Archive for January, 2016

Changes to Illinois Traffic Safety Laws in 2016

January 27th, 2016 at 11:07 am

Illinois defense attorney, Illinois traffic offense lawyer, Illinois DUI attorney, Many new traffic safety laws became effective on January 1, 2016, and Illinois drivers need to be aware of what changes have taken place so that they are not caught off guard by law enforcement if they happen to violate one of the new laws without knowing. Of particular importance to the typical Illinois driver are the changes to some traffic offenses and DUI laws. A synopsis of all of the changes that take effect in 2016 can be found on the Cyber Drive Illinois website.

Changes to Traffic Offenses

  • Aggravated speeding can be charged whenever a driver speeds past a school bus or through a construction site going more than 26 miles per hour over the posted speed limit, pursuant to HB 1453 PA 99-0212;
  • If a driver is involved in an accident that causes the death of another, the Secretary of State will revoke the driving privileges of the individual responsible for the death. Revocation is effective 90 days after the revocation notification is mailed, pursuant to HB 3670 PA 99-0297;
  • Pursuant to HB 4074 PA 99-0300, when an Illinois resident has had a license revocation in another state for more than 10 years, he or she may apply for an Illinois driver’s license, if all of the requirements for reinstatement are satisfied; and
  • Temporary stop signs put into place be the Illinois Department of Transportation must be treated as permanent stop signs in accordance with SB 1388 PA 99-0124.

Changes to DUI Laws

  • After serving a five year revocation of their driver’s license, individuals who have been convicted of four or more DUIs will now be eligible to request an Illinois Restricted Driving Permit for the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office, pursuant to HB 1446 PA 99-1446. As a condition of approval of the request for the Restricted Driving Permit, the driver’s vehicle must be equipped with a breath alcohol ignition interlock device for the remainder of the individual’s driving lifetime;
  • Individuals who would like to have their driver’s license reinstated after being convicted for a second or subsequent DUI charge must obtain a Restricted Driving Permit and have an breath alcohol ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle for a period of five years before seeking the reinstatement of their driver’s license, pursuant to HB 3533 PA 99-0297; and
  • Pursuant to SB 0627 PA 99-0040, those arrested for DUI are now encouraged to sign the “Warning to Motorist” document that is read to these individual’s upon arrest. Refusal to sign the warning will be noted by law enforcement on the bottom of the document.

Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

The above identified changes to traffic and DUI laws took effect January 1, 2016. If you have been charged with a DUI or a traffic offense and you are being charged under one of the above new laws, you should contact a skilled Rolling Meadows criminal lawyer immediately. Our attorneys are prepared to provide you with a consultation and assist you with your case.

 

Source:

http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/newlaws16.pdf

Counterfeiting as a Federal Crime and a State Crime

January 25th, 2016 at 10:58 am

Illinois defense attorney, Illinois white crimes lawyer, Illinois criminal lawyer, Counterfeiting is a serious crime that involves the illegal and unauthorized reproduction of legal tender (i.e., money), goods or documents that is made in a way that would likely fool an unsuspecting recipient of the counterfeited item. It is a form of fraud with very serious consequences. Common examples of counterfeiting include:

  • Counterfeit U.S. or foreign currency;
  • Counterfeit government issued bonds;
  • Counterfeit educational degrees;
  • Counterfeit legal documents (i.e., passports, birth certificates, immigration papers, Social Security cards, etc.);
  • Counterfeit common goods, which includes knock off products;
  • Counterfeit of a trademark;
  • Counterfeit credit cards or debit cards;
  • Counterfeit luxury goods, such as name brand watches, sunglasses or purses; and
  • Counterfeit checks.

Advances in printing technology have made it substantially easier to commit this white collar crime than in decades past. This means that more people have the ability to create counterfeit items with a high level of accuracy in terms of resembling the real thing. Counterfeiting is usually a fairly large operation, as it requires someone to make the counterfeit item, but operations also often include someone to sell the counterfeit item. Simply being caught with a counterfeit item with the intent to distribute or sell the item is illegal.

Counterfeiting Laws

Counterfeiting is a crime at both the state and federal level.

  • In Illinois, the counterfeiting laws include:
    • Counterfeiting Credit or Debit Cards. Counterfeiting is specifically defined under 720 ILCS 5/17-0.5 as the manufacture, creation or production of a credit or debit card without authorization or consent from the purported issuer of the card.
    • Counterfeiting Goods or Trademarks. 765 ILCS 1040/1 addresses what constitutes a counterfeit item, or trademark and 765 ILCS 1040/2 details the crime of using or circulating counterfeit or imitation goods.
  • At the federal level, federal counterfeit law includes:
    • 18 U.S.C. Section 471. Under this law, it is illegal to defraud, forge, counterfeit, falsely make, or alter any form of money, security or obligation of the United States.

Counterfeiting Money Is the Most Popular Form of Counterfeiting

Counterfeiting money is the most popular form of counterfeiting in the United States, with the $20 bill being the most commonly counterfeit dollar bill. If too much fake money enters into circulation, U.S. currency will lose value. The federal government has spent a lot of time and money trying to design complicated currency with a number of counterfeit prevention and detection features. The government takes counterfeiting of money very seriously and prosecutes it aggressively.

Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

There are significant consequences to be faced if you are convicted on counterfeiting charges. If you have been notified by the authorities that you are being investigated for counterfeit operations, an experienced white collar crime lawyer can help you with your criminal defense. Contact a passionate Rolling Meadows white collar crime defense attorney to discuss the specifics of your case with a professional today. We are prepared to help you with your case.

 

Sources:

http://ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=072000050HArt.+24&ActID=1876&ChapAct=720%26nbsp%3BILCS%26nbsp%3B5%2F&ChapterID=53&ChapterName=CRIMINAL+OFFENSES&SectionID=60752&SeqStart=50300000&SeqEnd=53000000&ActName=Criminal+Code+of+1961.

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2233&ChapterID=62

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/471

Powdered Alcohol Now Illegal in Illinois

January 20th, 2016 at 12:12 pm

Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal attorney, Illinois criminal statutes, The newest rendition of alcohol is a freeze dried form of powdered or crystallized alcohol. The powdered alcohol is considerably lighter than traditional liquid alcohol and can easily be transported. The powdered alcohol is mixed with water or other liquids to form an alcoholic beverage.

Powdered alcohol was approved for use in the United States by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau in 2015. However powdered alcohol is not readily available in the United States. Obtaining the approval of the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau was the last regulatory step required before powdered alcohol can be manufactured and sold in the United States. The earliest that powdered alcohol will be available for purchase in the United States is by the upcoming summer. But there are a number of states that have proactively banned powdered alcohol sales and use before the substance is even available on the market.

Illinois Bans Powdered Alcohol

Senate Bill 0067 added 235 ILCS 5/34.5 to the Liquor Control Act of 1934. Effective as of January 1, 2016, the new law prohibits the buying and selling of powdered alcohol products in Illinois. The new law makes a first offense classified as a Class A misdemeanor, while a second or subsequent offense is classified as a Class 4 felony. The new law focuses on the buying and selling, or reselling of powdered alcohol – the law does not address purchasing powdered alcohol legally out of state and then transporting it into Illinois for personal consumption.

While it may not be possible to purchase powdered alcohol in Illinois, a number of nearby states do not have laws banning the sale or use of powdered alcohol. For instance, Wisconsin, Iowa and Missouri lack any sort of ban on powdered alcohol, and it would not be difficult for those Illinois residents who want to try the product to travel across state lines, purchase the powdered alcohol legally, and then bring it back to Illinois for personal consumption.

Concerns about Under-Aged Consumption of Powdered Alcohol

Concern surrounding under-aged drinking abounds in Illinois, and there is no doubt that there is concern about the impact that a powdered form of alcohol will have on under-aged drinking once it becomes available for purchase. There is a high likelihood that the new form of alcohol will become a drinking fad among young people, and as previously mentioned, there is little to stop young people from purchasing the powdered alcohol (legally or illegally) in other states for use in Illinois.

Additionally, there are concerns about how potent the new substance will be. Like liquid alcohol, a powdered version can get a person drunk, but questions arise as to how quickly a powdered version could impact a person’s judgement. To be sure, it takes longer for the body to process the powdered form than liquid alcohol.

Imagine a scenario where a powder alcohol drink is mixed up and drank immediately, before the powder has time to fully dissolve into the mixer. A person could theoretically get behind the wheel while not feeling drunk, only to become gradually more affected by the alcohol as the powder fully dissolves. A DUI could easily result from this scenario.

Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

It may be a while before powdered alcohol is available to the public, but once it is there is no doubt that some individuals who consume it will end up having a brush with the law. If you are facing alcohol-related criminal charges, please contact an experienced Rolling Meadows aggravated DUI lawyer immediately. Our skilled attorneys are prepared to assist you today

 

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=023500050K6-34.5

Sealing a Criminal Record in Illinois

January 18th, 2016 at 12:05 pm

Illinois criminal justice system, Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal lawyer, When you are convicted of a crime in Illinois, you may not want everyone to know that you have been convicted. Unfortunately, as a general rule, most criminal records are made available for public inspection. However, certain crimes may be eligible for expungement, which means that all records about that crime can be completely removed from the court records and indexes except for a copy that is provided to you, or sealing. Sealed records are kept confidential, and only a limited set of people may access them.

In some situations where you were charged with a crime, but not convicted, a criminal record will be generated, but it may also be eligible for expungement or sealing. Expungement of a criminal record is the best possible scenario, but sometimes it is not possible to obtain an expungement because the crime is ineligible. The next best option would be to try and have the record sealed.

What Does It Mean to Seal a Criminal Record in Illinois?

Sealing a criminal record in Illinois means that the record is physically and electronically maintained, but the sealed criminal record is not made available to the public without a court order. Additionally, the petitioner’s name (the name of the person with the criminal record) is obliterated, or removed, the from any official index or public record. But law enforcement agencies, the courts, as well as a few employers and other entities as allowed by law will retain the ability to access sealed criminal records.

Obtaining a Certificate of Sealing

Only certain crimes are eligible for sealing. Most misdemeanor crimes and some felonies are eligible. It is best to discuss whether the crime you are seeking to seal is eligible for sealing with an experienced Illinois criminal defense attorney. One way to get your criminal record sealed is to obtain a Certificate of Sealing from the State of Illinois Prisoner Review Board.

Once you know that the crime is eligible for sealing, you must wait either five years from the end of the sentence for the crime or five years from your most recent arrest in order to be eligible to file a petition, i.e., an application, for obtaining a Certification of Sealing. Additional criteria may apply to your eligibility status. For instance, if your crime involved drugs, you are required to complete and provide proof of your mandatory drug program.

If your application is accepted, you will be granted a Certificate of Sealing by the Board, which can be filed with the circuit court so that you can obtain a court order to seal your criminal record. If your application is denied, then you must wait four more years before attempting to obtain a Certificate of Sealing.

Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

Criminal records can be a burden on those who have them, and many people with criminal records are interested in having their records sealed from public view, or expunged all together.  If you have a criminal record that you are interested in sealing or having expunged, contact an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer to discuss whether your criminal record is eligible. Our attorneys are prepared to assist you today.

 

Sources:

http://www.illinois.gov/prb/Pages/default.aspx

https://www.illinois.gov/prb/Documents/Certificate%20of%20Sealing%20application.pdf

Giving a False Confession

January 13th, 2016 at 9:35 am

Illinois defense lawyer, Illinois criminal attorney, criminal defense, Many people who have been taken into custody feel pressured and scared. When criminal suspects do not know their rights, there is a chance that law enforcement will take liberties with the suspect, questioning them and trying to draw out a confession, when the suspect should have asked for an attorney. Juveniles accused of a crime are particularly at risk for this to happen to them. Sometimes, law enforcement will say that the suspect admitted to something, or confessed, when in reality they did not, or sometimes law enforcement will twist something the suspect says and call it a confession. Regardless of how it happens, these are not true confessions. They are fake or coerced, and should not be taken as the truth.

Police and prosecutors will treat a false confession as if it were real, and proving that the confession was fake or coerced from the start can be challenging. A false confession can lead to a criminal conviction, a long prison sentence, and a lasting criminal record.

Why Do Suspects Give False Confessions in the First Place?

There are a number of reasons why a suspect might give a false confession. They might be overwhelmed by the whole situation, they might be pressured into the false confession, or police might have threatened the suspect into confessing or tricked the suspect by using psychological manipulation. The police might suggest that they have more evidence than they really do against the suspect, or that the charges that the suspect faces are less serious than they really are. These techniques can all be used to elicit a false confession from a criminal suspect.

Some suspects are vulnerable from the outset, and are more likely than the average person to give a false confession. Criminal suspects who have developmental disabilities, cognitive impairments, or emotional issues are more likely to crack under pressure, or are more likely to not understand what it is that they are doing. These individuals can be susceptible to influence, high-pressure tactics, and the power of suggestion.

Additionally, young individuals who are facing criminal charges may not fully understand the impact of what giving a false confession means for them. A young person might give a false confession because they are scared, or because they are trying to cover for their friends who perpetrated the crime. Juveniles often have an imperfect understanding about what the consequences are to admitting criminal guilt.

Anyone who is facing criminal charges should ask for an experienced criminal lawyer and should not tell the police anything until discussing their situation with a lawyer first.

Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

Giving a false confession is a serious matter, because it can lead to a conviction which can put you in jail for a crime you did not commit. Let an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney help you develop your criminal defense if you are facing charges. Please contact the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley. We can also be reached by calling (847) 394-3200.

 

Sources:

http://www.innocenceproject.org/causes-wrongful-conviction/false-confessions-or-admissions

Forgery: White Collar Crime

January 11th, 2016 at 9:24 am

Illinois criminal lawyer, Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal laws, When an act of forgery involves money in someway, the crime is generally characterized as a white collar crime. According to 720 ILCS 5/17-3, forgery occurs when a person knowingly, with the intent to defraud someone else, makes a false document, object or statistic, or alters any of these to make them false. The forgery must be capable of defrauding another individual. Simply supplying a document that you know to be false can be considered forgery, as can merely having a forged document in your possession, with the intent to defraud another.

Forgeries can take many forms. Some of the most common examples of forgery include:

Identity Theft

Forged documents are commonly used in identity theft cases. One person poses as another by misrepresenting their identity, which can be as simple as filling out a form as if you were someone else, or manufacturing a fake passport or driver’s license with your photo, but someone else’s personal identification information. These crimes often arise when a person tries to take out a line of credit or obtain a credit card with personal identification information that has been misappropriated or stolen.

Counterfeiting

Counterfeiting is related to forgery, but is a more serious offense. Counterfeiting, for the most part, falls to the purview of federal jurisdiction (meaning it is a federal crime), but Illinois law also tackles the crime under the deception and frauds statutes, 720 ILCS 5/17-0.5. Counterfeiting occurs where a person manufactures something that is fake, but acts or uses the manufactured item as if it were legitimate, authorized or real. A person can counterfeit, or manufacture, any number of items, including but not limited to fake money, passports, IDs, credit cards, legal papers, and goods.

Bad Checks

When it comes to writing bad checks, there are two main types: issuing a check when you know that there are insufficient funds to cover the check’s value, and fraudulently issuing a check (either posing as someone else, or using a fraudulently obtained or stolen check). Issuing bad checks can fall under the umbrella of forgery if some aspect of the bad check is deceptive, and the person who “issues” the check does so with the intent of defrauding the recipient of the check.

What Defenses Can Be Used for Forgery Charges?

When you are charged with forgery, there are a number of defenses that could be raised on your behalf. For instance, if someone posed as you – i.e. stole your identity – and then committed forgery, you are not the person who had the intent to defraud, and you were not the person involved in the forgery.  You were merely a victim of identity theft.

It is also possible that your forgery charges could be defended against if you lacked knowledge that you were committing a forgery, which is commonly tied to lacking the intent to defraud someone. Simply making a mistake on important paperwork, or failing to notice a mistake, is not fraud or forgery, unless you had the intent to defraud another. An experienced criminal lawyer can go over the details of your alleged crime, and can help you develop the best legal defense you have available in light of the specific facts of your case.

Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

Forgery charges are serious charges. When you need a white collar crime lawyer, contact a skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can help you protect your rights in your criminal case.

 

Sources:

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

http://ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=072000050HArt.+24&ActID=1876&ChapAct=720%26nbsp%3BILCS%26nbsp%3B5%2F&ChapterID=53&ChapterName=CRIMINAL+OFFENSES&SectionID=60752&SeqStart=50300000&SeqEnd=53000000&ActName=Criminal+Code+of+1961.

Criminal Pleas in Illinois

January 6th, 2016 at 3:11 pm

Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal justice system, Illinois criminal lawyer, If you are being charged with a crime in Illinois, your charges will be formally read to you at your arraignment hearing. You will be required to enter a plea, or an official statement as to whether you are guilty or not, at this time to the charges you face. You have four plea choices in Illinois: not guilty, guilty but mentally ill, guilty and no contest.

Not guilty, guilty but mentally ill and guilty pleas are specifically provided for under 725/ILCS 5/113-4(a). Pleading no contest is limited to only certain situations, and the court does not have to accept a no contest plea.

In all cases, it is very important that you consult with an experienced criminal defense lawyer to determine which plea is best for your particular circumstances. Which plea you choose will play a significant role in how your criminal case will proceed, and your plea choice could also have a lasting effect on your life since pleas are made part of your criminal record.

Not Guilty

When you plead not guilty, you are not admitting guilt for the crime that was allegedly committed. Pleading not guilty means that your case will proceed to trial.

Guilty but Mentally Ill

When you enter a plea of guilty but mentally ill, you are admitting to committing the alleged crime, but you are also asserting that the charges should be mitigated by the fact that you were mentally ill at the time you committed the crime. The court can accept this plea, and must first make a determination on the issue of your mental state at the time of the crime, before proceeding further.

Guilty

Pleading guilty means that you admit to your guilt for committing the alleged crime. The court can enter your guilty plea and move your case forward to sentencing. You will have the guilty plea on your criminal record.

No Contest

No contest is an interesting plea because this plea means that you do not disagree with the facts, but you do not admit that you are guilty. A no contest plea is very rare in Illinois, and in most criminal cases cannot be used; as such, consulting with an experienced criminal defense attorney is the best way to see if a no contest plea is available for you in your particular case. It is treated much like a guilty plea, and is entered into your criminal record. The main difference between a guilty plea and a no contest plea is that when you plead no contest, your plea cannot be used against you later if any civil suits arise. The court does not have to accept your plea of no contest, and will likely reject it.

Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

Deciding how to plea in your criminal case is something that needs to be fully considered and discussed with your criminal defense attorney. An experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney can help you understand your options and what the consequences of each option might be. Please contact the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley online. We can also be reached by calling (847) 394-3200.

 

Source:

http://ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072500050K113-4

When Can a Summary Suspension Be Rescinded?

January 4th, 2016 at 2:58 pm

Ililnios drunk driving lawyer, Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal lawyerWhen an individual is arrested for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and refuses to submit to chemical testing or submits to a chemical test that reveals a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher, that individual will be subjected to a statutory summary suspension of his or her driving privileges under Illinois law. This can be a terrible situation for an individual who needs to be able to drive. If you have been subjected to a statutory summary suspension of your driver’s license in Illinois, you need to consult with a criminal defense attorney to see if there is any way for your suspension to be rescinded.

Summary suspensions can be rescinded (meaning taken back or canceled) for a number of reasons, if a petition to rescind is filed within 90 days of the service of the notice of summary suspension. A skilled DUI defense attorney can identify any potential reasons why your summary suspension should be rescinded and can help you file your petition within the statute of limitations for a rescission.

Procedural Failings

There can be a number of errors, shortcomings or failings in terms of the procedure surrounding your summary suspension that could be a grounds for rescission of your suspension. For instance:

  • No hearing, no summary suspension. You are entitled to a hearing on your summary suspension within 30 days of your rescission petition filing. If your hearing is not conducted within the 30 days, your hearing has not been timely provided to you, and thus the suspension cannot stand and must be rescinded.
  • When requests to admit and requests to produce go unfulfilled. The state prosecutes you in a criminal DUI case, and that means that the state is required to participate with you by answering any requests you might put forth, such as a request to admit or a request to produce evidence during discovery. When the state does not cooperate, it is a grounds for rescission of your summary suspension.
  • Pleadings are deficient.  Pleadings are required to contain certain elements, and must comply with certain legal requirements. When pleadings are incomplete, improper, or inconsistent with logic or chronology, they may be deficient, which warrants rescission of your summary suspension.

Violations of Your Rights

Rescission of summary suspension can be warranted if your rights were violated or denied. For example:

  • Service of the notice of summary suspension is improper. You are entitled to service of the notice of your summary suspension, and if service is not proper you are being denied of your rights. This is a grounds for rescission.
  • Denied your choice of chemical test. In Illinois, individuals are not provided the right to choose what kind of chemical testing they will be subjected to after being arrested for a DUI, but if the arresting officer offers you a choice, and then later denies you the testing method you selected, it can be a grounds for rescinding your summary suspension.
  • Denied your right to an attorney. When facing criminal charges, you always have a right to consult with an attorney. Although you are not entitled to an attorney prior to being arrested, if you are permitted by law enforcement to consult with a lawyer, and then law enforcement tries to have you submit to chemical testing, it can be grounds for rescission of your summary suspension.
  • Fourth Amendment violations. You are provided certain rights concerning search and seizure and a violation of those rights by law enforcement officials is a grounds for a suspension to be rescinded.

Reach Out to Us Today for Help

There are many reasons why your summary suspension for a DUI can be rescinded, and an experienced DUI criminal defense attorney who is familiar with Illinois case law will be able to identify any potential reasons why your summary suspension should be rescinded. Please contact a reputable Rolling Meadows DUI attorney immediately by calling (847) 394-3200. We are happy to assist you today.

 

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-501.1