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

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

24 HOUR ANSWERING SERVICE

Archive for the ‘Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer’ tag

What is the Difference Between a Felony and a Misdemeanor?

January 22nd, 2018 at 7:22 am

 misdemeanor, criminal offenses, felony charge, Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer, infractionsIf you enjoy watching courtroom dramas on television, then you have probably heard the terms “felony” and “misdemeanor” bantered about quite a bit. Yet perhaps you were not quite sure of their precise definitions. In the legal world, the meaning of these terms are quite important as they are used to distinguish one class of criminal offenses from another.

Misdemeanors

Misdemeanors are typically crimes that are punishable by incarceration for up to one year and payment of a fine. Those who are sentenced to serve time for a misdemeanor offense are generally placed in county jail. Additionally, in certain misdemeanor trials, court appointed defense attorneys are available for defendants who cannot afford one.

Felonies

Felonies, on the other hand, fall into a more serious classification of crime and are generally punishable by incarceration in excess of one year and payment of a substantial fine. Offenders ordered to serve time for a felony offense are typically placed in a state or federal prison, as opposed to a local jail. Moreover, when an individual is charged with a felony, he or she has the right to a court appointed attorney if he or she is not able to afford legal representation.

Wobblers

It is also important to note that some criminal offenses can be tried as either a misdemeanor or as a felony. These crimes are said to be wobblers as they can wobble between being a felony or a misdemeanor. In these cases, it is within the prosecutor’s discretion whether to charge the crime as a misdemeanor or as a felony. Additionally, it is within the presiding judge’s discretion whether to sentence the crime as a misdemeanor or as a felony.

But how is it determined whether a particular offense should be tried as a felony or as a misdemeanor? This determination is highly case specific, but the decision is made based mainly on the severity of the circumstances surrounding the crime.

Infractions

Finally, there is another classification of crime that you should be aware of: infractions. An infraction (also sometimes referred to as a “violation” or a “petty offense”) is much less serious than a misdemeanor or a felony and is generally punishable with a simple fine. However, under federal law a petty offense is defined as any misdemeanor offense for which the offender can not be sentenced to serve more than six months in jail nor pay a fine of more than $5,000.

Need Legal Advice?

If you have been accused of committing a crime in Illinois, then it is a good idea to consult with a dedicated Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer about your legal options as soon as possible. At The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley we understand how overwhelming it can be to be charged with a crime and are committed to helping each of our clients through the trying process of defending themselves against such accusations.

Source:

https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/wobbler

FAQs About Burglary Tool Possession in Illinois

January 17th, 2018 at 9:32 am

burglary charge, burglary defense, burglary tool possession, Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer, unlawful possessionDid you know that possessing burglary tools is illegal in Illinois? This may come as a shock but burglary tool possession is a serious criminal offense that can be charged as a Class 4 felony in Illinois. However, burglary tool possession is one of those crimes that is rarely talked about and is frequently misunderstood. In order to clear up some of this confusion, a few frequently asked questions about burglary tool possession have been answered below in accordance with Illinois law.   

Q: What does it mean to illegally possess burglary tools?

A: Under code section 720 ILCS 5/19-2, a person commits the crime of unlawfully possessing burglary tools when he or she possess a tool, instrument, key, explosive, or device that can be used to break into a building (or a watercraft, house trailer, auto, railroad car, aircraft, or any structure designed to keep property safe) with the intent to enter and commit a felony or theft there within.

Q: How can I defend myself against a charge of possession of burglary tools?

A: If you have been charged with possession of burglary tools in Illinois, then the first step you should take when mounting your defense is to consult with a local criminal defense lawyer. An experienced lawyer will be able to evaluate the facts of your case and advise you about how to best proceed. If you choose to retain a lawyer,  he or she will likely argue on your behalf that you did not intent to commit a felony or theft once inside and that you were in possession of the tools at issue for a lawful purpose. However, it is important to note that your defense must be tailored to suit the facts of your case and that this is just an example of one commonly argued defense.  

Q: What is the punishment for being caught in possession of burglary tools?

A: In Illinois, being caught in possession of burglary tool is a Class 4 felony offense that is punishable by up to three years in prison and payment of a fine of up to $25,000. However, it is also possible that the offender may be sentenced to probation in lieu of serving time in prison. Therefore, anyone who has been accused of possessing burglary tools should talk with a local criminal defense lawyer without delay about how to best defend themselves and avoid serving time in prison if at all possible.

Q: I was charged with sale of burglary tools rather than possession of burglary tools, what does that mean?

A: The unlawful sale of burglary tools is a closely related crime to the unlawful possession of burglary tools; however, this crime is committed in Illinois when a person knowingly sells or transfers a key or lock pick that is designed or altered to be used for breaking into a building (or a watercraft, house trailer, auto, railroad car, aircraft, or any structure designed to keep property safe). Just like the unlawful possession of burglary tools, the unlawful sale of burglary tools also constitutes a Class 4 felony offense.

Need Legal Advice? Contact a Local Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you have been charged with a burglary-related crime in Illinois, contact the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley today. Attorney Cosley is a highly regarded Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer who defends clients against a wide range of criminal charges across Illinois.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/072000050K19-2.htm

How to Fight a Protective Order in Illinois

January 15th, 2018 at 7:40 am

domestic violence, protective order, restraining order, Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer, Illinois criminal defenseAn Illinois protective order (also commonly referred to as an “order of protection” or a “restraining order”) is a court ordered civil decree that is designed to prevent future acts of domestic violence from occurring by requiring the individual listed on the order to refrain from engaging in certain enumerated acts (for example, coming within a certain distance of the petitioner, possessing a firearm, harassing, stalking, or intimidating the petitioner, etc.).

If a protective order has been issued against you, it is critical to carefully abide by each provision listed in the order. Failing to do so can land you in a world of legal trouble. To begin, you will have likely committed a Class A misdemeanor and may be sentenced to spend up to one year in jail, and pay a fine of up to $2,500. Therefore, even if you feel that the order of protection that has been issued against you is not justified, it is critical that you abide by its terms and fight the order through the appropriate legal channels.

Fighting an IL Protective Order: The Process

Upon receiving notice that a protective order has been issued against you, there are two options at your disposal; you can either fight the order in court or not. If you choose not to go to court, then you are essentially letting the order stand—the presiding judge will decide the case based solely on evidence presented by your accuser and no one will be there to tell your side of the story.

Alternatively, you can decide to fight the protective order by responding to the court papers that you were served with and telling your side of the story in court. If you decide to take this route, then you will need to progress through the following steps:

  • Step 1 – Read Through Each Document: Start by reading through all of the paperwork that you have been served with and immediately start abiding by each provision contained in the emergency order of protection, if one has been issued against you. Be sure to follow any and all instructions contained in the paperwork that you were served with.
  • Step 2 – Go to Court: When you were served with notice that a protective order petition was filed against you the paperwork that you received indicated the time and place of your court hearing. Go to court as instructed, be sure to arrive early, dress well, and bring your lawyer with you if you have hired one. During the hearing you will have the opportunity to tell your side of the story.
  • Step 3 – Wait for the Court’s Decision: After considering all of the evidence presented the presiding judge will decide whether or not to issue an order of protection against you. The judge may make this decision during the hearing or he or she may take the matter under consideration and inform you of their decision at a later date.

Has a Protective Order Been Issued Against You? Give Us a Call!

If an Illinois protective order has been issued against you, passionate Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer Christopher Cosley is available to help. At The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley, we understand that domestic violence is an emotionally charged issue and that there are always at least two sides to every story surrounding an allegation of domestic abuse. If you are interested in fighting a protective order that has been issued against you we would be happy to evaluate the circumstances surrounding the order and discuss your legal options with you.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K12-3.4

Illinois to Ban “Gay Panic Defense” in Criminal Cases

January 3rd, 2018 at 7:11 pm

gay panic defense, homicide cases, homosexual orientation, Illinois crime, Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyerWith the new year’s arrival, a slew of new laws are poised to take effect in Illinois and a few old ones are about to be repealed. Fox News reports that one old law that will be removed from the Illinois Compiled Statutes in 2018 is the so called “gay panic defense.”

What Was the Gay Panic Defense?

A gay panic defense is a legal defense that is available in homicide cases (or occasionally in other violent cases) that a defendant can use to justify violent acts against a homosexual victim if his or her violence was provoked by unexpectedly learning of the victim’s sexual orientation.

According to a report issued by the American Bar Association in 2013, gay and trans panic defenses were implemented by states across the U.S. years ago back when widespread public aversion to LGBT individuals was the norm and a victim’s sexual orientation was seen as justification for a defendant’s violent reaction towards them.

The Associated Press notes that gay panic defenses were usually passed in order to provide a legal defense for an individual who unknowingly engaged in a flirtation with a gay individual and then, upon discovering their homosexuality, violently attacked the gay individual in a sort of passionate involuntary response.

The American Bar Association’s report also notes that gay panic defenses have been used over the decades to mitigate murder charges down to the lesser charges of manslaughter or justifiable homicide in the following three different ways:

  1. Insanity or Diminished Capacity: Via the gay panic defense defendants have claimed temporary insanity or diminished capacity by arguing that learning of the victim’s sexual orientation triggered a nervous breakdown in the defendant. In the past this type of reaction was known as a “homosexual panic disorder” but the American Psychiatric Association discredited this order back in 1973.
  1. Sufficient Provocation: The gay panic defense has also been used to bolster defense of provocation arguments put forth by murder defendants. In essence these defendants argued that, although completely non-violent, the victim’s sexual advance was sufficient provocation to induce the defendant to kill.
  1. Self-Defense: Murder defendants have also argued that, due to their victim’s homosexual orientation, they reasonably believed that the victim was about to cause them serious bodily harm.

Contact Us Today for Help

If you have been charged with a crime in Illinois, it is critical that you consult with a skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer about your legal options without delay. At The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley, we represent both adult and juvenile criminal defendants accused of committing a wide variety of crimes across Illinois including; driving under the influence (DUI), shoplifting, burglary, domestic battery, drug possession and dealing, disorderly conduct, and criminal trespass, just to name a few. To find out what our firm can do for you, schedule a confidential initial consultation at our Rolling Meadows office today.

Sources:

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/12/28/activists-to-copy-illinois-gay-panic-defense-ban-elsewhere.html

http://lgbtbar.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/6/2014/02/Gay-and-Trans-Panic-Defenses-Resolution.pdf

https://apnews.com/9dc24f2031c8465081d790152f6efbd8/Activists-to-copy-Illinois-‘gay-panic-defense’-ban-elsewhere

What Happens When a Foreigner is Convicted of a Criminal Offense in the U.S.?

December 26th, 2017 at 3:46 pm

aggravated felony, crimes of moral turpitude, criminal offense, deportation, Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyerWhen a foreign national is convicted of a criminal offense in the United States, he or she runs the risk of being deported, regardless of whether or not the individual was legally present in the U.S. when the crime was committed. In other words, if you are not an American citizen and you have been accused of committing a crime in the United States, be aware that if you are ultimately convicted you may be deported. However, not all criminal convictions can render a foreign national eligible for deportation.

Crimes for Which Non-U.S. Citizens May be Deported

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ website notes that aliens who are convicted of one of the following criminal offenses in the United States are eligible for deportation:

  • Crimes of Moral Turpitude: Any foreign national who is convicted of a crime involving “moral turpitude” (i.e. most crimes involving dishonesty or theft), for which a sentence of at least one year may be imposed, within five years of being admitted into the United States (or within 10 years in some cases) is deportable.
  • Multiple Criminal Convictions: Any foreign national who is convicted of two or more crimes (arising out of separate schemes) that involve moral turpitude after being admitted into the United States is deportable.  
  • Aggravated Felony: Any foreign national who is convicted of an aggravated felony after being admitted into the United States is deportable.
  • High Speed Flight: Any foreign national who is convicted of engaging in high speed flight from an immigration checkpoint is deportable.
  • Failure to Register as a Sex Offender: Any foreign national who is required by law to register as a sex offender and fails to do so is deportable.
  • Controlled Substances: Any foreign national who, after having been admitted into the United States, is convicted of committing or attempting to commit a controlled substance crime (other than a single offense involving possession of 30 grams or less of marijuana) is deportable.
  • Certain Firearm Offenses: Any foreign national convicted of certain firearm offenses after being admitted into the United States is deportable.
  • Crimes of Domestic Violence: Any foreign national who is convicted of domestic violence, child abuse, or stalking after being admitted into the United States is deportable.
  • Trafficking: Any foreign national who commits (or conspires to commit) human trafficking, or benefits from human trafficking, after being admitted into the United States is deportable.

*** Please note that the list of crimes outlined above is NOT exhaustive and that there are additional crimes for which a foreign national can be deported. ***

Consult With a Local Criminal Defense Attorney Today!

If you are a foreign national who has been accused of committing a crime in the United States, it is critical that you consult with a dedicated Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer straight away. Be sure to immediately tell the attorney of your immigration status so that he or she can properly advise you about your legal options and suggest an appropriate course of action. If the crime that you are accused of committing allegedly took place in Illinois, feel free to contact the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley for help.

Source:

https://www.uscis.gov/ilink/docView/SLB/HTML/SLB/0-0-0-1/0-0-0-29/0-0-0-5684.html

Who is Required to Register as a Sex Offender in Illinois?

November 28th, 2017 at 9:06 am

Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer, sex crimes, sex offender, sex offender registries, sex crime chargesA sex offender, simply put, is someone who has been convicted of, or plead guilty to, committing a sex crime (i.e. a crime involving sexual conduct or committed with a sexual motive). In the United States, many sex offenders are required to register with a local law enforcement agency due to the federal Wetterling Act.

The act requires the states to implement sex offender registries aimed at gathering information about sex offenders living within their borders, and the corresponding state laws designed to fulfill this requirement (which are each commonly referred to as “Megan’s Law,” respectively).

Registration requirements vary a bit from state to state. However, to give you an idea about the circumstances under which an individual is generally required to register as a sex offender, the registration requirements for Illinois’ sex offender registry are briefly outlined below.

Illinois’ Sex Offender Registry Requirements

Illinois’ Megan’s Law, codified in code section 730 ILCS 152/115(a) & (b), requires the Illinois State Police to maintain a Sex Offender Database identifying individuals living in the state who have been convicted of committing certain sex offenses (and some crimes against children as well). This list includes but is not limited to:

  • Criminal sexual assault,
  • Indecent solicitation of a child or an adult,
  • Sexual misconduct with a person with a disability,
  • Juvenile pimping, and
  • Public indecency (for a third or subsequent conviction).

Additionally, it is important to note that under some circumstances an individual may be required to register as a sex offender in Illinois even if he or she was not convicted or pled guilty to a qualifying sex crime in Illinois. For example, if an Illinois court found the individual not guilty by reason of insanity, if he or she was convicted of an offense in another state or in a foreign country that is substantially equivalent to a qualifying Illinois sex crime, if he or she is a minor who was adjudicated delinquent for a qualifying sex crime, or if he or she was found to be “sexually dangerous” or “sexually violent,” then that individual may be required to register as a sex offender in Illinois.

Once a Registered Sex Offender Always a Registered Sex Offender?

While some sex offenders are required under Illinois law to be registered for life (for example, offenders convicted of first degree murder) most sex offenders are only required to register for a set period of time, generally 10 years. During this period most offenders are required to re-register annually (and again when they move to a new address); however, if an offender is classified as sexually dangerous or sexually violent then he or she is required to re-register every 90 days.

Need Legal Advice? Contact a Local Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you have been accused of committing a sex crime in Illinois, it is imperative that you contact a local Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer without delay. A criminal defense lawyer who has experience defending clients against sex crime charges will be able to evaluate the facts of your case, outline your legal options, and recommend a course of action. At The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley we defend clients against a wide variety of criminal offenses (possession of child pornography, rape, sexual assault, indecent exposure, etc.) and offer prospective clients a free initial consultation.

 

Source:

https://www.law.cornell.edu/topn/jacob_wetterling_crimes_against_children_and_sexually_violent_offender_registration_act

What Should I Ask When Interviewing a Criminal Defense Lawyer?

October 13th, 2017 at 6:58 pm

Criminal Defense Lawyer, Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer, criminal offense, retain legal services, criminal defense strategyIf you have been charged with a criminal offense, hiring a criminal defense lawyer should be the top priority on your to-do list. But how should you go about doing this? It is critical that you hire an attorney who is a good fit for both you and your case.

Therefore, researching local attorneys who routinely defend clients against charges similar to yours, and who are well respected in the community, is essential. The Illinois State Bar Association’s Your Guide to Hiring a Lawyer can help you do this.

Next, sit down with the attorney in order to assess whether or not he or she and his or her firm are a good fit for you.

Consider Asking the Following Questions When Interviewing an Attorney

When interviewing a criminal defense attorney, your main goal should be to assess whether or not the attorney is well equipped to defend your legal interests, is someone you can trust, and has legal fees that are manageable with regard to your  financial situation.

Consider asking the following questions during your interview:

  1. Do you routinely handle cases like mine?

It is important to understand that the legal skills needed to competently defend a client against a DUI allegation or a murder charge are quite different. While an attorney may be well versed in one area of criminal law, he or she may have only had limited experience handling cases involving a different area of the law. Therefore, be sure to ask the attorney you are interviewing whether or not he or she routinely handles criminal cases similar to yours.

  1. What sort of defense strategy would you suggest given the facts of my case?

Although your attorney will only have had a chance to give your case a preliminary evaluation at this point, he or she will likely still be able to give you his or her initial impressions of the case and discuss the defense strategy that he or she would likely favor given the facts as the attorney knows them to be at the present time.

You can also ask the attorney what he or she believes the likely outcome of your case will be. However, be aware that an attorney can never guarantee a client a particular result. Still, an experienced lawyer will often be able to give you an idea of what you can expect to happen.

  1. How much will retaining your services cost me?

While it is not likely that the attorney will be able to give you an exact dollar amount during an initial consultation, he or she will be able to explain how his or her fee structure works and can give you a ballpark estimate of what you can expect to pay for services rendered.

It should be noted that a criminal case that ends up going to trial will rack up considerably steeper legal fees than one that is quickly settled outside of court. Hence, you may want to ask the attorney for two cost estimates—one if the case settles and the other if it goes to court.

Contact a Local Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense Attorney

At The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley, we understand how daunting it can be to hire a passionate Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer. We know it is critical that you hire an attorney who has both the experience in handling cases similar to yours and one whom you have confidence in and trust. Therefore, we offer prospective clients the opportunity to meet with Attorney Christopher Cosley during a free consultation before retaining our legal services. During this initial meeting Mr. Cosley will review the facts of your case, answer any questions that you might have, and discuss your legal options with you.

Source:

https://www.isba.org/sites/default/files/publications/pamphlets/Hiring%20a%20Lawyer.pdf

The Ins and Outs of Claiming Self Defense in Illinois

October 2nd, 2017 at 10:24 am

claiming self defense, Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer, self defense claim, unlawful force, Illinois criminal defenseIn law and order television programs, characters seen under attack are often able to fight their attackers. In these dramatic scenes, the aggressors end up dead. Viewers are led to believe that everything will work out for the victims as they tell the authorities that they reacted in self defense, killing their attackers, and they are then able to simply return home.

While it is true that in America self defense is an affirmative defense (i.e. a defense that will negate liability even if the defendant committed the alleged acts) it should be noted that claiming self defense is actually a bit more complicated in reality. 

The Components of a Successful Self Defense Claim in Illinois

Illinois’ self defense statute contained in 720 ILCS 5/6-4 (also sometimes referred to as the use of force in defense of person statute), spells out the requirements that must be met in order for a criminal defendant to successfully argue that he or she was justified in using force to defend himself or herself.

Under this code section, a person is justified in using force against an individual who is threatening the imminent use of unlawful force if the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary in order to defend themselves.

However, in order for a defendant to successfully assert this defense, he or she must also be able to demonstrate that the amount of force used was proper. In other words, if the defendant used force that was intended or likely to cause great bodily harm or death, then he or she must be able to demonstrate that such force was reasonably necessary to prevent himself or herself from great bodily harm or death.

In summary, you can only successfully claim that you acted in self defense in Illinois if your belief that you were in danger of an imminent unlawful force was reasonable and if the amount of force that you used to defend yourself did not exceed the level of force threatened.

Defense of Another

It should be noted that Illinois’ use of force in defense of person statute also provides an affirmative defense for a criminal defendant who used proportionate force against an aggressor if he or she reasonably believed that such conduct was necessary in order to defend another against the imminent threat of an unlawful force. This means that you are justified in using force to defend someone else from an imminent unlawful threat of force as long as you reasonably believe that your conduct is necessary to defend against the attack and you do not use force that exceeds the level of force threatened.

Have You Been Accused of Committing a Crime? Contact a Local Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you have been accused of committing a crime and are searching for an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer, contact The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley. Our well respected firm defends clients throughout the greater Chicago area against a wide variety of criminal charges and would be happy to assist you.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=1876&ChapterID=53&SeqStart=8200000&SeqEnd=9700000

Hit and Run Accidents in Illinois

September 25th, 2017 at 7:47 pm

hit and run accidents, property damage, accident scene, car accident, traffic offensesAccording to the Daily Herald, the Illinois State Police are searching for a semi truck driver who fled after hitting a 48-year-old tollway maintenance worker recently. The victim was picking up trash on the shoulder of the southbound Tri-State Tollway when the trucker allegedly hit him and sideswiped his parked vehicle. The driver did not stop and, sadly, the worker passed away from his injuries.

Fleeing the scene of an accident is illegal in Illinois and if the driver is found by the authorities, then he or she will undoubtedly find himself or herself in a world of legal trouble.

Fleeing the Scene of an Accident

Under code section 625 ILCS 5/11-401 of the Illinois Compiled Statutes, any driver who is involved in a motor vehicle accident involving personal injuries or death is legally obligated to immediately stop his or her vehicle.

Drivers are required to remain at the scene of the accident until they have fulfilled the exchange of information and rendering aid requirements outlined in code section 625 ILCS 5/11-403. Any driver who fails to abide by these requirements because they fled the scene of the accident is guilty of a “hit and run.”

Additionally, it should be noted that that is also illegal to flee the scene of an accident that results only in property damage. In other words, even if no one was injured in the accident you are still generally required to stay at the scene of the accident if the accident caused property damage. For example, code section 625 ILCS 5/11-402 states that any driver involved in an accident resulting in damage to a vehicle which is attended must immediately pull over and exchange information.

Penalties

Anyone who is arrested for a hit and run in Illinois which resulted in personal injuries or death can be subjected to chemical testing for drugs and/or alcohol and can be charged with a Class 4 felony, which is punishable by imprisonment for up to three years and a fine of up to $25,000.

However, a hit and run offender can instead by charged with a Class 2 felony (which is punishable by imprisonment for up to seven years and a fine of up to $25,000) if aggravating circumstances are present, or a Class 1 felony (punishable by imprisonment for up to 15 years and a fine of up to $25,000) if the hit and run resulted in the death of another person.

Additionally, anyone who flees the scene of an accident that resulted only in property damage to an attended vehicle can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500.

Charged With a Traffic Offense? Contact a Local Traffic Violations Defense Lawyer

Attorney Christopher Cosley, sole attorney at The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley, is a well respected Rolling Meadows traffic violations defense attorney who has extensive experience defending clients charged with hit and runs, as well as a wide variety of other traffic offenses. Contact our office today for assistance.

Source:

http://www.dailyherald.com/news/20170918/tollway-worker-killed-in-hit-and-run-crash-along-the-tri-state

Burglary: The Elements of the Offense in Illinois

September 13th, 2017 at 7:18 am

breaking and entering, burglary, burglary crime, Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer, Illinois criminal defenseBurglary is generally defined as the breaking and entering into the house of another for an unlawful purpose. However, it is important to note that burglary is one of those crimes that is defined slightly differently in each state.

In Illinois, breaking in is not a required element of burglary and there are several different listed entities beyond homes and structures that can be burgled. 

Illinois Statutes Section 19-1: Burglary

According to section 19-1 of the Illinois Statutes, an individual commits the crime of burglary when, without the authority to do so, he or she knowingly enters or remains within a building, watercraft, house trailer, aircraft, railroad car, motor vehicle, or any part thereof, while intending to commit theft or a felony therein. This statute can be broken down into the following key elements:

  • Knowingly Entering or Remaining: Some people mistakenly believe that an offender must physically break something to gain access (for example, a window) in order to commit the crime of burglary. However, in Illinois this is not the case. No physical breaking in is necessary. Instead, the offender must only knowingly enter or remain without the authority to do so. For example, if a teenager intentionally remains in a department store after closing, a court would likely find that he or she knowingly remained in a building without the authority to do so and has therefore fulfilled the knowingly enters or remains requirement of burglary.
  • Intending to Commit Theft or a Felony: This element of burglary is often the most difficult for the prosecution to prove as it speaks to the intent of the offender. In order to satisfy this element, the offender must have entered (or remained) in the building (or watercraft, house trailer, aircraft, etc.) while intending to commit theft or a felony while inside. For instance, if the teenager from the example above remained in the department store with the intent to steal merchandise, then a court would likely find that this second element of burglary has been satisfied.

But how can the prosecution prove that an alleged offender intended to commit theft or a felony? How can anyone know what was in the alleged offender’s mind at the time? For example, how do we know that the teenager intended to steal merchandise and was not just looking for a safe place to spend the night?

Proving criminal intent can be tricky but is generally established via either a confession or circumstantial evidence.

Reach Out to Us For Help

If you have been charged with burglary in Illinois, then the prosecution will need to prove each element discussed above in order to convict you. Therefore, it is critical that you retain an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer who is prepared to aggressively and skillfully defend you against each allegation put forth by the prosecution. Attorney Christopher Cosley, the sole attorney at the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley, is just such an attorney and would be happy to discuss your legal options with you.

Source:

http://ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K19-1

Back to Top Back to Top Back to Top