Facebook Twitter Google Our Blog
The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley
24 HOUR ANSWERING | 847-394-3200

1855 Rohlwing Road, Suite D, Rolling Meadows, IL 60008


Archive for the ‘Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorneys’ tag

What is an Aggravated DUI?

March 12th, 2018 at 3:39 pm

aggravated DUI, DUI charge, felony DUI, Illinois automobile insurance, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorneysIn Illinois, the more a person is charged with driving under the influence (DUI), the harsher the penalties get. The different types of DUI charges that are possible in Illinois are outlined in 625 ILCS 5/11-501.

A DUI can be classified as both a felony and misdemeanor. An aggravated DUI is a felony DUI. You can be charged with a felony DUI, even if it is your first DUI arrest or charge.

Proving an aggravated DUI is the same as proving a misdemeanor. The prosecutor must show that the defendant broke a law in some way, most often driving with a blood alcohol content of more than 0.08 percent.

In addition to proving a violation of law, there are 11 circumstances that can elevate a misdemeanor DUI to an aggravated DUI. The following are the circumstances that make a DUI a felony:

  • The charge is the 3rd or subsequent DUI charge. A DUI arrest will always be a felony if you have two or more prior DUI convictions;
  • Driving a school bus with children under the age of 18 on board;
  • Driving under the influence that results in a car accident with a victim who suffers permanent disability to great bodily harm. This injury must be caused because you were driving under the influence;
  • Having a reckless homicide conviction on your record because of intoxication or impairment;
  • Having an accident in a school zone where another person suffered bodily harm;
  • The DUI being the proximate cause of death of another;
  • Being arrested for a DUI while having a suspended or revoked license. The suspended or revoked license must be the result of a prior DUI, statutory suspension, or reckless homicide.
  • Not having a valid license at the time of the DUI offense;
  • Driving a car that you know is not insured;
  • Being the proximate cause of bodily harm to a child; and
  • Committing a DUI with a passenger that is under the age of 16 and you already have another DUI.

How Serious is an Aggravated DUI?

Any kind of DUI conviction can be detrimental to you and your family, but an aggravated DUI can create many more problems. A misdemeanor DUI has a maximum sentence of less than one year. A felony offense can carry a much higher jail or prison sentence. A felony DUI carries a prison sentence of one year or more. In addition, there is a maximum fine of $25,000.

Reach Out to an Attorney for Help

If you are facing criminal charges, you should contact an attorney immediately. Choose an attorney with the experience and skill to represent you. The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley can defend you zealously in an aggravated DUI case. Our Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney can provide an effective defense. Contact us today for a free consultation.


FAQs About the Juvenile Justice System

September 4th, 2017 at 10:01 am

juvenile charges, juvenile crimes, juvenile justice system, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorneys, Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyerRoughly 100 years ago a juvenile justice system was established in the United States in order to divert young offenders away from the standard criminal justice system and into an alternative system focused on rehabilitation. Today the juvenile justice system still places great importance on rehabilitation. Yet nowadays the system also focuses on punishment, accountability, and promoting public safety as well.

It is also important to note that today each state has it has own juvenile justice system and that each of these 51 systems embraces slightly different objective and operates slightly differently. Therefore, any case specific questions relating to the juvenile justice system in Illinois should be directed to a local juvenile charges defense lawyer. Still, some frequently asked questions about the juvenile justice system at large have been answered below.

Q: How does the juvenile justice system differ from adult courts?

A: The Illinois juvenile justice system differs from adult courts in a number of different ways but some notable difference include the following:

  • In the juvenile system, offenders are not prosecuted for committing “crimes” but are charged with “delinquent acts” instead;
  • Juveniles do not have a public trial but instead have a private adjudication hearing;
  • When a judge in the juvenile system is determining what steps should be taken after a minor is deemed to be delinquent the minor’s best interests are taken into account;
  • Juvenile adjudication hearings are much more informal than trials conducted in the adult system; and
  • The juvenile system embraces alternative sentences (such as parole, probation, diversionary programs, etc.) in cases where the adult system likely would not.

Q: Who can be tried as a juvenile in Illinois?

A: Generally speaking, a juvenile who commits a crime in Illinois before his or her 18th birthday will be tried in the juvenile system. However, under Illinois’ Juvenile Court Act minors who are 15, 16, or 17 years old may be tried as an adult if they are charged with certain serious crimes such as first degree murder, aggravated vehicular hijacking, aggravated sexual assault, etc.

Q: Are juvenile delinquency hearings confidential?

A: Here in Illinois, juvenile delinquency hearings are presumptively closed.

Q: Can juvenile records be expunged in Illinois?

A: Juvenile records in Illinois are sealed when the offender becomes an adult. This means that certain entities (such as most potential employers) will not have access to the record, however, other entities (such as law enforcement organizations and the military) will be able to view it. However, the Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission notes that an Illinois juvenile record can be expunged if the offender is at least 17 years old (or 18 if the record contains a misdemeanor offense) and the youth:

  • Was arrested but not charged;
  • Was charged but not found to be delinquent;
  • Completed court supervision; or
  • Was found delinquent for a business offense, a petty offense, or a misdemeanor offense.

Additionally, some juvenile felony records can also be expunged, however some can not. Whether or not a felony juvenile record can be expunged is highly case specific, so be sure to direct questions about expunging a juvenile felony record to a local juvenile charges defense attorney.

Contact a Rolling Meadows Juvenile Charges Defense Attorney

If your child has had a run in with the law in Illinois you likely have a lot of questions. At The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley our experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorneys would be happy to answer your questions and advise you of your child’s legal options during an initial consultation at our office.


Understanding the Penalties of an Illinois Drug Possession Charge

August 10th, 2016 at 3:33 pm

Understanding the Penalties of an Illinois Drug Possession Charge, Being arrested on drug charges can have a lasting impact on your life. Besides the cost of the charge itself, your job or livelihood could be placed at risk, and you may even lose government funding if you are attending or planning on going to college. Understand how the state of Illinois processes these charges, and what you can best do to protect yourself from the adverse consequences.

Drug Scheduling in Illinois

In Illinois, the penalties of a drug charge depend on several factors, including the assigned “schedule” of the drug you allegedly had in your possession. Based on the drug’s potential for abuse and whether or not they are considered approved for medical use, this schedule is as follows:

  • Schedule I drugs: opiates and opium derivatives that have a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use (heroin, LSD, ecstasy, etc.);
  • Schedule II drugs: some accepted medical use, a high potential for abuse, and the propensity to cause severe psychological or physical dependence (Demerol, OxyContin, Percocet, etc.);
  • Schedule III drugs: a lower potential for abuse and a moderate to low risk of physical or psychological dependence (Vicodin, Tylenol with Codeine, Suboxone, etc.);
  • Schedule IV drugs: a low potential for abuse compared to other higher schedule drugs (Xanax, Klonopin, Valium, Ativan, etc.);
  • Schedule V drugs: a low potential for abuse compared to other higher schedule drugs and primarily preparations that contain limited quantities of higher level narcotics (Robitussin AC, Codeine, Phenergan, etc.).

Other Factors Considered in Your Drug Possession Case

While the scheduling of the alleged drug is a major factor in determining the potential consequences of a drug charge, there are many other factors considered as well. Examples include the number of previous convictions and/or possession charges, the amount of the drug you were allegedly carrying, and your proximity to a school at the time of an arrest.

Possible Penalties of Drug Possession

Schedule I drugs often result in felony charges, which could lead to incarceration of anywhere from four to 50 years, depending on the amount you were allegedly carrying. However, there are exceptions. In contrast, lower schedule drugs are often considered misdemeanors, which typically results in a shorter sentence. Still, there are factors that could aggravate a lower schedule drug charge and increase your penalties.

Contact Our Illinois Criminal Law Attorneys

If you are facing a drug charge in Illinois, it is critical that you contact an attorney that understands how to defend your rights and mitigate your charges. Our Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorneys possess this knowledge, and we will take swift, aggressive action in your case. Get the representation you deserve. Contact us to schedule your confidential consultation today.


Diversion of Controlled Substances Is Two Crimes: Theft and A Drug Charge

August 1st, 2016 at 10:56 am

Diversion of Controlled Substances Is Two Crimes, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorneysAll too frequently in the news the media reports on a nurse, pharmacist, or other hospital employee who steals controlled substances that are meant for patients. When this happens it is often referred to as diversion, or theft, of controlled substances, and it is a drug crime as well as a theft crime. Not only did the defendant steal the drugs, but if they are caught with the stolen drugs in their possession, they can be charged with possession of a controlled substance under the Illinois Controlled Substances Act.

Controlled substances are often stolen by healthcare workers who have an addiction. Their addiction drives them to take the drugs and to cover their tracks. Less frequently, a healthcare worker will be motivated to steal controlled substances from their place of employment by the potential of financial gains – by selling the controlled substances for a profit.

Controlled Substances that Are Often Involved in Diversion

When a person has access to an entire pharmacy, it is like having uninhibited access. Every type of drug is readily available; even the most highly regulated and controlled medications and drugs are there. The worker might report that the drugs were properly administered to a patient, or are included in a drug count, when, in fact, some of the drugs are missing.

Some controlled substances that are typically the subject of diversion, or theft by hospital or pharmacy employees, include, but are not limited to:

  • Painkillers, which include Vicodin, Percocet, Percodan, and Oxycontin;
  • Narcotics, which includes opioids, such as morphine, codeine, fentanyl, hydrocodone, and methadone;
  • Barbiturates, which include drugs like Valium and Librium; and
  • High-value or very costly drugs, such as expensive antiretroviral drugs, and performance enhancing drugs.

How Does The Theft Occur?

Diversion of drugs from healthcare facilities and pharmacies can take many forms. Sometimes workers will steal whole vials or pill packs. Some theft involves the removal of solution from a vial storage container and replacing the stolen solution with water. Other types of theft may involve swiping pills out of a patient’s pill vial, but reporting that all the pills were counted and are present. The theft could occur at a pharmacy, hospital, nursing home, senior care center, or any other healthcare facility that has access to controlled substances.

Do You Need Legal Representation?

Being addicted to controlled substances can be tough to live with. If you have been charged with theft or possession of controlled substance charges, you need to speak to a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Let our skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorneys assist you. Reach out to us for more information on how we can be of help.


What is a Plea Agreement in an Illinois Criminal Case?

June 20th, 2016 at 6:22 pm

Illinois plea agreement, Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense LawyerCriminal defendants have a choice when facing criminal charges: they can either fight the charges in court, or they can enter into a plea agreement. In many cases, it is in a criminal defendant’s best interest to fight the charges that they are facing. By fighting the charges, it is possible to have the charges reduced or dropped entirely.

However, there may be a situation where it is in the best interest of the criminal defendant to enter into a plea bargain with the prosecution, with the help of a skilled and seasoned criminal defense lawyer, to reach an agreement that results in lesser charges or lesser sentencing for the criminal defendant.

Nearly all criminal charges can be settled with a plea deal. In fact, a majority of criminal cases are resolved through a plea agreement. Plea bargaining is an effective means for resolving a case, which saves on time, court costs, and attorney fees. A plea agreement can provide certainty in the situation, and can be a great tool for reducing sentencing or avoiding jail time, especially when the criminal defendant was undeniably guilty of the crime.

Plea bargaining can be available in all types of criminal cases, including:

  • Drug offenses;
  • Assault and battery charges;
  • Theft crimes;
  • Fraud charges; and
  • Drunk driving crimes.

Why Would a Criminal Defendant Ever Choose a Plea Agreement?

It is imperative that you consult with a criminal defense lawyer before you choose to go down the path of a plea bargain. A plea bargain generally involves admitting some amount of guilt, and thus generating a conviction and creating a criminal record based on that crime. There are a number of good reasons that criminal defendants choose to enter into a plea agreement. These reasons include:

  • Reduction of sentencing;
  • Reduction of the charges;
  • Quick resolution of the criminal proceeding;
  • Avoidance of jail time;
  • A plea agreement provides certainty, whereas a trial is up to a jury; and
  • Avoidance of unwanted publicity of the case (the news media can report on criminal cases before the court, and a criminal defendant might want to avoid the media spotlight).

If you think that a plea agreement is a good idea for you, you should ask a lawyer just to make sure that you are making a good decision. Your lawyer can go over the benefits and consequences of entering into a plea agreement and can offer you legal advice on how you should proceed in your case. Even if you do not like what your criminal lawyer has to say, the choice is still up to you. If you do choose to enter into a plea agreement, your criminal lawyer can negotiate on your behalf.

Is a Plea Agreement Right for You? Ask a Lawyer

If you have the opportunity to enter into a plea bargain, you should consult with an attorney first. You need to understand the benefits of a plea agreement, but also the potential consequences you might face in your particular situation. Our skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorneys can help you. Reach out to us today for a consultation.


Back to Top Back to Top Back to Top