Archive for the ‘Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney’ tag
March 13th, 2017 at 9:40 am
Every so often, a criminal defendant will be charged with the wrong crime after being arrested. For instance, the police may arrest an individual for having what they believe to be cocaine in his or her possession. However, after a sample of the drug is sent to a drug lab for testing, the substance might be identified as something else.
Cocaine, heroin, powdered methamphetamine, powdered ecstasy and ketamine all can have the same appearance as a white powder and it is possible for police to make a mistake and charge someone with a crime that is different than the crime that was committed.
Do Not Incriminate Yourself
It is very unlikely for a criminal defendant to speak up and correct law enforcement about the inaccuracy of the charges. Doing so would be incriminating to oneself. Therefore, since you are not talking, the police will charge you with the crime that they think you committed, and the state prosecutor will be given the charges once your criminal drug case makes it to court.
Prosecutors Can Amend Your Drug Charges
Just because law enforcement charged you with the incorrect crime does not mean that you will not be prosecuted.You might think that the state will never be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the drug crime that you are accused of because the drug was something other than what law enforcement believed it to be. However, this is incorrect.
Once law enforcement and state prosecutors are clear on what drug you had in your possession—there is scientific analysis of the drug compound and the drug has been chemically identified—the prosecution will be able to update the charges that are being levied against you.
Illinois takes drug offenses and all other crimes very seriously. Therefore it is possible for state prosecutors to amend the charges that are pending against you when evidence comes to light that the crime that has been charged is inappropriate for the circumstances.
Does it Make a Difference?
The consequences for possession of many types of controlled substances are often very similar. Hence, you might be wondering: does being charged with the correct crime matter? There are some variations in the law concerning the punishment associated with possession of certain quantities of drugs.
Penalties for drug possession are usually based on the amount of drug that is found by law enforcement and the drug type. As such, it could be possible that you are charged with a drug offense that carries a more serious penalty than if you were charged with the correct crime.
Drug Charges Require the Help of a Criminal Defense Attorney
Being charged with possession of a controlled substance is a big deal and it is important that you hire an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney to help you with your defense strategy. The consequences for a drug conviction can be hefty and can mean years of jail time. Your freedom is in jeopardy, so do not delay in getting a lawyer.
February 22nd, 2017 at 7:00 am
Every so often traffic laws are changed, and new laws are enacted by the state legislature to better address problems that are being experienced on the roads across Illinois. The year, 2017, is no exception.
A handful of traffic laws have been changed and Illinois drivers need to be aware of these alterations. A violation of these new laws can lead to a traffic citation, even if you did not know that you were breaking the law. Ignorance of the law is no excuse or defense to making a violation of the law. The laws have been changed to help improve driver safety in Illinois.
Scott’s Law Has Been Expanded
Illinois retains a law known as Scott’s law, which requires drivers to move over to the opposite side of the road when they are passing emergency vehicles and law enforcement vehicles that are on the side of the road. The purpose of law is to give law enforcement and emergency personnel the space that they need to safely render aid or do their job while on the side of the road.
In 2017, Scott’s law has been expanded. Now, in addition to moving over for emergency vehicles and law enforcement on the side of the road, Illinois drivers are also required to slow down and move over to the opposite side of the road when there is a vehicle parked on the side of the road with its hazard lights flashing.
Have You Been Caught a Second Time Driving Without Insurance? Now Your Car Will Be Towed
Driving without valid and up-to-date automobile insurance is a problem in Illinois. Another change to Illinois traffic laws in 2017 authorizes law enforcement to tow the vehicle of anyone who is stopped on the side of the road and is found to be driving without automobile insurance after already having a conviction on the books for driving without insurance. This new law only applies to drivers who are caught driving without insurance for the second time in a 12-month period after their earlier conviction.
While 2017 is not a significant year for changes in traffic law, the few changes that have been made will be strictly enforced by the police in Illinois. Therefore, it is important for drivers to be aware of these new changes. If you are issued a traffic citation for a violation of these laws or any other traffic law violation, you need to get in touch with an experienced traffic citation lawyer as soon as possible. Traffic citations need to be dealt with, and you can fight the charges that are being pressed against you by challenging them in traffic court.
Let Us Help You Today
When it comes to handling your traffic violation, you need a strong defense and a tenacious lawyer to fight the charges against you. Please do not hesitate to contact a passionate Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney for help with your case.
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 15th, 2017 at 9:01 am
All too many people find themselves ticketed for leaving the scene of an accident in Illinois, and these drivers fail to understand that leaving the scene of an accident is not just a traffic violation—it is a criminal offense. As such, it is important to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney if you have been ticketed for leaving the scene of an accident in Illinois. A skilled lawyer will be able to identify any potential defenses you have and will work hard to fight the charges that are pending against you.
There are several reasons why someone might leave the scene of an accident. For instance, you might panic because you do not know what to do. Or, you might leave because you think that there is nothing for you to do about the situation, such as when you accidentally hit a parked car and have no way to leave contact information and have no way to reach the driver of the vehicle you hit.
Sometimes drivers flee the scene of an accident because they are worried about facing other criminal charges in addition to the accident if police show up at the scene, such as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol or reckless driving charges.
What Are Your Obligations if You Are Involved in a Motor Vehicle Accident?
Under 625 ILCS 5/11-402, leaving the scene of an accident in Illinois is illegal. If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, you are supposed to stop immediately and remain at the scene until you can provide contact information (including providing your name address vehicle registration number and the name of the owner of the vehicle if it does not belong to you) to the affected parties, and/or until you render the appropriate aid for the given situation. In some situations, this could mean having to remain at the scene until law enforcement and/or emergency personnel arrive at the scene. You are also required to report the motor vehicle accident to the appropriate authorities under 625 ILCS 5/11-403 and you have 10 days to report the accident to the Illinois Secretary of State.
What Are the Consequences of Leaving the Scene of an Accident?
A conviction for leaving the scene of an accident is a misdemeanor, which can leave you with a criminal record, jail time, a fine, and a lengthy probation period. Additionally, a conviction for leaving the scene of an accident can result in long-term consequences as well. For instance, your driving privileges could be suspended or revoked and having a leaving the scene of an accident conviction on your record could prevent you from getting certain types of jobs in the future, especially if those jobs involve driving.
Consult With a Criminal Defense Lawyer Now
You should consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney if you have been charged with leaving the scene of an accident in Illinois. The potential consequences of a conviction are numerous, and you need to do everything that you can to help protect yourself and your rights. Working with a passionate Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney who has years of experience handling these types of cases would be to your benefit.
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.
January 11th, 2017 at 8:30 am
Drug trafficking, and cocaine trafficking in particular, is a serious felony offense in Illinois. The crime of drug trafficking involves knowingly selling, transporting, and importing controlled substances, such as cocaine, with the intent to manufacture or deliver the drugs.
There are two different sets of laws that govern criminal charges associated with cocaine trafficking. When the drug offense is committed within the state of Illinois, generally state law applies to the case. However, if a drug offense is committed across multiple jurisdictions, i.e., the drug offense involved activities occurring in two separate states, then the matter falls under the purview of federal law.
Transporting Cocaine Across State Lines Leads to Federal Drug Charges
One of the most common ways that drug charges go from being a strictly state matter to a federal matter, is when drugs are transported across state lines. Getting drugs like cocaine across state lines can involve:
- Transporting cocaine across state lines by automobile or bus;
- Transporting cocaine across state lines by using the rail system;
- Transporting cocaine across state lines by using a boat across Lake Michigan; or
- Transporting cocaine across state lines by use of a private plane, jet or commercial airline.
Whether your cocaine drug charges are at the state or federal level, if you are facing drug charges at all you need to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney serving Rolling Meadows and the surrounding areas. Your criminal defense lawyer will know the intricacies of the law regarding cocaine possession, distribution, and transportation, and your lawyer will help prepare the best defense possible in light of your particular circumstances. You deserve fair treatment under the law and a skilled criminal defense attorney will fight so that you can get the best possible outcome in light of your specific situation.
Charged With Two Crimes: Trafficking and Possession
Generally if you are facing cocaine trafficking charges, you were likely caught in the act by law enforcement or you were implicated in the crime from some other evidence, such as videotape footage, testimony from others involved in the crime, etc. Many times, defendants who are charged with cocaine trafficking are also charged with cocaine possession, since they are usually found by law enforcement to be in actual possession of the cocaine that was being trafficked.
It is common practice for law enforcement in Illinois to charge a defendant with as many crimes as possible at the time of arrest. If the offense even closely resembles a crime, the arresting officer will likely charge the defendant with it. This is referred to as “stacking” or “multiplying” the charges against the defendant and it is to the prosecution’s advantage. By effectively charging you with every possible crime that facts and circumstances surrounding your offense could possibly justify, the prosecution is given the best possible chance to have charges stick in court to turn into a conviction.
For Defense Against Cocaine Charges: Call The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley
If you have been arrested and charged with a cocaine offense, you need to work with a skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney who has years of experience handling drug cases like yours. We are prepared to help you today.
December 23rd, 2016 at 9:20 am
If you are arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol in Illinois, it is critically important that you fight the criminal charges that are pending against you. In order to do that, you will need an experienced DUI criminal defense attorney by your side fighting for you the whole way. These are important charges that you need to get reduced or dismissed—the consequences of being convicted for a DUI are life-altering and long-lasting. At worst, a lawyer can simply ensure that you receive fair treatment under the law. Consider the following when looking for a DUI defense attorney.
An Attorney Who is Qualified and Experienced
If you have been charged with a DUI, it is important to hire an attorney who is experienced in handling DUI defenses just like yours. An experienced DUI criminal defense attorney will know the specifics of the law, will understand the criminal court system, and will listen to you as you explain what happened that caused you to get arrested. The outcome of your defense will impact your life in a big way. Do not put your fate into the hands of an inexperienced attorney.
Consider Interviewing Prospective Lawyers
Do not be afraid to request an interview with a few criminal defense attorneys that you are considering hiring. Conducting an interview will give you a chance to meet the attorney in person and have an initial conversation together. Conducting an interview is a great opportunity to determine if the attorney will really listen to you, and can help you determine if he or she is a good communicator.
What is the Cost?
It is a good idea to figure out up front how a criminal defense attorney will be paid for his or her time and what that time will cost you. You will want a lawyer who is appropriately priced for your particular circumstances, and you should get a better understanding about how your lawyer will bill you before he or she begins working on your defense.
Get a Lawyer Who Will Explore All of Your Legal Options
Having options is good. It is best to work with a criminal defense attorney who will consider all of the legal options that are available to you. It is even better if your attorney can tell you about the pros and cons of each legal option you have, and the likelihood of success that each option offers you.
Call The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley
When you need to hire a passionate Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney to help you with your DUI defense, make sure that you take some time to figure out which attorney is right for you. Criminal defense attorneys are not all alike, and you may find that you can work better with a certain attorney, rather than others.
December 9th, 2016 at 10:55 am
Begin caught while committing a drug offense and/or being charged with a drug offense is tough in its own right. You will need to hire a criminal defense lawyer and go to court, and you can potentially face jail time, fines, probation, and a criminal record that will be with you for a long time. Additionally, the police can take your personal property if it is associated with the drug offense, such as your car, money, or other belongings.
Illinois Drug Asset Forfeiture Laws Are Far-Reaching
Illinois has certain aggressive and broad drug asset forfeiture laws. Under Illinois drug asset forfeiture laws, any property that is associated with criminal drug activity can be seized by the police. This causes many problems for people who own property that was taken into custody by police. These laws do not distinguish between the person who allegedly committed a crime and who actually owns the property. Moreover, the laws extend to other items that may have been purchased with money associated with a crime. Finally, the property is not automatically released if the charges against the alleged offender are dropped.
If you borrowed your mother’s car, went driving to your friend’s house, and for some reason were pulled over, the car was searched, drugs were found, and you were arrested, your mother’s car could be seized under the state’s drug asset forfeiture laws—even though it is not your car. Your mother will have to request that her car be returned to her, which can be a time-consuming hassle.
Additionally, the Fourth District Appeals Court just recently held that the police can also seize property that was purchased with money associated with drug crimes when there is a direct link between the property and the drug money. According to the Herald & Review, an Illinois woman lost out on a $50,000 winning lottery ticket because it was suspected by police to have been purchased with drug money. The woman herself was not directly involved with drugs, rather her boyfriend was, but the police took her winning lottery ticking nonetheless.
The point is that while being charged with a drug crime directly affects you and your loved ones, there can be other complications for those who are close to you as well, pending their property ends up muddled in with your alleged offense.
Let Us Help You Today
If you have been arrested and charged with a drug offense, you need to focus on fighting and beating the drug charges that have been lodged against you. The consequences for a drug conviction are very serious and could have a long-term impact on your life. Whether you are facing charges for possession of a controlled substance or cannabis, distribution, or manufacturing drugs, you should speak with a skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney who has a lot of experience handling drug cases.
December 7th, 2016 at 8:57 am
During the holiday season there is a noticeable spike in the instances of retail theft. For whatever reason, people are more likely to shoplift in November and December than at any other time of the year. A higher rate of foot traffic in stores around the holidays makes it easier to commit retail theft. Moreover, there are a lot of pressures placed on people this time of the year, which can drive them to committing an act of shoplifting.
According to MarketWatch, the most commonly stolen items around the holidays in the United States include:
- Electronics and electronics accessories, such as cell phone cases, headphones, etc.;
- Winter or leather clothing;
- Meat, seafood, alcohol and chocolates;
- Children’s toys; and
- Perfume or cologne.
Ultimately, many of these items, such as electronics and electronic accessories, leather clothing, and some children’s toys, can be greatly valued. It is not uncommon for electronics to cost hundreds of dollars, which might be part of the reason why someone would steal these items from a store in the first place.
What is Felony Retail Theft in Illinois?
In regards to retail theft in Illinois, the severity of the crime depends on the value of the item, or collection of items, that is stolen. According to 720 ILCS 5/16-25, stealing an item from a store that is valued at more than $300 puts you at risk of being charged and convicted of felony retail theft. Simply stealing a cell phone, a handheld video gaming device, or an Apple product, would be valued high enough to charge you with a felony level offense.
Shoplifting can result in serious consequences. You will face jail time, be charged with a fine, and will have a criminal record that will follow you around for many years—a record in which future employers and landlords will likely find in a background check. Moreover, the consequences of getting caught shoplifting will also affect your family and loved ones, since they will need to help you through your arrest, trial, and possibly your jail sentence. The consequences extend even further than that as well. In order to make up for losses resulting from retail theft, retailers often markup the cost of items that they sell, which means that all customers have to pay higher prices.
Contact Us for Help with Your Case
Getting caught shoplifting can ruin your holidays. Not only will you be arrested and charged with a crime, but your family will also have to deal with the consequences of your actions, which can really dampen the holiday spirit. If you are facing shoplifting charges this holiday season, then you need to get in touch with an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
November 25th, 2016 at 3:19 pm
Getting arrested for a drug offense, such as possession or intent to distribute, is a bad situation on its own. If you are convicted for such an offense, you can face jail time and fees. However, getting caught with drugs can also mean that you will lose personal property, such as your car or other assets, if such assets are affiliated with the drug offense. Drug asset forfeiture is a common practice in Illinois, yet many people are unaware of it until it happens to them or someone they know.
If you are charged with a drug crime, you might be subjected to Illinois’ drug asset forfeiture laws. Under these laws, property that is associated with drug activity or a crime can be seized by law enforcement. The point of the seizure is to limit the amount of resources that are available for criminal activity. If your personal property is taken by law enforcement under state asset forfeiture laws, it may take a long time to get your seized assets back, and recovery of your seized property can be at a great cost to you.
What Types of Assets Can Be Seized?
Under the Illinois drug asset forfeiture laws, police do not have to arrest anyone or have a warrant to make a seizure of property involved in criminal drug activity. Instead, law enforcement can simply seize any personal property that is involved in a drug crime. Examples of assets that are commonly seized under civil asset forfeiture include motor vehicles, cash, real estate, home, electronics, equipment, and more.
Recovering Seized Property
Even if your underlying drug charges are dropped or defeated, or if you are only given probation or court supervision, your seized property will not automatically be returned to you. Rather, you will have to enter a claim to obtain your seized property.
Recovering your seized property can be a difficult process. The owner of the property has the burden of proving that the personal property was not involved in the criminal activity and should not have been seized. Property owners must demonstrate that the property was obtained in a legitimate way, was not used for criminal activity, and that the property owner will suffer financial hardship without their seized property.
Call an Experienced Drug Offenses Lawyer
There is no doubt that drug offenses carry serious consequences, and if you have been charged with a drug crime, it is important to get in touch with an experienced criminal defense lawyer quickly. A skilled attorney can begin crafting a defense to your original drug crimes, as well as help you devise a way to recover your seized property. Please feel free to contact a Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney for assistance. We are prepared to help you immediately.