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Archive for June, 2018

Teen Drivers Face Stricter Driving Laws

June 29th, 2018 at 6:26 am

distracted driving, Illinois traffic offenses, Rolling Meadows traffic ticket attorney, teen drivers, teen driving lawsFew things compare in a young person’s life to finally being able to drive a car on his or her own. He or she has taken driver’s training, driven the required amount of hours with an experienced driver, and can now drive on his or her own. However, with this freedom comes an added responsibility.

Since teen drivers are so new and inexperienced, they face stricter rules and regulations in an effort to keep the driver, and those around them, safe.

Cell Phone Use

In Illinois, a driver is not permitted to be on his or her cell phone or other handheld device while driving. He or she can only make calls with a hands-free option. However, the rule is different for teen drivers. A driver under the age of 18 is not permitted to use a cell phone while driving at all, even if the device is hands-free. The only exception is in the event the driver needs to call 911 or otherwise contact emergency services or the police.

Passengers

A new driver is likely to be more susceptible to distractions while driving. The teen needs to keep his or her attention on the road so that he or she can get valuable experience driving. Illinois has passenger limits for teen drivers. For the first year after obtaining a driver’s license, a driver under the age of 18 is only allowed to have one other young person in the vehicle with him or her. A young person includes anyone under the age of 20.

In addition to limiting the number of passengers permitting in the vehicle, seat belts are enforced for every person in the vehicle. Illinois law requires all drivers to wear a seat belt while driving. However, teen drivers must also ensure that their passengers under the age of 18 wear seatbelts.

Driving Curfew

Teen drivers are not allowed to drive at all times throughout the day. On Friday and Saturday nights, drivers under the age of 18 are not permitted to drive between the hours of 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. the following morning. During the week, the curfew is 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. There are many exceptions to this curfew. Driving with a parent or guardian, driving to or from school, driving to or from work, driving in the event of an emergency, and driving for religious purposes are just some of the reasons teens can drive after curfew.

Let Us Help You Today

Teen driving laws are slightly different than adult laws. If your teen has received a traffic violation, The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley can help. Dedicated Rolling Meadows traffic ticket attorney Christopher Cosley knows that young drivers can sometimes make mistakes. Our team works hard so that one mistake does not follow your child everywhere.

Sources:

http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/drivers/traffic_safety/safetybelts.html

http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/drivers/teen_driver_safety/gdl.html

Illinois Football Players Charged with Theft

June 25th, 2018 at 3:10 pm

charged with theft, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney, theft charges, theft crimes, stolen propertyTwo University of Illinois football players are currently in the news for more than their football skills. The two linebackers for the Illini stole a deer sculpture from a local park. The pair is being charged with theft with a value between $500 and $10,000.

The two allegedly saw the sculpture on the ground when they were walking home, according to CBS Sports. The deer, named “Startled,” is estimated to be worth $5,000. After taking the sculpture from the park, the two football players placed the deer on their rooftop. The park district director says that steps and measures have been taken so that the deer cannot be placed on any other rooftops throughout the city.

Theft in Illinois

Overall, a theft charge is a serious offense that must be treated as such. Illinois law defines theft as when a person knowingly:

  1. Takes control of the property of another without proper authorization;
  2. Uses deception to obtain control of another’s property;
  3. Uses threat to obtain control over another’s property
  4. Takes control of property knowing that it has been stolen or should have known that the property was stolen given the circumstances; or
  5. Takes control of property that is in the possession or custody of law enforcement, a person who is acting on behalf of law enforcement that informs the person that the property was stolen or makes it known that the property was stolen.

To determine the seriousness of the theft, the statute points to two factors that are considered. These are:

  1. From where the property was taken; and
  2. The value of the property.

Property stolen from a person’s physical person is generally given a harsher penalty. However, property that is stolen from land or the property of another, while still serious, has the lesser of penalties.

The higher the value of property stolen, the harsher the classification and sentence a theft charge carries. A theft can be either a misdemeanor or a felony. According to the Illinois statute, a theft of items that are worth more than $500, but less than $10,000, is a Class 3 felony. The above deer theft carries a penalty ranging anywhere from probation to five years in prison.

Contact Us Today for Help

If you have been charged with a theft crime in Illinois, The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley can help you. The dedicated Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney at our office will provide you with insight, guidance, and advice on how to proceed in your case. Contact us today for a consultation; we are eager to assist you throughout each step of your case.

Sources:

https://www.cbssports.com/college-football/news/two-illinois-football-players-charged-with-theft-for-stealing-a-deer-statue/

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K16-1

Illinois Legislature Considering Stricter Penalties for Texting Drivers

June 22nd, 2018 at 7:52 am

Illinois traffic offenses, moving violations, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney, texting and driving, texting driversIt should come as no surprise that driving with any type of distraction is dangerous to you and everyone else on the roadways. One of the biggest distractions plaguing drivers is the number of drivers who are texting and driving. Concluded in a study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, texting drivers can be six times more dangerous than drivers operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Because of the dangerous nature of texting and driving, and other types of distracted driving, Illinois lawmakers have imposed a bill that would make texting and driving offenses more serious, according to My Stateline. In 2014, Illinois passed a law that made first time texting and driving offenses a nonmoving violation. House Bill 4846 changes this law and makes texting and driving a moving offense. The bill passed in the House and moved to the Illinois Senate for consideration and vote. Bill 4846 was also passed by the Senate.

With the offense classification changing from a nonmoving violation to a moving violation, the penalties for such offense have increased. In Illinois, moving violations result in various fines and court costs. However, a person who received three moving violations in a 12-month period risks having his or her license suspended.

Distracted Driving in Illinois

Distracted driving is a problem across the country. In Illinois, it is not just illegal to text and drive. Any use of cell phones or electronic communications is prohibited while operating a motor vehicle. Drivers over the age of 19 are allowed to use hands-free or Bluetooth enabled devices, but should be wary of the dangers that still exist. Even without physically touching a cell phone or handheld device, a driver is likely taking his or her eyes off of the road and putting himself or herself at increased risks of accidents.

Minimize Distractions

Illinois urges drivers to minimize distractions while they drive. Consider the following tips to help prevent an accident and keep you safe:

  • Do not use a cell phone or handheld device;
  • Only operate a vehicle if you are not drowsy or overly tired;
  • Do not overly populate your vehicle; and.
  • Pull over to take a phone call or adjust the GPS

We Are Here to Help You

Even knowing the dangers associated with texting a driving, there are many drivers who still violate the law. With the harsher classification of a moving violation and the risk of a license suspension, contacting a skilled traffic attorney could benefit you immensely.

Passionate Rolling Meadows defense attorney Christopher M. Cosley is here to help you with tickets for traffic offenses, including texting and driving. Your driving record is important. As such, you need an attorney who understands that importance and fights to get you the best possible outcome under the circumstances. Contact us today for a consultation.

Sources:

http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/drivers/traffic_safety/distracted.html

http://www.mystateline.com/news/new-illinois-legislation-proposes-tougher-penalties-for-texting-and-driving/1128952249

Defenses for Domestic Violence Charges

June 20th, 2018 at 9:40 am

domestic violence charges, domestic violence defense, Rolling Meadow criminal defense attorneys, mistaken identity, domestic violence allegationsDomestic violence is a major problem across the state. In general, the Illinois Domestic Violence Act provides remedies available to those who might be victims of domestic violence. When appropriate, abusers must face consequences for their actions. However, not everyone charged with domestic violence is guilty.

Overall, while the law is meant to protect victims, some individuals may choose to falsely allege domestic violence in order to advance their agenda. If you have been charged with domestic violence in the state, it is imperative that you fully understand the scope of the crime and how to mount a solid defense.

False Allegations

One of the greatest concerns in domestic violence situations is determining who is telling the truth. Situations can turn into a “he said, she said” battle that is hard to handle. With sympathy usually going to the alleged victim, the best way to prove the allegations are false is to poke holes in that person’s story. If you find inconsistencies and false statements that can be corroborated, it may be easier to prove that the alleged victim is making false accusations. False allegations are often used in child custody cases and divorce to get a more favorable outcome.

Self-Defense

Illinois law justifies the use of force against another when someone reasonably believes that type of conduct is necessary to defend themselves or someone else against another’s imminent use of illegal force. If the alleged victim was also attacking you or otherwise using force, alleging self-defense might be applicable.

Insufficient Proof

A prosecutor must meet his or her burden of proof for a defendant to be convicted of a crime. Providing evidence that prevents the prosecutor from meeting his or her burden of proof is a great strategy to get charges reduced or dropped altogether. In domestic violence proceedings, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant is guilty. Beyond a reasonable doubt means that there is no other explanation that can be arrived at from the set of facts of the case.

Mistaken Identity

Along with a defense of false allegations is the defense of mistaken identity. If the alleged victim blamed the wrong person, a defendant can introduce evidence that proves he or she was not even present or responsible for the abuse.

Consent

In very rare circumstances, an alleged victim might have consented to certain activity. In these cases, if you can prove that the alleged victim voluntarily consented, it could serve as a defense.

Let Us Help You Today

If you have been charged with domestic violence, you need an attorney who will advocate for your rights and use every possible defense. It is important to note that while there are defenses available, there is no guarantee that any of these defenses would guarantee acquittal or charges being dropped. While there is no guarantee any given defense will work, The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley can ensure you are putting the best foot forward. Our passionate Rolling Meadow criminal defense attorneys possess the skills, knowledge, and experience to achieve the best possible outcome for your circumstances. Contact us today for a consultation.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs5.asp?ActID=2100&ChapterID=59

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=1876&ChapterID=53&SeqStart=8200000&SeqEnd=9700000

New Bill Could Lead to More Cases Tried in Juvenile Court

June 13th, 2018 at 4:18 pm

juvenile court, juvenile crimes, juvenile incarceration, probation, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorneyEveryone makes mistakes, but minors and young adults are prone to doing so because they are learning and developing. Of course, mistakes often have consequences, but they should not alter the course of a person’s life.

A new bill introduced by State Representative Laura Fine would let judges decide if misdemeanor cases of 18, 19, and 20-year-olds could be tried in juvenile court, rather than adult court, according to WSIL-TV.

Rep. Fine stated the bill was introduced to focus on misdemeanors to “give kids who make a mistake a second chance.” Science tells us that the brain is not fully developed until around the age of 26. Therefore, a young adult might not be in complete control for his or her crimes. The purpose is to not excuse criminal behavior, but to give the young adult the chance to rehabilitate through juvenile court rather than face the harsher penalties imposed in regular court.

Support for the Bill

This bill has a lot of support from groups like the Americans Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Illinois Parent Teachers Associations. These groups claim that younger adults (18-20) are likely to react to certain situations like a teenager. These situations include potential threats, stressful situations, or other emotional situations.

Critics of the Bill

With support also comes opposition. The groups that represent the state’s attorneys, probation officers, and detention officers think trying certain cases in juvenile court is not wise. Their argument is that at the age of 18, a person is able to do many “adult” things, such as vote, serve in the military, etc. Other concerns lie with the costs that might be associated with this change in law. More people who are charged, and subsequently convicted, of misdemeanors equates to more people in beds at juvenile centers, which could have incalculable costs. Finally, there is concern that this bill could be a slippery slope for treating adults as children.

The bill passed through a committee and is currently sitting in the Illinois House of Representatives for consideration.

While this bill is not yet law, and could potentially never become law, it brings about an interesting discussion regarding juvenile crime. Individuals need to be held accountable for their crimes, but juveniles and young adults present a fierce debate.

Juvenile crimes have punishments that involve both incarceration and non-incarceration. Incarceration can range from house arrest to adult jail or prison time for more serious offenses. Non-incarceration options include anything from a verbal warning to probation.

We Can Help You Today

If you have been charged with a juvenile crime, you need an attorney who is looking out for your best interests. Skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney Christopher M. Cosley is here to help. Attorney Cosley understands that kids make mistakes and is committed to getting the juvenile the best possible outcome.

Sources:

http://www.wsiltv.com/story/37683392/young-adults-could-be-tried-in-juvenile-court

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/BillStatus.asp?DocTypeID=HB&DocNum=4581&GAID=14&SessionID=91&LegID=109512

Illinois Cracks Down on Underage Drinking

June 11th, 2018 at 7:05 am

DUI charge, fake state IDs, juvenile crimes, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney, underage drinkingThe legal drinking age in Illinois is 21. That being said, this does not stop individuals under the age of 21 from consuming alcoholic drinks at an alarming rate. Underage drinking is dangerous and can have serious consequences. And, to be sure, there are various crimes a juvenile can be charged with in relation to alcohol — underage drinking, drinking and driving, and the use of a fake ID are just a few of the crimes. Each of these crimes can result in punishment that can greatly affect a young person’s life in the years to come.

Crimes Related to Underage Drinking in Illinois

If you or a loved one has been charged with any of the following crimes in Illinois, it is imperative that you reach out to our legal team immediately:

  • Underage Drinking: It is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to drink alcohol. Illinois law states that the “possession, consumption, purchase, or receipt of alcohol by an individual under the age of 21” results in suspension of driving privileges. The first conviction results in a three-month suspension of driving privileges and court supervision for six months. A second conviction can result in suspension for one year and any other subsequent convictions can result in revocation of a driver’s license.
  • Drinking and Driving: Illinois has a zero tolerance policy for underage drinking and driving. For individuals over the age of 21, driving under the influence occurs with a blood alcohol content of .08 or more. For those under the age of 21, any blood alcohol content above a 0.0 can result in a DUI charge. A driver under the age of 21 with any amount of alcohol in their system will lose their driving privileges for three months for the first offense.
  • Fake ID: Underage individuals may choose to use fake state IDs or the IDs of others who are over the age of 21. In Illinois, it is a Class A Misdemeanor to display or represent as “one’s own any driver’s license or ID card issued to another person.” Additionally, an individual can be charged for using an ID that is fictitious. Further, the use of a fake ID can also amount to a Class 4 Felony. Possessing a fraudulent Illinois ID card or driver’s license is just one other way to elevate the crime to a felony.   

Not only can an underage person face charges relating to underage alcohol consumption or fake identification, but those who supply alcohol to a minor, or provide a fake ID, can also be charged with a misdemeanor or felony.

Let Our Attorneys Help You Today

Attorney Christopher M. Cosley is available to help you with any underage drinking issues that may arise. He understands that kids make mistakes and those mistakes should not affect them for the rest of their adult life. Dedicated Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney Christopher M. Cosley works hard to give the best possible defense under the circumstances. Do not let one bad choice as a juvenile follow you for the rest of your life. Contact us for a consultation today.

Sources:

https://www.illinois.gov/ilcc/education/pages/under21laws.aspx

http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/drivers/losepriv.html

Types of Burglary Charges in Illinois

June 8th, 2018 at 6:13 am

burglary charges, Class 2 felony, home invasion, residential burglary, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorneysWhen someone thinks about burglary, he or she may think of a person breaking into a building, or home, to steal something valuable. While that is burglary, there are other instances in which a person can face burglary charges and not even realize it.

If you are facing charges for burglary in Illinois, it is imperative that you contact an attorney immediately. To be sure, a skilled lawyer can help protect your rights throughout each stage of the criminal process.

Types of Burglary in Illinois

The following includes various types of burglary charges in Illinois, all of which require the assistance of a skilled attorney.

Burglary

According to Illinois statute, burglary is committed when a person “knowingly enters or without authority remains within a building, house trailer, watercraft, aircraft, motor vehicle, railroad car, or any part thereof, with intent to commit therein a felony or theft.” Burglary is considered a Class 2 felony in Illinois and carries a potential sentence of three to seven years.

Residential Burglary

Residential burglary is considered more serious than the burglary of a building or other structure. A residential burglary is similar to the definition of burglary, but residential burglary is entering the dwelling of another with the intent to commit a felony. For a residential burglary conviction, it must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that a person intended to commit a felony. This is a Class 1 felony.

Home Invasion

Home invasion is very similar to a residential burglary. However, it is made more serious and is considered a Class X felony. A home invasion occurs when an individual enters the home of another and knows that the residents of the home are present. Additionally, one of the following factors must be present:

  • The defendant possesses a weapon;
  • The defendant fires a gun;
  • The defendant threatens to fire a gun;
  • The defendant assaults a resident or threatens force; or
  • The defendant sexual assaults a resident, or commits some other form of abuse.

Criminal Trespass

Criminal trespass involves an individual entering the property of another without authority, but without the intention to commit a felony. Criminal trespass can either be a Class A misdemeanor or Class 4 felony. It is a felony when the residents of the property are present at the property; it is a misdemeanor when the residents are not present.

Possession of Burglary Tools

Even possessing burglary tools in Illinois is a crime; it is a Class 4 felony. However, a person must also have the intent to commit a felony with said tools. There are several items that could be considered burglary tools; however, common ones include lock picking kits, a crow bar, explosives, or even just a screwdriver. The intent to commit the felony determines the possession of burglary tools charge.

Contact Us Today for Help

With all the potential burglary charges possible in Illinois, you need an attorney who is well versed in all of the possibilities. Our passionate Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney at The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley can assist you throughout each step of your case. Contact us today to set up a consultation to find out how we can help you.

Sources:

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

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K19-3

Three Common Misconceptions About Criminal Law in Illinois

June 4th, 2018 at 9:13 am

criminal law in Illinois, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorneys, first-time offenders, criminal sentencing guidelines, criminal case evidenceFor many people, their knowledge of the criminal justice system comes from television shows or other types of media. As such, they may get ideas in their heads of what should happen in criminal cases. In reality, many events that take place on television are not accurate depictions of actual criminal defense cases in Illinois.

Real life cases do not follow a script, and they can be unpredictable and shocking. It is important to know which facts are the truth and which are mere misconceptions. In light of this, consider the following three common misconceptions about the criminal justice system.

Any Time I Am Not Read My Miranda Rights, My Case Will Be Dismissed

A defendant must be read his or her rights anytime he or she is in custody of the police and is being interrogated. Being ‘in custody’ is a complicated issue. Merely talking to the police does not always mean that you are in custody, and neither does being placed in handcuffs.

There are several factors that go into determining when a defendant is in custody. If a defendant’s rights are not read, and he or she is in fact in custody, this does not mean the case will automatically be dismissed. Generally, any statement made during the custodial interrogation will be suppressed and unusable in trial. However, there is no requirement that a case must be dismissed.

If I Ask an Undercover Police Officer if He is a Police Officer, He Has to Tell Me

There is no requirement for a police officer, who is working undercover for whatever reason, to disclose that he or she is a police officer. Undercover operations are used in a variety of situations, and the disclosure of such would make an operation useless.

I Will Not Go to Jail for My First Offense; I Have a Family and a Job

There are sentencing guidelines for crimes committed in Illinois. The severity of the crime determines what the sentence will be. Just because someone has been charged with his or her first ever criminal act, it does not mean he or she could not go to jail. Judges have likely seen a lot of defendants go through their courtroom, including many first-time offenders and those with families. A judge will follow the sentencing guidelines and will not fall prey to emotional pleadings for no jail time in certain crimes.

We Can Help You Today

At the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley, we make sure to provide you with accurate legal information so you are aware of what is happening in your case. Our talented Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney has the skill and knowledge to defend you in an array of criminal matters. Contact us today to get the best defense available.

Sources:

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

http://www.ilga.gov/commission/lru/2005pfc.pdf

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