Archive for March, 2017
March 27th, 2017 at 8:26 am
In just the past few years there has been a dramatic increase in the volume of synthetic drugs available on the streets of Illinois. Synthetic drugs, also sometimes referred to as designer drugs, are substances that mimic the effect of illegal drugs and that fall outside of the regulatory authority of the Food and Drug Administration. They often contain controlled substances and because there are so many different types and formulations of synthetic drugs, it is difficult to predict the effect the synthetic drugs have from one user to the next. A common factor amongst synthetic drugs is that they are often addictive, and can be highly dangerous because of the unpredictable effect that these drugs can have on users.
Are Synthetic Drugs Illegal in Illinois?
Synthetic drugs are just as illegal as their chemically similar counterparts and are prohibited under the Illinois Controlled Substances Act. Prior to 2016, Illinois law was not very well defined when it came to prohibiting the use and possession of synthetic drugs. However, the passage of Senate Bill 1129 effectively curbed synthetic drug use among Illinoisans by making them illegal.
Synthetic drugs can include compounds such as:
- Synthetic marijuana, i.e., spice or K2;
- Ketamine or Special K;
- GBL (gamma-butyrolactone);
- Bath salts;
- Synthetic heroin; and
- Synthetic PCP.
Many synthetic drugs are considered Schedule 1 drugs. The sale and distribution of these synthetic drugs is a felony level offense. If you have been charged with a drug offense involving synthetic drugs, it is imperative that you get in touch with an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.
Defending Against Synthetic Drug Charges
Anyone who is charged with a synthetic drug offense needs to work closely with a skilled and experienced criminal defense lawyer who has an extensive history working on synthetic drug cases. You could face a felony level penalty if you are convicted on a synthetic drug charge, which means you could face lengthy jail time and a significant fine. Additionally, you will have a criminal record including a drug conviction, which can have a long term impact on your life.
There are many possible defenses that could be raised, and which defenses are relevant to your particular circumstances will depend on the facts surrounding your particular alleged offense. For instance, it might be possible to raise a defense concerning your knowledge that you had possession of the synthetic drug, or it might be pertinent to raise a defense against whether you had possession of the synthetic drug. There may be issues concerning the illegal search and seizure of the synthetic drug as evidence by law enforcement, or your arrest might have been illegal. You should work closely with a criminal defense lawyer to work out your best defense strategy.
Let Us Help You with Your Case
Being charged with a synthetic drug offense is just as serious as being charged with a crime related to the real thing. Please contact a passionate Rolling Meadows drug offenses attorney immediately to be working aggressively on your case.
March 22nd, 2017 at 7:59 am
After your driver’s license has been suspended, either for racking up too many points for traffic violations or getting a DUI, there can be many pressures to continue driving without a license. It may be difficult to find alternative transportation to your job or to school. Or, taking public transit may be a challenge. You may be concerned about asking your friends or family to drive you because you do not want to be an inconvenience. However, if the state has suspended your driver’s license and you choose to continue driving despite being legally stripped of your driving privileges, you can face serious consequences if you are caught by law enforcement.
Driving on a suspended driver’s license is a criminal offense in Illinois under 625 ILCS 5/6-303. The charges are usually a Class A misdemeanor, but you could possibly be charged with a felony under certain circumstances. Whether you are charged with a misdemeanor or a felony will depend on the reason why your driver’s license was suspended in the first place.
There Are Serious Consequences for Driving on a Suspended License
Driving on a suspended license is not a small offense like a traffic ticket. It is a criminal offense that could put you in jail and could saddle you with a large fine. It also means that you might be sentenced to do community service and you will have a criminal record. It is possible that it could also take even longer to get your driving privileges reinstated because the Secretary of State will extend your driver’s license suspension period if you are convicted of driving on a suspended driver’s license. There is also the chance that your license could be permanently revoked.
There are other consequences that go along with a driving on a suspended license conviction. For instance, if the offense was a felony level offense, it could prevent you from voting, getting certain jobs, running for political or governmental office, getting certain business licenses, and even owning a gun.
There are nuances in the law and certain rules and procedures that need to be followed as you try to get your driver’s license reinstated. An experienced license reinstatement attorney can be a huge help in making sure that you do not make any mistakes that could make your situation worse. Do not take a chance by not having legal representation. Contact a lawyer as soon as you can to help you handle this matter.
Speak with a Driver’s License Reinstatement Lawyer About Getting Your License Back
If you have had your driving privileges suspended by the state of Illinois, then you need to look into getting your driver’s license reinstated. An experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer can help you get everything in order to your driver’s license back as soon as you possibly can.
March 20th, 2017 at 8:42 am
There are several different offenses that constitute disorderly conduct under Illinois law. However, one of the least obvious forms of disorderly conduct is voyeurism, or “peeping,” which is an invasion of privacy of someone else. The victim, or person who is spied upon, has had his or her personal space violated by the peeping act, and the Illinois courts take the invasion of privacy very seriously.
Like many of the other forms of disorderly conduct, the offense of peeping often involves a state of intoxication—but certainly not always. Being drunk is no excuse under the law for invading the privacy of another by spying on him or her in their home. However, it does lend context to how the peeping incident may have come to pass.
Many criminal defendants who are charged with disorderly conduct for peeping on someone did so as a result of exercising poor judgement, while in a state of intoxication, or were acting in response to peer pressure.
Whatever the case may be for you, if you are facing disorderly conduct charges for peeping, it is important that you work with a lawyer to fight the charges that are pending against you. You are facing a conviction on a misdemeanor offense. You could go to jail, pay a fine, get a criminal record, and you could develop a reputation if you are convicted.
What Constitutes “Peeping” Under Illinois Law?
Under 720 ILCS 5/26-1(a)(11), someone who looks into a dwelling through a window or other opening for the purpose of being lewd or for spying is considered a voyeur. The act must be done deliberately and for a lewd or unlawful purpose. There is a difference between accidentally and coincidentally looking into someone’s window and doing so with the deliberate intent of unlawfully watching someone through a window.
Deliberately peeping or spying on someone without his or her knowledge is illegal in Illinois and it is a crime that is taken very seriously. Since the offender must have a lewd or ill intent in order to commit the crime, a possible defense is that there was no lewd intent to the act. It could be that the defendant just happened to look in a window and saw someone, or that it was an accident.
While such a defense may be the truth, it can be difficult to prove intent. Still, an experienced and skilled criminal defense lawyer can help you put your strongest defense forward as you fight your disorderly conduct charges.
Are You Facing Disorderly Conduct Charges?
If you have been arrested for disorderly conduct, such as peeping on another through a window or some other opening to a dwelling, it is important that you get into touch with an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. You could be facing a misdemeanor if you are convicted.
March 15th, 2017 at 7:31 am
If you have been arrested and charged with a crime in Illinois, it is imperative that you appear in court for all of your scheduled court appearances. You may think that it is unnecessary, or that the court has already made up its mind and you showing up will have no bearing on your fate. However, a failure to appear in court is a big deal for a criminal defendant in Illinois and it can have serious and unpleasant consequences.
Best and Worst Case Scenarios
If you have been charged with a crime, you are already in a pretty tough situation. It makes no sense to do something that could make your situation worse. Not appearing for a scheduled court date will not bode well with the court. It is considered disrespectful and rude to miss your scheduled court appearance. The judge, the prosecutors, and your attorney have all made the time to show up to your hearing, and you should show up too. But what could happen if you fail to appear in court?
When it comes handling situations where a criminal defendant fails to appear in court, the judge has great discretion. In the best case scenario, the judge will presume there is a good reason why the defendant has not appeared in court. For instance, if there is unexpected and bad winter weather it is likely that the defendant could not make his or her court date because of the snow. The judge could simply reschedule the hearing—but this is unlikely. Many judges take offense to being stood up by criminal defendants. What is more likely to happen is that the judge will take some sort of action against you for failing to appear for your scheduled court appointment.
It is not uncommon for a judge to revoke a criminal defendant’s bond, meaning that if the criminal defendant is out of jail because he or she made bond, the judge will take away the criminal defendant’s option to be out of jail on bond, and the criminal defendant will be forced to return to jail. This is usually accompanied by the judge issuing a warrant for the criminal defendant’s arrest.
When the offenses that the criminal defendant is facing are relatively minor, such as the case when the defendant does not show up to a traffic court appointment after receiving a traffic citation, the judge could simply find the defendant guilty as charged.
Work With Your Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you have been arrested and charged with a criminal offense in Illinois, it is important that you get into contact with an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer as soon as you can. You should work closely with your lawyer. Moreover, if you are concerned that you might not be able to make a court appearance, you should discuss your situation with your lawyer.
March 13th, 2017 at 9:40 am
Every so often, a criminal defendant will be charged with the wrong crime after being arrested. For instance, the police may arrest an individual for having what they believe to be cocaine in his or her possession. However, after a sample of the drug is sent to a drug lab for testing, the substance might be identified as something else.
Cocaine, heroin, powdered methamphetamine, powdered ecstasy and ketamine all can have the same appearance as a white powder and it is possible for police to make a mistake and charge someone with a crime that is different than the crime that was committed.
Do Not Incriminate Yourself
It is very unlikely for a criminal defendant to speak up and correct law enforcement about the inaccuracy of the charges. Doing so would be incriminating to oneself. Therefore, since you are not talking, the police will charge you with the crime that they think you committed, and the state prosecutor will be given the charges once your criminal drug case makes it to court.
Prosecutors Can Amend Your Drug Charges
Just because law enforcement charged you with the incorrect crime does not mean that you will not be prosecuted.You might think that the state will never be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the drug crime that you are accused of because the drug was something other than what law enforcement believed it to be. However, this is incorrect.
Once law enforcement and state prosecutors are clear on what drug you had in your possession—there is scientific analysis of the drug compound and the drug has been chemically identified—the prosecution will be able to update the charges that are being levied against you.
Illinois takes drug offenses and all other crimes very seriously. Therefore it is possible for state prosecutors to amend the charges that are pending against you when evidence comes to light that the crime that has been charged is inappropriate for the circumstances.
Does it Make a Difference?
The consequences for possession of many types of controlled substances are often very similar. Hence, you might be wondering: does being charged with the correct crime matter? There are some variations in the law concerning the punishment associated with possession of certain quantities of drugs.
Penalties for drug possession are usually based on the amount of drug that is found by law enforcement and the drug type. As such, it could be possible that you are charged with a drug offense that carries a more serious penalty than if you were charged with the correct crime.
Drug Charges Require the Help of a Criminal Defense Attorney
Being charged with possession of a controlled substance is a big deal and it is important that you hire an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney to help you with your defense strategy. The consequences for a drug conviction can be hefty and can mean years of jail time. Your freedom is in jeopardy, so do not delay in getting a lawyer.
March 8th, 2017 at 10:43 am
There are certain types crimes in Illinois that are considered crimes of moral turpitude. This means that the actions involved in committing the crime run counter to society’s sense of morals. Generally speaking, crimes of moral turpitude involve acts of deception or deceit, and reflect poorly on one’s character or trustworthiness. Examples of crimes that are considered crimes of moral turpitude in Illinois include:
- Retail theft;
- Aggravated battery;
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol; and
Many people who commit forms of retail theft often do not think very deeply about the potential consequences they could face if caught and prosecuted under the law. Since no one is physically harmed by the crime of retail theft, many do not think of it as a serious offense or that a conviction could have a long-term impact on their life.
What Are Some of the Consequences of a Conviction for a Crime of Moral Turpitude?
If you are convicted of a crime of moral turpitude, you will face a number of additional consequences above and beyond the jail time and fine associated with your criminal conviction.
- You Could Face Deportation. A conviction for a crime of moral turpitude can have very serious impacts on someone who is not a United States citizen. A criminal conviction can mean that you will be deported and barred from reentering the country in the future. Similarly, lawful permanent residents can also be deported if they are convicted of a crime while in the U.S.
- You Could Have Trouble Securing a Job. If you have a criminal record that lists a crime of moral turpitude, it is likely that prospective employers might think twice before hiring you. It might be very hard to secure employment in certain industries, such as banking.
- You May Face Challenges Getting into School or Getting Licensure. A criminal conviction for a crime of moral turpitude tarnishes your image and can make it difficult to get into certain educational or vocational programs. Furthermore, there are several professional licensing agencies and boards that might refrain from granting you licensure, despite your qualifications because you have a criminal history for a crime involving moral turpitude.
Your best chance of getting through the aftermath of an arrest for retail theft is to work closely with an experienced Illinois criminal defense lawyer to build your strongest possible defense. If you and your lawyer can get the charges dropped or reduced, you will not be convicted and you can avoid deportation, jail time, hefty fines, and other long-term impacts of criminal convictions.
Let Us Help You with Your Case
Retail theft is a serious offense despite the fact that no one suffers any physical harm as a result of the crime. But when you steal something it is an act of dishonesty and a crime of moral turpitude. If you are facing retail theft charges, you need the help of an experienced Rolling Meadows retail theft lawyer.
March 6th, 2017 at 9:51 am
Being arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) can be scary, especially if you are a first time offender. You are likely unfamiliar with the DUI arrest and charging process, have little idea what happens next, and could use assistance to get through the process. Do not worry: an experienced criminal defense lawyer is able to help you throughout each step of your case.
What Can You Expect Happens Next?
Driver’s License Suspension. Once you have been booked and have had a chance to find a criminal defense lawyer, your driver’s license will be revoked. Driver’s license revocation is an automatic consequence of a DUI charge. If you quickly find a lawyer after being arrested for DUI, your lawyer can get to work preparing a petition for a hearing to rescind your driver’s license suspension.
First time DUI offenders also are able to apply for a monitoring device driving permit, which involves the installation of a breath alcohol ignition interlock device at the offender’s own expense that enables them to drive.
Arraignment Hearing. Shortly after the arrest, you will also have a hearing where the charges against you will be made clear. At this court appearance, your lawyer officially declares that he or she is your legal representative.
Strategy. You will talk with your lawyer and figure out what is the best criminal defense strategy for you. In some cases, it makes the most sense to work out a plea bargain with the prosecution. Other times, it makes the most sense to fight the charges that are pending against you. You may have a valid defense and believe that taking your case to court is the best option. Your lawyer will fight for you regardless of which path you choose.
Pre-trial Motions. If you decide to go on with a criminal trial, your lawyer will then work together with the prosecution to exchange evidence and other relevant materials so that your lawyer can prepare pre-trial motions. Pre-trial motions are motions to the court in advance of an actual criminal trial that attack certain deficiencies in the case. The point of pretrial motions is to either get the case dismissed or to prepare the case better for trial.
Criminal Trial. Next, you will have your criminal trial. This will be the formal trial where the elements of the alleged crime will be demonstrated (or not) by the prosecution, and your defense to your charges will be presented by your lawyer. You trial might be a jury trial or simple a trial before a judge. After the trial has concluded, a verdict will be rendered concerning your guilt or innocence.
Sentencing Hearing. If you are found guilty, there will be a sentencing hearing where the consequences of your DUI conviction will be handed down to you. At this hearing, your lawyer will work hard to present mitigating factors and other reasons why the judge should be lenient in your sentencing.
First Time DUI Offenders Should Call The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley
First time DUI offenders need the help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer to help them fight their charges. Please do not hesitate to contact a Rolling Meadows DUI lawyer immediately for assistance with your case.