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Archive for February, 2018

Types of Juvenile Crimes

February 26th, 2018 at 7:00 am

juvenile courts, juvenile crimes, juvenile law, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney, violent offensesAdults are not the only ones who break the law. Teens commit many crimes as well. Those under the age of 17, however, typically cannot be held responsible for the crimes they commit. The area of juvenile law applies to teens and is focused more on rehabilitation rather than punishment—prison time and hefty fines are not always appropriate forms of punishment for juveniles.

There are many sentencing options for juvenile courts. They are typically grouped into two types: incarceration and non-incarceration. Incarceration does not have to involve jail, although it sometimes does—particularly if the minor committed a felony. Other forms of incarceration include house arrest, placement in a foster home, and juvenile hall.

For minor crimes, a teen may be able to avoid incarceration. Non-incarceration punishment options include verbal warnings, fines, community service, counseling, and probation.

Most Common Offenses Among Teens

Teens have the ability to commit the same types of crimes as adults. They are even capable of committing murder and other serious or violent offenses. However, the most common criminal offenses are the following:

  • Theft – This includes shoplifting, stealing bikes, and stealing from backpacks.
  • Burglary – This includes entering a home or building with an intent to steal something.
  • Vandalism – This includes graffiti, drawing on walls, keying cars, and cutting tires.
  • Drug and alcohol offenses – This includes the purchase and possession of alcohol or marijuana.
  • Tobacco use  This includes purchasing tobacco and smoking or chewing it at school or other public place.
  • Weapons possession This includes possession of a gun (even a BB gun), knives, brass knuckles, nunchucks, and pepper spray.
  • Disorderly conduct This includes nudity in public (such as flashing or mooning), cursing at an adult and starting fights in public.
  • Assault and battery This includes verbal bullying or physical altercation such as pushing or hitting another person.
  • Traffic violations These offenses include speeding, running red lights, and not wearing a seat belt.
  • Trespassing  This includes entering a vacant building and using another person’s land without permission.
  • Fraud This includes sending spam emails in an attempt to obtain personal information, writing bad checks, and impersonating another person for personal gain.
  • False reporting This includes pulling a fire alarm when no fire is present, calling 911 for no reason, and making bomb threats.
  • Unauthorized use of a motor vehicle This includes driving without a license or using someone else’s car without their permission.

Need Legal Advice? Contact a Local Criminal Defense Lawyer

Teens who commit crimes deserve second chances. They have their entire lives in front of them, and forcing them to spend most of their adulthood in jail is unfair. As a parent, you need to ensure your child’s legal rights are protected.  

If your child is facing criminal charges, The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley can defend his or her case. Skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney Christopher Cosley will do what it takes to avoid a conviction or find alternative punishment. Reach out to our office for help today.

Source:

http://www.globalyouthjustice.org/TOP_25_CRIMES.html

The Consequences of Speeding in a Construction Zone

February 23rd, 2018 at 8:22 am

Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney, speeding, traffic offenses, construction zone speeding, traffic violationsSpeeding in any area is an offense punishable by hefty fines. This is especially true in construction zones. Workers are in these areas performing road maintenance and it is important to slow down and watch for them. Plus, heavy equipment is often in use and these vehicles can cause serious damage to you and your vehicle.

Statistics show, however, the motorists are more likely to be injured or killed in construction zone accidents than workers. Between 2010 and 2014, there were an average of 27 fatalities each year. Only an average of  two of those involved workers.

Traffic violations in construction zones are no laughing matter. While most violations involve speeding, using your cell phone, or failing to yield can also get you a ticket. The speed limit in a construction zone is 45 mph. If you are given a ticket for exceeding this speed limit, you will face a $375 fine and be ordered to appear in court. The penalties get much steeper on subsequent offenses. If you are caught a second time, the fine goes up to $1,000 and you will have your license suspended for 90 days.

If you pay the ticket, you will be convicted of the crime. The conviction will go on your driving record. You will be assessed points, which will make your car insurance premiums go up. If you have too many points on your driving record, your license could be suspended.

As you can see, something as simple as going too fast in a construction zone can wreak havoc on your driving record, and your wallet. That is why it’s important to know the laws and find out what you can do if you are given a ticket.

What the Law Says

Under Illinois Law 625 ILCS 5/11-605.1, a motorist may not exceed the speed limit in a construction zone (45 mph), whether or not workers are present. Electronic speed-detecting devices may be used in construction zones.

Construction zones are defined as areas in which a government agency has posted signage advising motorists that they are approaching a construction or maintenance speed zone and that a special speed limit sign must be posted because the preexisting established speed limit is considered unsafe. The signs must be of a pre-approved design, but no flashing lights are required. The signs must adequately warn drivers that they are approaching a construction zone. They must also indicate the maximum speed limit as well as the amount of the minimum fine if the speed limit is violated.

Contact Us Today for Help

Sometimes motorists are not aware of speed limits in special areas. Maybe a construction zone is not properly marked. Perhaps no workers were present and the driver assumed that the speed limit did not apply.

Speed limit laws can be confusing. If you have received a ticket for speeding in a construction zone, The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley can help. Passionate Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney Christopher Cosley can help provide an effective defense. Reach out to us today for more information.

Sources:

http://www.idot.illinois.gov/assets/uploads/files/travel-information/pamphlets-&-brochures/workzone%20il%20fact%20sheet.pdf

http://ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/062500050K11-605.1.htm

What to Know About Retail Theft

February 19th, 2018 at 11:41 am

retail theft, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney, shoplifting, stolen merchandise, employee theftShoplifting is considered theft of an item for sale at a place of business. It is a major problem for retailers across the United States. Seemingly minor shoplifting habits, such as taking a candy bar or a pack of gum from a store without paying, can result in major legal trouble. Moreover, depending on the value of the stolen items, felony charges could result.

In 2016, loss of inventory cost U.S. retailers nearly $49 billion. It is not just outsiders stealing goods. Employee theft accounted for 30 percent of inventory loss.

Retail theft can occur in many ways. Even ringing up an item at a lower price is considered theft.  The laws and penalties vary from state to state. Therefore, it is important to understand the laws that apply should you ever be charged with retail theft in Illinois.

Illinois Retail Theft Laws

Under 720 ILCS 5/16-25, shoplifting occurs when a person does the following:

  • Takes possession of an item for sale in a store without paying for it;
  • Alters or removes a price tag or label from an item to avoid paying for it;
  • Transfers an item from one container into another to avoid paying the full retail price;
  • Intentionally under-rings the item to avoid paying the full price;
  • Removes a theft detection device from an item using a device remover for shielding device;
  • Steals the item and then attempts to return it for cash or merchandise credit; and
  • Permanently removes a shopping cart from the premises of the retail establishment in an effort to deprive the shop owner.

Criminal charges depend on the value of the stolen item. When the value of the stolen items is under $300, the person is typically charged with a Class A misdemeanor. This is the most serious type of misdemeanor, and is just one step below a felony. It is punishable by a $2,500 fine and up to one year in jail.

When the value of the merchandise exceeds $300, the charge is elevated to a Class 3 felony. The penalties are much harsher than a misdemeanor. The person can face 2-5 years in prison and a fine of $25,000. If a person has prior retail theft charges on his or her criminal record, the penalties are often enhanced further.

Let Us Assist You with Your Case

While theft is typically not a violent crime, it is still punished severely. You could face fines, prison time, and other penalties.

If you are facing theft charges, you need solid legal defense. Contact the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley. Passionate Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney Christopher Cosley has defended many criminal cases in the area and may be able to assist you as well. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us today for help.

Sources:

http://time.com/money/4829684/shoplifting-fraud-retail-survey/

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

Disorderly Conduct in Illinois

February 16th, 2018 at 6:55 pm

criminal charges, Disorderly Conduct, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney, misdemeanor charge, felony chargeWhen people think of disorderly conduct, they may envision someone who is drunk and acting out in public. While this is a form of disorderly conduct, it is not the only one that can cause a person to face criminal charges.

Disorderly conduct refers to an act that disturbs the peace. In some states, such acts result in a mere fine. In Illinois, however, these acts are charged as misdemeanors most of the time. In some instances, they are even charged as felonies.

This means that a disorderly conduct charge can affect your life in many ways. Avoid getting in trouble with the law by understanding what types of acts can get you a criminal record in Illinois.

What Illinois Law Says

Under 720 ILCS 5/26-1, disorderly conduct consists of the following:

  • Acting in an unreasonable manner to alarm or disturb someone;
  • Sending a false alarm related to a fire, bomb, or dangerous chemical;
  • Threatening to destroy a school building, property, or cause injury or death to school officials or those at a school function; 
  • Transmitting a false report to a public safety agency;
  • Calling 911 for the sole purpose of transmitting a false alarm;
  • Transmitting a false report of child abuse;
  • Posing as a debt collector in order to harass an individual; or
  • Entering a property or looking through a window for a lewd purpose.

Types of Disorderly Conduct

Disorderly conduct may include making an obscene gesture or using abusive or vulgar language toward another person in order to incite a fight. Making unreasonably loud noises or using chemicals to create a foul odor are also forms of disorderly conduct. Using a firearm or displaying one’s anus or genitals is also disorderly conduct.

Disorderly Conduct Penalties

Most cases of disorderly conduct are charged as misdemeanors. The penalties include up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500.

Some cases are severe enough to be charged as felonies. When a person makes false reports and calls to government agencies, this wastes public resources and causes fear to community members. These incidents are charged as Class 3 or Class 4 felonies. A person can face up to five years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.

Need Legal Advice? Contact a Local Criminal Defense Lawyer

Disorderly conduct is not always a minor crime. It can range from a misdemeanor to a felony. Regardless of the act, you do not want to have such a charge on your record, so act quickly to reduce your penalties.

If you are facing disorderly conduct charges, you need solid legal defense to avoid fines and jail time. The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley can help. Dedicated Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney Christopher Cosley has helped many clients reduce their charges. Do not hesitate to contact us today for help.

Source:

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

Aggravated Speeding: What You Need to Know

February 12th, 2018 at 9:21 am

aggravated speeding, aggravated speeding conviction, Illinois traffic offenses, speeding charges, Class A misdemeanorMany people drive a little fast every now and then. For instance, the car in front of you may be going too fast and you simply keep up with the flow of traffic. Or, perhaps you are running late for work and you need to speed up to get there on time. Perhaps you have a sports car and enjoy going fast.

Drivers can be pulled over for going 10, 15 and 20 mph over the speed limit. In these cases, the only punishment is a speeding ticket. You will have to pay the fine as well as take traffic school if you want to avoid insurance premium increases.

However, if you are caught going 26 mph or more above the speed limit, you will face hefty penalties. Going a few miles above the speed limit is one thing, but driving at an excessive speed is considered reckless. This is called aggravated speeding.

What is Aggravated Speeding?

Under 625 ILCS 5/11-601.5, aggravated speeding occurs when a person drives a vehicle at a speed that exceeds the speed limit by 26 mph or more. A person who drives 26-34 mph above the speed limit will face a Class B misdemeanor, while a person exceeding the speed limit by 35 mph or more will face a Class A misdemeanor. This is the most serious type of misdemeanor, and it is one step away from a felony.

Penalties for Aggravated Speeding

A Class B misdemeanor is punishable by six months in jail and a $1,500 fine. A Class A misdemeanor means up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. The penalties increase when the speeding occurs in a school or construction zone.

An aggravated speeding conviction stays on your record for seven years. Unless you have your record sealed, such a charge will stay on your criminal record for the rest of your life.

Court supervision may be an option for those facing aggravated speeding charges. If you have never faced such a charge previously, you may be able to complete court supervision and keep the charge from appearing on your driving record. The terms of your supervision may include fines, community service, and traffic school.

Let Us Help You with Your Case

Speeding is typically an infraction that involves a ticket, fines, and traffic school. However, excessive speeding can result in a criminal record. Do not let a single speeding incident affect your life.

If you are facing misdemeanor charges for a speeding ticket, you need solid legal defense to avoid fines and jail time. Get help from the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley. Talented Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney Christopher Cosley has helped many clients who have been accused of driving at a speed exceeding the speed limit by 26 mph or more. Contact us today for professional help.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/062500050K11-601.5.htm

https://www.isba.org/sections/trafficlaw/newsletter/2015/06/excessiveaggravatedspeeding

Illinois Drag Racing Laws and Consequences

February 9th, 2018 at 8:56 am

Class 4 felony, drag racing, Illinois license revocation, Illinois traffic offenses, street racingTV shows such as “Street Outlaws” make drag racing seem like fun and games. Two tricked-out cars go head to head in a race to see which one is faster. The drivers often bet money and whoever loses pays the winner.

Drag racers take their cars to the limit. They may travel at speeds exceeding 100 mph on city streets. Other drivers and pedestrians can end up seriously injured or even killed by the negligence of drag racers.

Not only is drag racing dangerous, it is also illegal. Drag racing is typically charged as a misdemeanor, but it can be a felony in some instances. 

Illinois Drag Racing Laws

Drag racing, also known as street racing, is considered illegal on all streets and highways in Illinois under Illinois law 625 ILCS 5/11-506. Drag racing is defined as the operation of at least two vehicles side by side traveling at high speeds that are trying to outdistance each other. It also involves one or more vehicles attempting to outdistance another, reach a destination before another, or prevent another vehicle from passing. Drag racing may also be referred to as a test of a driver’s stamina or physical endurance. The race may also occur over a common course.

Drag racing is considered a Class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by a $2,500 fine and up to one year in jail. It is also against the law to allow another person to use your vehicle for street racing. This is considered a Class B misdemeanor, which is punishable by a $1,500 fine and 180 days in jail.

There are situations in which drag racing can be a felony. Aggravated drag racing is defined as drag racing that causes a motor vehicle accident that leads to serious injury, disfigurement, or death. This is classified as a Class 4 felony, with punishment of 1-12 years in prison. A second offense of drag racing will also become a felony charge.

All drag racing convictions will also lead to license revocation or suspension for at least one year. To get your license reinstated, you will need to appear before a hearing office.

Contact Us Today for Professional Help

Drag racing may seem like an innocent act, especially late at night when the roads are deserted. However, drag racing can lead to crashes, serious injury, and even death. At the very least, you could face fines, jail time, and license loss.

If you are facing misdemeanor charges for drag racing or some other speeding offense, you could face jail time and fines. The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley can help reduce your charges. Skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney Christopher Cosley can help you avoid serious penalties.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-506

Drugged Driving in Illinois

February 5th, 2018 at 8:40 am

Class 4 felony, drugged driving, DUI charges, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney, drug convictionMuch focus is on drunk driving. Even though motorists know they should not drive after drinking, many do anyway. This often leads to serious accidents.

Now that recreational marijuana use is legal in many states—including Illinois—it is important for motorists to understand that drugged driving is against the law as well. If a person is pulled over for driving recklessly and is found to have drugs in his or her system, he or she could face DUI charges, regardless of whether or not he or she is at the legal limit.

However, measuring the amount of drugs in one’s blood is easier said than done. There is no 0.08 percent blood alcohol content (BAC) equivalent for marijuana and other drugs. Plus, unlike alcohol, drugs can stay in a person’s body for weeks after use.

Illinois does have laws in place regarding drugged driving. Therefore, if you do use marijuana—whether for recreational or medicinal purposes—and drive later, you could face DUI charges. 

What is Considered Drugged Driving?

Illinois law allows five nanograms of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) per milliliter of blood or 10 nanograms or more per milliliter of urine or other bodily substance. However, it is also illegal for a person to drive in an unsafe manner and have even the smallest amount of drugs in his or her system. A police officer may perform a blood, breath or urine test, or require the driver to submit to field sobriety testing.

Drugged Driving Penalties

A first offense can result in a $2,500 fine, one year in prison and license suspension for one year. If a person is convicted of a second offense, the penalties increase. They include license suspension for five years, a $2,500 fine, one year of imprisonment, 30 days of community service and completion of a substance treatment program.

Once a person is convicted of three or more DUI charges, the charges become Class 4 felonies. A person will lose his or her driving privileges for six years and be subject to penalties such as drug treatment, a $10,000 fine, and three years in prison.

The penalties are enhanced when the driver is in a school zone or has a passenger under the age of 16 in the car at the time. Enhanced penalties also apply if the driver is under the influence of drugs and causes an accident that results in serious injury, disfigurement, disability, or death.

Contact Us Today for Help

It is illegal to drive while intoxicated, and that means being under the influence of not only alcohol, but drugs as well. Even marijuana use can impair one’s judgment and lead to accidents.

If you are facing DUI charges for having high levels of marijuana or other drugs in your system, you need legal help right away. The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley can defend your case. Passionate Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney Christopher Cosley can work to reduce your penalties. Let us help you today.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-501.2

What Does it Mean to be an Accessory to a Crime?

February 2nd, 2018 at 7:07 pm

accessory to a crime, aiding and abetting, Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer, criminal conviction, committing a crimeWhen a crime is committed, the person who actually carries out the illegal act is referred to as the “principal.” Any person who assists in the commission of the offense but did not actually participate in committing the crime is called an “accessory.” For example, pretend that two friends decide to rob a bank and they agree that Friend A is going to go into the bank and rob it while Friend B waits for him out front in the getaway car. If these friends carry out the bank robbery as planned, then Friend A would be principal (as he committed the actual robbery) while Friend B would be the accessory (given that he assisted in the commission of the robbery).

Generally speaking, an accessory to a crime is anyone who willingly and knowingly aids and abets the principal in committing a crime. This assistance can come either before, after, or during the commission of the crime. However, it is important to note that the precise definition of what it takes to qualify as an accessory to a crime varies a bit from state to state.

Illinois’ Main Aiding and Abetting Law

Illinois’ main aiding and abetting l law is codified under code section 720 ILCS 5/5-2 and in relevant part states that it is illegal to knowingly help or assist someone else commit a crime. Regardless of whether this unlawful assistance comes before, during, or after the commission of the crime, the aiding party can still be held liable as an accessory to the crime. Furthermore, it is important to note that an accessory to a crime does not need to have been physically present at the scene of the crime in order to be found guilty.

The Penalty for Being an Accessory to a Crime in Illinois

You may be surprised to learn that a convicted accessory in Illinois can receive the same penalty as the principal whom he or she aided. In other words, if the bank robbing friends from the example above were caught and convicted in Illinois, then Friend B, who was guilty of being an accessory to the crime, is eligible to receive the same sentence (including jail time, fines, probation, restitution, etc.) that he would have been eligible for had he been the principal in the bank robbery rather than the accessory.

Need Legal Advice?

If you have been accused of committing a crime or of being an accessory to a crime, it is critical that you consult with a talented Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer about mounting your defense without delay. Time is of the essence, so it is important that you find a lawyer who has experience handling cases similar to yours to advise you on your legal options. At The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley we represent clients in a wide variety of criminal cases throughout Illinois and would be happy to assist you.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=072000050HArt.+5&ActID=1876&ChapterID=53&SeqStart=7200000&SeqEnd=7800000

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