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What is Disorderly Conduct in Illinois?

April 20th, 2018 at 8:44 am

Disorderly Conduct, misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney, misdemeanor charge, skilled legal defense

Facing charges of disorderly conduct can be a truly frightening experience. To be sure, you may not understand the charges, nor how to effectively deal with the criminal justice system. If you find yourself in this situation, it is in your best interests to contact an attorney immediately. A legal professional can advocate aggressively on your behalf to help protect your rights throughout each step of the process.

What is Disorderly Conduct?

Under Illinois law, there are 12 instances in which you can be charged with disorderly conduct. These actions are:

  1. Acting in way that disturbs another and provoke a breach of peace;
  2. Reporting, or inciting another to report a fire when the individual knows that there is no fire;
  3. Reporting a bomb or other explosive device when the individual knows that there is no threat of a bomb or explosive device and Reporting a bomb threat to a school when there is no threat;
  4. Reporting a crime to an officer knowing there is none;
  5. Falsely reporting a public safety issue;
  6. Calling 911 when there is no need to call;
  7. Making a false report of child abuse or neglect to the Department of Children and Family Services;
  8. Falsely reporting to the Department of Public Health under the Nursing Care Act, Specialized Mental Health Rehabilitation Act, the ID/DD Community Care Act, or MC/MD Act. This is essentially falsely reporting elder abuse;
  9. Falsely reporting the need for an ambulance or fire department service;
  10. Reporting a false report under Article II of Public Act 83-1432;
  11. Entering the property of another for a lewd or unlawful purpose through a window or opening. This also covers “peeping” into another’s window; and
  12. Harassing, annoying, or intimidating an alleged debtor while impersonating a collections officer.

Punishments

The severity of the punishment for disorderly conduct depends on which category of disorderly conduct is performed. Disorderly conduct charges can be both a felony and misdemeanor.

  • Misdemeanor – Generally, a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge can carry a 30-day, six-month, or one-year jail sentence.
    • Class A: Reporting a false threat to public safety and entering another’s property for unlawful conduct are considered Class A Misdemeanors. These are the most serious types of misdemeanors. There is a possibility of a one-year jail sentence and a fine up to $2,500.
    • Class B: Falsely reporting the crime of elder abuse is considered a Class B misdemeanor. There is the potential of six months in jail.
  • Felony – A felony carries a much more serious penalty.
    • Class 4: Making a false report of a fire, a false report of a threat to a school, or making a false emergency services call is considered a Class 4 felony.  This carries the potential of a one to three-year prison sentence.
    • Class 3: Reporting a fake bomb threat is a Class 3 felony that carries the possibility of two to five years in prison. In addition, there is a potential for a fine up to $10,000.

Let Us Help You Today

If you have been charged with disorderly conduct, our office can help you. Passionate Rolling Meadows defense attorney Christopher M. Cosley has the knowledge and skill to represent you and achieve the best possible outcome. Call 847-394-3200 today.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K26-1

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs5.asp?ActID=1999&ChapterID=55

Can I Get a DUI on a Bike in Illinois?

April 17th, 2018 at 8:59 am

DUI on a bike, Rolling Meadows DUI attorney, DUI conviction, aggravated DUI, DUI penaltiesAfter drinking too much, the worst decision is to get into a vehicle and drive. Taking a cab, ride share, or otherwise getting a ride home is the best option. However, some people may want to ride their bike home after having a bit too much to drink. This option is safer than driving a car; however, there are safety risks to riding a bike under the influence. Additionally, while there are certainly dangers to riding a bike under the influence of alcohol, and other states give DUIs to bike riders, you will not receive a DUI charge.

Illinois DUI Laws

Illinois DUI statute states that “a person shall not drive or be in actual physical control of any vehicle” while having a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or more. The definition of vehicle under Illinois law is a device that transports a person or property, “except devices moved by human power.” By definition, a bike is not categorized as a vehicle. A bike is “moved by human power.”

In order to receive a DUI on a bike, the bicycle must be motorized and capable of traveling greater than 20 miles an hour. That being said, while you cannot get a DUI while riding a bike, riders are still subject to the same laws as motor vehicle drivers in Illinois.

Even if you cannot receive a DUI while riding a bike, you can definitely still receive a DUI while operating your car. Driving under the influence is dangerous, but it does happen. Moreover, you need to be aware of what can happen if you are charged with a DUI.

If you are convicted of a DUI, you can face hefty penalties. The more DUIs you have on your record, the more severe the consequences get. In Illinois, one DUI can lead to a license suspension for three months, or even more. A second DUI conviction carries the possibility of a one-year suspension of your license. Receiving a third DUI can lead to the suspension of your license for up to 10 years. The penalties rise from there. Both misdemeanor and felony convictions are possible, as well as a charge of an aggravated DUI.

Let Us Help You with Your Case

If you have been charged with a DUI, you need a dedicated and experienced Rolling Meadows DUI attorney who can fight for you. At the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley, we are uniquely qualified to handle your DUI defense. Do not hesitate to contact us today for help.

Sources:

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

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K1-217

What Does it Mean to be “In Custody”

April 12th, 2018 at 6:10 pm

in custody, miranda rights, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney, self-incrimination, custodial interrogationThe Fifth and Sixth Amendments to the United States Constitution give an individual the right to avoid self-incrimination and to consult an attorney. While these rights are in the Constitution, they were not always enforced or followed strictly.

In the Supreme Court case of Miranda v. Arizona, the Court reinforced that an individual has the “right to remain silent” and to consult an attorney. These rights are more commonly known as your “Miranda Rights.”

If the police take you into custody, they must inform you of your rights. There is no question that the rights must be read; however, the idea of a suspect being “in custody” is a vague term. Custody has come to mean being questioned or interrogated by the police after being taken into custody or otherwise deprived of freedom of action in any significant way.

Ultimately, if you believe your rights were violated by police officers in Rolling Meadows, it is in your best interests to contact an attorney for help. To be sure, a legal professional can potentially use this information as a defense in your case and have the charges against you dropped.

Custodial Interrogation

Being in handcuffs could be a sign that you are being taken into custody, but it is not the only situation in which someone can be considered in custody. Since “custody” is so broadly defined and has a lot of gray areas, the court in criminal proceedings is tasked with determining if an individual was in custody or not. Courts will look to the “totality of the circumstances” to determine if an individual was in suspect. This means that the court will examine a wide variety of factors to determine whether the actions of the police amount to the suspect being in custody.

There are different factors that the court will look to when police are interrogating an individual. These include:

  • Line of Questioning: The court will look to the types of questions asked, who was asking the questions, or if there weapons were present that could be deemed as intimidating a suspect to answer the questions.
  • Initiation of the Questioning: The court will look to whether the questioning was voluntary, who started the questioning, and the physical surroundings of the questioning.
  • Circumstances of Questioning: Both the length of questioning and time of day of questioning are examined by the court.

An Attorney Can Help You Today

If you have been charged with a crime and question if your Miranda Warnings were given properly, The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley is here to help. Skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney Christopher M. Cosley will investigate each element of the arrest and questioning to make sure your rights were not infringed upon.

Sources:

http://www.uscourts.gov/educational-resources/educational-activities/facts-and-case-summary-miranda-v-arizona

https://repository.law.umich.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://www.google.com/&httpsredir=1&article=1028&context=book_chapters

What is the Process for Expunging a Juvenile Record in Illinois?

April 11th, 2018 at 6:49 am

expungement, juvenile crimes, juvenile detention centers, juvenile records, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorneyChildhood should be a time of growth and learning. Unfortunately for some children, their childhood is spent in and out of courthouses and juvenile detention centers. The premise behind rehabilitating those who commit crimes is to give them a second chance in life. With this thought in mind, who deserves a second shot more than a child?

A juvenile is someone who is under the age of 18. Each time a person is arrested, a record is created and consists of a police report, computer database reports, or any other court document that is created in connection with the arrest or charge. All law enforcement and court records with cases involving juveniles are sealed.

A sealed record means that most people are not able to view the records, as they may be able to with adult records. Even though the records are sealed, there are various instances where potential employers could see the records. However, one way to avoid sealed records being seen is through a process called expungement.

What is Expungement?

An expungement is a court-ordered process through which a record is essentially erased in the eyes of the law. After a record is expunged, a person will usually not have to disclose an arrest or convictions on a job application, or other situations in which criminal records are disclosed or a background check is run.

Certain juvenile records are automatically expunged. First, arrests that did not result in conviction are automatically expunged after one year. However, there cannot be any other arrests or charges within the six months before the expungement occurs. Additionally, arrests and court records are expunged when they result in a dismissal, finding of no delinquency, supervision that is terminated successfully, guilty verdicts of Class B or C misdemeanors, petty business offenses, and guilty verdicts for Class A misdemeanors or non-violent felonies.

In the case of the Class A misdemeanors or non-violent felonies, the expungement will happen two years after the case is closed. Additionally, there must be no other pending cases or guilty findings.

Automatic expungements do not occur for every juvenile crime. In the event that there is no automatic expungement, there are paths to trying to get expungement. You must file a petition with the court and attend a hearing in front of an appointed judge. Law enforcement or the state’s attorney has 45 days to object to the expungement. The hearing takes place after the 45-day period.

Contact Us Today for Legal Assistance Today

If you have a child with a juvenile record, or you have a prior juvenile record that needs expunged, The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley can help. Talented Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney Christopher Cosley has a proven track record representing juvenile clients. Let us help you throughout each step of your case.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=070504050K5-915

What is the Difference Between Assault and Battery?

April 5th, 2018 at 5:40 pm

assault and battery, Rolling Meadows defense attorney, aggravated assault, Illinois criminal law, aggravated battery chargeIf you watch any crime television show, it seems like the words assault and battery are always used at the same time, interchangeably. However, these are different crimes with different definitions and characteristics. Knowing the difference between the two is essential if you are charged with one or both of these crimes.

Battery

Illinois law defines battery as causing bodily harm to another or making physical contact that is insulting or provoking to another. The perpetrator must know that he or she is causing the offensive touching and has no legal basis in which to do so.

The most common form of battery is hitting, bunching, or otherwise engaging in harmful physical contact with another. However, a battery can also be an offensive touching to another—physically ripping a purse from someone. The purse is considered an extension of the person who was battered.

Not only can one face a battery charge, but also an aggravated battery charge. Aggravated battery is when a person, while committing a battery:

  1. Causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement;
  2. Uses a caustic or flammable substance, poisonous gas, biological agent, chemical agent, explosive, or radioactive substance to cause severe bodily harm;
  3. Causes great bodily harm to an officer or fireman;
  4. Causes great bodily harm or disfigurement to someone that is over the age of 60; or
  5. Strangles another person.

Assault

Illinois law says that an assault occurs when someone knowingly places another in “reasonable apprehension of receiving a battery.” Essentially, it is a battery without the touching requirement. The victim must be placed in reasonable apprehension that there is imminent violence coming. An example is someone who is visibly upset and looks like he or she is going to hit or strike another person. Signs of an “imminent threat” could be the hands going into a fist, raising the fist as if to strike another, or even saying something in a menacing manner that leads another to reasonably think they are in danger.

Just like battery, there is also a situation in which an aggravated assault can occur. An aggravated assault can be:

  1. Assaulting someone in a public place or way;
  2. Assaulting someone who is disabled, a teacher or school employee on school property, park district employees, a peace officer, community policing volunteers, correctional officers, an employee of the state, and other individuals;
  3. Discharging a firearm from a car;
  4. Concealing identity with the use of a hood or robe;
  5. Flashing a laser gun at another or in their vicinity;
  6. Using a firearm against an officer;
  7. Operating a vehicle in a way that makes another think they are in danger of being struck by the car; or
  8. Placing a passenger in danger with your driving.

Contact Us Today for Help

If you have been charged with assault, battery, or both, contact the office of talented Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney Christopher M. Cosley. Our legal team will defend you with the requisite skill and knowledge. Contact us today to find out how we can help you.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=072000050HArt%2E+12%2C+Subdiv%2E+5&ActID=1876&ChapterID=53&SeqStart=21300000&SeqEnd=23400000

Defenses to Theft

April 3rd, 2018 at 10:45 am

defenses to theft, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney, theft, Illinois theft, theft crimesThe crime of theft is common in Illinois. Moreover, there are several different types of theft with which an individual can be charged. If you have been charged with any type of theft in the state, it is imperative that you reach out to a talented attorney for help with your case.

Definition of Theft in Illinois

Under Illinois law, a person commits theft when he or she knowingly:

  • Takes unauthorized control over another’s property;
  • Deceives another to gain possession of their property;
  • Threatens another to gain possession of their property;
  • Has possession over stolen property with knowledge it was stolen, or should have known that the property was stolen; or
  • Exerts control over property of law enforcement, or someone acting on behalf of law enforcement, who inform the individual it was stolen property. Or, law enforcement/a person acting on behalf of law enforcement leads the individual to believe the property was stolen.

Common types of theft include retail theft, identity theft, possession of a stolen vehicle, burglary, and online theft.

Defense to Theft Crimes

If you have been charged with a theft crime, there are a number of defenses that may be available under Illinois law.

  • Entrapment is “the act of government agents or officials that induces a person to commit a crime he or she is not previously disposed to commit.”  When entrapment is a factor, it is when an individual is induced to commit an act that he or she otherwise would not have. In a theft case, entrapment is used as a defense when there is evidence that the intent to steal came from the person who ‘entrapped’ the defendant, convincing them to commit the crime. The defendant is tricked into committing the theft to apprehend and prosecute the individual.
  • A defendant can claim right or ownership of property. If the defendant can show that he or she truly believed that the property was his or her own, or he or she had a valid claim to the property, it can be a defense to theft. There must be more than the defendant saying “I think it is mine.” There will need to be corroborating evidence that the defendant owned, or had a right to ownership.
  • Return of property is a tricky defense. Generally, giving back stolen property does not negate the theft. A defendant that intended to return the property might be able to use this as a defense by asserting that the property was “borrowed.”

Whatever the theft charge, an experienced attorney can make an enormous difference in your case. The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley have years of experience defending clients from petty to felony theft. Christopher Cosley is an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney who is prepared to explore and utilize every possible defense. Contact us today for your free consultation.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-606

Should I Take a Plea Deal?

March 26th, 2018 at 6:47 pm

criminal cases, plea deal, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney, criminal case negotiation, pleading guiltyMany people have seen an episode of a legal drama on television. A crime is committed, the suspect is arrested on charges, and then he or she is either found guilty or takes a plea deal.

Television dramas make it seem like these scenarios are very black and white—the accused is either found guilty or takes a plea deal. Plea deals are offered to the accused frequently, but rarely are they discussed in detail.

In reality, taking a plea deal is a huge consideration in a criminal case. A plea deal is a negotiation between the defendant and his or her attorney on one side and the prosecutor on the other side. The defendant agrees to plead guilty or no contest to some crimes, in return for a reduction of the severity of the charge or the dismissal of some of the charges. Or, the prosecutor recommends a reduced sentence that would be given after a trial.

Considerations for a Plea Deal

Being charged with a crime in Illinois is stressful. Do not let that stress cloud your judgment regarding what needs to be considered if a plea deal is offered. First and foremost, you need to contact an attorney. An attorney will be able to guide you through the entire process and help you determine your options in relation to a plea deal. He or she will know if the deal is a desirable one or if you have a better chance going to trial.

Factors that will be taken into consideration regarding a plea deal include the following:

  • Your chances at trial. Every case is unique. You must look at the evidence on both sides of the case to assess the risk of going to trial.
  • Variables at trial. It is impossible to know the end result going into trial. To be sure, many unexpected variables can arise in the trial stage.
  • Consequences of the plea. When you take a plea deal, you are pleading guilty or no contest to a crime. You need to consider the implications of having this on your record versus the chance of not having anything on your record should you succeed at trial.

It is Important to Contact an Attorney Today

Ultimately, there is no clear answer when a plea deal should be taken. It is up to you, the accused, to decide whether you will take it or not. However, having an experienced defense attorney can help. Skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney Christopher M. Cosley will take the time to explain your options and the consequences of those actions. Choose the attorney who will take the time to advocate for you and realizes the risk involved in criminal cases. Contact us today for assistance.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ChapterID=53&ActID=1876

Should I Challenge an Order of Protection?

March 23rd, 2018 at 1:45 pm

order of protection, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney, victim rights, emergency order of protection, plenary order of protectionDomestic violence is a serious issue in the United States. In Illinois, victims have remedies and options available to them through the Illinois Domestic Violence Act. One such remedy of this is act is an order of protection, also referred to as a restraining order. The court will grant an order of protection to protect the victim. With any system, though, there are flaws. Orders of protection can be granted inaccurately, severely impacting the life of the accused.

Types of Orders of Protection

Illinois law provides three different types of orders of protection:

  1. Emergency orders. An emergency order is issued, much like it sounds, when there is an emergency. The court does not need to hear testimony from the accused. The accused does not even need to be given notice of the hearing/potential order. These emergency orders last for 21 days. After 21 days there is a hearing in which the accused can attend and respond to the allegations that caused the order.
  2. Plenary orders. A plenary order is issued after there has been a hearing. The accused must be given notice and the opportunity to appear before the judge. A plenary order can last up to two years.
  3. Interim orders. An interim order is issued in between an emergency and plenary order. If there is a gap between the emergency order of protection expiring before there is a full hearing, the court can issue an interim order of protection for up to 30 days.

You’ve Been Served: Now What?

Being served with an order of protection may be a complete shock and surprise to you. However, it is in your best interest to comply with the order. Noncompliance can lead to more serious criminal charges and penalties. There are limited opportunities to challenge the order of protection. Be proactive and contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible.

Challenging the Order of Protection

Not challenging an order of protection can affect your life in the long term. If you are going through a divorce or custody proceeding, the order can affect the outcome of those hearings. If you want to challenge the order, you will file a motion to modify the order. After you file this motion, the court will decide if there should be a hearing. Often, a judge is hesitant to lift or modify an order of protection. This is because of the circumstances in which an order is granted, a judge wants to keep all parties safe.

If you have been served with an order of protection and wish to challenge it, you need a skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney to help you. The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley is duly equipped to fight to get an order lifted or modified. Our legal team has years of experience to investigate the remedies available to you. Contact us for a free consultation today.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=2100&ChapterID=59&SeqStart=500000&SeqEnd=4200000

What Does it Mean to Plead “No Contest?”

March 20th, 2018 at 6:29 am

charged with a crime, guilty plea, plead no contest, pleading guilty, Rolling Meadows defense attorneyIf you have been charged with a crime, you must enter a plea to the court. Generally, people think of “guilty” or “not guilty.” However, there are other options, such as “no contest.”

Under Illinois law, a defendant is brought into open court and read the charges against him or her. The defendant then makes a plea pursuant to 725 ILCS 5/113-4, by either pleading guilty, guilty but mentally ill, or not guilty. The statute does not specifically point to the plea of no contest. Because no contest is not stated in the statute, a defendant does not have the right to plead no contest in every criminal case. However, a judge can allow the defendant to make the no contest plea.

What is “No Contest”

No contest comes from the phrase “nolo contendere,” which means “I will not contest.” A no contest plea is very similar to a plea of guilty. In a no contest plea, the defendant does not disagree with the facts of the case, or his or her role in the crime. The defendant is, however, not admitting guilt. When a defendant pleads guilty, he or she is admitting their guilt in the crime. The plea of no contest is essentially the defendant accepting the penalties for the crime, but without admitting guilt.

Consequences of “No Contest”

While it appears that a guilty plea and a no contest plea are the same, there is one substantial difference. A guilty plea will follow a defendant to other cases. A defendant who pleads guilty can have that conviction be used as evidence in future trial, crimes, or proceedings. A no contest plea cannot be used against a defendant in later proceedings.

For example, if an individual caused an injury while driving under the influence of alcohol, a plea of no contest could protect him or her from additional civil proceedings.  If a defendant pleads guilty to the DUI and injuries, the injured party could use that admission of guilt in a civil suit. A plea of no contest would not allow the injured party, or the injured party’s representatives, to use the plea in a future lawsuit. Since the defendant did not admit guilt through the no contest plea, it cannot be used against him or her in the future.

An Attorney Can Help You Today

Figuring out what plea to enter in a crime is tricky. If you or a loved one have been charged with a crime, you need an experienced Rolling Meadows defense attorney who knows how to help. The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley will inform you of your options and help you decide what the best course of action is. Our legal team wants to advocate for your rights and provide the best possible defense. Contact us today to find out how we can help you.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=072500050HArt.+113&ActID=1966&ChapterID=54&SeqStart=25200000&SeqEnd=26200000

Illinois Automobile Insurance

March 16th, 2018 at 12:38 pm

Illinois automobile insurance, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney, types of auto insurance, property insurance, bodily injury insuranceIf you are pulled over, one of the first questions a police officer will ask is to see your license, registration, and proof of insurance. It is essential to carry all three of these items with you in your vehicle. However, what happens if you forget to bring your insurance? Or, what if you do not have automobile insurance?

What Insurance Does Illinois Require?

There are three types of auto insurance required in Illinois. A driver must have both property and liability/bodily injury insurance. Additionally, a driver must carry uninsured motorist bodily injury insurance. The property insurance component of auto insurance is for covering the cost in case you damage another’s property in your vehicle. Most often, this is to cover the damages to another vehicle. Occasionally, however, other property can be damaged. Your insurance policy must cover at least $20,000 of property insurance.

The liability/bodily injury auto insurance is to cover the costs that will arise if you injure or kill someone in an accident. If you have caused a crash where someone is injured or killed, it is almost certain that a claim against your insurance to be compensated for sustained injuries will be filed. Compensation could be for medical bills, doctors visits, treatments, lost wages, and even pain and suffering. Even passengers in your own vehicle can file claim to your insurance for their injuries in a crash. You must purchase at least $25,000 of liability insurance for the injury or death of one person and at least $50,000 for the death of more than one individual per accident. Aside from the minimums, there is also the possibility of buying more coverage.

Uninsured motorist bodily injury insurance is insurance to protect you if you are involved in a crash with another vehicle that does not have insurance You are required to have $25,000 in coverage for one person in the accident and at least $50,000 for two or more individuals in an accident.

What if I Do Not Have Insurance?

If you are unable to provide proof of insurance to a law enforcement officer when asked, then you are breaking the law. You will receive a ticket for driving without insurance. If you are convicted or plead guilty, you will receive a minimum fine of $500 and your license plates will be suspended until you comply with the law on your first offense. Subsequent offenses result in harsher penalties.

Let Us Help You Today

If you have been charged with driving without insurance, The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley can defend you. There are defenses available to driving without insurance. Talented Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney Christopher Cosley has years of experience and will investigate and explore every defense that might be available to you. Contact us for a free consultation today.

Source:

http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/vehicles/mandatory_insurance.html

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