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Archive for August, 2017

Drug Paraphernalia is Illegal in Illinois

August 28th, 2017 at 11:10 am

drug paraphernalia, drug possession, Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer, Illinois drug charges, Illinois drug crimesDid you know that under some circumstances it is illegal to possess drug paraphernalia in Illinois? In fact, you can be arrested and charged with a crime if you possess drug paraphernalia with the intent to use that paraphernalia to ingest an illegal substance, regardless of whether or not you also had drugs on you at the time. 

Illinois’ Unlawful Possession of Drug Paraphernalia Statute

Under code section 720 ILCS 600/3.5 of the Illinois Compiled Statutes it is illegal to knowingly possess drug paraphernalia with the intent to use the paraphernalia to take cannabis or a controlled substance (or to prepare cannabis or a controlled substance to be taken).

Unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia is a Class A misdemeanor that is punishable by a minimum fine of $750 and that can be punished by a fine of up to $2,500 and/or up to one year in jail.

The Federal Drug Paraphernalia Statute

It should be noted that federal law also criminalizes possessing drug paraphernalia under some circumstances. For example, under code section 21 U.S. Code § 863 it is illegal for any person to (1) sell (or offer to sell) drug paraphernalia, (2) use the mail or another form of interstate commerce to transport drug paraphernalia, or (3) import or export drug paraphernalia. Violating this code section is punishable by imprisonment for up to three years and payment of a fine.

What Qualifies as Drug Paraphernalia?

Illinois law defines “drug paraphernalia” as any equipment, product, or material (other than methamphetamine manufacturing materials) that are intended to be unlawfully used in propagating, planting, cultivating, harvesting, growing, manufacturing, converting, compounding, processing, producing, testing, preparing, packaging, analyzing, storing, repackaging, concealing, containing, injecting, inhaling, ingesting, or otherwise introducing into the human body cannabis or a controlled substance.

Examples of items frequently deemed to be drug paraphernalia include:

  • Syringes,
  • Needles,
  • Small scales,
  • Glass and metal pipes,
  • Ice pipes or chillers,
  • Isomerization devices used to increase the potency of cannabis or another plant,
  • Testing equipment used to determine the effectiveness, strength, or purity of cannabis or a controlled substances,
  • Diluents and adulterants used to cut cannabis or a controlled substance,
  • Roach clips, and
  • Cocaine freebase kits.

Federal law defines drug paraphernalia in essentially the same way that Illinois law does. The exact wording of the federal definition can be found in code section 21 U.S. Code § 863(d).

Reach Out to Us for Help

If you have been charged with unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia, or some other drug-related crime in Illinois, contact the experienced Rolling Meadows drug paraphernalia possession lawyers of The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley. Our firm is committed to providing exceptional legal representation to those who are in need of strong, aggressive, and supportive legal counsel and we would be happy to assist you. To discuss your legal options with one of our experienced lawyers during a free initial consultation, contact our Rolling Meadows office today.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=1947&ChapterID=53

Are DUI Checkpoints Constitutional?

August 23rd, 2017 at 6:08 pm

drunk drivers, DUI cases, DUI checkpoints, reasonable suspicion, Rolling Meadows drunk driving lawyerA DUI checkpoint (also commonly referred to a sobriety checkpoint or a DUI roadblock) is a roadblock initiated by the police in order to stop every vehicle (or a subset of vehicles) in order to assess the sobriety of drivers passing through. These checkpoints are often set up at times when drunk driving is most prevalent (namely around the holidays and on weekends) and on streets that see a disproportionate number of drunk drivers.

The Constitutionality of DUI Checkpoints

Generally speaking, police officers in the United States are only allowed to pull a driver over if they have a reasonable suspicion that the driver has broken the law.

However, in the landmark case Michigan v. Sitz, the U.S. Supreme Court held that sobriety checkpoints where drivers are stopped without reasonable suspicion of wrongdoing are in fact constitutional because the government’s interest in preventing drunk driving outweighs the inconvenience to the individuals who are stopped and that, therefore, DUI checkpoints are an exception to the search and seizure provision of the Fourth Amendment.

With that said, in order to be constitutional, DUI checkpoints must be conducted in a certain way. For example DUI checkpoints in Illinois must:

  • Have clear guidelines that are strictly adhered to by the law enforcement officers conducting the checkpoint,
  • Be clearly marked,
  • Be announced to the public beforehand,
  • Be conducted in a neutral and nonbiased manner, and
  • Not be used as a pretense for gathering evidence about another crime without a warrant.

Your Legal Rights

While encountering a DUI checkpoint can be stressful, even if you have not had a drop to drink, try your best to keep you wits about you and remember that your legal rights are still intact. For example, if you see a roadblock up ahead and you are able to safely and legally turn down a side street in order to avoid the inconvenience of stopping, then you are within your legal rights to do so.

However, keep in mind that police officers are often stationed on the side streets surrounding DUI checkpoints so this would be a bad time to break the rules of the road while attempting to avoid a DUI checkpoint.

Additionally, remember that you are not legally obligated to answer a police officer who asks if you have been drinking, although you are required to provide your license, registration, and insurance information when requested to do so.

Arrested for Driving Under the Influence? Contact a Local DUI Attorney

At The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley, we vigorously defend clients facing both first and multiple DUI offenses. Attorney Cosley has experience working as a prosecutor in the Felony and Drug Division of the Illinois state courts and is therefore intimately familiar with the techniques used by prosecutors in DUI cases and is uniquely qualified to defend those accused of driving under the influence.

If you are looking for an exceptionally well qualified Rolling Meadows drunk driving lawyer to protect your legal interests after being accused of driving under the influence, contact us today for help.

Source:

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

Minors Caught With Alcohol in Illinois

August 21st, 2017 at 7:15 am

legal drinking age, Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyers, unlawful consumption of alcohol, minors caught with alcohol, underage drinkingThe legal drinking age in Illinois, and throughout the United States, is 21. However, it is also illegal for those under 21 to even just possess alcohol in Illinois. Unlawful possession of alcohol by a minor and unlawful consumption of alcohol by a minor are related, yet distinct, crimes in Illinois.

Unlawful Possession of Alcohol by a Minor

Under Illinois’ Liquor Control Act (235 ILCS 5/1 et seq.) it is illegal for an individual who is under 21 years of age to possess alcohol. But what does it mean, in a legal sense, to “possess” something?

In this case, alcohol can be possessed either physically or constructively. Physical possession essentially means holding a container with alcohol in it. Constructive possession, on the other hand, means that you have both the intent as well as the ability to control the alcohol.

Therefore, if you have a six-pack of beer in the trunk of your car, a court would likely find that you have constructive possession of the alcohol.

Unlawful Possession Penalties

Unlawful possession of alcohol by a minor in Illinois is a Class A misdemeanor that is punishable by a fine of up to $2,500, up to 364 days in jail, and/or a driver’s license suspension of up to one year.

Unlawful Consumption of Alcohol by a Minor

In Illinois it is also illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to consume alcohol. Please keep in mind that it is therefore technically illegal for an underage person to have even a sip of alcohol.

Sometimes people mistakenly believe that this law prohibits those who are underage from being drunk or from having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or greater. However, this is not the case. Remember, in Illinois, it is illegal for an underage individual to consume any amount of alcohol.

Unlawful Consumption Penalties

Unlawful consumption of alcohol by a minor is a Class A misdemeanor in Illinois that is punishable by a fine of up to $2,500, up to 364 days in jail, and/or a driver’s license suspension of up to one year.

Exceptions

It should be noted that there are two limited exceptions to the underage alcohol laws outlined above. Under code section 235 ILCS 5/6-20(g), people under 21 years of age can legally possess and/or consume alcohol in Illinois either (1) during the performance of a religious service or ceremony, or (2) while in a private home under the direct supervision of their parent (or a person standing in loco parentis).

Let Us Assist You Today

If your child has been charged with unlawful possession or consumption of alcohol by a minor in Illinois, the experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyers of The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley are here to help. Our firm defends both minors and juveniles against a wide variety of alcohol related offenses and would be happy to assist you.

Source:

http://ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=1404&ChapterID=26

Domestic Battery: When Does Disciplining a Child Become Abuse?

August 17th, 2017 at 4:52 pm

child abuse, domestic battery, Rolling Meadows domestic battery defense attorney, corporal punishment, physical disciplineThere is great debate these days among parenting “experts” about whether or not children should be physically disciplined when they misbehave. Some think that children should never be physically reprimanded, others believe in spanking, and some feel that more violent forms of punishment (such as hitting a child with a stick or whipping them with a belt) is permissible.

Regardless of how you feel about corporal punishment as a parenting technique, it is critical that every parent in Illinois understands the legal line that our state has drawn between physical discipline and child abuse. It should be noted that this line is not as clear-cut as you might expect; however, this article explores the legal distinction between physical discipline and abuse according to Illinois law.

The Legal Line Between Physical Discipline and Abuse

The Appellate Court of Illinois held in In re F.W. that parents in our state have the right to physically discipline their children. However, a parent’s right to physically discipline his or her child is not unlimited.

Under code section 705 ILCS 405/2-3(2)(v) physical punishment of a child becomes abuse if the corporal punishment inflicted is “excessive.” But how are we to know when physical punishment becomes excessive? Unfortunately, the statute does not explain what constitutes excessive corporal punishment. However the Illinois State Bar Association notes that based on the applicable case law Illinois courts consider the following factors when determining whether or not a particular instance of physical discipline was excessive:

  • Injuries sustained by the child;
  • Any psychological issues exhibited by the child that can be attributed to the incident;
  • What part of the child’s body was affected;
  • The likelihood that excessive corporal punishment will be administered in the future;
  • The danger of further mental trauma or bodily harm;
  • How old the child is;
  • The purpose of the punishment;
  • The general reasonableness of the act; and
  • Any other information relevant to the case.

Child Abuse Penalties

If an Illinois court finds that a parent did in fact inflict excessive corporal punishment on his or her child that parent may face the penalties associated with a Class 1, Class 2, or Class 3 felony offense.

Have You Been Accused of Committing Child Abuse in Illinois?

As you can see, the line between permissible corporal punishment and child abuse in Illinois is not crystal clear. Therefore, if you have been accused of committing child abuse in Illinois, it is critical that you retain an experienced Rolling Meadows domestic battery defense attorney without delay. Having an excellent defense attorney fighting for you can make all the difference in cases like these where both sides of the aisle will be presenting evidence arguing whether or not the corporal punishment inflicted was “excessive.” To schedule an initial consultation with one of the exceptional criminal defense lawyers of The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley, contact our Rolling Meadows office today.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=1863&ChapterID=50&SeqStart=2300000&SeqEnd=6700000

https://www.isba.org/sites/default/files/sections/childlaw/newsletter/Child%20Law%20April%202015.pdf

Criminal Trespass in Illinois: The Basics

August 14th, 2017 at 7:00 am

criminal trespass, private property, Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyers, trespassing, vehicle trespassLandowners and occupants in Illinois have the right to exclude people from trespassing on their property. Therefore, entering onto someone else’s private property without permission to do so can constitute a civil trespass as the trespasser violated the owner/occupant’s exclusive possession of the land.

However, in Illinois a trespasser can also be charged with criminal trespass under some circumstances. Three of the most commonly charged forms of criminal trespass in Illinois are outlined below.

Criminal Trespass to Real Property: Code Section 720 ILCS 5/21-3

Here in Illinois the crime of criminal trespass to real property is defined in section 720 ILCS 5/21-3 of the Illinois Compiled Statutes and states that an individual is guilty of criminal trespass when he or she:

  • Enters or remains in a building knowingly and without the lawful authority to do so;
  • Enters the property of another after receiving notice from the owner or occupants forbidding entry;
  • Remains on another person’s land after being told by the owner or occupant to depart;
  • Presents false documents or misrepresents his/her identity in order to falsely obtain permission to enter or remain on another person’s property;
  • Intentionally removes a posted notice from residential real estate early; or
  • Enters or remains in a field that could be used to grow crops, a fenced area or building that contains livestock, or an orchard in a motor vehicle after being told by the owner or occupant that doing so is forbidden.

Criminal trespass to real property is generally charged as a Class B misdemeanor in Illinois and is punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $500.

Criminal Trespass to a Residence: Code Section 720 ILCS 5/19-4

Additionally, the Illinois Compiled Statutes also contains a more specific statute that criminalizes trespass to a residence. Under section 720 ILCS 5/19-4 an individual commits criminal trespass to a residence when he/she (1) knowingly enters or remains in a residence without the authority to do so, or (2) knowingly enters or remains in someone else’s residence without the authority to do so while knowing (or having reason to know) that at least one person is home.

Criminal trespass to a residence can be charged as either a Class A misdemeanor or as a Class 4 felony.

Criminal Trespass to Vehicles: Code Section 720 ILCS 5/21-2

Under section 720 ILCS 5/21-2 of the Illinois Compiled Statutes an individual commits criminal trespass to vehicles when he/she knowingly enters a vehicle, watercraft, aircraft, or snowmobile without the authority to do so.

Criminal trespass to vehicles is a Class A misdemeanor in Illinois.

Contact Us for Help Today

If you have been accused of criminal trespass in Illinois contact the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley without delay. Our team of experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyers defend both adults and minors against criminal trespass charges as well as a wide array of other criminal allegations across Illinois.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K21-3

How Probation Works in Illinois

August 9th, 2017 at 9:40 am

how probation works, probation, Rolling Meadows probation violation defense attorney, probation violation, criminal defense representationProbation, not to be confused with parole, is a court ordered sanction that can be imposed on some criminal offenders as an alternative to incarceration. Probation affords an offender who has demonstrated a willingness to rehabilitate himself or herself the opportunity to remain a member of the community (and to stay out of jail) so long as he or she strictly complies with the conditions of his or her probation.

In Illinois, probation conditions vary from offender to offender and case to case but often include:

  • A curfew;
  • Mandatory participation in rehabilitation programs and/or counseling;
  • Prohibition on consuming drugs and alcohol;
  • Drug testing;
  • Paying restitution, attorneys fees, and/or fines;
  • Completing community service;
  • Staying within the state unless granted permission to leave;
  • Diligently searching for a job;
  • Leaving the victim(s) of the crime alone;
  • Reporting to a probation officer; and/or
  • Prohibition on possessing weapons.

In Illinois, each and every court ordered condition of probation is very important as violating just one of them means that the offender is in violation of probation.

What Does it Mean to Be in Violation of Probation?

When an offender is placed on probation the court clearly lists the conditions of probation that must be met. If the offender fails to meet any of these conditions, then he or she is considered to be “in violation of probation” and risks having their probation revoked. When this happens, then his or her probation officer may either issue a warning or request the alleged violator to appear in court so that a judge can determine whether or not the terms of his or her probation were violated.

Before an Illinois offender who is requested to appear in court under suspicion of violating the conditions of his or her probation can have their probation revoked, the prosecution must file a Motion to Revoked Probation. When this happens, a hearing is scheduled and both the person who allegedly violated the conditions of his or her probation as well as the prosecution have an opportunity to argue their respective sides of the matter.

If the court finds that the individual did in fact violate the terms of his or her probation, then the judge has the power to revoke probation and sentence the individual to serve time in jail instead. However, the judge also has the option of extending the individual’s probation, imposing additional conditions of probation, or ordering the individual to serve a brief stint in jail before being placed back on probation.

Clearly, being in violation of probation is no joke. Therefore, if you have been accused of violating a condition of your probation, then it is important that you know and exercise your legal rights. Most importantly, remember that your probation can not be revoked until you have had the opportunity to present evidence in your defense at your probation violation hearing, and be aware that you can have a criminal defense attorney represent you at this hearing.

Contact a Violation of Probation Defense Attorney for Professional Assistance

At The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley we provide aggressive criminal defense representation to clients accused of violating the terms of their probation across Illinois. Our experienced Rolling Meadows probation violation defense attorneys are here to help you. Call  847-394-3200 today.

Source:

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

Criminal Statutes of Limitation in Illinois

August 7th, 2017 at 8:01 am

criminal cases, criminal statutes of limitation, Illinois crime, Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyers, Illinois criminal lawDid you know that in some criminal cases Illinois prosecutors are bound by a statute of limitations (SOL) that limits the timeframe within which they are permitted to file criminal charges against you? This means that if you commit a crime in Illinois, and are not officially charged before an applicable statute of limitations clock expires, then the government will more often than not be barred from charging you with that crime in the future.

This may sound fairly straightforward, but keep in mind that Illinois does not have a statute of limitations that applies to every crime. Moreover, there are circumstances under which a statute of limitations clock can be tolled (i.e. suspended) for a time, and in some cases it can be very hard to tell when the period of limitation begins.

Therefore, it is essential to learn about Illinois’ key criminal statutes of limitations. If you suspect that the applicable statute of limitations has expired for a crime that you committed in the past, consult with a local criminal defense lawyer about your legal options.

As mentioned above, criminal statutes of limitations are full of intricacies and nuances so it is critical that you seek competent legal advice before acting on the belief that a particular statute of limitations has expired.

Key Criminal SOLs in Illinois

Generally speaking, under Illinois law (720 ILCS 5/3-5(b)) there is an 18 month statute of limitations that applies to most misdemeanor offenses and a three year statute of limitations that applies to most felony offenses. However, it is important to note that some serious crimes in Illinois are not subject to a statute of limitations and can therefore be prosecuted at any time. These crimes include the following:

  • First- and second-degree murder;
  • Attempted first-degree murder;
  • Criminal solicitation to commit murder;
  • Treason;
  • Forgery;
  • Arson;
  • Involuntary manslaughter;
  • Reckless homicide; and
  • Concealment of homicidal death.

Exceptions

As noted above, the law surrounding Illinois’ statutes of limitations is complicated. One complication is the fact that certain periods of time are routinely excluded (or tolled) from our state’s prescribed criminal SOLs. For example, under section 720 ILCS 5/3-7 an applicable IL criminal statute of limitations is generally tolled while:

  • The accused is not a resident within the state;
  • The accused is currently a public officer and the alleged offense is theft of public funds;
  • Separate prosecution is pending against the accused for the same conduct;
  • A material witness for the prosecution is on active military leave or duty;
  • Sexual assault evidence is being collected; or
  • Sexual assault evidence is being analyzed by the Department of State Police.

Reach Out to Us for Help Today

Illinois’ criminal statutes of limitations are complicated, but the experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyers of The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley know them inside and out. One of our firm’s experienced lawyers would be happy to discuss how Illinois’ criminal statutes of limitations may impact any potential charges brought against you during a confidential consultation.  

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K3-5

The Difference Between Burglary and Robbery in Illinois

August 2nd, 2017 at 7:03 am

burglary and robbery, Class 1 felony, Rolling Meadows theft crimes defense attorneys, theft crimes, theft crimes defenseBurglary and robbery are legal terms that are commonly conflated. However, under Illinois law these terms refer to two distinct crimes. In a nutshell, a burglary occurs when a perpetrator enters a structure where he or she is not legally permitted to be with the intent to commit a crime therein, while robbery on the other hand occurs when force, fear, and/or intimidation is used to take property from the person of another. However, it is important to note that burglary and robbery are defined slightly differently in each state.

Illinois’ Definition of Burglary

The Illinois Compiled Statutes, under section 720 ILCS 5/19-1, defines burglary as knowingly entering, or remaining in, a building, watercraft, house trailer, aircraft, railroad car, or motor vehicle without the authority to do so, with the intent to commit a felony or theft therein. However, if the intended felony or theft involves damaging a vehicle, removing part of a vehicle, or tampering with a vehicle then the perpetrator likely has not committed burglary.

Under Illinois law, burglary is generally charged as a Class 2 felony; however, a burglary charge can be elevated to a Class 1 felony if the crime was committed in a day care center/home, school, or place of worship that is not conducted in a private residence.

Illinois’ Definition of Robbery

Under article 18 of the Illinois Compiled Statutes a robbery can be committed in any of the following three ways:

  1. Robbery: Knowingly taking the property (except a motor vehicle) from the person of another through the use of force or by threatening the imminent use of force;
  2. Aggravated Robbery: Committing an act of robbery (defined above) while either (1) indicating to the victim, either verbally or through action, that he/she is armed with a gun or some other dangerous weapon, or (2) delivering a controlled substance to the victim for a purpose that is not medical in nature; or
  3. Armed Robbery: Committing an act of robbery or aggravated robbery (defined above) while (1) in possession of a firearm or some other dangerous weapon, or (2) personally discharging a firearm during the commission of the offense.

Basic robbery is usually charged as a Class 2 felony in Illinois. However, if the victim was 60 years old or older or had a physical disability, or if the robbery was committed in a day care center/home, school, or place of worship then the robbery is elevated to a Class 1 felony. Additionally, aggravated robbery is also charged as a Class 1 felony. Furthermore, armed robbery can be charged as a Class X felony.

Reach Out to Us for Help

Successfully defending against a theft crime like burglary or robbery often takes a great deal of tact and skill as these crimes involve an intent/knowledge component. At The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley, our experienced Rolling Meadows theft crimes defense attorneys are familiar with the various tactics used by prosecutors trying cases like these and know how to skillfully defend against them. If you have been charged with a theft crime in Illinois contact our Rolling Meadows office without delay so that our team can start building your defense as soon as possible.

Source:

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

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