Archive for December, 2016
December 26th, 2016 at 12:35 pm
Being able to drive in Illinois is a privilege, not a right. In order to drive in Illinois, individuals must obtain a driver’s license, and then must obey the rules of the road in order to keep their driver’s license. Committing traffic violations and criminal offenses can lead to the suspension or revocation of a person’s driver’s license. A driver’s license suspension means that your driving privileges are temporarily suspended for a period of time and/or until you pay a required fee. A driver’s license revocation is the termination of your driving privileges indefinitely with no guarantee that you can get them reinstated.
What Offenses Can Lead to a Driver’s License Suspension?
Having your driver’s license suspended can be a major inconvenience. Additionally, you may be required to pay a reinstatement fee in order to get the suspension removed from your driver’s license. There are certain requirements that must be satisfied in order to seek the reinstatement of your driver’s license, and an experienced driver’s license reinstatement lawyer can advise you on what you need to do.
There are a number of different offenses that can lead to a driver’s license suspension in Illinois. A few of the more common reasons that driver’s licenses are suspended in Illinois include:
- Suspension for failure to appear in court. When a driver is issued a traffic ticket and then the driver fails to appear for his or her scheduled court appearance, the judge is likely to enter a failure to appear suspension against the individual’s driver’s license.
- Suspension for parking violations. Having too many unpaid parking tickets can lead to your driver’s license being suspended. When an individual driver has 10 or more parking violations that have not been paid, a parking municipality may request that his or her license suspension be entered.
- Suspension due to automated traffic violation. When an individual driver has committed five or more automated traffic violations, a municipality may request that a driver’s license suspension be entered.
- Suspension due to a failure to pay tolls. If a driver has committed five or more tollway violations, or has evaded paying a toll five or more times, the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority may request that his or her driving privileges be suspended.
- Suspension for failure to pay child support. Under Illinois’ Family Financial Responsibility Law, a family court judge can enter a driver’s license suspension for a parent who fails to pay court-ordered child support.
Contact an Illinois Driver’s License Suspension or Revocation Lawyer
Loss of your driving privileges can be a headache for you. It can make day-to-day transportation a huge hassle and can be a burden on you, your family, and your friends. Luckily, driver’s license suspensions are temporary and it is possible to have your driver’s license reinstated. It can be immensely beneficial to have an experienced Rolling Meadows driver’s license suspension attorney by your side as you seek to reinstate your driving privileges in Illinois.
December 23rd, 2016 at 9:20 am
If you are arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol in Illinois, it is critically important that you fight the criminal charges that are pending against you. In order to do that, you will need an experienced DUI criminal defense attorney by your side fighting for you the whole way. These are important charges that you need to get reduced or dismissed—the consequences of being convicted for a DUI are life-altering and long-lasting. At worst, a lawyer can simply ensure that you receive fair treatment under the law. Consider the following when looking for a DUI defense attorney.
An Attorney Who is Qualified and Experienced
If you have been charged with a DUI, it is important to hire an attorney who is experienced in handling DUI defenses just like yours. An experienced DUI criminal defense attorney will know the specifics of the law, will understand the criminal court system, and will listen to you as you explain what happened that caused you to get arrested. The outcome of your defense will impact your life in a big way. Do not put your fate into the hands of an inexperienced attorney.
Consider Interviewing Prospective Lawyers
Do not be afraid to request an interview with a few criminal defense attorneys that you are considering hiring. Conducting an interview will give you a chance to meet the attorney in person and have an initial conversation together. Conducting an interview is a great opportunity to determine if the attorney will really listen to you, and can help you determine if he or she is a good communicator.
What is the Cost?
It is a good idea to figure out up front how a criminal defense attorney will be paid for his or her time and what that time will cost you. You will want a lawyer who is appropriately priced for your particular circumstances, and you should get a better understanding about how your lawyer will bill you before he or she begins working on your defense.
Get a Lawyer Who Will Explore All of Your Legal Options
Having options is good. It is best to work with a criminal defense attorney who will consider all of the legal options that are available to you. It is even better if your attorney can tell you about the pros and cons of each legal option you have, and the likelihood of success that each option offers you.
Call The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley
When you need to hire a passionate Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney to help you with your DUI defense, make sure that you take some time to figure out which attorney is right for you. Criminal defense attorneys are not all alike, and you may find that you can work better with a certain attorney, rather than others.
December 21st, 2016 at 7:00 am
Many people have been guilty of speeding at some point in time when they are behind the wheel of a vehicle. Sometimes it happens on accident, while other times a driver purposefully means to exceed the posted speed limit. However, if you are caught speeding by Illinois law enforcement, a ticket for violating the state’s speeding laws will be issued to you.
Receiving a traffic ticket can adversely affect you if you admit your guilt to your traffic offense. For instance, if you go to the courthouse and immediately pay your ticket without fighting it in traffic court, you effectively have made an admission that you are guilty of the speeding charge.
Admitting guilt for a traffic violation can result in the addition of points to your driver’s license. If you accumulate too many points, then serious consequences can result. Too many points can mean that your license will be suspended, which will make traveling more difficult for you without the ability to drive. Ultimately, much is at stake when you are issued a traffic ticket for speeding. Hence, it is important that you fight your speeding ticket. With the help of an experienced Illinois traffic offenses defense attorney it might be possible to get your charges reduced or dismissed altogether.
However, sometimes the evidence of your speeding is irrefutable and the only action to take is to admit your guilt, while still presenting a valid and legitimate defense as to why you were speeding in the first place. It is important to know that there is a difference between a good defense to speeding charges and a bad excuse for speeding. A skilled and knowledgeable attorney can help you with your defense.
What Are Some of the Good Defenses to Charges of Speeding
There are legitimate and valid defenses that you could use to defend against a speeding charge. For instance, it might be possible that you did not know the speed limit for the area where you received your speeding ticket because you did not see the posted speed limit sign. If you can show that the speed limit sign was not posted properly or was missing (perhaps because the sign was hit by a car or due to an act of vandalism), it could be a valid defense to your speeding.
Have You Been Ticketed for Speeding? Call Us Today for Professional Help
No one wants to receive a speeding ticket. Moreover, there can be serious consequences if you admit to speeding charges. Therefore, if you have been issued a speeding ticket, then you need to get in touch with an experienced traffic offenses defense lawyer. Please do not hesitate to contact a skilled Rolling Meadows traffic offenses attorney at our office. We are eager to help you throughout each step of your case.
December 16th, 2016 at 9:47 am
When a person is stopped by law enforcement for a traffic violation, and the officer who made the traffic stop develops a reasonable suspicion that the driver of the vehicle is intoxicated by alcohol, the police officer can request that the suspected drunk driver submit to a breathalyzer test.
A breathalyzer test is a chemical test that analyzes the amount of alcohol on a person’s breath and then determines whether the person has a blood alcohol concentration that is over the legal limit of 0.08. Under Illinois implied consent law, drivers are required to submit to a breathalyzer test upon a police officer’s request or else face consequences, such as the automatic suspension of their driver’s license. But remember: you do have the right to refuse to submit to a breathalyzer test.
Even if you are pulled over and you do submit to breathalyzer testing, there are many things that could render your breathalyzer testing results invalid. It is well established that breathalyzer tests are not foolproof and there can be any number of procedural mistakes that could make your test results invalid. Invalid breathalyzer test results cannot be used against you in a DUI case against you. A few examples of things that can make your breathalyzer test results invalid include:
- The breathalyzer machine malfunctioned during your test;
- The breathalyzer machine was not properly calibrated before you took your breath test;
- The police officer who administered your breathalyzer test did not follow proper protocol;
- The police officer who performed your breathalyzer test was not properly licensed or trained to conduct breathalyzer test in the field;
- The breathalyzer machine used to perform your breath test it was not of the type that is an approved testing device;
- The police officer who administered your breathalyzer test did not conduct the required observation period before conducting the breath test;
- The police officer who administered your breathalyzer test did not record the breathalyzer device certification tests of the simulator solution (used to calibrate/test the device before the suspected drunk driver uses the breathalyzer machine); or
- You have a medical condition that influences your breathalyzer test results.
If you have been charged with a DUI and you have submitted to a breathalyzer test, a skilled and experienced criminal DUI defense attorney can help fight your charges by attacking the validity of your breathalyzer testing results based on any of the above identified reasons. DUI charges can result in serious consequences if you are convicted, such as costly fees, jail time, mandatory drug and alcohol educational classes, and the installation of an Ignition Interlock Device on your vehicle, for which you have to pay. Your driving privileges will also be suspended, and you will have to get your driver’s license reinstated. A lawyer can help you with your driver’s license reinstatement as well.
Let Us Help You Today
If you are facing DUI charges and there is chemical testing evidence in your case, an experienced DUI lawyer will know when this evidence should be challenged. Please do not hesitate to contact a skilled Rolling Meadows DUI lawyer immediately. Our passionate attorneys are eager to help you today.
December 14th, 2016 at 11:01 am
Illinois has strict laws when it comes to driving under the influence of alcohol. Driving under the influence is defined by 625 ILCS 5/11-501 as occurring when a person is operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, which can be shown if his or her blood alcohol concentration is 0.08 or more.
Law enforcement, prosecutors, and the courts take DUI offenses very seriously. Moreover, they levy the harshest criminal charges that they can justify against an alleged drunk driver. However, when children are involved in a DUI, punishment can become substantially worse for the accused drunk driver.
Not only is your driver’s license automatically suspended when you are arrested for DUI, but you also face a misdemeanor charge for a first time offense, presuming that there are no aggravating factors involved in your DUI. If there are aggravating factors, your offense could be upgraded to a felony DUI offense.
One aggravating factor for a DUI is when a child is being transported in the vehicle as a passenger when the driver gets a DUI. Not only can a drunk driver be charged under the state’s DUI laws when he or she is transporting a child while under the influence of alcohol, but the offense could also result in additional child endangerment charges.
Child Passengers Enhance DUI Penalties
Illinois lawmakers were concerned about protecting children from drunk driving when they created Illinois’ DUI laws and penalties. That is why the penalties associated with a DUI are enhanced if a child under the age of 16 is in the vehicle at the time of the DUI. If a DUI involves some sort of automobile accident, and the child is injured during the DUI-related accident, then the offense can be upgraded to a class 4 felony.
This is sometimes also referred to as an aggravated DUI, and a conviction for an aggravated DUI involving an injured child carries additional penalties, such as an increased fine and a longer community service requirement. For example, when a child is injured in a DUI-related accident, the driver could face six months in jail with no chance of work release, a $5,000 fine, and a community service requirement of 25 hours.
The consequences for driving under the influence with a child passenger in Illinois can be expensive, very serious, and long lasting. If you have been arrested and charged with violating Illinois DUI laws, and you had a child passenger at the time of your DUI arrest, you need to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. It may be possible to get your charges reduced to a lesser offense.
Contact Our Offices Today
DUI charges should never be taken lightly. Only an experienced Rolling Meadows DUI defense attorney will know how to help you fight your DUI charges. Contact us today for help.
December 9th, 2016 at 10:55 am
Begin caught while committing a drug offense and/or being charged with a drug offense is tough in its own right. You will need to hire a criminal defense lawyer and go to court, and you can potentially face jail time, fines, probation, and a criminal record that will be with you for a long time. Additionally, the police can take your personal property if it is associated with the drug offense, such as your car, money, or other belongings.
Illinois Drug Asset Forfeiture Laws Are Far-Reaching
Illinois has certain aggressive and broad drug asset forfeiture laws. Under Illinois drug asset forfeiture laws, any property that is associated with criminal drug activity can be seized by the police. This causes many problems for people who own property that was taken into custody by police. These laws do not distinguish between the person who allegedly committed a crime and who actually owns the property. Moreover, the laws extend to other items that may have been purchased with money associated with a crime. Finally, the property is not automatically released if the charges against the alleged offender are dropped.
If you borrowed your mother’s car, went driving to your friend’s house, and for some reason were pulled over, the car was searched, drugs were found, and you were arrested, your mother’s car could be seized under the state’s drug asset forfeiture laws—even though it is not your car. Your mother will have to request that her car be returned to her, which can be a time-consuming hassle.
Additionally, the Fourth District Appeals Court just recently held that the police can also seize property that was purchased with money associated with drug crimes when there is a direct link between the property and the drug money. According to the Herald & Review, an Illinois woman lost out on a $50,000 winning lottery ticket because it was suspected by police to have been purchased with drug money. The woman herself was not directly involved with drugs, rather her boyfriend was, but the police took her winning lottery ticking nonetheless.
The point is that while being charged with a drug crime directly affects you and your loved ones, there can be other complications for those who are close to you as well, pending their property ends up muddled in with your alleged offense.
Let Us Help You Today
If you have been arrested and charged with a drug offense, you need to focus on fighting and beating the drug charges that have been lodged against you. The consequences for a drug conviction are very serious and could have a long-term impact on your life. Whether you are facing charges for possession of a controlled substance or cannabis, distribution, or manufacturing drugs, you should speak with a skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney who has a lot of experience handling drug cases.
December 7th, 2016 at 8:57 am
During the holiday season there is a noticeable spike in the instances of retail theft. For whatever reason, people are more likely to shoplift in November and December than at any other time of the year. A higher rate of foot traffic in stores around the holidays makes it easier to commit retail theft. Moreover, there are a lot of pressures placed on people this time of the year, which can drive them to committing an act of shoplifting.
According to MarketWatch, the most commonly stolen items around the holidays in the United States include:
- Electronics and electronics accessories, such as cell phone cases, headphones, etc.;
- Winter or leather clothing;
- Meat, seafood, alcohol and chocolates;
- Children’s toys; and
- Perfume or cologne.
Ultimately, many of these items, such as electronics and electronic accessories, leather clothing, and some children’s toys, can be greatly valued. It is not uncommon for electronics to cost hundreds of dollars, which might be part of the reason why someone would steal these items from a store in the first place.
What is Felony Retail Theft in Illinois?
In regards to retail theft in Illinois, the severity of the crime depends on the value of the item, or collection of items, that is stolen. According to 720 ILCS 5/16-25, stealing an item from a store that is valued at more than $300 puts you at risk of being charged and convicted of felony retail theft. Simply stealing a cell phone, a handheld video gaming device, or an Apple product, would be valued high enough to charge you with a felony level offense.
Shoplifting can result in serious consequences. You will face jail time, be charged with a fine, and will have a criminal record that will follow you around for many years—a record in which future employers and landlords will likely find in a background check. Moreover, the consequences of getting caught shoplifting will also affect your family and loved ones, since they will need to help you through your arrest, trial, and possibly your jail sentence. The consequences extend even further than that as well. In order to make up for losses resulting from retail theft, retailers often markup the cost of items that they sell, which means that all customers have to pay higher prices.
Contact Us for Help with Your Case
Getting caught shoplifting can ruin your holidays. Not only will you be arrested and charged with a crime, but your family will also have to deal with the consequences of your actions, which can really dampen the holiday spirit. If you are facing shoplifting charges this holiday season, then you need to get in touch with an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
December 1st, 2016 at 1:02 pm
Even the most sensible people can sometimes exercise poor judgement, or think that they are sober enough to drive after a few drinks. Drunk, intoxicated, or even buzzed drivers are often pulled over by law enforcement and arrested on DUI charges. Oftentimes, these individuals have no idea what to do because they are first time DUI offenders. A DUI conviction can have a profound impact on your life beyond the obvious criminal consequences, such as jail time and fines. Many first time DUI offenders are stunned by the additional consequences of a DUI.
DUI Facts: The Profile of the Average DUI Offender
According to the Office of the Illinois Secretary of State, the average DUI offender in Illinois is a male around the age of 34 years old, who is intoxicated behind the wheel between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 4:00 a.m. This typical DUI offender generally has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of twice the legal limit (legal limit being 0.08 BAC in Illinois for drivers over the age of 21). Ninety percent of the drivers who were arrested in 2014 for DUI lost their driving privileges as a result, and 86 percent of those drivers who were arrested were first time offenders.
Additional Consequences of A DUI
In addition to the misdemeanor or felony penalties associated with a DUI conviction, there are a number of additional consequences that many people do not realize also result from a DUI conviction. For instance:
- In order to get your driver’s license reinstated, you will have to successfully attend and complete a drug and alcohol remedial education course, or a substance abuse course;
- You will have a permanent DUI conviction on your driving record;
- You may miss time from work or school because you have to deal with your DUI hearing;
- You may be able to get a restricted driving permit, but you will have to meet certain requirements for an administrative hearing before you can get the permit;
- Your vehicle registration will be suspended;
- Your vehicle will likely be impounded, and you must pay to get your vehicle out of impoundment;
- You will be required to get high-risk auto insurance for three years following your DUI conviction; and
- If you were subject to a blood test to determine your blood alcohol concentration level, you may be held liable for the cost of that blood test if you are subsequently convicted of a DUI.
First Time DUI Offender? Contact Our Offices Today
The courts do not take DUI offenses lightly and may be particularly harsh on first time DUI offenders. If you have been charged with a DUI, you will need help navigating your criminal charges and understanding the DUI court procedures for getting a restricted driving permit, a judicial hearing, and fighting your DUI charges. Please contact a passionate Rolling Meadows DUI defense attorney immediately to discuss your case.