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Archive for the ‘felony offense’ tag

Illinois’ Disorderly Conduct Law

July 19th, 2017 at 12:50 pm

Disorderly Conduct, felony offense, misdemeanor, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney, disorderly conduct defenseWhen an individual disturbs the peace in a manner that threatens public safety, it is likely that he or she has committed the crime of disorderly conduct. However, each state defines disorderly conduct a bit differently. Therefore, in order to determine whether a disruptive individual in Illinois can be rightfully convicted of disorderly conduct, one must closely examine our state’s disorderly conduct statute.

Illinois Compiled Statutes Section 26-1: Disorderly Conduct

Under 720 ILCS 5/26-1 a person commits disorderly conduct in Illinois when he or she knowingly:

  • Acts in an unreasonable manner as to alarm or disturb another person and to incite a breach of the peace;
  • Tells, or causes another to tell, the fire department that there is a fire while knowing that it is not reasonable to believe that the fire exists;
  • Reports, or causes another to report, that an explosive device or a container holding a dangerous substance is hidden somewhere where its detonation or release would pose a risk to human life while knowing that it is not reasonable to believe that such a device or container exists;
  • Reports, or causes another to report, a threat of destruction against a school, or a threat of violence, death, or bodily harm aimed at people attending school or a school function;
  • Notifies, or causes another to notify, a police officer that an offense is currently being committed, will be committed, or has been committed while knowing that it is not reasonable to believe that what they are saying is true;
  • Makes a false report, or causes another to make a false report, to a public safety agency while knowing that it is not reasonable to believe that making such a report is necessary for the public welfare and safety;
  • Calls 911 with a false alarm or complaint while knowing that it is not reasonable to make such a call;
  • Transmits, or causes another to transmit, a false report to the Department of Children and Family Services or the Department of Public Health;
  • Issues, or causes another to issue, a false request for emergency medical services or for an ambulance from the police or fire department while knowing that it is not reasonable to believe that such assistance is required;
  • Makes a false report, or causes another to make a false report, under Article II of Public Act 83-1432;
  • Enters the property of another for a lewd or unlawful purpose and deliberately looks into a dwelling through a window or other opening; or
  • While acting as the employee of a collection agency, makes a phone call to an alleged debtor with the purpose of harassing, annoying, or intimidating them.

Penalties

In Illinois, disorderly conduct can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony offense. Those convicted of misdemeanor disorderly conduct can face up to 30 days, six months, or one year in jail (depending on whether the offense was charged as a Class C, Class B, or Class A misdemeanor) and a fine of up to $2,500. However, those convicted of felony disorderly conduct can be sentenced to serve up to three or five years in prison (depending on whether the offense was charged as a Class 4 or Class 3 felony) and ordered to pay a fine of up to $10,000. Additionally, violators may also be ordered to perform community service.

Contact a Rolling Meadows Disorderly Conduct Defense Lawyer Today

A disorderly conduct conviction can carry serious consequences in Illinois and should not be taken lightly. If you have been charged with disorderly conduct and would like to discuss your legal options with an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney, contact the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley today.

Source:

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

FAQs About Shoplifting in Illinois

July 10th, 2017 at 8:48 am

Rolling Meadows shoplifting defense lawyer, shoplifting, retail theft, felony offense, shoplifting chargeShoplifting (also know as retail theft) is the willful theft of goods from a retail establishment while posing as a customer. Shoplifting is a crime that occurs frequently in Illinois and throughout the United States. In fact, the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention (NASP) reports that more than 10 million people have been caught shoplifting in the United States over the last five years.

Despite the prevalence of shoplifting, this crime is not frequently reported on and is often misunderstood. Consider the following frequently asked questions about shoplifting and Illinois’ shoplifting laws.

Q: What is the profile of a typical shoplifter?

A: According to the NSAP, there is not really a “typical shoplifter.” Men and women appear to steal from stores at comparable rates. However, approximately 75 percent of shoplifters are adults while only 25 percent are children.

Q: What constitutes shoplifting in Illinois?

A: In Illinois, shoplifting or retail theft can be committed in a variety of different ways. For example, under 720 ILCS 5/16-25 a person commits retail theft in Illinois when he or she knowingly:

  • Takes merchandise from a retailer without paying for it;
  • Alters the price tag or label on merchandise in order to buy the item at a reduced price;
  • Swaps the packaging of one item with the packaging of a cheaper item in order to pay the lower price;
  • Rings up an item for a lower price than its retail value (when allowed to ring up their own items at checkout);
  • Lies by saying that an item belongs to them when it in fact belongs the store that they are stealing it from;
  • Removes an anti-theft device in order to steal merchandise without paying for it;
  • Steals a shopping cart; or
  • Takes possession of leased property with the intent of permanently depriving the owner of that property.

Q: Is retail theft a misdemeanor or a felony offense in Illinois?

A: Retail theft can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony offense in Illinois depending on the value of the merchandise that was shoplifted. Under state law (720 ILCS 5/16-1), anyone who steals something that has a full retail value of more than $500 can be charged with a felony. However, someone who has a record of committing theft-related offenses can be charged with felony retail theft in Illinois in some circumstances even he or she was caught shoplifting less than $500 worth of merchandise.

Q: How can I defend against a shoplifting charge?

A: Each shoplifting case is unique, but some commonly asserted defenses in Illinois include:

  • Insufficient Evidence: The prosecution failed to provide sufficient evidence to prove their case.
  • Wrong Person: This is a case of mistaken identity, the defendant is not the person who stole the merchandise.
  • Lack of Intent: The defendant did not knowingly take the merchandise.
  • The Retail Value Does Not Support the Charge: The retail value of the allegedly stolen merchandise is not high enough to support the crime that the defendant has been charged with.

Contact Us for Professional Help

Have you been charged with retail theft in Illinois? If so, The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley can help. Our team of experienced Rolling Meadows retail theft and shoplifting defense attorneys offers zealous representation for both juveniles and adults accused of shoplifting throughout the greater Chicago area. To discuss your legal options, contact our office today.

Source:

http://www.shopliftingprevention.org/what-we-do/learning-resource-center/statistics/

What Should You Do if You Are Charged with Burglary in Rolling Meadows?

April 3rd, 2017 at 8:14 am

burglary, Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense AttorneyIf you have been arrested and charged with burglary, you are most likely feeling scared and unsure about what you should do next. A few questions might run through your head, including:

  • What is going to happen to you?
  • Are you going to go to jail?
  • What will court be like?
  • Is there anything that you can do to fight your charges?

Being charged with a crime is overwhelming, and you likely do not have a background in criminal law. That is why you need an experienced burglary criminal defense lawyer to help you fight your charges. Your lawyer understands the criminal justice system and is familiar with what happens in criminal court. You need guidance and advice as you deal with your criminal charges, and a seasoned lawyer can help you.

What Constitutes Burglary and Residential Burglary in Illinois?

Under 720 ILCS 5/19-1, burglary is defined as when a criminal defendant enters property owned by someone else knowingly and without permission, and with the intent to commit a theft or a felony once inside the property. The property can include homes, garages, guest houses, apartments, sheds, and house trailers. However, it can also include vehicles like cars, boats, airplanes, and even railroad cars.

Breaking into someone else’s property to steal something or to commit a felony crime, like a sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, aggravated battery, aggravated assault, second domestic battery offense, or stalking, most likely constitutes burglary.

Burglary in and of itself is a Class 2 felony, which means that you will face felony level punishment for your felony level offense if you are convicted. But it is important to note that there is a distinction between burglary and residential burglary. Residential burglary involves the same elements as burglary except the property that is burglarized must be a home or dwelling and is codified under 720 ILCS 5/19-3. Residential burglary is a Class 1 felony.

Since burglary and residential burglary are felony offenses, it is critical that you have an experienced criminal defense lawyer to help you fight your charges. A conviction for burglary most likely means significant jail time and a hefty fine, and you will undoubtedly be burdened with a criminal record that can haunt you for years to come. That is why it is so important that you work with a criminal defense lawyer to fight your burglary charges.

What Can Happen if You Are Convicted?

If you are convicted for burglary, you will more than likely face jail time, although it could be possible to be placed under court supervision, which means you will not go to jail. It is critical to work with a criminal defense lawyer to present your strongest possible defense and mitigating circumstances to the court. While the goal is to get the charges dismissed, getting reduced charges or a reduced sentence could also be a good strategy for your criminal defense case.

Reach Out to Us Today for Help

A burglary charge in Illinois is a serious matter. Do not go up against your charges without the help of a lawyer. Please do not hesitate to contact a passionate Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney immediately for help with your case.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=1876&ChapterID=53&SeqStart=62600000&SeqEnd=63400000

Homes and Cars Are Not the Only Places That Can be Burglarized

January 2nd, 2017 at 9:49 am

places that can be burglarized, Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense LawyerThe word burglary often brings to mind a masked person stealing money from a bank, breaking into a car, or stealing money, jewelry, or other property from a home. However, under Illinois law, burglary can occur in many other places. To limit your understanding of the crime of burglary to only homes and cars would be overly narrow and inaccurate.

Elements of the Crime of Burglary

It is considered burglary to break into and enter a place without permission, such as trailers, buildings, and motor vehicles. But burglary also includes other transportation vehicles, such as watercraft and aircraft, with the intent to commit theft of any other felony offense. When the location that is broken into is a home or other dwelling, i.e., a place where someone sleeps, it is considered residential burglary.

Burglary is not limited to physical breaking into a new building or vehicle. You do not have to force open a lock or break a window to gain access to a building or vehicle in order to constitute an entering for the purposes of burglary. Other ways of gaining entry into a building or vehicle may include:

  • Sneaking into the vehicle or building;
  • Further opening a cracked door or window so that you can get inside;
  • Lying or using trickery to gain access to the building or vehicle; or
  • Remaining inside a building or vehicle after you have been asked to leave, i.e., after a store has closed or after you were told to leave.

Burglary Charges Can be Upgraded

Burglary is a felony offense. As if a burglary charge is not bad enough, there are several circumstances where the charges can be upgraded to a more serious felony. For instance:

  • If the burglary is committed in a day care or child care facility, an elder care center, a school, or a place of worship, the burglary charge becomes a Class 1 felony;
  • If the burglary is committed on a residential dwelling while someone is home;
  • If you used a weapon during the commission of the burglary; and
  • If you cause injury to someone during the commission of the burglary.

Burglary charges are serious criminal offenses, and any person who is suspected of committing a burglary in Illinois needs to get in touch with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Intent to commit a felony or theft is a required element of burglary in order to be convicted. An experienced criminal defense lawyer will know how best to fight your charges, whether it is through a defense that you had permission to enter the building, vehicle or dwelling, or that you lacked the requisite intent to commit a crime or theft.

Let Us Help You Today

Since burglary is a felony criminal offense there are serious consequences for a conviction, which include—at the minimum—years of prison time, massive fines, and a criminal record.

When you are faced with burglary or residential burglary charges, please do not hesitate to contact a passionate Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney at our office for help.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K19-1

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K19-3

Retail Theft Can be a Felony Offense

November 4th, 2016 at 7:00 am

retail theft, Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense AttorneyShoplifting is one of the most frequently committed theft crimes in Illinois. Shoplifting involves knowingly taking merchandise from a store without the intention of paying retail price for the item that is stolen. Shoplifting can take many forms, including taking physical possession of a retail item and removing it from a store without payment, altering or swapping out labels or price tags to get a desired retail item at a cheaper price, and swapping a retail item’s packaging for the packaging of another, less expensive item. If you have been charged with retail theft, regardless of whether it is a misdemeanor charge or a felony charge, you need to get in touch with an experienced retail theft criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.

When Retail Theft Rises to the Level of a Felony

Many people who engage in retail theft do not think that the charges associated with their offense will be very serious. But this is a misconception. Even as a first-time offender, stealing something from a store that has a full retail value of more than $300 can result in a class 3 felony charge for retail theft.

Stealing something that is expensive, but small, leads to a felony level retail theft charge. It does not matter if the item is a phone, other electronics, jewelry, a watch, or designer sunglasses. If it costs more than $300, you will face felony level charges if you are caught stealing.

Felony Level Charges for Those With a Record of Theft-Related Offenses

Illinois law is stricter on those who commit retail theft and have already previously been convicted of any other form of theft. For instance, if someone who has been convicted of a theft crime in the past steals an item from a merchant that has a retail value of less than $300, he or she can be charged with felony retail theft, under 720 ILCS 5/16-25(f)(2). Similarly, second time offenders who get caught stealing retail merchandise by using a theft detection shielding device can be charged with a felony under 720 ILCS 5/16-25(f)(1). Or, second time offenders who get caught stealing retail merchandise by darting out an emergency exit door can  be charged with a felony under 720 ILCS 5/16-25(f)(2).

Individuals who have a criminal history involving theft-related offenses, or who presently face retail theft charges, need to consult with an experienced attorney. Second-time theft offenders face a tough road when they are charged with retail theft and should not go down that road alone. An experienced criminal defense attorney will make sure that you are treated fairly under the law.

Let Us Help You With Your Retail Theft Charges

Retail theft charges are serious. Please do not delay and contact a skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney for help.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=1876&ChapterID=53&SeqStart=39200000&SeqEnd=39700000

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