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What Are the Laws in Illinois for Passing a School Bus?

February 14th, 2019 at 12:10 am

IL traffic violation lawyerMany drivers may understand that they need to stop for school buses when the arm is extended and the lights are flashing. However, few know the severe penalties that accompany violating this traffic law. Every driver in Illinois should know that the law in Rolling Meadows and throughout Illinois takes this violation very seriously. Those convicted will even face a license suspension.

What the Law Says About Passing a Stopped School Bus

The laws surrounding passing a stopped school bus are included in the Illinois Vehicle Code, 625 ILCS 5/11-1414. This piece of legislation indicates that it is against the law to overtake, or pass, a school bus when the bus is stopped to load or unload students.

Drivers must come to a full stop when the bus operator has displayed the extended arm, or when the lights are flashing. Drivers can also not continue traveling until the driver has retracted the extended arm, turned the flashing lights off, or resumed motion. In some instances, such as when there is an issue with these signals, a bus operator may motion to other drivers that they can continue driving. In these instances, a driver may do so.

This law will apply in most cases of a vehicle approaching a school bus, even in parking lots. When a bus is traveling in one direction on a four-lane highway though, drivers traveling in the opposite two lanes are not required to stop.

The Illinois State Police also like to remind drivers that school buses are required to stop at railroad crossings. In this case, drivers traveling in the opposite direction of the bus are not required to stop.

Those behind the bus, however, may not pass if the bus is within 100 meters of the crossing. Due to the fact that school bus operators will need to engage their flashing lights and control arm when stopping the bus, it is safest for drivers behind the school bus to always stop and give the bus plenty of room.

Penalties for Passing a Stopped School Bus

The penalties for passing a stopped school bus illegally are also covered under the Illinois Vehicle Code, and they are harsh.

For a first offense, violators of this law will face a mandatory fine of at least $150. They will also face a mandatory suspension of three months.

Those charged with a second offense will face a mandatory fine of at least $500. These offenders will also have their license suspended for one full year. It is important those charged with a second offense understand that only offenses within the previous five years will be considered.

Court supervision is often an option for those convicted of breaking the law. Unfortunately, when a person is charged with illegally passing a stopped school bus, this is not a possibility.

Contact a Rolling Meadows Traffic Attorney and Keep Your License

Facing a license suspension is very serious. It can prevent people from going to work, attending school, and even visiting friends and family. The situation may seem hopeless, but it is not. A dedicated Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer can help individuals keep their license by building a strong defense for those charged. If you have been charged with failing to stop for a school bus, or another traffic violation, call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at 847-394-3200. We will review your case, fight for your rights, and do everything possible to prevent a license suspension. We offer free consultations, so contact us today.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-1414

http://www.isp.state.il.us/docs/schoolbussafety5542.pdf

 

New Year, New Rules of the Road in Illinois

February 12th, 2019 at 12:04 am

IL traffic lawyerMost drivers believe they know the rules of the road. These rules include driving under posted speed limits, stopping at traffic lights, and following all road signs, such as school crossings. However, many new traffic rules will come into effect over the course of 2019. Drivers need to ensure they are familiar with these rules as well. If they are not and are found in violation of these new laws, they could be facing hefty fines and other penalties.

New Texting and Driving Laws

Perhaps the most important law that will be introduced later in the year is the new penalties imposed on drivers found in violation of texting and driving. This law, which stems from Illinois House Bill 4846, will come into effect on July 1, 2019.

Texting and driving has been illegal in Illinois since 2014. The new law though, will now consider texting and driving a moving violation rather than a non-moving violation. Moving violations are entered into a person’s driving record. When a person is convicted of three moving violations within a 12-month period, their licenses are also subject to suspension. A first offense carries the same penalty of $75.

Children Under Two Must Ride in Rear-Facing Car Seats

Before January 1, 2019, Illinois law required that all children under the age of eight be restrained in a car seat. Previously, the law did not state which way that child restraint system had to face in the vehicle. Under the new law, which took effect on New Year’s Day, all children under the age of two must ride in rear-facing car seats. Children under the age of two and taller than 40 inches in height, or weighing more than 40 pounds, may sit in a front-facing car seat.

Those found in violation of this law will be subject to fines and penalties at the discretion of the officer that pulls them over. These penalties could include $75 for a first offense and up to $200 for a second offense.

Driver Curriculum will Include the “Dutch Reach” Method

While not necessarily a new law, those reading the Illinois’ Rules of the Road manual will now be encouraged to use the “Dutch Reach” method after parallel parking. This method states that when exiting a vehicle, drivers and passengers alike should reach across their body to open the door. This, it is believed, will help prevent more instances of “dooring,” as it will remind those in vehicles to look first for pedestrians and bicyclists that may be in the path of the door.

School Bus Signs Must be Covered

According to Illinois House Bill 3292, when school buses are not being used to transport school children under the age of 18, for religious purposes, or for any other activity not affiliated with a church or school, the “School Bus” sign must be covered or concealed.

In addition, the signal arm and the flashing lights of a school bus should not be operated when the bus is being used for the same types of activities. This law also came into effect on January 1, 2019.

Contact a Rolling Meadows Traffic Lawyer 

Too many people believe that if they are pulled over and found in violation of certain laws, they have no choice but to pay the fines and face other penalties. This, however, is not the case.

If you are found in violation of any new traffic laws, or any other traffic law, contact a skilled Rolling Meadows traffic attorney that can help. At the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley, we can provide you with the legal defense you need to ensure you are not at risk for losing your license or paying large fines for violations you did not commit. Contact us today at 847-394-3200 for your free consultation.

 

Sources:

http://ilga.gov/legislation/fulltext.asp?DocName=&SessionId=91&GA=100&DocTypeId=HB&DocNum=4846&GAID=14&LegID=110209&SpecSess=&Session=

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/fulltext.asp?DocName=&SessionId=91&GA=100&DocTypeId=HB&DocNum=3293&GAID=14&LegID=105016&SpecSess=&Session=

What to Expect After a First-Time DUI

February 7th, 2019 at 7:28 pm

drunk-drivingBeing charged with a DUI is always an upsetting time. Individuals may feel shocked if they did not realize they had too much to drink. When the DUI is a first offense, it is also normal to feel confused and worried about what will happen next.

The first thing individuals should always do after being charged with a DUI is to contact a DUI attorney in Rolling Meadows that can help. An attorney will be able to best explain what will happen in a specific situation and provide a strong defense. This will give those charged the best chance at regaining their freedom and having a clear record once the incident is over.

Generally speaking, there is a procedure that anyone charged with a DUI will have to follow.

Court Appearances and Driver’s Licenses

Immediately after being charged with a DUI, individuals will likely be given a notice that their license is suspended. That suspension often starts 46 days after the arrest. They will also be given a notice of when they must appear before the court for their first hearing.

It is highly advisable that anyone charged with a DUI contact a criminal defense attorney that can represent them at this first hearing, and all other court appearances. During the first hearing, the attorney will inform the court that they are representing the defendant. They will ask for the prosecution’s discovery, which will include any evidence against the defendant.

At this time, the attorney may also petition the court to allow the defendant to keep their driver’s license without suspension. If the court does not grant that petition, an attorney will then be able to petition the court to allow the defendant to drive with an ignition interlock device after the first 30 days of suspension. This can help individuals remain mobile during the DUI proceedings. It can also help them keep their employment if driving is a large part of their job.

After the prosecution gives the defense attorney the evidence they have against the defendant, the attorney may make certain motions. The police may have lacked probable cause to stop the defendant, or there could be indications that the testing devices were inaccurate.

Once all evidence has been reviewed and any applicable motions made, the defense attorney will then advise the defendant whether they can win the case, or if the defendant should accept a plea bargain. Either way, the defendant will still be required to have an alcohol evaluation taken.

In Cook County, this can only be done through the Central States Institute, located in the circuit court. This evaluation may include drug screening and an in-person interview. Evaluators will try to determine how many substances a person uses, if they live a sober life, and if they have character references. If a person is later found guilty of the DUI, the court will use this evaluation to determine appropriate sentencing.

How Long Does a DUI Proceeding Take?

No DUI case is over after the first court date. It will likely take several months, particularly if the defendant and their attorney have decided to take the case to trial. The focus though, should always be on getting a successful outcome and not rushing the case to simply have it over with. If the defendant is ever charged with a second DUI offense, they may regret rushing the first case simply to put it behind them.

Possible Penalties

After being arrested for a DUI the first time, the first question many people have is whether or not they will go to jail. While jail time is a possibility, it is unlikely that a first-time offender will have to spend time in jail. Instead, those convicted will likely have to attend alcohol classes, pay fines, and/or perform community service. Those that take their case to trial and lose may face harsher penalties, but jail is still an unlikely outcome.

Contact a Rolling Meadows DUI Attorney That Can Help

Although jail time is unlikely, it is still very important that anyone charged with a DUI speak to a dedicated Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. An attorney will give those accused the best chance at getting their license back sooner, avoiding jail time, and keeping their criminal record clean. If you have been charged with a DUI, contact the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at 847-394-3200. Being arrested is very stressful, particularly for those that do not know what to expect next. We can help guide you through the process and prepare a solid defense that will give you a better chance of a successful outcome in court. Do not wait another minute to get the help you need. Contact us for a free consultation.

 

Sources:

http://www.cookcountycourt.org/ABOUTTHECOURT/MunicipalDepartment/ThirdMunicipalDistrictRollingMeadows/Directory.aspx

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-501

Understanding the Sex Offender Registry Laws in Illinois

February 5th, 2019 at 7:22 pm

sex-offenderBeing convicted of a sex offense in Illinois carries with it several consequences. A person may be sentenced to jail time, high fines, and will most certainly be required to register as a sex offender. The laws pertaining to sex offender registration in Illinois are complicated. They are also very harsh. In fact, a person may be required to register as a sex offender even when they do not have any convictions for a sexual offense. Due to the complexity of these laws, there are many misunderstandings surrounding them.

The information below will explain the most important aspects of the sex offender registration laws within the state. While this information is comprehensive, anyone accused of a sex offense should still contact an attorney that can review their case in more detail.

Crimes Requiring a Person to Register as a Sex Offender

The full list of crimes that require someone to register as a sex offender are fully outlined in the Sex Offender Registration Act. These crimes include everything from child pornography to criminal sexual abuse and more. However, other criminal convictions can also result in a person being required to register as a sex offender. For example, if a person is convicted of murder in the first degree, upon their release from prison, they are also required to register on the sex offender registry.

Other individuals that may be required to register as a sex offender include:

  • Anyone not convicted of a sex offense because they used the defense of insanity;
  • Anyone tried for a sex offense and not acquitted;
  • Any offense committed by a juvenile that would require; registration if the juvenile was an adult; and
  • Any person determined to be a sexual predator.

Length of Time Required to be Registered

After being convicted of a sex offense, a person must register every year for ten years. Any time a person moves into a new municipality, they must register again within three days of the move, or within one year of their last registration. This timeframe begins either after a person is released from prison, or immediately after receiving a sentence of probation.

Failing to register with the registry is also a crime. When a person commits this crime, that annual timeframe changes to once every three months. This timeframe will remain for the rest of the registration period. In addition, once a person fails to register, another ten years may be added to the time they are required to be registered.

The annual timeframe is also reduced in the case of someone that has been convicted of murder in the first degree, or that has been deemed a sexual predator by the courts. In these cases, a person must re-register every three months for the rest of their life.

Process of Registering on the Sex Offender Registry

Anyone required to register on the sex offender registry can do so with the Rolling Meadows Police Department, or the police department in the municipality in which they live. In order to properly register, they must bring:

  • A current picture of themselves;
  • Current address, place of employment, and all phone numbers, including the phone number of any employers;
  • License plate numbers of any vehicles they drive;
  • Names of any school they have attended;
  • Any and all identities used online, including Twitter handles and profiles on social media networks;
  • Any URLs they use;
  • The address of any website or blogs they own;
  • Previous extensions given to the accused to register as a sex offender, including the date and circumstances surrounding that extension;
  • Copy of their parole or prison release, including the terms and conditions associated with it;
  • All information pertaining to the offense for which registration is required; and
  • Any permanent and unique marks, such as tattoos or birthmarks, on their body.

Restrictions for Those on the Sex Offender Registry

Once a person is registered on the sex offender registry, they will have several restrictions placed on them. They cannot be within 500 feet of school property, they cannot be in a public park, and anyone convicted of a sex offense after 2010 cannot use any social media sites while on probation, parole, or mandatory supervised release.

When certain conditions are met, those with children in a school may be on school property. Those on the sex offender registry also have no restrictions placed on them in regards to living with children. They must, however, report to the police if they are living with a child that is under 18 years of age and that is not their own child.

Rolling Meadows Sex Crime Lawyer Can Help Individuals Avoid the Registry

Appearing on the state’s sex offender registry can have severe consequences. Not only are there many requirements and restrictions, it can also greatly damage a person’s reputation and their ability to gain employment, housing, or an education. The best way to avoid being placed on the sex offender registry is to not be convicted of a sex offense, or any other offense that may require registration. A skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney can help those accused beat these charges, so they do not suffer the consequences of the sex offender registry and more. If you have been convicted of a sex offense or any other crime, contact the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at 847-394-3200. We will help build a solid defense for anyone charged with a crime in order to get the charges dropped or reduced. Call us today for your free consultation.

 

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?docname=072000050hart.+11&actid=1876&chapterid=53&seqstart=14300000&seqend=20800000

 

Expunging a DUI Record

January 31st, 2019 at 7:12 pm

IL DUI lawyer, IL expungment attorneyOne of the worst penalties for mistakes made or wrongful convictions is that a person has a criminal record for the rest of their life. That criminal record can prevent them from obtaining employment, housing, and other opportunities such as post-secondary scholarships. Due to this, those with past convictions often wonder if there is any way to get their record cleared, and the mark on it erased. This is often the case with those convicted of a DUI. So, is there any way to get a DUI expunged or sealed in Rolling Meadows?

Expunging a DUI

According to the Criminal Identification Act, expunging a record is the act of physically destroying it. Instead of the records being destroyed, the records may simply be given to the person named within them. Their name may also be removed from official and public record with regard to a certain crime.

Under the law, expungement may be possible for certain arrests, court-ordered supervision, probation, and even some felonies. A DUI however, cannot be expunged from a person’s record, no matter what they were charged with or what the sentencing entailed.

Sealing a DUI

While expunging a record is essentially making it as though the record never existed in the first place, there is another option for anyone with marks on their criminal record. This is sealing their record, which is also outlined in the Criminal Identification Act.

When a record is sealed, any convictions or arrests remain on an individual’s record. However, that record is only available when it has been ordered by a judge. For example, while a landlord may not be able to view the record, a judge may be able to when the court would like to know if a person has any prior convictions.

When expunging a record is not an option, individuals often try to have their record sealed. Unfortunately, this is not an option for those with a DUI on their criminal record, either. DUI convictions in Illinois can also not be sealed.

How to Clear a Record of a DUI in Rolling Meadows

Unfortunately, there are only two ways to have a DUI cleared from a criminal record in Rolling Meadows. The first is if there were no charges filed. If the case is dismissed, or a person was arrested but the charges were dropped and the individual was never sentenced, the arrest and case can be cleared from a criminal record.

In the instance that an individual was convicted of a DUI, they only have one option. That is to ask the governor of Illinois for a pardon. This is rarely done, and pardons are even more rarely given. For this reason, it is critical that anyone facing a DUI charge speak to an attorney that can help. The best way to ensure a criminal record does not contain any DUI charges is to not get them in the first place.

A DUI Attorney in Rolling Meadows Can Help

It is important for anyone charged with a DUI to seek the help of a passionate Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer. An attorney can help individuals beat DUI charges, or get the charges reduced so that one day, they may be eligible to have the charge on their criminal record sealed or expunged. If you have been charged with a DUI in Rolling Meadows, contact the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley today at 847-394-3200 for your free consultation. A DUI conviction likely means that a person will not be given a second chance to have their criminal record cleared. Our attorneys can help individuals fight the charges in court and retain their freedom, both now and in the future. Contact us for a free consultation.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=350&ChapterID=5

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-501

Common Defenses to Drug Charges in Rolling Meadows

January 29th, 2019 at 7:02 pm

IL defense lawyerBeing charged with a drug crime, whether it is a simple possession charge or the more serious charge of drug trafficking, can have serious consequences. If convicted, a person may face high fines, jail time, loss of child custody, and loss of immigration rights. After a conviction, individuals also have a permanent criminal record that will follow them for the rest of their life.

While the situation may seem hopeless, it is not. There are several common defenses to drug charges, and a qualified attorney will use them to help anyone accused of committing a drug crime.

Entrapment

Due to numerous television shows and movies that have focused on entrapment, people are often unsure whether or not this can actually be used as a defense. In Illinois, it can. Entrapment occurs whenever a law enforcement officer, or other authority, incites or induces a person to commit a crime. However, if it can be proven that the person was going to commit the crime without any interference from the officer, this defense cannot be used.

For example, if a person sells drugs to an undercover police officer, that would not be considered entrapment. The person was likely to sell the drugs anyway and just happened to sell them to a police officer. That same person, however, may have prescription drugs in their possession that were prescribed to them. If an undercover officer repeatedly asked to buy the drugs and the person declined numerous times before finally giving them the drugs, that may be considered entrapment.

Informant Credibility

Police officers often rely on the public to solve crimes. They rely on eyewitness testimony and informants to provide them with the information they would to otherwise have. In some instances though, these informants are not always credible. An informant may have reason to turn over an innocent person to the authorities, such as in divorce proceedings or if the informant is simply acting out of revenge. When an informant is not credible, the information they are giving to the authorities is not considered credible either, and this can help build a solid defense.

Violation of Legal Rights

When someone is arrested for committing a crime, they have several legal rights. One of these is the right to a lawful search and seizure, as protected by the Fourth Amendment. When officers or other authorities violate this right, any evidence obtained through that search and seizure can be thrown out of court. The same is true for Miranda warnings, and many other rights those accused of committing a crime are entitled to.

Presence of Drugs

When an individual is arrested and charged with a drug crime, law enforcement officials must seize the drugs in question. If the prosecution cannot produce these drugs as evidence during trial, the charge will likely be dropped. In a case involving drug crimes, the presence of the actual drugs in question is one of the main pieces of evidence the prosecution has. Without it, there is often no case.

Addiction and Mental Health Issues

Substance abuse addictions and mental health issues are serious problems and are also often a part of many drug crimes case. When these issues are present, often those accused may be eligible for treatment rather than harsher penalties, such as being sentenced to jail. Some of these programs, such as court supervision, allow the accused to complete a program. Upon successful completion, the case is dismissed and a criminal conviction is avoided. That allows individuals to move on with their life without a criminal record following them throughout it.

A Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Provide a Proper Defense

It is one thing to know the possible defenses available in drug crime cases. It is another thing altogether though, to argue those defenses in court in order to get charges dropped or reduced. A passionate Rolling Meadows drug crimes lawyer though, can help those accused build and argue a strong defense. If you have been charged with a drug crime, call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at 847-394-3200. Many people have addictions, were in the wrong place at the wrong time, or are completely innocent of a crime and have still been charged. A proper defense will show this, so you can move on with your life. Contact us today for your free consultation and we will start reviewing your case.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/072000050K7-12.htm

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

Can You Refuse Field Sobriety Tests in Rolling Meadows?

January 25th, 2019 at 10:28 pm

IL defense lawyerLike every other state, in Illinois, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol content higher than 0.08 percent. Those found guilty of doing so will be charged with driving under the influence, or DUI. There are a few steps law enforcement take before making an arrest, though. One of those is to administer field sobriety tests. Many individuals, whether they have been charged with a DUI, or they think they are about to be, wonder if these tests are mandatory. So, can you refuse field sobriety tests in Rolling Meadows?

What Are Field Sobriety Tests?

Field sobriety tests are one tool used by law enforcement when they suspect someone is driving under the influence. While there are many field sobriety tests a police officer may ask the driver to undergo, there are generally three main ones.

The Horizontal Nystagmus Test (HGN) will involve the officer holding up an object. They will then ask the driver to follow that object with their eyes as the officer moves it from left to right. The officer will then look for when the pupil begins to exhibit ‘nystagmus’, or an involuntary jerking of the eye.

Another field sobriety test is the walk and turn test. During this test, the driver will be asked to take a number of steps, turn around using just one foot, and walk back in the direction from which they came. This test is mainly done so that the officer can observe the balance and coordination of the driver.

Lastly, the third main field sobriety test is the one leg stand test. In this test, the officer will ask the driver to stand with one foot approximately six inches off the ground. The driver will also be asked to count aloud by thousands. This test is also administered to determine the coordination and balance of the driver.

Can a Driver Refuse Field Sobriety Tests?

Any field sobriety test can be refused. However, that does not mean the driver will simply be sent on their way. Instead, they will likely be arrested. If an officer asks a driver to perform a field sobriety test, they already have the intent to arrest the driver for a DUI. They are simply trying to collect more evidence against the driver for when the case goes to court.

Still, drivers are always recommended to refuse to take field sobriety tests. While it will still likely end with an arrest, by refusing they are not providing additional evidence for the police and prosecution in the case.

Contact a Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense Lawyer for Help

Even if you have submitted to field sobriety tests and been arrested for a DUI, it is crucial that you contact a skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer that can help. An experienced attorney can refute the accuracy of the tests, as well as discredit the officer’s testimony in court. If you have been arrested for a DUI, you need the best defense possible. Call us today at 847-394-3200 to get a free consultation. We will start reviewing your case right away, and prepare a defense to give you the best possible chance at a successful outcome.

 

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-501

Defenses to Disorderly Conduct

January 22nd, 2019 at 10:23 pm

Disorderly conductIL defense lawyer can seem like a minor crime, and the circumstances leading up to it can seem quite innocent as well. If convicted though, an individual can face harsh penalties, including jail time. It is for this reason that anyone charged with disorderly conduct needs to speak to a criminal defense lawyer in Rolling Meadows as soon as possible. There are defenses available, and an attorney will use them to give defendants the best chance of having the charges dropped or reduced.

Disorderly Conduct in Illinois

The Illinois Statute pertaining to disorderly conduct is found at 720 ILCS 5/26-1. It outlines a number of behaviors that are considered disorderly conduct. These include:

  • Breaching the peace;
  • False fire alarms;
  • Reporting a false bomb threat;
  • Threats of violence or destruction in a school or on school property;
  • Falsely reporting a crime;
  • Phoning 911 without reason;
  • Falsely reporting to the Department of Children and Family Services;
  • Falsely reporting a nursing home, mental home, or other facility for abuse or neglect;
  • Requesting an ambulance when one was not needed;
  • Falsely reporting violence;
  • Invasions of privacy/‘Peeping Tom’; and
  • Harassment by a collection agency.

The penalties sentenced for disorderly conduct will vary, depending on the specific crime that was committed. However, all those convicted will be required to perform between 30 and 120 hours of community service.

Defenses to Disorderly Conduct

For those charged with disorderly conduct, having a solid defense is critical. Even when there is no jail time sentenced, students can lose scholarships and those convicted will have a permanent criminal record. Fortunately, there are several defenses available.

The First Amendment guarantees a person’s right to speak freely. As long as the speech was not obscene, defamation, perjury, fighting words, or any other type of illegal speech, speech is generally protected. This is often used as a defense to disorderly conduct.

If there was no disruption of peace, there is often no disorderly conduct. When someone acts peacefully and legally, they cannot be charged or convicted of disorderly conduct. Even boisterous actions may not be considered disorderly conduct as long as the person charged was not disrupting or interfering with anyone else.

Private property is also often protected by the law. Legally speaking, disorderly conduct generally requires for the actions to be taken in a public place. When a person is on private property and acting in a legal manner, even if that manner is boisterous, they cannot be charged with disorderly conduct.

Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney in Rolling Meadows

Disorderly conduct may not sound like a serious crime, but the penalties can be harsh. Those convicted may even face up to one year in jail. If you have been charged with disorderly conduct, it is important that you speak to a skilled Rolling Meadows disorderly conduct lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney can help you build a defense that can get the charges dropped so you can move on with your life. Do not wait another minute. Contact the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley today at (847) 394-3200 for a free consultation.

 

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=1876&ChapterID=53&SeqStart=73600000&SeqEnd=74600000

 

Understanding Domestic Battery in Rolling Meadows

January 18th, 2019 at 10:16 pm

domestic -batteryPeople that live in the same house and are in close relationships sometimes fight and argue. Most often these arguments are vocal, with those involved saying things they did not mean before quickly forgiving each other. Sometimes though, these arguments turn into much more. When that happens, and an argument turns violent, it could result in a domestic battery charge.

It is natural for those charged with domestic battery to be confused about the charges. What exactly does a domestic battery charge involve? What penalties could a person be facing? Here domestic battery in Rolling Meadows is broken down, so anyone charged can understand what they are facing, and get the legal help they need.

The Legal Definition of Domestic Battery

Under Illinois statute 720 ILCS 5/12-3.2, domestic battery is defined as causing bodily harm to a person in the same household. Making physical contact with another person in the household can also be considered domestic battery if that contact can be considered provoking or insulting in nature.

The statute states that the individuals involved in a domestic battery case must be living in the same household. However, the Illinois Domestic Violence Act defines others that may be involved in a domestic battery case as well. These individuals include:

  • Spouses, including ex-spouses;
  • People in a romantic relationship or that were previously in a romantic relationship;
  • Parents and children, including stepparents and stepchildren;
  • Couples that have a child together;
  • Blood relatives to a child;
  • Current or former roommates; and
  • Adults and their caregiver.

Under this definition, a person can be accused of domestic battery if they engage in acts of physical violence with family members, those they live with, or those they have a close relationship with.

Penalties for Domestic Battery

Domestic battery is considered a Class A misdemeanor. If convicted, a person could be sentenced to up to one year in jail and a fine up to $2,500 for a first offense. Those with previous domestic battery convictions could be charged with a Class 4 felony. This could result in a fine of up to $25,000 and up to three years in jail.

The penalties for a domestic battery charge are severe. Even worse, a domestic battery conviction will remain on a person’s criminal record for the rest of their life. For these reasons, it is crucial that anyone charged with domestic battery understand the defenses that can be used.

Defenses for Domestic Battery

Self-defense is one of the most common defenses used in domestic battery cases. Sometimes arguments become very heated, and one person may try to strike, kick, or otherwise physically injure someone. When this is the case, and the person being injured used reasonable force to defend themselves, it may not be considered domestic battery.

In other cases, a person falsely accuses another person of domestic battery. People sometimes feel resentful or revengeful after a dispute and so, they accuse a person of domestic battery when it simply did not happen. In the best of these instances, a person will often decide to not pursue charges. If the police have already been involved though, that may not be a possibility.

Contact a Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense Lawyer

Domestic battery charges should always be taken very seriously. Being convicted of this crime can result in jail time, high fines, and a permanent criminal record.

If you have been charged with domestic battery, contact the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at 847-394-3200 and speak to a skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney today. An attorney will review your case, help prepare your defense, and make sure your rights are upheld in court. Call us today for your free consultation.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K12-3.2

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs5.asp?ActID=2100

What Is 410 Probation in Illinois?

January 15th, 2019 at 10:07 pm

IL defense lawyerAccording to the Illinois Controlled Substances Act, a person arrested for possession of certain illegal drugs in the state may face felony charges. This is true even if it is their first offense. However, in Illinois, some defendants may be eligible for 410 Probation. This can allow those facing possession charges to avoid jail time. Few are aware though, of how 410 Probation works in Illinois.

Felony Possession Charges in Illinois

Not every possession charge will be considered a felony in Illinois. In order to be facing felony charges, a person must have been in possession of:

  • 15 grams or more of LSD, morphine, heroin, or cocaine;
  • 30 grams of more of pentazocine, ketamine, or methaqualone; or
  • 200 grams or more of amphetamines, peyote, or barbituric acid.

The most minor of these charges can result in a Class 1 felony charge. If convicted, an individual may face four4 to 15 years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines. However, individuals that are facing a first offense for felony drug charges may be eligible for 410 Probation.

410 Probation

In order to be eligible for 410 Probation, individuals must meet certain requirements. One of these is that the individual cannot have any previous drug charges, including those involving cannabis. They also could not have been placed on probation in the past.

In order to accept the probation, individuals must plead guilty to the drug charge. After the guilty plea is accepted, a judge will place the individual on probation instead of entering a judgment.

While on probation, the individual will have a number of conditions that must be met. These include:

  • No weapon possession while on probation;
  • No criminal violations;
  • Random drug testing;
  • 30 hours of community service;
  • Possible fines;
  • Possible rehabilitation; and
  • Continued court appearances throughout the probation time.

Once the probation has been completed successfully and the individual has met all the conditions, the court will then dismiss the charge.

The biggest benefit of 410 Probation is that it allows individuals to avoid prison time. Due to the charge being dismissed from their record after probation is completed, the charge will also be cleared from the individual’s public record.

If a background check is done by future employers or landlords, the record will show that the individual was charged with a felony drug charge, but that the charges were dismissed. After five years, individuals that have successfully completed 410 Probation can petition the court to have their record sealed.

Contact a Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense Lawyer that Can Help

While 410 Probation has many advantages for those facing first-time felony drug charges, the program also has some drawbacks. For example, if an individual violates the conditions of their probation, they will not be able to contest the charge in court because they have already pled guilty. In addition, if the court determines the individual has a significant drug problem, they may also deny the possibility of probation.

If you have been charged with a felony drug charge, contact a skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer that can help. We can review your case and determine whether or not 410 Probation is a possibility, and if it is in the best interest of the accused individual. Call us today at 847-394-3200 for your free consultation.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=1941&ChapterID=53&SeqStart=5200000&SeqEnd=7900000

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072005700K410

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