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What is the Difference Between a Felony and a Misdemeanor?

January 22nd, 2018 at 7:22 am

 misdemeanor, criminal offenses, felony charge, Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer, infractionsIf you enjoy watching courtroom dramas on television, then you have probably heard the terms “felony” and “misdemeanor” bantered about quite a bit. Yet perhaps you were not quite sure of their precise definitions. In the legal world, the meaning of these terms are quite important as they are used to distinguish one class of criminal offenses from another.

Misdemeanors

Misdemeanors are typically crimes that are punishable by incarceration for up to one year and payment of a fine. Those who are sentenced to serve time for a misdemeanor offense are generally placed in county jail. Additionally, in certain misdemeanor trials, court appointed defense attorneys are available for defendants who cannot afford one.

Felonies

Felonies, on the other hand, fall into a more serious classification of crime and are generally punishable by incarceration in excess of one year and payment of a substantial fine. Offenders ordered to serve time for a felony offense are typically placed in a state or federal prison, as opposed to a local jail. Moreover, when an individual is charged with a felony, he or she has the right to a court appointed attorney if he or she is not able to afford legal representation.

Wobblers

It is also important to note that some criminal offenses can be tried as either a misdemeanor or as a felony. These crimes are said to be wobblers as they can wobble between being a felony or a misdemeanor. In these cases, it is within the prosecutor’s discretion whether to charge the crime as a misdemeanor or as a felony. Additionally, it is within the presiding judge’s discretion whether to sentence the crime as a misdemeanor or as a felony.

But how is it determined whether a particular offense should be tried as a felony or as a misdemeanor? This determination is highly case specific, but the decision is made based mainly on the severity of the circumstances surrounding the crime.

Infractions

Finally, there is another classification of crime that you should be aware of: infractions. An infraction (also sometimes referred to as a “violation” or a “petty offense”) is much less serious than a misdemeanor or a felony and is generally punishable with a simple fine. However, under federal law a petty offense is defined as any misdemeanor offense for which the offender can not be sentenced to serve more than six months in jail nor pay a fine of more than $5,000.

Need Legal Advice?

If you have been accused of committing a crime in Illinois, then it is a good idea to consult with a dedicated Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer about your legal options as soon as possible. At The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley we understand how overwhelming it can be to be charged with a crime and are committed to helping each of our clients through the trying process of defending themselves against such accusations.

Source:

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

FAQs About Burglary Tool Possession in Illinois

January 17th, 2018 at 9:32 am

burglary charge, burglary defense, burglary tool possession, Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer, unlawful possessionDid you know that possessing burglary tools is illegal in Illinois? This may come as a shock but burglary tool possession is a serious criminal offense that can be charged as a Class 4 felony in Illinois. However, burglary tool possession is one of those crimes that is rarely talked about and is frequently misunderstood. In order to clear up some of this confusion, a few frequently asked questions about burglary tool possession have been answered below in accordance with Illinois law.   

Q: What does it mean to illegally possess burglary tools?

A: Under code section 720 ILCS 5/19-2, a person commits the crime of unlawfully possessing burglary tools when he or she possess a tool, instrument, key, explosive, or device that can be used to break into a building (or a watercraft, house trailer, auto, railroad car, aircraft, or any structure designed to keep property safe) with the intent to enter and commit a felony or theft there within.

Q: How can I defend myself against a charge of possession of burglary tools?

A: If you have been charged with possession of burglary tools in Illinois, then the first step you should take when mounting your defense is to consult with a local criminal defense lawyer. An experienced lawyer will be able to evaluate the facts of your case and advise you about how to best proceed. If you choose to retain a lawyer,  he or she will likely argue on your behalf that you did not intent to commit a felony or theft once inside and that you were in possession of the tools at issue for a lawful purpose. However, it is important to note that your defense must be tailored to suit the facts of your case and that this is just an example of one commonly argued defense.  

Q: What is the punishment for being caught in possession of burglary tools?

A: In Illinois, being caught in possession of burglary tool is a Class 4 felony offense that is punishable by up to three years in prison and payment of a fine of up to $25,000. However, it is also possible that the offender may be sentenced to probation in lieu of serving time in prison. Therefore, anyone who has been accused of possessing burglary tools should talk with a local criminal defense lawyer without delay about how to best defend themselves and avoid serving time in prison if at all possible.

Q: I was charged with sale of burglary tools rather than possession of burglary tools, what does that mean?

A: The unlawful sale of burglary tools is a closely related crime to the unlawful possession of burglary tools; however, this crime is committed in Illinois when a person knowingly sells or transfers a key or lock pick that is designed or altered to be used for breaking into a building (or a watercraft, house trailer, auto, railroad car, aircraft, or any structure designed to keep property safe). Just like the unlawful possession of burglary tools, the unlawful sale of burglary tools also constitutes a Class 4 felony offense.

Need Legal Advice? Contact a Local Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you have been charged with a burglary-related crime in Illinois, contact the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley today. Attorney Cosley is a highly regarded Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer who defends clients against a wide range of criminal charges across Illinois.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/072000050K19-2.htm

How to Fight a Protective Order in Illinois

January 15th, 2018 at 7:40 am

domestic violence, protective order, restraining order, Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer, Illinois criminal defenseAn Illinois protective order (also commonly referred to as an “order of protection” or a “restraining order”) is a court ordered civil decree that is designed to prevent future acts of domestic violence from occurring by requiring the individual listed on the order to refrain from engaging in certain enumerated acts (for example, coming within a certain distance of the petitioner, possessing a firearm, harassing, stalking, or intimidating the petitioner, etc.).

If a protective order has been issued against you, it is critical to carefully abide by each provision listed in the order. Failing to do so can land you in a world of legal trouble. To begin, you will have likely committed a Class A misdemeanor and may be sentenced to spend up to one year in jail, and pay a fine of up to $2,500. Therefore, even if you feel that the order of protection that has been issued against you is not justified, it is critical that you abide by its terms and fight the order through the appropriate legal channels.

Fighting an IL Protective Order: The Process

Upon receiving notice that a protective order has been issued against you, there are two options at your disposal; you can either fight the order in court or not. If you choose not to go to court, then you are essentially letting the order stand—the presiding judge will decide the case based solely on evidence presented by your accuser and no one will be there to tell your side of the story.

Alternatively, you can decide to fight the protective order by responding to the court papers that you were served with and telling your side of the story in court. If you decide to take this route, then you will need to progress through the following steps:

  • Step 1 – Read Through Each Document: Start by reading through all of the paperwork that you have been served with and immediately start abiding by each provision contained in the emergency order of protection, if one has been issued against you. Be sure to follow any and all instructions contained in the paperwork that you were served with.
  • Step 2 – Go to Court: When you were served with notice that a protective order petition was filed against you the paperwork that you received indicated the time and place of your court hearing. Go to court as instructed, be sure to arrive early, dress well, and bring your lawyer with you if you have hired one. During the hearing you will have the opportunity to tell your side of the story.
  • Step 3 – Wait for the Court’s Decision: After considering all of the evidence presented the presiding judge will decide whether or not to issue an order of protection against you. The judge may make this decision during the hearing or he or she may take the matter under consideration and inform you of their decision at a later date.

Has a Protective Order Been Issued Against You? Give Us a Call!

If an Illinois protective order has been issued against you, passionate Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer Christopher Cosley is available to help. At The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley, we understand that domestic violence is an emotionally charged issue and that there are always at least two sides to every story surrounding an allegation of domestic abuse. If you are interested in fighting a protective order that has been issued against you we would be happy to evaluate the circumstances surrounding the order and discuss your legal options with you.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K12-3.4

What Are the Penalties for Committing Forgery in Illinois?

January 10th, 2018 at 11:32 am

forgery, Rolling Meadows white collar crime lawyer, white collar crimes, forgery conviction, forgery allegationWhite collar crimes, especially the crime of forgery, have been featured prominently in the news recently. The crime of forgery is committed when an individual drafts or alters a writing with the intent to defraud another. However, it is important to note that each state in the U.S. defines forgery slightly differently in their respective criminal codes.

In Illinois, according to code section 720 ILCS 5/17-3, forgery is committed in Illinois when a person knowingly, and with the intent to defraud:

  • Falsifies a document in order to defraud another,
  • Issues or delivers a falsified document while knowing it to be false,
  • Possesses a falsified document with the intent to issue or deliver it while knowing it to be false,
  •  Illegally uses someone else’s digital signature, or
  • Illegally uses someone else’s signature device in order to create an electronic signature for that person.

Penalties   

Forgery is generally charged as a Class 3 felony in Illinois; however, if the violator forged only one Universal Price Code Label then the crime can be charged as a Class 4 felony. Additionally, if the violator was convicted of forging a coin or an academic degree (that did not explicitly state “for novelty purposes only”) then he or she can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor.

Although the various penalties that are available for committing forgery under Illinois law vary a bit depending on the manner in which the forgery was conducted, one count of forgery that is charged as a Class 3 felony can generally be accompanied by one or more of the following penalties:

  • Restitution: The offender will almost always be ordered to pay restitution to those he or she defrauded (aka he or she will be required to pay compensation to his or her victims),
  • Imprisonment: The offender may be ordered to serve two to five years in prison; however, as an alternative to imprisonment, the offender may be placed on probation, and
  • Fine: The offender may be ordered to pay up to $25,000 in fines.

Additionally, it should also be noted that an individual who is convicted of forgery in Illinois will generally be forced to carry the forgery conviction on his or her permanent record forever as it is unlikely to be expunged or sealed.   

Charged with Forgery in Illinois? Contact a Local White Collar Crime Lawyer

If you are in need of a talented Rolling Meadows white collar crime lawyer to defend you in Illinois against a forgery allegation, look no further than the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley. Attorney Chris Cosley has extensive experience defending clients throughout Illinois against a wide variety of white collar crimes including conspiracy, counterfeiting, extortion, fraud, embezzlement, money laundering, bribery, and of course forgery. To find out what The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley can do for you, contact us today for help.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K17-3

 

Illinois Police to Begin Roadside Drug Testing

January 8th, 2018 at 7:31 am

roadside drug testing, Rolling Meadows DUI defense lawyer, drug offense, new drug test, drugged drivingGetting behind the wheel in Illinois while under the influence of alcohol and/or other drugs is illegal. However, for the past few decades educational campaigns aimed at deterring drivers from driving under the influence have focused almost exclusively on the evils of drunk driving while largely ignoring the various problems associated with driving while under the influence of drugs. Perhaps this is because, up until recently, police officers have had a reliable tool at their disposal to detect alcohol in a driver’s system (the breathalyzer) while they lacked such an instrument to conduct roadside testing for drugs. However, it seems that this is about to change as at least one Illinois police department plans to begin roadside drug testing in the upcoming months.

The New Test

According to the Chicago Tribune, Carol Stream police officers plan to be the first department in Illinois to implement a new roadside test to determine if drivers are under the influence of one or more drugs. Reportedly, the new roadside test will be able to detect marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamines, amphetamines, and opiates such as heroin via a chemical test.

The new test will be very similar to the roadside breath tests that police officers currently use; however, instead of blowing into a breathalyzer a suspected impaired driver will have his or her mouth swabbed. Many European countries, as well as a handful of American states, are already using similar roadside tests to determine whether a driver is under the influence of a controlled substance.

How do Police Officers Currently Determine if a Driver is on Drugs?

Currently, an Illinois police officer who suspects a driver of being under the influence of a controlled substance has the option of seeking a blood or urine sample from the driver which can then be tested for drugs. Still, such a sample must be collected and tested at a police station which means that there is often significant lag-time between pulling the driver over and determining if he or she is in fact under the influence of one or more drugs.

Furthermore, these tests are quite expensive. In contrast, the new drug test that is about to be rolled out in Illinois can be administered on the side of the road, will be less expensive and will tell police officers how much of a particular drug is present in a driver’s system (rather than simply indicating whether or not a drug is present).    

Need Legal Advice?

If you have been charged with driving under the influence in Illinois and are looking to protect your legal rights, contact experienced Rolling Meadows DUI defense lawyer Christopher Cosley without delay. At The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley we defend clients from all walks of life against DUI charges. You do not have to take on the daunting task of fighting your DUI charge alone. Contact us today for help.

Source:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/ct-met-police-drug-driving-test-20171205-story.html

Illinois to Ban “Gay Panic Defense” in Criminal Cases

January 3rd, 2018 at 7:11 pm

gay panic defense, homicide cases, homosexual orientation, Illinois crime, Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyerWith the new year’s arrival, a slew of new laws are poised to take effect in Illinois and a few old ones are about to be repealed. Fox News reports that one old law that will be removed from the Illinois Compiled Statutes in 2018 is the so called “gay panic defense.”

What Was the Gay Panic Defense?

A gay panic defense is a legal defense that is available in homicide cases (or occasionally in other violent cases) that a defendant can use to justify violent acts against a homosexual victim if his or her violence was provoked by unexpectedly learning of the victim’s sexual orientation.

According to a report issued by the American Bar Association in 2013, gay and trans panic defenses were implemented by states across the U.S. years ago back when widespread public aversion to LGBT individuals was the norm and a victim’s sexual orientation was seen as justification for a defendant’s violent reaction towards them.

The Associated Press notes that gay panic defenses were usually passed in order to provide a legal defense for an individual who unknowingly engaged in a flirtation with a gay individual and then, upon discovering their homosexuality, violently attacked the gay individual in a sort of passionate involuntary response.

The American Bar Association’s report also notes that gay panic defenses have been used over the decades to mitigate murder charges down to the lesser charges of manslaughter or justifiable homicide in the following three different ways:

  1. Insanity or Diminished Capacity: Via the gay panic defense defendants have claimed temporary insanity or diminished capacity by arguing that learning of the victim’s sexual orientation triggered a nervous breakdown in the defendant. In the past this type of reaction was known as a “homosexual panic disorder” but the American Psychiatric Association discredited this order back in 1973.
  1. Sufficient Provocation: The gay panic defense has also been used to bolster defense of provocation arguments put forth by murder defendants. In essence these defendants argued that, although completely non-violent, the victim’s sexual advance was sufficient provocation to induce the defendant to kill.
  1. Self-Defense: Murder defendants have also argued that, due to their victim’s homosexual orientation, they reasonably believed that the victim was about to cause them serious bodily harm.

Contact Us Today for Help

If you have been charged with a crime in Illinois, it is critical that you consult with a skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer about your legal options without delay. At The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley, we represent both adult and juvenile criminal defendants accused of committing a wide variety of crimes across Illinois including; driving under the influence (DUI), shoplifting, burglary, domestic battery, drug possession and dealing, disorderly conduct, and criminal trespass, just to name a few. To find out what our firm can do for you, schedule a confidential initial consultation at our Rolling Meadows office today.

Sources:

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/12/28/activists-to-copy-illinois-gay-panic-defense-ban-elsewhere.html

http://lgbtbar.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/6/2014/02/Gay-and-Trans-Panic-Defenses-Resolution.pdf

https://apnews.com/9dc24f2031c8465081d790152f6efbd8/Activists-to-copy-Illinois-‘gay-panic-defense’-ban-elsewhere

How is Reckless Driving Proven in Illinois?

December 28th, 2017 at 5:38 pm

reckless driving charges, reckless driving citations, Rolling Meadows reckless driving lawyer, traffic offenses, traffic violationsReckless driving, as defined under section 625 ILCS 5/11-503 of the Illinois Code, is committed in Illinois when a driver (a) drives with a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of people or property, or (b) knowingly uses an incline, bridge approach, railway crossing, or hill to make their vehicle go airborne. Furthermore, any person who drives recklessly and as a result causes permanent disability/disfigurement or great bodily harm to another can be convicted of aggravated reckless driving. But how can it be proven that someone drove recklessly? Reckless driving cases differ from case to case; however, consider the following various approaches that are commonly used to prove acts of reckless driving in Illinois.

Approaches Commonly Used to Prove Reckless Driving

If you choose to fight a reckless driving ticket in Illinois the opposition will be forced to present evidence in court establishing that you either drove with a willful or wanton disregard for safety or that you intentionally made your vehicle go airborne. This can be proven in a variety of different ways, but before discussing these various approaches let us take a quick look at what constitutes “willful or wanton” conduct.

Willful and wanton conduct is one of those legal phrases that can be a bit hard to pin a precise definition to, but in the context of reckless driving cases it is best to think of it as conduct that is engaged in with a conscious disregard for, or a with a reckless indifference to, the potential consequences of such an action.

Proving that a driver acted with willful or wanton disregard for safety is often accomplished in reckless driving cases via one or more of the following types evidence:

  • Eyewitness Evidence: Generally the police officer who issued the reckless driving citation at issue will testify to the manner in which he or she personally witnessed the accused driving. Other eyewitnesses, perhaps someone who got into an accident with the accused, may also be called forward to testify about what they saw.
  • Video Evidence: Nowadays, many police cruisers are equipped with dashboard cams and if such a camera captured the manner in which you were driving prior to being pulled over then this video may be presented as evidence against you. Additionally, footage captured on a cell phone by a witness may also be available as people frequently film the unusual behavior of others on their smartphones these days.
  • Radar Evidence: Many reckless driving citations issued in Illinois are based solely on a driver’s speed. When this is the case the issuing police officer will have likely captured evidence of your speed on their radar gun and will present such evidence, along with proof that his or her radar gun was properly calibrated, in court.

Charged with Reckless Driving in Illinois?

If you have been charged with reckless driving in Illinois, experienced Rolling Meadows reckless driving lawyer Christopher Cosley is here to help. Mr. Cosley has extensive experience providing legal assistance to clients who have been charged with a wide array of different traffic violations and would be happy to assist you. While each case is different, Mr. Cosley is often able to help clients keep traffic offenses off the public record, avoid increased insurance rates, prevent having their driver’s license suspended, and reduce or eliminate the other various consequences commonly associated with traffic violations. To find out what The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley can do for you schedule an initial consultation at our Rolling Meadows office today.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-503

What Happens When a Foreigner is Convicted of a Criminal Offense in the U.S.?

December 26th, 2017 at 3:46 pm

aggravated felony, crimes of moral turpitude, criminal offense, deportation, Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyerWhen a foreign national is convicted of a criminal offense in the United States, he or she runs the risk of being deported, regardless of whether or not the individual was legally present in the U.S. when the crime was committed. In other words, if you are not an American citizen and you have been accused of committing a crime in the United States, be aware that if you are ultimately convicted you may be deported. However, not all criminal convictions can render a foreign national eligible for deportation.

Crimes for Which Non-U.S. Citizens May be Deported

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ website notes that aliens who are convicted of one of the following criminal offenses in the United States are eligible for deportation:

  • Crimes of Moral Turpitude: Any foreign national who is convicted of a crime involving “moral turpitude” (i.e. most crimes involving dishonesty or theft), for which a sentence of at least one year may be imposed, within five years of being admitted into the United States (or within 10 years in some cases) is deportable.
  • Multiple Criminal Convictions: Any foreign national who is convicted of two or more crimes (arising out of separate schemes) that involve moral turpitude after being admitted into the United States is deportable.  
  • Aggravated Felony: Any foreign national who is convicted of an aggravated felony after being admitted into the United States is deportable.
  • High Speed Flight: Any foreign national who is convicted of engaging in high speed flight from an immigration checkpoint is deportable.
  • Failure to Register as a Sex Offender: Any foreign national who is required by law to register as a sex offender and fails to do so is deportable.
  • Controlled Substances: Any foreign national who, after having been admitted into the United States, is convicted of committing or attempting to commit a controlled substance crime (other than a single offense involving possession of 30 grams or less of marijuana) is deportable.
  • Certain Firearm Offenses: Any foreign national convicted of certain firearm offenses after being admitted into the United States is deportable.
  • Crimes of Domestic Violence: Any foreign national who is convicted of domestic violence, child abuse, or stalking after being admitted into the United States is deportable.
  • Trafficking: Any foreign national who commits (or conspires to commit) human trafficking, or benefits from human trafficking, after being admitted into the United States is deportable.

*** Please note that the list of crimes outlined above is NOT exhaustive and that there are additional crimes for which a foreign national can be deported. ***

Consult With a Local Criminal Defense Attorney Today!

If you are a foreign national who has been accused of committing a crime in the United States, it is critical that you consult with a dedicated Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer straight away. Be sure to immediately tell the attorney of your immigration status so that he or she can properly advise you about your legal options and suggest an appropriate course of action. If the crime that you are accused of committing allegedly took place in Illinois, feel free to contact the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley for help.

Source:

https://www.uscis.gov/ilink/docView/SLB/HTML/SLB/0-0-0-1/0-0-0-29/0-0-0-5684.html

How Illinois’ DMV Point System Works

December 21st, 2017 at 8:19 am

DMV point system, driving record, penalty points, Rolling Meadows traffic violations lawyer, traffic violationsUnder Illinois’ DMV point system, Illinois drivers are assigned penalty points for a wide array of traffic violations. The more serious the violation the more points that the DMV will add to the driver’s record. For example, a driver who fails to obey a traffic sign will generally have 20 points added to his or her driver’s license while, on the other hand, a driver who is caught driving recklessly will often be assigned 55 points.

If you have recently accumulated a few minor traffic citations, or if you have broken a serious rule of the road, then it is important to be aware of how many points you currently have and the impact that these points can have on your ability to retain your driving privileges in Illinois.

The Impact of Points on Your Driving Record

Under Illinois’ DMV point system, a driver who receives three or more traffic citations within a 12-month period will generally have accumulated enough points on his or her record to be penalized with an administrative revocation or suspension of his or her driver’s license.

Furthermore, if your license is suspended due to having added too many points to your record during a 12-month period, then the length of the suspension is determined in part by how many points you currently have on your record and in part by whether or not the DMV has revoked or suspended your driver’s license within the past seven years.

Is it Possible to Reduce the Number of Points that I Have?

In other states a qualifying driver can reduce the number of points that have accumulated on his or her license by completing a driving safety course. Unfortunately, however, this option is not currently available to drivers in Illinois.

The only way to have points removed from your Illinois driver’s license is to wait the prescribed time period. Still, under some circumstances, Illinois drivers may be able to avoid adding points to their records in the first place by enrolling in a defensive driving course. This is because some courts in Illinois will allow a driver to take such a course in order to prevent additional points from being added to their record. Also, a local traffic violations lawyer may be able to help limit the number of points that will be added to your record by negotiating a reduced offense on your behalf.

Need Legal Advice? Contact Rolling Meadows Traffic Violations Lawyer Chris Cosley

If you have received a traffic ticket in Illinois and would like to learn more about how such a citation may impact the number of points on your record, contact dedicated Rolling Meadows traffic violations lawyer Chris Cosley today to schedule a free initial consultation. At The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley we are often able to successfully negotiate reduced offenses for our traffic violations clients. Call 847-394-3200 today.

Source:

https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/publications/pdf_publications/dsd_dc19.pdf

Home Invasion: An Illinois Crime Commonly Charged in Connection With Burglary

December 19th, 2017 at 9:02 am

burglary, home invasion, Illinois crime, residential burglary, aggravated batteryEarlier this month, a 56-year-old man was sentenced by Illinois Judge Thomas Berglund to serve 30 years in prison in connection with a home invasion that the offender confessed to committing earlier this year, reports The Register-Mail.

Reportedly, the homes invasion took place last spring when the offender entered the home of an 83-year-old man and hit the resident over the head with a metal desk lamp. The elderly victim suffered great bodily harm and was discovered by a neighbor two days after the incident occurred.

After admitting that this was in fact the course of events that took place, a negotiated plea agreement was reached in which two other charges (residential burglary and aggravated battery causing harm to someone over 60 years of age) were dismissed and the prosecution continued ahead with the home invasion charge for which the offender is now serving time.

The Crime of Home Invasion Under Illinois Law

Home invasion is a criminal offense that often goes hand in hand with burglary in Illinois. Under Illinois law, a burglary is committed when an individual remains in or enters a building or a vehicle which he or she does not have permission to enter or remain in with the intent to commit theft or a felony therein. However, if a burglar enters a dwelling and causes injury or threatens the use of force against someone therein, then he or she may have also committed the crime of home invasion.

Under section 720 ILCS 5/19-6 of the Illinois Compiled Statutes, the crime of home invasion is committed when a person (who is not a police officer doing their job) knowingly and without the authority to do so enters or remains in the dwelling of another while knowing, or having reason to know, that someone is in the dwelling and:

  • Has a dangerous weapon (that is not a firearm) that they use or threaten to against any person(s) present in the dwelling,
  • Intentionally injures any person(s) present in the dwelling,
  • Is armed with a firearm, uses or threatens force upon any person(s) present in the dwelling,
  • Uses or threatens to use force upon any person(s) present in the dwelling while personally discharging a firearm,
  • Personally discharges a firearm that causes permanent disability, great bodily harm, permanent disfigurement, or death to someone within the dwelling, or
  • Commits criminal sexual assault or criminal sexual abuse against any person(s) present in the dwelling.

However, it should be noted that under Illinois law anyone charged with the crime of home invasion has an affirmative defense if he or she immediately surrendered or left the premises upon realizing that one or more people were present in the dwelling that the alleged offender unlawfully entered or remained in.

Let Us Help You with Your Case

If you have been charged with home invasion in Illinois be sure to contact the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley today. Under Illinois law home invasion is an extremely serious offense. In fact, home invasion is a Class X felony that carries a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 6 to 30 years. To discuss your legal options with an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer, contact our office today.

Source:

http://www.galesburg.com/news/20171211/burlington-man-receives-maximum-in-home-invasion-beating

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