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Archive for the ‘felony charge’ tag

Disorderly Conduct in Illinois

February 16th, 2018 at 6:55 pm

criminal charges, Disorderly Conduct, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney, misdemeanor charge, felony chargeWhen people think of disorderly conduct, they may envision someone who is drunk and acting out in public. While this is a form of disorderly conduct, it is not the only one that can cause a person to face criminal charges.

Disorderly conduct refers to an act that disturbs the peace. In some states, such acts result in a mere fine. In Illinois, however, these acts are charged as misdemeanors most of the time. In some instances, they are even charged as felonies.

This means that a disorderly conduct charge can affect your life in many ways. Avoid getting in trouble with the law by understanding what types of acts can get you a criminal record in Illinois.

What Illinois Law Says

Under 720 ILCS 5/26-1, disorderly conduct consists of the following:

  • Acting in an unreasonable manner to alarm or disturb someone;
  • Sending a false alarm related to a fire, bomb, or dangerous chemical;
  • Threatening to destroy a school building, property, or cause injury or death to school officials or those at a school function; 
  • Transmitting a false report to a public safety agency;
  • Calling 911 for the sole purpose of transmitting a false alarm;
  • Transmitting a false report of child abuse;
  • Posing as a debt collector in order to harass an individual; or
  • Entering a property or looking through a window for a lewd purpose.

Types of Disorderly Conduct

Disorderly conduct may include making an obscene gesture or using abusive or vulgar language toward another person in order to incite a fight. Making unreasonably loud noises or using chemicals to create a foul odor are also forms of disorderly conduct. Using a firearm or displaying one’s anus or genitals is also disorderly conduct.

Disorderly Conduct Penalties

Most cases of disorderly conduct are charged as misdemeanors. The penalties include up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500.

Some cases are severe enough to be charged as felonies. When a person makes false reports and calls to government agencies, this wastes public resources and causes fear to community members. These incidents are charged as Class 3 or Class 4 felonies. A person can face up to five years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.

Need Legal Advice? Contact a Local Criminal Defense Lawyer

Disorderly conduct is not always a minor crime. It can range from a misdemeanor to a felony. Regardless of the act, you do not want to have such a charge on your record, so act quickly to reduce your penalties.

If you are facing disorderly conduct charges, you need solid legal defense to avoid fines and jail time. The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley can help. Dedicated Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney Christopher Cosley has helped many clients reduce their charges. Do not hesitate to contact us today for help.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K26-1

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

The Crime of Reckless Driving

September 7th, 2015 at 8:43 pm

illinois traffic attorney, Illinois defense lawyer, Illinois criminal lawyer,One of the most common traffic violations is reckless driving since so many of a driver’s actions while behind the wheel could be construed as reckless driving. Illinois law enforcement and the courts are strict when it comes to reckless driving charges because the driver’s actions may have:

  • Put others on the roadway at risk;
  • Resulted in property damage to another; or
  • Caused an accident where another person was injured or killed.

What is Reckless Driving?

 According to Section 625 ILCS 5/11-503, reckless driving occurs when a person drives a vehicle with a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of others, or it a person knowingly drives a vehicle so quickly up an inclined roadway, such as a hill or railroad crossing, as to cause the vehicle to become airborne.

The language of Illinois’ reckless driving statute is often broadly construed by law enforcement, and many drivers are ticketed, or even arrested on the spot, after driving at a high rate of speed, swerving between lanes or around other vehicles, tailgating, not using turn signals properly, or aggressively weaving in and out of traffic – all under the pretenses that the driver was operating the vehicle in a way that willfully or wantonly disregards the safety of others on the roadway.

Reckless Driving Charges Are Serious

Reckless driving charges should never be taken lightly. A reckless driving charge is at the very minimum a Class A misdemeanor. However, there are situations where the charges can be upgraded or enhanced. For instance:

  • When reckless driving causes bodily harm to a child or school crossing guard performing his or her crossing guard duties, the reckless driving charges are upgraded to a Class 4 felony;
  • When reckless driving causes great bodily harm or permanent disability or disfigurement of another, the charge is upgraded to aggravated reckless driving, which is a Class 4 felony; and
  • When the reckless driving causes great bodily harm or permanent disability or disfigurement of a child or school crossing guard performing his or her crossing guard duties, the charge is upgraded to aggravated reckless driving, and is a Class 3 felony.

A Reckless Driving Conviction on a Criminal Record

It is important to fight the reckless driving charges that are pending against you because a conviction results in no less than a misdemeanor, which means that you will have a criminal record if convicted. In addition to resulting in a criminal record, a reckless driving conviction can:

  • Result in a year’s worth of jail time;
  • Cost $2,500 in the payment of a fine;
  • Make it so that you are ineligible to have other arrests or charges against you expunged or sealed; and
  • Land you a significant amount of community service.

Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

If you have received a citation for reckless driving, you need to fight the charges that are pending against you. Feel free to contact an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer immediately. Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at (847) 394-3200 for a consultation.

 

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-503

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