Archive for the ‘Juvenile crimes’ Category
February 13th, 2017 at 9:39 am
One of the most detrimental aspects of a juvenile getting in trouble with the law for committing a criminal offense is that the incident will create a law enforcement and juvenile court record for the minor. Parents and affected juveniles can try to obtain an expungement, which means that they obtain a court order that hides the criminal record from the view of the public. However, a few select entities, such as the government, may still have access to expunged records.
Expunging the record means that the criminal record would not appear in a background check conducted by most individuals, and the affected individual would not have to disclose his or her expunged criminal history.
New Changes to the Law Concerning How Juveniles Can Seek Expungements
The trouble with obtaining a criminal record expungement in the past for a juvenile in Illinois was that there were many restrictions on how and when a juvenile could seek an expungement. However, in 2017 there will be several changes made to Illinois’ criminal justice laws. One change that has particular relevance to minors is how juveniles can seek expungement of their criminal records.
The new law provides that a person who is under the age of 18 years old can petition the court at any time to have his or her criminal record and juvenile court record expunged, or once the juvenile court proceedings against them related to the offense have concluded. The old law limited seeking expungement to juveniles who were 17 years old or older. Eligibility for the ability to petition the juvenile court for expungement is available to:
- Juveniles who were arrested, but no petition for delinquency was filed with the clerk of court against them, i.e., if the charges were dropped against the juvenile;
- Juveniles who were charged with an offense and a petition for delinquency was filed with the clerk of court, but the petition(s) were dismissed by the court without a finding that the juvenile was delinquent; i.e., the judge dismissed the case against the juvenile;
- Juveniles who were arrested and charged, but were not found to be delinquent by the juvenile court, i.e., the juvenile was found not guilty;
- Juveniles who are placed under supervision of the court, and the juvenile’s period of supervision has been successfully completed; and
- Juveniles who are adjudicated for a low-level offense, such as a Class B misdemeanor, Class C misdemeanor, or petty or business offense.
It is important to have an experienced criminal defense lawyer fighting the juvenile charges against you so that you will be able to have the charges dropped or dismissed. Once your defense is won, you can seek an expungement of your juvenile criminal record.
Juveniles With Criminal Records Need Help With Expungement
A criminal record may prevent you from getting a job or getting into school. If you want to do something about getting your record expunged, you should contact an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer for immediate assistance.
January 4th, 2017 at 1:31 pm
All too many Illinois juveniles end up in the hands of the law after committing minor offenses. A minor might get caught in possession of marijuana, or prescription drugs, or might get arrested for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Minors often wind up in trouble for theft and are charged with shoplifting, robbery and criminal trespassing.
Minors who are arrested and charged with these offenses have to be booked in to jail and then make an appearance in court. Juveniles who are charged with offenses need to get in touch with an experienced criminal defense attorney who has experience in juvenile matters.
One of the most upsetting and often embarrassing aspects of a juvenile’s court appearance for a criminal matter is having to appear before a judge in shackles. For nearly 30 years it has been customary for juveniles to wear restraints when making a court appearance, regardless of the nature of their alleged crime. The thought process behind this protocol is that it promotes courtroom safety and can protect the juvenile from hurting themselves and others. Minors often feel intimidated and humiliated by the experience, and what makes it worse is if the accused minor is actually innocent.
New Rule Changes Affect When Juveniles Are Shackled in Court
A new rule and an amendment to an existing rule are changing how juvenile cases are handled in court. These changes were largely supported by state and national juvenile advocacy groups. The new rules grant judges the authority to make decisions about whether low-level juvenile offenders really need to be marched into the courtroom while wearing restraints.
Supreme Court Rule 943, which was adopted on November 1, 2016, provides that juveniles who are minor offenders will not need to make their court appearances in shackles or restraints unless the judge has made a decision that such restraints are necessary to prevent harm, or reduce the risk of flight, or if the juvenile has a history of disruptive behavior. The judge’s decision must be made after a hearing has taken place on the issue. Amendments to Supreme Court Rule 941 make it so that these new rules regarding the shackling of juveniles apply to juvenile delinquency proceedings.
A case-by-case assessment of whether restraints are appropriate in any given case seems like a more logical approach to this issue. Twenty-three other states, and Washington D.C., have all adopted similar rules to address this issue as well.
Call The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley
Juvenile charges are serious and they can make a lasting impression on a young person who made a mistake. Juveniles end up in all kinds of trouble and when they do it is important to seek guidance and advice from an experienced criminal defense attorney. If someone you love is a minor who has committed a criminal offense, please do not hesitate to contact a dedicated Rolling Meadows juvenile matters lawyer immediately.
May 25th, 2016 at 8:44 am
Juveniles are just children or teenagers; they make poor choices from time to time, and they make mistakes. When young people are involved in minor crime, and arrested for it, their detention by police can place a terrible burden on the juvenile and his or her family. For the juvenile’s family, there is a sense of uncertainty and worry until a judge reviews the juvenile’s case. For the juvenile, detention can mean being locked up for a long period of time away from people he or she knows and loves.
Children and teens need love and support when they are in trouble, and isolating them away to wait for the review of their case can be stressful. Moreover, detaining teens for extended periods of time can be detrimental to their well-being. It can cause them to panic, worry, and fret incessantly. Detention can trigger severe emotional and psychological reactions, especially if the juvenile is generally a good kid who made a silly mistake, or foolishly listened to the bad advice or goading of his or her friends, which landed him or her in juvenile detention. It is unfair and unjust to unnecessarily force juveniles to be detained any longer than is absolutely necessary. Juveniles should be rejoined with their families and loved ones as quickly as possible.
Current Illinois Law Concerning Juvenile Detention Hearings
Under current Illinois law, 705 ILCS 405/5-415, juveniles may be detained for up to 40 hours before they are granted a detention hearing. That 40-hour time frame does not include weekends or court-recognized holidays. So, in effect, a juvenile could be detained for up to five days, given that an arrest was made on a Friday, and the juvenile is detained over a holiday weekend. In such a case, the earliest a juvenile could be granted a detention hearing is on the next Tuesday morning. Over 1,000 juveniles are detained for suspected criminal activity each year in Illinois, and approximately 25 percent of these juvenile detentions occur over a weekend.
Fortunately, the Illinois Senate is considering a bill that would expedite detention hearings for juveniles who commit minor, nonviolent crimes. Under the proposed bill, HB5619, juveniles charged with minor offenses would receive a detention hearing within 24 hours of being charged. This time period for review of the juvenile’s case would include holidays and weekends so that juveniles would not possibly be detained over a weekend or holiday. The House of Representatives has already approved the bill.
When Juveniles Need Legal Representation
Individuals who face criminal charges, no matter how severe and no matter what their age is, should consult with an experienced criminal defense lawyer. The consequences of a conviction, even as a juvenile, can have serious long-term consequences. If you have a juvenile who is in need of legal representation, please do not hesitate to contact a compassionate Rolling Meadows juvenile defense lawyer at our office. We are happy to help you today.
May 11th, 2016 at 10:29 am
Young people are often curious about alcohol, and sometimes their curiosity can land them into trouble. Rather than wait until they reach the legal age of 21 to buy, possess, and consume alcohol, juveniles find ways to gain access to alcohol, in violation of the law. Minors do not always understand the risks that they are taking, as well as the potential consequences of possessing, consuming, or trying to purchase alcohol when underage.
As a general rule, it is illegal for a person under the age of 21 to possess or consume alcohol in Illinois. A minor who is caught violating the law can face being charged with a Class A misdemeanor along with the suspension of his or her driver’s license.
License suspensions can last for three months when a minor is issued court supervision, six months when the convicted minor is a first time offender, and up to a year for a second conviction. Any third or subsequent conviction for a minor in possession or consumption of alcohol will result in a revocation of the minor’s driver’s license.
Minor in Possession
Many teens and their concerned family members are sometimes surprised when a minor is charged with possession in Illinois—the minor may not have been physically holding or physically in possession of the alcohol in question. The alcohol might be in a backpack or car trunk, or might have even been sitting on a table near the minor when a party was broken up by the police. However, possession exists in two forms: actual possession and constructive possession.
Actual possession is what many people understand as physically holding the alcohol in your hand or on your person (i.e., a bottle of alcohol in your pocket). Actual possession makes sense to a lot of people—if you are holding an alcoholic beverage, you are clearly in possession of it. Yet, many people have trouble understanding constructive possession.
Constructive possession is based on the possessor’s intent to remain in control or possession of the alcohol, even if he or she is not physically in possession of it at the moment. A case of beer could be in your trunk, or you could have set down your alcoholic beverage nearby, but you would still be considered to have constructive possession of the alcohol.
Is There Any Scenario Where Minors Can Have Alcohol?
There are limited exceptions to the law when minors can have access to alcohol. These limited exceptions include the following:
- Minors can have alcohol if it is with their parent’s consent and supervision while in the privacy of their home;
- Minors can have access to alcohol if the alcohol is part of a religious ceremony; and
- Minors who are 18 years old or older, but are under the age of 21, can have access to alcohol if it is part of an educational course.
Let Us Represent Your Child
Underaged minors get into to trouble with alcohol all of the time, and it is unfortunate. The conviction of a minor in possession of alcohol could seriously impact your child’s future, and it is important to diligently fight the charges against you child. Please contact a Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney immediately at our office. We will help your child throughout his or her case.
October 12th, 2015 at 12:42 pm
Bullying in schools is a serious issue that many schools across the country are dealing with and is an issue that is under scrutiny by the public right now. On the one hand, it is important for children to be able to go to school and feel safe, but on the other hand, there is a concern that some children are overly sensitive and that overprotecting children might be doing them more harm than good.
Every school in Illinois is required by law to have a bullying prevention policy in place so that children have a place to learn where they feel safe. Schools not only are launching their own initiatives, but there is also government funding available for schools that make efforts to combat school bullying and other acts of violence in schools.
Where Are Students Protected from Bullying?
Illinois has laws directed to preventing bullying in schools, codified as 105 ILCS 5/23.7, which protects students from being subjected to bullying while a student is:
- In class;
- In a school-sponsored or school-sanctioned activity, event or educational program;
- On the school bus or other school vehicle;
- Waiting at a school bus stop for the bus;
- On school property; and
- Using school computers, networks or other similar electronic equipment belonging to the school.
What Constitutes Bullying under the Law?
Under 105 ILCS 5/23.7(b), “bullying” means any severe or pervasive act or conduct, which can be physical or verbal in nature, that is directed towards another student that could reasonably produce anyone of the following effects:
- The student is placed in a state of reasonable fear concerning harm to him or herself or his or her property;
- The student’s physical or mental health is detrimentally affected;
- The student’s academic performance suffers; or
- The student’s ability to participate in school is affected.
Bullying may take the form of threats, harassment, intimidation, physical violence, stalking, sexual harassment, sexual violence, theft, public humiliation, destruction of property and retaliatory-type actions. Bullying also includes cyber bullying, meaning anything that is written on a computer or electronic device or is communicated to another student through a computer or electronic device.
Accusations of Bullying
Your child might be facing allegations of school bullying by another student, or the school might be taking disciplinary action against your child for an alleged violation of the school’s bullying prevention policy. Not only could your child be facing disciplinary action from the school, such as suspension or expulsion, but if the allegations rise to the level of a criminal juvenile offense, your child could be facing serious criminal charges. This could be a huge injustice if the accusations against your child are false or inflated.
Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley
If your child gets in trouble at school for fighting or bullying, it is important that you take action immediately to preserve and protect your child’s rights. Please do not hesitate to contact a dedicated Rolling Meadows juvenile crimes lawyer immediately. Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at (847) 394-3200 to learn how we can be of assistance.
February 12th, 2015 at 9:11 am
Most crimes are standalone crimes. However, there are some crimes that act as add-ons of a sort or as ways for the prosecution to try to punish someone not just for committing a crime, but also for the way in which he or she committed the crime. These additional offenses can increase the severity of the possible punishment for a crime, which makes it extremely important that you have the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney. One example of this sort of additional offense is a crime many have never heard of: unlawful transfer of a telecommunications device.
What is Unlawful Transfer of a Telecommunications Device?
From the name of this crime, it sounds like it might have something to do with defrauding a cell phone company or giving a kid a cell phone without his or her parents’ permission. While either of those activities can land you in hot water, they are not quite what this law is about. Under Illinois statute you are guilty of this crime if you transfer a telecommunications device (like a cell phone) to someone under the age of 18 with the intent that the device be used to commit a crime under the Illinois criminal code, the Cannabis Control Act, the Illinois Controlled Substances Act, or the Methamphetamine Control and Community Protection Act. This crime is a Class A misdemeanor, which means you could be sentenced to a term in jail not to exceed one year. Property forfeiture is also a possibility. Thus, if one were to participate in a criminal enterprise of some sort with a minor and that person were to give the minor a cell phone or similar device in order to facilitate that criminal offense, the person could be charged both with that underlying crime and with this additional crime.
What Counts as a Telecommunications Device?
The most obvious type of covered device is a cell phone. But many other devices are also covered. Any device that is portable or that can be installed in a mode of transportation and that is capable of transmitting speech, data, signals, or other information is included. This means that pagers or beepers are covered, along with radio transceivers, transmitters, and receivers. It is worth noting that a radio designed to receive only standard AM and FM radio broadcasts is specifically exempted from the law.
Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley
When you are charged with a crime you need the help of an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer. Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley. When you call us at (847)394-3200 we will set up an appointment to go over the facts of your case and figure out how we can help.
February 11th, 2015 at 8:04 am
Many people think of shoplifting or retail theft as a relatively minor crime. In Illinois that is absolutely not the case. Shoplifting in Illinois will lead you in serious need of an experienced criminal defense attorney. In order to avoid finding yourself in that position, you should understand exactly what retail theft is and how it is punished in our state.
What is Retail Theft?
Generally speaking, what most of us call shoplifting is a type of retail theft. Illinois statute defines retail theft as one of the following actions:
- Takes merchandise with the intent of keeping it or depriving the merchant of it permanently without paying for the merchandise;
- Alters or removes a price tag or similar marking in an attempt to pay less for a piece of merchandise;
- Transfers merchandise from one container to another in an attempt to deprive the merchant of the full retail value of the merchandise;
- Under-rings merchandise with the intent to deny the merchant of the full retail value;
- Steals shopping carts;
- Knowingly lies to a merchant claiming that the person owns property so he or she can sell the property to a merchant;
- Uses or possesses theft detection shielding devices or theft detection device removers; or
- Keeps property that should have been returned by a lessee.
There is also an additional related crime called “theft by emergency exit” that involves using an emergency exit to commit retail theft.
What is the Punishment for Retail Theft?
Usually, for a first offense where the value of the property does not exceed $300 (or $150 if the property is motor fuel) the crime will be considered a Class A Misdemeanor. A second offense can be a Class 4 felony. The prior offense in these cases can be for a wide variety of stealing-related offenses. If the value of the property is greater than $300 then it is a Class 3 felony. Violations relating to the theft detection shielding devices or theft detection device removers are Class A misdemeanors for a first offense, but upon a second offense they can be a Class 4 felony. Theft by emergency exit is a Class 4 felony if the value of the property does not exceed $300. If the value of property is greater than $300 it becomes a Class 2 felony.
Each of these classes of crime is given a range of punishment under the Unified Code of Corrections. The misdemeanor sentences are less than one year in jail. The felonies can carry hefty prison terms, however. Class 4 felonies carry a term of one to three years in prison. Class 3 felonies carry a range of two to five years. The Class 2 felonies carry a range of three to seven years.
Call an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney
If you are charged with retail theft or any other type of criminal offense, you will need an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer. You should call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley. When you call us at (847)394-3200 we can schedule an appointment to go over the facts of your case and figure out how we can best be of help.
January 8th, 2015 at 8:32 am
The television news show 60 Minutes called Chicago the false confession capital of the United States just a couple of years ago. This is because there are twice as many documented cases of false confessions in the Chicago area as there are in there are in any other city in the country. A false confession is what happens when an innocent person commits a crime he or she did not commit. It may seem like no one would ever do this, but unfortunately it happens regularly, even in serious felony cases. While adults sometimes confess falsely, false confessions are even more common amongst juveniles.
Study Shows False Confessions More Common Amongst Juveniles
The Innocence Project is the organization that is responsible for using DNA evidence to prove that hundreds of prisoners in the United States were actually innocent. Last year they reported on a new study that shows false confessions are more likely among juveniles. The study was conducted by Florida International University, and was funded by the National institute of Mental Health. A psychologist, Lindsay C. Malloy, examined the interrogations, confessions, and guilty pleas of 193 teenage boys between the ages of 14 and 17 who were convicted of serious crimes. The results of the study showed that these teens were much more likely to falsely confess than their older counterparts.
Of those wrongfully convicted and then later proven innocent by DNA evidence, roughly 30 percent of the innocent defendants confessed to some degree or even pled guilty. Part of the reason that juveniles are so likely to fall into this trap is that they can be easier for interrogators to manipulate and they sometimes do not fully understand their situation. While even adults often times do not understand that they should not talk to police about a crime they are suspected of committing without having an attorney present, young people have an even worse understanding of this concept. They often believe if they say they are guilty (even if they are not) that investigators will let them go home.
A Video Taped Coerced Juvenile Confession
CBS San Francisco reported last year on a video taped coerced confession by a teenager. The interrogation started with the 15-year-old boy insisting to police that he “wasn’t there” as they questioned him about a gang shooting. The cops responded to him by saying, “That’s not really going to work, and its not going to be to your benefit to lie about what happened out there…” The cops told him that he was going to jail and that he needed to help himself by telling the truth. They even said that two witnesses had picked him out of a photo lineup. It is unclear from the CBS report whether witnesses actually had picked the juvenile out, but even if they had not, police are legally allowed to lie about such things.
The boy kept insisting he was innocent for an hour, until the cops left him in the interrogation room. He cried. The cops came back and kept pushing him, telling him that he was making a mistake by sticking to his story of innocence. After four hours, he cracked and told the cops he was involved in the crime, but that he was drunk so he didn’t remember the details. The state then convicted him of being an accomplice in the shooting. Now numerous experts who have reviewed the tape of the confession agree that it was coerced. And after 10 years in prison the prosecution’s star witness against the teen admitted his story that the boy was involved in the shooting was a lie. The hope is that these developments will lead to the release of the teenager, who is now in his mid-20s.
Criminal Defense Attorney
If your child is accused of a crime, you will need the help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer. This is especially true if the young person in your life has made incriminating statements to police. Contact the experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley and schedule a consultation. Whether its a traffic matter or a serious felony, we can help.
November 25th, 2014 at 9:44 pm
Juvenile crimes generally get special and specific considerations when they are prosecuted in the court system. Many times, juvenile offenders participate in criminal activity merely as a result of immaturity or inexperience. One bad judgment call can have significant effects if the action results in an illegal act. Of course, there are certainly other juvenile cases that are much more serious and involve significant crimes and associated penalties depending on the facts of the case. Determining how to address issues and handle juvenile offenders in light of their crime and personal history is a main challenge of the juvenile justice system.
The Crime of Sexting
Sexting is an offense that has made headlines in Chicago several times in 2014. It is one such juvenile offense that may be handled differently according to the facts and circumstances of a case and the particular offender or offenders involved. There are likely cases in which the offense was the result of poor judgment, and other cases may have more intentional actions, leading to more serious consequences. According to a recently published report, law enforcement in Chicago are currently dealing with a high-profile sexting case, allegedly involving at least three juveniles. It is the sixth such juvenile case that officials have had to address this year alone.
Law enforcement officials are saying that the issue of sexting extends far beyond Chicago and Illinois, and that it is a national epidemic. Some police departments deal with a new sexting case every week. With the crime being so prevalent, many are asking why teens and others continue to engage in such behavior. Law enforcement officials with experience dealing with such cases seem to think that juveniles who engage in such behavior often lack the capacity to think about the consequences of their actions when it comes to sexting. When choosing to engage in such behavior, they are often driven by hormones and emotions and fail to realize the effect that sexting can have on them down the road.
In light of this, the relevant sexting laws were specifically written in order to account for such situations in which minors simply exhibited poor judgment and deserve a second chance. The law allows law enforcement officials to consider alternatives to filing criminal charges against juveniles who participate in sexting, when doing so is appropriate in light of the circumstances. This gives deserving juveniles the opportunity to move on from an incident with little effect on their lives in the long term. Law enforcement stresses the importance of parent’s as well as school official’s involvement in such cases in order to be successful in combating such behavior.
Criminal Defense Attorney
If you have been charged with a crime as a juvenile, speaking with an experienced criminal defense attorney is imperative. The experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley have represented juvenile clients in a variety of matters. Contact us today to discuss your case.
October 24th, 2014 at 3:12 pm
Juvenile cases, like all other criminal cases, vary in severity depending on the charges and the circumstances surrounding the offense. Most of the time, juvenile cases differ from adult criminal cases mainly in the focus on rehabilitation over punishment in sentencing. There is an intense aim to intervene with juvenile offenders at a young age in order to give the minor his or her best chance at avoiding a life of crime.
Counties with High Arrest Rates
According to a recent report, some local Illinois counties are addressing the problem of juvenile arrests much more often than others. The Illinois Criminal justice Information Authority looked at data gathered from 2012 regarding juvenile arrests in the state of Illinois. In that year, approximately 30,000 minors between ages 10 and 16 were arrested in the state.
Despite the fact that the data also revealed an overall decrease in juvenile arrests across the state since 2005, there were 18 Illinois counties named that were considered to have high arrest rates in 2012. Cook County was among them and had the highest juvenile arrest rate across the state. Interestingly, another 11 counties in the state did not report a single juvenile arrest in that same year.
The same data from 2012 also showed that males in the age range of 10 to 16 were four times as likely to be arrested in the state of Illinois as female minors in the same age group. Females were found to be more likely to commit crimes against persons, while their male counterparts were more likely to commit crimes involving property. Sex crimes were the least common type of cases for both genders.
The report also was able to identify whether or not a juvenile is likely to become a delinquent offender based on several risk factors. They include individual, environmental, and social considerations. It found that minors who exhibit certain types of behavior such as aggression, hyperactivity, impulsiveness, anxiety, and substance abuse are more likely to commit a criminal offense and end up in the juvenile justice system in Illinois. In addition, the offenders that end up in the juvenile system are also more likely to have poor relationships with their parents, not many friends on the social level, and perform poorly in school. Environmental factors that can contribute to a child’s likelihood of becoming a juvenile offender include availability of drugs, being exposed to high levels of adult criminality and violence, and the existence of racial prejudice in their community.
Juvenile Crimes Attorney
Being charged with a crime as a juvenile is a very serious matter. Having an experienced, professional attorney can make all the difference to the minor involved in the case. The dedicated Rolling Meadows defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley have successful experience representing clients in juvenile matters in Cook and DuPage County. Contact us today to schedule a consultation to discuss your case.