Archive for October, 2016
October 27th, 2016 at 7:00 am
DUI checkpoints are common in Rolling Meadows and the surrounding areas. Law enforcement will set up a checkpoint—a temporary stop—to see if a driver is intoxicated on drugs or alcohol while driving. However, the problem with DUI checkpoints is that the police officers who man these stops may take too many liberties when it comes to investigating potentially intoxicated drivers. Therefore, it is important to understand your rights if you are stopped.
You Do Not Have to Answer Questions
Often, drivers do not realize that they are not required to answer a police officer’s questions when stopped at a DUI checkpoint. When a police officer asks where you were earlier in the evening, or where you are going, you do not have to answer. Police officers ask these questions to gather evidence against you, and you do not have to incriminate yourself. If you are not under arrest, then the police have no right to interrogate you. As such, you can politely decline to answer their questions at a DUI checkpoint.
You do, however, need to comply with their commands such as providing your driver’s license and registration upon request. Use common sense when you are stopped at a DUI checkpoint if law enforcement ask you a few initial questions. You can always say that you will not answer any questions without your lawyer present.
Police Cannot Search Your Vehicle Without Probable Cause
While law enforcement officers have the right to briefly stop you at a DUI checkpoint, they do not have free reign to search your vehicle without permission. A law enforcement officer has to have probable cause in order to conduct a search of your vehicle during a DUI check under your 4th Amendment protections. Police often develop the necessary probable cause to conduct a search of your vehicle if they observe something during the DUI stop that suggests you may be intoxicated behind the wheel. Common examples of evidence that supports the police officer having probable cause includes smelling alcohol in the vehicle or on the driver’s breath, or witnessing an open alcohol container in the vehicle.
Arrested at a DUI Checkpoint? Call The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley
If you were arrested for DUI during a DUI checkpoint, it is important that you contact a knowledgeable Rolling Meadows DUI defense attorney who can review your case and explain your rights. Do not delay when it comes to getting the legal defense that you need. Call 847-394-3200 today.
October 25th, 2016 at 7:00 am
Drug crimes are some of the most frequently committed criminal offenses in Illinois. One common drug offense is drug delivery. The possession of a drug with the intent to deliver is another very similar drug offense. These drug charges are often asserted against alleged drug dealers.
Illinois Drug Delivery Offense
When an illegal drug actually changes hands, the offense is referred to as a drug delivery offense. However, when illegal drugs do not change hands, yet the person who is in possession of the drug was likely to have delivered the drugs to another individual without being intercepted by law enforcement, the offense is referred to as possession with the intent to deliver.
Drug delivery and possession with the intent to deliver are criminal offenses, regardless of the type of drug that is caught in your possession. For instance, you may be caught with controlled substances such as heroin, cocaine, stimulants, depressants, hallucinogens or prescription drugs—all illegal under the Illinois Controlled Substances Act. You could also be charged with drug delivery or possession with the intent to deliver marijuana, under 720 ILCS 550/4 of the Cannabis Control Act, or methamphetamines, under 720 ILCS 646/55 of the Methamphetamine Control and Community Protection Act.
Fight Your Drug Charges
When you are charged with a drug delivery or intent to deliver drug offense, it is critical to speak with an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. A knowledgeable attorney can fight tenaciously to preserve your your rights and your freedom. Importantly, your lawyer will carefully examine your case for every possible defense that is available to you.
Your lawyer will examine your arrest and will analyze whether or not law enforcement properly followed protocol when they brought you into custody. If drugs were seized as part of the arrest, your lawyer will make sure that the search and seizure procedure was properly followed and was legal. If the search and seizure was not legal, your lawyer will fight against the admissibility of the seized drug evidence in your case.
Your lawyer will also consider whether you have any other legal defenses that could be asserted. For instance, the prosecution has a burden to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that you committed each and every element required for the crime of which you stand accused. If the prosecution has not met its burden on an element of the crime, your defense lawyer will make sure that the court knows that the prosecution has failed to meet its burden and that you should not be convicted of the crime.
Drug Delivery or Intent to Deliver Charges? Contact a Lawyer
Drug crimes are severely punished and the consequences of a drug conviction can have a lasting impact on your life. Please do not hesitate to contact a skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney today. We are eager to help you.
October 20th, 2016 at 7:00 am
The crime of theft encompasses many different charges under Illinois law. Not only is it a crime to commit theft by being the person who knowingly takes property belonging to another without permission, which is the case in crimes such as vehicle theft or shoplifting, but it can also be a theft crime if you end up in possession of stolen property. Similarly, it is a crime to be involved in a complicated white collar theft or fraud plot, where you might not be the ringleader of the theft, but are still a beneficiary.
In Illinois, you can be charged with a theft crime even if you are not the person who took the property from its rightful owner. To say this another way, you do not have to be the person who physically commits the theft act; you could be a beneficiary or recipient of stolen property or money and still be just as criminally liable as the actual thief.
Many criminal defendants are often in disbelief when they are charged with a theft crime, especially when they are not the person who took the item or property in the first place. Regardless, these are serious charges that you face. Just like any other criminal offense, if you are charged with a theft charge for possession of stolen property, or receiving stolen property, you need to get in touch with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
Possession or receipt of stolen property is a crime in , that is much akin to theft; the difference being that you may not be the person who actually took the property from its rightful owner. However, if you know, or have reason to believe that the property that is now in your possession is stolen, your possession of that property is considered a theft crime.
Punishment for Theft Crimes Depends on Value, Circumstances, and Past History
The punishment for theft crime varies and depends upon the seriousness of the theft. When the item stolen has a high value, the penalties are more severe than if the value of the stolen item is low. Someone who steals a car at gunpoint is going to face steeper penalties than someone who shoplifts a magazine. Similarly, when a theft crime is committed at a specific location, such as a church or school, or if the theft involves stealing from a particularly vulnerable victim, such as an old person, then the penalties for the theft can be enhanced. Punishment for a theft crime can also be enhanced if you already have a history of committing theft-related crimes.
Accused of a Theft Crime? Get a Lawyer
People make mistakes all the time, and if you are charged with a theft crime, whether it is shoplifting, stealing, or receipt of stolen property, you should speak with an experienced and skilled Rolling Meadows theft crimes lawyer. Do not hesitate to reach out to our office today for help.
October 18th, 2016 at 7:00 am
Teens and young adults sometimes make poor decisions. As a result, they may end up being charged with a crime. Teens may even be involved in criminal activities on a regular basis when they are caught, or they may be first-time offenders. If your teen is involved in a crime, speaking with a skilled criminal defense attorney is essential.
Teens, Crime, and the Statistics
Many crimes that are committed by juveniles occur while they are at school. For instance, according to a 2014 National Report on Juvenile Offenders produced by the U.S. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, some frightening statistics about juveniles and crime while in school in Illinois include:
- 3.9 percent of juveniles questioned reported having taken a weapon to school with them within the past 30 days prior to being surveyed;
- 7.6 percent reported having been threatened in school by a weapon possessed by a classmate;
- 3.3 percent of juveniles reported that they had used alcohol while on school property within the past 30 days;
- 4.7 percent of juveniles reported using marijuana while at school; and
- 27.3 percent reported being offered illegal drugs or alcohol while at school.
These statistics show that young people are exposed to a lot of opportunities to engage in criminal activities, even while they are in school. A number of other crimes often occur on school grounds as well, such as assaults, batteries, school-ground fights, thefts, bullying, and harassment.
When Teens Get Into Trouble At School
Teens are subjected to peer pressure, and because they are not good at exercising sound judgement, good kids can make bad choices—they are influenced by their peers. A lot of kids make bad choices and commit crimes because they want to appear cool to their friends, or are going through tough issues at home and are acting out. There are several reasons why teens make the decisions that they do, and they often do not have the foresight to understand the consequences of their actions.
When a teen gets into criminal trouble while in school, there are many consequences. The teen could be suspended or expelled from the school, and criminal charges could be pressed against the teen. If convicted, the teen could have a criminal record. These are all very serious consequences that can have a long-lasting impact on a young person’s life. The teen could have trouble finishing school, could develop a reputation as a troublemaker within the school, or could have difficulty getting accepted to college.
Contact Us Today for Help
Do not let your teen’s misguided mistake turn into a lifetime of harsh consequences. One youthful mistake could haunt your teen for many years to come in the future. If your child has been charged with a crime, it is important to diligently and aggressively fight the charges. Do not hesitate to contact a Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney immediately. Our office can help you today. Call 847-394-3200.
October 13th, 2016 at 7:00 am
Foreign nationals who wish to come to the United States, either for work, school, or another purpose, gain entry through a visa. A number of different types of visas are awarded based on the reason for the foreign national’s stay in the United States. However, there are also many restrictions on visas. If these restrictions are violated, one’s visa can be revoked by the U.S. government. For instance, a visa can be revoked if the visa holder is convicted of committing a crime in the United States.
Barred From Re-entry Into the U.S.
Being convicted of a criminal offense in the United States is often a violation of the terms of your visa. Therefore, if you leave the country and try and return to the United States, you will most likely be barred from re-entry into the United States by immigration officers at the airport, or via your port of entry. Moreover, you could be denied entry into the United States for years.
Even Too Many Traffic Offenses Can Result in Visa Revocation
Traffic violations are common minor offenses. However, each time you pay a traffic ticket without fighting it, you are effectively admitting your guilt to the alleged traffic violation. This is the same as if you were convicted for your traffic violation. Convictions for traffic violations result in points being added to your driver’s license. When you accumulate too many points on your driver’s license, your driving privileges are suspended and you are no longer permitted to operate a motor vehicle. Operating a motor vehicle while on a suspended driver’s license is a serious criminal offense and can result in the revocation of your visa.
Foreign nationals who obtain a visa for entry into the United States generally do so with a purpose, such as for the purpose of attending school or to get a U.S. job. Hence, it is critically important for these individuals to maintain their visa status. Anyone who is a visa holder and has been charged with a traffic violation needs to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Fighting your traffic citation is the best chance that you will have to get the charges against you reduced or even dropped completely so that you can remain in the United States on your visa.
Receive a Traffic Ticket While on a Visa? Get a Lawyer
If you have received a traffic citation, it is essential to consider if it is in your best interests to fight the ticket. Please contact a skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney at our firm and let us assist you throughout each step of your case. Call 847-394-3200 today.
October 11th, 2016 at 7:00 am
Stealing a motor vehicle is a serious offense in Illinois. There are several different theft crimes that involve the unauthorized taking of a vehicle, and state prosecutors do not take kindly to criminal defendants who allegedly take things that do not belong to them. Theft crimes involving a vehicle include stealing a car, trespass to a motor vehicle, carjacking, and failure to return a rental vehicle. If you are facing criminal charges that involve the theft of a vehicle, you need to get in touch with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
Stealing a Car
In Illinois there is no specific statute focused directly on the theft of a vehicle. Instead, when a car is stolen state prosecutors pursue the criminal defendant under the traditional Illinois theft statute. Car theft is committed when a person knowingly takes a vehicle belonging to another without permission and with the intent to deprive the vehicle’s owner of the use of the vehicle permanently.
If a person takes a vehicle belonging to another without permission, but only intends to temporarily deprive the vehicle’s owner of his or her use of vehicle, such as when the vehicle is taken out for a joyride, then the criminal defendant could be charged with joyriding. This offense is also sometimes referred to as criminal trespass to vehicle. While not necessarily as serious as stealing a car, criminal trespass to a vehicle is not a criminal charge to take lightly.
Hijacking a person’s car by force or by the use of threats of force is known as carjacking in Illinois. Carjacking is a serious offense that can be upgraded to aggravated carjacking if certain other circumstances exist at the time of the carjacking incident. For instance, carjacking charges can be enhanced when aggravating factors exist, such as a firearm was used or discharged during the carjacking, a child under the age of 16 was in the vehicle at the time of the carjacking, a victim of the carjacking incident was over the age of 60 years old or was physically handicapped, or a victim of the carjacking was injured or killed by a firearm during the carjacking.
Failure to Return a Rental Vehicle
Whenever a person rents a vehicle, a term of his or her rental contract is the date and time that the rental vehicle must be returned to the rental agency. When a renter does not return a rental vehicle on time, the renter is in breach of his or her rental contract agreement. But not only that, the renter is also committing theft because he or she is depriving the rental agency of the use of the rental vehicle.
Accused of a Vehicle Theft Offense? Contact a Lawyer
Any theft crime is a serious matter, but theft crimes involving a vehicle are particularly serious. If you have been charged with the crime involved in the theft of a vehicle, please do not hesitate to contact a Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney immediately. We are available to help you today.
October 6th, 2016 at 5:20 pm
Delivering a forged check, a check that is not signed by the real owner of the checking account or a check that is fabricated or altered in some way, is considered to be a deception-based criminal offense under 720 ILCS 5/17-1(B). When a person tries to pass off a forged or fake check as if it were a real check, the person is trying to knowingly defraud the check’s recipient in order to financially benefit from the deception. Check forgery is a form of theft.
What is Required to Prove Check Forgery?
Someone who is facing charges for check forgery in Illinois will be mercilessly prosecuted by the state. In order to get a check forgery conviction, the state prosecutor must show:
- That the defendant knowingly made or altered a check;
- The purpose of defrauding another;
- Where the check was made or altered to look like it was issued by another; and
- That the check was delivered or issued to recipient of the check with the intent to defraud the check’s recipient.
You can be charged with check forgery even if you do not actually defraud someone. To say this another way, if the check’s recipient, or someone else, figures out that the check is forged before cashing it or does not believe that the check is authentic, you can still be charged with check forgery. Merely handing over a forged check to the check’s intended recipient is enough to be charged with check forgery.
What Are Some Typical Defenses to Check Forgery Charges?
There are a number of different defenses that can be raised against check forgery charges, and which defenses are appropriate for your particular circumstances will depend on your situation. You should consult with an experienced lawyer to get a better understanding of what defenses may be available to you. Typical defenses to check forgery charges include:
- That the criminal defendant did not know that he or she was issuing a forged check;
- That the criminal defendant lacked the intent to defraud or deceive the check’s recipient;
- That the criminal defendant was too young to know the harm in what he or she was doing by forging the check, i.e., infancy—the offender was under the age of 13;
- That the criminal defendant was forced to make the forged check, i.e., the criminal defendant was under duress;
- That the criminal defendant was mentally unstable at the time the check was forged; and
- That the criminal defendant was a victim of identity theft and his or her name was used to forged checks.
Accused of Check Forgery? Get a Lawyer
If you have been charged with check forgery or any other theft crime, it is important that you get in touch with an experienced theft attorney as soon as possible. Please contact a passionate Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney immediately. Our office is available to help you today.
October 4th, 2016 at 12:45 pm
Cocaine is a very popular drug that acts as a stimulant; people who use this drug experience an energetic high. Cocaine can be consumed in a number of different ways, including injection, inhalation, or by snorting it up the nose. While the drug may have some initial stimulating effects, cocaine has a lot of serious health consequences.
Cocaine is a highly addictive illegal drug that has lead to many individuals facing drug charges. They might have been charged with cocaine possession, cocaine distribution, or trafficking. What all of these drug offenses have in common is that they are all felonies. How serious the offense is depends on a number of factors—a history of cocaine drug offenses, the amount of drugs involved, where the drugs were found (e.g., a drug sale near a school or truck stop) and to whom the drugs were sold (e.g., minors, pregnant women, etc.).
Cocaine Drug Offenses Carry Years of Jail Time
Illinois law considers cocaine to be a controlled substance under the Illinois Controlled Substances Act, and does not take cocaine possession, distribution or trafficking lightly. For instance, possession of just a small amount of cocaine can put you in jail for up to three years. Selling less than a gram of cocaine can lead to a jail sentence of three to seven years. Trafficking just a few grams of cocaine across state lines can result in anywhere from four to 15 years of jail time. And these are just jail sentences for small quantities of cocaine. Drug charges are serious, and you need an experienced drug offenses lawyer by your side to help you fight for your rights and your freedom.
What is Required to Prove Guilt for a Cocaine Offense?
First and foremost, when you are facing drug charges, your criminal defense lawyer will want to make sure that the prosecution is proving each and every element of your alleged crime beyond a reasonable doubt. The specific elements for particular drug crimes might vary slightly, but for the most part it must be shown that you had possession of the cocaine, and that you knew, or thought it was cocaine.
Possession can be proven through actual or constructive possession of the cocaine. Actual possession means that the drugs were found on your person or nearby. For instance, cocaine found in your pocket, purse, or backpack could be used to demonstrate actual possession. Constructive possession means that the drugs are found somewhere that only you have access to, and thus the drugs were constructively in your possession. For example, cocaine found in a trunk in your living room in your apartment where you live alone will likely be enough to show constructive possession of the cocaine.
Your lawyer will act aggressively to disestablish a claim of possession, because if the prosecution cannot show that the drugs were in your possession beyond a reasonable doubt, then the charges against you should be dropped. If there is any chance that someone else was in possession of the drugs, or that someone else could have placed the drugs wherever they were found, then the possession of the drugs should not be pinned on you.
Facing Cocaine Drug Charges? Contact a Lawyer Today
Cocaine drug charges can carry substantial jail time. Please do not hesitate to contact a Rolling Meadows drug crimes attorney immediately if you need assistance in your criminal case.