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

The Impact of a Criminal Conviction

August 13th, 2018 at 4:42 pm

criminal background checks, criminal conviction, employment and criminal conviction, Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer, criminal historyWhen watching television cop shows, it seems like everyone in the world has been convicted or charged with some type of crime, even if by accident or mistake. These television shows attempt to take you through the criminal process of being charged with a crime and the sentence that can be imposed should you be found guilty. While there is a large amount of coverage dedicated to the crime itself and the sentence, there is not often any discussion on what the impact of a criminal charge can be on one’s life. The impact of a criminal conviction is far reaching and impacts more areas of life than one might think.

Employment

Many people who have ever filled out a job application know that one of the questions asked during the hiring process is whether or not an individual has been convicted of a crime. While there are laws in place to protect some ex-criminals from being discriminated against, there are plenty of employment opportunities lost because of a criminal conviction. There are certain jobs that require an applicant to have a background that does not contain a criminal conviction. If you have been convicted of a crime, do not lie about it. Many employers will run a criminal background check on prospective employees to make sure that they did not lie about their history and ensure they are a good fit for the company.

Housing

In addition to affecting your ability to get a job, housing can be a problem for convicted individuals. Some apartment complexes and homeowner’s associations will not allow a property to be rented or bought by someone with a criminal record. A lot of this has to do with the bias that is against those with a criminal record.

Reputation

Being convicted of a crime can change the public opinion about someone. Once an individual has been villainized in the media, it is often hard to erase that image in people’s minds. It takes years and hard work to build a great reputation, but only moments to destroy it. Those with criminal convictions might find it hard to engage in the same social activities that they did before the conviction because people are wary and have a bias.

Reach Out to Us Today for Help

If you have been charged with a crime, do not just ignore it. You need a dedicated defense attorney who is ready to advocate for your case. The dedicated Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney at The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley is available to help you avoid a life-altering criminal conviction. We use every defense and piece of evidence to give you the best defense and outcome possible given the circumstances. Contact us today for a consultation.

Source:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-illinois-laws-criminal-records-118-biz-20170117-story.html

Accessing Police Records in Cook County

August 10th, 2018 at 7:16 am

police records, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney, criminal records, Illinois criminal system, current criminal chargesThere are a number of reasons why a person might want access to his or her police records. He or she may want to make sure any criminal charges are accurately depicted, or he or she may want to make sure that a certain charge or conviction is no longer listed on his or her record. Whatever the reason, in Cook County a person has the ability to access his or her police reports.

The Uniform Conviction Information Act passed in 1991 requires that a person’s criminal record and conviction information must be made public. This act was passed in an attempt at full transparency and to give those that needed this information the avenue and opportunity to seek the information that they required. An individual’s criminal record will contain arrests, convictions, and other data about contact that the person has had with the Illinois criminal system.

Reasons to Access a Criminal Record

As mentioned above, there are several reasons why a person would want or need to access his or her criminal record. The following are the more common reasons:

  • Expungement – If a person is trying to have something on his or her criminal record expunged, then he or she will likely need to look at the record to see exactly what crime should be expunged and the way in which is it presented on record. Not every crime can be expunged, so a person must examine his or her record thoroughly to determine how to go about receiving an expungement.
  • Pending Litigation – For a defendant who is facing charges, obtaining a copy of his or her criminal record could be helpful in building a defense to the current charges.
  • Checking for Accuracies – A person might want to check his or her record just to make sure that his or her criminal history is correct. Potential employers or landlords often run criminal background checks on prospective employees or renters. Therefore, it is important to know what exactly it is he or she will be seeing upon request of the record.

Who Can Receive the Record?

It is not just an individual who has permission to obtain his or her own record. There are many parties who might have an interest and include the following:

  • Victim – The victim of a crime has the right to view and obtain a copy of a person’s criminal record. Usually, a victim is presented with copies of the report after the charge is filed.
  • Defendant – The person of whom the record is for can request a copy of his or her own record.
  • Third Parties – Employers, landlords, or members of the community are able to obtain a copy of public record. The Freedom of Information Act gives anyone the right to view or obtain copies of documents that are a matter of public record.

We Can Help You Today

If you have questions about your criminal record, contact a dedicated Rolling Meadows defense attorney at The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley. We can answer any questions you might have and inform you of any options you have regarding you record.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=351&ChapterID=5

How to Fight a Burglary Charge in Illinois

August 6th, 2018 at 4:55 pm

burglary, burglary charge, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorneys, theft charge, burglary defenseFacing any criminal charge can be alarming and frightening. Most crimes are made up of different elements, levels, and a number of other factors that can be confusing. Burglary is no exception. In Illinois, there is more than one type of burglary. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the alleged crime, a defendant could be charged with a Class 1 felony, which is the most severe type of felony possible for a burglary charge. Since a charge can be so serious, it is imperative to have an attorney who can provide the best defense possible. There are many strategies and defenses that can be employed to fight a burglary charge, as described in detail below.  

You Have an Alibi

One of the strongest defenses to burglary available is that you simply were not around to do it. Being able to prove your whereabouts, beyond just you saying you were not there to commit the crime, is a strong device. In order to establish an alibi, any number of things can be proved to show the defendant was doing something else at the time of the crime — video tape, cell phone records, credit card receipts, or even witness testimony.

There is No Proof

A strategy that is often effective in criminal cases is attacking every piece of evidence that the prosecutor is presenting to prove a defendant’s guilt. Poking holes in the credibility of the evidence, proving that police work or searches were illegal, and otherwise proving that evidence is lacking and insufficient can result in a not guilty finding.

Often times, properties will have surveillance cameras to monitor what is going on within a building. This footage, however, is not always of the highest quality. A grainy video surveillance system could provide doubt that it is the defendant that is the one committing the crime.

You Were Authorized to Enter the Property

There is a big distinction between burglary and theft. Burglary requires that a person entered the property of another with the intent to commit a crime. They must also not have the permission to enter. Theft, on the other hand, involves the taking of property from a place or dwelling that the defendant is allowed to be in. Therefore, if a defendant can prove that they had permission to enter a property, burglary is not an appropriate charge. While a burglary charge may be avoided, there is still the possibility for a theft charge.

Contact Us Today for Help

If you have been charged with burglary, you need an attorney who has the strategy and capabilities to fight your case with fervor. The passionate Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley are here to help you. We understand that a criminal charge can have devastating effects on one’s life. Therefore, you need an attorney you can trust to obtain the best result possible. Contact us today for a consultation.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=1876&ChapterID=53&SeqStart=62600000&SeqEnd=63400000

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K16-1

When Do Drug Charges Become a Federal Offense?

August 3rd, 2018 at 3:50 pm

drug charges, federal drug charge, federal offense, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorneys, state drug chargeBoth federal and state laws and regulations govern the use, possession, distributing, and manufacturing of drugs. Illinois has a set of drug laws, but so does the federal government. There is a big difference between being charged with a state drug charge and a federal drug charge. Therefore, it is important to know when a drug charge could become a federal charge. Each case is unique and has its own circumstances and issues, but there are different factors at play that could elevate a state drug charge to a federal one.

Factors to Consider

The following describes a number of factors to consider that may affect a drug charge:

  • The arresting officer – One of the biggest clues involves who is making the arrest. Being arrested by a federal agent is a huge sign that you will be charged with a federal crime. Sometimes local law enforcement, or state police, will ask federal agents to aid in their case. Often, state and federal officers will work together to conduct a sting to catch criminals.
  • Where the crime occurred – Crimes that occur on federal land could result in a federal drug charge. One such example is a crime occurring in a national park.
  • Statements offered by informants – In some drug cases, there is someone who is already being investigated by the federal government. These individuals often become informants for the government and will trade names and information about crimes of others for a reduced sentence or immunity. An informant working on behalf of the federal government will likely result in a federal drug charge.
  • Severity of the drug charge or offense – States often prosecute the smaller drug crimes, while the federal government prosecutes drug crimes that happen on a larger scale.

Why This Matters

One of the biggest differences between federal and state drug crimes are the penalties associated with them. Federal charges that result in a conviction carry longer sentences than state crimes. There are longer federal mandatory sentencing guidelines than the sentencing guidelines at the state level. Additionally, federal drug crimes do not have a parole program and probation is rarely granted.

If there is any doubt as to what type of drug charge is at issue, state and local authorities will discuss the issue and come to a determination as to who is better suited to prosecute the case.

We Can Help You Today

If you have been charged with a drug crime, either state or federal, you need a dedicated and knowledgeable attorney. The skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorneys at The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley are here to help you. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us today for assistance.

Source:

https://www.ussc.gov/research/research-reports/mandatory-minimum-penalties-drug-offenses-federal-system

Famous Singer Arrested for Felony Battery

July 27th, 2018 at 12:17 pm

felony battery, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorneys, domestic violence charges, aggravated battery, felony chargesMany people know the violent history of Chris Brown. With a prior domestic violence issue already on his record, the singer Chris Brown was arrested and charged with felony battery, according to CBS News. The domestic violence incident previously mentioned resulted in a felony conviction of assault. These are not isolated incidents, however. Several other charges over the years have been brought against Brown for varying degrees of assault and battery.

Ultimately, anyone facing charges for felony battery is encouraged to learn more about this crime. In addition, representation by a skilled attorney can also ensure that their rights are protected throughout each step of the case.

Illinois Battery Law

In Illinois, a person commits a battery when he or she “knowingly without legal justification by any means (1) causes bodily harm to an individual or (2) makes physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature with an individual.” Essentially, any physical touching that causes harm to another could be considered a battery.

It is important to note that a person committing battery does not necessarily have to touch the victim himself or herself; however, the presence of some type of offensive touching (caused by the defendant) could be considered battery. Dumping a bucket of water on someone, poking someone with an item, and any other “secondary” means of touching could be considered a battery.

Batteries are usually considered a Class A misdemeanor. However, an aggravated battery results in a felony charge. A battery can be elevated to an aggravated battery based on a number of factors. A battery can become an aggravated battery based on the location of the battery, the status of the victim, or even the type of battery that is occurring.

There are common indicators that there has been an aggravated battery:

  • Using a deadly weapon in the commission of a battery;
  • Intentionally causing great bodily harm or disfigurement;
  • Concealing one’s identity;
  • Strangling someone; and
  • Injuring another who one knows is disabled or under the age of 13 years old.

The above does not list all types of battery that can occur, but some of the more common types committed in Illinois.

Contact Us Today for Help

While any type of criminal charge should be taken seriously, felony charges must be handled with the utmost care. A felony charge brings the risk of a lengthier sentence, higher fines, and longer probation or parole. As such, you need an attorney who is ready to defend you with every defense possible under the circumstances. The skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley is the attorney for you. Attorney Cosley combines years of experience with the passion of defending individuals accused of crimes. Contact us today for a consultation.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=1876&ChapterID=53&SeqEnd=23000000&SeqStart=21100000

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/chris-brown-arrested-on-felony-battery-charge-after-florida-concert/

Three Things to Keep in Mind When Dealing With Traffic Tickets in Cook County

July 23rd, 2018 at 12:18 pm

drivers license points, Rolling Meadows traffic ticket attorneys, traffic offenses, traffic ticket, auto insurance ratesNo one likes receiving a traffic ticket. Seeing the red and blue lights in your rear-view mirror is likely not what you hope for when out on the road. Traffic tickets become a burden to those receiving them as they try to deal with the consequences and determine the next steps to take. No matter the inconvenience or the burden that is felt, traffic tickets cannot be ignored. 

Traffic Tickets Affect Your Insurance Rates

While it is true that there are traffic offenses that require paying a small fine and nothing more, this is not the case in every instance. The consequences of a traffic ticket can affect a person’s life even after paying the fine. Auto insurance rates are usually calculated by taking into consideration a person’s driving history. Traffic tickets and offenses increase the rates of your auto insurance that is required to drive in Illinois.

Traffic Tickets Add Points to You License

In Illinois, different traffic and driving offenses amount to “points” on a person’s driving record. The Illinois point system serves to keep track of the offenses one commits while driving and assign the appropriate punishments when necessary. The most extreme situation that can occur as a result of points being added to a driving record is the suspension or revocation of a license. Each violation, from moving violations to driving under the influence, amasses a certain amount of points. At a certain point, there are simply too many points on one’s driving record for the state of Illinois to continue to allow a person to drive on the road.

Traffic Tickets Can Result in More Than Just Fines

Many people think they can simply pay the fine associated with the ticket and move forward with their life. This is not true. As stated above, there are consequences far beyond the fine. Paying a fine will likely end your responsibility to the traffic ticket; however, it does not stop the consequences that extend further.

Contact Us Today for Help

If you have received a traffic ticket, an experienced traffic ticket attorney can help you mitigate the damages caused by the ticket and, in some cases, even get any charges dismissed.

Contact the dedicated Rolling Meadows traffic ticket attorney at The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley to help deal with your traffic ticket and advise you on getting the best possible outcome under the circumstances surrounding the ticket. 

Source:

https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/publications/pdf_publications/dsd_dc19.pdf

Violating Probation Can Land You in Jail

July 20th, 2018 at 6:29 pm

Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney, violating probation, Illinois criminal cases, probation violation, Class A misdemeanorIn criminal cases involving jail or prison time, there is often a high probability that upon release from incarceration, an individual will be placed on probation. Probation requires a person to follow strict rules and guidelines on how he or she should conduct himself or herself as he or she transitions back to the real world.

As of this writing, an Illinois man is on his way to jail after violating probation. The man pled guilty to committing a string of burglaries and burning a vehicle. He pled guilty to two counts of burglary and one count of arson, according to the Daily News. As a result of this guilty plea, the man was placed on probation. One of the conditions of his probation was that he was not to get arrested for any additional crimes or offenses. He did not meet this condition. The man was arrested for two charges: possession of a knife and unlawful display of a title with a prior conviction. Both of these charges are considered Class A misdemeanors.

As a result of the arrest after being placed on probation, it was no surprise that the court revoked his probation. There was debate from the prosecutor and the defense on how much jail time was actually warranted or needed. Ultimately, the judge sentenced the man to 28 days in jail and another 48 months, or two years, of probation following his release. He is also to undergo additional testing and counseling.

Probation in Illinois

If a person is guilty of a crime, it is always the hope that he or she will not have to serve jail or prison time. Probation can be an excellent alternative to lengthy jail sentences. It allows the defendant to live his or her live and move forward, but still be under supervision to be sure he or she is abiding by the rules and staying out of trouble. A violation of probation puts that ‘freedom’ at risk.

After violating probation, a judge is likely to revoke probation and send the defendant to jail for the first time or back to jail.

However, there are a few defenses that could potentially be employed after a probation violation. These include:

  • Inaccurate testing (if probation was for drug or alcohol use);
  • Exigent circumstances preventing a defendant from meeting with the probation officer, such as a hospital visit; and
  • The defendant made every attempt possible to follow the rules of the probation and a violation was not his or her fault. For example, if a no contact order is placed against the defendant and he or she is avoiding the victim, but a chance meeting occurs, this could be a defense.

The above is by no means an exhaustive list of defenses. Probation violation defenses are specific to the terms of the probation.

Let Us Help You Today

If you have violated probation and are worried about the consequences, contact a dedicated Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney at The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley. We work diligently to present every possible defense to get the best result possible. Contact us today.

Sources:

http://www.effinghamdailynews.com/news/local_news/burglar-returned-to-jail-after-probation-violation/article_78019d3c-721b-5677-b574-75738f69b104.html

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=073000050K5-6-4

My Child Was in the Car During a DUI Arrest. Now What?

July 16th, 2018 at 6:54 am

adult DUI, child endangerment, DUI arrest, Illinois DUI laws, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorneyFor most parents, their children’s safety is a top priority in their life. Even with the best of intentions, parents can make mistakes that put their own safety and their children’s at risk. For some Illinois parents, a child might face a greater risk of injury because of an adult driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. When this happens, a parent might have more to worry about than a pending driving under the influence (DUI) charge. There can be greater consequences for a DUI charge when there is a minor child present in the vehicle.

DUI Law in Illinois

In Illinois, a driver can be charged with a DUI if they are operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or more. A DUI charge brings the risk of potential jail time, fines, court costs, probation, or even court-mandated alcohol treatment. When a driver is charged with a DUI when their child is in the car, child endangerment laws also come into consideration. In Illinois, child endangerment results any time that a minor’s welfare is put in harm’s way because of the reckless behavior of a parent or guardian. In the most extreme cases involving child endangerment, a parent or guardian could even have his or her parental rights terminated because of the endangerment.

All states try to look out for the best interests of minor children. As such, each state has its own laws pertaining to DUIs and minor children. In Illinois, a driver who is charged with a DUI with a minor child present will be charged with a DUI and child endangerment. In the event that a defendant is not charged with child endangerment right away, the state’s attorney reserves the right to add the charge against the defendant after further review.

For the purpose of DUI laws and minor children, in Illinois a minor child is someone that is under the age of 16. While 16 is not traditionally the age in which a child is no longer considered a minor, Illinois courts and legislators have determined that a 16-year-old has the ability to think freely and therefore not get in the vehicle with an intoxicated adult. Additionally, the more offenses a defendant has in his or her history, the harsher the punishment will be.

We Can Help You Today

If you have been charged with a DUI and your child was present resulting in an additional child endangerment charge, you need a dedicated and skilled attorney. A skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney at the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley is here to help you. Don’t let one mistake ruin your life, or your child’s life. Contact us today for a consultation.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=072000050HArt.+12C&ActID=1876&ChapterID=53&SeqStart=32050000&SeqEnd=32750000

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

Illinois Retail Theft Ring Broken Up

July 13th, 2018 at 7:20 am

Illinois theft charges, retail theft ring, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney, theft crimes, retail theft chargesretail theft ring made up of six individuals has been broken up and resulted in charges being filed for all six individuals involved, according to The Times. Thousands of dollars worth of merchandise was stolen by six people throughout Illinois and Northwest Indiana. Both Illinois and Indiana police departments were investigating a string of retail theft instances. The suspects were found after detectives identified the individuals on surveillance tapes.

Additionally, detectives were able to use an informant to gain more information about the six suspects. The theft ring was targeting more high-end items, like electronics and handbags. Two of the suspects are in custody, with warrants out for the other four individuals. The investigation is ongoing as the detectives on the case are looking for additional evidence or thefts committed by the ring.

Retail Theft in Illinois

Retail theft, or shoplifting, is a serious problem throughout Illinois. As such, there are harsh penalties that can be imposed on individuals who are caught stealing from retail stores. An Illinois statute defines retail theft and the various ways in which one might commit retail theft. Retail theft is committed anytime a person knowingly takes possession of merchandise at a store that is offered for sale in a retail establishment. The person must have the intent to permanently deprive the merchant of the item or the benefits of the item.

There are various ways in which retail theft can be committed and include:

  • Taking items from a store without paying – This is one of the most common types of retail theft. This is what people most commonly think of when they think of retail theft;
  • Changing a price tag – It can also be retail theft if an individual alters a price tag on an item in an attempt to purchase it with the new price. Most often, people will try to change the tag to a lower-priced item;
  • Unwarranted discounts – Employees at retail stores can also be guilty of retail theft. Failure to ring up all items at the cash register, or to apply unlawful discounts, is also considered retail theft.
  • Use of a jamming device – In many stores, anti-theft tags are attached to items to alert the store if a person attempts to remove the item without paying. The use of a jamming device so that the merchandise can go through security without sounding the alarm is retail theft.

Contact an Aggressive Theft Defense Attorney for Help

If you have been charged with retail theft, you need an attorney who knows the law well. Skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney Christopher M. Cosley is ready and waiting to defend you. Attorney Cosley uses every applicable defense to get you the best result possible given the circumstances. With the vast amount of theft crimes, you need an attorney who understands the differences in crimes and can adequately represent you. Contact us today to find out how we can help you.

Sources:

https://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/lake/police-bust-retail-theft-ring-operating-in-nwi-and-illinois/article_e7903fd2-37df-5e92-99e1-4dcfe803c553.html

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K16-25

Illinois Supreme Court to Hear Case on Juvenile Sentencing

July 9th, 2018 at 8:40 am

Illinois juvenile crimes, juvenile offenders, juvenile sentencing, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney, federal constitution violationJuvenile crime should be taken seriously. Society does not want to teach young offenders that they can get away with whatever they want. However, there is a big difference in making sure that a young person knows what he or she did was wrong and sentencing him or her to life in prison. The Illinois Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case to determine when the length of a sentence is “too much” for juvenile offenders.

Specifics of the Case

Dimitri Buffer was sentenced to 50 years in prison at the age of 16; 25 years for murder and 25 years for the use of a firearm. Following this sentencing, the United States Supreme Court decided the case Miller v. Alabama. In the case, the Court found that mandatory life sentences for juveniles without the chance for parole amount to the level of cruel and unusual punishment. There is evidence that the human brain develops past the first 20 years of life. This can reduce a juvenile’s culpability and ability to access the dangers and wrongdoing associated with crimes.

Buffer contends that his 50-year sentence violates the federal or state constitution. After the ruling in Miller, appellate courts across the country have been unsure of where to draw the line when it comes to juvenile sentencing and which sentences are too long. Buffer is now 25 years old with 41 years left on his sentence.

A study by Injustice Watch found that there are 167 juvenile offenders who are serving either life sentences, or sentences that are likely to result in only a few years of freedom before death after a release.

When Buffer’s case reached the Illinois Appeals Court, they found that the 50-year sentence violated the federal constitution because of the decision made by the Court in Miller. The appeals court determined that the average life expectancy for a prisoner like Buffer is approximately 64 years old. Adding 41 years to his current age of 25 takes him all the way to the age of 66 before release, beyond the life expectancy determined by the Court. In addition to an order for re-sentencing, Buffer, his family, and attorneys are asking that the Illinois Supreme Court try to provide some guidance on juvenile sentencing and when it is “too much.”

This is not the first time that the Illinois Supreme Court has ruled on juvenile sentencing and when the length was too great.

Let Us Help You Today

If you or a loved one has committed a crime as a juvenile, you need a knowledgeable attorney. Experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney Christopher M. Cosley is here to help you. Attorney Cosley does not want one indiscretion made in someone’s youth to dictate his or her entire future. Contact us today to start getting the best defense possible.

Sources:

https://www.oyez.org/cases/2011/10-9646

https://www.injusticewatch.org/news/2018/illinois-supreme-court-to-consider-how-much-time-too-much-youth-crime/

Back to Top Back to Top Back to Top