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Archive for November, 2017

Who is Required to Register as a Sex Offender in Illinois?

November 28th, 2017 at 9:06 am

Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer, sex crimes, sex offender, sex offender registries, sex crime chargesA sex offender, simply put, is someone who has been convicted of, or plead guilty to, committing a sex crime (i.e. a crime involving sexual conduct or committed with a sexual motive). In the United States, many sex offenders are required to register with a local law enforcement agency due to the federal Wetterling Act.

The act requires the states to implement sex offender registries aimed at gathering information about sex offenders living within their borders, and the corresponding state laws designed to fulfill this requirement (which are each commonly referred to as “Megan’s Law,” respectively).

Registration requirements vary a bit from state to state. However, to give you an idea about the circumstances under which an individual is generally required to register as a sex offender, the registration requirements for Illinois’ sex offender registry are briefly outlined below.

Illinois’ Sex Offender Registry Requirements

Illinois’ Megan’s Law, codified in code section 730 ILCS 152/115(a) & (b), requires the Illinois State Police to maintain a Sex Offender Database identifying individuals living in the state who have been convicted of committing certain sex offenses (and some crimes against children as well). This list includes but is not limited to:

  • Criminal sexual assault,
  • Indecent solicitation of a child or an adult,
  • Sexual misconduct with a person with a disability,
  • Juvenile pimping, and
  • Public indecency (for a third or subsequent conviction).

Additionally, it is important to note that under some circumstances an individual may be required to register as a sex offender in Illinois even if he or she was not convicted or pled guilty to a qualifying sex crime in Illinois. For example, if an Illinois court found the individual not guilty by reason of insanity, if he or she was convicted of an offense in another state or in a foreign country that is substantially equivalent to a qualifying Illinois sex crime, if he or she is a minor who was adjudicated delinquent for a qualifying sex crime, or if he or she was found to be “sexually dangerous” or “sexually violent,” then that individual may be required to register as a sex offender in Illinois.

Once a Registered Sex Offender Always a Registered Sex Offender?

While some sex offenders are required under Illinois law to be registered for life (for example, offenders convicted of first degree murder) most sex offenders are only required to register for a set period of time, generally 10 years. During this period most offenders are required to re-register annually (and again when they move to a new address); however, if an offender is classified as sexually dangerous or sexually violent then he or she is required to re-register every 90 days.

Need Legal Advice? Contact a Local Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you have been accused of committing a sex crime in Illinois, it is imperative that you contact a local Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer without delay. A criminal defense lawyer who has experience defending clients against sex crime charges will be able to evaluate the facts of your case, outline your legal options, and recommend a course of action. At The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley we defend clients against a wide variety of criminal offenses (possession of child pornography, rape, sexual assault, indecent exposure, etc.) and offer prospective clients a free initial consultation.

 

Source:

https://www.law.cornell.edu/topn/jacob_wetterling_crimes_against_children_and_sexually_violent_offender_registration_act

Drug Trafficking at the State and Federal Level

November 24th, 2017 at 3:47 pm

drug trafficking, illegally trafficking drugs, trafficking heroin, Class X felony, Rolling Meadows drug crime lawyerDrug trafficking (i.e. distributing or selling a controlled substance) is illegal under both state and federal law and while the legal ramifications of federal drug convictions tend to be considered much steeper than state level drug convictions, it is important to note that this is not always the case.

If you or a loved one has been accused of illegally trafficking drugs at either the state or federal level, it is important to understand that this is a serious accusation for which your or your loved one may face significant jail time. 

Federal Law

Per 21 U.S. Code § 841, it is illegal under federal law, in most circumstances, to manufacture, dispense, or distribute a qualifying controlled substance, or possess such a substance with the intent to distribute, manufacture, or dispense it. Also, take note that the legal ramifications of drug trafficking under federal law vary significantly depending on which schedule the trafficked substance is classified under.

To get a feel for the types of prison sentences that a convicted drug trafficker could face under federal law, let us consider a penalty commonly associated with trafficking heroin. Under federal law, an offender who is caught with 100 grams or more of heroin can be sentenced to serve 5 to 40 years in prison for an ordinary offense. However, a more serious penalty can be levied if the offender has one or more prior felony convictions.

Illinois State Law

Illinois’ main anti-drug trafficking law is contained in code section 720 ILCS 570/401 which, in a nutshell, makes it illegal for any person to knowingly deliver or manufacturer a qualifying controlled substance, or possess such a substance with the intent to deliver it or manufacture more of it. The penalty for violating this code section vary from case to case as an offender’s sentence is primarily determined based upon which controlled substance the offender was convicted of trafficking and on how much of the drug the offender was caught with.

For example, if an offender is convicted of trafficking heroin in Illinois and he or she was caught with 15 to 99 grams of the drug, then he or she is guilty of a Class X felony and can be sentenced to serve six to 30 years in prison. However, if the same offender was caught with 100 grams or more of heroin, then he or she can be ordered to serve 9 to 40 years in prison.

Let Us Assist You Today

As you can see, the legal ramifications of trafficking drugs can be quite steep at both the state and federal level and varies significantly depending on the type and quantity of the substance trafficked. This area of the law can be quite complex, but an experienced Rolling Meadows drug crime lawyer will be able to evaluate any trafficking charges pending against you and explain in detail the legal ramifications that an ensuing conviction may carry. However, it is important to remember that just because you have been charged with a drug crime does not mean that you will necessarily be convicted. No matter how bleak your case may appear, be sure to consult with a local criminal defense attorney without delay in order to best protect your legal rights. If you are facing a drug charge in Illinois, contact The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley today for help.

Source:

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/21/841

What Are the Penalties for Battery in Illinois?

November 20th, 2017 at 9:32 am

aggravated battery, aggravated domestic battery, battery, domestic battery, penalties for batteryBattery, unlawfully and knowingly causing physical bodily harm to someone else or making physical contact of a provoking or insulting nature with the person of another, is a serious criminal offense in the state of Illinois. Moreover, battery is punished in a variety of different ways—the severity of which depends on the circumstances surrounding the battery and the type of battery with which the offender is charged. 

Battery & Aggravated Battery

Battery as defined in code section 720 ILCS 5/12-3 is a Class A misdemeanor that is punishable by up to one year in prison and a fine of up to $2,500. However, in some instances, those convicted of battery will instead be sentenced to probation rather than imprisonment and be required to attend counseling and/or engage in a set amount of community service.

Additionally, if the offender is convicted of aggravated battery under code section 720 ILCS 5/12-3.05, then he or she can be punished in any of the following ways, depending on the severity of the aggravating factors present:

  • Class 3 felony: Punishable by up to five years in prison and a $25,000 fine;
  • Class 2 felony: Punishable by up to seven years in prison and a $25,000 fine;
  • Class 1 felony: Punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a $25,000 fine; and
  • Class X felony: Punishable by up to 60 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.

Battery of an Unborn Child & Aggravated Battery of an Unborn Child

An offender who knowingly and without legal justification causes physical harm to an unborn child and is convicted of battery of an unborn child in Illinois under code section 720 ILCS 5/12-3.1, is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor, and can be sentenced to serve up to one year in prison and to pay a fine of up to $2,5000.

However, if the offender knowingly caused great bodily harm to the unborn child, then he/ or she can be convicted of aggravated battery of an unborn child, which is a Class 2 felony, and sentenced to serve up seven years in prison and pay up to $25,000 in fines.

Domestic Battery & Aggravated Domestic Battery

Domestic battery occurs in Illinois when an individual knowingly and without legal justification physically harms or makes physical contact of a provoking or offensive nature with a household or family member and is generally classified as a Class A misdemeanor. Domestic battery is punishable by up to one year in prison and a fine of up to $2,500. 720 ILCS 5/12-3.2.

However, domestic battery can constitute a Class 4 felony under some circumstances—for example, if the offender was previously convicted of domestic battery, violating a protective order, or a serious violent crime such as first degree murder, etc.—and is punishable by imprisonment for up to one year. Additionally, aggravated domestic battery in Illinois is a Class 2 felony that is punishable by up to seven years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000.

Charged with Battery? Contact a Local Criminal Defense Lawyer Today

No matter which type of battery you have been charged with in Illinois, it is important that you take the allegations that have been levied against you seriously and consult with a skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer about your legal options without delay. At The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley, we offer a free initial consultation to prospective clients and would be happy to meet with you.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=1876&ChapterID=53&SeqEnd=23000000&SeqStart=21100000

Juveniles Caught With Fake IDs in Illinois: The Consequences

November 17th, 2017 at 4:10 pm

criminal defense cases, fake ID laws, juvenile crime, Rolling Meadows juvenile charges defense lawyers, unlawful possessionAs the legal drinking age in Illinois is 21, it is not all that uncommon for underage juveniles to be caught with fake IDs. While such an offense may not seem like more than a youthful indiscretion, it is important to note that unlawful possession of fictitious identification in Illinois can be charged as a felony offense under some circumstances.

Unlawful Possession of Fictitious Identification

Under code section 15 ILCS 335/14A, it is a felony offense for any person in Illinois to:

  • Knowingly possess or display a fake or illegally altered ID card;
  • Knowingly possess or display a fake or illegally altered ID card in order to obtain a bank account, credit, a debit card, or a credit card;
  • Knowingly possess a fake or illegally altered ID card in order to commit credit card fraud, theft, or any other illegal action;
  • Knowingly possess a fake or illegally altered ID card in order to commit a violation which can be punished by imprisonment for one year or more;
  • Knowingly possess a fake or illegally altered ID card while also in unauthorized possession of a document or device that is capable of defrauding another; 
  • Knowingly possess a fake or illegally altered ID card while intending to use said card in order to acquire another source of identification;
  • Knowingly issue (or assist another in issuing) a fake ID card;
  • Knowingly change, or attempt to change, an ID card;
  • Knowingly possess, manufacture, provide, or transfer an identification document (either real or fake) in order to obtain a fake ID card;
  • Apply for a fake ID card for another person; or
  • Retain someone to apply for a fake ID card.

Offenders convicted of unlawfully possessing fictitious identification in Illinois can be found guilty of a:

  • Class 4 felony – If the offender knowingly possessed or displayed a fake or illegally altered ID card, applied for a fake ID card for another, or had someone apply for a fake ID card for him or her. However, if the offender is convicted of a second or subsequent violation then he or she is guilty of a Class 3 felony.
  • Class 4 felony – If the offender had two or more fake or illegally altered ID cards in his or her possession at the time he or she was arrested.

Additional Potential Consequences

In addition to the consequences outlined above, individuals who violate our state’s fake ID laws can find themselves in a heap of trouble. For example, the State of Illinois has the power to revoke or suspend an individual’s driving privileges if he or she is caught violating our state’s fake ID laws even if the individual is never convicted. Furthermore, anyone caught engaging in one or more of the following acts can be convicted of a Class A misdemeanor (punishable by a fine or up to $2,500 and up to a year in jail):

  • Knowingly allowing someone else to use his or her ID,
  • Using someone else’s ID, or
  • Altering a state ID or driver’s license.

Let Us Help You Today

If you or your child has been charged with unlawful possession of fictitious identification or a related offense in Illinois, contact the experienced Rolling Meadows juvenile charges defense lawyers of The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley without delay. Our firm handles a wide array of criminal defense cases throughout Illinois and has stellar references. Do not hesitate to contact us today for help.

Source:

https://www.illinois.gov/ilcc/All%20documents%20site%20wide/Education/Under%2021/Materials/MinorFakeIdEnglish.pdf

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=001503350K14A

Can Acts of Disorderly Conduct be Committed Online?

November 13th, 2017 at 9:59 am

disorderly conduct, Internet crime, juvenile crime, online disorderly conduct, Rolling Meadows disorderly conduct defense attorneysU.S. News recently reported that a Chicago middle schooler was charged with disorderly conduct and a hate crime after posting a video on social media. Allegedly, the video in question was threatening in nature and was removed from the Internet after a parent reported it to the Marlowe Middle School and the police got involved.

When we think of acts of disorderly conduct we often think of someone inciting a riot, peeping through a window, or fighting in public. Rarely do we think of disorderly conduct as a crime that can be committed online. Nevertheless, some states, including Illinois, recognize disorderly conduct as a crime that can be committed either in person or remotely.

Illinois’ Disorderly Conduct Statute

Under code section 720 ILCS 5/26-1, an individual can commit the crime of disorderly conduct in a number of different ways including, including the following:

  • Acting in an unreasonable manner that incites a breach of the peace,
  • Making a false report to the fire department,
  • Entering the property of another and peeping through a window or other opening for a lewd or unlawful purpose,
  • Falsely reporting that an explosive or dangerous device is concealed somewhere that threatens human life, or
  • Falsely reporting that a crime is being committed.

Disorderly Conduct Committed Online

Now that social medical has become so pervasive in today’s society, the law has been forced to recognize that acts of disorderly conduct are no longer solely committed in person. For example, years ago when an individual wanted to incite a riot they did so by standing on a soap box in a public square. Now, it is often much more efficient to rile up the masses by posting online.

In an effort to keep up with changing times, lawmakers in Illinois have even made attempts to amend our state’s disorderly conduct statute so that the act of uploading certain videos onto the Internet explicitly constitutes disorderly conduct. For instance, House Bill 4419 attempted to expand Illinois’ definition of disorderly conduct to include the act of uploading videos depicting a crime being committed, batteries, gang-related fights, or other acts of violence with the intent to condone or promote such violence.

Contact a Local Disorderly Conduct Defense Attorney

If you or your child has been charged with disorderly conduct in Illinois, be aware that such an offense is serious and can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony and that, if convicted, you may face time in jail. Therefore, if you have been accused of engaging in disorderly conduct in Illinois, whether online or in person, be sure to contact The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley today. One of our experienced Rolling Meadows disorderly conduct defense attorneys would be happy to review your case during a free confidential consultation at our office.

Source:

https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/illinois/articles/2017-10-30/student-charged-with-hate-crime-after-social-media-post

Crimes Against the Elderly Carry Increased Penalties in Illinois

November 10th, 2017 at 7:37 am

burglary, crimes against the elderly, criminal offender, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney, sexual assaultA man accused of committing a series of crimes on both sides of the Illinois-Indiana border is facing various charges for which, if convicted, he will likely receive increased penalties because he targeted the elderly during his crime spree. The Chicago Sun Times reports that the alleged offender is being held in jail on multiple charges of sexual assault, burglary, unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon, and burglary resulting in bodily harm. The victims of these alleged crimes were predominantly elderly men and women and included a 97-year-old-woman and a 73-year-old man who were robbed outside of their home, and an 81-year-old woman who was robbed and sexually assaulted, among others.

Crimes Against the Elderly

Under Illinois law, crimes committed against the elderly (or the disabled) are considered to be more morally egregious than those committed against other people, and therefore are often punished more severely. In fact, when a crime is committed in Illinois against an elderly adult, the maximum prison sentence permissible for the crime committed can be extended. In some instances, prison sentences are doubled.

However, it is important to note that during the sentencing phase of a criminal case the victim’s age is only one aggravating factor that the presiding judge will consider when determining the offender’s sentence. During this process the judge will also give weight to additional aggravating factors that favor an increased sentence as well as to mitigating factors that weigh in favor of a reduced sentence.

The other aggravating factors that Illinois judges take into consideration when sentencing a criminal offender are listed in code section 730 ILCS 5/5-5-3.2(23) and include, but are not limited to the following:

  • The offender was paid to commit the crime,
  • The offender has a criminal history, and
  • Punishing the offender is needed in order to deter other people from committing the same offense.

Furthermore, the mitigating factors that sentencing judges in Illinois consider are contained in code section 730 ILCS 5/5-5-3.1 and include, but are not limited to the following:

  • The offender did not threaten or cause serious physical harm to his or her victim,
  • Based on his or her attitude and character, the offender is unlikely to commit a crime again in the future, and
  • The offender has a mental disability.

Charged With a Crime in Illinois? Contact a Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense Attorney

If you have been charged with a crime in Illinois, it is critical that you consult with a local criminal defense attorney about your legal options without delay. Regardless of whether or not you committed the illegal acts that you are accused of, it can make a world of difference having an experienced criminal defense attorney fighting to protect your legal rights.

To find out what a top tier Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney can do for you, contact the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley today. One of our experienced attorneys would be happy to discuss your case with you during a free initial consultation.

Source:

https://chicago.suntimes.com/news/elderly-woman-sexually-assaulted-during-robbery-in-lansing/

Sentencing in Illinois Criminal Cases: Aggravating and Mitigating Factors

November 6th, 2017 at 11:01 am

aggravating factors, criminal cases, criminal defendant, mitigating factors, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorneyAfter a criminal defendant in Illinois is found guilty of committing a crime, or pleads no contest, a judge will evaluate the facts surrounding the case and then sentence the offender. While making this determination the judge also takes into account relevant mitigating factors (i.e. factors that support imposing a lesser penalty) and aggravating factors (i.e. factors that support imposing a harsher penalty).

Mitigating Factors

Under code section 730 ILCS 5/5-5-3.1 of the Illinois Compiled Statutes, judges in Illinois are required to consider the following mitigating factors when determining an offender’s sentence:

  • The offender’s criminal conduct did not cause, or threaten, serious physical harm to another,
  • The offender did not consider that his or her conduct would cause or threaten serious physical harm to another,
  • The offender was provoked,
  • There were substantial facts that, although they failed to establish a defense, tended to excuse the offender’s criminal conduct,
  • The offender’s criminal conduct was facilitated or induced by someone else,
  • The offender has compensated, or plans to compensate, his or her victim for the damage that he or she suffered,
  • The offender was a law-abiding citizen for a substantial period of time prior to committing the crime for which he or she is being sentenced,
  • The circumstances that led to the offender’s criminal conduct are unlikely to reoccur,
  • The offender’s attitude and character indicate that he or she is unlikely to commit another crime in the future,
  • The offender is likely to comply with the terms of an imposed probation period,
  • Imprisoning the offender would impose excessive hardship on his or her dependents,
  • Imprisoning the offender would endanger his or her medical condition,
  • The offender has an intellectual disability,
  • The offender sought emergency medical care for an overdose and is being sentenced for a qualifying crime involving a controlled substance under the Illinois Controlled Substances Act or the Methamphetamine Control and Community Protection Act,
  • The fact that the offender was a domestic violence victim tends to justify or excuse the defendant’s criminal conduct, and/or
  • When committing the offense, the offender suffered from a serious mental illness that substantially impacted his or her ability to appreciate the nature and illegality of his or her acts.

Aggravating Factors

Additionally, judges imposing criminal sentences in Illinois are required to consider aggravating factors. Under code section 730 ILCS 5/5-5-3.2 of the Illinois Compiled Statutes the aggravating factors that must be considered include, but are not limited to:

  • The offender’s conduct caused, or threatened, serious harm to another,
  • The offender was paid for committing the offense,
  • The offender has a history of engaging in criminal activity,
  • Punishing the offender is necessary in order to deter others in the community from committing the same offense in the future,
  • The offender’s victim was 60 years old or older,
  • The offender’s victim had a physical disability,
  • The offense occurred at a place of worship before, during, or following a worship service, and/or
  • The offender was wearing a bulletproof vest when he or she committed the offense.

Let Us Help You Today

Criminal defense attorneys have their work cut out for them during the sentencing phase of criminal trials because this is when they present mitigating factors in favor of their clients. This is critical as successfully doing so can mean no or reduced jail time for their clients. To find out what an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney can do for you, contact The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley today for help.

Source:

https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/mitigating_factor

Will a 15-Year-Old Illinois Teen Accused of Murder be Tried as an Adult?

November 3rd, 2017 at 8:04 am

accused of murder, criminal juvenile defendants, juvenile court, juvenile justice system, Rolling Meadows juvenile crime attorneyIn Illinois, we have a juvenile justice system that handles most criminal offenses involving minors (i.e. individuals who are less than 18 years old) and a separate justice system that adjudicates criminal cases involving adult defendants. However, under some limited circumstances a judge will decide that a particular minor should be tried as an adult and will transfer his or her case out of the juvenile system and into the adult system. This is exactly what may happen to a 15-year-old Illinois teen accused of committing first-degree murder.

KWQC TV6 reports that the girl turned 15 just three days before she allegedly murdered her mother. Under Illinois state law a minor who has been charged with first-degree murder will not have his or her case automatically transferred into adult court if he or she is less than 16 years old; however, the possibility of being tried as an adult is still not off the table for Ms. Schroeder.

When Can Minors Be Tried as Adults in Illinois?

Generally speaking, a minor who is accused of committing a criminal offense before his or her 18th birthday will have their case heard in juvenile court. However, the Illinois Juvenile Court Act provides that a minor who is 15, 16, or 17 years old may have their case transferred into the adult justice system and be tried as an adult if the individual is charged with one or more of the serious crimes enumerated under the Act.

The Juvenile Court Act, along with House Bill 3718 (which was signed into law just two years ago), prevents criminal juvenile defendants who are 15 years old from automatically being transferred into the adult system and limits the transfer of minors aged 16 and 17 to only those accused of committing very serious crimes (such as first-degree murder, aggravated sexual assault, aggravated vehicular hijacking, etc.).

How Does the Juvenile Justice System Differ From the Adult System?

The juvenile justice system differs from the adult system in a number of important ways including the following:

  • In the juvenile system defendants are required to be represented by an attorney,
  • Sentencing in the adult system generally focuses on punishment while sentencing in the juvenile system predominantly focuses on rehabilitation,
  • In the juvenile system defendants are not afforded the right to a public trial by jury, and
  • Juvenile adjudication hearings are generally much more informal than criminal trials conducted in adult court.

Reach Out to Us Today for Help

If you are a minor who has recently had a run-in with the law, or if you are the parent or legal guardian of such a minor, feel free to contact the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley with any questions that you may have. Attorney Chris Cosley is an experienced Rolling Meadows juvenile crime attorney who is committed to protecting the rights and futures of his juvenile clients. Contact the office today for help.

Source:

http://www.kwqc.com/content/news/TV-6-Investigates-Illinois-changed-juvenile-transfer-law-449512603.html

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