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Archive for June, 2019

Penalties for Leaving the Scene of an Accident in Illinois

June 26th, 2019 at 5:33 pm

IL defense lawyer, Illinois criminal attorneyIn early May, a Berwyn woman was taking an Uber home after celebrating her 23rd birthday in Chicago. On her way home, a drunk driver crashed into the vehicle she was in, killing her and injuring three others. The driver fled the scene and was caught shortly after. Now, he faces many charges, including leaving the scene of an accident.

In Illinois, it is law that all drivers stop at the scene of any accident they are involved in. When they do not, they face serious penalties.

Leaving the Scene of an Accident Involving Property Damage

Even when there is only property damage and no real injury to anyone involved, all drivers must still stop and report the accident to the police. Failing to do this is considered a Class A misdemeanor. Although these are some of the least severe charges a person could face after leaving the scene of an accident, the consequences are still serious. This crime is punishable by up to one year in jail, a $2,500 fine, and a probation period of up to 24 months.

It is also important to understand that drivers must stop at the scene even if the vehicle they hit was unattended, or not carrying anyone at the time. Failure to do this is also considered a Class A misdemeanor that carries the same penalties as if someone had been in the vehicle.

When the property damage to a vehicle is valued over $1,000, the Secretary of State will suspend the driver’s license of the person that caused the accident.

Leaving the Scene of an Accident Involving Personal Injury or Death

Of course, if someone is hurt in an accident and any person involved flees the scene, they will face harsher penalties. This is considered a Class 4 felony that carries penalties between one to three years in jail and a maximum fine of $25,000. Anyone that violates this law will also have their license revoked by the Secretary of State.

Additionally, Illinois statute ILCS 5/11-402 also requires anyone involved in an accident resulting in death or personal injury to report the accident to the police. This must be done as soon as possible, but no later than 30 minutes after the accident took place. Violating this law carries penalties of between three to seven years in prison and a maximum fine of $25,000.

Do Not Try to Beat the Charges on Your Own; Call a Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense Lawyer

Fleeing the scene of an accident is one of the most common crimes people are accused of in Rolling Meadows. While it may not sound serious, law enforcement and the prosecution will not take it lightly. It is for this reason anyone facing charges must call a criminal defense attorney.

If you have been charged with leaving the scene of an accident, or any other crime, contact a skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney at the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley today at 847-394-3200. We will prepare the effective legal defense you need to help get your charges reduced, or even dropped altogether. Call us today or fill out our online form for your free consultation.

 

Source:

https://avondaleadvocate.com/man-charged-with-dui-fleeing-deadly-stevenson-crash/11524/

Why Resisting Arrest Is a Bad Idea

June 19th, 2019 at 5:19 pm

IL defense lawyer, Illinois criminal attorneyWhether it is for a traffic violation, a possession charge, or an accusation of any other crime, being arrested is a very scary thing. It is natural for the body’s fight or flight response to kick in, and for people to try and resist the arrest. However, this is a very bad idea. Resisting arrest will only lead to additional charges and, if an officer becomes injured, it is charged as a felony. Instead, those charged should comply with the arresting officer and then call a Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney that can help them beat the charges.

Resisting Arrest in Illinois

In Illinois, resisting arrest is defined as knowingly interfering with, or obstructing an officer’s attempt to make a legal arrest. It is most often charged as a misdemeanor, but this charge still holds serious consequences for those accused. If the offender injures a police officer while resisting arrest though, it is charged as a Class 4 felony. The extent of the injury is not considered, meaning even a minor injury to an officer is enough to result in felony charges.

The statute includes peace officers, firefighters, and correctional institution employees as those that can make an arrest. Many people think that resisting arrest requires a person to flee the scene or engage in a physical fight with the arresting officer. However, due to the vague language in the statute, an officer may charge a person with resisting arrest for simply refusing to put their hands behind their back, on a squad car, or refusing to lay on the ground.

Penalties for Resisting Arrest

When resisting arrest is charged as a Class A misdemeanor, the penalty is a maximum of 48 hours in jail, and between 48 to 100 hours of community service. If convicted, individuals are not eligible for probation in order to reduce the sentence of either jail time or community service. This makes resisting arrest charges difficult to escape.

The charges become much more serious when the officer is injured during the rest. This Class 4 felony charge can result in up to three years in prison and a maximum fine of $25,000.

Even though a misdemeanor charge may not even result in any jail time, it is important to consider the consequences of such a charge. Those convicted will have a prior offense on their criminal record. If they are charged with another crime in the future, the judge may even extend the sentence for that subsequent crime upon conviction.

Resisting arrest is usually one charge of many. Even if the original charge is dropped or the individual is found not guilty, the resisting arrest charge will likely still stand. If a person is convicted, they will face the same penalties even if they beat all other charges. It is for this reason that it is so important to never resist arrest. Although there are defenses available, it is much easier to defend against only one charge instead of two.

Call the Experienced Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense Attorney

When facing arrest, the best thing a person can do is cooperate with the police and let a skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer sort out the facts of the case afterwards. If you have been charged with resisting arrest, or any other crime, call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at 847-394-3200. We will hold officers accountable if they have made an unlawful arrest, or if they used excessive force during the arrest that was later used against you. We know how to defend innocent individuals against many charges, and we want to help you, too. Call us today for your free consultation.

 

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K31-1

What Turns a DUI Into an Aggravated DUI?

June 12th, 2019 at 5:14 pm

Illinois defense attorney, IL criminal lawyerIt was in February of 2019 that a woman was convicted of an aggravated DUI after crashing into a stalled vehicle on the Murray Baker Bridge in 2017, killing another woman. She faced up to 14 years in prison, but recently was sentenced to three years. Under her no contest plea, she is eligible for appeal and probation, but must serve at least 85 percent of her sentence.

Any DUI is considered a serious offense in the state of Illinois. An aggravated DUI however, involves certain factors that upgrade the crime to something more serious.

Misdemeanor DUI vs. Aggravated DUI

Most DUIs in Illinois are considered Class A misdemeanors that carry a maximum sentence of one year in prison. Many first offense misdemeanor DUIs do not involve any jail time. When there are certain other factors involved in the crime, known as aggravating factors, the charge of DUI is upgraded to a felony or an aggravated DUI.

When a person is convicted of an aggravated DUI, the minimum sentence is a minimum of 10 days in jail or 480 hours of community service. Aggravated DUIs differ from misdemeanors mainly due to the fact that maximum sentences exceed one year. Sentences for aggravated DUIs are typically between at least one and three years.

Types of Aggravated DUI Offenses

There are many different circumstances that can result in a DUI becoming an aggravated DUI. They include:

  • Prior offenses: When the driver has two or more prior DUIs, any others that follow are considered aggravated DUIs
  • Driving on a suspended or revoked license: When the driver’s license is suspended or revoked for prior DUIs, leaving the scene of an accident, or reckless homicide
  • Driving without a valid license: When the driver does not have a valid driver’s license, learner’s permit, or restricted driving permit
  • Driving without valid insurance: When the driver knew, or should have known, the vehicle they were driving was not covered by proper liability insurance
  • An accident occurred that resulted in great bodily harm: The prosecution will likely press aggravated DUI charges, even if the drunk driver was not at fault for the accident
  • Accidents resulting in bodily harm to those under 16: When those injured are minors, any extent of injury will result in an aggravated DUI
  • Accidents resulting in death: These aggravated DUI charges count as one felony, regardless of the number of fatalities. Unlike other instances, the drunk driver must have contributed to the accident.
  • Drunk driving in a school zone: If a drunk driver harms anyone while driving through a school zone, they will face aggravated DUI charges. Serious injuries are not required but if an accident does result in great bodily harm, the charges and associated penalties will likely increase.
  • Driving a school bus with passengers under the age of 18: Even one passenger can result in an aggravated DUI charge, and the incident does not have to involve an accident.
  • Prior DUI convictions under certain circumstances: These include carrying a passenger under the age of 16 and previous convictions for an alcohol-related homicide offense.

When facing charges for any type of aggravated DUI, those accused must speak to an experienced criminal defense lawyer that can help.

Charged with a DUI? Call Our Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you have been charged with any type of DUI, contact a skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer today. At the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley, we want to help you build a solid defense that will have your charges dropped or reduced so you face as few penalties as possible. These charges are serious, and you need someone with experience to help you get the best possible outcome for your case. Call us today at 847-394-3200 or fill out our online form for your free consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www.pjstar.com/news/20190424/dunlap-woman-sentenced-for-2017-fatal-dui-accident

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

Can Your License be Suspended for Texting and Driving in Illinois?

June 3rd, 2019 at 5:12 pm

IL defense attorney, Illinois criminal lawyerThe last week of April was Distracted Driving Awareness Week in Illinois, and troopers all across the state participated. Over the seven-day span, they issued a total of 566 distracted driving tickets. The campaign could not have come at a better time, as drivers in Illinois are about to face much steeper penalties if they regularly text and drive.

Current Illinois Law on Texting and Driving

Currently in Illinois, it is illegal for any driver to use a handheld device while driving. This is covered under the statute 625 ILCS 5/12-610.2. This law, which is one of the stricter distracted driving laws in the country, states that no driver shall hold a cellphone or electronic device, including tablets, while they are behind the wheel of a car that is moving.

Under this law, there are only a few instances in which the use of an electronic device is legal. These include:

  • If the device is built into the car, such as a GPS;
  • When using a phone to call for emergency assistance;
  • When a cell phone is in hands-free mode, or the driver is using a headset;
  • Using a phone while parked on the shoulder of the road;
  • Using a phone on the roadway if the flow of traffic has stopped and the vehicle is in park or neutral; and
  • Using a single button on a cellphone to start or stop a call.

Anyone found using a cell phone for any reason, or in any manner, other than those described above faces penalties. Those penalties are also about to become much steeper.

Current Penalties for Texting and Driving

The penalty for texting and driving is $75 if it is the driver’s first offense. This increases to $100 for a second offense, $125 for a third offense, and $150 for a fourth and subsequent offense. In addition to these, the driver will also have to pay court costs. For example, in Rolling Meadows drivers can expect to pay anywhere from $179 to $214 in court costs. This makes the penalty for even a first offense around $300.

While these penalties are currently in effect, they are only going to last for another couple of months. After that time, drivers that are caught texting and driving will face even greater penalties.

New Penalties for Texting and Driving are On the Way

As of July 1, 2019, distracted driving will be considered a moving violation. This is different than the summary offense classification they currently fall under. While the $75 fine for a first offense will still apply, those caught in subsequent offenses will face more than just increased fines.

When the new law goes into effect this summer, those convicted of driving while distracted will have their driver’s license suspended if they have three moving violations within a period of 12 months. Those under the age of 21 face even harsher penalties under the new law. If they are convicted of two moving violations within a 24-month period, their license is suspended.

Call a Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense Lawyer and Keep Your License

In order for a driver’s license to be suspended, the driver must first be convicted of the violation. A lawyer can help drivers fight the charges and keep their license.

If you have been charged with a moving violation and now fear license suspension, a dedicated Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney at the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley can help keep it off your driving record. Call us today at 847-394-3200 to learn about the many possible defenses that are available, and how we will use them to give you your best chance of success in court. Call now, or fill out our online form for your free case evaluation.

 

Sources:

https://khqa.com/news/state/illinois-state-police-issue-over-930-citations-during-distracted-driving-week

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

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