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Embezzlement in Illinois: The Need to Know Basics

September 20th, 2017 at 8:48 am

embezzlement, Illinois embezzlement cases, Rolling Meadows white collar criminal lawyer, penalties for embezzlement, theftEmbezzlement is a type of theft that occurs when a person who has been entrusted with another’s property fraudulently keeps that property for his or her own personal gain or illegally transfers it to a third party. Embezzlement most frequently occurs when money is entrusted to the care of someone who then misappropriates that money in some way.

Examples of Embezzlement

While embezzlement can occur in countless ways, common examples of embezzlement include the following:

  • A waitress who pockets cash from a patron’s bill and enters a lesser amount into the cash register so that the till still balances at the end of her shift;
  • A payroll department manager of a large company who adds his family members who do not work for the company to the payroll in order to collect checks that they have not earned; or
  • The person in charge of counting a church’s weekly offerings who pockets $20 in cash from the collection each week.

Penalties

The penalties for embezzlement in Illinois vary depending on the value of what was stolen in accordance with code section 720 ILCS 5/16-1(b) of the Illinois Compiled Statutes. While those convicted of embezzlement can be forced to pay restitution and substantial fines, they can also be sentenced to serve significant time in prison. For example, consider the following prison sentences that can be handed down in Illinois embezzlement cases:

  • Theft not exceeding $500: Class A misdemeanor that is punishable by up to one year in jail. However, if the crime was committed in a place of worship or a school, or if the theft was of government property, then the crime is a Class 4 felony (punishable by up to three years in prison). Additionally, if the offender was previously convicted of another theft crime (for example, armed robbery, forgery, residential burglary etc.) then his or her embezzlement crime may also qualify as a Class 4 felony (punishable by up to three years in prison).
  • Theft of $500 to $10,000: Class 3 felony that is punishable by up to five years in prison. However, if the crime was committed in a place of worship or a school, or if the theft was of government property, then the crime is a Class 2 felony (punishable by up to seven years in prison).
  • Theft of $10,000 to $100,000: Class 2 felony that is punishable by up to seven years in prison. However, if the crime was committed in a place of worship or a school, or if the theft was of government property, then the crime is a Class 1 felony (punishable by up to 15 years in prison).
  • Theft of $500,000 to $1,000,000: Class 1 non-probationable felony that is punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
  • Theft exceeding $1,000,000: Class X felony that is punishable by up to 30 years in prison.

Consult With a Local White Collar Criminal Lawyer

As you can see, embezzlement is a serious crime that carries steep penalties in Illinois. Therefore, anyone who has been charged with embezzlement is strongly encouraged to retain an experienced Rolling Meadows white collar criminal lawyer to defend his or her interests. At The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley our criminal defense team has extensive experience defending clients accused of white collar crimes and is intimately familiar was the unique complexities that white collar cases pose.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K16-1

The Consequences of Driving Without Insurance in Illinois

September 18th, 2017 at 9:32 am

Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney, driving without insurance, traffic offenses, Illinois traffic offense, suspended driver's licenseIn Illinois, drivers are required by the Illinois State Legislature Vehicle Code to carry at least a minimum amount of auto insurance. Currently, in order to meet our state’s auto insurance requirements, Illinois drivers must carry at least the following amounts of liability insurance:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury per person,
  • $50,000 for bodily injury coverage per accident,
  • $20,000 for property damage,
  • $25,000 for uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per person, and
  • $50,000 for uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per accident.

Some people mistakenly believe that driving without adequate auto insurance in Illinois is not a big deal; however, in reality, drivers who are caught failing to meet our state’s insurance requirements suffer a number of different consequences, the most severe of which are outlined below.

Fines for Driving Without Adequate Insurance

Under code section 625 ILCS 5/3-707 of the Illinois Compiled Statutes, fines for a first offense of driving without adequate auto insurance in Illinois range from $500 to $1,000 while repeat offenders are required to pay a $1,000 fine for an ordinary violation and a $2,500 fine if they were caught after causing an accident in which someone else was injured.

Additionally, Illinois residents who are convicted of driving without adequate insurance also have to pay an additional $100 reinstatement fee to get their driving privileges back if their driver’s license is suspended because they drove without adequate insurance.

Other Consequences

Illinois residents who are caught driving without adequate insurance can also have their driver’s licenses suspended. Generally speaking, a first time offender will have his or her driver’s license suspended for three months, at the end of which the license will be reinstated if the offender is able to show proof of insurance and pay the reinstatement fee.

However, each license suspension comes with certain provisions that must be abided by or else the suspension will be extended for an additional six months. Furthermore, it should be noted that driving on a suspended licenses in Illinois is a Class A misdemeanor that is punishable by up to one year in prison and a fine of up to $2,500.

Additionally, a driver who has been caught driving without adequate auto insurance may find that when he or she is able to obtain insurance, he or she will be required to pay higher insurance rates than drivers who do not have such a blemish on their record.

Consult With a Local Attorney

If you have been caught driving without adequate insurance in Illinois, then you are likely facing fines, having your driver’s license suspended, and perhaps other additional penalties. However, the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley may be able to help.

Attorney Chris Cosley is an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney who tirelessly fights for his clients’ rights and driving privileges and helps them avoid criminal convictions whenever possible. Contact the office today.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K3-707

Burglary: The Elements of the Offense in Illinois

September 13th, 2017 at 7:18 am

breaking and entering, burglary, burglary crime, Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer, Illinois criminal defenseBurglary is generally defined as the breaking and entering into the house of another for an unlawful purpose. However, it is important to note that burglary is one of those crimes that is defined slightly differently in each state.

In Illinois, breaking in is not a required element of burglary and there are several different listed entities beyond homes and structures that can be burgled. 

Illinois Statutes Section 19-1: Burglary

According to section 19-1 of the Illinois Statutes, an individual commits the crime of burglary when, without the authority to do so, he or she knowingly enters or remains within a building, watercraft, house trailer, aircraft, railroad car, motor vehicle, or any part thereof, while intending to commit theft or a felony therein. This statute can be broken down into the following key elements:

  • Knowingly Entering or Remaining: Some people mistakenly believe that an offender must physically break something to gain access (for example, a window) in order to commit the crime of burglary. However, in Illinois this is not the case. No physical breaking in is necessary. Instead, the offender must only knowingly enter or remain without the authority to do so. For example, if a teenager intentionally remains in a department store after closing, a court would likely find that he or she knowingly remained in a building without the authority to do so and has therefore fulfilled the knowingly enters or remains requirement of burglary.
  • Intending to Commit Theft or a Felony: This element of burglary is often the most difficult for the prosecution to prove as it speaks to the intent of the offender. In order to satisfy this element, the offender must have entered (or remained) in the building (or watercraft, house trailer, aircraft, etc.) while intending to commit theft or a felony while inside. For instance, if the teenager from the example above remained in the department store with the intent to steal merchandise, then a court would likely find that this second element of burglary has been satisfied.

But how can the prosecution prove that an alleged offender intended to commit theft or a felony? How can anyone know what was in the alleged offender’s mind at the time? For example, how do we know that the teenager intended to steal merchandise and was not just looking for a safe place to spend the night?

Proving criminal intent can be tricky but is generally established via either a confession or circumstantial evidence.

Reach Out to Us For Help

If you have been charged with burglary in Illinois, then the prosecution will need to prove each element discussed above in order to convict you. Therefore, it is critical that you retain an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer who is prepared to aggressively and skillfully defend you against each allegation put forth by the prosecution. Attorney Christopher Cosley, the sole attorney at the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley, is just such an attorney and would be happy to discuss your legal options with you.

Source:

http://ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K19-1

DUI Testing in Illinois

September 11th, 2017 at 9:53 am

breathalyzer test, DUI testing, field sobriety tests, local DUI attorney, Rolling Meadows DUI defense attorneyWhen a police officer pulls you over on suspicion of driving under the influence in Illinois, he or she will likely ask to see your license and registration, ask if you have been drinking, and, if he or she still suspects that you are intoxicated, administer one or more of the field sobriety tests described below.

Field Sobriety Tests

Field sobriety tests are simple tests that police officers administer on the side of the road after pulling a driver over in order to predict blood alcohol concentrations of 0.08 and above. Approved standardized field sobriety tests in Illinois include:

  • The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus: To administer this test the officer asks the driver to follow the tip of his or her pen or finger with only his or her eyes. During this test the officer is looking to see whether the driver is experiencing nystagmus, an involuntary jerking of the eye that is magnified when a person consumes alcohol or certain other drugs.
  • The Walk-and-Turn: During this test the officer asks the driver to walk in a straight line by placing one foot in front of the other, heel to toe, heel to toe, and so forth nine times, turn, and walk back on the line in the same manner. All steps are taken while keeping one’s arms at his or her sides.
  • The One-Legged Stand: Here the officer tells the driver to stand with one’s arms at his or her sides, raise one foot approximately six inches off the ground, and balance on one leg for 30 seconds.

Additionally, a police officer in Illinois can also administer a breathalyzer test on the side of the road in order to measure the amount of alcohol on a driver’s breath. A breathalyzer is a device that gives a very accurate estimate of the amount of alcohol present in the blood of the person who blows into it. However, it is important to note that the only way to actually test someone’s blood alcohol concentration is via a blood test, which police officers do not administer on the side of the road but do conduct at the station after arresting a driver for driving under the influence.

Drivers in Illinois implicitly consent to submitting to a breathalyzer test when asked to do so by virtue of driving in our state. Therefore, refusing a roadside breathalyzer test can carry steep consequences such as having your license suspended.

Accused of Driving Under the Influence? Contact a Local DUI Attorney

Any accusation of driving under the influence in Illinois should be taken very seriously as the penalties available for first-time DUI convictions can include up to one year of incarceration, a fine of up to $2,500, a license suspension of up to six months, and various other penalties as well. At The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley our experienced Rolling Meadows DUI defense attorneys are well aware of the huge toll that a DUI conviction can take on a person’s life. Therefore, we work tirelessly to provide excellent legal representation to each and every one of our clients.

Source:

https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/publications/pdf_publications/dsd_a118.pdf

What Does it Mean to Manufacture a Controlled Substance in Illinois?

September 6th, 2017 at 7:15 am

controlled substance, drug charges, Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer, manufacturing a controlled substance, Illinois drug crimesIn Illinois, it is illegal under state law to manufacture a controlled substance. But what does this actually mean? In general terms, it means that an individual can be convicted of a crime if he or she makes illegal drugs or other substances. However, the legal definition is quite a bit more specific.

Key Definitions re the Unlawful Manufacture of a Controlled Substance

Under the Illinois Controlled Substances Act the terms “manufacture” and “controlled substance” are carefully defined as follows below.

Manufacture: The Illinois Controlled Substances Act defines the term “manufacture” as “the production, preparation, propagation, compounding, conversion, or processing… either directly or indirectly by”:

  • Extracting substances of natural origin;
  • Chemical synthesis; or
  • A combination of extracting and chemical synthesis.

Note that this definition does include any packaging (or repackaging) of a controlled substance or labeling of its container. However, the term manufacturing does not include:

  • The preparation or compounding of a controlled substance by an ultimate user for his/her own use; or
  • Practitioners (i.e. licensed physicians, dentists, veterinarians, pharmacists, nurses, etc.), their agents, or those they supervise preparing, compounding, packaging, or labeling a controlled substance in the course of their professional practice or as part of lawful teaching, research, or chemical analysis.

Controlled Substance: Under the Illinois Controlled Substances Act, a “controlled substance” is defined as (1) a drug, immediate precursor, substance, or a synthetic drug listed in the Schedules of Article II of the Controlled Substances Act or (2) a drug, immediate precursor, or other substance designated as a controlled substance by the Department. Note that this definition does not include wine, distilled spirits, malt beverages, or tobacco.

Penalties

The penalties that a defendant who is convicted of unlawfully manufacturing a controlled substance in Illinois will face varies depending on how much of the controlled substance was manufactured. However, manufacture of a controlled substance is often tried as a Class 4 felony that is punishable by one to three years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000.

However, offenders can alternatively be placed on probation for up to 30 months (rather than being sentenced to serve time in prison) if the court finds that imprisonment is not appropriate nor necessary given the circumstances.

Reach Out to Us Today for Help

The unlawful manufacture of a controlled substance in Illinois is a serious criminal offense that is often tried as a felony carrying a hefty prison sentence. Therefore, if you have been charged with unlawfully manufacturing a controlled substance in Illinois it is vital that you retain a passionate Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer who possesses the requisite experience and knowhow to vigorously defend you. At The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley our seasoned legal time tirelessly fights for the rights of clients throughout Illinois and would be happy to fight for you. Contact our Rolling Meadows office today to schedule your initial consultation.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs5.asp?ActID=1941&ChapterID=53

FAQs About the Juvenile Justice System

September 4th, 2017 at 10:01 am

juvenile charges, juvenile crimes, juvenile justice system, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorneys, Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyerRoughly 100 years ago a juvenile justice system was established in the United States in order to divert young offenders away from the standard criminal justice system and into an alternative system focused on rehabilitation. Today the juvenile justice system still places great importance on rehabilitation. Yet nowadays the system also focuses on punishment, accountability, and promoting public safety as well.

It is also important to note that today each state has it has own juvenile justice system and that each of these 51 systems embraces slightly different objective and operates slightly differently. Therefore, any case specific questions relating to the juvenile justice system in Illinois should be directed to a local juvenile charges defense lawyer. Still, some frequently asked questions about the juvenile justice system at large have been answered below.

Q: How does the juvenile justice system differ from adult courts?

A: The Illinois juvenile justice system differs from adult courts in a number of different ways but some notable difference include the following:

  • In the juvenile system, offenders are not prosecuted for committing “crimes” but are charged with “delinquent acts” instead;
  • Juveniles do not have a public trial but instead have a private adjudication hearing;
  • When a judge in the juvenile system is determining what steps should be taken after a minor is deemed to be delinquent the minor’s best interests are taken into account;
  • Juvenile adjudication hearings are much more informal than trials conducted in the adult system; and
  • The juvenile system embraces alternative sentences (such as parole, probation, diversionary programs, etc.) in cases where the adult system likely would not.

Q: Who can be tried as a juvenile in Illinois?

A: Generally speaking, a juvenile who commits a crime in Illinois before his or her 18th birthday will be tried in the juvenile system. However, under Illinois’ Juvenile Court Act minors who are 15, 16, or 17 years old may be tried as an adult if they are charged with certain serious crimes such as first degree murder, aggravated vehicular hijacking, aggravated sexual assault, etc.

Q: Are juvenile delinquency hearings confidential?

A: Here in Illinois, juvenile delinquency hearings are presumptively closed.

Q: Can juvenile records be expunged in Illinois?

A: Juvenile records in Illinois are sealed when the offender becomes an adult. This means that certain entities (such as most potential employers) will not have access to the record, however, other entities (such as law enforcement organizations and the military) will be able to view it. However, the Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission notes that an Illinois juvenile record can be expunged if the offender is at least 17 years old (or 18 if the record contains a misdemeanor offense) and the youth:

  • Was arrested but not charged;
  • Was charged but not found to be delinquent;
  • Completed court supervision; or
  • Was found delinquent for a business offense, a petty offense, or a misdemeanor offense.

Additionally, some juvenile felony records can also be expunged, however some can not. Whether or not a felony juvenile record can be expunged is highly case specific, so be sure to direct questions about expunging a juvenile felony record to a local juvenile charges defense attorney.

Contact a Rolling Meadows Juvenile Charges Defense Attorney

If your child has had a run in with the law in Illinois you likely have a lot of questions. At The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley our experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorneys would be happy to answer your questions and advise you of your child’s legal options during an initial consultation at our office.

Source:

http://www.icjia.state.il.us/assets/pdf/ResearchReports/IL_Juvenile_Justice_System_Walkthrough_0810.pdf

Drug Paraphernalia is Illegal in Illinois

August 28th, 2017 at 11:10 am

drug paraphernalia, drug possession, Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer, Illinois drug charges, Illinois drug crimesDid you know that under some circumstances it is illegal to possess drug paraphernalia in Illinois? In fact, you can be arrested and charged with a crime if you possess drug paraphernalia with the intent to use that paraphernalia to ingest an illegal substance, regardless of whether or not you also had drugs on you at the time. 

Illinois’ Unlawful Possession of Drug Paraphernalia Statute

Under code section 720 ILCS 600/3.5 of the Illinois Compiled Statutes it is illegal to knowingly possess drug paraphernalia with the intent to use the paraphernalia to take cannabis or a controlled substance (or to prepare cannabis or a controlled substance to be taken).

Unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia is a Class A misdemeanor that is punishable by a minimum fine of $750 and that can be punished by a fine of up to $2,500 and/or up to one year in jail.

The Federal Drug Paraphernalia Statute

It should be noted that federal law also criminalizes possessing drug paraphernalia under some circumstances. For example, under code section 21 U.S. Code § 863 it is illegal for any person to (1) sell (or offer to sell) drug paraphernalia, (2) use the mail or another form of interstate commerce to transport drug paraphernalia, or (3) import or export drug paraphernalia. Violating this code section is punishable by imprisonment for up to three years and payment of a fine.

What Qualifies as Drug Paraphernalia?

Illinois law defines “drug paraphernalia” as any equipment, product, or material (other than methamphetamine manufacturing materials) that are intended to be unlawfully used in propagating, planting, cultivating, harvesting, growing, manufacturing, converting, compounding, processing, producing, testing, preparing, packaging, analyzing, storing, repackaging, concealing, containing, injecting, inhaling, ingesting, or otherwise introducing into the human body cannabis or a controlled substance.

Examples of items frequently deemed to be drug paraphernalia include:

  • Syringes,
  • Needles,
  • Small scales,
  • Glass and metal pipes,
  • Ice pipes or chillers,
  • Isomerization devices used to increase the potency of cannabis or another plant,
  • Testing equipment used to determine the effectiveness, strength, or purity of cannabis or a controlled substances,
  • Diluents and adulterants used to cut cannabis or a controlled substance,
  • Roach clips, and
  • Cocaine freebase kits.

Federal law defines drug paraphernalia in essentially the same way that Illinois law does. The exact wording of the federal definition can be found in code section 21 U.S. Code § 863(d).

Reach Out to Us for Help

If you have been charged with unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia, or some other drug-related crime in Illinois, contact the experienced Rolling Meadows drug paraphernalia possession lawyers of The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley. Our firm is committed to providing exceptional legal representation to those who are in need of strong, aggressive, and supportive legal counsel and we would be happy to assist you. To discuss your legal options with one of our experienced lawyers during a free initial consultation, contact our Rolling Meadows office today.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=1947&ChapterID=53

Are DUI Checkpoints Constitutional?

August 23rd, 2017 at 6:08 pm

drunk drivers, DUI cases, DUI checkpoints, reasonable suspicion, Rolling Meadows drunk driving lawyerA DUI checkpoint (also commonly referred to a sobriety checkpoint or a DUI roadblock) is a roadblock initiated by the police in order to stop every vehicle (or a subset of vehicles) in order to assess the sobriety of drivers passing through. These checkpoints are often set up at times when drunk driving is most prevalent (namely around the holidays and on weekends) and on streets that see a disproportionate number of drunk drivers.

The Constitutionality of DUI Checkpoints

Generally speaking, police officers in the United States are only allowed to pull a driver over if they have a reasonable suspicion that the driver has broken the law.

However, in the landmark case Michigan v. Sitz, the U.S. Supreme Court held that sobriety checkpoints where drivers are stopped without reasonable suspicion of wrongdoing are in fact constitutional because the government’s interest in preventing drunk driving outweighs the inconvenience to the individuals who are stopped and that, therefore, DUI checkpoints are an exception to the search and seizure provision of the Fourth Amendment.

With that said, in order to be constitutional, DUI checkpoints must be conducted in a certain way. For example DUI checkpoints in Illinois must:

  • Have clear guidelines that are strictly adhered to by the law enforcement officers conducting the checkpoint,
  • Be clearly marked,
  • Be announced to the public beforehand,
  • Be conducted in a neutral and nonbiased manner, and
  • Not be used as a pretense for gathering evidence about another crime without a warrant.

Your Legal Rights

While encountering a DUI checkpoint can be stressful, even if you have not had a drop to drink, try your best to keep you wits about you and remember that your legal rights are still intact. For example, if you see a roadblock up ahead and you are able to safely and legally turn down a side street in order to avoid the inconvenience of stopping, then you are within your legal rights to do so.

However, keep in mind that police officers are often stationed on the side streets surrounding DUI checkpoints so this would be a bad time to break the rules of the road while attempting to avoid a DUI checkpoint.

Additionally, remember that you are not legally obligated to answer a police officer who asks if you have been drinking, although you are required to provide your license, registration, and insurance information when requested to do so.

Arrested for Driving Under the Influence? Contact a Local DUI Attorney

At The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley, we vigorously defend clients facing both first and multiple DUI offenses. Attorney Cosley has experience working as a prosecutor in the Felony and Drug Division of the Illinois state courts and is therefore intimately familiar with the techniques used by prosecutors in DUI cases and is uniquely qualified to defend those accused of driving under the influence.

If you are looking for an exceptionally well qualified Rolling Meadows drunk driving lawyer to protect your legal interests after being accused of driving under the influence, contact us today for help.

Source:

https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/reasonable_suspicion

Minors Caught With Alcohol in Illinois

August 21st, 2017 at 7:15 am

legal drinking age, Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyers, unlawful consumption of alcohol, minors caught with alcohol, underage drinkingThe legal drinking age in Illinois, and throughout the United States, is 21. However, it is also illegal for those under 21 to even just possess alcohol in Illinois. Unlawful possession of alcohol by a minor and unlawful consumption of alcohol by a minor are related, yet distinct, crimes in Illinois.

Unlawful Possession of Alcohol by a Minor

Under Illinois’ Liquor Control Act (235 ILCS 5/1 et seq.) it is illegal for an individual who is under 21 years of age to possess alcohol. But what does it mean, in a legal sense, to “possess” something?

In this case, alcohol can be possessed either physically or constructively. Physical possession essentially means holding a container with alcohol in it. Constructive possession, on the other hand, means that you have both the intent as well as the ability to control the alcohol.

Therefore, if you have a six-pack of beer in the trunk of your car, a court would likely find that you have constructive possession of the alcohol.

Unlawful Possession Penalties

Unlawful possession of alcohol by a minor in Illinois is a Class A misdemeanor that is punishable by a fine of up to $2,500, up to 364 days in jail, and/or a driver’s license suspension of up to one year.

Unlawful Consumption of Alcohol by a Minor

In Illinois it is also illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to consume alcohol. Please keep in mind that it is therefore technically illegal for an underage person to have even a sip of alcohol.

Sometimes people mistakenly believe that this law prohibits those who are underage from being drunk or from having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or greater. However, this is not the case. Remember, in Illinois, it is illegal for an underage individual to consume any amount of alcohol.

Unlawful Consumption Penalties

Unlawful consumption of alcohol by a minor is a Class A misdemeanor in Illinois that is punishable by a fine of up to $2,500, up to 364 days in jail, and/or a driver’s license suspension of up to one year.

Exceptions

It should be noted that there are two limited exceptions to the underage alcohol laws outlined above. Under code section 235 ILCS 5/6-20(g), people under 21 years of age can legally possess and/or consume alcohol in Illinois either (1) during the performance of a religious service or ceremony, or (2) while in a private home under the direct supervision of their parent (or a person standing in loco parentis).

Let Us Assist You Today

If your child has been charged with unlawful possession or consumption of alcohol by a minor in Illinois, the experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyers of The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley are here to help. Our firm defends both minors and juveniles against a wide variety of alcohol related offenses and would be happy to assist you.

Source:

http://ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=1404&ChapterID=26

Domestic Battery: When Does Disciplining a Child Become Abuse?

August 17th, 2017 at 4:52 pm

child abuse, domestic battery, Rolling Meadows domestic battery defense attorney, corporal punishment, physical disciplineThere is great debate these days among parenting “experts” about whether or not children should be physically disciplined when they misbehave. Some think that children should never be physically reprimanded, others believe in spanking, and some feel that more violent forms of punishment (such as hitting a child with a stick or whipping them with a belt) is permissible.

Regardless of how you feel about corporal punishment as a parenting technique, it is critical that every parent in Illinois understands the legal line that our state has drawn between physical discipline and child abuse. It should be noted that this line is not as clear-cut as you might expect; however, this article explores the legal distinction between physical discipline and abuse according to Illinois law.

The Legal Line Between Physical Discipline and Abuse

The Appellate Court of Illinois held in In re F.W. that parents in our state have the right to physically discipline their children. However, a parent’s right to physically discipline his or her child is not unlimited.

Under code section 705 ILCS 405/2-3(2)(v) physical punishment of a child becomes abuse if the corporal punishment inflicted is “excessive.” But how are we to know when physical punishment becomes excessive? Unfortunately, the statute does not explain what constitutes excessive corporal punishment. However the Illinois State Bar Association notes that based on the applicable case law Illinois courts consider the following factors when determining whether or not a particular instance of physical discipline was excessive:

  • Injuries sustained by the child;
  • Any psychological issues exhibited by the child that can be attributed to the incident;
  • What part of the child’s body was affected;
  • The likelihood that excessive corporal punishment will be administered in the future;
  • The danger of further mental trauma or bodily harm;
  • How old the child is;
  • The purpose of the punishment;
  • The general reasonableness of the act; and
  • Any other information relevant to the case.

Child Abuse Penalties

If an Illinois court finds that a parent did in fact inflict excessive corporal punishment on his or her child that parent may face the penalties associated with a Class 1, Class 2, or Class 3 felony offense.

Have You Been Accused of Committing Child Abuse in Illinois?

As you can see, the line between permissible corporal punishment and child abuse in Illinois is not crystal clear. Therefore, if you have been accused of committing child abuse in Illinois, it is critical that you retain an experienced Rolling Meadows domestic battery defense attorney without delay. Having an excellent defense attorney fighting for you can make all the difference in cases like these where both sides of the aisle will be presenting evidence arguing whether or not the corporal punishment inflicted was “excessive.” To schedule an initial consultation with one of the exceptional criminal defense lawyers of The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley, contact our Rolling Meadows office today.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=1863&ChapterID=50&SeqStart=2300000&SeqEnd=6700000

https://www.isba.org/sites/default/files/sections/childlaw/newsletter/Child%20Law%20April%202015.pdf

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