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Archive for January, 2019

Expunging a DUI Record

January 31st, 2019 at 7:12 pm

IL DUI lawyer, IL expungment attorneyOne of the worst penalties for mistakes made or wrongful convictions is that a person has a criminal record for the rest of their life. That criminal record can prevent them from obtaining employment, housing, and other opportunities such as post-secondary scholarships. Due to this, those with past convictions often wonder if there is any way to get their record cleared, and the mark on it erased. This is often the case with those convicted of a DUI. So, is there any way to get a DUI expunged or sealed in Rolling Meadows?

Expunging a DUI

According to the Criminal Identification Act, expunging a record is the act of physically destroying it. Instead of the records being destroyed, the records may simply be given to the person named within them. Their name may also be removed from official and public record with regard to a certain crime.

Under the law, expungement may be possible for certain arrests, court-ordered supervision, probation, and even some felonies. A DUI however, cannot be expunged from a person’s record, no matter what they were charged with or what the sentencing entailed.

Sealing a DUI

While expunging a record is essentially making it as though the record never existed in the first place, there is another option for anyone with marks on their criminal record. This is sealing their record, which is also outlined in the Criminal Identification Act.

When a record is sealed, any convictions or arrests remain on an individual’s record. However, that record is only available when it has been ordered by a judge. For example, while a landlord may not be able to view the record, a judge may be able to when the court would like to know if a person has any prior convictions.

When expunging a record is not an option, individuals often try to have their record sealed. Unfortunately, this is not an option for those with a DUI on their criminal record, either. DUI convictions in Illinois can also not be sealed.

How to Clear a Record of a DUI in Rolling Meadows

Unfortunately, there are only two ways to have a DUI cleared from a criminal record in Rolling Meadows. The first is if there were no charges filed. If the case is dismissed, or a person was arrested but the charges were dropped and the individual was never sentenced, the arrest and case can be cleared from a criminal record.

In the instance that an individual was convicted of a DUI, they only have one option. That is to ask the governor of Illinois for a pardon. This is rarely done, and pardons are even more rarely given. For this reason, it is critical that anyone facing a DUI charge speak to an attorney that can help. The best way to ensure a criminal record does not contain any DUI charges is to not get them in the first place.

A DUI Attorney in Rolling Meadows Can Help

It is important for anyone charged with a DUI to seek the help of a passionate Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer. An attorney can help individuals beat DUI charges, or get the charges reduced so that one day, they may be eligible to have the charge on their criminal record sealed or expunged. If you have been charged with a DUI in Rolling Meadows, contact the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley today at 847-394-3200 for your free consultation. A DUI conviction likely means that a person will not be given a second chance to have their criminal record cleared. Our attorneys can help individuals fight the charges in court and retain their freedom, both now and in the future. Contact us for a free consultation.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=350&ChapterID=5

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

Common Defenses to Drug Charges in Rolling Meadows

January 29th, 2019 at 7:02 pm

IL defense lawyerBeing charged with a drug crime, whether it is a simple possession charge or the more serious charge of drug trafficking, can have serious consequences. If convicted, a person may face high fines, jail time, loss of child custody, and loss of immigration rights. After a conviction, individuals also have a permanent criminal record that will follow them for the rest of their life.

While the situation may seem hopeless, it is not. There are several common defenses to drug charges, and a qualified attorney will use them to help anyone accused of committing a drug crime.

Entrapment

Due to numerous television shows and movies that have focused on entrapment, people are often unsure whether or not this can actually be used as a defense. In Illinois, it can. Entrapment occurs whenever a law enforcement officer, or other authority, incites or induces a person to commit a crime. However, if it can be proven that the person was going to commit the crime without any interference from the officer, this defense cannot be used.

For example, if a person sells drugs to an undercover police officer, that would not be considered entrapment. The person was likely to sell the drugs anyway and just happened to sell them to a police officer. That same person, however, may have prescription drugs in their possession that were prescribed to them. If an undercover officer repeatedly asked to buy the drugs and the person declined numerous times before finally giving them the drugs, that may be considered entrapment.

Informant Credibility

Police officers often rely on the public to solve crimes. They rely on eyewitness testimony and informants to provide them with the information they would to otherwise have. In some instances though, these informants are not always credible. An informant may have reason to turn over an innocent person to the authorities, such as in divorce proceedings or if the informant is simply acting out of revenge. When an informant is not credible, the information they are giving to the authorities is not considered credible either, and this can help build a solid defense.

Violation of Legal Rights

When someone is arrested for committing a crime, they have several legal rights. One of these is the right to a lawful search and seizure, as protected by the Fourth Amendment. When officers or other authorities violate this right, any evidence obtained through that search and seizure can be thrown out of court. The same is true for Miranda warnings, and many other rights those accused of committing a crime are entitled to.

Presence of Drugs

When an individual is arrested and charged with a drug crime, law enforcement officials must seize the drugs in question. If the prosecution cannot produce these drugs as evidence during trial, the charge will likely be dropped. In a case involving drug crimes, the presence of the actual drugs in question is one of the main pieces of evidence the prosecution has. Without it, there is often no case.

Addiction and Mental Health Issues

Substance abuse addictions and mental health issues are serious problems and are also often a part of many drug crimes case. When these issues are present, often those accused may be eligible for treatment rather than harsher penalties, such as being sentenced to jail. Some of these programs, such as court supervision, allow the accused to complete a program. Upon successful completion, the case is dismissed and a criminal conviction is avoided. That allows individuals to move on with their life without a criminal record following them throughout it.

A Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Provide a Proper Defense

It is one thing to know the possible defenses available in drug crime cases. It is another thing altogether though, to argue those defenses in court in order to get charges dropped or reduced. A passionate Rolling Meadows drug crimes lawyer though, can help those accused build and argue a strong defense. If you have been charged with a drug crime, call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at 847-394-3200. Many people have addictions, were in the wrong place at the wrong time, or are completely innocent of a crime and have still been charged. A proper defense will show this, so you can move on with your life. Contact us today for your free consultation and we will start reviewing your case.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/072000050K7-12.htm

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

Can You Refuse Field Sobriety Tests in Rolling Meadows?

January 25th, 2019 at 10:28 pm

IL defense lawyerLike every other state, in Illinois, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol content higher than 0.08 percent. Those found guilty of doing so will be charged with driving under the influence, or DUI. There are a few steps law enforcement take before making an arrest, though. One of those is to administer field sobriety tests. Many individuals, whether they have been charged with a DUI, or they think they are about to be, wonder if these tests are mandatory. So, can you refuse field sobriety tests in Rolling Meadows?

What Are Field Sobriety Tests?

Field sobriety tests are one tool used by law enforcement when they suspect someone is driving under the influence. While there are many field sobriety tests a police officer may ask the driver to undergo, there are generally three main ones.

The Horizontal Nystagmus Test (HGN) will involve the officer holding up an object. They will then ask the driver to follow that object with their eyes as the officer moves it from left to right. The officer will then look for when the pupil begins to exhibit ‘nystagmus’, or an involuntary jerking of the eye.

Another field sobriety test is the walk and turn test. During this test, the driver will be asked to take a number of steps, turn around using just one foot, and walk back in the direction from which they came. This test is mainly done so that the officer can observe the balance and coordination of the driver.

Lastly, the third main field sobriety test is the one leg stand test. In this test, the officer will ask the driver to stand with one foot approximately six inches off the ground. The driver will also be asked to count aloud by thousands. This test is also administered to determine the coordination and balance of the driver.

Can a Driver Refuse Field Sobriety Tests?

Any field sobriety test can be refused. However, that does not mean the driver will simply be sent on their way. Instead, they will likely be arrested. If an officer asks a driver to perform a field sobriety test, they already have the intent to arrest the driver for a DUI. They are simply trying to collect more evidence against the driver for when the case goes to court.

Still, drivers are always recommended to refuse to take field sobriety tests. While it will still likely end with an arrest, by refusing they are not providing additional evidence for the police and prosecution in the case.

Contact a Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense Lawyer for Help

Even if you have submitted to field sobriety tests and been arrested for a DUI, it is crucial that you contact a skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer that can help. An experienced attorney can refute the accuracy of the tests, as well as discredit the officer’s testimony in court. If you have been arrested for a DUI, you need the best defense possible. Call us today at 847-394-3200 to get a free consultation. We will start reviewing your case right away, and prepare a defense to give you the best possible chance at a successful outcome.

 

Source:

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

Defenses to Disorderly Conduct

January 22nd, 2019 at 10:23 pm

Disorderly conductIL defense lawyer can seem like a minor crime, and the circumstances leading up to it can seem quite innocent as well. If convicted though, an individual can face harsh penalties, including jail time. It is for this reason that anyone charged with disorderly conduct needs to speak to a criminal defense lawyer in Rolling Meadows as soon as possible. There are defenses available, and an attorney will use them to give defendants the best chance of having the charges dropped or reduced.

Disorderly Conduct in Illinois

The Illinois Statute pertaining to disorderly conduct is found at 720 ILCS 5/26-1. It outlines a number of behaviors that are considered disorderly conduct. These include:

  • Breaching the peace;
  • False fire alarms;
  • Reporting a false bomb threat;
  • Threats of violence or destruction in a school or on school property;
  • Falsely reporting a crime;
  • Phoning 911 without reason;
  • Falsely reporting to the Department of Children and Family Services;
  • Falsely reporting a nursing home, mental home, or other facility for abuse or neglect;
  • Requesting an ambulance when one was not needed;
  • Falsely reporting violence;
  • Invasions of privacy/‘Peeping Tom’; and
  • Harassment by a collection agency.

The penalties sentenced for disorderly conduct will vary, depending on the specific crime that was committed. However, all those convicted will be required to perform between 30 and 120 hours of community service.

Defenses to Disorderly Conduct

For those charged with disorderly conduct, having a solid defense is critical. Even when there is no jail time sentenced, students can lose scholarships and those convicted will have a permanent criminal record. Fortunately, there are several defenses available.

The First Amendment guarantees a person’s right to speak freely. As long as the speech was not obscene, defamation, perjury, fighting words, or any other type of illegal speech, speech is generally protected. This is often used as a defense to disorderly conduct.

If there was no disruption of peace, there is often no disorderly conduct. When someone acts peacefully and legally, they cannot be charged or convicted of disorderly conduct. Even boisterous actions may not be considered disorderly conduct as long as the person charged was not disrupting or interfering with anyone else.

Private property is also often protected by the law. Legally speaking, disorderly conduct generally requires for the actions to be taken in a public place. When a person is on private property and acting in a legal manner, even if that manner is boisterous, they cannot be charged with disorderly conduct.

Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney in Rolling Meadows

Disorderly conduct may not sound like a serious crime, but the penalties can be harsh. Those convicted may even face up to one year in jail. If you have been charged with disorderly conduct, it is important that you speak to a skilled Rolling Meadows disorderly conduct lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney can help you build a defense that can get the charges dropped so you can move on with your life. Do not wait another minute. Contact the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley today at (847) 394-3200 for a free consultation.

 

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=1876&ChapterID=53&SeqStart=73600000&SeqEnd=74600000

 

Understanding Domestic Battery in Rolling Meadows

January 18th, 2019 at 10:16 pm

domestic -batteryPeople that live in the same house and are in close relationships sometimes fight and argue. Most often these arguments are vocal, with those involved saying things they did not mean before quickly forgiving each other. Sometimes though, these arguments turn into much more. When that happens, and an argument turns violent, it could result in a domestic battery charge.

It is natural for those charged with domestic battery to be confused about the charges. What exactly does a domestic battery charge involve? What penalties could a person be facing? Here domestic battery in Rolling Meadows is broken down, so anyone charged can understand what they are facing, and get the legal help they need.

The Legal Definition of Domestic Battery

Under Illinois statute 720 ILCS 5/12-3.2, domestic battery is defined as causing bodily harm to a person in the same household. Making physical contact with another person in the household can also be considered domestic battery if that contact can be considered provoking or insulting in nature.

The statute states that the individuals involved in a domestic battery case must be living in the same household. However, the Illinois Domestic Violence Act defines others that may be involved in a domestic battery case as well. These individuals include:

  • Spouses, including ex-spouses;
  • People in a romantic relationship or that were previously in a romantic relationship;
  • Parents and children, including stepparents and stepchildren;
  • Couples that have a child together;
  • Blood relatives to a child;
  • Current or former roommates; and
  • Adults and their caregiver.

Under this definition, a person can be accused of domestic battery if they engage in acts of physical violence with family members, those they live with, or those they have a close relationship with.

Penalties for Domestic Battery

Domestic battery is considered a Class A misdemeanor. If convicted, a person could be sentenced to up to one year in jail and a fine up to $2,500 for a first offense. Those with previous domestic battery convictions could be charged with a Class 4 felony. This could result in a fine of up to $25,000 and up to three years in jail.

The penalties for a domestic battery charge are severe. Even worse, a domestic battery conviction will remain on a person’s criminal record for the rest of their life. For these reasons, it is crucial that anyone charged with domestic battery understand the defenses that can be used.

Defenses for Domestic Battery

Self-defense is one of the most common defenses used in domestic battery cases. Sometimes arguments become very heated, and one person may try to strike, kick, or otherwise physically injure someone. When this is the case, and the person being injured used reasonable force to defend themselves, it may not be considered domestic battery.

In other cases, a person falsely accuses another person of domestic battery. People sometimes feel resentful or revengeful after a dispute and so, they accuse a person of domestic battery when it simply did not happen. In the best of these instances, a person will often decide to not pursue charges. If the police have already been involved though, that may not be a possibility.

Contact a Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense Lawyer

Domestic battery charges should always be taken very seriously. Being convicted of this crime can result in jail time, high fines, and a permanent criminal record.

If you have been charged with domestic battery, contact the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at 847-394-3200 and speak to a skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney today. An attorney will review your case, help prepare your defense, and make sure your rights are upheld in court. Call us today for your free consultation.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K12-3.2

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

What Is 410 Probation in Illinois?

January 15th, 2019 at 10:07 pm

IL defense lawyerAccording to the Illinois Controlled Substances Act, a person arrested for possession of certain illegal drugs in the state may face felony charges. This is true even if it is their first offense. However, in Illinois, some defendants may be eligible for 410 Probation. This can allow those facing possession charges to avoid jail time. Few are aware though, of how 410 Probation works in Illinois.

Felony Possession Charges in Illinois

Not every possession charge will be considered a felony in Illinois. In order to be facing felony charges, a person must have been in possession of:

  • 15 grams or more of LSD, morphine, heroin, or cocaine;
  • 30 grams of more of pentazocine, ketamine, or methaqualone; or
  • 200 grams or more of amphetamines, peyote, or barbituric acid.

The most minor of these charges can result in a Class 1 felony charge. If convicted, an individual may face four4 to 15 years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines. However, individuals that are facing a first offense for felony drug charges may be eligible for 410 Probation.

410 Probation

In order to be eligible for 410 Probation, individuals must meet certain requirements. One of these is that the individual cannot have any previous drug charges, including those involving cannabis. They also could not have been placed on probation in the past.

In order to accept the probation, individuals must plead guilty to the drug charge. After the guilty plea is accepted, a judge will place the individual on probation instead of entering a judgment.

While on probation, the individual will have a number of conditions that must be met. These include:

  • No weapon possession while on probation;
  • No criminal violations;
  • Random drug testing;
  • 30 hours of community service;
  • Possible fines;
  • Possible rehabilitation; and
  • Continued court appearances throughout the probation time.

Once the probation has been completed successfully and the individual has met all the conditions, the court will then dismiss the charge.

The biggest benefit of 410 Probation is that it allows individuals to avoid prison time. Due to the charge being dismissed from their record after probation is completed, the charge will also be cleared from the individual’s public record.

If a background check is done by future employers or landlords, the record will show that the individual was charged with a felony drug charge, but that the charges were dismissed. After five years, individuals that have successfully completed 410 Probation can petition the court to have their record sealed.

Contact a Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense Lawyer that Can Help

While 410 Probation has many advantages for those facing first-time felony drug charges, the program also has some drawbacks. For example, if an individual violates the conditions of their probation, they will not be able to contest the charge in court because they have already pled guilty. In addition, if the court determines the individual has a significant drug problem, they may also deny the possibility of probation.

If you have been charged with a felony drug charge, contact a skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer that can help. We can review your case and determine whether or not 410 Probation is a possibility, and if it is in the best interest of the accused individual. Call us today at 847-394-3200 for your free consultation.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=1941&ChapterID=53&SeqStart=5200000&SeqEnd=7900000

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072005700K410

Are Tenants that Refuse to Leave Criminally Trespassing?

January 11th, 2019 at 9:58 pm

IL defense lawyerBeing a landlord in Rolling Meadows, regardless of whether it is of a single family home or a huge apartment building, is not easy. There is maintenance to worry about, collecting rent from tenants, and of course, possibly evicting them when they fail to make those payments. What happens though, when a tenant refuses to leave after being evicted? Can the landlord have them charged with criminal trespassing?

Illinois Statute 720 ILCS 5/21-3

The definition of criminal trespassing is outlined in Illinois statute 720 ILCS 5/21-3. Essentially, the statute states that criminal trespassing has occurred when someone enters or remains on land after the owner or occupant has asked them to leave.

This sounds like it would cover a situation in which a tenant will not leave after being evicted, or asked to leave, by their landlord. However, it does not. The statute has some exceptions.

One of these is when the person being asked to leave is living on the land. Furthermore, anyone invited onto the land by the tenant that will not leave is also not considered to be criminally trespassing, even if the owner has asked them to vacate the premises. For these reasons, a person is most often charged with criminal trespassing when they have unlawfully entered, or refused to leave, a business or public area, not when they are in their home.

In the case of a person criminally trespassing, the property owner has to phone the police and have the person arrested. Police cannot simply show up and arrest tenants that refuse to leave. If they did so, they could be held liable for unlawfully evicting a person from their home.

Illinois Code of Civil Procedure

This does not mean that landlords do not have any options when it comes to removing unwanted tenants. It simply means that they must follow the civil, not criminal, procedures outlined in the Eviction Act. According to Illinois statute 735 ILCS 5/9-209, a landlord can notify a tenant of eviction if the tenant has not paid rent five days after it was due.

Of course, it is more time-consuming to follow the requirements set out in the Act. It is though, the only legal recourse a landlord has. The process of eviction in Rolling Meadows also is not one that takes as long as many people think. From the time notice is provided by the landlord to the time the eviction is final takes approximately one month.

Contact a Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense Lawyer that Can Help

The idea of criminal trespassing, and all it encompasses, can become confusing. This charge is not always appropriate simply because someone is on someone else’s property, even if they have been asked to leave. For this reason, people are sometimes charged with criminal trespassing when they are not guilty of the crime.

If you have been charged with criminal trespassing, do not try to fight the charges on your own. Contact a skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney that can help. The penalties for criminal trespassing if convicted can include up to one year in jail, in addition to the permanent mark on your criminal record. Our office offers a free consultation so call us today at 847-394-3200 so we can start reviewing your case.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=073500050K9-209

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K21-3

 

What Is Aggravated Speeding in Rolling Meadows?

January 8th, 2019 at 9:54 pm

IL defense lawyerFor most drivers in Rolling Meadows, a speeding ticket is little more than an annoyance. These tickets often do not result in anything more than a fine. There are instances when a speeding ticket can result in much more. This is when the driver is charged with aggravated speeding. An aggravated speeding charge is very serious. Anyone charged with this crime should speak to a criminal defense lawyer in Rolling Meadows right away.

What Is Aggravated Speeding?

According to Illinois statute 625 ILCS 5/11-601.5, aggravated speeding consists of driving 26 miles per hour, or more, over the posted speed limit. At one time, traveling at these speeds was considered the same as a minor speeding ticket. However, due to the fact that driving at such speeds poses an increased threat to public safety, lawmakers in the state increased the penalties for aggravated speeding in 2011.

Aggravated speeding is still considered to be a misdemeanor offense. When a driver is traveling between 26 and 34 miles per hour over the posted speed limit, they can be charged with a Class B misdemeanor. The charge becomes more serious when a driver is traveling over 35 miles per hour the posted speed limit. In these cases, drivers can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor.

Penalties for Aggravated Speeding

When a driver is charged with aggravated speeding, the penalties are much more severe than simply being charged with lesser speeding offenses. In most cases, the driver will have their driver’s license suspended temporarily. In the worst case scenarios, a driver can actually have their license revoked, which means they are permanently prohibited from driving in the state.

Fines and jail time are also real possibilities when a person has been charged with aggravated speeding. Fines can be up to $2,500, in addition to court costs, and a person may be sentenced to spend up to one year in jail.

Court Supervision for Aggravated Speeding Charges

Court supervision is a more desirable penalty for aggravated speeding. Whether or not court supervision is sentenced will be left to the judge’s discretion.

Court supervision requires a person charged with a crime to comply with certain conditions that the judge will specify. These can include community service, attending traffic school, reporting to the court or other person designated by the court, or more. Illinois statute 730 ILCS 5/5-6-3.1 outlines the full definition and requirements of court supervision within the state.

Court supervision will typically last up to two years. When determining whether or not court supervision is an option, a judge will likely determine whether or not someone is likely to re-offend, if the accused is a threat to the public, and will deem whether or not court supervision is a preferred penalty over other possibilities.

Court supervision can be considered a deferred dismissal of the charge. Upon adequate completion, all of the charges will be dismissed and it will not result in a conviction.

Get the Help You Need from a Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense Lawyer

Aggravated speeding is considered to be a very serious crime in Rolling Meadows. If convicted, one could face serious penalties such as spending up to one year in jail. While a judge may offer court supervision as a penalty, it is not a guarantee.

If you have been charged with aggravated speeding, contact a dedicated Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible at 847-394-3200 for a free consultation. An attorney will fight for your rights in court and is your best chance at having the charges dismissed, or being sentenced to court supervision. Aggravated speeding is a serious charge and one you certainly do not want to fight on your own.

Sources:

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

http://ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=073000050K5-6-3.1

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