Archive for the ‘Rolling Meadows criminal attorney’ tag
April 17th, 2017 at 9:16 am
When many people think about drug charges, they incorrectly assume that a conviction is not a serious matter. For instance, most minor marijuana-related offenses are only punishable by a civil fine, and most low-level drug offenses are misdemeanors. With the stakes so low, people are often not worried if they get caught by the police. However, it is possible for you to go away to jail for life over a drug offense, which is not something that should be taken lightly.
Circumstances Where You Could Face Life in Prison for a Drug Conviction
There are several circumstances when it comes to drug-related crimes that could land you in jail for the rest of your life if you are convicted. Not only could you be facing state drug laws, but you could also be facing federal drug laws, which are often more strict and carry tougher penalties.
Being Caught in Possession of Large Amounts of Cocaine
If you are caught with more than 100 grams of cocaine in your possession, even if you are a first time drug offender, then you could be sentenced to the rest of your life in jail (you could be sentenced from anywhere between 30 to 50 years in jail, which reasonably could be the rest of your lifetime). What seems patently unfair about being sent to jail for the rest of your life over a drug possession charge is that typically no one gets hurt during the commission of a drug possession crime.
Conversely, if you are caught by Illinois law enforcement with a large quantity of a cocaine mixture in your possession, and someone has died or suffered serious bodily injury as a result of your drug activities, you could face up to life in prison.
Caught Trafficking a Large Quantity of a Drug
Under federal drug laws, you can be sentenced to life behind bars if you are caught trafficking a large quantity of any of the following:
- Cocaine mixture (500 or more grams);
- Cocaine base (28 or more grams);
- Fentanyl (40 or more grams);
- Fentanyl analogue (10 grams or more);
- Heroin (100 grams or more);
- LSD (1 gram or more);
- Methamphetamine (5 grams or more of pure methamphetamine, or 50 or more grams of a methamphetamine mixture); and
- PCP (10 grams or more of pure PCP, or 100 or more grams of a PCP mixture).
Discharged Firearm Causes Death or Injury During a Drug Crime
If you are responsible for using and discharging a firearm during the commission of a drug-related offense, and someone is injured or killed as a result, you can be punished for your crimes by being given a sentence of life behind bars.
Drug Charges Are Serious. Call Us
If you are arrested for drug offenses, depending on what you allegedly did, you may face charges under state and federal law. You will need help fighting the drug charges that are levied against you. Make sure to contact a skilled Rolling Meadows criminal attorney for assistance.
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.
November 12th, 2015 at 2:34 pm
Illinois Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program, codified as 410 ILCS 130 et seq., is a temporary test program that will run until the end of 2017, which allows Illinois residents with qualifying medical conditions and diseases to have access to medical marijuana as part of their treatment or pain management regimen. Patients who are eligible under the Act must have a debilitating medical condition as defined in the Act, which includes 39 different conditions, including:
- Hepatitis C;
- Spinal cord disease or a spinal cord injury;
- Parkinson’s disease;
- Muscular dystrophy;
- Traumatic brain injuries or post-concussion syndrome;
- Rheumatoid arthritis;
- Fibrous dysplasia;
- Wasting syndrome;
- Seizures; or
- A handful of other rare and painful conditions.
Eight New Conditions for Inclusion in the Medical Cannabis Pilot Program
At the beginning of October, the Medical Cannabis Advisory Board provided a recommendation that an additional eight health conditions be added to the list of health conditions that are eligible for access to medical marijuana, including:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder;
- Chronic pain syndrome;
- Pain due to trauma;
- Chronic postoperative pain;
- Intractable pain; and
- Irritable bowel syndrome.
These eight health conditions are not yet officially included as part of the Illinois Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program. The Illinois Department of Public Health must first approve these eight conditions, and then develop administrative rules concerning medical marijuana use for these conditions, before they can officially be included as eligible.
The Basics of the Compassionate Use Act
Under the Act, a qualified and registered patient may use and possess a quantity of marijuana within the confines of the Act. Similarly, the qualified and registered patient’s registered and designated caregiver may also possess a quantity of medical marijuana on behalf of the patient.
However, there are restrictions on the use and possession of medical marijuana under the Act. For instance, it is still illegal to have or use medical marijuana in a school bus, on the grounds of a school, or at any home that also serves as a child care facility. Medical marijuana can only be transported in a vehicle so long as it is in closed and sealed packaging and can never be used while operating a motor vehicle. Medical marijuana cannot be used in a public place, or in the presence of anyone under the age of 18 years old.
So even if you are someone who is eligible to participate in the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program, and even if you have registered for the program and have obtained the appropriate identification card, the Compassionate Use Act is not a free pass to do whatever you like when it comes to your medical marijuana. The laws regulating the use of medical marijuana are strict, and if you violate them, you will be prosecuted.
Medical marijuana is still relatively new in Illinois, and people who are authorized under the Compassionate Use Act may inadvertently end up in trouble with the law: either for improper possession, transportation or use of the drug. If this happens to you, you will need the assistance of a skilled criminal defense lawyer.
Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley
If you are permitted to possess and use marijuana for medical purposes, but have been charge with a drug offense, please contact an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney immediately. Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at (847) 394-3200 for immediate assistance.
November 10th, 2015 at 2:20 pm
If your driving privileges have been suspended or revoked, it can make commuting a challenging process. You have to rely on public transportation, your friends and family members, or walking or biking to get around. Life may become particularly difficult if you need a car to get to work or school. One solution to the problem, albeit ill-advised, is to risk getting caught and drive without a valid driver’s license. And many people choose to do this, despite the consequences.
A driver’s license is required in order to operate a motor vehicle in Illinois, under 625 ILCS 5/6-101. You cannot drive in Illinois if you have never obtained a driver’s license, or if your license is expired or cancelled. Additionally, driving when your driver’s license is suspended or revoked is prohibited under 625 ILCS 5/6-303. As a general rule:
- A first offense for driving without a license, or while your licenses is revoked or suspended, is a Class A misdemeanor; and
- A second or subsequent offense for driving when your license is suspended or revoked is a Class 4 felony; however, offenses can be upgraded in certain circumstances.
Loss of Driving Privileges Compounded
When your driver’s license is suspended or revoked for a first offense, and you violate another law that warrants an additional period of license revocation or suspension, the duration of the suspensions or revocations will be tacked on to one another. To say this differently, if your first license suspension is for six months, and during that six months you commit some other offense that carries the punishment of loss of license for one year, the one-year loss of license will be added to the end of your six-month punishment, for a total of 18 months without driving privileges.
When you are caught driving without a driver’s license because your license has been suspended or revoked, the duration of your license suspension or revocation will be doubled by the Secretary of State, in accordance with 625 ILCS 5/6-303(b-1).
Caught Driving without a License, but Have One
If you are were caught driving without a license, but you do in fact hold a valid license (perhaps you forgot it at home or it fell out of your pocket, etc.), you may receive a citation or a warning from the law enforcement officer that pulled you over, but you will have the opportunity to provide proof of your valid license at a later point in time. It is sometimes possible to have the consequences for driving without your license reduced, or even dismissed, if you can provide proof that you held a valid driver’s license at the time of your citation. An attorney with experience handling traffic offenses can help you.
Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley
If you have been charged with driving without a license, you need to hire an experienced traffic offenses lawyer immediately. Please contact a Rolling Meadows traffic offense attorney immediately. Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at (847) 394-3200 to discuss your case with an experienced lawyer.
October 26th, 2015 at 6:46 pm
Drag racing, sometimes also referred to as street racing, involves at least two vehicles competing in a speed race against one another. Drag racing can be a straight shot, meaning that the racers maintain a straight path, or could be a race along a designated course that comprises public streets, roadways and highways. The object of drag racing is for one driver to arrive at a destination first, and within a short amount of time. However, sometimes the point of street racing is to prevent another vehicle from passing, or is to test the physical limitations and stamina of drivers over the course of a long driving route.
Street racing has been highly popularized over the last decade or so due to its appearance in a number of movies and high profile celebrity deaths. However, drag racing and any other form of racing is illegal on the roads and highways of Illinois under 625 ILCS 5/11-506, and the consequences of being caught participating in street racing activities are severe criminal charges with lasting effects.
Penalties for a Driver Who Was Racing
Punishment for a drag racing driver is based on whether the driver is a repeat offender, and whether anyone was hurt as a result of the racing.
- As a first offense, street racing is a Class A misdemeanor, carrying a minimum fine of $250;
- As a second or subsequent offense, street racing is upgraded to a Class 4 felony and carries a minimum fine of $500;
- If the drag racing results in a motor vehicle accident that causes great bodily harm, dismemberment, or disfigurement to someone, the driver will be charged with aggravated street racing under 625 ILCS 5/11-506(d)(3). Aggravated street racing is a Class 4 felony and is punishable by a jail sentence lasting from a minimum of one year to up to 12 years; and
- In all instances of street racing, the driver will have his or her driver’s license revoked. License revocations are for an indefinite amount of time, and the only way to get driving privileges back is to appear before the Secretary of State for an administrative hearing and request reinstatement, which takes time, money and often the help of a driver’s license reinstatement lawyer.
You Do Not Even Have to Be a Driver
Not only is it illegal for a driver to engage in street racing, but it is also illegal to be a vehicle owner and knowingly allow another to use your vehicle for street racing purposes under 625 ILCS 5/11-506(b). A conviction for knowingly permitting another to use your vehicle for racing can land you a Class B misdemeanor for a first time offense, and a Class A misdemeanor for a second or subsequent offense.
Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley
Maybe you were charged with speed racing when in reality you were just speeding, or maybe someone used your car for racing and you had no knowledge that the racing was going to occur. Either way, it is important to fight the charges against you. Contact a skilled Rolling Meadows traffic offenses lawyer immediately at the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley. Our phone number is (847) 394-3200.
October 19th, 2015 at 7:13 am
A person’s criminal record is available to and viewable by the public and many people who have a criminal record in their history find that the existence of that criminal record causes a lot of problems. A criminal record might prevent someone from getting a job opportunity, or a scholarship. It can even cause a person problems if they are trying to get into professional school. For those individuals with a criminal record, there is the possibility that your criminal record can be expunged.
What Is Expungement?
Expungement is a legal process for which eligible candidates can petition the court of their sentencing county, and, if successful, an expungement effectively erases past crimes, court supervisions, and certain probations from the individual’s criminal record. This means that your criminal record is cleared of any evidence of those particular convictions, supervisions, or probations. To think of this another way, expunged records are destroyed.
You can go through the expungement petitions process with or without an attorney, but many people find determining their eligibility to be difficult and the petition process to be taxing and complex. An experienced expungement attorney can help you quickly and effectively navigate the expungement process.
Under Section 5.2 of the Criminal Identification Act, 20 ILCS 2630/5.2, certain qualifying arrests, supervisions, and probations made in Illinois may be expunged. The only individuals who are eligible for expungement are those who have never been convicted of a felony criminal offense, a misdemeanor criminal offense, or a violation of a municipal ordinance – with an exception for some honorably discharged veterans who have been convicted of certain Class 3 and Class 4 felonies.
There may be a time limit that must pass before you can seek to have your record expunged. Typically, the wait is five years, but some court supervisions can be expunged from your record after just two years. Some juvenile records may also be eligible for expungement as well, but they are handled differently than adult criminal records.
All or Nothing
If you have multiple convictions in your criminal record, or only some of your past offenses are eligible for expungement, but not others, you may find yourself in a tough spot. Expungement is an “all or nothing” game – either your whole record is expunged in one shot, or none of it gets expunged at all.
If you have your criminal record expunged, as a general rule you are under no obligation to ever tell anyone about the expunged convictions, supervisions, or probations. However, there is a limited exception when it comes to apply to certain types of jobs, which requires the disclosure of any and all criminal history – including expunged records.
Upon a successful conclusion to your expungement proceedings, the court will destroy the records relating to your expunged record, and will remove your information from any and all indexes and public records. You will be provided the only copy of your record, which you should hold onto in a safe place.
Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley
If you believe that your criminal record is eligible for expungement, please do not hesitate to contact a dedicated Rolling Meadows defense attorney immediately. Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at (847) 394-3200 to discuss your case.
July 22nd, 2015 at 5:38 am
Adolescence is a time of rebellion. Whether a child’s family circumstances are wonderful or horrifying, a normal part of being a teenager is testing boundaries and beginning to assert authority over one’s own life. One way many teenagers, and sometimes younger children, try to assert some control is through body modification, including piercing and tattoos. However, there are strict regulations regarding providing these services to minors. If you provide either of these services to a minor in violation of these regulations, you can find yourself charged with a criminal offense.
Tattooing the Body of a Minor
One such offense is tattooing the body of a minor. A person is usually guilty of this offense if he or she tattoos a person under the age of 18. There is an exception to this law for doctors since they have to tattoo patients undergoing certain treatments for conditions like cancer. This law is so strict that people under 18 are not even allowed to be in tattoo parlors unless they are accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Tattooing for purposes of this law is defined simply as inserting pigment under the skin of a human being by pricking with a needle to create a visible mark. Interestingly a person who tattoos a minor cannot be prosecuted under this law if he or she him or herself is a minor, so long as the tattooing is not done at a tattoo parlor. There are also certain exceptions for registered tattoo parlors to help remove gang tattoos and tattoos given to victims of human trafficking. Otherwise, tattooing a minor is considered a Class A misdemeanor so it can result in not only a fine, but jail time as well.
Piercing the Body of a Minor
Piercing the body of a minor can also be a criminal offense. The laws are not quite as strict a those regarding tattooing, however. Minors can receive body piercings with the written consent of a parent or legal guardian. However, if the piercing is a piercing of some part of the oral cavity, there exist grim warnings that must be included in the consent form, which detail the negative potential outcomes of oral piercing including infection, nerve damage, and “life threatening blood clots.” This statute has a section providing exceptions for medical professionals and also specifically excludes ear piercing. Minors who perform piercings are not prosecuted under this statute unless they perform the piercing at a business where piercings are performed. Violation of this law is a Class A misdemeanor.
Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley
If you have been charged with a crime or are being investigated you will need the help of an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney like Christopher M. Cosley. Call us today at (847)394-3200. You should never speak to law enforcement without having an attorney present. It does not matter whether you are guilty or not; the only way to make sure you are protected is to have an advocate on your side.
June 26th, 2014 at 6:38 am
Drug abuse and addiction is a problem affecting virtually every geographical location across the country to some extent. In an effort to combat drug use, the government has declared a “war on drugs” in the past, seeking to charge individuals with drug crimes that carry harsh penalties as a way to remedy the problem. While intentions may have been noble, a recent article discusses drug testing as one of the byproducts of the war on drugs and its unintended consequences.
Employer Drug Testing
One of the scenarios most common for drug testing is in the workplace. Whether it is in applying for a job, or before officially starting a new job, many candidates are forced to submit to drug testing in order to be considered for a position. The problem, some employers are pointing out, is that the requirement of passing a drug test may be automatically screening out the best candidates for a given position. On the other hand, the testing requirement may have benefitted others, particularly minorities, by allowing them to prove they were not using drugs to potential employers. While drug testing is only necessary for government employees, other well-known employers are following suit across the nation.
Acceptable Requirement or Violation of Rights?
While there are some obvious benefits to the practice, opponents of employer drug testing argue that the requirement is an infringement on Fourth Amendment rights. They say that blanket testing equates to a search of the individual submitting to the test without probable cause. Further problems with the testing requirement include a low efficacy rate, the failure to detect certain types of new synthetic drugs, and the lack of proof that it actually curbs drug use. It is important to note that despite repeated Fourth Amendment challenges in past decades, the Supreme Court has ruled that drug testing is not a violation of constitutional rights. Congress followed with legislation in line with the Court’s opinion which provided the basis for widespread use of drug testing in employment.
As a result of the legal precedent, companies took advantage of drug testing. It is estimated that today, approximately 57 percent of U.S. employers rely on drug testing as part of their employment practices. Some point out that the cost of $50.00 per screen is a hefty one to pay for virtually no benefit to justify it.
The Fight Continues
The American Civil Liberties Union continues to fight against the practice of drug testing in the workplace, as it has done for the last three decades. The ACLU argues that testing infringes on privacy rights and disproportionately affects the underprivileged. They say it is a procedure that does nothing to address the problem it seeks to solve, and actually may cause more harm than good for the individuals who are forced to submit to the testing in order to maintain employment.
Criminal Defense Attorney
It will be interesting to see if the use of drug testing by employers will dramatically change in the future. For now, the problem of drug use is an ongoing one. If you or someone you know has been charged with a drug crime, contact the experienced defense attorneys at The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley today to schedule a consultation. We serve clients in Chicago and the surrounding area.
June 10th, 2014 at 7:00 am
There is no shortage of statistics on the incidence of domestic violence across the United States, though the accuracy of the numbers is questioned due to incidents of domestic violence often being unreported.
According to the Illinois State Police, it is currently estimated that a woman is beaten every 15 seconds across the country. Domestic abuse can happen among all classes and races, and does not discriminate between income level or education. Domestic violence often occurs in a pattern of threats, insults, jealous rages, and temper-fueled outbursts that are aimed at isolating and overpowering the victim.
At law, domestic violence is defined as any act of abuse committed by a family or household member. The term “family member” includes spouses and former spouses, parents, children, stepchildren, persons who formerly shared a home, persons formerly involved in a romantic relationship, parents of a child in common, and disabled persons and their assistants. Of course, there is a broad range of actions that can fall under the law, including everything from physical assaults to causing psychological harm through harassment or threatening behavior.
The Domestic Violence Cycle
Domestic violence is a repeating cycle that occurs when one person tries to control another. It often involves repeating stages of the victim trying to please the abuser, the victim blaming themselves, and the victim believing the abuser’s apologies and forgiving them. It is a fact that once a violent act occurs in the context of a relationship, it is very likely that it will happen again and even get more severe.
Enforcing Illinois Law
According to the Illinois Domestic Violence Act of 1986 and later Illinois Supreme Court rulings, domestic violence laws are enforced now more than ever. It is mandated that law enforcement acts to protect the victims of domestic abuse. This means that police officers must take steps to protect a victim of domestic abuse whenever a family or household member has committed such an act against them. The action taken by police officers includes:
Making an arrest when they have enough information to prove a crime has been committed;
Accompanying the victim to retrieve personal belongings from a shared home and transporting the victim to a safe place;
Informing the victim of the procedures and relief available to them, including their right to file criminal charges against the abuser; and
Completing a police report and providing their contact information to victims.
Criminal Defense Attorney
Domestic violence is a serious crime that deserves serious attention. If you or someone you know has been charged with a crime involving domestic violence in the Chicago area, the experienced criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley can provide you with the expert guidance you need. Contact us today to schedule a consultation in our Rolling Meadows office.
June 5th, 2014 at 7:00 am
Drug use and addiction is a problem that runs rampant in the state of Illinois and across the country. The use of methamphetamine (meth) is a particular concern for residents of Illinois. In recent years, Illinois reported rising meth use along with an increased number of meth labs seized by police. Now more than ever, the importance of an effective meth treatment program for drug users is clear.
There is hope for drug, and specifically meth, users in the state of Illinois. According to a recent news article, a nationally recognized meth treatment program based in Benton, Illinois, has secured continued funding. The funding includes a $1.2 million grant for the treatment program, which is geared towards serving the needs of juveniles who range in age from 10 to 18 years old.
Those participants are court ordered into the program, having been charged with juvenile offenses and, likely, often drug charges. Many of these juveniles have already attempted traditional treatment programs but still continue to use. This one-of-a-kind meth treatment program is seen as their last chance for success in recovery. Participants in this particular program have a higher success rate than the national average, with their recidivism rate at 40 percent as compared to 90 percent nationwide.
The program is part of a pilot project based in Franklin County. The secured funding is seen as a particular success given the state of the economy in Illinois. However, many are seeing it as money well spent. The results of successful treatment and the fact that many juveniles are getting a second chance at life are factors that make continuing the program worth it. This coupled with the creation of 35 jobs through the program will act as motivation to continue securing funding for the facility in the future.
Good News for Law Enforcement
Law enforcement is considering the continued funding for the program good news, since meth use is on the rise. Around the year 2000, police reportedly saw a sharp decline in use and meth related activity when many cookers were arrested and sent to prison and an ingredient used to manufacture meth was made more difficult to obtain by law. Now, a new method of cooking is producing more activity and increasing the incidence of meth use.
Criminal Defense Attorney
Whether you have been charged with a crime as a juvenile or with a drug offense, it is important to consult with an experienced defense attorney who can protect your rights and get you a desirable result. This often involves exploring treatment options for those who are struggling with addiction. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley have experience doing just that. Contact us today to schedule a consultation to discuss your matter. We serve clients in Rolling Meadows, Cook County, and the surrounding area.