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Archive for November, 2018

License Revocation at Discretion of the Court

November 28th, 2018 at 2:35 pm

IDMost moving violations do not end up with the driver being sentenced to a license revocation. In fact, even when serious bodily injury has occurred, the driver is typically allowed to drive that very same day so long as they are not seriously injured. However, in some circumstances, a court may revoke a driver’s license without a hearing, as per Illinois statute 625 ILCS 5/6-206 Discretionary authority to suspend or revoke license or permit; right to a hearing.

If a driver’s behavior falls under one of 48 different categories, they may lose their license immediately, and without a hearing, if the court believes that is the best course of action to keep other road users safe. These specific behaviors and actions include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • The driver committed an offense that requires license or permit revocation upon conviction;
  • The driver has been convicted of three or more moving traffic violations in any 12 month period;
  • The driver has repeatedly been involved in motor vehicle collisions, or has repeatedly been convicted of traffic offenses to a degree that indicates lack of ability to exercise ordinary and reasonable care, or disrespect for traffic laws and the safety of other people;
  • While driving illegally, the driver caused bodily injury to another road user;
  • The driver utilized a fake driver’s license;
  • The driver refused to submit to an examination or failed an examination under Section 620-7;
  • The driver used false statements or submitted false facts in order to gain a driver’s license;
  • The driver possessed, displayed, or attempted to display a driver’s license that was not their own;
  • The driver operated a motor vehicle on a state highway with an invalid driver’s license;
  • The driver fled the scene of a crash in which $1,000 or more in property damage occurred;
  • The driver, while driving, was found to be possessing an illegal controlled substance on their person or in their vehicle; and
  • The driver refused to submit to a breath test or their blood alcohol content was found to be 0.08 or higher while driving a motor vehicle.

At Least Seven Million People Across the Country Have Lost Their License Due to Debt

Statistics show that at least seven million Americans have had their licenses revoked or suspended simply because they failed to pay their traffic fine debts. The total number is likely much higher than seven million, and here in Illinois a driver’s license can be revoked for repeatedly getting traffic citations to the “degree that indicates . . . disrespect for the traffic laws. Opponents of these types of laws believe that they overly penalize the poor—those who cannot afford to pay their parking and speeding tickets.

Call a Rolling Meadows License Revocation Attorney

If your driver’s license has been revoked or suspended, or you are facing another moving violation that will put you over the top in terms of points on your license, you need to call a Cook County criminal defense lawyer. Call skilled Cook County criminal defense attorney Christopher M. Cosley today at 847-394-3200 for a free consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/public-safety/more-than-7-million-people-may-have-lost-drivers-licenses-because-of-traffic-debt/2018/05/19/97678c08-5785-11e8-b656-a5f8c2a9295d_story.html?utm_term=.b3c9b1b08b8a

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K6-206

Counterfeiting Counts as Theft

November 26th, 2018 at 1:48 pm

fraudA Chicago man allegedly scammed potentially dozens of people by selling them counterfeit concert tickets. He was recently caught after he sold a woman two $125 Imagine Dragon tickets on Craigslist, who took the tickets to the concert in June only to learn that they were “very good fakes,” according to the ticket checker. The woman later reported the defendant’s license plates to the police, who discovered that they were the plates of a rental car rented by the defendant’s friend and loaned to him. The defendant, who is under investigation for selling numerous counterfeit concert tickets, has five prior convictions for forgery, counterfeiting, and fraud in Texas and Illinois. A number of charges can be slapped onto those who sell counterfeit tickets.

Forgery Charges for Producing or Possessing a Counterfeit Ticket

Under Illinois statute 720 ILCS 5/17-3, forgery has been committed when a person knowingly commits any of the following:

  • Makes a false document or alters a document that could be used to defraud another;
  • Issues, sells, or otherwise gives such a document to another knowing that it is fake or has been altered;
  • Possess with intent to deliver said document;
  • Unlawfully uses the digital signature of another; or
  • Unlawfully uses the signature of another to create an electronic signature.

Forgery is usually a Class 3 felony, punishable by five to 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $25,000. It is a Class A misdemeanor to forge an academic degree or coin, punishable by one to three years in prison.

Theft Charges

In addition to any forgery charges that a defendant may face, they may also be charged with theft. Theft occurs when a person unlawfully procures another’s possessions or assets without intent to return them. As such, selling a counterfeit ticket will incur a theft charge. Depending on the amount that the ticket or tickets were sold for, the theft charges may be misdemeanor or felony offenses.

Check Fraud and Counterfeiting Money

There are various forms of check fraud, including kiting checks, passing bad checks, and check floating. Another type of check fraud is using counterfeit or forging checks. This includes forging a signature, changing the amount the check was made to, changing the name of who it was made to, or altering it in any other way. Under Title 18, Section 471 of the United States Code, manufacturing counterfeit money is punishable under federal law by a fine of $5,000 and 15 years in prison. Possessing counterfeit money is punishable by $15,000 and 15 years in prison.

Contact a Cook County Criminal Attorney Today

Any type of counterfeiting or forgery is a serious crime. You may be up against half a dozen charges as well, including theft and fraud. You need to call an attorney at once. Contact the office of dedicated Rolling Meadows forgery attorney Christopher M. Cosley today at 847-394-3200 for a free consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www.moneyfactory.gov/resources/lawsandregulations.html

https://journaltimes.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/alleged-ticket-scammer-caught-sold-fakes-in-wisconsin-illinois/article_ea5d852c-7d98-5f76-b4ff-57f54521d962.html

Robbery and Aggravated Robbery

November 21st, 2018 at 1:44 pm

robberyA man wearing a Teenage Ninja Turtles mask pulled his car up to the window of a drive-through pharmacy in Shiloh, Illinois and demanded a detailed list of prescription medications. He gave the pharmacist a note with instructions and said that if the pharmacist did not obey, force would be used and that there were other accomplices involved. However, before the man was delivered the medications, he drove off. Since he did not actually take anything, did a robbery occur? The short answer is yes. He can be charged with robbery, but not with theft.

You Do Not Have to Steal Anything in Order to Be Charged with Robbery

The offense of robbery is different than theft in that theft requires that something be unknowingly taken or attempted to be taken from the victim. The value of the property taken determines the level of the crime. Robbery, on the other hand, is a crime of violence and the value of goods taken or attempted to be taken has nothing to do with the level of the crime.

Under Illinois statute 720 ILCS 5/18-1, robbery is defined as knowingly takes property from another by force or threatening to use force. Robbery is punishable in Illinois as a Class 2 felony, which carries a penalty of three to seven years in prison and a maximum fine of $25,000. However, if the victim of the robbery was 60 years or older, is physically disabled, or the robbery occurred in a day care center, part day child care facility, school, day care home, group day care home, or place of worship, it is a Class 1 felony. Class 1 felonies carry a penalty of four to 15 years in prison and a maximum fine of $25,000. Robbery does not apply to motor vehicles; the forceful taking of a motor vehicle (carjacking) is covered under a separate statute.

Aggravated Robbery

If the defendant indicates that they have a dangerous weapon, either verbally or through actions, the crime is upgraded to aggravated robbery, a Class 1 felony. Even if it was found that the defendant was not being truthful at the time and had no dangerous weapon, they have still committed aggravated robbery. A dangerous weapon includes a firearm, knife, bat, ax, bludgeon, or anything that could cause serious bodily harm or death. Additionally, robbery has been committed if the defendant drugged the victim without their consent in order to rob them.

Armed Robbery

Using any dangerous weapon during a robbery is considered armed robbery. Under statute 720 ILCS 5/18-1, armed robbery is a Class X felony, punishable by six to 30 years in prison.

Contact a Cook County Criminal Defense Attorney for Help

Whether you are facing charges of theft, robbery, aggravated robbery, or armed robbery, you need to talk to a lawyer immediately. Contact skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney Christopher M. Cosley today at 847-394-3200 for a free consultation.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K18-1

https://www.ksdk.com/article/news/crime/ninja-turtle-mask-wearing-man-tries-to-rob-illinois-walgreens/63-613006809

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K18-1

Theft-Related Devices and Shoplifting Charges

November 19th, 2018 at 1:38 pm

IL defense lawyerRetail theft is a serious crime in and of itself. Stores across the country lose billions of dollars in merchandise due to theft, and because of that laws are written to severely penalize perpetrators. In fact, retailers lost $50 billion in 2017 due to shoplifting and other forms of fraud. Shoplifting property valued up to $500 is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail, whereas theft of property valued $500 to $10,000 is a Class 4 felony, punishable by up to three years in state prison.

However, there are other offenses that you can be charged with on top of theft charges that are not related to the value of the property taken. Possession of certain theft-related devices alone can land you in jail. Theft-related tools and devices vary, but a few of the most commonly used “high tech” gadgets include fabricated keys or devices used to steal from coin-operated machines, theft detection shielding devices, theft detection removal devices, and credit card scanners or recoding devices, used to defraud the customer.

Unlawful Possession of a Key or Device for a Coin-Operated Machine

Under Illinois 720 ILCS 5/16-6, possessing a key, drawing, print, mold of a key, device, or substance designed to do any of the following with intent to commit a theft from the machine is a Class A misdemeanor:

  • Open;
  • Break into;
  • Tamper with; or
  • Damage the coin-operated machine.

It is a Class 4 felony to possess such a key or device and to cause $300 in loss or damage to the machine.

Unlawful Use of a Theft Detection Shielding Device

It is a Class A misdemeanor to knowingly manufacture, sell, offer for sale, or distribute a theft detection shielding device. Similarly, it as a Class A misdemeanor to possess a theft detection shielding device.

Unlawful Possession of a Theft Detection Device Remover

It is a Class A misdemeanor to possess a theft detection device remover.

Scanning Device or Reencoder

It is a Class 4 felony to possess or use a scanning device or recorder to take the information from a magnetic strip of a credit card or to recode the card, with intent to defraud the user.

Call a Rolling Meadows Theft Criminal Defense Lawyer Now

If you have been charged with shoplifting or any type of theft or possession of theft related tools, the charges can quickly add up. What may have been a minor offense, or no offense at all, can amount to serious jail time if prosecutors tack on additional charges, such as possession of multiple theft tools. It is time for you to contact experienced Rolling Meadows retail theft attorney Christopher M. Cosley today at 847-394-3200.

 

Sources:

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

http://ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/072000050K16-6.htm

Voluntary Manslaughter Charges in Illinois

November 14th, 2018 at 9:10 pm

IL defense lawyerVoluntary manslaughter is the intentional killing of an unborn child or acting in a way that would cause harm or death to an unborn child. It is not to be confused with involuntary manslaughter, which is the unintentional killing of another person, not a fetus. Voluntary manslaughter in Illinois was formerly one and the same as second-degree murder: the intentional killing of another person on-the-spot or in the heat of passion (meaning that the killing was not premeditated). However, the law currently recognizes this type of homicide simply as second-degree murder, not voluntary homicide. Today’s law is such that voluntary manslaughter is only charged when the victim is an unborn child. It is akin to second-degree murder of an unborn child, a very serious crime.

Definition of Voluntary Manslaughter

As per Illinois 720 ILCS 5/9-2.1, voluntary manslaughter is:

  • Causing the death of an unborn child by acting “under a sudden and intense passion resulting from serious provocation” by another person whom the defendant tries to kill, but in so doing the defendant “negligently or accidentally causes the death of the unborn child”; or
  • Intentionally or knowingly causing the death of an unborn child.

Example of Voluntary Manslaughter Vs. Involuntary Manslaughter

A Schaumburg, Illinois man killed a mother of four, who was 12 weeks pregnant when he crushed her between his pickup truck and her vehicle, which was stalled and was being pushed along the side of the road, as reported by the Daily Herald. A dashboard camera showed the man throwing a vodka bottle into the woods after he hit and killed the woman and refused a breath test. As such, he was charged with driving under the influence and causing the death of the woman, an offense that is punishable by up to 14 years (more if there are other aggravating factors such as the crash occurring in a construction zone). The offense he committed was involuntary manslaughter of the mother. He was not additionally charged with voluntary manslaughter for killing the fetus because he was most likely unaware that the woman was pregnant.

In another case, a Peoria, Illinois man was convicted of voluntary manslaughter when he allegedly body slammed his girlfriend during an argument, causing the death of her unborn child. He was also charged with domestic battery, aggravated battery, and aggravated domestic battery. He was charged with voluntary manslaughter because he acted in a manner that would cause a strong probability of harm or death to the fetus.

A Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help

Any type of homicide or crime that causes harm or death to a child or unborn child is extremely serious. If you have been charged with voluntary manslaughter or another crime of violence, contact dedicated Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney Christopher M. Cosley today at 847-394-3200.

 

Sources:

https://www.pjstar.com/news/20180308/peorian-convicted-of-killing-girlfriends-unborn-child

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/072000050K9-2.1.htm

https://www.dailyherald.com/news/20181010/schaumburg-man-charged-with-dui-in-crash-that-killed-pregnant-mother-of-four

Involuntary Manslaughter in Illinois

November 12th, 2018 at 8:33 am

Illinios defense lawyerInvoluntary manslaughter is a classification of homicide, which is the unlawful killing of another person. While first- and second-degree murder involves the intentional killing of a person, involuntary manslaughter can be thought of as an unintentional type of killing. Make no mistake; involuntary manslaughter is a serious crime, and the penalties you may be sentenced with can be harsh.

Penalties for Involuntary Manslaughter

Under Illinois 720 ILCS 5/9-3, involuntary manslaughter is the unintentional and unjustified killing of an individual when the defendant’s acts, either lawful or unlawful, are likely to cause death or serious bodily injury to another. As such, when a person performs dangerous reckless actions that result in the death of another, that person will be charged with involuntary manslaughter, unless they were operating a vehicle. As a Class 3 felony, involuntary manslaughter is punishable by up to five years in prison. Examples of actions that could lead to involuntary manslaughter include:

  • Fist fights. A Toledo, Illinois man was recently charged with involuntary manslaughter after kicking his neighbor in the head;
  • Letting a toddler play outside on the street unsupervised;
  • Shooting a firearm or storing a firearm in a reckless manner; and
  • Throwing or dropping rocks from a bridge or overpass.

Reckless Homicide or Vehicular Manslaughter

When the driver of a motor vehicle, all-terrain vehicle, watercraft, or snowmobile causes the death of another due to reckless driving or operation of their vehicle, they will be charged with reckless homicide, more commonly referred to as vehicular manslaughter. Reckless homicide is also a Class 3 felony, and may also involve having your license suspended or revoked. If the defendant was driving under the influence of alcohol, even with a blood alcohol content under 0.08, they may still be charged with reckless homicide if they cause the death of another because it is presumed that alcohol played a factor in their impaired driving and decision making.

In fact, if the driver was intoxicated, it is more likely that they will be charged with a Class 2 felony instead of a Class 3 felony. A Class 2 felony carries a penalty of up to seven years in prison, although, for a DUI reckless homicide, defendants often face penalties of up to 14 years, and even up to 28 years behind bars. Drivers who are charged with vehicular manslaughter without any DUI implications can also face increased prison sentences if there were aggravating factors, such as causing the death in a school zone or construction zone.

An Involuntary Manslaughter Defense Attorney Is Here For Your Assistance Today

Whether you have been charged with reckless homicide, involuntary manslaughter, second-degree murder, or first-degree murder, attorney Christopher M. Cosley is here to help. Call a dedicated Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney at our office today at 847-394-3200.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K9-3

https://jg-tc.com/news/local/manslaughter-charged-filed-in-case-of-toledo-man-s-death/article_a1aa90f9-c042-57a7-9340-a5f4019e5256.html

 

Traffic Fatalities on the Rise in Illinois

November 7th, 2018 at 8:29 am

Illinois defense attorneyTraffic fatalities and collisions involving serious bodily injury are on the rise in Illinois and have been for the past few years, according to WTTW Public News. To be sure, 2016 was deadlier than 2015; 2017 was deadlier than 2016; and, it looks like 2018 will be deadlier than 2017, as preliminary data from the Illinois Department of Transportation shows with still over two months to go until the final numbers are in. What does this mean for drivers who have been cited with moving violations and those who have been charged with causing bodily injury or death? Because Illinois, like most states, is seeing a rise in traffic collisions, prosecutors are more likely to bring the heaviest penalties possible on those who have allegedly violated the law. Some of the most serious Illinois traffic violations include the following:

Reckless Homicide—Drivers who cause the death of another while driving in a reckless manner or in a way that is likely to cause bodily injury or death will be charged with reckless homicide. Depending on the circumstances of the collision, defendants charged with reckless homicide can be sentenced to a maximum of 28 years in prison.

Leaving the Scene of a Crash—Under Illinois 625 ILCS 5/11-401, it is a Class 4 felony (punishable by up to three years in prison and a fine of $25,000) to leave the scene of a crash that you are involved in if the other driver was injured or killed. If the driver was killed, the defendant will also likely be charged with reckless homicide.

DUI—Driving under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances is a serious crime. Depending on how many DUIs a driver has on their record, their level of intoxication, aggravating factors, and other characteristics of the incident, a DUI can be charged as a misdemeanor with up to a year in jail, or as a felony with many years in state prison.

Reckless Driving—Reckless driving, such as going 35 miles per hour over the speed limit or getting airborne, is usually charged as a Class A misdemeanor crime, which involves a potential jail sentence, serious fine, and revoked driver’s license. However, if serious bodily injury occurs or a child or crossing guard is injured, the offense is increased to aggravated reckless driving, a Class 4 felony. Careless driving causing serious bodily injury is also a serious traffic offense in Illinois, punishable as a misdemeanor.

Contact a Rolling Meadows Attorney To Keep Out of Jail

Many people charged with moving violations believe that they will be suffer nothing more than a slap on the wrist. If you do not work with an attorney, this could not be farther from the truth. You are likely facing serious fines, points on your driver’s license, and potentially jail or prison time. We urge you to call skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney Christopher M. Cosley at 847-394-3200 for legal representation today.

 

Sources:

https://news.wttw.com/2017/08/24/traffic-fatalities-illinois-rise-2017

http://apps.dot.illinois.gov/fatalcrash/snapshot.html

Inaccuracies of Surveillance Cameras

November 5th, 2018 at 1:16 pm

cameraA suspect thought to be targeting and shooting random people in Loyola Park near Chicago is believed to live in the area after a surveillance camera spotted him walking down the street masked in black. Police believe that the man who has killed two people in the past two days has a distinctive way of walking and running, as the video surveillance points out. Police say that he walks with his feet pointing outwards, or duck-footed. While video does show the distinctive characteristic, the problem with relying heavily on this type of information is that it could lead to the arrest of the wrong person. Many people walk with their feet pointed outwards, and because the suspect’s face is fully covered, no other characteristics are visible other than his gait. Surveillance footage is typically grainy, the suspect in the footage may be in the background or partially out of the frame, and the angle of the camera may cause distortions or irregularities. On top of this, surveillance footage is often overly relied upon by jurors and is sometimes considered foolproof evidence that the defendant committed the crime.

Surveillance Cameras and Retail Theft Charges

Surveillance cameras are everywhere in stores. From department stores, grocery stores, and restaurants, chances are that every customer is being watched by a camera at any one time. Cameras are often placed even in dressing rooms, with one purpose being to monitor customers’ buying habits so to better advertise to them, in addition to keeping tabs on potential theft. However, camera quality varies widely. Some cameras are hidden and use high definition and software to recognize faces, while others are simply the standard grainy cameras typically spotted mounted on the ceiling. While retail and convenience stores are known to use cameras, virtually all establishments from restaurants and health clubs to bowling allies and bars do too.

Parking Lots, Public Streets, Parks, and Other Places

Chicago is the third most watched city in the world when it comes to surveillance cameras.  Chicago is only behind Beijing and London in terms of the number of surveillance cameras. A Georgetown University law professor who studies surveillance technology suggested that the general mindset of the public regarding surveillance cameras set up throughout cities on virtually every block is that individuals who are not willing to submit to this type of surveillance must be doing something illegal. Unless the defendant has a highly experienced criminal defense attorney, a jury can easily be convinced that a defendant is guilty of a crime:

  • Simply because they were caught on camera in proximity to the crime location; or
  • Because the defendant looks vaguely like the person committing the crime on camera.

Contact  Rolling Meadows Attorney

If you have been arrested for retail theft or for any other crime, contact dedicated Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorneys Christopher M. Cosley today at 847-394-3200. The presence of surveillance camera footage is not a dead end for your case.

 

Sources:

https://abc7chicago.com/video-released-of-masked-suspect-in-rogers-park-shootings/4401888/

https://vintechnology.com/2011/05/04/top-5-cities-with-the-largest-surveillance-camera-networks/

https://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2013/06/20/191603369/The-Business-Of-Surveillance-Cameras

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