Archive for September, 2015

Accused of a Crime: Should I Turn Myself In?

September 28th, 2015 at 4:31 pm

Illinois criminal justice system, Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal lawyer,You should never seek to hide from the police or try and avoid getting arrested when you know you have a warrant for your arrest. Evading arrest, revisiting arrest, and obstruction of justice are all serious crimes in Illinois. Turning yourself into the police when you have been charged with a crime is often a wise move, if done properly.

Difference between Being Accused and Being Charged

You may want to do the right thing, but you are not sure if you are required to turn yourself in or not. If you have been accused of a crime, that is, someone has said that you committed a crime, but you have not been charged with a crime, you do not have to turn yourself in.

You have the right to not incriminate yourself. This means even if the police wish to question you, you can remain silent instead of admitting you broke the law. You should still seek the advice of a criminal defense attorney, but you are a free man or woman.

If you have been given a citation, have a court date, or have been indicted, you have been charged with a crime. Most of the time, if you have a court date scheduled you only have to show up for court, there is no need to turn yourself into the police.

However, if there is a warrant out for your arrest – this will usually happen in the case of felonies – it may be in your best interest to turn yourself into the police. It is never okay to try and hide from the police. However, you must first talk with a lawyer before committing to any course of action.

Planning Ahead

While it is a crime to try and evade arrest, it is not a crime to plan ahead for when you are arrested. If you plan on turning yourself in, make sure you have things lined up. You will probably need to post bail. You should have someone who knows you are going to turn yourself in be ready to post your bail so you can reduce the amount of time you spend in custody. Make sure you do not have anything illegal, dangerous, or suspicious on your person when you turn yourself in. This includes drugs and weapons.

You should work out a plan with your attorney for the best time to turn yourself in. Usually early in the week will be better than on a weekend.

What Happens Next

After you turn yourself in you will be arrested. Depending on your circumstances, you may be released after you are booked. You may need to first post bail. You may have to spend some time in custody until you have a bail hearing. A criminal defense attorney can go over your specific circumstances with you.

You do not have to face the police by yourself. If you have been charged or accused of a crime, meet with an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney to discuss your case. Your freedom could be at stake.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ChapterID=53&ActID=1876

Traffic Offenses: Tickets for Failing to Stop

September 23rd, 2015 at 7:27 am

Illinois traffic laws, Illinois traffic lawyer, Illinois defense attorney,In Illinois, there are a number of different traffic offenses that involve a failure of the driver to stop when stopping is appropriate or required. Some of the most commonly cited traffic offenses of this nature include failure to stop at a railroad crossing, failure to stop for a school bus and failure to stop for pedestrians. If you receive a citation for any of these offenses, an experienced traffic offense lawyer can help you fight these alleged violations.

Failure to Stop at a Railroad Crossing

Failure to stop at a railroad crossing is governed by 625 ILCS 5/11-1201. Under the law, a driver must stop at least 15 feet from a railroad track crossing when:

  • A railroad crossing gate is lowered;
  • Electric or mechanical signage at a railroad crossing indicates that a train is coming;
  • A train sounds its horn, signaling that it is approaching the crossing;
  • A train is plainly visible, thereby constituting an immediate hazard to anyone in the crossing; or
  • A train is approaching so closely as to create an immediate hazard to anyone in the crossing.

Drivers who violate the law face a fine of $250 for a first-time offense and the potential for up to 25 hours of community service. A second offense warrants a $500 fine and a six-month driver’s license suspension.

Failure to Stop for a School Bus

Illinois statute 625 ILCS 5/11-1414 governs when a driver fails to stop for a school bus. The law requires that when school buses stop to load or unload children riders, other drivers must come to a complete stop when the bus displays a flashing stop sign. The only time that drivers do not have to stop for a stopped school bus is when the bus is stopped on a four-lane highway, where two lanes of the highway are going in the opposite direction. Drivers traveling in the two lanes going in the opposite direction are not required to stop for the stopped school bus.

Failure to stop for a school bus will cost drivers $150 in fines for a first offense and loss of a driver’s license for a period of three months. A second offense will cost $500 in fines and will result in the loss of a driver’s license for a period of one year.

Failure to Stop for a Pedestrian

Drivers have an obligation to stop for pedestrians at a crosswalk under 625 ILCS 5/11-903. Under the law, drivers must come to a complete stop for pedestrians at crosswalks, even if the crosswalk is not marked with signage. Penalties for failing to stop for pedestrians vary from county to county, but typically range from $50 to $500.

Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

If you have received a citation for failing to stop at a railroad crossing, for a school bus, or for a pedestrian, you need to fight your ticket. Please contact an experienced Rolling Meadows traffic offenses lawyer immediately. Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley. Our phone number is (847) 394-3200.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-1201

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-1414

http://ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/062500050K11-903.htm

False Accusations of Domestic Violence: False Claims of Stalking and Harassment

September 21st, 2015 at 7:23 am

Illinois domestic violence attorney, Illinois defense lawyer, Illinois criminal lawyer,Some instances of domestic violence are actually based on fact. One person in the relationship is overly jealous, jilted or has other issues that make them a violent person, and they act out against their spouse, significant other or partner in a physically abusive, controlling, or manipulative way. But there are many cases where allegations of domestic violence are false, and when false allegations of domestic violence are made, it can have serious impacts on the life of the person who stands accused.

When presented with the idea of domestic violence, many people automatically think of domestic battery, where one spouse, significant other or partner physically abuses the the other person in the relationship. But domestic violence can also include stalking and harassment.

Stalking

For example, stalking is considered a form of domestic violence because stalking occurs when one person (i.e., the alleged stalker) knowingly acts in a way towards another (i.e., the alleged victim) that makes the alleged victim scared for their safety. Stalking is codified in 720 ILCS 5/12-7-3.

Allegations of stalking arise often in situations where a couple is in the process of breaking up or trying to make up, or where one person in the relationship wants to reconcile while the other does not. But there are many instances where an alleged “victim” claims he or she is being stalked, when the actions of the alleged “stalker” do not rise to the level where a reasonable person would fear for their safety.

Defending against stalking allegations requires the skills of an experienced domestic violence criminal defense attorney who can analyze the facts, interview the alleged “victim” and get down to the reasoning behind making the allegations in the first place. Then the victim’s logic for making stalking allegations can be compared to what a reasonable person would have done or felt in the same situation. When a reasonable person would not have felt threatened or afraid, the stalking charges cannot stand.

Harassment

Harassment by telephone is another common form of domestic violence that may arise when one person repeatedly makes threats, exacts verbal abuse, makes obscene comments and other forms of harassment using a telephone. But the medium through which the harassment is communicated has been expanded to include electronic communications, text messaging and social media platforms. Harassment by telephone is codified under 720 ILCS 5/26.5-2.

Allegations of telephone harassment, and harassment through other forms of communication, are frequently seen in breakups where one party is still trying to reconcile the relationship. The person trying to reconcile might call the other repeatedly, trying to get in touch with them, but to no avail.

There may be other reasons the alleged “harasser” is calling. Perhaps the couple shares a child and one is calling about support for the child, but the other is deliberately ignoring their calls. Or a recently split couple may have to deal with the fallout of their break up, such as moving out, splitting assets and property or resolving other issues associated with the dissolution of their relationship. If the alleged “harasser” is merely acting responsibly by trying to elicit collaboration to tie up the loose ends of their break up, it is hardly harassment when the other party is being uncooperative and unresponsive by not answering the phone or other forms of communication.

Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

If you stand falsely accused of domestic violence, such as stalking or harassment, you need to aggressively fight the charges against you. Please contact a passionate Rolling Meadows domestic violence defense lawyer immediately. Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at (847) 394-3200 to speak with a skilled attorney.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K12-7.3

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K26.5-2

Illinois Zero Tolerance Policy for Underage Drunk Driving

September 16th, 2015 at 7:22 am

Illinois juvenile crimes attorney, Illinois DUI attorney, Illinois defense lawyer,Illinois has very strict laws when it comes to underage individuals driving under the influence of alcohol. Illinois is a zero tolerance state, meaning that if an underage driver is asked by law enforcement to submit to a chemical test and it is discovered that the underage driver has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of anything other than zero, the underagedriver will be subject to penalties.

Under Illinois’ zero tolerance law, when a law enforcement officer makes a traffic stop and the driver is under the age of 21 and the officer has reason to suspect that the driver may be operating the vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the officer can require that the underage driver submit to a chemical test. Any concentration of alcohol in the test results will result in the underage driver being arrested and processed for driving under the influence (DUI).

There are different levels of driving under the influence when it comes to underage drivers. There is driving under the influence in violation of the zero tolerance law, 625 ILCS 5/11-501.8, which means the underage driver has a BAC of 0.01 or higher, and there is driving under the influence in violation of the state’s DUI laws, 625 ILCS 5/11-501, which means that the underage driver was operating the vehicle with a BAC of 0.08 or higher.

Conviction Under The Zero Tolerance Law Means Loss of License

When an underage driver is convicted of driving under the influence, the consequences vary depending on whether it is a first time offense, the driver’s BAC, and whether the underage driver refused the chemical testing.

  • A first-time violation of the zero tolerance law results in the loss of driving privileges for a period of three months. A second violation is a year.
  • A first-time violation of the zero tolerance law, and refusing to submit to the chemical test, results in the loss of driving privileges for a period of six months. A second violation is two years.
  • A first-time violation of the DUI laws as an underage driver results in the loss of driving privileges for a period of six months. A second violation is a year.
  • A first-time violation of the DUI laws, and refusing to submit to the chemical test, results in the loss of driving privileges for a period of 12 months. A second violation is three years.

Defending against Alleged Zero Tolerance Law Violations

There may be a legitimate and legal reason that an underage driver has alcohol in their system. Many prescription medications contain alcohol as an active ingredient, and an underage driver may have taken the medication before getting behind the wheel. It is also possible that the underage driver has alcohol in his or her system as a result of a religious service or ceremony. These are two exceptions to the zero tolerance law that can be argued as reasons for why the underage driver had alcohol in his or her system under 625 ILCS 5/11-501.8(e).

Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

If you or someone you love has been charged with a zero tolerance law violation or a DUI in Illinois, it is important that you aggressively fight the charges. Feel free to contact an experienced Rolling Meadows juvenile defense lawyer immediately. Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at (847) 394-3200 for a consultation on your case.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/062500050K11-501.8.htm

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-501

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/062500050K11-501.8.htm

Traffic Offenses: Tickets for Failing to Slow Down

September 14th, 2015 at 7:26 am

Illinois traffic attorney, Illinois defense lawyer, Illinois criminal attorney,A driver can receive a citation for a number of different traffic violations that involve failing to reduce their speed when a situation on the road warrants slowing down. A few commonly cited traffic offenses that require drivers to reduce their rate of speed include the failure to slow down or reduce speed for emergency vehicles, a failure to slow in a construction zone, and a failure to slow in order to avoid an accident.

Ticket for Failing to Slow Down for Emergency Vehicles

Scott’s Law, 625 ILCS 5/11-907, in memory of Chicago Fire Department Lieutenant Scott Gillen who was killed by a passing motorist while attending to a roadside emergency situation, requires that drivers reduce their speed and attempt to change lanes to give emergency vehicles the space they need to safely tend to emergencies. This includes giving emergency vehicles the right of way when they are driving on the road as well as when they are parked on the side of the road so that emergency responders can safely and effectively respond to an accident or emergency situation.

Failing to slow for an emergency vehicle can result in a fine of at least $100 for an offending driver. The driver could also face losing their driver’s license for a period of time, depending on whether someone was hurt or killed as a result of the driver’s failure to slow for the emergency vehicle.

Failure to Slow in a Construction Zone

Under 625 ILCS 5/11-908, a driver has an obligation to slow down and exercise caution when entering and driving through a construction or maintenance zone when workers are present. Drivers are required to yield to construction workers and authorized construction vehicles while in the construction zone. Construction workers perform much of their work dangerously close to the roadway, and one moment of inattentiveness by a driver could seriously hurt or kill a construction worker.

Drivers who receive a citation for failure to slow in a construction zone face a fine of at least $100 and could face losing their driver’s license for a period of time, depending on if someone was hurt or killed as a result of the driver’s failure to slow in the construction zone.

Failure to Slow to Avoid an Accident

Under 625 ILCS 5/11-601(a), a driver can be issued a citation for failing to reduce speed to avoid an accident. This statute requires a driver to decrease their speed as necessary to avoid colliding with a person or another vehicle and to exercise due care. Many drivers who are involved in rear-end collisions find themselves with a citation for a failure to slow to avoid an accident. Often drivers who are convicted of this type of traffic offense lose their driver’s license.

Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

If you have received a citation for failing to slow down in a construction zone or to avoid an accident, you need to fight your ticket. Please contact a skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer immediately. Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at (847) 394-3200 for a consultation on your case.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-907

http://ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/062500050K11-908.htm

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-601

The True Cost of a DUI

September 9th, 2015 at 9:01 pm

Illinois DUI lawyer, Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal lawyer,A driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol charge in Illinois is serious business. Not only does a DUI conviction carry serious penalties, it also carries hefty financial consequences. The consequences for a DUI conviction are laid out in 625 ILCS 5/11-501(c)(1)-(5), which include jail time, fines and mandatory community service. There is also the unfortunate chance that getting a DUI conviction will result in the development of a poor reputation amongst peers and colleagues.

The total true cost for a DUI depends on a lot of factors, such as whether the DUI is a first-time offense, whether there was any property damage as a result of the DUI (as would be the case of a drunk driving collision), whether anyone was hurt as a result of the DUI, and how intoxicated the driver is at the time of the DUI.

Money Considerations

A DUI is an immensely expensive and the costs add up quickly. For instance, you will have to pay:

  • The DUI fines, which at the minimum comes to $1,500;
  • Court costs;
  • For mandatory remedial substance abuse educational classes, and the corresponding counseling fees;
  • For any alcohol and drug screening;
  • To get your vehicle out of impound, if applicable;
  • The cost of posting bail, if applicable;
  • Fees to get your driver’s license reinstated, which include a restoration fee, a fee for a new driver’s license, and a hearing fee;
  • Insurance premiums after a DUI conviction; and
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device, and the monthly rental rate for the device, in addition to maintenance and regular calibration costs.

The Cost of Lost Opportunities

In addition to the out-of-pocket costs associated with a DUI, there will also be the cost of lost opportunities. For instance, you might experience:

  • Job loss. People who have a job that requires them to drive as part of their job functions often lose their job after a DUI conviction;
  • Loss of future employment opportunities. A DUI on your record in Illinois is permanent, and having this type of conviction on your criminal record might make it impossible for you to get certain types of work in the future;
  • Unpaid time off from work/missed school. You will most likely miss time at work or school due to the mandatory classes, court appearances, jail time, and community service obligations associated with a DUI conviction; and
  • Loss of driver’s license. A DUI conviction will cost you your driver’s license for a period of up to one year. This means that you will have to rely on others and public transportation in order to get around.

Call The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

If you have been charged with a DUI in Illinois, it is important that you fight the charges that are pending against you. Feel free to contact an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal lawyer immediately. Contact the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley for a consultation on your case.

 

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-501

The Crime of Reckless Driving

September 7th, 2015 at 8:43 pm

illinois traffic attorney, Illinois defense lawyer, Illinois criminal lawyer,One of the most common traffic violations is reckless driving since so many of a driver’s actions while behind the wheel could be construed as reckless driving. Illinois law enforcement and the courts are strict when it comes to reckless driving charges because the driver’s actions may have:

  • Put others on the roadway at risk;
  • Resulted in property damage to another; or
  • Caused an accident where another person was injured or killed.

What is Reckless Driving?

 According to Section 625 ILCS 5/11-503, reckless driving occurs when a person drives a vehicle with a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of others, or it a person knowingly drives a vehicle so quickly up an inclined roadway, such as a hill or railroad crossing, as to cause the vehicle to become airborne.

The language of Illinois’ reckless driving statute is often broadly construed by law enforcement, and many drivers are ticketed, or even arrested on the spot, after driving at a high rate of speed, swerving between lanes or around other vehicles, tailgating, not using turn signals properly, or aggressively weaving in and out of traffic – all under the pretenses that the driver was operating the vehicle in a way that willfully or wantonly disregards the safety of others on the roadway.

Reckless Driving Charges Are Serious

Reckless driving charges should never be taken lightly. A reckless driving charge is at the very minimum a Class A misdemeanor. However, there are situations where the charges can be upgraded or enhanced. For instance:

  • When reckless driving causes bodily harm to a child or school crossing guard performing his or her crossing guard duties, the reckless driving charges are upgraded to a Class 4 felony;
  • When reckless driving causes great bodily harm or permanent disability or disfigurement of another, the charge is upgraded to aggravated reckless driving, which is a Class 4 felony; and
  • When the reckless driving causes great bodily harm or permanent disability or disfigurement of a child or school crossing guard performing his or her crossing guard duties, the charge is upgraded to aggravated reckless driving, and is a Class 3 felony.

A Reckless Driving Conviction on a Criminal Record

It is important to fight the reckless driving charges that are pending against you because a conviction results in no less than a misdemeanor, which means that you will have a criminal record if convicted. In addition to resulting in a criminal record, a reckless driving conviction can:

  • Result in a year’s worth of jail time;
  • Cost $2,500 in the payment of a fine;
  • Make it so that you are ineligible to have other arrests or charges against you expunged or sealed; and
  • Land you a significant amount of community service.

Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

If you have received a citation for reckless driving, you need to fight the charges that are pending against you. Feel free to contact an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer immediately. Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at (847) 394-3200 for a consultation.

 

Source:

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

Juvenile Crime: Even Minor Offenses Can Have Huge Impact on Your Child’s Future

September 2nd, 2015 at 7:04 pm

Illinois juvenile crimes attorney, Illinois defense lawyer, Illinois criminal attorney,All too often, good kids get involved with a bad crowd and end up getting into trouble with the law. The crimes are usually the result of a moment of poor judgement (sometimes very poor judgement), but are not overly serious offenses. When teens get arrested for acts of vandalism, such as defacing property or damaging property, it can upset the whole family and can affect the teen’s life in unforeseen ways in the future.

Defacement of Property

One of the most common crimes committed by teens involves acts of vandalism or the defacement of property through graffiti art, marking or painting someone else’s property. Teens can face serious consequences, under 720 ILCS 5/21-1.3, if they are caught by police. For instance:

  • A first offense that causes less than $300 worth of damage is a Class B misdemeanor, and is punishable by a fine of up to $1,500 and up to six months of jail time;
  • A second or subsequent offense that causes less than $300 worth of damage is a Class A misdemeanor, and is punishable by a fine of up to $2,500 and up to 12 months of jail time; and
  • Charges are upgraded to a Class 3 felony when the defacement occurs to a school, church or farm equipment, which means the consequences are upgraded as well. Offenders face two to five years of jail time and a fine of up to $25,000.

Criminal Damage to Property

Another common crime committed by teens is damage to property. This may include destroying property by hitting it with a vehicle, shooting it with an air rifle or BB gun, or a number of other activities that destroys or damages the property of others. Depending how serious the damage to property is, under 720 ILCS 5/21-1 a teen can face misdemeanor or felony charges, jail time, and fines.

Juvenile Crimes Can Affect Your Child’s Future

It is important to fight charges of damage to property or defacement because juvenile convictions can have lasting impacts on a teen’s life. Juvenile courts have significant discretion over juvenile cases, so it is critical to consult with an experienced, local juvenile vandalism criminal defense attorney. Some of the most significant impacts to a teen’s life after a juvenile criminal conviction include:

  • Jail time;
  • Fines;
  • Difficulty getting a job in the future;
  • Developing a bad reputation;
  • The inability to work in certain types of industries (for example, child care providers often conduct background checks on prospective hires, and will not employ a person with any criminal history at all); and
  • In some cases, scholarships for college could be lost.

Contact the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

A criminal conviction, even as a juvenile, can have a serious impact on a teen’s future. It is important that you defend against the charges and fight for your rights. You need to get into contact with an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney immediately. Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at (847) 394-3200 for a consultation.

 

Sources:

www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=072000050HArt.+21%2C+Subdiv.+1&ActID=1876&ChapterID=53&SeqStart=64600000&SeqEnd=65400000

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=072000050HArt.+21%2C+Subdiv.+1&ActID=1876&ChapterID=53&SeqStart=64600000&SeqEnd=65400000