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Archive for the ‘criminal offenses’ tag

What is the Difference Between a Felony and a Misdemeanor?

January 22nd, 2018 at 7:22 am

 misdemeanor, criminal offenses, felony charge, Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer, infractionsIf you enjoy watching courtroom dramas on television, then you have probably heard the terms “felony” and “misdemeanor” bantered about quite a bit. Yet perhaps you were not quite sure of their precise definitions. In the legal world, the meaning of these terms are quite important as they are used to distinguish one class of criminal offenses from another.

Misdemeanors

Misdemeanors are typically crimes that are punishable by incarceration for up to one year and payment of a fine. Those who are sentenced to serve time for a misdemeanor offense are generally placed in county jail. Additionally, in certain misdemeanor trials, court appointed defense attorneys are available for defendants who cannot afford one.

Felonies

Felonies, on the other hand, fall into a more serious classification of crime and are generally punishable by incarceration in excess of one year and payment of a substantial fine. Offenders ordered to serve time for a felony offense are typically placed in a state or federal prison, as opposed to a local jail. Moreover, when an individual is charged with a felony, he or she has the right to a court appointed attorney if he or she is not able to afford legal representation.

Wobblers

It is also important to note that some criminal offenses can be tried as either a misdemeanor or as a felony. These crimes are said to be wobblers as they can wobble between being a felony or a misdemeanor. In these cases, it is within the prosecutor’s discretion whether to charge the crime as a misdemeanor or as a felony. Additionally, it is within the presiding judge’s discretion whether to sentence the crime as a misdemeanor or as a felony.

But how is it determined whether a particular offense should be tried as a felony or as a misdemeanor? This determination is highly case specific, but the decision is made based mainly on the severity of the circumstances surrounding the crime.

Infractions

Finally, there is another classification of crime that you should be aware of: infractions. An infraction (also sometimes referred to as a “violation” or a “petty offense”) is much less serious than a misdemeanor or a felony and is generally punishable with a simple fine. However, under federal law a petty offense is defined as any misdemeanor offense for which the offender can not be sentenced to serve more than six months in jail nor pay a fine of more than $5,000.

Need Legal Advice?

If you have been accused of committing a crime in Illinois, then it is a good idea to consult with a dedicated Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer about your legal options as soon as possible. At The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley we understand how overwhelming it can be to be charged with a crime and are committed to helping each of our clients through the trying process of defending themselves against such accusations.

Source:

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

What Offenses Can Lead to Driver’s License Suspension in Illinois?

December 26th, 2016 at 12:35 pm

Driver’s License Suspension, Rolling Meadows Driver’s License Suspension AttorneyBeing able to drive in Illinois is a privilege, not a right. In order to drive in Illinois, individuals must obtain a driver’s license, and then must obey the rules of the road in order to keep their driver’s license. Committing traffic violations and criminal offenses can lead to the suspension or revocation of a person’s driver’s license. A driver’s license suspension means that your driving privileges are temporarily suspended for a period of time and/or until you pay a required fee. A driver’s license revocation is the termination of your driving privileges indefinitely with no guarantee that you can get them reinstated.

What Offenses Can Lead to a Driver’s License Suspension?

Having your driver’s license suspended can be a major inconvenience. Additionally, you may be required to pay a reinstatement fee in order to get the suspension removed from your driver’s license. There are certain requirements that must be satisfied in order to seek the reinstatement of your driver’s license, and an experienced driver’s license reinstatement lawyer can advise you on what you need to do.

There are a number of different offenses that can lead to a driver’s license suspension in Illinois. A few of the more common reasons that driver’s licenses are suspended in Illinois include:

  • Suspension for failure to appear in court. When a driver is issued a traffic ticket and then the driver fails to appear for his or her scheduled court appearance, the judge is likely to enter a failure to appear suspension against the individual’s driver’s license.
  • Suspension for parking violations. Having too many unpaid parking tickets can lead to your driver’s license being suspended. When an individual driver has 10 or more parking violations that have not been paid, a parking municipality may request that his or her license suspension be entered.
  • Suspension due to automated traffic violation. When an individual driver has committed five or more automated traffic violations, a municipality may request that a driver’s license suspension be entered.
  • Suspension due to a  failure to pay tolls. If a driver has committed five or more tollway violations, or has evaded paying a toll five or more times, the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority may request that his or her driving privileges be suspended.
  • Suspension for failure to pay child support. Under Illinois’ Family Financial Responsibility Law, a family court judge can enter a driver’s license suspension for a parent who fails to pay court-ordered child support.

Contact an Illinois Driver’s License Suspension or Revocation Lawyer

Loss of your driving privileges can be a headache for you. It can make day-to-day transportation  a huge hassle and can be a burden on you, your family, and your friends. Luckily, driver’s license suspensions are temporary and it is possible to have your driver’s license reinstated. It can be immensely beneficial to have an experienced Rolling Meadows driver’s license suspension attorney by your side as you seek to reinstate your driving privileges in Illinois.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=062500050HCh.+7+Art.+VII&ActID=1815&ChapterID=49&SeqStart=104300000&SeqEnd=105800000

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