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Archive for August, 2013

The Age on Crime

August 30th, 2013 at 12:58 pm

Late last year, Clark Merrefield from The Daily Beast reported on a minor who committed a crime, was sentenced in court as an adult, and brought out concerns about what was the proper age to begin charging children as adults.

After he was found guilty of robbing two local businesses, Sean Shevlino, now 22, was sentenced to 10 years in jail.

LucyIn 2006, when Shevlino was 16 years old, he robbed a Piggly Wiggly. His friend’s older brother, who was an employee of the southern chain at the time, told him how easy it would be to rob the store.

Sean’s mother, April, told The Daily Beast that although his father and herself were providing a positive, college-bound life for Sean and his brothers, Seamus and Alex, when Sean turned 15, he became very angry and began to act out.

Sean said that his friends thought he was crazy when he told them about his idea to rob the Piggly Wiggly, but once he got away with money, they quickly changed their minds.

He wanted the money to repay his friends for allowing him to stay at their houses, but once they got it, they wanted to get enough money to get their own apartment. Sean had every intention of completing school, but doing so outside of his family home.

Part two was planned for the Food Lion, which was much larger than the Piggly Wiggly. Along with more money, however, comes more protection, so one of Sean’s friends suggested toy guns.

When the plan was finally in action, Sean admitted that he did not really think he was going to go through with it, but he felt he had no choice.

After he pulled out his pellet gun, there was no turning around, and he was sentenced as an adult for 10 years.

If your child has been charged with a crime, contact a great criminal attorney to be sure that he or she is sentenced properly as a minor. Attorney Chris Cosley can help you today in Rolling Meadows, Ill.

Minors and Alcohol in Illinois

August 25th, 2013 at 6:54 pm

According to Illinois law, selling and distributing any type of alcoholic beverage to anyone under the age of 21 is illegal. Even though it is against the law, many people still serve alcohol to minors without fear of consequence.

Lucy If someone chooses to sell, deliver, or serve alcohol to a minor, or to any already-intoxicated person, the penalty is that of a Class A Misdemeanor. This applies to any vendor of alcohol, like bars, or any grocery store, drug store or party store. This penalty includes of fine of at least $500 and a jail sentence of up to one year.

Along with a fine and jail time, a business’s liquor license may also be revoked and/or criminal sanctions can be  imposed onto the license, putting restrictions on the license and a “warning.”

This penalty is also for anyone who is over 21 and chooses to purchase alcohol and give it to deliver it to anyone below the age of 21.

Although it is illegal to sell to minors, the minors themselves will also get into trouble for being in possession of alcohol and consuming it. If someone under the age of 21 is in possession of or has consumed alcohol, they have committed a Class C Misdemeanor. If this occurs in a public area, such as a highway or other street, it will be classified as a Class B Misdemeanor.

This will be penalized with up to a $500 fine and up to six months in jail.

The exception to this law is if the person’s job requires him or her to deliver alcohol and he or she is found with it in a vehicle and the alcohol is closed.

Sometimes minors think that it is acceptable to purchase, possess, consume and accept alcohol as a gift if it is for a special occasion. This is only the case if it is done the privacy of the home or during a religious ceremony with approval of the parents, however, parents will get in trouble with a Class A Misdemeanor for allowing underage drinking to occur in the home.

Violating this law will result in a fine of up to $500 and a jail sentence that may be as long as 30 days.

If you have been caught violating Illinois’s alcohol laws, contact a criminal attorney for assistance. Located in Rolling Meadows, Attorney Chris Cosley can help you with your criminal case today.

New Travel Restrictions for Suspects of Violent Crimes

August 20th, 2013 at 8:00 am

passportIn 2012, a Chicago Tribune investigation uncovered a high number of criminal suspects flee the state of Illinois to avoid sentencing.   It is a problem that existed across all levels of law enforcement.

The Tribune found that police departments have allowed over 60 fugitives escape justice when they ran to Mexico.  When they submit extradition paperwork it often overwhelms the county officials who need to process these requests.  Of the fugitives in Mexico, at the time of their investigation, officials were only seeking the deportation of 12 suspects.

There is also an issue with the judges who held bond hearings.  They set low bonds for suspects who were being charged with crimes such as rape and murder.  They also were not required to confiscate passports from suspects with dual citizenship.  But now Illinois lawmakers have passed a law to limit these avenues for suspects to escape justice.

Now judges are required to restrict the travel or seize the passport of suspects accused of first degree murder and other violent crimes. “This closes a huge loophole that was brought to my attention by the Chicago Tribune,” said one of the law’s sponsors, state Senator Ira Silverstein, a Democrat from Chicago.

Another loophole was closed by lawmakers this August.  There was an exemption in Illinois which allowed family members to aid and harbor suspects without being charged with a crime.  This allowed families to provide a suspect with money, drive them to the airport and even keep information from the authorities.  Now, family members found to have aided or abetted suspects of crimes can be charged with a felony.

With these new laws in place, it puts a greater importance on the legal advice of an attorney with a background in representing suspects of violent crimes.  Don’t play with your fate by trying to run from your charges.  Contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in Cook county today.

Man who Spent over 20 Years in Prison Exonerated

August 17th, 2013 at 8:00 am

criminal record expunge 164664874 (2)Over 25 years ago, James Kluppelberg was convicted of setting a deadly fire in the Back of the Yards neighborhood.  The home that was burnt contained a woman and her five children.  Elva Lupercio, 28, and her children who ranged between 3 and 10 years old, died in their home on the 4400 block of South Hermitage Avenue. After reviewing the scene, investigators determined that the fire was an accident.

Four years after the incident, Kluppelberg was identified as the perpetrator by a man who was arrested for burglary.  They booked Kluppelberg and, shortly after, he confessed to the crime.  Sentenced to life in prison, he maintained that he was innocent of all wrongdoing.

Kluppelberg was exonerated in 2012 of this crime due to advances in fire sciences.  It was also revealed that his confession of guilt was coerced by officers who had beaten Kluppelberg so badly that he started to urinate blood.  The man who turned him in was found to be lying in order to receive leniency for his burglary conviction.  The police department also withheld information about a drunk woman who started another fire nearby the

Although Kluppelburg was granted his release in May, he struggled to regain his old life.  It was very difficult to find a job with six murder convictions on his record.  Kluppelburg has applied to over 400 jobs and the only one that responded to give him an interview, didn’t give him the job because of his record.  He is forced to live with the support of his son and daughter-in-law in northwest Indiana.

For 14 months, Kluppelburg struggled to keep it together.  Luckily he was able to secure a certificate of innocence by proving that he was falsely accused.  He will also be eligible to receive nearly $200,000 in compensation for the years he was incarcerated.  Having a record makes it difficult to live the life you would want but you may be able to get it sealed or expunged.  Seek the assistance of an experienced expungement attorney in Rolling Meadows today to see if your record can be erased.

White Collar Crimes

August 14th, 2013 at 10:49 am

LucyThe white collar community is made up of members of the middle and upper classes that have business-related, salaried jobs.

White collar crimes most often have dishonesty or cheating as their base, as entrepreneurs or other businessmen or women commit nonviolent, illegal activities behind the cover of their legitimate businesses.

Because white collar crimes are nonviolent, they usually have a lesser punishment than other criminal activities, but the punishments often include heavy fines and sometimes jail time.

Although dishonesty in a business setting is the common background for all white collar crimes, this category of criminal activity has a very broad spectrum and is hard to define. In order to avoid allowing loopholes in the law for these well-educated, intelligent criminals, the federal and state governments in America have laws that protect against specific, more common white collar crimes, but also general white collar crime laws to catch everything in one law.

Tax crimes are great examples of more common white collar crimes. Usually people are charged with tax crimes alongside other white collar crimes. Tax crimes include failing to file your tax returns, interfering with internal revenue laws administration and filing fake tax returns.

There are specific laws against tax crimes that prohibit crimes such as bribing tax officials, extortion and obstruction. Other more broad laws, though, will catch other types of tax crimes that do not have their own specific laws.

Another law against white collar crimes is the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). This is a federal law that finds people guilty of violation if they have participated in “racketeering activity” in relation to any interstate commerce or if they have participated in the collection of unlawful debts.

Racketeering activities at the state level include the following:

  • arson,
  • bribery,
  • gambling,
  • kidnapping,
  • dealing obscene materials,
  • murder,
  • dealing narcotics, and
  • dealing other dangerous drugs.

When RICO was created, these were the most pertinent criminal activities in the white collar community, however, more recently, RICO has been used to charge against other illegal activities as well.

If you have been charged with racketeering, tax crimes or some other white collar crime, contact a criminal attorney for assistance in Rolling Meadows, Ill. Attorney Chris Cosley will help you with your criminal case today.

Assault and Battery in Illinois

August 11th, 2013 at 9:56 am

Assault and battery is most often heard as a single term and not thought of as two separate criminal offenses, which is what they are. A judge can charge a person with one or the other, although they are typically paired together.

Assault is defined in Illinois law as, “conduct which places another in reasonable apprehension of receiving battery.”

Battery can be either “conduct causing bodily harm to another person or insulting, provocation or unwanted physical contact with another person.”

The main difference is that assault does not include physical contact or injury to the victim.

Once it is found that someone is guilty of battery, the court must then determine the degree, such as whether or not the crime was aggravated battery, which is more serious. Aggravated assault may be charged if the victim has a serious injury or if the defendant used a deadly weapon.

LucyIf someone is charged with assault and/or battery, he or she will typically argue one of the following:

  • Self-defense or defense of someone else
  • Defense of property
  • Consent of victim to contact (battery)
  • Lack of reasonable apprehension (assault)

As a Class C misdemeanor, assault usually results in jail time of up to 30 days and/or a fine of up to $1,500 or the defendant may have to perform 30 to 120 community service hours. Aggravated assault, though, is a Class A misdemeanor or a Class 4 felony, depending on the prosecutor.

Class A misdemeanor charges result in up to a year in jail and/or up to a $2,500 fine. Class 4 felonies, however, are punished much more severely with up to three years in jail and/or a fine of up to $25,000.

Battery is charged as a Class A misdemeanor, however, aggravated battery can be charged as a Class 3, Class 2, Class 1 or Class X felony. Class 3 is charged with two to five years in prison, but Class 2, 1 and X are charged with up to 30 years in prison.

Most often, courts decide to sentence defendants with probation instead of jail time, unless they are charged with a Class X felony, which is not eligible for probation.

Even for the same crime, there are many outcomes that can come from a court room, which is why it is important to have a great criminal attorney at your side. Contact attorney Chris Cosley in Rolling Meadows, Ill. for assistance with your assault and battery charges today.

“Kid Cop” Arrested for Posing as a Police Officer

August 7th, 2013 at 12:47 pm

TheresaHearing about people running away from the police or trying to elude the police has become commonplace in today’s headlines. However, according to the Chicago Tribune, Vincent Richardson wanted nothing more than to be the police himself.

He first made headlines a little over four years ago when he passed himself off as a law enforcement officer at the age of 14. He showed up at the police station as if he was reporting to work and he went on patrol with another officer for over 5 hours before he was busted and his civilian status was revealed.

This time, at the age of 19, he walked into a uniform store and identified himself as a police officer that worked in the Englewood neighborhood. He presented his driver’s license and told the clerk that he wanted to try on some cargo shorts as well as checking out some utility belts. When Richardson kept repeating that he was an officer in Englewood, the clerk became suspicious and decided to look him up. He then found, through an Internet search, that he had been arrested before. When police arrived at the scene, they arrested Richardson. Upon his arrest, Richardson stated that he respected the job that the police do and that he never intended to hurt anyone, he only wanted to help.

Richardson was also arrested two years ago when law enforcement officials found a gun and a fake badge on his person. He has been charged with impersonating a police officer, which is a felony. If convicted of this crime, he could face up to three years in prison. When interviewed, his mother stated that since he was about 5 years old, he wanted to be a police officer.

If you have been charged with a felony, or any other crime, it is within your rights to have an Illinois criminal defense attorney represent you.

Habitual Offender to get Mental Health Treatment

August 2nd, 2013 at 12:20 pm

The Chicago Sun Times recently published a story about a woman who has been arrested 396 times since 1978. She is now being housed in the Logan Correctional Center from which she is to be released in November of this year.

TheresaIf the Chairman of the Illinois Prisoner Review Board has anything to say about it, Shermain Miles will be admitted to a mental health and substance abuse program as soon as she completes her sentence with the Illinois Department of Corrections. Her current counselor states that she has been “very cooperative and informed” while receiving care for her mental health issues while she has been in Logan.

While she has applied to several different programs and considered different options for her releases, the one that was rejected was for her to be paroled to the ward where she assaulted a council member. Most of her arrests have been for thefts, 92 in fact. She was arrested 65 different times for disorderly conduct, 59 times for crimes such as prostitution, and another 5 times for robbery related offenses. She has also been arrested under at least 83 different known identities.

Alderman James Cappleman was quoted as saying that Ms. Miles is a telling case that shows exactly what is wrong with Illinois’ prison system. There are an overwhelming amount of people that are in the prison system who need mental health treatment as well as substance abuse and addiction treatment. He also stated that it is time to stop the revolving door system that is currently in place and get offenders that help that they need to become better citizens.

Whether you are a first time offender or a repeat offender like the above story, an Illinois criminal defense attorney can present the best possible defense in your criminal case.

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