Archive for the ‘juvenile crimes’ tag
February 13th, 2017 at 9:39 am
One of the most detrimental aspects of a juvenile getting in trouble with the law for committing a criminal offense is that the incident will create a law enforcement and juvenile court record for the minor. Parents and affected juveniles can try to obtain an expungement, which means that they obtain a court order that hides the criminal record from the view of the public. However, a few select entities, such as the government, may still have access to expunged records.
Expunging the record means that the criminal record would not appear in a background check conducted by most individuals, and the affected individual would not have to disclose his or her expunged criminal history.
New Changes to the Law Concerning How Juveniles Can Seek Expungements
The trouble with obtaining a criminal record expungement in the past for a juvenile in Illinois was that there were many restrictions on how and when a juvenile could seek an expungement. However, in 2017 there will be several changes made to Illinois’ criminal justice laws. One change that has particular relevance to minors is how juveniles can seek expungement of their criminal records.
The new law provides that a person who is under the age of 18 years old can petition the court at any time to have his or her criminal record and juvenile court record expunged, or once the juvenile court proceedings against them related to the offense have concluded. The old law limited seeking expungement to juveniles who were 17 years old or older. Eligibility for the ability to petition the juvenile court for expungement is available to:
- Juveniles who were arrested, but no petition for delinquency was filed with the clerk of court against them, i.e., if the charges were dropped against the juvenile;
- Juveniles who were charged with an offense and a petition for delinquency was filed with the clerk of court, but the petition(s) were dismissed by the court without a finding that the juvenile was delinquent; i.e., the judge dismissed the case against the juvenile;
- Juveniles who were arrested and charged, but were not found to be delinquent by the juvenile court, i.e., the juvenile was found not guilty;
- Juveniles who are placed under supervision of the court, and the juvenile’s period of supervision has been successfully completed; and
- Juveniles who are adjudicated for a low-level offense, such as a Class B misdemeanor, Class C misdemeanor, or petty or business offense.
It is important to have an experienced criminal defense lawyer fighting the juvenile charges against you so that you will be able to have the charges dropped or dismissed. Once your defense is won, you can seek an expungement of your juvenile criminal record.
Juveniles With Criminal Records Need Help With Expungement
A criminal record may prevent you from getting a job or getting into school. If you want to do something about getting your record expunged, you should contact an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer for immediate assistance.
May 25th, 2016 at 8:44 am
Juveniles are just children or teenagers; they make poor choices from time to time, and they make mistakes. When young people are involved in minor crime, and arrested for it, their detention by police can place a terrible burden on the juvenile and his or her family. For the juvenile’s family, there is a sense of uncertainty and worry until a judge reviews the juvenile’s case. For the juvenile, detention can mean being locked up for a long period of time away from people he or she knows and loves.
Children and teens need love and support when they are in trouble, and isolating them away to wait for the review of their case can be stressful. Moreover, detaining teens for extended periods of time can be detrimental to their well-being. It can cause them to panic, worry, and fret incessantly. Detention can trigger severe emotional and psychological reactions, especially if the juvenile is generally a good kid who made a silly mistake, or foolishly listened to the bad advice or goading of his or her friends, which landed him or her in juvenile detention. It is unfair and unjust to unnecessarily force juveniles to be detained any longer than is absolutely necessary. Juveniles should be rejoined with their families and loved ones as quickly as possible.
Current Illinois Law Concerning Juvenile Detention Hearings
Under current Illinois law, 705 ILCS 405/5-415, juveniles may be detained for up to 40 hours before they are granted a detention hearing. That 40-hour time frame does not include weekends or court-recognized holidays. So, in effect, a juvenile could be detained for up to five days, given that an arrest was made on a Friday, and the juvenile is detained over a holiday weekend. In such a case, the earliest a juvenile could be granted a detention hearing is on the next Tuesday morning. Over 1,000 juveniles are detained for suspected criminal activity each year in Illinois, and approximately 25 percent of these juvenile detentions occur over a weekend.
Fortunately, the Illinois Senate is considering a bill that would expedite detention hearings for juveniles who commit minor, nonviolent crimes. Under the proposed bill, HB5619, juveniles charged with minor offenses would receive a detention hearing within 24 hours of being charged. This time period for review of the juvenile’s case would include holidays and weekends so that juveniles would not possibly be detained over a weekend or holiday. The House of Representatives has already approved the bill.
When Juveniles Need Legal Representation
Individuals who face criminal charges, no matter how severe and no matter what their age is, should consult with an experienced criminal defense lawyer. The consequences of a conviction, even as a juvenile, can have serious long-term consequences. If you have a juvenile who is in need of legal representation, please do not hesitate to contact a compassionate Rolling Meadows juvenile defense lawyer at our office. We are happy to help you today.
October 21st, 2015 at 7:43 am
Weapons in schools is an issue that teachers, professors, principals, and school districts do not take lightly, and often any student who brings a weapon into the classroom faces severe consequences for this juvenile offense. A school can be any place of learning, which includes public and private educational institutions ranging from elementary level to college or university.
Severity of Punishment Tied to the Type of Weapon
Illinois statute 720 ILCS 5/24-1(c) specifically addresses how no one may bring weapons into a school, carry weapons on a school bus, or even have a weapon within 1,000 feet of a school. The punishments associated with these crimes vary depending on the threat or potential danger associated with the weapon.
- Guns, rifles and bombs. Under the statute, if a person brings a weapon into a school, such as a gun, rifle, or a bomb, that person will be charged with a Class 2 felony, and faces between three and seven years of jail time;
- Pistols, revolvers, stun guns and tasers. When the weapon that is brought into a school is a pistol, revolver, stun gun or taser (and some ballistic knives), the offense results in a Class 3 felony; and
- Hand-held type weapons. Bringing hand-held type weapons, such as bludgeons, brass knuckles, throwing stars, knives, stilettos, razors, dangerous pieces of glass, switch blades, and any spring-loaded, or cannister-powered projectile weapons, into a school results in a Class 4 felony.
What Other Items Have Been Considered to Be A “Weapon”?
While there are the more traditional things we think of to be weapons, such as knives, guns, etc. there are some less obvious things that have also been considered to be weapons according to teachers, school administrators, and the courts. For example, tools, such as pliers, wrenches, screwdrivers and box cutters were considered to be “weapons” according to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois Eastern Division in Douglas Bartlett v. City of Chicago School District #299 et al., (Case No. 1:13-cv-02862 (Ill. N. D. 2014)). However, it should be noted that in the Bartlett case, the person who brought the alleged “weapons” to school was a teacher, and not a student.
While state law does specifically define certain types of weapons that are not permitted in schools, case law in the state indicates that there are many other items that, if brought to school, could be construed as a weapon.
When Children Face Weapons Charges
With all of the scary media coverage of school shootings, it is frightful to think that kids would take weapons to school. But only a relatively small number of cases where students bring weapons to school result in the student using the weapon to hurt others. More often, a student will bring a weapon to school to show their friends, or might do it on a dare, without the intention of hurting anyone. Sometimes a student will take a weapon to school because they think they need it for self-defense against a bully. Children do not necessarily understand the full impact that taking a weapon into a school has.
Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley
If your child exercised poor judgement and brought a weapon to school, or if your child brought something that he or she felt was harmless to the school and is now facing weapons accusations from the school, please do not hesitate to contact a passionate Rolling Meadows juvenile crimes lawyer immediately. Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at (847) 394-3200 for help today
October 12th, 2015 at 12:42 pm
Bullying in schools is a serious issue that many schools across the country are dealing with and is an issue that is under scrutiny by the public right now. On the one hand, it is important for children to be able to go to school and feel safe, but on the other hand, there is a concern that some children are overly sensitive and that overprotecting children might be doing them more harm than good.
Every school in Illinois is required by law to have a bullying prevention policy in place so that children have a place to learn where they feel safe. Schools not only are launching their own initiatives, but there is also government funding available for schools that make efforts to combat school bullying and other acts of violence in schools.
Where Are Students Protected from Bullying?
Illinois has laws directed to preventing bullying in schools, codified as 105 ILCS 5/23.7, which protects students from being subjected to bullying while a student is:
- In class;
- In a school-sponsored or school-sanctioned activity, event or educational program;
- On the school bus or other school vehicle;
- Waiting at a school bus stop for the bus;
- On school property; and
- Using school computers, networks or other similar electronic equipment belonging to the school.
What Constitutes Bullying under the Law?
Under 105 ILCS 5/23.7(b), “bullying” means any severe or pervasive act or conduct, which can be physical or verbal in nature, that is directed towards another student that could reasonably produce anyone of the following effects:
- The student is placed in a state of reasonable fear concerning harm to him or herself or his or her property;
- The student’s physical or mental health is detrimentally affected;
- The student’s academic performance suffers; or
- The student’s ability to participate in school is affected.
Bullying may take the form of threats, harassment, intimidation, physical violence, stalking, sexual harassment, sexual violence, theft, public humiliation, destruction of property and retaliatory-type actions. Bullying also includes cyber bullying, meaning anything that is written on a computer or electronic device or is communicated to another student through a computer or electronic device.
Accusations of Bullying
Your child might be facing allegations of school bullying by another student, or the school might be taking disciplinary action against your child for an alleged violation of the school’s bullying prevention policy. Not only could your child be facing disciplinary action from the school, such as suspension or expulsion, but if the allegations rise to the level of a criminal juvenile offense, your child could be facing serious criminal charges. This could be a huge injustice if the accusations against your child are false or inflated.
Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley
If your child gets in trouble at school for fighting or bullying, it is important that you take action immediately to preserve and protect your child’s rights. Please do not hesitate to contact a dedicated Rolling Meadows juvenile crimes lawyer immediately. Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at (847) 394-3200 to learn how we can be of assistance.
July 27th, 2015 at 5:47 am
Hazing used to be a regular part of high school and college life, but now it is often considered a criminal offense. As a result of hazing going too far at multiple institutions and students being seriously hurt or even killed, a once normal right of passage is now forbidden by schools and universities. Engaging in some types of hazing can lead to a student being in serious trouble, not just with his or her school, but with the law as well.
The Law against Hazing
Illinois statute forbids certain kinds of hazing. Legally speaking, a person commits hazing when he or she requires the commitment of any act by a student or other person in a school for the purpose of induction into any group connected with the institution if two specific requirements are met. First, the act must not be sanctioned or authorized by the educational institution. Second, the act must result in bodily harm to any person. As such, harmless traditional types of hazing may not result in legal action, although they may still be against school policy and result in suspension or even expulsion under some school rules. However, any type of hazing that could result in someone getting hurt, including alcohol-related hazing, could result in criminal charges. Usually hazing is a misdemeanor, but if it results in death or great bodily harm, the charge can be a felony.
Failure to Report Hazing
Failure to report hazing is also a crime in Illinois. Schools cannot protect their students from being prosecuted under the hazing law. A school official can actually be charged with the crime of “failure to report hazing” when he or she does the following:
- While fulfilling his or her official responsibilities as a school official he or she observes an act that is not sanctioned by the school;
- The act results in physical harm to a person; and
- The school official fails to report the act to supervising educational authorities or, in the case of death or great bodily harm, law enforcement.
Violation of this law is a misdemeanor.
Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley
If you or your child has been charged with a crime or is being investigated you will need the assistance of an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney like Christopher M. Cosley. Call us today at (847)394-3200. Neither you nor your child should ever speak to law enforcement without having an attorney present. It does not matter whether you or your child is guilty. If it is your child who is being investigated you may have questions for him or her, but demanding answers could result in your being forced to testify against your own child, so do not push him or her to answer your questions. Contact us instead.
May 4th, 2015 at 5:42 am
Part of being a teenager is testing boundaries and experimenting with new experiences. Unfortunately, some teenagers choose to push the boundaries of the law and experiment with illegal substances. For some of these young people the only real consequences are the consequences of getting caught, but others find themselves with serious drug problems. There are legal steps that can be taken in order to help these juveniles get the drug treatment they need.
The Juvenile Drug Court Treatment Act
The legislature found that a substantial portion of the resources of Illinois’ juvenile justice system went to young people who were using and abusing drugs. In response, it passed the Juvenile Drug Court Treatment Act. Drug courts in the adult system are special court programs designed to get drug offenders the treatment and life skills they need instead of using taxpayer funds just to lock them up for a short period of time and then release them with their drug addiction still in full force. In the adult system these programs are typically run on the local level. They involve drug treatment, programs to help adult drug offenders find employment, and often involve community service aspects. They are usually much more intensive than many other outpatient treatment options. Drug courts can also, when appropriate, order offenders to do inpatient treatment. Often when offenders successfully complete these programs they receive some benefit when it comes to their criminal charges such as a lessened punishment or even in some cases a complete dismissal. The idea of the Juvenile Drug Court Treatment Act was to create a similar sort of program for young people who are having their cases heard in juvenile court and thus normally would not be eligible for adult drug court programs.
What Minors Can Get into Drug Courts?
The important thing about drug court is that neither side can be forced into it. Both the minor charged with a crime and the prosecutor involved must agree to drug court, and the court must approve it as well. Certain juvenile offenders automatically cannot be considered for drug court under Illinois law. These include:
- Juveniles who are charged with crimes of violence, which include but are not limited to: first or second degree murder, predatory criminal sexual assault of a child, criminal sexual assault, armed robbery, aggravated arson, arson, aggravated kidnapping, kidnapping, aggravated battery resulting in great bodily harm or permanent disability, stalking, aggravated stalking, or any offense involving the discharged of a firearm;
- Juveniles who deny their use or addiction to drugs;
- Juveniles who do not demonstrate a willingness to participate in treatment; and
- Juveniles who have been found delinquent at any point in the last 10 years because of one of the crimes of violence listed above.
What Happens if a Minor Successfully Completes Drug Court
If a minor is admitted into a drug court program and then he or she successfully completes the program, this can benefit his or her juvenile charges. One possible result can be a dismissal of charges. If the juvenile enters the drug court after admitting to the charges and being sentenced, finishing drug court can count as a successful completion of the sentence and the juvenile can be discharged from any further proceedings in the court.
Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley Today
When your child is facing drug charges, you need the help of an experienced Rolling Meadows juvenile criminal defense attorney. There are programs for juveniles that can be used to get them the help that they need rather than focusing on punishment alone. Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley today at (847)394-3200.
March 11th, 2015 at 6:24 pm
The so-called War on Drugs has been dragging on in the United States for decades. Despite law enforcement’s seemingly unending obsession with prosecuting drug laws, the use of illegal substances continues on. While many drug users are undeterred by the illegality of drug possession, others do fear the possibility of facing criminal charges or losing their jobs if they get caught with an illegal substance. So some of them, particularly younger people, result to using otherwise legal substances to get high. The theory is that if the substance is legal then they can not be prosecuted for using it. While this may make sense, in at least some cases it is not true.
Huffing or Inhaling a Perfectly Legal Substance to Get High is a Crime in Illinois
Many people, especially young people, “huff” or inhale regular household products or other legally possessed chemicals in order to experience a high. Doing this is a crime in Illinois. The law that makes it a crime is called the “Use of Intoxicating Compounds Act.” Under this law it is a crime to ingest, breath, inhale, or drink any compound, liquid, or chemical for the purpose of getting high. Additionally, it is a crime to sell any compound, liquid, or chemical that will induce an intoxicated condition to a minor under the age of 17 without the written permission of the minor’s parent or guardian. Its illegal to make a such a sale to a person of any age if you have a reason to know that the purchaser’s intent is to use the substance to get high. Depending on how many times a person is found guilty of a crime under this law and the type of substance involved, the crime can be a misdemeanor or a felony.
What About Kratom?
It may seem that kratom is still legal since it is a plant rather than a chemical, compound, or liquid. Kratom is made from a plant called mitragyna speciosa. It is usually consumed as a tea and in some people it can produce intoxicating effects. In Illinois, however, there is a law called the Kratom Control Act. While it does not address kratom use by adults, it does make it illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to purchase or possess kratom. It also makes it a crime to use a false identification card to obtain kratom. Committing either of these offenses is a Class B misdemeanor. It is also a Class B misdemeanor to sell or give kratom to a minor.
Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley
When you are charged with a drug-related offense, or any crime, you need an experienced and dedicated Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney on your side. You should call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley. We will listen to your side of the story and fight to get you the best possible outcome. Reach out to us today at (847)394-3200.
February 12th, 2015 at 9:11 am
Most crimes are standalone crimes. However, there are some crimes that act as add-ons of a sort or as ways for the prosecution to try to punish someone not just for committing a crime, but also for the way in which he or she committed the crime. These additional offenses can increase the severity of the possible punishment for a crime, which makes it extremely important that you have the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney. One example of this sort of additional offense is a crime many have never heard of: unlawful transfer of a telecommunications device.
What is Unlawful Transfer of a Telecommunications Device?
From the name of this crime, it sounds like it might have something to do with defrauding a cell phone company or giving a kid a cell phone without his or her parents’ permission. While either of those activities can land you in hot water, they are not quite what this law is about. Under Illinois statute you are guilty of this crime if you transfer a telecommunications device (like a cell phone) to someone under the age of 18 with the intent that the device be used to commit a crime under the Illinois criminal code, the Cannabis Control Act, the Illinois Controlled Substances Act, or the Methamphetamine Control and Community Protection Act. This crime is a Class A misdemeanor, which means you could be sentenced to a term in jail not to exceed one year. Property forfeiture is also a possibility. Thus, if one were to participate in a criminal enterprise of some sort with a minor and that person were to give the minor a cell phone or similar device in order to facilitate that criminal offense, the person could be charged both with that underlying crime and with this additional crime.
What Counts as a Telecommunications Device?
The most obvious type of covered device is a cell phone. But many other devices are also covered. Any device that is portable or that can be installed in a mode of transportation and that is capable of transmitting speech, data, signals, or other information is included. This means that pagers or beepers are covered, along with radio transceivers, transmitters, and receivers. It is worth noting that a radio designed to receive only standard AM and FM radio broadcasts is specifically exempted from the law.
Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley
When you are charged with a crime you need the help of an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer. Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley. When you call us at (847)394-3200 we will set up an appointment to go over the facts of your case and figure out how we can help.
January 8th, 2015 at 8:32 am
The television news show 60 Minutes called Chicago the false confession capital of the United States just a couple of years ago. This is because there are twice as many documented cases of false confessions in the Chicago area as there are in there are in any other city in the country. A false confession is what happens when an innocent person commits a crime he or she did not commit. It may seem like no one would ever do this, but unfortunately it happens regularly, even in serious felony cases. While adults sometimes confess falsely, false confessions are even more common amongst juveniles.
Study Shows False Confessions More Common Amongst Juveniles
The Innocence Project is the organization that is responsible for using DNA evidence to prove that hundreds of prisoners in the United States were actually innocent. Last year they reported on a new study that shows false confessions are more likely among juveniles. The study was conducted by Florida International University, and was funded by the National institute of Mental Health. A psychologist, Lindsay C. Malloy, examined the interrogations, confessions, and guilty pleas of 193 teenage boys between the ages of 14 and 17 who were convicted of serious crimes. The results of the study showed that these teens were much more likely to falsely confess than their older counterparts.
Of those wrongfully convicted and then later proven innocent by DNA evidence, roughly 30 percent of the innocent defendants confessed to some degree or even pled guilty. Part of the reason that juveniles are so likely to fall into this trap is that they can be easier for interrogators to manipulate and they sometimes do not fully understand their situation. While even adults often times do not understand that they should not talk to police about a crime they are suspected of committing without having an attorney present, young people have an even worse understanding of this concept. They often believe if they say they are guilty (even if they are not) that investigators will let them go home.
A Video Taped Coerced Juvenile Confession
CBS San Francisco reported last year on a video taped coerced confession by a teenager. The interrogation started with the 15-year-old boy insisting to police that he “wasn’t there” as they questioned him about a gang shooting. The cops responded to him by saying, “That’s not really going to work, and its not going to be to your benefit to lie about what happened out there…” The cops told him that he was going to jail and that he needed to help himself by telling the truth. They even said that two witnesses had picked him out of a photo lineup. It is unclear from the CBS report whether witnesses actually had picked the juvenile out, but even if they had not, police are legally allowed to lie about such things.
The boy kept insisting he was innocent for an hour, until the cops left him in the interrogation room. He cried. The cops came back and kept pushing him, telling him that he was making a mistake by sticking to his story of innocence. After four hours, he cracked and told the cops he was involved in the crime, but that he was drunk so he didn’t remember the details. The state then convicted him of being an accomplice in the shooting. Now numerous experts who have reviewed the tape of the confession agree that it was coerced. And after 10 years in prison the prosecution’s star witness against the teen admitted his story that the boy was involved in the shooting was a lie. The hope is that these developments will lead to the release of the teenager, who is now in his mid-20s.
Criminal Defense Attorney
If your child is accused of a crime, you will need the help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer. This is especially true if the young person in your life has made incriminating statements to police. Contact the experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley and schedule a consultation. Whether its a traffic matter or a serious felony, we can help.
October 24th, 2014 at 3:12 pm
Juvenile cases, like all other criminal cases, vary in severity depending on the charges and the circumstances surrounding the offense. Most of the time, juvenile cases differ from adult criminal cases mainly in the focus on rehabilitation over punishment in sentencing. There is an intense aim to intervene with juvenile offenders at a young age in order to give the minor his or her best chance at avoiding a life of crime.
Counties with High Arrest Rates
According to a recent report, some local Illinois counties are addressing the problem of juvenile arrests much more often than others. The Illinois Criminal justice Information Authority looked at data gathered from 2012 regarding juvenile arrests in the state of Illinois. In that year, approximately 30,000 minors between ages 10 and 16 were arrested in the state.
Despite the fact that the data also revealed an overall decrease in juvenile arrests across the state since 2005, there were 18 Illinois counties named that were considered to have high arrest rates in 2012. Cook County was among them and had the highest juvenile arrest rate across the state. Interestingly, another 11 counties in the state did not report a single juvenile arrest in that same year.
The same data from 2012 also showed that males in the age range of 10 to 16 were four times as likely to be arrested in the state of Illinois as female minors in the same age group. Females were found to be more likely to commit crimes against persons, while their male counterparts were more likely to commit crimes involving property. Sex crimes were the least common type of cases for both genders.
The report also was able to identify whether or not a juvenile is likely to become a delinquent offender based on several risk factors. They include individual, environmental, and social considerations. It found that minors who exhibit certain types of behavior such as aggression, hyperactivity, impulsiveness, anxiety, and substance abuse are more likely to commit a criminal offense and end up in the juvenile justice system in Illinois. In addition, the offenders that end up in the juvenile system are also more likely to have poor relationships with their parents, not many friends on the social level, and perform poorly in school. Environmental factors that can contribute to a child’s likelihood of becoming a juvenile offender include availability of drugs, being exposed to high levels of adult criminality and violence, and the existence of racial prejudice in their community.
Juvenile Crimes Attorney
Being charged with a crime as a juvenile is a very serious matter. Having an experienced, professional attorney can make all the difference to the minor involved in the case. The dedicated Rolling Meadows defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley have successful experience representing clients in juvenile matters in Cook and DuPage County. Contact us today to schedule a consultation to discuss your case.