Archive for the ‘Illinois Criminal Statutes’ Category
January 27th, 2016 at 11:07 am
Many new traffic safety laws became effective on January 1, 2016, and Illinois drivers need to be aware of what changes have taken place so that they are not caught off guard by law enforcement if they happen to violate one of the new laws without knowing. Of particular importance to the typical Illinois driver are the changes to some traffic offenses and DUI laws. A synopsis of all of the changes that take effect in 2016 can be found on the Cyber Drive Illinois website.
Changes to Traffic Offenses
- Aggravated speeding can be charged whenever a driver speeds past a school bus or through a construction site going more than 26 miles per hour over the posted speed limit, pursuant to HB 1453 PA 99-0212;
- If a driver is involved in an accident that causes the death of another, the Secretary of State will revoke the driving privileges of the individual responsible for the death. Revocation is effective 90 days after the revocation notification is mailed, pursuant to HB 3670 PA 99-0297;
- Pursuant to HB 4074 PA 99-0300, when an Illinois resident has had a license revocation in another state for more than 10 years, he or she may apply for an Illinois driver’s license, if all of the requirements for reinstatement are satisfied; and
- Temporary stop signs put into place be the Illinois Department of Transportation must be treated as permanent stop signs in accordance with SB 1388 PA 99-0124.
Changes to DUI Laws
- After serving a five year revocation of their driver’s license, individuals who have been convicted of four or more DUIs will now be eligible to request an Illinois Restricted Driving Permit for the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office, pursuant to HB 1446 PA 99-1446. As a condition of approval of the request for the Restricted Driving Permit, the driver’s vehicle must be equipped with a breath alcohol ignition interlock device for the remainder of the individual’s driving lifetime;
- Individuals who would like to have their driver’s license reinstated after being convicted for a second or subsequent DUI charge must obtain a Restricted Driving Permit and have an breath alcohol ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle for a period of five years before seeking the reinstatement of their driver’s license, pursuant to HB 3533 PA 99-0297; and
- Pursuant to SB 0627 PA 99-0040, those arrested for DUI are now encouraged to sign the “Warning to Motorist” document that is read to these individual’s upon arrest. Refusal to sign the warning will be noted by law enforcement on the bottom of the document.
Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley
The above identified changes to traffic and DUI laws took effect January 1, 2016. If you have been charged with a DUI or a traffic offense and you are being charged under one of the above new laws, you should contact a skilled Rolling Meadows criminal lawyer immediately. Our attorneys are prepared to provide you with a consultation and assist you with your case.
January 20th, 2016 at 12:12 pm
The newest rendition of alcohol is a freeze dried form of powdered or crystallized alcohol. The powdered alcohol is considerably lighter than traditional liquid alcohol and can easily be transported. The powdered alcohol is mixed with water or other liquids to form an alcoholic beverage.
Powdered alcohol was approved for use in the United States by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau in 2015. However powdered alcohol is not readily available in the United States. Obtaining the approval of the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau was the last regulatory step required before powdered alcohol can be manufactured and sold in the United States. The earliest that powdered alcohol will be available for purchase in the United States is by the upcoming summer. But there are a number of states that have proactively banned powdered alcohol sales and use before the substance is even available on the market.
Illinois Bans Powdered Alcohol
Senate Bill 0067 added 235 ILCS 5/34.5 to the Liquor Control Act of 1934. Effective as of January 1, 2016, the new law prohibits the buying and selling of powdered alcohol products in Illinois. The new law makes a first offense classified as a Class A misdemeanor, while a second or subsequent offense is classified as a Class 4 felony. The new law focuses on the buying and selling, or reselling of powdered alcohol – the law does not address purchasing powdered alcohol legally out of state and then transporting it into Illinois for personal consumption.
While it may not be possible to purchase powdered alcohol in Illinois, a number of nearby states do not have laws banning the sale or use of powdered alcohol. For instance, Wisconsin, Iowa and Missouri lack any sort of ban on powdered alcohol, and it would not be difficult for those Illinois residents who want to try the product to travel across state lines, purchase the powdered alcohol legally, and then bring it back to Illinois for personal consumption.
Concerns about Under-Aged Consumption of Powdered Alcohol
Concern surrounding under-aged drinking abounds in Illinois, and there is no doubt that there is concern about the impact that a powdered form of alcohol will have on under-aged drinking once it becomes available for purchase. There is a high likelihood that the new form of alcohol will become a drinking fad among young people, and as previously mentioned, there is little to stop young people from purchasing the powdered alcohol (legally or illegally) in other states for use in Illinois.
Additionally, there are concerns about how potent the new substance will be. Like liquid alcohol, a powdered version can get a person drunk, but questions arise as to how quickly a powdered version could impact a person’s judgement. To be sure, it takes longer for the body to process the powdered form than liquid alcohol.
Imagine a scenario where a powder alcohol drink is mixed up and drank immediately, before the powder has time to fully dissolve into the mixer. A person could theoretically get behind the wheel while not feeling drunk, only to become gradually more affected by the alcohol as the powder fully dissolves. A DUI could easily result from this scenario.
Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley
It may be a while before powdered alcohol is available to the public, but once it is there is no doubt that some individuals who consume it will end up having a brush with the law. If you are facing alcohol-related criminal charges, please contact an experienced Rolling Meadows aggravated DUI lawyer immediately. Our skilled attorneys are prepared to assist you today
November 24th, 2015 at 3:46 pm
Under the criminal justice system there is a limit to when prosecutors can bring criminal charges. The time limit is called the statute of limitations. After a statute of limitations has passed a prosecutor cannot bring criminal charges. However, there have been more than a few cases where someone confessed to a crime, thinking the statute of limitations had expired, but were wrong and ended up getting convicted.
Under Illinois law the statute of limitations for misdemeanors is 18 months. Even if new evidence surfaces after 18 months, a prosecution cannot be brought. There are certain factors that can stop the statute from running. If you have been legally charged, but fail to show up for court, the statute of limitations is tolled, or put on pause. When you are eventually found, even if it is years later, the case will continue.
The statute of limitations for most felonies in Illinois is three years after the commission of the crime. There are several important exceptions to this rule, however, for most felonies, after three years – if charges have been filed or you have not been indicted – the prosecution cannot start the process.
Cases involving murder have no statute of limitations in Illinois. The list of crimes related to murder for which there is no statute of limitations include:
- First degree murder;
- Attempt to commit first degree murder;
- Second degree murder;
- Involuntary manslaughter;
- Reckless homicide;
- Leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident involving death or personal injuries; and
- Concealment of a homicide.
It does not matter when any of these crimes were committed, you can always be prosecuted for them.
There are many other cases besides one that deal with murder that either have no statute of limitations or have an extended statute of limitations.
Other crimes that have no statute of limitations are:
- Aggravated arson;
- Child pornography; and
- Aggravated child pornography.
Crimes that deal with the abuse or sexual exploitation of a minor in some way have extended statutes of limitations. The statute is extended for one year after the minor victim turns 18, but the statute will always be at least three years.
For example, if someone commits the crime of exploitation of a minor and the victim is 13 at the time of the crime, the statute of limitation will not expire until the victim turns 19, making the statute in this case approximately six years. If the victim were 17 at the time of the crime, the statute would not expire when the victim turned 18 or 19. The statute would expire three years after the commission of the crime.
Criminal statutes of limitations can be complex. If you have been charged or accused of a crime, you need to get help fast. Contact an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer before you talk to anyone else about your case. Call today to schedule a consultation. Your freedom could be at risk.
August 17th, 2015 at 8:41 am
When a person is facing criminal charges, the temptation and incentive to lie can be overwhelming. Very few people want to go to prison or want to be on probation, so many people try their hardest to talk their way out of trouble. Sometimes that talking involves lying. That lying, depending on the circumstances, can result in serious criminal charges, including perjury charges.
What Is Perjury?
If you have been involved in a trial or ever seen a court show on television, you have seen the process of swearing in, during which the witness is asked, “Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?” The witness always responds with “I do,” or “yes,” or some other affirmative answer. With the possible exception of some witnesses who are asserting their Fifth Amendment right to remain silent, witnesses rarely respond “No.” Yet, some witnesses lie. When a witness swears to tell the truth and then fails to do so, the question becomes whether he or she has committed the very serious offense of perjury.
Under Illinois law, a person commits perjury when he or she, while under oath or affirmation in a proceeding where this is required, makes a false statement that is material to the issue or point in question and he or she knows the statement is false. The important thing to remember is that in order for the statement to be perjury, the person making it must know that the statement is false. Imagine, then, a case that relies on an eyewitness identification. If the eyewitness identifies the wrong person as the person who committed the crime, but he or she believes she has the right person, he or she is not committing perjury. But if he or she knows he or she has the wrong person but makes the identification anyway, then he or she is committing perjury. Perjury is a class 3 felony.
Sometimes people have questions about oaths versus affirmations. Some people’s religious or personal beliefs prevent them from swearing oaths. When these people have to testify they are given the option of affirming that what they are saying is true, and that they understand that they can be charged with the crime of perjury if they do not tell the truth. An affirmation is like an oath without the potentially religious connotations.
Call Christopher M. Cosley
If you are accused of or being investigated for a crime in Rolling Meadows, you will need the help of an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney. You should contact the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at (847)394-3200. We pride ourselves on providing full-service representation that is specific to your goals and the details of your case. We will fight for you.
August 12th, 2015 at 8:32 am
When a person is convicted of a crime it can be hard for his or her entire family. While one family member is in jail or prison, the other members of the family have to make their way over many hurdles to spend time with the incarcerated person. Sometimes the incarcerated person may put pressure on his or her family members to break some of the rules, and even sneak in some forbidden items. Doing this and getting caught can result in severe consequences for everyone involved.
Bringing Contraband into a Penal Institution
It is a crime to bring contraband into a penal institution. What constitutes contraband? Contraband includes items such as alcohol, drugs, syringes or needles, weapons, firearms, ammunition, explosives, tools to defeat security mechanisms, cutting tools, and electronic contraband like cell phones and recording devices. Penal institutions include prisons, jails, halfway houses, and other similar institutions. A person can be found guilty of bringing contraband into a penal institution if the prosecutor can prove that a person:
- Brings contraband into a penal institution;
- Causes another to bring contraband into a penal institution; or
- Puts contraband close enough to a prison or jail so that an inmate can gain access.
Possessing Contraband in a Penal Institution
A person can be found guilty of the possession of such items in a penal institution if he or she knowingly has possession of contraband, regardless of his or her intent.
Sentences for Contraband Offenses
The sentences for contraband offenses vary depending on the nature of the contraband. If the contraband is alcohol, the offense is a class 4 felony. If the contraband is cannabis the offense is a class 3 felony. If the substance is some other controlled substance the offense will be a class 1 or class 2 felony, depending on what the substance is. If the contraband is a syringe, weapon, tool, or electronic contraband then the offense will be a class 1 felony. If the contraband is a firearm, ammunition, or explosives, then the offense will be a class X felony.
It is important to note that there are some affirmative defenses to these charges. One of the most important ones involves cases where the person who brings the contraband into the facility does so because he or she was just arrested, he or she possessed the contraband when he or she was arrested, and he or she brought the contraband into the facility as a direct result of the arrest.
Call Christopher M. Cosley
If you or someone you love has been charged with a crime in Rolling Meadows, you will need the help of an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney. You should call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at (847)394-3200. We will tailor our representation to your goals and priorities and will fight for the best outcome possible. You do not just deserve effective representation–it is your right. Call us and we will be on your side.
July 27th, 2015 at 5:47 am
Hazing used to be a regular part of high school and college life, but now it is often considered a criminal offense. As a result of hazing going too far at multiple institutions and students being seriously hurt or even killed, a once normal right of passage is now forbidden by schools and universities. Engaging in some types of hazing can lead to a student being in serious trouble, not just with his or her school, but with the law as well.
The Law against Hazing
Illinois statute forbids certain kinds of hazing. Legally speaking, a person commits hazing when he or she requires the commitment of any act by a student or other person in a school for the purpose of induction into any group connected with the institution if two specific requirements are met. First, the act must not be sanctioned or authorized by the educational institution. Second, the act must result in bodily harm to any person. As such, harmless traditional types of hazing may not result in legal action, although they may still be against school policy and result in suspension or even expulsion under some school rules. However, any type of hazing that could result in someone getting hurt, including alcohol-related hazing, could result in criminal charges. Usually hazing is a misdemeanor, but if it results in death or great bodily harm, the charge can be a felony.
Failure to Report Hazing
Failure to report hazing is also a crime in Illinois. Schools cannot protect their students from being prosecuted under the hazing law. A school official can actually be charged with the crime of “failure to report hazing” when he or she does the following:
- While fulfilling his or her official responsibilities as a school official he or she observes an act that is not sanctioned by the school;
- The act results in physical harm to a person; and
- The school official fails to report the act to supervising educational authorities or, in the case of death or great bodily harm, law enforcement.
Violation of this law is a misdemeanor.
Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley
If you or your child has been charged with a crime or is being investigated you will need the assistance of an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney like Christopher M. Cosley. Call us today at (847)394-3200. Neither you nor your child should ever speak to law enforcement without having an attorney present. It does not matter whether you or your child is guilty. If it is your child who is being investigated you may have questions for him or her, but demanding answers could result in your being forced to testify against your own child, so do not push him or her to answer your questions. Contact us instead.
July 22nd, 2015 at 5:38 am
Adolescence is a time of rebellion. Whether a child’s family circumstances are wonderful or horrifying, a normal part of being a teenager is testing boundaries and beginning to assert authority over one’s own life. One way many teenagers, and sometimes younger children, try to assert some control is through body modification, including piercing and tattoos. However, there are strict regulations regarding providing these services to minors. If you provide either of these services to a minor in violation of these regulations, you can find yourself charged with a criminal offense.
Tattooing the Body of a Minor
One such offense is tattooing the body of a minor. A person is usually guilty of this offense if he or she tattoos a person under the age of 18. There is an exception to this law for doctors since they have to tattoo patients undergoing certain treatments for conditions like cancer. This law is so strict that people under 18 are not even allowed to be in tattoo parlors unless they are accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Tattooing for purposes of this law is defined simply as inserting pigment under the skin of a human being by pricking with a needle to create a visible mark. Interestingly a person who tattoos a minor cannot be prosecuted under this law if he or she him or herself is a minor, so long as the tattooing is not done at a tattoo parlor. There are also certain exceptions for registered tattoo parlors to help remove gang tattoos and tattoos given to victims of human trafficking. Otherwise, tattooing a minor is considered a Class A misdemeanor so it can result in not only a fine, but jail time as well.
Piercing the Body of a Minor
Piercing the body of a minor can also be a criminal offense. The laws are not quite as strict a those regarding tattooing, however. Minors can receive body piercings with the written consent of a parent or legal guardian. However, if the piercing is a piercing of some part of the oral cavity, there exist grim warnings that must be included in the consent form, which detail the negative potential outcomes of oral piercing including infection, nerve damage, and “life threatening blood clots.” This statute has a section providing exceptions for medical professionals and also specifically excludes ear piercing. Minors who perform piercings are not prosecuted under this statute unless they perform the piercing at a business where piercings are performed. Violation of this law is a Class A misdemeanor.
Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley
If you have been charged with a crime or are being investigated you will need the help of an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney like Christopher M. Cosley. Call us today at (847)394-3200. You should never speak to law enforcement without having an attorney present. It does not matter whether you are guilty or not; the only way to make sure you are protected is to have an advocate on your side.
May 11th, 2015 at 8:51 am
Many people base most of their knowledge of the criminal justice system on what they see on television. Some of the information on television is accurate, particularly when it comes to news reporting on police misconduct and other related issues. But many people’s beliefs about criminal justice come from fictional crime procedural shows, and often the information provided by these shows is inaccurate. People do not realize that their understanding is mistaken until they find themselves in need of the help of a criminal defense attorney. One such common misconception regards what constitutes first degree murder.
The Misconception: First Degree Murder Requires Premeditation
Television shows, books, and conventional wisdom leave many Americans with a mistaken belief regarding first degree murder. Most people believe that in order to be convicted of first degree murder the prosecutor must prove that the murder was premeditated — that the defendant planned it out or thought it out ahead of time. A perfect example of a premeditated murder would be one where a person hired an assassin to commit a murder for profit. This sort of premeditation is absolutely not required in order for someone to be convicted of first degree murder in Illinois. Premeditation may very well be required in some states, but each and every state has its own criminal code and its own definition for each crime.
What is Actually Required for First Degree Murder in Illinois?
Like other crimes, first degree murder is defined in Illinois by statute. There are actually three separate ways that a person can commit first degree murder in our state. All three of them require that the accused kill an individual without lawful justification. Lawful justification means a legal defense, like self defense or defense of others. Those justifications are not simple common sense justifications. Instead they are each defined very specifically by other statutes. The three types of unjustified killings that constitute first degree murder in Illinois are:
- Killings where, in performing the acts which caused the other person’s death the defended either intends to kill or do great bodily harm or knows that his or her acts will cause death to that individual or another;
- Killings where the defendant knows that his or her actions create a strong probability of death or great bodily harm to that individual or another; and
- Killings where the defendant is attempting or committing a forcible felony (other than second degree murder).
Notice that none of these type of murder require premeditation. In fact, some of them don’t even require that the state prove that the defendant even intended to kill the deceased.
Call the Law Office of Christopher M. Cosley
If you have been charged with a crime, you will need the help of a knowledgeable Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney. Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at (847)394-3200. When you call we can schedule an appointment to go over the details of your situation and figure out how we can best be of help.
May 6th, 2015 at 7:01 am
Sex offenses are some of the most difficult types of crimes to defend. While juries and the public are willing to consider most criminal defendants to be innocent until proven guilty, and while they are supposed to do this in sex cases, often they are unable to do so. This is particularly true when the alleged victim of the offense is a child, as most people do not understand the reality that children can be easily led to make false or inaccurate allegations. That is why it is so important that when you are facing charges for a sex offense that you obtain the help of a criminal defense attorney who is experienced with defending this type of offense. There are many different types of sex offenses one can be charged with in Illinois, so it is important for you to understand exactly what it is you are being accused of having done.
Criminal Sexual Assault
Criminal sexual assault is a felony sex offense in Illinois. A person commits this offense if he or she commits an act of sexual penetration and one of the following four statements is true:
- He or she used force or the threat of force;
- He or she knew that the alleged victim was unable to understand the nature of the sexual act or was unable to give knowing consent;
- He or she is a family member of the alleged victim and the alleged victim is under the age of 18; or
- He or she is 17 years old or older, the alleged victim is between the ages of 13 and 18, and the accused holds some sort of position of power or authority over the alleged victim.
Aggravated Criminal Sexual Assault
Aggravated criminal sexual assault is another more serious felony sex offense in Illinois. This crime requires that the accused commit criminal sexual assault and that one of a list of aggravating factors is present. This aggravating factors include:
- That the accused displayed, used, or threatened to use a dangerous weapon other than a firearm, or that the accused displayed, used, or threatened to use some other object that would lead the alleged victim to reasonably believe that it was a dangerous weapon;
- That the accused caused great bodily harm to the alleged victim.
- That the accused acted in some way that threatened or endangered either the life of the alleged victim or the life of some other person;
- That the accused committed the assault while committing or trying to commit some other felony;
- That the alleged victim of the sexual assault is age 60 or older;
- That the alleged victim of the sexual assault is a physically disabled person;
- That the accused drugged the alleged victim without the alleged victim’s consent or by threat or deception;
- That the accused was armed with a firearm;
- That the accused personally fired a firearm during the commission of the assault; or
- That the accused personally fired a firearm during the assault and that the firing of the firearm caused great bodily harm, permanent disability, permanent disfigurement, or death.
There are two other ways to commit aggravated sexual assault. The first happens where the accused is under 17 years old and he or she commits an act of sexual penetration with a person under nine years old or uses force or the threat of force to engage in an act of sexual penetration with a child between the ages of nine and 13. The other type of aggravated sexual assault happens where a person commits an act of sexual penetration with an alleged victim who is severely or profoundly intellectually disabled.
Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley
If you or someone you love has been charged with a sex offense, you need the assistance of an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney. Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley today at (847)394-3200 for a consultation on your case.
March 18th, 2015 at 7:00 pm
This firm has reported on criminal justice and sentencing matters multiple times in the past. From mandatory minimums to sentencing tools, it seems the sentencing structure in Illinois is in the process of an overhaul. Media reports provide further evidence of this in its description of the apparent cultural change going on in regards to criminal sentencing in the Illinois General Assembly.
A New Approach
In the past, Illinois lawmakers’ approach to dealing with crime involved imposing harsher penalties for their commission. The thought was that the enhanced penalty would effectively address the problem; however, lawmakers are starting to see that that is not necessarily the case. Despite the idea that harsher penalties for certain crimes often seemed like a good idea, lawmakers are starting to reject that notion, as evidenced by the significant decline in the number of sentencing enhancement bills that they have attempted to pass in recent years.
This may be due in part to the General Assembly’s recent reaction to such proposals. The House committee on criminal law has started to critically examine not only the effectiveness but also the advisability of enhancing prison sentences. This more scrutinized approach has resulted in such bills being more difficult to be passed. Many are surprised at this turn of events as compared to the attitude expressed in years past.
The approach of the House committee is likely indicative of a similar attitude on sentencing enhancements that is prevalent across the nation. The amount of information regarding criminal sentencing and its effects is vast. National concern about the overuse of incarceration has been constant, and has correlated to an increased realization that many prisoners who are incarcerated in this country are in prison as the result of addiction or mental health issues, who are often and most likely not getting the proper treatment while incarcerated. These factors, in addition to state prison budgets that seem generous but are actually spread too thin, are most likely to be the source for the change in approach to criminal sentencing across the country.
Perhaps surprisingly, the new attitude on criminal sentencing seems to have bipartisan support. Conservative and liberal groups alike are speaking out in favor of a new approach, with representatives expressing the opinion that prison is more appropriate for those criminals who need to be incapacitated in order to be punished, or in order to be treated.
Criminal Defense Attorney
Many are saying it is only a matter of time before such a sentencing approach makes its way into Illinois law. If you or someone you know has been charged with a crime and need expert legal defense, contact the experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley today for a consultation. We serve clients in Cook County and the surrounding area.