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Archive for December, 2017

How is Reckless Driving Proven in Illinois?

December 28th, 2017 at 5:38 pm

reckless driving charges, reckless driving citations, Rolling Meadows reckless driving lawyer, traffic offenses, traffic violationsReckless driving, as defined under section 625 ILCS 5/11-503 of the Illinois Code, is committed in Illinois when a driver (a) drives with a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of people or property, or (b) knowingly uses an incline, bridge approach, railway crossing, or hill to make their vehicle go airborne. Furthermore, any person who drives recklessly and as a result causes permanent disability/disfigurement or great bodily harm to another can be convicted of aggravated reckless driving. But how can it be proven that someone drove recklessly? Reckless driving cases differ from case to case; however, consider the following various approaches that are commonly used to prove acts of reckless driving in Illinois.

Approaches Commonly Used to Prove Reckless Driving

If you choose to fight a reckless driving ticket in Illinois the opposition will be forced to present evidence in court establishing that you either drove with a willful or wanton disregard for safety or that you intentionally made your vehicle go airborne. This can be proven in a variety of different ways, but before discussing these various approaches let us take a quick look at what constitutes “willful or wanton” conduct.

Willful and wanton conduct is one of those legal phrases that can be a bit hard to pin a precise definition to, but in the context of reckless driving cases it is best to think of it as conduct that is engaged in with a conscious disregard for, or a with a reckless indifference to, the potential consequences of such an action.

Proving that a driver acted with willful or wanton disregard for safety is often accomplished in reckless driving cases via one or more of the following types evidence:

  • Eyewitness Evidence: Generally the police officer who issued the reckless driving citation at issue will testify to the manner in which he or she personally witnessed the accused driving. Other eyewitnesses, perhaps someone who got into an accident with the accused, may also be called forward to testify about what they saw.
  • Video Evidence: Nowadays, many police cruisers are equipped with dashboard cams and if such a camera captured the manner in which you were driving prior to being pulled over then this video may be presented as evidence against you. Additionally, footage captured on a cell phone by a witness may also be available as people frequently film the unusual behavior of others on their smartphones these days.
  • Radar Evidence: Many reckless driving citations issued in Illinois are based solely on a driver’s speed. When this is the case the issuing police officer will have likely captured evidence of your speed on their radar gun and will present such evidence, along with proof that his or her radar gun was properly calibrated, in court.

Charged with Reckless Driving in Illinois?

If you have been charged with reckless driving in Illinois, experienced Rolling Meadows reckless driving lawyer Christopher Cosley is here to help. Mr. Cosley has extensive experience providing legal assistance to clients who have been charged with a wide array of different traffic violations and would be happy to assist you. While each case is different, Mr. Cosley is often able to help clients keep traffic offenses off the public record, avoid increased insurance rates, prevent having their driver’s license suspended, and reduce or eliminate the other various consequences commonly associated with traffic violations. To find out what The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley can do for you schedule an initial consultation at our Rolling Meadows office today.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-503

What Happens When a Foreigner is Convicted of a Criminal Offense in the U.S.?

December 26th, 2017 at 3:46 pm

aggravated felony, crimes of moral turpitude, criminal offense, deportation, Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyerWhen a foreign national is convicted of a criminal offense in the United States, he or she runs the risk of being deported, regardless of whether or not the individual was legally present in the U.S. when the crime was committed. In other words, if you are not an American citizen and you have been accused of committing a crime in the United States, be aware that if you are ultimately convicted you may be deported. However, not all criminal convictions can render a foreign national eligible for deportation.

Crimes for Which Non-U.S. Citizens May be Deported

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ website notes that aliens who are convicted of one of the following criminal offenses in the United States are eligible for deportation:

  • Crimes of Moral Turpitude: Any foreign national who is convicted of a crime involving “moral turpitude” (i.e. most crimes involving dishonesty or theft), for which a sentence of at least one year may be imposed, within five years of being admitted into the United States (or within 10 years in some cases) is deportable.
  • Multiple Criminal Convictions: Any foreign national who is convicted of two or more crimes (arising out of separate schemes) that involve moral turpitude after being admitted into the United States is deportable.  
  • Aggravated Felony: Any foreign national who is convicted of an aggravated felony after being admitted into the United States is deportable.
  • High Speed Flight: Any foreign national who is convicted of engaging in high speed flight from an immigration checkpoint is deportable.
  • Failure to Register as a Sex Offender: Any foreign national who is required by law to register as a sex offender and fails to do so is deportable.
  • Controlled Substances: Any foreign national who, after having been admitted into the United States, is convicted of committing or attempting to commit a controlled substance crime (other than a single offense involving possession of 30 grams or less of marijuana) is deportable.
  • Certain Firearm Offenses: Any foreign national convicted of certain firearm offenses after being admitted into the United States is deportable.
  • Crimes of Domestic Violence: Any foreign national who is convicted of domestic violence, child abuse, or stalking after being admitted into the United States is deportable.
  • Trafficking: Any foreign national who commits (or conspires to commit) human trafficking, or benefits from human trafficking, after being admitted into the United States is deportable.

*** Please note that the list of crimes outlined above is NOT exhaustive and that there are additional crimes for which a foreign national can be deported. ***

Consult With a Local Criminal Defense Attorney Today!

If you are a foreign national who has been accused of committing a crime in the United States, it is critical that you consult with a dedicated Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer straight away. Be sure to immediately tell the attorney of your immigration status so that he or she can properly advise you about your legal options and suggest an appropriate course of action. If the crime that you are accused of committing allegedly took place in Illinois, feel free to contact the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley for help.

Source:

https://www.uscis.gov/ilink/docView/SLB/HTML/SLB/0-0-0-1/0-0-0-29/0-0-0-5684.html

How Illinois’ DMV Point System Works

December 21st, 2017 at 8:19 am

DMV point system, driving record, penalty points, Rolling Meadows traffic violations lawyer, traffic violationsUnder Illinois’ DMV point system, Illinois drivers are assigned penalty points for a wide array of traffic violations. The more serious the violation the more points that the DMV will add to the driver’s record. For example, a driver who fails to obey a traffic sign will generally have 20 points added to his or her driver’s license while, on the other hand, a driver who is caught driving recklessly will often be assigned 55 points.

If you have recently accumulated a few minor traffic citations, or if you have broken a serious rule of the road, then it is important to be aware of how many points you currently have and the impact that these points can have on your ability to retain your driving privileges in Illinois.

The Impact of Points on Your Driving Record

Under Illinois’ DMV point system, a driver who receives three or more traffic citations within a 12-month period will generally have accumulated enough points on his or her record to be penalized with an administrative revocation or suspension of his or her driver’s license.

Furthermore, if your license is suspended due to having added too many points to your record during a 12-month period, then the length of the suspension is determined in part by how many points you currently have on your record and in part by whether or not the DMV has revoked or suspended your driver’s license within the past seven years.

Is it Possible to Reduce the Number of Points that I Have?

In other states a qualifying driver can reduce the number of points that have accumulated on his or her license by completing a driving safety course. Unfortunately, however, this option is not currently available to drivers in Illinois.

The only way to have points removed from your Illinois driver’s license is to wait the prescribed time period. Still, under some circumstances, Illinois drivers may be able to avoid adding points to their records in the first place by enrolling in a defensive driving course. This is because some courts in Illinois will allow a driver to take such a course in order to prevent additional points from being added to their record. Also, a local traffic violations lawyer may be able to help limit the number of points that will be added to your record by negotiating a reduced offense on your behalf.

Need Legal Advice? Contact Rolling Meadows Traffic Violations Lawyer Chris Cosley

If you have received a traffic ticket in Illinois and would like to learn more about how such a citation may impact the number of points on your record, contact dedicated Rolling Meadows traffic violations lawyer Chris Cosley today to schedule a free initial consultation. At The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley we are often able to successfully negotiate reduced offenses for our traffic violations clients. Call 847-394-3200 today.

Source:

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

Home Invasion: An Illinois Crime Commonly Charged in Connection With Burglary

December 19th, 2017 at 9:02 am

burglary, home invasion, Illinois crime, residential burglary, aggravated batteryEarlier this month, a 56-year-old man was sentenced by Illinois Judge Thomas Berglund to serve 30 years in prison in connection with a home invasion that the offender confessed to committing earlier this year, reports The Register-Mail.

Reportedly, the homes invasion took place last spring when the offender entered the home of an 83-year-old man and hit the resident over the head with a metal desk lamp. The elderly victim suffered great bodily harm and was discovered by a neighbor two days after the incident occurred.

After admitting that this was in fact the course of events that took place, a negotiated plea agreement was reached in which two other charges (residential burglary and aggravated battery causing harm to someone over 60 years of age) were dismissed and the prosecution continued ahead with the home invasion charge for which the offender is now serving time.

The Crime of Home Invasion Under Illinois Law

Home invasion is a criminal offense that often goes hand in hand with burglary in Illinois. Under Illinois law, a burglary is committed when an individual remains in or enters a building or a vehicle which he or she does not have permission to enter or remain in with the intent to commit theft or a felony therein. However, if a burglar enters a dwelling and causes injury or threatens the use of force against someone therein, then he or she may have also committed the crime of home invasion.

Under section 720 ILCS 5/19-6 of the Illinois Compiled Statutes, the crime of home invasion is committed when a person (who is not a police officer doing their job) knowingly and without the authority to do so enters or remains in the dwelling of another while knowing, or having reason to know, that someone is in the dwelling and:

  • Has a dangerous weapon (that is not a firearm) that they use or threaten to against any person(s) present in the dwelling,
  • Intentionally injures any person(s) present in the dwelling,
  • Is armed with a firearm, uses or threatens force upon any person(s) present in the dwelling,
  • Uses or threatens to use force upon any person(s) present in the dwelling while personally discharging a firearm,
  • Personally discharges a firearm that causes permanent disability, great bodily harm, permanent disfigurement, or death to someone within the dwelling, or
  • Commits criminal sexual assault or criminal sexual abuse against any person(s) present in the dwelling.

However, it should be noted that under Illinois law anyone charged with the crime of home invasion has an affirmative defense if he or she immediately surrendered or left the premises upon realizing that one or more people were present in the dwelling that the alleged offender unlawfully entered or remained in.

Let Us Help You with Your Case

If you have been charged with home invasion in Illinois be sure to contact the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley today. Under Illinois law home invasion is an extremely serious offense. In fact, home invasion is a Class X felony that carries a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 6 to 30 years. To discuss your legal options with an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer, contact our office today.

Source:

http://www.galesburg.com/news/20171211/burlington-man-receives-maximum-in-home-invasion-beating

Boating Under the Influence in Illinois

December 14th, 2017 at 9:46 am

Boating under the influence, DUI conviction, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney, BUI offender, BUI convictionDid you know that in Illinois it is illegal to operate a boat while under the influence of drugs or alcohol? Many people do not realize that, from a legal point of view, operating a boat is comparable to driving a car and that those caught operating a watercraft while under the influence can be charged with boating under the influence (BUI), which carries similar penalties to a driving under the influence (DUI) conviction.

625 ILCS 45/5-16: Operating a Watercraft Under the Influence

Section 625 ILCS 45/5-16 of the Illinois Compiled Statutes (aka Illinois’ boating under the influence statute) states that it is illegal to be in actual physical control of a watercraft in Illinois while you:

  • Have a blood or breath alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or greater,
  • Are under the influence of alcohol, or
  • Are under the influence of a drug, drugs, or an intoxicating compound to the extent that you can not safely operate a watercraft.

Penalties

The penalties available for those convicted of boating while under the influence in Illinois vary significantly depending on whether or not this is the offender’s first DUI conviction, and are as follows:

  • First BUI: Punishable by imprisonment for up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,600.
  • Second or Subsequent BUI: Punishable by imprisonment for up to three years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000.

Furthermore, a BUI offender’s sentence can be enhanced under Illinois law if there were one or more aggravating factors present. For example, if the offender was involved in an accident that caused another to suffer great bodily harm, or if the offender was boating under the influence while their right to operate a watercraft was suspended due to a previous BUI conviction, the offender can be sentenced to serve up to three years in prison and pay a fine of up to $25,000. Additionally, if the offender was involved in an accident that cost someone their life life, then he or she can be sentenced to serve up to 14 years in prison and pay a fine of up to $25,000.

In some cases a convicted BUI offender in Illinois will also have their boating privileges suspended, be required to complete a specified number of community service hours, and/or be ordered to participate in a drug and alcohol evaluation/treatment program.

Need Legal Advice? Contact Attorney Christopher Cosley

Whether you have been charged with driving under the influence or boating under the influence in Illinois, experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney Christopher Cosley is here to help. Mr. Cosley was formerly the lead prosecutor in the DUI division of the Illinois state courts and now uses his extensive experience to defend clients across Illinois against alcohol and drug related criminal charges. Contact the office today for help.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500450K5-16

What You Need to Know About Underage DUIs in Illinois

December 12th, 2017 at 8:10 am

Rolling Meadows DUI attorney, underage drinking, underage DUI, zero tolerance policy, driving privilegesWe all know that it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle in Illinois with a BAC of 0.08 percent or more. Yet did you know that drivers who are under 21 years of age can get in trouble for driving under the influence if they have any detectable amount of alcohol in their system? This is because Illinois has what is known as a zero tolerance driving under the influence policy.

Illinois’ Zero Tolerance Policy

As noted on the Office of the Illinois Secretary of State’s website, a driver who is less than 21 years old and is caught with even a trace amount of alcohol in his or her system can get into a lot of trouble under Illinois’ zero tolerance law. Exactly how much trouble a young driver can get in depends on how much alcohol they are found to have consumed before getting behind the wheel. For example, a person who is under 21 can be charged with a DUI (aka driving under the influence) if he or she is caught with:

  • A BAC of 0.08 percent or more,
  • A BAC of 0.05 percent or more plus additional evidence proving impairment,
  • Any illegal drugs in their system, or
  • Other indications of having been driving while under the influence.

Furthermore, Illinois’ zero tolerance law provides that a driver who is under 21 will lose his or her driving privileges if he or she is caught driving after having consumed any alcohol at all. Underage individuals who get caught driving with alcohol in their system in Illinois lose their driving privileges as follows:

  • If convicted of a first DUI – driving privileges revoked for at least two years.
  • If convicted of a second DUI within five years – driving privileges revoked for at least five years.
  • If stopped and issued a ticket for a traffic violation (first offense) – driving privileges suspended for three months.
  • If stopped and issued a ticket for a traffic violation (second offense) – driving privileges suspended for one year.

The Consequences of Underage DUIs in Illinois

In addition to losing their driving privileges for a specified period of time, underage individuals convicted of driving under the influence in Illinois can be sentenced to serve time in jail (generally imprisonment for up to one year) and/or be ordered to pay a fine (typically up to $2,500). Furthermore, those convicted of driving under the influence often find that the consequences of a DUI conviction extend far beyond the penalties imposed by the court. For example, many people find that after being convicted their insurance provider decides to terminate their auto insurance policy.

Need Legal Advice? Contact a Local Rolling Meadows DUI Attorney

Anyone who has recently been charged with driving under the influence in Illinois should contact an experienced Rolling Meadows DUI attorney Christopher M. Cosley without delay. It is important to realize that driving under the influence, whether you are over or under 21, is a serious criminal offense in Illinois that can carry steep fines and serious jail time. Therefore, if you have been accused of driving under the influence it is critical that you consult with a local criminal defense lawyer about your legal options right away.

Source:

http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/drivers/traffic_safety/DUI/uselose.html

FAQs About Medical Marijuana in Illinois

December 7th, 2017 at 8:22 am

medical marijuana, Rolling Meadows drug charges attorney, medical marijuana program, drug charges, Illinois drug lawsAccording to the ACLU, approximately 52 percent of all drug arrests conducted in the United States in 2010 were for marijuana-related crimes. This is largely thanks to the various drug laws that were passed during the government’s “war on drugs” campaign in the 70s—many of which imposed relatively harsh penalties for possessing or distributing marijuana.

However, in more recent years, several states, including Illinois, have relaxed their drug laws a bit and now permit the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Unfortunately many of these modern medical marijuana laws are not well understood by the public. Consider the following frequently asked questions to help clear some confusion. 

Q: What is “medical marijuana”?

A: The National Institute on Drug Abuse’s website notes that the term “medical marijuana” (sometimes called “medical cannabis”) refers to using the whole marijuana plant, or its extracts, to treat symptoms of illness. In other words, medical marijuana is, from a scientific standpoint, essentially the same as recreational marijuana.

Q: Who can legally obtain medical marijuana in Illinois?

A: In 2013, Illinois lawmakers passed the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act which was a temporary test program designed, at its core, to allow Illinois residents with qualifying debilitating medical conditions to use medical marijuana as part of their treatment plans.

Under this act qualifying “debilitating medical conditions” include Parkinson’s disease, glaucoma, muscular dystrophy, rheumatoid arthritis, as well as a number of other conditions. This pilot program was originally intended to run until the end of 2017 but last year lawmakers passed Senate Bill 10 which effectively extended the program until July 2020.

However, it should be noted that if you were convicted of a felony drug crime in the past then you are not eligible to participate in Illinois’ pilot medical marijuana program.

Q: How much medical marijuana can a qualifying patient possess under Illinois law?

A: Under Illinois’ Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act, a qualifying patient who has properly registered and who possesses a registry identification card may not possess more than two and one-half ounces of usable marijuana.

Q: If I have a valid medical marijuana card can I legally grow marijuana at home for my own consumption?

A: No, under Illinois’ current medical marijuana laws individual cultivation is not allowed.

Need Legal Advice? Contact a Local Drug Charges Attorney

At The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley we defend clients against various felony and misdemeanor drug charges across Illinois. Thanks to Attorney Christopher Cosley, a former prosecutor in the Felony and Drug Division, our firm is well acquainted with the legal tactics commonly used by prosecuting attorneys in drug cases and we use this valuable insight to benefit our clients. To find out what an experienced Rolling Meadows drug charges attorney can do for you, contact our office today.

Source:

https://www.aclu.org/gallery/marijuana-arrests-numbers

https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/marijuana-medicine

Detained for Shoplifting? Know Your Legal Rights in Illinois

December 5th, 2017 at 3:55 pm

allegedly shoplifting, private person arrest statute, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney, shoplifting, criminal defenseDid you know that when a security guard at a mall in Illinois detains someone who is suspected of shoplifting, the guard is actually making a citizen’s arrest? In other words, he or she is acting as a private citizen and is therefore bound by our state’s private person arrest statute just like anyone else who makes a citizen’s arrest.

Citizen’s Arrests: The Basics

In Illinois, our private person arrest statute is codified in code section 725 ILCS 5/107-3 and states, “Any person may arrest another when he has reasonable grounds to believe that an offense other than an ordinance violation is being committed.” Therefore, a store’s security guard (or any other person for that matter) is legally within his or her rights under Illinois law to arrest you if he or she reasonably believe that you are shoplifting.

In order for his or her suspicion to be reasonable, he or she generally must have seen you take merchandise, or have been alerted to the fact that you have merchandise on your person when a security tag sounded.

However, it should be noted that what the court finds to be a reasonable belief in one situation may not hold up under different circumstances and that a local criminal defense lawyer should review the facts of your case in order to determine whether or not your detention was proper.

Your Rights

If you are detained for allegedly shoplifting, remember that you have rights and try to keep your wits about you no matter how stressful the circumstances may be. For instance, do not feel pressured to sign anything. Those who detain you may try to pressure you into signing a statement admitting your guilt; you are under no legal obligation to sign such a document. Furthermore, if the person who detained you did so without possessing the requisite legal grounds, then you may be able to file a claim against them for false imprisonment.

Additionally, if the police are ultimately called remember that you have the right to remain silent. They can ask you questions; however, beyond identifying yourself, you are not legally obligated to answer them. Also, keep in mind that if you are arrested by the police you have the right to speak to a lawyer and that if you are under 18 you have the right to have a parent or legal guardian present when you talk to the police.

Need Legal Advice?

Accused of shoplifting in Illinois? If so, contact The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley without delay. Shoplifting is often thought of as a minor offense for which violators are given only a slap on the wrist, but be warned that in Illinois that is not always the case!

Depending on the facts surrounding your arrest a shoplifting conviction could mean spending significant time behind bars. Do not bury your head in the sand; be proactive and contact our office to schedule a consultation with an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney today.

Source:

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

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