Archive for the ‘Illinois law’ tag
February 27th, 2017 at 12:16 pm
In Illinois, domestic battery charges are taken very seriously. Just a first time conviction can result in a number of consequences. Possible jail time, a fine, and a criminal record are a few of the more obvious consequences of a domestic battery conviction. However, a conviction can also cause you problems in a child custody battle or when you apply for certain types of employment. Anyone who is facing criminal domestic battery charges needs to seek the help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.
Victim and Abuser Relations That Warrant Domestic Battery Charges
Domestic battery charges are reserved for alleged abusers and victims that are in a specific domestic relationship with one another. The abuser and the victim must be in a familial relationship or the two must be members of the same household. For instance, battery that occurs between two people in the following relationships constitutes domestic battery:
- Husband and wife;
- Boyfriend and girlfriend;
- Ex spouses;
- Ex significant others;
- Two people who share a child;
- A parent and a child or stepchild;
- An adult grandchild and a grandparent;
- Anyone related by blood or marriage;
- Two people living together, such as roommates;
- Two people who formerly lived together; or
- People who have disabilities and their caretakers or personal assistance.
Knowingly causing physical harm to someone with whom you share a domestic relationship without legal justification for your actions is domestic battery under Illinois law if you cause the other person bodily harm. It is also considered domestic battery to make physical contact with someone you share a domestic relationship with in a provoking or insulting way. Unjustified pushing, shoving, hitting, or controlling behavior are all types of domestic battery.
Why it is Important to Fight Domestic Battery Charges?
A domestic battery conviction is a serious matter. Generally speaking, you cannot get a domestic battery conviction expunged from your criminal record—government entities and prospective employers and landlords could view your criminal history and learn that you are a convicted domestic batterer. In limited circumstances can you qualify to have your domestic battery conviction expunged, and after it has been on your record for five years.
Only a skilled and experienced domestic battery criminal defense lawyer will be able to help you fight the charges that are pending against you. Even if you were acting out of self defense, or you believe that the physical contact was an accident, you need to discuss your potential defenses with a lawyer.
Contact The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley
False allegations of domestic battery happen all the time, and someone could be wrongly accused and prosecuted for a domestic battery that did not occur. An experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer will work with you to establish the facts and determine what defense strategy is best for you.
February 20th, 2017 at 8:37 am
Some of the most commonly committed drug offenses in Illinois involve narcotic drugs. Criminal defendants across Illinois are arrested and charged with possession, sale, distribution, or manufacturing of narcotics, but do not fully understand what those charges mean.
Often, people are unclear on what a narcotic drug is, and instead merely know drugs by their street names—heroin, cocaine, opium. For clarification, under Illinois law, narcotic drugs include:
- Opium and opiates, such as:
- Methadone; and
- Cocaine; and
- Ecgonine (a cocaine-like substance).
Illinois is tough on drug offenses involving narcotic drugs because of their highly addictive nature, and people who use these drugs often form physical and psychological dependencies on these drugs. There is also a risk that a person taking these drugs could overdose.
More Information About the Illinois Controlled Substances Act
The Illinois Controlled Substances Act lays out the law concerning the possession, manufacture and distribution of controlled substances in Illinois. Substances that are considered controlled substances are broken down into five groups, or schedules. The schedules are arranged in descending order concerning risk of potential abuse and whether the substance has practical medical applications.
Schedule I substances have a high risk of abuse, and no accepted medical use. Schedule V substances, on the other hand, have a low risk of potential abuse, and have a high level of medical applicability. Opiates are generally classed as Schedule I substances, while cocaine and cocaine-like substances are classified as Schedule II substances.
If you have been charged with a narcotics offense, an experienced defense lawyer can help you identify the exact charges you are facing and what the possible consequences can be if you are convicted. Your lawyer will review your charging document to properly identify the controlled substance offense with which you are charged. Based on the Schedule of the narcotic your lawyer can identify the portion of the Controlled Substances Act that applies to your offense.
Being caught in possession of a narcotic drug substance is a felony, and the degree of felony depends on how much of the substance is found in your possession. The sale or distribution of a narcotic in Illinois is a felony as well. Similarly, the manufacture of narcotics is also a felony level offense. A felony conviction can have a serious and long-lasting impact on your life. You will need an experienced drug offenses lawyer to help you fight the charges against you.
Call The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley
Criminal charges for possession of a controlled substance, distribution, or manufacturing are serious and they carry significant penalties if you are convicted. It is important for you to work with a skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney who has experience handling drug cases like yours.
February 1st, 2017 at 9:37 am
Many drivers have traveled slightly too fast while behind the wheel at some point in their driving career. It certainly is not very difficult to exceed the posted speed limit, especially when everyone around you on the road is speeding as well. Drivers can get caught up in the flow of traffic and keep pace with the other vehicles around them. They do not realize that they have exceeded the speed limit until it is too late and a law enforcement officer stops them and issues them a ticket for speeding.
Speeding is often treated as a minor traffic violation. However, if you receive a speeding ticket for driving more than 26 miles per hour over the posted speed limit, it can result in a misdemeanor charge under 625 ILCS 5/11-601.5. A less serious situation may arise when you get a speeding ticket for driving less than 25 miles per hour over the posted speed limit, which results in a citation where the penalty is the payment of a civil fine.
Most people who are issued a ticket for speeding simply pay their fine and go on their way. But by paying a fine for your speeding ticket you are admitting your guilt or that you plead no contest to the speeding charges that have been lodged against you.
Simply paying the fine associated with your speeding ticket can have a lot of unintended consequences of which you may not be aware. For instance, points will be added to your driver’s license, and if you accrue too many points, your license could be suspended. Additionally, too many points on your driver’s license will likely end up costing you more in terms of your auto insurance premiums.
Some Speeding Tickets Are More Serious Than Others
Certain speeding tickets are more serious than others in Illinois, meaning that some speeding offenses carry more severe punishment because of special considerations involving where the speeding took place. For instance:
- School zone speeding violations. Speeding offenses committed near school zones during the day when children are at the school are considered special speeding violations.
- Work zone speeding violations. Speeding violations that are committed in a work zone or on an area of highway that is under construction are also special speeding violations. Drivers must drive through construction areas and work zones at the posted speed regardless of whether workers are present or not.
Can You Get a Ticket for Driving Too Slowly in Illinois?
Under Illinois law it is possible for drivers to be given a ticket for driving too slowly. Drivers are not permitted to drive so slowly that they obstruct the normal flow of traffic. There are many situations that warrant drivers slowing down well below the posted speed limit, such as when there is an accident, traffic, or emergency vehicles on the side of the road. But when the regular flow of traffic is obstructed, there are minimum speed regulations with which the drivers are required to comply.
Got a Speeding Ticket? Talk to Us
If you have been issued a speeding ticket, a traffic violations lawyer will know how to fight your speeding ticket. You should consult with an experienced Rolling Meadows traffic violations lawyer about fighting your speeding ticket and for professional help with your case.
January 16th, 2017 at 7:00 am
Trespassing is a serious offense, and many people in Illinois are charged with criminal trespass every year. If you are facing criminal trespassing charges, you should not delay in speaking with an experienced criminal defense attorney. A skilled lawyer can help you assess your legal options and can assist you with building a defense strategy.
Criminal trespassing under Illinois law occurs when a person unlawfully and without authority knowingly enters the property of another or remains on the property of another without permission. Criminal trespass exists in several forms including:
- Criminal trespass to a residence. Under 720 ILCS 5/19-4, the crime occurs whenever you knowingly and without permission enter the residence of another. Alternatively, it can be criminal trespass to a residence if you enter someone’s residence with permission, but then stay longer than you were authorized to stay. Criminal trespass to a residence might occur if you may have been invited to someone’s home for a party, but then you did not leave when you were asked to leave and you stayed in the home after your permission to be there had expired or been revoked.
- Criminal trespass to a vehicle. Under 720 ILCS 5/21-2, the crime of criminal trespass to a vehicle occurs when you access a vehicle belonging to someone else. The vehicle could be an automobile, a snowmobile, or a watercraft. It is also criminal trespass to a vehicle to operate someone else’s vehicle without permission. Carjacking or car theft is sometimes reduced to criminal trespass to a vehicle.
- Criminal trespass to real property. Under 720 ILCS 5/21-3, the crime of criminal trespass to real property happens when you enter property belonging to someone else without permission. It is also criminal trespass to property if you were permitted to be on the property, but are then asked to leave but you do not. This offense is common in situations where bar or restaurant patrons are asked to leave a bar or restaurant for being disruptive or fighting, but they do not leave the premises. It is also common for people to be charged with criminal trespass to real property when there are posted signs prohibiting entry onto someone’s property but the signs are ignored.
When the prosecution is unable to establish every element required to convict you of criminal trespass, of either a residence, vehicle, or real property, it might be possible to reduce the charges against you to attempted criminal trespass. This means that there was evidence to suggest you were trying to commit a criminal trespass but did not successfully complete the trespass.
Criminal Trespassing Charges Need A Defense Lawyer
Criminal trespassing charges can truly affect your future in a negative manner. You need the help of an experienced professional who will be able to help you through the legal system. Do not hesitate and reach out to an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
September 12th, 2016 at 1:56 pm
Drug trafficking is one of the more serious drug offenses, as people are often found to be transporting large quantities of drugs into and around the state. The purpose behind trafficking illegal drugs is to import large quantities of drugs into the state in order to distribute and sell those drugs in a smaller quantity to others. That is why law enforcement takes the responsibility of catching a drug trafficker so seriously.
What Is Drug Trafficking?
Drug trafficking charges are based on the type of drug that is being trafficked across state lines. If you are caught with large quantities of illegal drugs in Illinois, you can be charged with trafficking:
- Controlled substances, such as heroin, cocaine, hallucinogens, depressants, stimulants and prescription drugs, under the Illinois Controlled Substances Act;
- Marijuana, under 720 ILCS 550/4(f)-(g), i.e. possession of cannabis in a quantity of more than 2,000 grams; or
- Methamphetamines, under 720 ILCS 646/56 of the Methamphetamine Control and Community Protection Act.
Generally speaking, drug trafficking can be defined as knowingly bringing a controlled substance or illegal drug into the state of Illinois, with the intent to deliver the controlled substance or drug elsewhere. It does not matter if the drugs or controlled substances are counterfeit. If the defendant had knowledge that they were bringing a controlled substance or drug into Illinois, the defendant can still find themselves in hot water with the law even though there were no real drugs involved.
Multiple Types of Drugs, Multiple Offenses
What can make drug trafficking charges worse is that if a suspect is caught with a variety of different drugs, they can be charged with multiple offenses.
Furthermore, it is not uncommon for those who are charged with drug trafficking to also be charged with other drug-related offenses, such as drug possession, drug distribution, or possession with intent to distribute.
What Are Some Defenses to Drug Trafficking Charges?
If you have been charged with drug trafficking, you need to get in touch with an experienced drug offense criminal defense lawyer immediately. You may have some defenses available to you, and your lawyer will help you determine what those defenses are based on your particular situation. Some examples of defenses that might be available to you include, but are not limited to:
- You had no knowledge that the drugs were in your possession;
- You were entrapped by law enforcement to transport the drugs;
- You were under duress when you trafficked the drugs; or
- You were temporarily insane.
Contacting A Rolling Meadows Drug Offenses Lawyer
If you are facing criminal charges for possession, possession with the intent to distribute, or drug trafficking, you should reach out to an experienced drug offenses lawyer for legal guidance on what you can do about your charges. Please do not hesitate to contact a Rolling Meadows criminal attorney immediately. Our office can assist you throughout your case.
July 22nd, 2016 at 7:34 am
Many Illinois families and couples find themselves in disagreements. They might yell at each other, act aggressively, or maybe behave in a crazy manner. Sometimes things get out of control and the police are called. One of the people involved in the fight might make the call, or a concerned neighbor could do it. When the police are called to investigate an alleged domestic dispute, they can make an arrest if they believe that a crime, such as domestic abuse, has been committed. Because the situation is often tense when the police show up, and those involved in the fight are often emotional, things are said, exaggerations might be made, and the police might haul off one party, even though his or her actions during the fight did not really rise to the level of domestic violence.
False allegations of domestic violence are made all too frequently, and it can be a major inconvenience, and even a problem, for the accused abuser. As a criminal defendant charged with domestic violence, you are facing serious consequences if you are convicted. That is why it is so important to work with an experienced criminal defense lawyer who understands domestic violence defense to fight the charges that have been levied against you.
Acts That Constitutes Domestic Violence
It is likely an act of domestic violence if the aggression takes the form of:
- Hitting, punching, pushing, kicking or otherwise striking;
- Choking or strangling;
- Threatening to harm or kill;
- Forced sex; and/or
- Preventing the other person from leaving, calling the police, or otherwise interfering with their personal liberty.
Other acts toe the line when it comes to whether or not they rise to the level of domestic violence. For instance, yelling – in its own right – would not necessarily be enough for domestic violence charges to stick, unless the yelling involves threats. Throwing or slamming objects in the home might not rise to the level of domestic violence unless the item is thrown at a victim, or if the throwing or slamming is done is a threatening way.
Defenses to Domestic Violence Allegations
There are a limited number of defenses that make sense in a domestic violence case, but any one of them can be raised against false accusations of domestic violence. Some of the most common defenses include:
- The victim is lying or exaggerating. There are plenty of instances where an alleged victim might lie or exaggerate what happened, which can prompt police to make an arrest for domestic violence.
- The physical harm suffered by the victim was the result of an accident. Sometimes an act of domestic violence is the result of an accident (e.g., the couple was fighting, she threw a plate, and when it shattered, fragments got into his eyes).
- The alleged abuser was acting in self-defense. The victim might have started the domestic dispute, and the alleged abuser might have struck the victim as a means of self-defense.
Contact The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley
If you are faced with false allegations of domestic violence, contact a Rolling Meadows domestic violence defense lawyer as soon as possible. We can help you throughout each step of your case.
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.
July 13th, 2015 at 3:35 pm
Google made big news recently when it announced its decision to remove nude or sexually explicit images posted on the internet without consent from its search results. The practice of posting private sexual images without the consent of the person in the pictures is commonly referred to as “revenge porn.” This name comes from the practice of jilted lovers posting intimate pictures of an ex once a romantic relationship has ended. Historically there were few laws governing this practice. However, Illinois recently passed a strict criminal law that deals with this issue.
Illinois Passed a Strict Law against Revenge Porn
In December of last year, former Governor Quinn signed a strict anti-revenge porn law into effect before leaving office. This law goes so far as to make it a felony to post sexually explicit photos or videos of another person online without his or her consent. This new law just went into effect on June 1. The crime is a Class 4 felony, which can be punished by one to three years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000. Additionally, if a person who posts these images makes money off of them or receives any goods in exchange for posting them, the law requires that the money or goods be forfeited. The law does not just cover pornographic websites. It also prohibits the posting of these images without consent on other types of websites, including social media websites.
Many states still have no laws making revenge porn a crime. What makes Illinois somewhat unique is that not only does state law make this practice criminal, it actually makes it a felony. This means that people convicted under the law may face long-term consequences in addition to any imprisonment or fine. Convicted felons lose rights to gun ownership, for example. They can also lose the right to sit on a jury or vote in certain parts of the country. Sometimes felons are not eligible for government assistance, and a felony conviction can seriously impact a person’s ability to get and keep a job despite “ban the box” laws.
What about the First Amendment?
Some critics of this type of law argue that they violate our right to freedom of speech under the First Amendment. Obviously the Illinois law has not been litigated yet, being that it is brand new. However, laws in other states have been challenged by organizations like the ACLU on these very grounds. Only time will tell how First Amendment arguments play out regarding these laws and Illinois’ law specifically.
Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley
When you have been charged with a crime, you have many important decisions to make. The first decision you should make is to obtain the help of an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney. Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley. We will fight for you. Call us today at (847)394-3200.
March 23rd, 2015 at 6:53 pm
Driving under the influence, or “DUI” is a criminal charge that carries with it a host of possible consequences. People who have been injured by intoxicated drivers or who have lost family members in car accidents often advocate for extremely harsh punishment for people caught driving under the influence. Surprisingly, however, even many of these advocates are on board with getting rid of the “hard time” 30-day suspension of the person’s driver’s license that accompanies a DUI arrest in Illinois.
What is a Hard Suspension?
A hard suspension of a person’s driver’s license is a suspension with no exceptions. During a hard suspension a driver is not allowed to drive at all. This is opposed to a suspension where the driver is only allowed to drive under certain circumstances, such as being required to use an ignition interlock device. These are the devices that can be installed in cars that require the driver to blow into them to prove they are not intoxicated in order to operate the vehicle. Hard suspensions prevent drivers from driving to work, taking their children to school, going to alcohol treatment, or fulfilling any of a whole variety of basic life functions. While people who live in certain parts of Chicago may have reliable enough public transportation to do all of these things without driving, those living in the suburbs or in rural parts of the state can lose jobs and support networks. If the goal is to prevent future alcohol abuse and encourage treatment, hard suspensions work against that goal. Yet under current Illinois law, there is a mandatory 30-day hard suspension that follows a DUI arrest.
Movement to Eliminate the Automatic Hard Suspension
The Chicago Tribune reports that the Illinois State Bar Association has proposed ending the mandate that people arrested for DUI completely lose their driver’s licenses for at least 30 days, and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is supporting the move; as is a local group called “Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists.” What is the catch? Drivers would be able to get out of the 30-day suspension if they agreed to use an ignition interlock device whenever they drove during the suspension period. This would allow them to go to work, treatment, and other places they need to be while still keeping the community safe. It would also encourage the use of the ignition interlock device, preventing the drivers from drinking and driving on a suspended license. Both the drivers and the community win.
Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley
If you have been cited for driving under the influence, you need an experienced Rolling Meadows DUI attorney. That is why you should call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley. We handle these unique cases regularly and can provide you with the representation you deserve. Reach out to us at (847)394-3200.
March 9th, 2015 at 6:03 pm
Trespassing, in a very basic sense, is being where you are not supposed to be. People often think of it as being on another person’s land without permission. But Illinois’ trespassing statutes actually prohibit much more than that. It is important to understand what constitutes trespassing because ignorance of the law is not a defense, and if you wind up trespassing you may find yourself in need of a criminal defense lawyer.
Criminal Trespass to Vehicles
Illinois statute prohibits what it calls “trespass to vehicles.” A person commits this crime when he or she knowingly enters or operates a vehicle, aircraft, watercraft, or snowmobile without authority. This crime is a Class A misdemeanor.
Use of Electronic Tracking Devices
An electronic tracking device, for purposes of the trespassing statutes, is a device you attach to a vehicle that reveals the vehicle’s location through the transmission of electronic signals. One example would be the use of a GPS tracker on a car. Generally speaking, you are not allowed to use one of these on someone else’s vehicle without their consent, and doing so would be a Class A misdemeanor. There are exceptions for law enforcement, business owners who are tracking their employees’ use of a company car, state vehicles, and GPS systems that come installed as a feature on cars.
Criminal Trespass to Real Property
This is the action people normally think of when they think of trespassing. “Real property” means land or buildings. A person commits this offense when he or she does one of the following:
- Knowingly enters or remains in a building without authority;
- Enters another person’s land after he or she has been warned by the owner or occupant that he or she is not allowed to do so;
- Remains on someone else’s land after that person tells him or her to leave;
- Presents false documents to convince a land owner or occupant to let him or her stay on the land;
- Removes certain real estate notices; or
- Enters certain agricultural fields or buildings after being told he or she may not, or staying on such property after being told to leave.
Criminal Trespass to a Safe School Zone
A person commits this crime when he or she enters or remains in a safe school zone without lawful business and when as a student or school employee who has been suspended/expelled/dismissed for disrupting the operation of the school and as a condition of of the suspension/expulsion/dismissal he or she is denied access to the school. There are also more complicated ways in which one can violate this law that would, at a minimum, require entrance into a safe school zone after being served with a notice that the notice recipient is not allowed to be there.
Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley
If you are charged with trespassing or any other crime, you will need the help of an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney. Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley. We will fight for you. Our phone number is (847)394-3200.