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Archive for February, 2019

Is Breaking into a Car Burglary?

February 19th, 2019 at 5:37 pm

Illinois defense lawyerTwo individuals were recently arrested for multiple burglary charges in the area of 95th Street and Book Road in the Northwest Side. Naperville police say the pair first burglarized a home and then continued to steal from multiple vehicles. Both are facing felony charges, and it raises the question of whether or not vehicle burglary is a felony, or if these charges pertain only to the home they are suspected of breaking into.

Burglary and Illinois Law

According to 720 ILCS 5/19-1, burglary is defined as when a person without permission enters a “building, house trailer, watercraft, aircraft, motor vehicle, railroad car, or any part thereof with the intent to commit a felony or theft.”

The same statute also states that any violation of this law is considered a Class 3 felony. Under this law, if convicted, the two individuals mentioned above will face felony charges, possibly one for each vehicle entered.

The law does not distinguish locked vehicles from unlocked vehicles. This means even if there was no actual “breaking” into the vehicle, a person could still face vehicle burglary charges. However, the prosecution would have to prove that the defendant broke into the vehicle with the intention to steal or commit a felony.

Criminal Trespass to a Vehicle

A charge that is often associated with vehicle burglary is criminal trespass to a vehicle, outlined in 720 ILCS 5/21-2. Under this law, anyone that enters into a vehicle and operates it is also guilty of a crime. This law includes any type of vehicle including aircraft, watercraft, and snowmobiles.

This law is not part of Illinois’ burglary laws but instead, the state’s trespassing laws. Although still against the law, this crime is considered a Class A misdemeanor, which is a much lesser charge than the felony charge individuals will face with burglary charges.

Defenses to Vehicle Burglary

Many of the defenses used in burglary cases could also apply to vehicle burglary cases. For example, if an individual had permission to enter the vehicle, or even thought they had permission to enter it, they could be found innocent of vehicle burglary.

A person can very easily enter into a vehicle thinking it was theirs. This is one defense that is used often in vehicle burglary cases, but not in cases involving other types of burglary. Many people drive the same make and model of car, and if a person believes the car to be their own, they may mistakenly get in. This would not constitute vehicle burglary.

Call a Rolling Meadows Vehicle Burglary Lawyer that Can Help

Facing any type of burglary charges can be very stressful and traumatic. Felony charges are very serious and can result in high fines and several years in prison if convicted. However, a dedicated Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney can help get charges dropped or reduced to a lesser charge. If you have been charged with burglary or vehicle burglary, contact the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at 847-394-3200. We will review your case with you and discuss the many options you may have for a defense. We offer a free initial consultation so do not wait another minute. Let us start fighting for your freedom today.

 

Sources:

https://chicago.suntimes.com/crime/2-chicagoans-charged-with-naperville-residential-vehicle-burglaries/

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K19-1

What Are the Laws in Illinois for Passing a School Bus?

February 14th, 2019 at 12:10 am

IL traffic violation lawyerMany drivers may understand that they need to stop for school buses when the arm is extended and the lights are flashing. However, few know the severe penalties that accompany violating this traffic law. Every driver in Illinois should know that the law in Rolling Meadows and throughout Illinois takes this violation very seriously. Those convicted will even face a license suspension.

What the Law Says About Passing a Stopped School Bus

The laws surrounding passing a stopped school bus are included in the Illinois Vehicle Code, 625 ILCS 5/11-1414. This piece of legislation indicates that it is against the law to overtake, or pass, a school bus when the bus is stopped to load or unload students.

Drivers must come to a full stop when the bus operator has displayed the extended arm, or when the lights are flashing. Drivers can also not continue traveling until the driver has retracted the extended arm, turned the flashing lights off, or resumed motion. In some instances, such as when there is an issue with these signals, a bus operator may motion to other drivers that they can continue driving. In these instances, a driver may do so.

This law will apply in most cases of a vehicle approaching a school bus, even in parking lots. When a bus is traveling in one direction on a four-lane highway though, drivers traveling in the opposite two lanes are not required to stop.

The Illinois State Police also like to remind drivers that school buses are required to stop at railroad crossings. In this case, drivers traveling in the opposite direction of the bus are not required to stop.

Those behind the bus, however, may not pass if the bus is within 100 meters of the crossing. Due to the fact that school bus operators will need to engage their flashing lights and control arm when stopping the bus, it is safest for drivers behind the school bus to always stop and give the bus plenty of room.

Penalties for Passing a Stopped School Bus

The penalties for passing a stopped school bus illegally are also covered under the Illinois Vehicle Code, and they are harsh.

For a first offense, violators of this law will face a mandatory fine of at least $150. They will also face a mandatory suspension of three months.

Those charged with a second offense will face a mandatory fine of at least $500. These offenders will also have their license suspended for one full year. It is important those charged with a second offense understand that only offenses within the previous five years will be considered.

Court supervision is often an option for those convicted of breaking the law. Unfortunately, when a person is charged with illegally passing a stopped school bus, this is not a possibility.

Contact a Rolling Meadows Traffic Attorney and Keep Your License

Facing a license suspension is very serious. It can prevent people from going to work, attending school, and even visiting friends and family. The situation may seem hopeless, but it is not. A dedicated Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer can help individuals keep their license by building a strong defense for those charged. If you have been charged with failing to stop for a school bus, or another traffic violation, call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at 847-394-3200. We will review your case, fight for your rights, and do everything possible to prevent a license suspension. We offer free consultations, so contact us today.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-1414

http://www.isp.state.il.us/docs/schoolbussafety5542.pdf

 

New Year, New Rules of the Road in Illinois

February 12th, 2019 at 12:04 am

IL traffic lawyerMost drivers believe they know the rules of the road. These rules include driving under posted speed limits, stopping at traffic lights, and following all road signs, such as school crossings. However, many new traffic rules will come into effect over the course of 2019. Drivers need to ensure they are familiar with these rules as well. If they are not and are found in violation of these new laws, they could be facing hefty fines and other penalties.

New Texting and Driving Laws

Perhaps the most important law that will be introduced later in the year is the new penalties imposed on drivers found in violation of texting and driving. This law, which stems from Illinois House Bill 4846, will come into effect on July 1, 2019.

Texting and driving has been illegal in Illinois since 2014. The new law though, will now consider texting and driving a moving violation rather than a non-moving violation. Moving violations are entered into a person’s driving record. When a person is convicted of three moving violations within a 12-month period, their licenses are also subject to suspension. A first offense carries the same penalty of $75.

Children Under Two Must Ride in Rear-Facing Car Seats

Before January 1, 2019, Illinois law required that all children under the age of eight be restrained in a car seat. Previously, the law did not state which way that child restraint system had to face in the vehicle. Under the new law, which took effect on New Year’s Day, all children under the age of two must ride in rear-facing car seats. Children under the age of two and taller than 40 inches in height, or weighing more than 40 pounds, may sit in a front-facing car seat.

Those found in violation of this law will be subject to fines and penalties at the discretion of the officer that pulls them over. These penalties could include $75 for a first offense and up to $200 for a second offense.

Driver Curriculum will Include the “Dutch Reach” Method

While not necessarily a new law, those reading the Illinois’ Rules of the Road manual will now be encouraged to use the “Dutch Reach” method after parallel parking. This method states that when exiting a vehicle, drivers and passengers alike should reach across their body to open the door. This, it is believed, will help prevent more instances of “dooring,” as it will remind those in vehicles to look first for pedestrians and bicyclists that may be in the path of the door.

School Bus Signs Must be Covered

According to Illinois House Bill 3292, when school buses are not being used to transport school children under the age of 18, for religious purposes, or for any other activity not affiliated with a church or school, the “School Bus” sign must be covered or concealed.

In addition, the signal arm and the flashing lights of a school bus should not be operated when the bus is being used for the same types of activities. This law also came into effect on January 1, 2019.

Contact a Rolling Meadows Traffic Lawyer 

Too many people believe that if they are pulled over and found in violation of certain laws, they have no choice but to pay the fines and face other penalties. This, however, is not the case.

If you are found in violation of any new traffic laws, or any other traffic law, contact a skilled Rolling Meadows traffic attorney that can help. At the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley, we can provide you with the legal defense you need to ensure you are not at risk for losing your license or paying large fines for violations you did not commit. Contact us today at 847-394-3200 for your free consultation.

 

Sources:

http://ilga.gov/legislation/fulltext.asp?DocName=&SessionId=91&GA=100&DocTypeId=HB&DocNum=4846&GAID=14&LegID=110209&SpecSess=&Session=

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/fulltext.asp?DocName=&SessionId=91&GA=100&DocTypeId=HB&DocNum=3293&GAID=14&LegID=105016&SpecSess=&Session=

What to Expect After a First-Time DUI

February 7th, 2019 at 7:28 pm

drunk-drivingBeing charged with a DUI is always an upsetting time. Individuals may feel shocked if they did not realize they had too much to drink. When the DUI is a first offense, it is also normal to feel confused and worried about what will happen next.

The first thing individuals should always do after being charged with a DUI is to contact a DUI attorney in Rolling Meadows that can help. An attorney will be able to best explain what will happen in a specific situation and provide a strong defense. This will give those charged the best chance at regaining their freedom and having a clear record once the incident is over.

Generally speaking, there is a procedure that anyone charged with a DUI will have to follow.

Court Appearances and Driver’s Licenses

Immediately after being charged with a DUI, individuals will likely be given a notice that their license is suspended. That suspension often starts 46 days after the arrest. They will also be given a notice of when they must appear before the court for their first hearing.

It is highly advisable that anyone charged with a DUI contact a criminal defense attorney that can represent them at this first hearing, and all other court appearances. During the first hearing, the attorney will inform the court that they are representing the defendant. They will ask for the prosecution’s discovery, which will include any evidence against the defendant.

At this time, the attorney may also petition the court to allow the defendant to keep their driver’s license without suspension. If the court does not grant that petition, an attorney will then be able to petition the court to allow the defendant to drive with an ignition interlock device after the first 30 days of suspension. This can help individuals remain mobile during the DUI proceedings. It can also help them keep their employment if driving is a large part of their job.

After the prosecution gives the defense attorney the evidence they have against the defendant, the attorney may make certain motions. The police may have lacked probable cause to stop the defendant, or there could be indications that the testing devices were inaccurate.

Once all evidence has been reviewed and any applicable motions made, the defense attorney will then advise the defendant whether they can win the case, or if the defendant should accept a plea bargain. Either way, the defendant will still be required to have an alcohol evaluation taken.

In Cook County, this can only be done through the Central States Institute, located in the circuit court. This evaluation may include drug screening and an in-person interview. Evaluators will try to determine how many substances a person uses, if they live a sober life, and if they have character references. If a person is later found guilty of the DUI, the court will use this evaluation to determine appropriate sentencing.

How Long Does a DUI Proceeding Take?

No DUI case is over after the first court date. It will likely take several months, particularly if the defendant and their attorney have decided to take the case to trial. The focus though, should always be on getting a successful outcome and not rushing the case to simply have it over with. If the defendant is ever charged with a second DUI offense, they may regret rushing the first case simply to put it behind them.

Possible Penalties

After being arrested for a DUI the first time, the first question many people have is whether or not they will go to jail. While jail time is a possibility, it is unlikely that a first-time offender will have to spend time in jail. Instead, those convicted will likely have to attend alcohol classes, pay fines, and/or perform community service. Those that take their case to trial and lose may face harsher penalties, but jail is still an unlikely outcome.

Contact a Rolling Meadows DUI Attorney That Can Help

Although jail time is unlikely, it is still very important that anyone charged with a DUI speak to a dedicated Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. An attorney will give those accused the best chance at getting their license back sooner, avoiding jail time, and keeping their criminal record clean. If you have been charged with a DUI, contact the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at 847-394-3200. Being arrested is very stressful, particularly for those that do not know what to expect next. We can help guide you through the process and prepare a solid defense that will give you a better chance of a successful outcome in court. Do not wait another minute to get the help you need. Contact us for a free consultation.

 

Sources:

http://www.cookcountycourt.org/ABOUTTHECOURT/MunicipalDepartment/ThirdMunicipalDistrictRollingMeadows/Directory.aspx

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

Understanding the Sex Offender Registry Laws in Illinois

February 5th, 2019 at 7:22 pm

sex-offenderBeing convicted of a sex offense in Illinois carries with it several consequences. A person may be sentenced to jail time, high fines, and will most certainly be required to register as a sex offender. The laws pertaining to sex offender registration in Illinois are complicated. They are also very harsh. In fact, a person may be required to register as a sex offender even when they do not have any convictions for a sexual offense. Due to the complexity of these laws, there are many misunderstandings surrounding them.

The information below will explain the most important aspects of the sex offender registration laws within the state. While this information is comprehensive, anyone accused of a sex offense should still contact an attorney that can review their case in more detail.

Crimes Requiring a Person to Register as a Sex Offender

The full list of crimes that require someone to register as a sex offender are fully outlined in the Sex Offender Registration Act. These crimes include everything from child pornography to criminal sexual abuse and more. However, other criminal convictions can also result in a person being required to register as a sex offender. For example, if a person is convicted of murder in the first degree, upon their release from prison, they are also required to register on the sex offender registry.

Other individuals that may be required to register as a sex offender include:

  • Anyone not convicted of a sex offense because they used the defense of insanity;
  • Anyone tried for a sex offense and not acquitted;
  • Any offense committed by a juvenile that would require; registration if the juvenile was an adult; and
  • Any person determined to be a sexual predator.

Length of Time Required to be Registered

After being convicted of a sex offense, a person must register every year for ten years. Any time a person moves into a new municipality, they must register again within three days of the move, or within one year of their last registration. This timeframe begins either after a person is released from prison, or immediately after receiving a sentence of probation.

Failing to register with the registry is also a crime. When a person commits this crime, that annual timeframe changes to once every three months. This timeframe will remain for the rest of the registration period. In addition, once a person fails to register, another ten years may be added to the time they are required to be registered.

The annual timeframe is also reduced in the case of someone that has been convicted of murder in the first degree, or that has been deemed a sexual predator by the courts. In these cases, a person must re-register every three months for the rest of their life.

Process of Registering on the Sex Offender Registry

Anyone required to register on the sex offender registry can do so with the Rolling Meadows Police Department, or the police department in the municipality in which they live. In order to properly register, they must bring:

  • A current picture of themselves;
  • Current address, place of employment, and all phone numbers, including the phone number of any employers;
  • License plate numbers of any vehicles they drive;
  • Names of any school they have attended;
  • Any and all identities used online, including Twitter handles and profiles on social media networks;
  • Any URLs they use;
  • The address of any website or blogs they own;
  • Previous extensions given to the accused to register as a sex offender, including the date and circumstances surrounding that extension;
  • Copy of their parole or prison release, including the terms and conditions associated with it;
  • All information pertaining to the offense for which registration is required; and
  • Any permanent and unique marks, such as tattoos or birthmarks, on their body.

Restrictions for Those on the Sex Offender Registry

Once a person is registered on the sex offender registry, they will have several restrictions placed on them. They cannot be within 500 feet of school property, they cannot be in a public park, and anyone convicted of a sex offense after 2010 cannot use any social media sites while on probation, parole, or mandatory supervised release.

When certain conditions are met, those with children in a school may be on school property. Those on the sex offender registry also have no restrictions placed on them in regards to living with children. They must, however, report to the police if they are living with a child that is under 18 years of age and that is not their own child.

Rolling Meadows Sex Crime Lawyer Can Help Individuals Avoid the Registry

Appearing on the state’s sex offender registry can have severe consequences. Not only are there many requirements and restrictions, it can also greatly damage a person’s reputation and their ability to gain employment, housing, or an education. The best way to avoid being placed on the sex offender registry is to not be convicted of a sex offense, or any other offense that may require registration. A skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney can help those accused beat these charges, so they do not suffer the consequences of the sex offender registry and more. If you have been convicted of a sex offense or any other crime, contact the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at 847-394-3200. We will help build a solid defense for anyone charged with a crime in order to get the charges dropped or reduced. Call us today for your free consultation.

 

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?docname=072000050hart.+11&actid=1876&chapterid=53&seqstart=14300000&seqend=20800000

 

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