal matters including probate and estate administration, real estate and business law matters.  At the Lawler Brown Law Firm, we have extensive familiarity with many different types of cases and we are prepared to assist you today with a free consultation.

Our office is located in Marion, Illinois, and is easily accessible via Interstate 57, exit 54.  At right, please find a map noting the location of our office courtesy of Google Maps. For detailed directions from your starting location, simply click the map and you will be directed to Google Maps for further assistance or call for a free consultation today at 618-993-2222.

Legal Services for Carterville, Illinois, residents

Carterville is a charming small town referred to as the “heartland” of Southern Illinois. It is geographically between Marion and Carbondale next to Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge, a 44,000-acre habitat for bald eagles, bobcats, and wild turkeys.

Carterville residents who require legal services can turn to the Lawler Brown Law Firm which provides legal services to families in many different areas of the law including:

•      Personal Injury

•      Wrongful Death

•      Criminal defense

•      Traffic violations

•      Hunting violations

•      Oil and gas including lost mineral rights

•      DUI/DWI

•      Probate

•      Estate Administration

•      Real Estate

•      Business law

•      Workers’ Compensation

Carterville Injury Cases

The attorneys at the Lawler Brown Law Firm also represent Carterville, Illinois, residents in accident and injury cases including:

•      Automobile accidents

•      Motorcycle accidents

•      Slip and fall accidents

•      Wrongful death

•      Dangerous property

An experienced Carterville personal injury attorney can assist you if you are injured in an accident.  In many auto collisions and other types of accidents the injuries people receive are serious and sometimes even life threatening.  Our attorneys can help you through every step of the process from gathering medical documents, drafting a demand letter, contacting the insurance company on your behalf or even filing a lawsuit if necessary.

Criminal Defense in Carterville

Any criminal charge is serious, requiring an experienced Carterville attorney to represent you in all aspects of the case from the arrest to the criminal charge and through the trial.  If you or a loved one is arrested or charged with a criminal offense, it is important to call a Carterville criminal defense lawyer.  The skilled attorneys at the Lawler Brown Law Firm represent clients in all criminal matters including:

•     Reckless driving

•      Speeding

•      Distracted driving

•      Drug offenses

•      Disorderly conduct

•      Underage consumption of alcohol

•      Driving under the influence

Other Legal Matters in Carterville, Illinois

Our lawyers also assist Carterville residents with a variety of other legal matters including probate and estate administration, real estate and business law matters.  At the Lawler Brown Law Firm, we have extensive familiarity with many different types of cases and we are prepared to assist you and your family.

Our office is located in Marion, Illinois, and is easily accessible via Interstate 57, exit 54.  At right, please find a map noting the location of our office courtesy of Google Maps. For detailed directions from your starting location, simply click the map and you will be directed to Google Maps for further assistance or call for a free consultation today at 618-993-2222.

Southern Illinois Workers’ Compensation Basics

Illinois workers’ compensation benefits[1] provide money and medical benefits to an employee who has an injury as a result of an accident or occupational disease on-the-job.  Workers’ compensation is designed to protect workers and their dependents against the hardships from injury or death arising out of the work environment.

Disability Benefits

The primary role of disability benefits is to compensate an individual for wages lost while the injury or illness made it impossible to work. Disabilities fall into one of four categories depending on whether they are total or partial, temporary or permanent.

  1. Temporary total disability:  Prevents an individual from working for a limited amount of time. The vast majority of Southern Illinois workers’ compensation disabilities fall into this category.
  2. Temporary partial disability: A disability that prevents an individual from doing some of the duties of the job for a limited amount of time.
  3. Permanent total disability: Disability that prevents an employee from ever returning to work.
  1. Permanent partial disability: Occurs when the damage is permanent, but only partially impairs the ability to work.

If an employee’s injury or illness places them in any one of these categories, they are entitled to some form of disability benefit. The exact benefit that the employee will receive is based on the amount of money that they were earning prior to the injury.

Marion Death Benefits

The Illinois workers’ compensation program provides a death benefit to people who were related to the deceased worker, such as a spouse, child or parent, and were financially dependent on that person. The main purpose of the benefit is to compensate dependent family members for the loss of financial support.

Dangerous Southern Illinois Occupations Leading to Injury

There are many occupations in Southern Illinois, some of which are more likely to result in a life-altering workplace injury including:

  • Contractors
  • Manufacturing
  • Hospitality
  • Medical
  • Transportation
  • Farmers

Contact a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

Because of the complexity of the laws applicable to workmen’s compensation, if you, or someone that you know, sustain an injury while working, it is important to speak with a workers’ compensation attorney to discuss your rights and legal remedies. At the Lawler Brown Law Firm we understand how difficult it can be after sustaining a work-related injury. Our attorneys can assist you in every step of the workers’ compensation process and help you to receive the compensation that you deserve. Call us today to discuss your work-related injury during a free consultation at 618-993-2222.

References:

[1] http://www.iwcc.il.gov/benefits.htm

Common Questions Regarding a Southern Illinois Wrongful Death

Wrongful Death Statute

The Illinois statute regarding wrongful death[1] provides:

Whenever the death of a person shall be caused by wrongful act, neglect or default, and the act, neglect or default is such as would, if death had not ensued, have entitled the party injured to maintain an action and recover damages in respect thereof, then and in every such case the person who or company or corporation which would have been liable if death had not ensued, shall be liable to an action for damages…”

What is a Wrongful Death?

In personal injury cases that result in death, the family members and loved ones of the decedent often wonder if they can file a lawsuit. These types of cases are known as wrongful death lawsuits, and they are a common kind of personal injury case.  After facing the death of a loved one, it can be difficult to know where to begin.  There are questions common to many wrongful death cases including:

  • What is wrongful death?

Wrongful death is the legal term that describes the death of someone that results from someone else’s wrongdoing, negligence, or intentional action. In a wrongful death case, the person who has died can obviously not file a lawsuit him or herself. Instead, a court appointed administrator, usually that person’s spouse, parents, children, or even other family members can file a lawsuit for wrongful death.

  • Is a wrongful death claim the same as murder?

It can be easy to confuse wrongful death lawsuits with murder, or other types of crimes because both types of situations involve someone dying as a result of someone else’s actions. When you are talking about a wrongful death claim, it is a civil lawsuit, not a criminal case. Even though the person responsible for the death of someone might be criminally liable for the actions that caused the death, a wrongful death case is not the same thing as a criminal charge. Wrongful death is a civil wrong, known as a tort, that is prosecuted in a civil lawsuit separate and apart from a criminal lawsuit.  As a result, a person can be found innocent in a criminal proceeding and still be liable for wrongful death.

  • What are damages in a wrongful death lawsuit?

In any civil lawsuit, the person filing the lawsuit is asking a court to order the wrongdoer to pay compensation for the damage the wrongdoer caused. In wrongful death cases, these damages can arise for many reasons. In addition to economic damages, wrongful death cases can also involve damages for pain and suffering suffered by the deceased before death, grief, loss of companionship or affection, and other items.

  • How do I win a wrongful death lawsuit?

There is no single way to answer this type of question. Any wrongful death lawsuit must be filed in accordance with Illinois laws. There are many procedural and substantive rules that apply to these kinds of cases, and only an experienced Southern Illinois wrongful death lawyer can give you advice.  To be successful with a wrongful death claim it is necessary to demonstrate the following:

  • The loved one’s death was caused by the defendant or that the defendant’s actions or lack of action contributed to the death.
  • The death occurred as a direct result of the defendant’s negligence or wrongdoing.
  • The decedent’s death affected family members, survivors or dependents financially.
  • The loved one’s death resulted in expenses or monetary damages.

Wrongful Death Attorneys

If a loved one was killed as a result of the actions of another person or business entity, it is important to speak to a Southern Illinois wrongful death attorney to discuss the complex legal issues that apply to these types of cases.  Speak to the attorneys at the Lawler Brown Law Firm today to discuss your situation. Call today for a free consultation at 618-993-2222.

References:

[1] http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2059

Are You Eligible For Southern Illinois Boot Camp?

What is Boot Camp?

The Illinois impact incarceration program, more commonly referred to as “boot camp”[1], is a program within the Illinois Department of Corrections that allows eligible offenders sentenced to prison the opportunity to significantly reduce their amount of time served in prison. It is referred to as boot camp because the program is run like a military style boot camp.

Most offenders entering the program are not able to get felony probation for a variety of reasons and are, therefore, facing a prison sentence. Boot camp a 120 day program, allows its successful participants to be home after approximately 6 months, rather than serve the actual sentence with which they initially entered the Illinois Department of Corrections.

Boot Camp Eligibility for Carbondale Residents

Eligibility for the Illinois boot camp program depends on several factors. The most common include the following:

  1. The person cannot be older than 35 years of age,
  1. Certain criminal offenses are excluded, such as any class X offense, certain crimes of violence, and sexual assault crimes,
  1. The sentence imposed cannot exceed 8 years, and
  1. The person must be physically and mentally fit.

It is also important to understand that the person will enter the Illinois Department of Corrections with a “recommendation” from the judge that he/she be placed within the impact incarceration program. The Department of Corrections has final approval of the placement of the person into the boot camp program. It is very uncommon, though, for a recommended and eligible person not to be placed into the program. An unsuccessful participant will likely have to serve the prison sentence they entered into the Department of Corrections with.

Southern Illinois Boot Camps

The Illinois Department of Corrections operates two adult boot camps and one juvenile camp. The adult camps are located at the DuQuoin State Fairground in Perry County, and at Dixon Springs, at the edge of the Shawnee National Forest in deep southern Illinois.  Adult inmates must volunteer before the judge and the placement recommendation by the judge is reviewed when the inmate is received at Corrections. Corrections retains the right to determine who goes to boot camp based on the nature of the crime and whether the inmate can take the regimentation both physically and mentally as the camp is 120-days in length.

Call a Southern Illinois Defense Attorney

If you or someone you loved has been arrested or charged with a crime, it is important to speak to the attorneys at the Lawler Brown Law Firm today to discuss the best defense possible to present at trial based on the specifics of the situation. In the event of a guilty finding, our attorneys can discuss sentencing including possible eligibility for Southern Illinois Boot Camp.  Call today for a free consultation at 618-993-2222.

References:

[1] https://www.illinois.gov/idoc/facilities/Pages/bootcamps.aspx

 

 

 

Southern Illinois Benefits Of Making a Will

Making a Will gives you the opportunity to order your affairs before your death. We all have a natural reluctance to contemplate our own death, but it is one thing in life that is guaranteed. If you don’t leave a Will then the law will step in and a rigid set of rules, known as the Intestacy Rules[1], will dictate what happens to your property and your money.  There are many benefits to making a Will including:

  • Providing Financial Security for Loved Ones: In most cases, a Will is the most effective way of ensuring that those closest to you are adequately provided for after you have gone. It gives important peace of mind not only to you but also your nearest and dearest who will know that steps have been taken to provide them with the financial security they will require.  This is particularly important for unmarried couples as their relationship will not be recognized by the Intestacy Rules which apply when someone dies without leaving a valid Will.
  • Appointing Guardians for your Children: If you have young children and want to provide appropriate care for them after your death this is an important reason to make a Will.
  • Choosing your Executors: A Will enables you to decide who will be responsible for administering your affairs after your death and who will be responsible for making sure your wishes are carried out. This means that you get to choose people who you know will be suitable and who are likely to best represent your wishes. Executors are responsible for administering the estate, including the distribution of personal effects and the contents of the house. It is of vital importance that the right people are chosen. If you do not make a Will then the law will choose for you.
  • Specifying Wishes for your Funeral: Regardless of what your preferences are after your death, a Will enables you to leave instructions for your family and friends.  A Will can also allow you to set out any special wishes regarding a burial or cremation.
  • Making Arrangements for Pets: If you are concerned about who will care for your pets after your death, one solution is to nominate someone in your Will who you trust to care for your animals and to make sensible decisions regarding their care.
  • Avoid Intestacy Rules: One of the most important reasons to make a Will is to avoid the intestacy rules that are applied when an individual passes without a valid Will.   Intestacy laws dictate how property and money are divided when a valid will does not exist.  In many cases, the law produces an outcome that is contrary to what the deceased would have wanted

Contact a Probate Lawyer

If a loved one has passed and you have been named as an executor in their Will, it is important to contact a Southern Illinois probate lawyer.  The attorneys at Lawler Brown work with executors, administrators, personal representatives and heirs, helping you to take the necessary action to successfully close the estate of a loved one.  Call us today to discuss your probate concerns during a free consultation at 618-993-2222.

References:

[1] http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=2104&ChapterID=60&SeqStart=3700000&SeqEnd=5000000

Southern Illinois DUI Offenders Given Opportunity For Restricted Driving Permit Effective January 1, 2016

Effective January 1, 2016, Illinois House Bill 1446[1] amended the Illinois Vehicle Code pertaining to restricted driving permits and revocations of driver’s licenses.  The new law expands the number of revoked and suspended DUI drivers who will now be eligible for driving privileges in Illinois.  The law allows the following categories of drivers to obtain driving privileges at a time when the prior law did not allow such privileges:

  • First Offenders: A first offender is an individual without a prior DUI disposition. A first-time DUI offender is now eligible to apply for a Monitoring Device Driving Permit during the first 30 days of a statutory summary suspension. Previously, you were not able to drive during the first 30 days of your suspension.
  • Repeat Offenders: A repeat DUI offender is now eligible to apply for a Restricted Driving Permit during a statutory summary suspension where previously no driving relief was available.
  • Repeat Convictions: A person with two or three DUI convictions must obtain a restricted driving permit, install a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device on all vehicles owned by the person and may only drive vehicles equipped with the device for a period of five years before full driving privileges may be restored.
  • Four Convictions: A person whose driver’s license has been revoked for life as the result of four DUI convictions may apply for a Restricted Driving Permit after serving a five-year revocation and proving a minimum of three years of abstinence. The person may only drive vehicles that have been equipped with a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device for the remainder of their driving career unless the law changes.

Requirements for a Carbondale Restricted Driving Permit Because of Four DUI Convictions

The requirements to qualify for a restricted driving permit are as follows:

(1) a person may apply only after five years from the most recent license revocation, or after five years from being released from imprisonment, whichever is later.
(2) the person must prove a minimum of three years of uninterrupted abstinence from alcohol, cannabis, methamphetamine, and intoxicating compounds; and
(3) the person must successfully complete any rehabilitative treatment, and be involved in any ongoing rehabilitative activity, recommended by a properly licensed service provider.

The Secretary of State is allowed to consider any relevant evidence to determine whether or not an applicant should be granted a restricted driving permit.  This includes any relevant testimony, affidavits, records, and results from periodic alcohol and drug testing.

Call a Marion DUI Restricted License Attorney

According to the Illinois Secretary of State[2] in 2014, 90 percent of all drivers arrested for DUI, lost their driving privileges.  If you or someone you know is one of those people who lost their driving privileges as a result of a DUI arrest or conviction, call the attorneys at the Lawler Brown Law Firm today to discuss all of the recent changes to the Illinois Vehicle Code and how they might apply to your situation. Call us today for a free consultation at 618-993-2222.

References:

[1] http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/BillStatus.asp?DocTypeID=HB&DocNum=1446&GAID=13&SessionID=88&LegID=86166
[2] https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/publications/pdf_publications/dsd_a118.pdf

Southern Illinois DUI Related Safety Provisions Effective January 1, 2016

Carbondale DUI

Driving Under the Influence[1]” is defined in Illinois as operating a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol, other drugs including cannabis (marijuana) prescribed for medical purposes, or intoxicating compounds and methamphetamine. In Illinois, a driver is legally considered to be under the influence if he/she has a blood-alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or more, has used any illegal substance or is impaired by medication.

Marion DUI Related Safety Provisions

Illinois Senate Bill 627[2] makes several DUI related safety provision modifications to the Illinois Vehicle Code effective January 1, 2016:

  • Restricted Driving Privilege: Removes the “hard time” provisions which currently prohibit driving relief for DUI offenders and instead allows offenders to apply for a Monitoring Device Driving Permit or Restricted Driving permit with a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device.

– First time DUI offenders
– Individuals revoked for DUI and those on second statutory summary suspension

  • Expansion of Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device: Requires any offender with 2 or more DUI or reckless homicide convictions to install a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device as a condition of a Restricted Driving Permit.  Requires, as a condition of a Restricted Driving Permit, a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device, if the offender is convicted of DUI involving death, great bodily harm or permanent disability or disfigurement to another.
  • Warnings to Motorist Form: Requires certain individuals suspected of consuming alcohol to sign a written warning from law enforcement to acknowledge the warning.  A failure to sign the warning cannot be used to prove that the warning was not provided.

Call a Southern Illinois DUI Attorney

If you or someone you loved has been arrested or charged with DUI, it is important to speak to the attorneys at the Lawler Brown Law Firm today to discuss all of the recent DUI safety-related changes to the Illinois Vehicle Code and how they might apply to your situation. Call today for a free consultation at 618-993-2222.

References:

[1] https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/publications/pdf_publications/dsd_a118.pdf
[2] http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/BillStatus.asp?GA=9&DocTypeID=SB&DocNum=627&GAID=8&SessionID=50&LegID=17630

Southern Illinois Dram Shop Law

In Illinois, a person who is injured by the actions of an intoxicated individual may bring a personal injury claim against the wrongdoer.  Also, the injured person may bring a civil claim against a vendor who supplied alcohol to the person who caused the injury. These claims are known as “dram shop[1]” claims; the name comes from the fact that alcohol was traditionally sold by a unit of measure called a dram.

Marion Dram Shop Law

The Illinois statute[2] 235 ILCS 5/6-21 provides that an individual who is injured by an intoxicated person is allowed to bring a claim for damages against the alcohol vendor who supplied the alcohol. The claim may be brought for personal injury, property damage, and damage to means of support or loss of society. In Illinois, the vendor supplying the alcohol that caused the intoxication would be the named Defendant.

Marion IL Elements of Dram Shop Law

The components of a dram shop complaint are:

  1. an injury happened to a person or property;
  2. the injury happened within Illinois;
  3. the intoxicated person caused the injury ;
  4. the alcoholic liquor received from the dramshop caused the intoxication;
  5. the seller or giver of the alcohol is a commercial entity;
  6. the action is filed pursuant to the Dramshop Act; and
  7. the damages for injury to person, property, and/or loss of means of support are claimed.

Damages in Carbondale Dram Shop Cases

Illinois law sets a limit on the alcohol vendor’s financial liability in dram shop cases.  As of January 2016, there is a $65,990.23 dollar limit for personal injury and a $80,654.73 dollar limit for lost support and companionship.  Both of these limits are an overall total per incident, not per dram shop. That means that if the alleged intoxicated party drinks at five different restaurants, the five businesses will be jointly responsible for paying the limit. They will not each be responsible for paying separate damages.

For underage customers, liability is even more severe. An amendment to the Liquor Control Act makes serving a minor a criminal offense, whether the alcohol was served in a business or a public location or inside a private home. If the underage patron merely becomes intoxicated, the crime is a misdemeanor. But if the underage drinker goes on to injure himself or herself or a third party, the crime becomes a felony.

Call a Southern Illinois Dram Shop Attorney

If you were injured by an intoxicated person, you may have a legal claim against the vendor that supplied the alcohol. Call the attorneys at the Lawler Brown Law Firm today to discuss your case during a free consultation at 618-993-2222.

Lawler Brown Law Firm
1600 West Main Street
Marion, IL 62959-1146
618.993.2222

References:

[1] http://www.ncsl.org/research/financial-services-and-commerce/dram-shop-liability-state-statutes.aspx
[2] http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=023500050K6-21