Search
Facebook Twitter 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

Facing Criminal Charges? Here Is What to Expect

July 10th, 2019 at 9:59 am

IL defense attorney, Illinois defense lawyerWhether you are facing DUI charges, drug possession charges, or any other criminal charge, chances are you are pretty scared. However, the case is not as hopeless as it may seem. Often, those accused are fearful because they simply do not know what is coming next. They do not know what to expect, and they fear the worst. While a Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney can fully explain the process, below are the basic steps you will go through after being charged.

The Arrest

An arrest does not occur until an officer has detained or restrained you, and taken you to a holding facility. If this occurs, you should say as little as possible. Anything you say can be used against you later in the case. You should speak to an attorney as soon as possible, and a lawyer can speak on your behalf. You should always be advised of these rights. If you are not, the arrest is unlawful and your case could be thrown out.

Bond or Release

Sometimes after an arrest, law enforcement will interview the detainee and any witnesses to piece together what happened. If they do not think you committed the crime after this, they may simply release you. If they do think you are guilty, they will set a bond amount. If this amount is paid, you are released with the expectation to appear in court. You will be assigned a court date within 60 days of your arrest. If bond is not posted, you can be held up to 30 days, or until you can appear in front of a judge for a preliminary hearing.

Arraignment

During the arraignment, you will have a chance to hear the charges against you. A judge will ask if you understand them. You will then enter a plea of either guilty or not guilty.

Pre-Trial or Trial

If you plead not guilty, you will then move into the pre-trial and trial phase. During pre-trial, your lawyer and the prosecutor will move into the discovery phase and submit evidence to the courts that will be used at trial. At trial, a judge or jury will listen to the arguments of your attorney and the prosecution and make a decision on your case.

If you plead guilty at the arraignment, you will move to a sentencing hearing. During this hearing the judge will determine the sentence you will face for the crime. After this point, you will also have a conviction permanently on your record.

Call a Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense Attorney for Help with Your Charges

If you have been charged with a crime, the Law Office of Christopher M. Cosley can help. Our skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorneys will build a solid defense for you and advise on what to do during each step of the criminal justice system. We know charges do not have to turn into convictions, and we work hard to prevent that from happening. Call us today at 847-394-3200 or contact us online for a free consultation to learn how we can help with your case.

 

Source:

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

Penalties for Leaving the Scene of an Accident in Illinois

June 26th, 2019 at 5:33 pm

IL defense lawyer, Illinois criminal attorneyIn early May, a Berwyn woman was taking an Uber home after celebrating her 23rd birthday in Chicago. On her way home, a drunk driver crashed into the vehicle she was in, killing her and injuring three others. The driver fled the scene and was caught shortly after. Now, he faces many charges, including leaving the scene of an accident.

In Illinois, it is law that all drivers stop at the scene of any accident they are involved in. When they do not, they face serious penalties.

Leaving the Scene of an Accident Involving Property Damage

Even when there is only property damage and no real injury to anyone involved, all drivers must still stop and report the accident to the police. Failing to do this is considered a Class A misdemeanor. Although these are some of the least severe charges a person could face after leaving the scene of an accident, the consequences are still serious. This crime is punishable by up to one year in jail, a $2,500 fine, and a probation period of up to 24 months.

It is also important to understand that drivers must stop at the scene even if the vehicle they hit was unattended, or not carrying anyone at the time. Failure to do this is also considered a Class A misdemeanor that carries the same penalties as if someone had been in the vehicle.

When the property damage to a vehicle is valued over $1,000, the Secretary of State will suspend the driver’s license of the person that caused the accident.

Leaving the Scene of an Accident Involving Personal Injury or Death

Of course, if someone is hurt in an accident and any person involved flees the scene, they will face harsher penalties. This is considered a Class 4 felony that carries penalties between one to three years in jail and a maximum fine of $25,000. Anyone that violates this law will also have their license revoked by the Secretary of State.

Additionally, Illinois statute ILCS 5/11-402 also requires anyone involved in an accident resulting in death or personal injury to report the accident to the police. This must be done as soon as possible, but no later than 30 minutes after the accident took place. Violating this law carries penalties of between three to seven years in prison and a maximum fine of $25,000.

Do Not Try to Beat the Charges on Your Own; Call a Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense Lawyer

Fleeing the scene of an accident is one of the most common crimes people are accused of in Rolling Meadows. While it may not sound serious, law enforcement and the prosecution will not take it lightly. It is for this reason anyone facing charges must call a criminal defense attorney.

If you have been charged with leaving the scene of an accident, or any other crime, contact a skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney at the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley today at 847-394-3200. We will prepare the effective legal defense you need to help get your charges reduced, or even dropped altogether. Call us today or fill out our online form for your free consultation.

 

Source:

https://avondaleadvocate.com/man-charged-with-dui-fleeing-deadly-stevenson-crash/11524/

Why Resisting Arrest Is a Bad Idea

June 19th, 2019 at 5:19 pm

IL defense lawyer, Illinois criminal attorneyWhether it is for a traffic violation, a possession charge, or an accusation of any other crime, being arrested is a very scary thing. It is natural for the body’s fight or flight response to kick in, and for people to try and resist the arrest. However, this is a very bad idea. Resisting arrest will only lead to additional charges and, if an officer becomes injured, it is charged as a felony. Instead, those charged should comply with the arresting officer and then call a Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney that can help them beat the charges.

Resisting Arrest in Illinois

In Illinois, resisting arrest is defined as knowingly interfering with, or obstructing an officer’s attempt to make a legal arrest. It is most often charged as a misdemeanor, but this charge still holds serious consequences for those accused. If the offender injures a police officer while resisting arrest though, it is charged as a Class 4 felony. The extent of the injury is not considered, meaning even a minor injury to an officer is enough to result in felony charges.

The statute includes peace officers, firefighters, and correctional institution employees as those that can make an arrest. Many people think that resisting arrest requires a person to flee the scene or engage in a physical fight with the arresting officer. However, due to the vague language in the statute, an officer may charge a person with resisting arrest for simply refusing to put their hands behind their back, on a squad car, or refusing to lay on the ground.

Penalties for Resisting Arrest

When resisting arrest is charged as a Class A misdemeanor, the penalty is a maximum of 48 hours in jail, and between 48 to 100 hours of community service. If convicted, individuals are not eligible for probation in order to reduce the sentence of either jail time or community service. This makes resisting arrest charges difficult to escape.

The charges become much more serious when the officer is injured during the rest. This Class 4 felony charge can result in up to three years in prison and a maximum fine of $25,000.

Even though a misdemeanor charge may not even result in any jail time, it is important to consider the consequences of such a charge. Those convicted will have a prior offense on their criminal record. If they are charged with another crime in the future, the judge may even extend the sentence for that subsequent crime upon conviction.

Resisting arrest is usually one charge of many. Even if the original charge is dropped or the individual is found not guilty, the resisting arrest charge will likely still stand. If a person is convicted, they will face the same penalties even if they beat all other charges. It is for this reason that it is so important to never resist arrest. Although there are defenses available, it is much easier to defend against only one charge instead of two.

Call the Experienced Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense Attorney

When facing arrest, the best thing a person can do is cooperate with the police and let a skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer sort out the facts of the case afterwards. If you have been charged with resisting arrest, or any other crime, call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at 847-394-3200. We will hold officers accountable if they have made an unlawful arrest, or if they used excessive force during the arrest that was later used against you. We know how to defend innocent individuals against many charges, and we want to help you, too. Call us today for your free consultation.

 

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K31-1

What Turns a DUI Into an Aggravated DUI?

June 12th, 2019 at 5:14 pm

Illinois defense attorney, IL criminal lawyerIt was in February of 2019 that a woman was convicted of an aggravated DUI after crashing into a stalled vehicle on the Murray Baker Bridge in 2017, killing another woman. She faced up to 14 years in prison, but recently was sentenced to three years. Under her no contest plea, she is eligible for appeal and probation, but must serve at least 85 percent of her sentence.

Any DUI is considered a serious offense in the state of Illinois. An aggravated DUI however, involves certain factors that upgrade the crime to something more serious.

Misdemeanor DUI vs. Aggravated DUI

Most DUIs in Illinois are considered Class A misdemeanors that carry a maximum sentence of one year in prison. Many first offense misdemeanor DUIs do not involve any jail time. When there are certain other factors involved in the crime, known as aggravating factors, the charge of DUI is upgraded to a felony or an aggravated DUI.

When a person is convicted of an aggravated DUI, the minimum sentence is a minimum of 10 days in jail or 480 hours of community service. Aggravated DUIs differ from misdemeanors mainly due to the fact that maximum sentences exceed one year. Sentences for aggravated DUIs are typically between at least one and three years.

Types of Aggravated DUI Offenses

There are many different circumstances that can result in a DUI becoming an aggravated DUI. They include:

  • Prior offenses: When the driver has two or more prior DUIs, any others that follow are considered aggravated DUIs
  • Driving on a suspended or revoked license: When the driver’s license is suspended or revoked for prior DUIs, leaving the scene of an accident, or reckless homicide
  • Driving without a valid license: When the driver does not have a valid driver’s license, learner’s permit, or restricted driving permit
  • Driving without valid insurance: When the driver knew, or should have known, the vehicle they were driving was not covered by proper liability insurance
  • An accident occurred that resulted in great bodily harm: The prosecution will likely press aggravated DUI charges, even if the drunk driver was not at fault for the accident
  • Accidents resulting in bodily harm to those under 16: When those injured are minors, any extent of injury will result in an aggravated DUI
  • Accidents resulting in death: These aggravated DUI charges count as one felony, regardless of the number of fatalities. Unlike other instances, the drunk driver must have contributed to the accident.
  • Drunk driving in a school zone: If a drunk driver harms anyone while driving through a school zone, they will face aggravated DUI charges. Serious injuries are not required but if an accident does result in great bodily harm, the charges and associated penalties will likely increase.
  • Driving a school bus with passengers under the age of 18: Even one passenger can result in an aggravated DUI charge, and the incident does not have to involve an accident.
  • Prior DUI convictions under certain circumstances: These include carrying a passenger under the age of 16 and previous convictions for an alcohol-related homicide offense.

When facing charges for any type of aggravated DUI, those accused must speak to an experienced criminal defense lawyer that can help.

Charged with a DUI? Call Our Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you have been charged with any type of DUI, contact a skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer today. At the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley, we want to help you build a solid defense that will have your charges dropped or reduced so you face as few penalties as possible. These charges are serious, and you need someone with experience to help you get the best possible outcome for your case. Call us today at 847-394-3200 or fill out our online form for your free consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www.pjstar.com/news/20190424/dunlap-woman-sentenced-for-2017-fatal-dui-accident

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

Can Your License be Suspended for Texting and Driving in Illinois?

June 3rd, 2019 at 5:12 pm

IL defense attorney, Illinois criminal lawyerThe last week of April was Distracted Driving Awareness Week in Illinois, and troopers all across the state participated. Over the seven-day span, they issued a total of 566 distracted driving tickets. The campaign could not have come at a better time, as drivers in Illinois are about to face much steeper penalties if they regularly text and drive.

Current Illinois Law on Texting and Driving

Currently in Illinois, it is illegal for any driver to use a handheld device while driving. This is covered under the statute 625 ILCS 5/12-610.2. This law, which is one of the stricter distracted driving laws in the country, states that no driver shall hold a cellphone or electronic device, including tablets, while they are behind the wheel of a car that is moving.

Under this law, there are only a few instances in which the use of an electronic device is legal. These include:

  • If the device is built into the car, such as a GPS;
  • When using a phone to call for emergency assistance;
  • When a cell phone is in hands-free mode, or the driver is using a headset;
  • Using a phone while parked on the shoulder of the road;
  • Using a phone on the roadway if the flow of traffic has stopped and the vehicle is in park or neutral; and
  • Using a single button on a cellphone to start or stop a call.

Anyone found using a cell phone for any reason, or in any manner, other than those described above faces penalties. Those penalties are also about to become much steeper.

Current Penalties for Texting and Driving

The penalty for texting and driving is $75 if it is the driver’s first offense. This increases to $100 for a second offense, $125 for a third offense, and $150 for a fourth and subsequent offense. In addition to these, the driver will also have to pay court costs. For example, in Rolling Meadows drivers can expect to pay anywhere from $179 to $214 in court costs. This makes the penalty for even a first offense around $300.

While these penalties are currently in effect, they are only going to last for another couple of months. After that time, drivers that are caught texting and driving will face even greater penalties.

New Penalties for Texting and Driving are On the Way

As of July 1, 2019, distracted driving will be considered a moving violation. This is different than the summary offense classification they currently fall under. While the $75 fine for a first offense will still apply, those caught in subsequent offenses will face more than just increased fines.

When the new law goes into effect this summer, those convicted of driving while distracted will have their driver’s license suspended if they have three moving violations within a period of 12 months. Those under the age of 21 face even harsher penalties under the new law. If they are convicted of two moving violations within a 24-month period, their license is suspended.

Call a Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense Lawyer and Keep Your License

In order for a driver’s license to be suspended, the driver must first be convicted of the violation. A lawyer can help drivers fight the charges and keep their license.

If you have been charged with a moving violation and now fear license suspension, a dedicated Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney at the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley can help keep it off your driving record. Call us today at 847-394-3200 to learn about the many possible defenses that are available, and how we will use them to give you your best chance of success in court. Call now, or fill out our online form for your free case evaluation.

 

Sources:

https://khqa.com/news/state/illinois-state-police-issue-over-930-citations-during-distracted-driving-week

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

Scott’s Law: Move Over or Possibly Lose Your License

May 30th, 2019 at 5:09 pm

IL traffic attorneyIn the first two and a half months of the year, 13 State Troopers have been hit by vehicles while working on the side of the road. In early January, one was fatally struck and killed while working the scene of an accident. The number is too high in the state, and Illinois State Police are trying to change that. With a blitz on social media, they are reminding all drivers about Scott’s Law, and what can happen if they fail to comply and reduce speed to avoid an accident.

Scott’s Law

According to 625 ILCS 5/11-907, Scott’s Law requires all motorists to move to another lane when approaching an emergency vehicle on the side of the road. The law was named after Lieutenant Scott Gillen, a firefighter with the Chicago Fire Department that lost his life after being struck by a passing vehicle while he was working the scene of an emergency. It is also sometimes called simply the “Move Over Law.”

The law applies to any vehicle that has flashing lights, a siren, or both. Police vehicles are the most common emergency vehicles seen along the side of the road, but the law also applies to ambulances, firefighters, and even tow trucks in some cases. Construction vehicles could also fall under the definition of emergency vehicle according to Scott’s Law definition. Motorists wishing to keep safe, and avoid penalties, should simply move over when approaching flashing lights ahead.

The law only states that drivers must move to another lane if the lights or siren on the emergency vehicle are activated. When changing lanes is unsafe, drivers are expected to slow down and proceed with due caution past the emergency vehicles.

Penalties for Violating Scott’s Law

Drivers found in violation of Scott’s Law will face mandatory fines. The minimum fine is $100, but that cost could increase to $10,000, depending on the nature of the violation and if the driver caused an accident when failing to move over.

However, drivers found in violation of this law will face more than just fines. They could potentially lose their license for a long time, depending on the circumstances.

If the driver caused an accident that involved property damage, the Secretary of State will revoke the driver’s license for 90 days. If the driver caused an accident resulting in injury, the driver will lose their license for 180 days. If the driver caused a fatal accident, the driver’s license is suspended for two years. They could also face other charges as well, such as involuntary manslaughter.

Contact a Rolling Meadows License Reinstatement Lawyer to Get Your License Back

If you have had your license revoked due to Scott’s Law or any other traffic violation, you need to contact a skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney. At the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley, we are very familiar with the state’s system for revoking, and reinstating, licenses. We want to put that experience to work for you and help you get your license back as quickly as possible. Call us today at 847-394-3200 for a free consultation and we can begin discussing your case.

 

Source:

https://chicago.cbslocal.com/2019/03/19/illinois-police-report-troopers-struck/

What Is a Class X Felony in Illinois?

May 23rd, 2019 at 4:59 pm

IL defense lawyerRecently in Macon County, a man was found guilty of delivering heroin, which is a Class X felony. While many people understand what a Class 1 or Class 4 felony is in the state, what exactly is a Class X felony in Illinois?

Other than first-degree murder, which is not classified, a Class X felony is the worst charge a person can face. It has mandatory jail time, and sentences are typically for a long period of time. Due to this mandatory sentence, negotiating with the prosecution to reduce the Class X felony charge is very difficult. Anyone charged with this type of felony in Illinois must speak to a Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney to give them the best possible chance of success in court.

Class X Felonies in Illinois

Under Illinois law, there are ten different charges classified as a Class X felony. These include:

  • Aggravated kidnapping;
  • Aggravated battery with a firearm;
  • Aggravated battery of a minor;
  • Home invasion;
  • Aggravated criminal sexual assault;
  • Predatory criminal sexual assault of a minor;
  • Armed robbery;
  • Aggravated vehicular hijacking;
  • Aggravated arson; and
  • Possession of a controlled substance with the intent to distribute.

Penalties for Class X Felonies

The penalties for a Class X felony are some of the harshest in the state. If convicted, those accused face a minimum sentence of six years in prison. The maximum sentence is 30 years. This jail time is in addition to a maximum fine of $25,000. Due to the minimum sentencing requirements for these types of felonies, even first-time offenders will face jail time if convicted.

While the maximum sentence is 30 years, judges are given the discretion to add more jail time if certain aggravating factors were part of the crime. If a judge decides aggravating factors were present, they can sentence a defendant to 30 to 60 years in prison. Some aggravating factors include:

  • When the defendant has been convicted of any crime in the past;
  • When the victim of the crime was over the age of 60 or disabled;
  • When the crime was committed based on discriminatory factors such as the victim’s race, religion, or sexual orientation; and
  • When the defendant caused or threatened serious harm to the victim.

It is also important that anyone facing charges understands that probation is not possible with a Class X felony charge.

Negotiating with the Prosecution

Due to the mandatory sentencing requirements, it is typically very difficult to negotiate with the prosecution when the defendant faces a Class X felony. The State’s Attorney’s office typically chooses the best prosecutors to try a case involving a Class X felony. In addition, due to the fact that a defendant will face jail time no matter what if convicted, the prosecution does not often have reason to negotiate with the defendant.

However, negotiating with the prosecution is the only way probation is possible. If the prosecution is willing to reduce the charge, there is still a likelihood the defendant will face jail time if convicted, but they will also be eligible for probation in many cases.

Charged with a Class X Felony? Speak to a Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense Lawyer

Class X felonies are the worst charges a person could face other than first-degree murder. Due to this, and the possibility of extremely harsh penalties, anyone charged with this type of felony must speak to a Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney for immediate legal assistance. At the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley, we know how to negotiate with the prosecution in any case. We will work hard to ensure your rights are upheld and that, when possible, your charges are reduced. No one should leave these types of cases in the hands of an inexperienced attorney. The stakes are simply too high. Call us today at 847-394-3200 for your free consultation so we can begin discussing your case.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=073000050K5-4.5-25

https://newschannel20.com/news/local/decatur-man-found-guilty-of-delivering-heroin-to-springfield-resident

 

What Are the Penalties for Heroin Possession in Illinois?

May 16th, 2019 at 4:49 pm

Illinois defense attorneyA Du Quoin man was found in possession of a small amount of heroin in early April. That was a violation of his parole and he was sent back to the Illinois Department of Corrections to serve out the rest of his sentence on previous charges.

Heroin possession is considered one of the most serious drug crimes in Illinois. Those convicted will have a criminal record for the rest of their life and could face several years in prison, as well as extremely high fines. While the penalties for heroin possession are extremely harsh within the state, a criminal defense lawyer can help those charged and give them the best chance of a successful outcome in court.

Illinois Law on Heroin

Heroin is classified as a Schedule 1 drug on the Illinois Controlled Substances Act and is illegal for anyone to possess, manufacture, or distribute. The specific classification of being on Schedule 1 means that heroin is considered a “hard” drug. In the eyes of the law, this is the most serious designation and as such, law enforcement and the prosecution pursue these cases aggressively.

Narcotics listed within the Schedule I are believed to have a high potential for abuse. They have no accepted medical benefits or uses, and there is no protocol that allows someone to use the drug safely, even under medical supervision. Due to this very strict classification, those charged with heroin possession face very serious penalties.

Penalties for Heroin Possession

All heroin possession charges in Illinois are considered felonies. This means they have some of the harshest penalties for those convicted. However, the actual sentence will depend on the amount of heroin a person had at the time of arrest. The amounts and associated penalties for heroin possession are:

  • 15 to 100 grams: 4 to 15 years in state prison, or a maximum fine of $200,000, or both.
  • 100 to 400 grams: 6 to 30 years in state prison, and/or a maximum fine of $200,000 or the street value of the drug.
  • 400 to 900 grams: 8 to 40 years in state prison, and/or a maximum fine of $200,000 or the street value of the drug.
  • 900 grams and over: 10 to 50 years in state prison, and/or a maximum fine of $200,000 or the street value of the drug.

In certain circumstances, these penalties are increased. For example, those caught in possession of heroin with 1,000 feet of a school, park, movie theater, or church can have their sentences doubled. This is also true for those found in possession of heroin and a firearm.

The penalties for heroin possession are certainly some of the harshest of all Illinois drug crimes. Those facing charges need the help of an attorney that can build a solid defense for their case.

Call Our Rolling Meadows Drug Crime Attorney Today

If you are facing heroin possession charges, or have been accused of any other drug crime, call a skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney at the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at 847-394-3200. We can represent you if you are questioned by the police and challenge searches of your vehicle or home, all to create a strong defense for your case. Learn more about how we can help by calling or filling out our online form for your free case evaluation today.

 

Source:

https://thesouthern.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/du-quoin-man-gets-prison-time-for-possessing-heroin/article_4f926a6e-312c-5974-992d-8407edb1d927.html

Illinois Considers Reducing Minimum Sentences for Certain Charges

May 9th, 2019 at 4:38 pm

Illinois criminal lawyerIllinois lawmakers want to change the laws on mandatory minimum sentences for some crimes. In mid-April, the Illinois House of Representatives voted on legislation that would give judge’s more discretion during sentencing. If recent House Bill 1587 becomes law, judges could consider further reducing minimum mandatory sentences for individuals convicted of drug possession, retail theft, and driving on a revoked license because of unpaid fines, child support, and other financial obligations.

The Court System and the Proposed Law

Currently, when a defendant is convicted of a crime, a judge has a range of sentences to choose from during sentencing. Each crime has a minimum mandatory sentence, as well as a maximum mandatory sentence. Judges are granted some discretion, but they cannot move outside of that range. A judge will consider a defendant’s past criminal history, and the nature surrounding the crime and determine what sentencing within that range is fair.

Under the proposed law, however, judges would have much more discretion in cases involving certain revoked licenses, retail theft, and drug possession charges. For example, if an individual was convicted of possessing a small amount of marijuana and had no criminal history, a judge may not impose the minimum sentence, but reduce the sentence even further.

Current Penalties for Crimes

If the proposed law is passed, it will be a huge move for the criminal reform so many have called on Illinois legislators to make. Currently, those convicted of these non-violent crimes face severely harsh penalties and in many cases, jail time that many argue is unnecessary when the person poses no threat.

Some of the current penalties in Illinois for these crimes include:

  • Marijuana possession in an amount between 10 and 30 grams: Up to one year in jail;
  • Meth possession in an amount of fewer than five grams: Minimum two years in prison;
  • Misdemeanor retail theft (value less than $300): Up to one year in county jail;
  • Felony retail theft (value over $300): One to three years in prison; and
  • Driving on a revoked license for financial obligations: Minimum sentence of 30 days in jail.

As the lawmakers have been arguing, clearly some of these minimum sentences need to change. However, with lawmakers on either side debating the issue, some have raised concerns about the proposed bill. Some believe the criminal justice system is not broken, and so there is no reason to fix it.

Still, the bill passed the House of Representatives by a very narrow margin. In order for the bill to be passed, the Senate would have to debate it within the next coming weeks.

Facing Criminal Charges? Contact a Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense Lawyer

This new proposed law is good news for those convicted of certain crimes, but it is one that will still only apply after someone is convicted of those crimes. Those facing criminal charges still need the help of a criminal defense attorney for help ensuring their case does not make it that far.

If you have been charged with a crime, contact skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney Christopher M. Cosley at 847-394-3200. We will help you build a solid defense so you can retain your freedom and beat the charges. In some cases, we may also negotiate with the prosecution and make solid arguments in court to have charges or sentences reduced. If you are facing criminal charges, do not try to go it alone. Call us today or fill out our online form for a free case evaluation.

 

Source:

https://www.northernpublicradio.org/post/legislation-would-let-judges-depart-mandatory-minimums-only-few-crimes

 

What to Expect When Charged with Domestic Violence

April 25th, 2019 at 8:37 pm

Illinois defense attorney, Illinois domestic violence lawyer, Being accused of domestic violence can be terrifying. It is likely that your accuser is someone you love, and there is a possibility you could end up with a criminal record. Not knowing what is going to come next is one of the most frightening aspects of the entire process.

While each domestic violence case is different, there are a few similarities they all share. They all typically begin with a phone call to the police, reporting the domestic violence. It is important for anyone to understand that once this happens, the decision to lay charges does not rest with the alleged victim. When police respond to a 911 call to report domestic violence, they must make an arrest. After the arrest is made, the accused will face a number of hearings and possibly a trial.

The Bond Hearing

When people are accused of committing a crime, they are often able to post bond or bail. This releases them from the police station until they have their first hearing in front of a judge. According to the Illinois Code of Criminal Procedure, however, bond is not possible for those accused of domestic violence. At least, not right away.

Instead, defendants must wait for a bond hearing when they will appear in front of a judge. There is no law that states this must happen right away. Often defendants must wait until the following day, or even until the following Monday if there were arrested during the weekend.

At the hearing, a judge will only determine if the defendant is eligible to post bond, how much it should be, and whether or not to issue a protective order. The judge will consider the defendant’s criminal history and the seriousness of the alleged crime.

When a judge allows the defendant to post bond, they still cannot have any contact with the alleged victim for 48 hours. This remains true even if the alleged victim wishes to see the defendant.

The Status Hearing

The status hearing is held to determine if the case is going to trial. The court will call upon the victim to make an appearance. When the victim fails to appear, this is often enough for the courts to dismiss the case. If the court still wishes to speak to the victim, they will sometimes schedule another status hearing.

There are some cases a judge may decide to take a case to trial even if the victim was not present at the status hearing. These include when the defendant has confessed, or there is substantial evidence against the defendant.

The Trial

If an alleged victim comes forward and wishes to testify, the case will most likely move to trial. A judge will set a trial date, but this does not necessarily mean that the case will go before a jury. At this time, the defendant can ask their attorney to negotiate a plea bargain deal with the prosecution. For those that do not want to take their chances at trial, this option allows the defendant to enter a guilty plea in exchange for a reduced sentence.

Charged with Domestic Violence? Call the Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense Lawyer that Can Help

The process after being charged with domestic violence is a lengthy one, and no one should handle their case alone. An experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney can help anyone charged build a strong defense and possibly even get all charges dismissed. If you were charged with domestic violence, contact the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at 847-394-3200. Cases involving domestic violence charges move quickly, and there is no time to waste. Call today for your free consultation so we can start reviewing your case.

 

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ChapterID=59&ActID=2100

Back to Top Back to Top Back to Top