Archive for the ‘Rolling Meadows criminal lawyer’ Category
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.
January 9th, 2017 at 7:00 am
In Illinois, one of the most commonly imposed penalties for misdeeds is to suspend or revoke an individual’s driving privileges. There are countless ways in which you could lose your driver’s license in Illinois; therefore, understanding why your license could be suspended or revoked is important.
Refusal to Submit to Chemical Testing
Under Illinois’s Implied Consent Law, anyone who drives on the roadways in Illinois has given implied consent to submit to chemical testing in the event that he or she is suspected by law enforcement of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. However, Illinois drivers have the right to refuse chemical testing.
One consequence of refusing chemical testing is that your driver’s license will be suspended for at least six months. If you refuse to submit to chemical testing after being involved in an automobile accident where you are suspected of driving under the influence, your driving privileges will be revoked for at least one year.
Arrested for DUI or Contributing to a DUI
When a driver is arrested for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, where the driver’s blood alcohol content is 0.08 percent or more, then his or her driving privileges will be suspended for at least six months, or potentially longer depending on whether or not the driver refuses to submit to chemical testing (as discussed above), and whether the driver is a repeat offender.
Additionally, if you are found to have contributed to someone else driving under the influence, for example, you let a drunk person drive your car, you can then be charged with contributing to a DUI. In addition to potential jail time and a fine, another consequence for contributing to a DUI is that your driving privileges will be suspended.
Committing Driver’s License or ID Card Fraud
Suspension or revocation of a person’s driver’s license is one of the consequences associated with committing driver’s license or ID card fraud in Illinois. Any one of the following can lead to the suspension or revocation of a person’s driver’s license for no less than 12 months:
- Presenting false identification when trying to obtain a driver’s license or ID card in Illinois;
- Using a driver’s license or driving permit that has been unlawfully altered or that is fake;
- Applying your signature to a driver’s license or ID card application that you know contains false information;
- Using someone else’s driver’s license or ID card as if it were your own; or
- Permitting someone else to use your identification documents in order to apply for a driver’s license or ID card.
When You Need Your Driver’s License Back, Call Us
A driver’s license suspension or revocation is a punishment that is often tacked on as an additional penalty for many offenses. If your driver’s license has been suspended or revoked in Illinois, it is important that you work with a driver’s license reinstatement attorney to make sure that you do everything that you need to in order to get your driver’s license back as soon as possible. A passionate Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer can help.
October 6th, 2016 at 5:20 pm
Delivering a forged check, a check that is not signed by the real owner of the checking account or a check that is fabricated or altered in some way, is considered to be a deception-based criminal offense under 720 ILCS 5/17-1(B). When a person tries to pass off a forged or fake check as if it were a real check, the person is trying to knowingly defraud the check’s recipient in order to financially benefit from the deception. Check forgery is a form of theft.
What is Required to Prove Check Forgery?
Someone who is facing charges for check forgery in Illinois will be mercilessly prosecuted by the state. In order to get a check forgery conviction, the state prosecutor must show:
- That the defendant knowingly made or altered a check;
- The purpose of defrauding another;
- Where the check was made or altered to look like it was issued by another; and
- That the check was delivered or issued to recipient of the check with the intent to defraud the check’s recipient.
You can be charged with check forgery even if you do not actually defraud someone. To say this another way, if the check’s recipient, or someone else, figures out that the check is forged before cashing it or does not believe that the check is authentic, you can still be charged with check forgery. Merely handing over a forged check to the check’s intended recipient is enough to be charged with check forgery.
What Are Some Typical Defenses to Check Forgery Charges?
There are a number of different defenses that can be raised against check forgery charges, and which defenses are appropriate for your particular circumstances will depend on your situation. You should consult with an experienced lawyer to get a better understanding of what defenses may be available to you. Typical defenses to check forgery charges include:
- That the criminal defendant did not know that he or she was issuing a forged check;
- That the criminal defendant lacked the intent to defraud or deceive the check’s recipient;
- That the criminal defendant was too young to know the harm in what he or she was doing by forging the check, i.e., infancy—the offender was under the age of 13;
- That the criminal defendant was forced to make the forged check, i.e., the criminal defendant was under duress;
- That the criminal defendant was mentally unstable at the time the check was forged; and
- That the criminal defendant was a victim of identity theft and his or her name was used to forged checks.
Accused of Check Forgery? Get a Lawyer
If you have been charged with check forgery or any other theft crime, it is important that you get in touch with an experienced theft attorney as soon as possible. Please contact a passionate Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney immediately. Our office is available to help you today.
July 19th, 2016 at 11:46 am
Some crimes in Illinois are referred to as “specific intent” crimes. These crimes require that the criminal defendant have the specific intent, or a particular state of mind, to do something in order to make a conviction of a criminal defendant for the crime. To think of this another way, the criminal defendant must have had a specific state of mind, or purpose, that was the reason behind committing the crime. The specific requisite intent is often defined in the criminal statute that governs over any particular specific intent crime that a defendant is charged with.
The good thing about specific intent crimes is that the prosecution has the burden of showing that the criminal defendant had the requisite state of mind that is needed to commit the alleged crime. Proving the necessary specific intent for a crime is often the prosecution’s weakest link in their case against the criminal defendant, as it is difficult to prove a person’s state of mind. Sometimes the prosecution’s whole case will turn on proving the requisite intent element of a crime, and the prosecution may only have circumstantial evidence to support its position. A skilled criminal defense lawyer can fight the prosecutors by attacking the weakest aspects of their case.
What Are Some of the Specific Intent Crimes in Illinois?
There are several specific intent crimes under Illinois law. Indeed, these types of crimes include:
- Theft: In order to obtain a theft conviction, the criminal defendant must have the specific intent to deprive the rightful owner of the property of possession or use of the item that is stolen.
- Theft by deception: The criminal defendant must have the intent to defraud or steal from the victim through an act of deception.
- Burglary: For a burglary conviction, the criminal defendant must have the intent to carry out a felony or theft upon knowingly entering or remaining in a dwelling or building without authorization to be there.
- Residential burglary: Again, the criminal defendant must have the intent to carry out a felony or a theft inside a dwelling where he or she is not authorized to be.
- Battery and aggravated battery: The criminal defendant has to have the intent to cause serious bodily harm to the victim of the battery.
- Attempt of committing a crime: Attempt charges require that the criminal defendant had the intention of committing a crime, but either failed or was unable to successfully commit the crime.
When the prosecution is unable to demonstrate that the criminal defendant had the requisite specific intent that is necessary to be convicted of the crime, the charges will be dismissed. It is important to work with an experienced and skilled criminal defense lawyer who knows how to attack the specific intent aspect of criminal charges in your defense.
When You Need a Criminal Defense Lawyer
Anyone who is facing criminal charges in Illinois, for theft, burglary, battery, or any other crime should get in touch with a seasoned and experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer. Our attorneys are eager to assist you with your case today.
June 20th, 2016 at 6:22 pm
Criminal defendants have a choice when facing criminal charges: they can either fight the charges in court, or they can enter into a plea agreement. In many cases, it is in a criminal defendant’s best interest to fight the charges that they are facing. By fighting the charges, it is possible to have the charges reduced or dropped entirely.
However, there may be a situation where it is in the best interest of the criminal defendant to enter into a plea bargain with the prosecution, with the help of a skilled and seasoned criminal defense lawyer, to reach an agreement that results in lesser charges or lesser sentencing for the criminal defendant.
Nearly all criminal charges can be settled with a plea deal. In fact, a majority of criminal cases are resolved through a plea agreement. Plea bargaining is an effective means for resolving a case, which saves on time, court costs, and attorney fees. A plea agreement can provide certainty in the situation, and can be a great tool for reducing sentencing or avoiding jail time, especially when the criminal defendant was undeniably guilty of the crime.
Plea bargaining can be available in all types of criminal cases, including:
- Drug offenses;
- Assault and battery charges;
- Theft crimes;
- Fraud charges; and
- Drunk driving crimes.
Why Would a Criminal Defendant Ever Choose a Plea Agreement?
It is imperative that you consult with a criminal defense lawyer before you choose to go down the path of a plea bargain. A plea bargain generally involves admitting some amount of guilt, and thus generating a conviction and creating a criminal record based on that crime. There are a number of good reasons that criminal defendants choose to enter into a plea agreement. These reasons include:
- Reduction of sentencing;
- Reduction of the charges;
- Quick resolution of the criminal proceeding;
- Avoidance of jail time;
- A plea agreement provides certainty, whereas a trial is up to a jury; and
- Avoidance of unwanted publicity of the case (the news media can report on criminal cases before the court, and a criminal defendant might want to avoid the media spotlight).
If you think that a plea agreement is a good idea for you, you should ask a lawyer just to make sure that you are making a good decision. Your lawyer can go over the benefits and consequences of entering into a plea agreement and can offer you legal advice on how you should proceed in your case. Even if you do not like what your criminal lawyer has to say, the choice is still up to you. If you do choose to enter into a plea agreement, your criminal lawyer can negotiate on your behalf.
Is a Plea Agreement Right for You? Ask a Lawyer
If you have the opportunity to enter into a plea bargain, you should consult with an attorney first. You need to understand the benefits of a plea agreement, but also the potential consequences you might face in your particular situation. Our skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorneys can help you. Reach out to us today for a consultation.
June 1st, 2016 at 7:36 am
The Illinois legislature is taking another shot at decriminalizing the possession of small quantities of marijuana. In recent years, the legislature has unsuccessfully attempted to accomplish decriminalization, with bills often being derailed during the approval process. A similar bill was proposed last year, but was vetoed by Governor Bruce Rauner. However, Governor Rauner offered guidance to legislators on how to modify the bill so that it would have better success at being approved—the governor was concerned that the old version of the bill allowed people to carry too much marijuana and did not require the payment of a large enough fine. The new bill, SB 2228 incorporates the governor’s guidance.
With so many other states legalizing the use, purchase and possession of marijuana, it seems that states like Illinois are slowly catching on that possession of small quantities of marijuana might not be such a horrible crime that warrants serious consequences, such as arrest, jail time, and a criminal record. There are more than 100 local communities in Illinois that have already passed local measures that remove criminal penalties from marijuana possession, when the quantity in question is small.
Current Marijuana Possession Law
Under the current law, Illinois takes a fairly strict stance against minor marijuana possession. Under 720 ILCS 550/4(c) of the Cannabis Control Act, possession of between 2.5 and 10 grams of cannabis is a Class B misdemeanor. Those who are convicted can face up to six months in jail and/or a fine.
However, under the new law, in its current form as SB 2228, possession of marijuana in the amount of 10 grams or less would be decriminalized to a civil law violation that is punishable by the payment of a one hundred to $200 fine. The bill also allows for individual towns and cities to add other penalties on top of the penalties prescribed by the bill, and would require that citations for marijuana possession under the new bill to be automatically expunged bi-annually.
Despite passage in the Illinois Senate by a vote of 40-14, there is strong opposition to the bill from law enforcement officers and advocates who are against the legalization of marijuana. Regardless, the bill is expected to pass in the House.
Until minor marijuana possession is decriminalized, possession of between two and a half and ten grams is a Class B misdemeanor. Remember, if you are arrested for marijuana possession in Illinois, then it is important to get into contact with a drug offenses lawyer to help mitigate or reduce the charges you face, or get the charges dismissed altogether.
Let Us Assist You Today
While the proposed bill to decriminalize possession of a small quantity of marijuana is presently before the House of Representatives for review, that does not mean that marijuana possession has been decriminalized yet. If you are facing criminal charges for possession of a small quantity of marijuana, you should reach out to an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney at our office for help. We can help protect your rights throughout your case.
May 23rd, 2016 at 7:50 am
Everyone can relate to the experience of borrowing something from someone else. You may have either borrowed something yourself, or have lent an item to someone else. Lenders often become upset when the property that they have lent does not get returned to them. Sometimes people find themselves facing theft charges when they merely borrowed something and forgot to return it. It could be an honest mistake—mistakes happen to the best of us. But what do you do when you are being charged with criminal theft because of a little mistake?
Theft in Illinois
Under Illinois law, in order to be convicted of theft, it must be shown that the criminal defendant:
- Knowingly obtained or exerted unauthorized control over property belonging to another;
- Never intended to return the property to the owner.
The good news is that theft requires an element of intent—a thief must have the specific intent to deprive the rightful owner of the property permanently. As a forgetful borrower, you lack the specific intent to commit theft.
But Intent Can Arise After You Borrow the Item
So long as you honestly mean to return the item you borrowed, you lack the specific intent to commit theft. However, it is possible for you to develop this specific intent at some point after you borrowed the item. For instance, if you borrow a sweater with the intention of returning it, but then wear it, decide you love it, and then decide you will not return the sweater you borrowed to its original owner, then you have manifested the specific intent to turn your borrowing into an actionable theft. If you bragged about how the sweater belonged to someone else, and that you borrowed it and never plan on returning it, then you have incriminated yourself by expressing your specific intent to deprive the rightful owner of his or her sweater.
Failure to Return a Rented Item
Some people rent items for a set period of time, with the intention of returning the item. Electronics, home appliances, furniture, and rental vehicles are all examples of property that is regularly rented and returned. Theft charges can be brought in situations where a borrower fails to return the property on time, or returns an item but fails to pay the rental rate for the whole time the item was in the borrower’s possession.
Failure to return rented items is a common problem that rental companies face, and they are very eager and quick to prosecute borrowers who do not return items on time or fail to pay for a full rental duration. This is because the rental companies have a legally binding contract with the borrower, and failure to return the item or pay for it is not only a criminal offense, but is also a breach of the rental contract.
Reach Out to Us for Help
Theft charges are scary, especially when you merely forgot to return something. Anyone who is facing theft charges needs to consult with an experienced and tough theft lawyer immediately. Please contact a skilled Rolling Meadows shoplifting attorney at our office for help. We can assist you throughout each step of your case.
May 16th, 2016 at 7:58 am
The crime of theft can take many forms in Illinois. One way to commit theft is through the use of deception to obtain control over property belonging to another. Under 720 ILCS 5/16-1(2), theft by deception is illegal. Just like with ordinary theft and retail theft, the fines and punishments associated with the theft crime is tied to the value of the item that was stolen by the use of deception. The fine can range from $5,000 to up to $100,000. Additionally, penalties can be steeper if the victim was over the age of 60 years old or if the criminal defendant posed as a landlord in order to steal money or property from the victim. When you are facing criminal theft charges, a theft attorney can help you.
Just like normal theft, theft by deception involves the taking of property from another with the intent to deprive the owner of the property or his or her enjoyment of the property. The elements required to prove theft by deception include:
- That there was a victim who was induced to part with his or her money or property;
- That the victim’s transfer of the money or property to the criminal defendant was based upon deception on the part of the defendant;
- That the defendant intended to permanently deprive the victim of the property or money; and
- That the defendant acted with the specific intent to defraud the victim of his or her property or money.
These elements must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt by the prosecution in order to convict the criminal defendant. A theft conviction is a serious matter and will show up on the defendant’s criminal record.
Typical Examples of Theft By Deception
Theft by deception can occur in a number of ways. A few of the most common examples include situations where the criminal defendant:
- Pretends to be authorized to take the property, such as money or an item;
- Misleads someone into thinking that you are authorized to take the property;
- Misrepresents facts on a loan application;
- Tricks someone into thinking they are getting one thing in exchange for their property, but in reality they are getting another;
- Poses as someone else in order to extract money or property from another; or
- Fraudulently causes someone to enter into a contract through deception.
Since this form of theft involves deception, it is possible that a criminal defendant might also find him or herself facing fraud charges as well, depending on the facts and circumstances that are applicable to his or her specific case.
Reach Out to Us for Help Today
Regardless of whether the evidence you is sparse, or is a lock, you should contact an experienced theft attorney immediately. Your lawyer will fight to defend against the charges against you, or can negotiate the best possible plea agreement based on your specific circumstances. Please contact a skilled Rolling Meadows theft crimes defense attorney at our office for help with your case. We offer professional assistance to our clients in Illinois.
Illinois May Have a Good Samaritan Law for Reporting Overdoses, Yet You Could Still be Charged with Drug Crimes
April 14th, 2016 at 7:00 am
In an effort to help combat the heroin epidemic that has been plaguing the United States in the past few years, in 2012 the Illinois Controlled Substances Act and the Methamphetamine Control and Community Protection Act was amended to include a provision that provides limited immunity from prosecution for those who witness an overdose and call for help. In other words, those who report an overdose can avoid at least some drug charges. The provision is codified in 720 ILCS 570/414, and is sometimes referred to as the Illinois Good Samaritan Overdose Law.
Good Samaritan Overdose Law Limited to Possession of Drugs That Can Cause Overdoses
The overdose law offers protection to those who report an overdose. However, the protection offered by the law is strictly limited to possession and is limited to small quantities of drugs that are capable of causing an overdose. Those who seek medical attention for someone who is overdosing will not be charged with a Class 4 felony for possession of a controlled, counterfeit, or look-alike substance or a controlled substance analog if evidence for a Class 4 charge was acquired as a result of seeking help for the person who is overdosing.
The law is only applicable if a small quantity of drugs are found at the scene of the overdose, such as:
- Less than three grams of heroin, cocaine, morphine or LSD;
- Less than six grams of pentazocine (an opioid), quaaludes, PCP or ketamine; or
- Less than 40 grams of peyote, barbiturates, amphetamines, or any Schedule I or II narcotics.
But the Law Does Not Protect Against a Lot of Other Potential Charges
The law does not protect against drug charges for other drugs, such as cannabis, methamphetamines or other controlled substances. Nor does the law protect those who report overdose victims from other drug charges, such as possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of cannabis, possession of methamphetamines, and drug delivery.
Those who report the overdose could also face other criminal charges if the circumstances warrant such charges, such as driving with a revoked or suspended license, DUI, or aggravated battery (if the person who reported the overdose is suspected of assisting the victim in injecting him or herself with the drug that caused the overdose).
So while you might be doing the “right thing” by calling for medical assistance if you witness someone overdosing on drugs, you should be aware that the overdose law only offers you limited protection from criminal prosecution. It is very easy in an overdose situation to find evidence of other crimes that you would not be immune to under the overdose law.
Contact Us for Help with Your Case
Just because there is a good samaritan overdose reporting law, it does not mean that you are protected against all criminal charges you might face if the cops show up. There are a number of other drug charges you could face. Please contact a Rolling Meadows drug crimes attorney immediately if you have been arrested after reporting an overdose. Our attorneys are prepared to assist you today.
April 4th, 2016 at 8:21 am
Sometimes domestic situations get out of hand. One person in a relationship or family situation, often a male, might lose his temper or act out angrily at his partner, ex, or family member. The other party, often a woman, is the alleged victim, and she might feel threatened, fearful, or vindictive and could over-react to the situation. She might want to call the police and report the incident as an instance of domestic violence.
Calling the police for a domestic violence situation is a serious matter, since the cops are most likely leaving the scene with someone in custody, usually the alleged abuser. Many people know this and do not want to be arrested. Threats made by the alleged victim to call the police can prompt the alleged abuser to interfere with the victim making the call to the authorities. The alleged abuser might:
- Try to physically prevent the victim from placing a call to the police;
- Threaten the victim further;
- Break, destroy, or disable the phone;
- Attempt to make it difficult for the victim to speak to the police on the phone;
- Attempt to make it difficult for the police to hear the victim on the phone; and/or
- Try to prevent the victim from telling the police something if the police arrive at the scene.
Any of the above examples are attempts to interfere with the reporting of domestic violence, which is prohibited by law under 720 ILCS 5/12-3.5. If you are facing domestic violence allegations, and allegations that you interfered with the reporting of domestic violence, you need to speak with an experienced Illinois criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. You face serious charges, and a lawyer can help you defend yourself and your rights.
Interfering with the Reporting of Domestic Violence
Specifically, the statute on interfering with the reporting of domestic violence prohibits a person from preventing, or attempting to prevent a victim or a witness from reporting an instance of domestic violence. It can also be considered interfering with the reporting of domestic violence if a person prevents a victim from getting the medical attention or care that he 0r she needs after an instance of domestic violence. The resulting criminal charges are a Class A misdemeanor.
Charges of interfering with the reporting of domestic violence are often accompanied by domestic violence charges, such as domestic battery, aggravated domestic battery, and violation of a protection order. Defendants are often charged with both, but sometimes one or both of the charges can be dropped if the facts do not support a conviction.
Let Us Assist You Today
When you are facing domestic violence charges, or charges for interfering with the reporting of domestic violence, there is a lot at stake and you need to consult with an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Please contact a passionate Rolling Meadows defense lawyer at our firm immediately. Our skilled advocates are prepared to help you today.