Archive for September, 2016
September 30th, 2016 at 3:05 pm
The Illinois courts and law enforcement do not take kindly to those who are accused of committing domestic battery. Causing bodily harm to a family or household member, or insulting, provoking, or threatening them, is a serious criminal matter in Illinois. When a person is accused of domestic battery, it is critically important that they fight the charges that are lodged against them because even a first-time conviction carries severe and long-lasting consequences. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help.
Below are three reasons why you need to fight your domestic battery charges.
- A domestic battery conviction means you will have a criminal record. Even if your fight with a family or household member was just a minor dispute that got out of hand, the court will look at the altercation as a serious crime. Even a first-time offense for domestic battery is typically a misdemeanor level offense. But a domestic battery charge can be upgraded to a felony-level offense in certain situations, such as when a protection order was violated, when you have a record of prior domestic battery convictions, or when other aggravating factors were involved.
- A domestic battery conviction generally cannot be sealed or expunged from your criminal record. Once you have been convicted of a criminal battery against a family or household member, as a general rule, the conviction will go on your criminal record, and it cannot be expunged or sealed under Illinois law. This means that your domestic battery conviction will follow you for many years to come. There are very limited circumstances in which a domestic battery conviction may be expunged. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you determine if you may be eligible.
- A domestic battery conviction has unintended consequences. The effect of a domestic battery conviction is far-reaching. For instance:
- You can lose your right to own or carry a firearm;
- You could lose out on job opportunities due to the fact an employer can view your criminal record;
- You could be denied an apartment or a credit card;
- You could lose your child visitation privileges, or have restrictions placed on your visitation rights.
Contact The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley
Being charged with a domestic battery comes with severe consequences, and you need to fight the charges. If you are facing domestic battery charges, a conviction can have a serious impact on your life and can affect you in ways that you may not foresee. You need the help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer who has helped defendants facing domestic battery charges. A dedicated Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer can assist you every step of the way.
September 29th, 2016 at 12:11 pm
Illegal drug deals can take many forms, but nearly all drug deals have something in common: they are all transactions. At their core, all drug transactions are the same – they are an exchange where each party gets something that they want. Drug transactions involve a recipient party (i.e., the drug “buyer”) providing something to a drug dealer in exchange for the drugs. A majority of the time, drugs are traded for money.
But in some situations, a drug dealer might accept something other than money as payment for drugs. Sometimes a dealer will want certain services (e.g., the dealer may want the drug “buyer” to commit a crime, or perform some act in exchange for the drugs) in exchange for drugs, or the dealer might want property or valuables instead of cash. Sometimes the dealer may want the drugs to be paid for in stolen goods, like a stolen car or stolen jewelry, watches or electronics. The dealer might even encourage a buyer to commit burglary in order to get the drugs.
Burglary Is Serious Business
There are a number of reasons why people commit burglary; one common reason is to sell the stolen goods for money in order to pay for drugs or to trade the stolen goods directly with the dealer for drugs. Entering someone else’s home or other property without permission and taking things that do not belong to you is a form of theft known as burglary. The Illinois burglary statute covers unauthorized access into a building, dwelling, house trailer, boat, motor vehicle, or airplane. Stealing anything from one of these locations, or intending to commit a felony in one of these locations, is considered to be burglary under Illinois law.
Getting Charged With Multiple Offenses
Getting caught paying for drugs with stolen goods can land you in trouble with the law. Committing a burglary is a serious enough crime on its own, but then using stolen goods to finance a drug transaction makes your situation significantly worse when you are caught by law enforcement. Not only can you, as the drug purchaser, be charged with theft and the burglary, but you can also be charged with the drug transaction and drug possession charges as well. If the drug dealer is caught along with you, he or she could be charged with receipt or possession of stolen property, as well as criminal charges for selling or trafficking the drugs.
Caught Trading Stolen Goods For Drugs? Call A Lawyer
Burglary charges and drug offenses are not matters that should be taken lightly. You can face serious penalties, such as jail time and harsh fines. If you are in trouble with the law, you should contact an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible to obtain guidance on what to do in your particular situation.
September 22nd, 2016 at 3:35 pm
Many people have received a traffic citation for a mistake made behind the wheel. You might have been driving too fast, may have failed to use your turn signals, or may have placed your vehicle somewhere it should not have been. Furthermore, many people who end up with a traffic citation are unsure what to do about it. In this situation, contacting an experienced traffic offense lawyer could help.
Basics of A Traffic Citation
At its core, a traffic citation is a charge for violating a state or municipal traffic law. The citation is a piece of paper, or ticket, that includes your information, the information about your vehicle, and your alleged offense. The ticket provides you with the statute of the law that you allegedly violated along with the fine you are required to pay, and provides instructions on how to pay the ticket, or details about when you are required to appear in court.
For the most part, most traffic law violations are merely infractions of the law, which is punishable only by a fine. Infractions are mostly minor offenses. More serious traffic violations can rise to the criminal level, such as driving while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. These more serious traffic violations can carry steep fines and even jail time.
Traffic violations are broken down by the type of offense you have committed, and the seriousness of your offense. For instance, traffic violations are classified as either moving violations, or non-moving violations, which refers to whether your alleged offense involved a moving vehicle. For instance, speeding, driving without a fastened seatbelt, DUI, and failing to obey stop signs are all considered moving violations because each of these offenses involves a moving vehicle. Non-moving violations include things like driving an unregistered vehicle, not having your license plates attached to your vehicle, and parking offenses.
Next Steps After Receiving a Traffic Citation
When you receive a traffic ticket, you usually have a few options on how to proceed. For the most trivial of traffic violations, most people simply choose to pay the fine and be done with the ticket. Paying the ticket, however, means admitting guilt for your violation of the law. If you are generally a good driver who rarely receives tickets, then simply paying your fine might be how you choose to resolve your traffic ticket.
However, if you believe that the issuance of a ticket to you was a mistake or is wrong, you can dispute your ticket and fight it. To dispute your traffic citation, you must personally appear in court during your scheduled court appearance timeslot, and enter a not guilty plea. Next, you will be scheduled a trial date, where you can fight your traffic citation.
If you plan on fighting your traffic citation, you need to speak with an experienced Rolling Meadows traffic offenses lawyer soon after getting your ticket. You will have a scheduled court appearance time, and your lawyer may need to work quickly.
September 20th, 2016 at 11:07 am
Many drivers in Illinois are stopped by law enforcement and issued traffic citations when they allegedly violate one of Illinois many traffic laws. While a ticket could be embarrassing, or might make you mad, you must take some sort of action regarding your traffic ticket.
Consequences of Pleading Guilty to a Traffic Violation
Most tickets are simple to deal with, and many do not even require the driver to appear in court. There are many types of traffic tickets that can simply be paid over the internet or at the courthouse. Many drivers elect to pay their fine and be done with their ticket. But payment of the ticket fine is effectively the same as pleading guilty to your traffic citation.
Countless Illinois drivers do not realize that this is the case and are surprised to learn that there are consequences for paying the fine and effectively pleading guilty to a traffic offense. For instance, in some cases, it can mean that points will be added to your driver’s license by the Illinois Driver Services Department. If you get too many points on your driver’s license in a certain amount of time, your driver’s license can be suspended. The more points you have on your driver’s license also translates to increased car insurance premium rates.
Paying the fine on your traffic ticket will also create a record of your admission of guilt in your driving record, which is maintained by the Illinois Driver Services Department. This record is communicated to law enforcement and government agencies in other states.
While it is important to deal with your traffic ticket as soon as possible (as traffic tickets always come with a date by which payment is due), you do not have to admit guilt. You can always fight any traffic ticket that is issued to you in court. A skilled Illinois traffic offenses lawyer can help you make your case to the court, and it may be possible to get your charges and fine reduced, if not dropped completely.
What Happens if You Ignore Your Ticket?
Pretending that your traffic ticket never happened is not a good idea either. If you do not pay the fine for your ticket, or you fail to make a scheduled court appearance, it can result in a judgment against you and a warrant could be issued for your arrest. It is also likely that if you ignore a traffic ticket, your driver’s license will be suspended.
Got A Traffic Ticket? Talk To Us
Traffic tickets happen to drivers all the time, and if you believe that you were wrongly ticketed, then you should consult with an experienced Rolling Meadows traffic violations lawyer about fighting your ticket. We are eager to assist you today.
September 15th, 2016 at 1:24 pm
Until recently, it was illegal to drive while under the influence of marijuana, regardless of how much marijuana was in your system. Illinois law used to employ a zero tolerance approach when it came to driving under the influence of marijuana. Specifically, if any amount of marijuana was detected in the suspected drugged driver’s system, the driver could be charged with a marijuana DUI. But the recent passage of Illinois bill SB2228 changes things and puts a measurable limit on when an Illinois driver is too high to drive.
Under the old law, prosecutors were not required to demonstrate that the driver was actually intoxicated by marijuana at the time of their DUI arrest, according to a recent article in the Pekin Daily Times. Instead, the prosecution only had to show that marijuana, even in trace amounts, was detected in the driver’s system. A blood test could be used to analyze a blood sample for any trace of THC, which is the active psychoactive chemical ingredient in marijuana.
A Zero Tolerance Policy Is Patently Unfair
The old law was strikingly unfair since it failed to require proof that the driver was actually under the influence of marijuana to such a degree that the intoxication impacted the driver’s ability to safely operate a vehicle. The old law could place a person who was merely in contact with marijuana smoke in violation of the state’s marijuana DUI laws, even though the person never actually inhaled more than second-hand marijuana smoke.
New Law Offers Measurable Legal Limit
The new law places a quantifiable measurement on when a person is considered to be under the influence of marijuana to such a degree that their driving ability is affected. Specifically, a person who has five nanograms of THC in their blood, when the blood sample is taken within two hours of a DUI arrest, is considered to be under the influence of marijuana and is not safe to drive a vehicle. With the enactment of the new marijuana DUI law, Illinois joins just four other states – Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington – that have placed a measurable impairment level on marijuana.
Bill SB2228 Also Decriminalizes Possession of Small Quantities of Marijuana
The new law also decriminalizes possession of small quantities of marijuana. Instead of being a criminal offense, possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana is punishable as a civil infraction, meaning that offenders will merely be issued a ticket. The ticket ranges from between a fine of $100 and $200.
Facing A DUI? Contact A Rolling Meadows Drug Offenses Lawyer
Whether you are facing a DUI, a marijuana DUI, or drug charges, you need to speak to an experienced Rolling Meadows drug crimes lawyer as soon as feasible about your situation. These criminal charges are serious, and you need legal representation that can help you fight the charges that are pending against you.
September 13th, 2016 at 2:48 pm
Everyone has heard the story of the little boy who cried wolf. Repeatedly the little boy made false assertions that a wolf was nearby, alarming everyone else in the town. But in truth, there was no wolf. Finally, others stopped believing the boy, and when the boy saw a wolf that posed a real threat to those in the town, no one would heed his warnings because he had developed a reputation as a liar. The moral of this children’s story is that it is not a good idea to report false threats and place groups of people into a state of alarm unnecessarily. A similar premise underlies Illinois disorderly conduct law.
Falsely alerting groups of people of danger is a serious offense in Illinois. When there is no real threat of danger, there is no need to alert others. Alerting others to a false danger can place these people in a state of panic or distress, and can cause them to act in an alarmed way unnecessarily. In effect, false reports of danger put people on edge, and cause them to do things that they might not normally do because they feel like they are in danger, and these false reports of danger can cause disruptions of the peace. Some examples of offenses that can warrant a disorderly conduct charge include:
- Crying “fire” in a crowded place where there is no real threat of a fire;
- Reporting to 911 a false call for help, such as calling police to a scene where there is no crime being committed or calling for an ambulance when none is required;
- Falsely making a report of a bomb or other dangerous explosive; or
- Making a false report about an abused or neglected child.
Any one of these instances where someone falsely reports a situation or danger, causes dozens of others to be mobilized into action. For instance, if “fire” is shouted in a club, the club patrons will take steps to exit the building, which is unlikely to occur in a safe and considerate fashion since the patrons are likely going to panic. Patrons might get hurt while trying to exit the club, such as being trampled by the crowd or being struck by someone who is panicking. Not only that but if the alleged fire is called into 911, fire trucks will come to the club where there is no real fire, taking these firefighters away from other calls.
It is important to keep the public safe, and that means protecting the public from false reports of danger. That is why Illinois law takes such a firm stance against acts of disorderly conduct. When police, fire, medical services, and child protection services are falsely called to a situation where there is no real threat of harm to anyone, it is a waste of these people’s time and attention.
Contact Us for Professional Representation
If you have been charged with disorderly conduct for falsely reporting a dangerous situation, you should speak with an experienced disorderly defense lawyer as soon as possible. Please do not hesitate to contact a Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney. Our attorneys are eager to assist you today.
September 12th, 2016 at 1:56 pm
Drug trafficking is one of the more serious drug offenses, as people are often found to be transporting large quantities of drugs into and around the state. The purpose behind trafficking illegal drugs is to import large quantities of drugs into the state in order to distribute and sell those drugs in a smaller quantity to others. That is why law enforcement takes the responsibility of catching a drug trafficker so seriously.
What Is Drug Trafficking?
Drug trafficking charges are based on the type of drug that is being trafficked across state lines. If you are caught with large quantities of illegal drugs in Illinois, you can be charged with trafficking:
- Controlled substances, such as heroin, cocaine, hallucinogens, depressants, stimulants and prescription drugs, under the Illinois Controlled Substances Act;
- Marijuana, under 720 ILCS 550/4(f)-(g), i.e. possession of cannabis in a quantity of more than 2,000 grams; or
- Methamphetamines, under 720 ILCS 646/56 of the Methamphetamine Control and Community Protection Act.
Generally speaking, drug trafficking can be defined as knowingly bringing a controlled substance or illegal drug into the state of Illinois, with the intent to deliver the controlled substance or drug elsewhere. It does not matter if the drugs or controlled substances are counterfeit. If the defendant had knowledge that they were bringing a controlled substance or drug into Illinois, the defendant can still find themselves in hot water with the law even though there were no real drugs involved.
Multiple Types of Drugs, Multiple Offenses
What can make drug trafficking charges worse is that if a suspect is caught with a variety of different drugs, they can be charged with multiple offenses.
Furthermore, it is not uncommon for those who are charged with drug trafficking to also be charged with other drug-related offenses, such as drug possession, drug distribution, or possession with intent to distribute.
What Are Some Defenses to Drug Trafficking Charges?
If you have been charged with drug trafficking, you need to get in touch with an experienced drug offense criminal defense lawyer immediately. You may have some defenses available to you, and your lawyer will help you determine what those defenses are based on your particular situation. Some examples of defenses that might be available to you include, but are not limited to:
- You had no knowledge that the drugs were in your possession;
- You were entrapped by law enforcement to transport the drugs;
- You were under duress when you trafficked the drugs; or
- You were temporarily insane.
Contacting A Rolling Meadows Drug Offenses Lawyer
If you are facing criminal charges for possession, possession with the intent to distribute, or drug trafficking, you should reach out to an experienced drug offenses lawyer for legal guidance on what you can do about your charges. Please do not hesitate to contact a Rolling Meadows criminal attorney immediately. Our office can assist you throughout your case.