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Archive for the ‘chicago’ tag

Cracking Down on Sex Trafficking in Chicago

March 24th, 2014 at 12:49 pm

sex trafficking, sex crimes, lawyer, attorney, Chicago criminal law, Illinois criminal law

It goes without saying that sex crimes of any nature are very serious cases that should be handled with special care and attention. Sex crimes can involve a variety of incidents leading to criminal charges, but the government and law enforcement in the Chicago area are focusing their efforts on human trafficking, and the organizations involved in promoting it. A recent article explained the city’s actions in relation to targeting those culpable of such crimes.

Government Action

United States Senator Mark Kirk and Anita Alvarez, a Cook County State’s Attorney, called for the partnering of local and federal officials to put an end to sex trafficking across the country. One of their efforts includes preventing websites from contributing to the trafficking. They even went so far as to say human trafficking was really just modern day slavery. The Senator said that just as Illinois was the first state to ratify the 13th amendment, which put an end to slavery, the state was in a unique position to put a similar end to human trafficking. He said a good place to start would be to stop the publication of sex ads on websites, many of which are also responsible for prostitution advertising.

The Stop Advertising Victims of Exploitation (SAVE) and Safe Children’s Acts

In keeping with his call to action, Senator Kirk plans on introducing the SAVE Act in the Senate this week. The legislation will allow the federal government to prosecute websites, like backpage.com, that contribute to children being victimized via commercial advertising. On the state level, the state’s attorney said her office passed the Illinois Safe Children’s Act, which was drafted to protect child victims of sex trafficking. Since the law was passed, 93 defendants have been charged with crimes related to trafficking in state court.

The Internet’s Role

According to the article, the internet has played a huge role in promoting human trafficking and sex crimes. It makes such offenses easier, and often facilitates the commission of the crimes for pedophiles and sex traffickers, who have access to advertising for such acts at any time. Proponents of the legislation described above say it is necessary to stop websites from profiting from criminal activity that victimizes children. They also claim that current law operates to protect sex trafficking websites and their owners from prosecution because they only exist on the internet.

Not all sex crimes involve human trafficking. Sexual assault, prostitution, indecent exposure and possession of child pornography are also sex crimes that can bring with them serious consequences. As such, it is critical that those charged with crimes such as these consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney. If you or someone you know has been charged with a sex crime in Chicago or a surrounding area in the state of Illinois, the attorneys at The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley are prepared to assist in your defense. Contact us today to discuss the facts of your particular case.

Decrease in Speeding Tickets in Cook County

December 22nd, 2013 at 8:24 am

speeding ticketOver the last few years, there has been a decrease in the number of speeding tickets issued in and around Chicago.  Based on data from 2010 to 2012, there was a quarter fewer tickets both in the city and in segments of the surrounding counties.

There are a couple of possible reasons for this decrease.  An analysis completed by reporters from the Chicago Tribune has shown that the state police department is very lenient on the state’s expressways.  Most tickets are written when a motorist is going at least 20 miles over the posted speed limit of 55.  Provided that high threshold, it is not likely to find people to give speeding tickets.

Another reason for the decrease in speeding tickets is state-wide budget cuts.  There are fewer troopers on the road which means there are fewer people to give out tickets.

Illinois State Police Commander Patrick Murphy, who is in charge of training troopers, has his own theories.  He said that there are fewer drivers on the road.  In fact, from 2007 to 2011 there was a near 4 percent decrease in miles driven by vehicles in Illinois.  There was also an almost 2 percent decrease in the number of registered vehicles on the road.

Murphy also said that the fines for speeding have increased so much that drivers are taking notice.  The current fee for speeding up to 20 miles over the speed limit is $120. If a driver is caught driving between 20 to 30 miles over the limit, the fee increases to $140. Over that speed and drivers can face fees of $160. In 2014, those fees are set to increase although the penalties are yet to be settled.

Although the amount of tickets has decreased over the years, that doesn’t mean that it is safe to speed.  Law enforcement agencies are looking at other ways to police highways.  They are using air details that hover over traffic and communicate vehicle speed and license plate numbers to local squad cars.  Parked vans are also placed on roads to catch speeders and mail tickets to their homes.

Speeding tickets are very serious.  If you have more than three moving violations during a year, then you can have your license suspended.  If you have been accused of a crime, then seek legal assistance.  Contact a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney in Cook County today.

City to send Police Patrols Overnight in Chicago Parks

December 6th, 2013 at 11:26 am

family in parkOfficials in the city of Chicago are aware of the prevalence of violent crime in Chicago parks.  Four days after the FBI claimed that Chicago was the murder capital of the United States, more violence broke out in the city.  An outburst of shooting occurred on September 20th at Cornell Square Park on the south side of Chicago.  Waves of gunfire left 13 people wounded including a couple of teenagers and three year old boy.  The shooting was considered to be gang-related as some of the victims were known gang-members.

In response to these violent crimes, the police department of Chicago started paying overtime to officers in high crime neighborhoods of the city for an initiative called “Operation Impact”.  Overtime pay for 2013 is estimated to be around $100 million.

More recently, the police department instituted a new plan to keep the parks safe through the night.  Off-duty police officers are to be paid overtime wages for patrolling 20 of the city’s most dangerous parks.  The names of the parks have not been released yet, but will be decided based on the last three years of crime statistics.   This new initiative started in November of 2013.  Paying overtime to existing officers seems cheaper than hiring a large amount of rookie officers according to a statement by Chicago police chief Garry McCarthy.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel has agreed that the safety of Chicago’s parks is a top priority of his.  He even stated that “The parks in the city of Chicago belong to families of Chicago, the streets of the city of Chicago belong to families of Chicago, the front stoops of our homes belong to the families of the city of Chicago.  You go out there and enjoy our city.”

If you have been arrested for a crime then it is important to have a legal professional to protect your rights.  Whether you are charged with a misdemeanor or a felony, the effects can be life altering.  You could lose your job, be rejected by colleges, or worse spend time in prison.  Contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in Cook County today to review your case.

New Laws to Improve Illinois Boating Safety

November 7th, 2013 at 1:00 pm

boatSenator Julie Morrison has sponsored a bill, which along with other measures will make waterways safer next year.  For Morrison, this bill is personal.  In 2012, her nephew, 10 year old Anthony Borcia was killed after falling off a tube on Petite Lake in Northern Illinois.  Morrison stated that “for me, this law is about turning a personal tragedy into an opportunity to protect other people.  Last summer, my nephew was killed by a boater under the influence of drugs and alcohol.  I’m doing everything I can to keep other families from experiencing our loss.”

The person responsible for Tony’s death was David Hatyina.  He was sentenced to ten years in jail after pleading guilty to operating a motorboat while under the influence of alcohol and cocaine.  His blood alcohol level while operating his boat was between .09 and .12, which is over the legal limit.

One measure that was signed into law would make the penalties harsher for people who operate boats under the influence.  If convicted of this crime, offenders would have their driver’s license suspended for three months.  It also requires boaters who are involved in boat accidents to submit to a breathalyzer or other chemical blood alcohol test.  This is how implied consent works when a driver is suspected of DUI.

The other measure would require certification before certain people can operate a watercraft.  People who were born on or after the first day of 1990 would need to complete a boat operation safety course and also receive certification from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.  Without this new law, only kids from the ages of 12 and 18 need to be certified unless they are driving a boat with their parent or 18 year old guardian.  The last bill would require boats who are towing a person to show an orange flag as a warning to other boaters.

Morrison also stated that “people need to know that drinking and boating is every bit as serious as drinking and driving.  I hope that requiring blood alcohol tests in the case of serious boating accidents will make some people think twice before they crack open a beer while they are operating a boat.”  If you have been operating any vehicle and pulled over for suspicion of DUI, you need help.  Contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in Rolling Meadows who can handle your case.

Man Charged with Beating Pregnant Girlfriend and Killing Unborn Baby

July 26th, 2013 at 8:47 am

TheresaAccording to a recent report by DNA Info, a 23-year-old man is facing serious charges after an altercation with his pregnant girlfriend. The couple resided together in Chicago’s Back of the Yards neighborhood.

Investigators found that the couple does have an 11-month-old child together but that Jovanny Martinez was not the father of the child that she was pregnant with. They started arguing about her pregnancy and the fight ended up getting physical. Martinez then started punching her in the stomach repeatedly. Soon after, the victim reported that she thought that her water broke. She realized that she was bleeding. The victim was then taken to the hospital where she gave birth to a stillborn daughter.

Initially, the victim told law enforcement officials that she had been attacked by a group of women and one man. However, later she recanted her statement and identified Martinez as the person who attacked her.

Martinez was on probation for a felony burglary conviction from 2012 and he has been convicted to two misdemeanors previously. For these charges, he is being help on a bond of $700,000.00. He is being charged with homicide of an unborn child, felony aggravated battery of a pregnant woman, and felony aggravated domestic battery.

If you have been charged with a crime of domestic violence, the first thing that you need to do is to retain an experienced and aggressive Chicago area criminal defense attorney. No matter how bad your charges are, your defense attorney will protect your rights and present the best possible defense. Your attorney will also negotiate alternative agreements with the prosecution instead of taking the case to trial. If you choose to go to trial, your attorney will represent you in the trail to ensure that you get the fair trial that everyone has the right to have.

White Collar Crime

July 23rd, 2013 at 8:47 am

LucyWhite collar crimes cover a very broad spectrum because there is no exact definition. Most often, however, white collar crimes are thought of as crimes committed by business people that involve cheating and dishonesty. Usually these people commit these crimes under the cover of a legitimate business as well, so the crime can remain hidden for a long time without suspicion.

Because it is very difficult to create a definition that defines all white collar crimes, there are federal laws and state laws that are specific to certain types of white collar crimes and also umbrella laws that encompass anything else.

Here are two examples of white collar crimes:

Obstruction of Justice

Obstruction of justice can be committed in many ways, as long as it somehow interferes with one of the three branches of government. Some examples of obstruction include influencing a juror outside the courtroom, altering a record process, obstructing any criminal investigation by law officials and assaulting a process server.

Other actions that many be prosecuted as obstruction of justice include using any sound amplification device, picketing or parading in front of any building occupied by a court office, witness, juror or judge.

Perjury

When anyone willfully and knowingly swears to tell the truth, it is not taken lightly. If someone swears to honesty orally or in writing and speaks falsely under oath, they will be charged with perjury. Under this piece of the law, it is also illegal for someone to force someone else to commit perjury.

If you have been accused of committing a white collar crime such as obstruction of justice, perjury or some other form of a white collar crime, contact attorney Chris Cosley in Rolling Meadows, Ill. Cosley criminal attorneys will do everything they can to assist you with your white collar crime court case today.

Probation Supervision

July 20th, 2013 at 12:32 pm

LucyIf you have been charged with and found guilty of a crime in the U.S., you may have to pay a fine, serve jail time and/or be on probation for a certain length of time. Probation is usually after you get out of jail, although sometimes it is a less severe alternative, when you can live home, but you are still under strict supervision by law officials and you are still limited to what you can and cannot do.

When you are being supervised for probation, your officer makes sure that people on probation follow all the conditions that were set by the court when he or she was released.

Probation officers are also responsible for the safety of the community in which the person on probation is released into. Along with the safety of the community, probation officers also help with the health of the person on probation. This includes medical care, employment assistance and mental health treatment, basically anything that will help him or her to re-enter into the community.

If you have a probation officer, it is his or her responsibility to monitor you at all times, be a line of communication to the court and to keep you and people around you safe. They must interfere in a situation in which you are involved if they do not approve, and be sure that you know what the court expects from you and help you to achieve that.

Probation officers are not meant to be friends, they are doing their jobs as officers of the law. It would be much easier for criminals to not have to check in and be monitored at all times. If you have been accused of a crime, however, contact a criminal attorney to help you get out probation-free. Attorney Christopher Cosley can help you in a Rolling Meadows crime court today.

Illinois State Police Receive Robbins Rape Kits Dating Back to ‘86

June 27th, 2013 at 8:06 am

The United States seems to have a great government and justice system, but it can only be kept that way if the people working for our country are kept in check just as any business would keep its employees in check. Recently, Illinois found that it had a bit of work to do to keep it’s law enforcement system running smoothly, when it was found that evidence from rape cases were not being submitted for testing in labs.

The Illinois State Police were sent 51 sexual assault kits from previous cases after they were found untested in the Robbins Police Department evidence room, according to Tom Dart, Cook County Sheriff.

LucyDart said, “The victims should know they will have their cases heard, and they will be treated like they should have been treated. My goal is to bring justice to these folks.”

He added that the untested kits date back as far as 1986 and they were found alongside guns that were supposed to be sent into the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to trace the ownership for cases as well.

This case, which began a few months ago was just the beginning of a national problem, spreading across the country to Denver, Col. as well as other areas of Illinois.

When the Downers Grove Police Department also found untested rape kits in their storage facility, Deputy Chief Kurt Bluder argued, “If every department sent in every piece of evidence to be examined we’d bring the system to its knees.”

Blunder also said that he thinks it best to first see where the case is headed before sending in the rape kits to be tested only when it is absolutely necessary.

The Denver Police Commander, Ronald Saunier, responded to the issue similarly, saying that many of the kits collected are merely for documentation of the incident and there is never an intention of sending those in for tests.

The CALL7 Investigators from the ABC Denver news station did a little research of their own on this incident and found that nearly 72 percent of the rape kits collected were never tested since 2007.

The Robbins Police Department is buckling down, so there is no chance that evidence will slip through the cracks now. If you have been accused of a crime, contact a great criminal attorney to help you fight the evidence. Contact an experienced Illinois criminal attorney for assistance now.  Christopher M. Cosley and attorneys at his office will fight for you in Rolling Meadows, Ill. today.

 

Image Courtesy of ponsulak/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Chicago Man Faces Charges for Hit-and-Run

May 31st, 2013 at 1:35 pm

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A 40-year-old man from Chicago was involved in a fatal hit-and-run on March 21 and has been charged with “leaving the scene of an injury/death accident, driving with a revoked license, not giving the right of way to a pedestrian and not having insurance,” according to the Chicago Tribune.

Fernando Marin was driving down South Homan Avenue when a woman and her sister were crossing the street. Marin tried to turn left as the traffic lights were changing from green to yellow, but he did not  yield to the woman. Ida Quintanilla, 58, was fatally injured in the crash. She was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital where she was pronounced dead. A 35-year-old woman was also injured in the crash. However, her injuries are not life-threatening. Marin continued driving after the crash and fled the scene of the crime without slowing down, according to court documents.

A witness managed to get the license plate number for the vehicle that was involved in the hit-and-run, and authorities were able to trace it to Marin. It turned out that the owner of the truck was the suspect’s girlfriend. There was blood on the car and its grill was cracked.

Marin’s bail was set at $250,000 in Cook County Bond Court. Furthermore, if Marin, who has been twice charged for DUI in the past, is released on bail he will be placed on electronic monitoring.

Traffic violations and DUIs are serious crimes that can, for example, result in heavy fines and community service, or even put you behind bars for a long time. If you have been charged with a traffic misdemeanor or felony, you need to talk to a lawyer. Contact a skilled traffic violations attorney in Chicago as soon as possible.

 

Image courtesy of foto76/Freedigitalphotos

White collar crimes

May 16th, 2013 at 8:37 am

Lucy 5-8White collar crimes are not specifically defined, however, they are most often considered to be a variety of nonviolent crimes that are based around dishonesty and/or cheating. Usually, these crimes are committed by entrepreneurs and other professionals in the business area that are under the cover of a legitimate business activity. White collar crimes also typically have a lesser punishment than other crimes because they are nonviolent. Although these crimes do not have severe punishments, they do usually involve very heavy fines, and can include jail time. There are very specific laws that prohibit white collar crime activities, but many of them are covered in less specific catch-all laws that prohibit dishonest behavior.

Embezzlement

If someone take another’s money or property by ways of an official job position of trust or through abuse, they have committed embezzlement. For example, an accountant with access to all personal financial information may falsify records to gain a profit from his or her client(s). Bank tellers, as well, have easy access to finances and may walk away each day with a small amount of money from a client instead of placing it in the client’s account as he or she should.

False Statements

Although the crime that is making a false statement is not only a white collar crime, it is also included within white collar crimes along with other types of crimes. This is one of many more broad laws that will catch white collar criminals in their wrong doings and allow for punishment. In order to convict someone of making a false statement, proof is required of the statement that contains false information and that statement must be made willingly and knowingly by the speaker.

If you have been accused of a white collar crime, contact a criminal attorney for assistance. Attorney Chris Cosley will help to fight for alleged white collar criminals in Rolling Meadows, Ill. today.

 

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic/Freedigitalphotos

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