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Archive for August, 2018

Could Prescription Drugs Result in Drug Charges?

August 27th, 2018 at 7:00 am

criminal drug charges, prescription drugs, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney, prescription drug charges, prescription drug useStudies show that an estimated 54 million people have used prescription drugs for non-medical reasons. Additionally, 2.1 million people in the United States have used prescription drugs for non-medical reasons just within the last year. Because of this high abuse and potential for dependency, the state of Illinois is strict when it comes to drug laws and charges.

When most think of drug charges, they might think of illegal drugs, including cocaine, heroin, etc. While those drugs also can result in criminal charges, they are not the only type. Prescription drugs can result in criminal drug charges, as well.

Prescription Drugs and Drug Charges

There are more arrests occurring in Illinois for the use of prescription drugs without a valid prescription than there have been in the past. This is due in part to the addictive nature of some prescription drugs.

Prescription drug abusers often start off as legitimate prescription holders. They are injured, or otherwise prescribed pain medication or other narcotics. Through continuous use of the prescription, they become addicted and are unable to stop using, even when their prescription is no longer valid. As such, an individual might turn to illegal means to obtain the drug.

A person can be arrested and face drug charges for the possession of even one pill without a prescription. Common types of prescription drugs that are abused include Xanax, Ketamine, OxyContin, and Vicodin. The severity of the drug charge depends on the type of drug and the amount in possession.

Illinois classifies drugs into schedules. Prescription drugs fall into the range of Schedule II, Schedule III, and Schedule IV drugs. Schedule IV drugs are considered the lesser in severity of the charges.

The following are examples of prescription drugs in each schedule:

  • Schedule II: morphine, opium, amphetamines. These drugs are considered the most serious prescription drugs. While they have medical benefits and uses, they are highly addictive.
  • Schedule III: ketamine, anabolic steroids, codeine, and hydrocodone combinations.
  • Schedule IV: methadone, PCP, Ritalin.

Reach Out to Us Today for Help

A drug charge can be either a felony or a misdemeanor in Illinois. The amount of prescription drug at issue, and the type of prescription drug, all play a role in determining what charge will be brought. Both felonies and misdemeanors can bring about devastating results. As such, you need a dedicated defense attorney on your side.

Experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney Christopher M. Cosley is here for you. Attorney Cosley does not want your life derailed because of one prescription drug charge and he will work diligently to provide you the best defense given the circumstances of the case. Contact us today for a consultation.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs5.asp?ActID=1941&ChapterID=53

https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/misuse-prescription-drugs/what-scope-prescription-drug-misuse

Can I Handle a DUI Case on My Own?

August 24th, 2018 at 5:06 pm

DUI case, DUI charge, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney, DUI conviction, aggravated offensesThe decision to hire an attorney may be difficult, but there are many instances where not hiring an attorney can be detrimental to your case. One type of charge that should be handled by an experienced attorney is driving under the influence (DUI). A DUI conviction can have both costly and devastating effects on your life.

In Illinois, a DUI charge results when an individual is found driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or other impairing or intoxicating compounds. A person who is found driving or in physical control of a vehicle while he or she has a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or more will be charged with a DUI.

Consider the following reasons why you should consider hire a experienced DUI attorney to provide an aggressive defense to the court. 

Provide an Aggressive Defense

Some individuals may believe that if they have been charged with a DUI, they will therefore be convicted due to the evidence from a breathalyzer test or blood test. This does not have to be the result. There are several defenses that can be applied to each case.

An DUI attorney will have the experience and capability of giving you appropriate representation given the circumstances. Courtroom knowledge and practical experience can result in good news for your DUI charge, but this can only occur if an attorney is hired to defend the case.

Multiple Offenses Result in Harsher Sentences

Much like any crime, penalties are harsher when offenses are more frequent. A second, third, or subsequent DUI offense in Illinois can bring about serious consequences. For some, the cost of an attorney is what keeps them from hiring an attorney. However, in a second or subsequent DUI case it is absolutely essential to hire an attorney. The penalties for a second offense increase significantly. An attorney can assist you in getting the best possible result for these charges.

Aggravated Offenses are Complex

A DUI charge is considered aggravated if others were injured or killed in an accident, or even if the charge is a repeat offense. Much like multiple offenses, aggravated offenses also carry harsher penalties.

We Can Help You Today

Whether you are a repeat offender or a first time offender, taking the time to speak to an experienced attorney could mean the difference between a harsh sentence or no sentence at all. Even if you are on the fence about hiring an attorney, there is no harm in scheduling a consultation to see how an attorney can help you in your legal battle. Dedicated Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney Christopher M. Cosley is here to help you. Attorney Cosley knows that hiring an attorney is a big choice and wants to make that choice easy for you. Contact us today to set up a consultation.

Sources:

https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/publications/pdf_publications/dsd_a118.pdf

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

Man Charged After Being Found With 75 Pounds of Marijuana

August 20th, 2018 at 3:31 pm

marijuana, criminal drug charges, drug charges, drug crimes, felony drug charges, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorneyA man in Cook County is facing felony drug charges after being found with more than 75 pounds of marijuana, according to NBC Chicago. The Chicago Police department was responding to reports that there was a burglary in progress.

While investigating the premises of the alleged burglary, the police found a basement door that bore signs of forced entry. The officers proceeded inside the door and found 34,000 grams of marijuana. More than 120 grams of cannabis oil was also discovered.

The man who was renting the building where the marijuana and cannabis oil was found is now facing two felony charges. He has been charged with two felony counts of manufacturing or delivering over 5,000 grams of marijuana, or cannabis. In addition to these two felony charges, he also faces a misdemeanor charge as a result of being found to be allegedly violating the concealed carry act.

Felony Drug Charges in Illinois

The words felony and misdemeanor are often thrown around, but not everyone always knows the difference between these two types of charges. A felony charge is a more serious charge that carries harsher and stricter penalties. The classification of a drug charge in Illinois is based on the amount of drugs in possession and the specific intent of the person in possession of the drugs.

There are several different types of drug charges that an individual can be charged with, both felony and misdemeanor. The different types of drug charges in Illinois include:

  • Drug possession;
  • Possession of drugs with the intent to distribute;
  • Drug manufacturing;
  • Drug trafficking; and
  • Drug conspiracy.

The above list of drug crimes encompasses most, if not all, of the various types of crimes an individual might find themselves facing. These crimes, depending on the amount of drugs in a person’s possession or the circumstances surrounding the offense can lead to harsh punishments. Typically, there are fines, court costs, jail time, prison time, probation, or parole assigned to those who have been convicted of a drug crime.

Contact Us Today for Help

The charge and potential conviction of a crime can have a major impact on your life. You could lose your job, home, be unable to rent an apartment, or even be unable to find another job all because of a criminal conviction. Do not let one charge derail your entire life.

Dedicated Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney Christopher M. Cosley is ready to defend you in criminal drug charges. Attorney Cosley knows that a conviction can drastically alter one’s life and will work diligently to get the best outcome under the circumstances. Contact us today for a consultation.

Source:

https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/man-charged-after-cops-find-over-75-pounds-of-pot-488882181.html

What You Should Know About Underage Drinking in Illinois

August 17th, 2018 at 11:02 am

Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney, underage drinking, underage drinking charges, felony charges, Class A misdemeanorIllinois is not the only state that has strict laws regarding underage drinking. In Illinois, it is illegal for a person under the age of 21 to drink or possess alcohol. Even so, there are many individuals under the age of 21 that decide to drink alcoholic beverages.

Being charged with underage drinking can be detrimental to a minor’s future. Consider the following information that you should know about underage drinking in Illinois.

An Underage Drinking Charge is Considered a Class a Misdemeanor in Illinois

For anyone under the age of 21, it is illegal to possess or consume alcohol. Being found to have any amount of alcohol in your system as a minor can result in a Class A misdemeanor charge. It is also illegal for minors to transport open alcohol containers in their vehicles. This carries the potential of up to one year in jail and a maximum fine of $2,500.

Fake IDs Can Result in a Felony Charge

Often, what goes hand in hand with underage drinking is the underage individual using fake identification that states they are 21 or older. However, using a fake ID and being caught with it can bring about a felony charge. One can be convicted of a Class 4 felony.

The penalty for a Class 4 felony can be one to three years in jail and fines up to $25,000. The felony charge applies to “fraudulent” driver’s licenses. Fraudulent means that the ID was made by someone other than the federal government. Possessing an ID that contains incorrect information can result in a misdemeanor charge.

There is Zero Tolerance for Underage Drinking and Driving

Illinois has developed a strict zero tolerance policy for individuals under the age of 21 who have consumed alcohol and drove. If an underage individual is found to have any trace of alcohol in his or her system while driving, then he or she will be charged with a DUI. Furthermore, the driver will lose his or her driving privileges. Additionally, the first offense carries a three-month suspension of his or her driving privileges.

A second conviction for an underage DUI is a one-year suspension of driving privileges. Additional charges and convictions will result in harsher penalties. A blood alcohol concentration of .08 or more can result in a DUI charge and result in stricter penalties and longer suspension of driving privileges.

Contact Us Today for Help

Skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney Christopher M. Cosley knows that an underage drinking conviction can be devastating to a young person’s life. Do not let one charge result in a lifetime of consequences. Attorney Cosley is committed to your defense. Years of experience has resulted in an aggressive approach to defending cases. Contact us today to get your defense started.

Source:

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

The Impact of a Criminal Conviction

August 13th, 2018 at 4:42 pm

criminal background checks, criminal conviction, employment and criminal conviction, Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer, criminal historyWhen watching television cop shows, it seems like everyone in the world has been convicted or charged with some type of crime, even if by accident or mistake. These television shows attempt to take you through the criminal process of being charged with a crime and the sentence that can be imposed should you be found guilty. While there is a large amount of coverage dedicated to the crime itself and the sentence, there is not often any discussion on what the impact of a criminal charge can be on one’s life. The impact of a criminal conviction is far reaching and impacts more areas of life than one might think.

Employment

Many people who have ever filled out a job application know that one of the questions asked during the hiring process is whether or not an individual has been convicted of a crime. While there are laws in place to protect some ex-criminals from being discriminated against, there are plenty of employment opportunities lost because of a criminal conviction. There are certain jobs that require an applicant to have a background that does not contain a criminal conviction. If you have been convicted of a crime, do not lie about it. Many employers will run a criminal background check on prospective employees to make sure that they did not lie about their history and ensure they are a good fit for the company.

Housing

In addition to affecting your ability to get a job, housing can be a problem for convicted individuals. Some apartment complexes and homeowner’s associations will not allow a property to be rented or bought by someone with a criminal record. A lot of this has to do with the bias that is against those with a criminal record.

Reputation

Being convicted of a crime can change the public opinion about someone. Once an individual has been villainized in the media, it is often hard to erase that image in people’s minds. It takes years and hard work to build a great reputation, but only moments to destroy it. Those with criminal convictions might find it hard to engage in the same social activities that they did before the conviction because people are wary and have a bias.

Reach Out to Us Today for Help

If you have been charged with a crime, do not just ignore it. You need a dedicated defense attorney who is ready to advocate for your case. The dedicated Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney at The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley is available to help you avoid a life-altering criminal conviction. We use every defense and piece of evidence to give you the best defense and outcome possible given the circumstances. Contact us today for a consultation.

Source:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-illinois-laws-criminal-records-118-biz-20170117-story.html

Accessing Police Records in Cook County

August 10th, 2018 at 7:16 am

police records, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney, criminal records, Illinois criminal system, current criminal chargesThere are a number of reasons why a person might want access to his or her police records. He or she may want to make sure any criminal charges are accurately depicted, or he or she may want to make sure that a certain charge or conviction is no longer listed on his or her record. Whatever the reason, in Cook County a person has the ability to access his or her police reports.

The Uniform Conviction Information Act passed in 1991 requires that a person’s criminal record and conviction information must be made public. This act was passed in an attempt at full transparency and to give those that needed this information the avenue and opportunity to seek the information that they required. An individual’s criminal record will contain arrests, convictions, and other data about contact that the person has had with the Illinois criminal system.

Reasons to Access a Criminal Record

As mentioned above, there are several reasons why a person would want or need to access his or her criminal record. The following are the more common reasons:

  • Expungement – If a person is trying to have something on his or her criminal record expunged, then he or she will likely need to look at the record to see exactly what crime should be expunged and the way in which is it presented on record. Not every crime can be expunged, so a person must examine his or her record thoroughly to determine how to go about receiving an expungement.
  • Pending Litigation – For a defendant who is facing charges, obtaining a copy of his or her criminal record could be helpful in building a defense to the current charges.
  • Checking for Accuracies – A person might want to check his or her record just to make sure that his or her criminal history is correct. Potential employers or landlords often run criminal background checks on prospective employees or renters. Therefore, it is important to know what exactly it is he or she will be seeing upon request of the record.

Who Can Receive the Record?

It is not just an individual who has permission to obtain his or her own record. There are many parties who might have an interest and include the following:

  • Victim – The victim of a crime has the right to view and obtain a copy of a person’s criminal record. Usually, a victim is presented with copies of the report after the charge is filed.
  • Defendant – The person of whom the record is for can request a copy of his or her own record.
  • Third Parties – Employers, landlords, or members of the community are able to obtain a copy of public record. The Freedom of Information Act gives anyone the right to view or obtain copies of documents that are a matter of public record.

We Can Help You Today

If you have questions about your criminal record, contact a dedicated Rolling Meadows defense attorney at The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley. We can answer any questions you might have and inform you of any options you have regarding you record.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=351&ChapterID=5

How to Fight a Burglary Charge in Illinois

August 6th, 2018 at 4:55 pm

burglary, burglary charge, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorneys, theft charge, burglary defenseFacing any criminal charge can be alarming and frightening. Most crimes are made up of different elements, levels, and a number of other factors that can be confusing. Burglary is no exception. In Illinois, there is more than one type of burglary. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the alleged crime, a defendant could be charged with a Class 1 felony, which is the most severe type of felony possible for a burglary charge. Since a charge can be so serious, it is imperative to have an attorney who can provide the best defense possible. There are many strategies and defenses that can be employed to fight a burglary charge, as described in detail below.  

You Have an Alibi

One of the strongest defenses to burglary available is that you simply were not around to do it. Being able to prove your whereabouts, beyond just you saying you were not there to commit the crime, is a strong device. In order to establish an alibi, any number of things can be proved to show the defendant was doing something else at the time of the crime — video tape, cell phone records, credit card receipts, or even witness testimony.

There is No Proof

A strategy that is often effective in criminal cases is attacking every piece of evidence that the prosecutor is presenting to prove a defendant’s guilt. Poking holes in the credibility of the evidence, proving that police work or searches were illegal, and otherwise proving that evidence is lacking and insufficient can result in a not guilty finding.

Often times, properties will have surveillance cameras to monitor what is going on within a building. This footage, however, is not always of the highest quality. A grainy video surveillance system could provide doubt that it is the defendant that is the one committing the crime.

You Were Authorized to Enter the Property

There is a big distinction between burglary and theft. Burglary requires that a person entered the property of another with the intent to commit a crime. They must also not have the permission to enter. Theft, on the other hand, involves the taking of property from a place or dwelling that the defendant is allowed to be in. Therefore, if a defendant can prove that they had permission to enter a property, burglary is not an appropriate charge. While a burglary charge may be avoided, there is still the possibility for a theft charge.

Contact Us Today for Help

If you have been charged with burglary, you need an attorney who has the strategy and capabilities to fight your case with fervor. The passionate Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley are here to help you. We understand that a criminal charge can have devastating effects on one’s life. Therefore, you need an attorney you can trust to obtain the best result possible. Contact us today for a consultation.

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=072000050K16-1

When Do Drug Charges Become a Federal Offense?

August 3rd, 2018 at 3:50 pm

drug charges, federal drug charge, federal offense, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorneys, state drug chargeBoth federal and state laws and regulations govern the use, possession, distributing, and manufacturing of drugs. Illinois has a set of drug laws, but so does the federal government. There is a big difference between being charged with a state drug charge and a federal drug charge. Therefore, it is important to know when a drug charge could become a federal charge. Each case is unique and has its own circumstances and issues, but there are different factors at play that could elevate a state drug charge to a federal one.

Factors to Consider

The following describes a number of factors to consider that may affect a drug charge:

  • The arresting officer – One of the biggest clues involves who is making the arrest. Being arrested by a federal agent is a huge sign that you will be charged with a federal crime. Sometimes local law enforcement, or state police, will ask federal agents to aid in their case. Often, state and federal officers will work together to conduct a sting to catch criminals.
  • Where the crime occurred – Crimes that occur on federal land could result in a federal drug charge. One such example is a crime occurring in a national park.
  • Statements offered by informants – In some drug cases, there is someone who is already being investigated by the federal government. These individuals often become informants for the government and will trade names and information about crimes of others for a reduced sentence or immunity. An informant working on behalf of the federal government will likely result in a federal drug charge.
  • Severity of the drug charge or offense – States often prosecute the smaller drug crimes, while the federal government prosecutes drug crimes that happen on a larger scale.

Why This Matters

One of the biggest differences between federal and state drug crimes are the penalties associated with them. Federal charges that result in a conviction carry longer sentences than state crimes. There are longer federal mandatory sentencing guidelines than the sentencing guidelines at the state level. Additionally, federal drug crimes do not have a parole program and probation is rarely granted.

If there is any doubt as to what type of drug charge is at issue, state and local authorities will discuss the issue and come to a determination as to who is better suited to prosecute the case.

We Can Help You Today

If you have been charged with a drug crime, either state or federal, you need a dedicated and knowledgeable attorney. The skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorneys at The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley are here to help you. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us today for assistance.

Source:

https://www.ussc.gov/research/research-reports/mandatory-minimum-penalties-drug-offenses-federal-system

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