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Archive for September, 2019

Differences Between a License Suspension and Revocation in Illinois

September 26th, 2019 at 7:39 am

IL defense lawyer, IL criminal defense attorneyMany people use the terms ‘license suspension’ and ‘license revocation’ interchangeably. While it is true that each will take away your driving privileges for some time, there are differences between a license suspension and revocation. If you are facing charges for a DUI, underage drinking, or any other offense that could result in you losing your license, it is important you understand what those differences are.

A Driver’s License Suspension in Illinois

A driver’s license suspension in Illinois means that you still have your driver’s license, but it is invalid for a period of time. During this time, you are unable to drive.

In Illinois, a license may be suspended under definite terms, or it could be suspended indefinitely. Definite suspensions have an end date associated with them. This is the date you are able to drive again if you pay the proper fees and complete any requirements, such as attending a substance abuse treatment program.

Indefinite suspensions do not have an end date. In order for your license to be reinstated, you must complete certain tasks, such as paying speeding tickets in full. As long as you do not take this action, your license remains suspended indefinitely.

A Driver’s License Revocation in Illinois

If you have your driver’s license revoked in Illinois, you no longer have a driver’s license. You are not able to reinstate it. Instead, you must go through the entire process of applying for your driver’s license again. That means taken written tests and road tests, and possibly even attending a driver’s education training course.

If you have had your driver’s license revoked, you will also need to obtain permission from the Illinois DMV to apply for your license. You must also meet all the terms required of you and make payments for any outstanding fines or penalties.

Causes for a License to be Revoked or Suspended

Often when people think about a driver’s license being suspended or revoked, they think it was due to driving under the influence charges. However, there are many reasons your driver’s license may be revoked or suspended in Illinois. These include:

  • Driving without proper auto insurance
  • Serious traffic offenses, such as leaving the scene of an accident
  • Underage drinking
  • Driving under the influence
  • Outstanding fines
  • Multiple traffic violations

Each case involving a suspended or revoked license is unique. Sometimes you may get your license back simply by paying a fine, while other times there may be other strict requirements. Anyone that has had their license suspended or revoked in Illinois should speak to a criminal defense attorney that can help them get their driving privileges back.

Need Help Getting Your License Back? Call Our Illinois Criminal Defense Attorney

If you have had your driver’s license suspended or revoked, you need the help of our talented Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney. At the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley, we can advise on your legal options, and the actions you must take to regain your license. Call us today at 847-394-3200 or fill out our online form to schedule your free consultation.

 

Sources:

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

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=023500050K6-16

Do You Know About the Drug-Free Zones in Illinois?

September 19th, 2019 at 7:25 am

IL defense lawyer, IL drug crimes attorneyIllinois has very strict laws surrounding drugs. Anyone convicted of committing an offense outlined in the Illinois Controlled Substances Act is subject to harsh penalties, no matter where they are at the time. However, location matters when charged with a drug crime. Like many other states, Illinois has drug-free zones. This means anyone caught committing a drug crime in these zones will face increased penalties, which may include several decades in jail.

Drug-free zones are highly controversial, and many states are considering removing these zones from their statutes. Unfortunately, Illinois has not yet made any such proposal to change their legislation.

How Drug-Free Zones Work

It was during the “War on Drugs” in the 1980s that drug-free zones became written into the law of every state. These laws stated there were certain zones that must be kept drug-free. The intent was to keep drugs out of the hands of children and protect them from other crimes such as theft, prostitution, and violent crimes associated with drug activity.

To ensure these zones were kept drug-free, these laws impose higher penalties for those caught committing a drug crime while in them. It does not matter if the offense involved a child or even the sale of drugs. Even those charged with a simple possession offense will face increased penalties under the law.

What Are the Drug-Free Zones in Illinois?

Drug-free zones are areas where children may be nearby. When most people think of these zones, they often only think of schools and public parks. However, the drug-free zones in Illinois keep expanding to include other areas, as well. Areas designated as drug-free zones in the state also include:

  • Public housing
  • Drug treatment facilities
  • Nursing homes
  • Highway and roadway rest areas
  • Churches
  • Truck stops
  • Correctional facilities

Some of these areas encompass much of Illinois, and that is why these laws are so controversial. Increasing penalties for offenses allegedly committed in these zones is only contributing to the state’s high incarceration rate. It also means the sentences for those convicted are disproportionate to the offense.

Enhanced Penalties for Drug-Free Zone Offenses

When a person commits a drug crime in a drug-free zone, the penalty is typically doubled if they are convicted. The prison time sentenced and fines issued will depend on the type of crime committed. The penalties for drug crimes not committed in a drug-free are below. Even though they do not reflect the enhanced sentencing, they are already very harsh.

  • Class X felonies: Six to 60 years in prison and a possible fine of $500,000 or the street value of the drug in question, whichever is greater
  • Class 1 felonies: Four to 15 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000
  • Class 2 felonies: Three to seven years in prison, and a maximum fine of $200,000
  • Class 3 felonies: Two to five years in prison, and fines ranging between $75,000 and $150,000
  • Class 4 felonies: One to three years in prison and a maximum fine of $25,000

When these penalties are doubled, it is easy to see how someone could spend the rest of their life in prison simply for being in the wrong place.

Charged with a Drug Crime? Contact Our Illinois Criminal Defense Attorney

If you have been charged with a drug crime, particularly if it occurred in a drug-free zone, you need a dedicated Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney. At the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley, we can provide the defense you need. We will challenge law enforcement’s investigation of the case, and refute arguments made by the prosecution. We will ensure your rights are protected every step of the way and give you the best chance of a positive outcome. Call us today at 847-394-3200 to schedule your free consultation.

 

Source:

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

Illinois DUI FAQs

September 12th, 2019 at 7:20 am

IL DUI lawyer, IL defense attorney, There are many myths floating around out there about a person’s rights and obligations when they are pulled over for a DUI. This leads to many questions, and people not being aware of what they should do and what they should not if a police officer pulls them over. It is important that everyone in Illinois knows what the law requires of them, so they do not find themselves in deeper trouble after the initial traffic stop. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about DUI charges in Illinois, and the answers to them.

What Is a DUI?

DUI stands for driving under the influence. In Illinois, any motorist caught driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) 0.08 or higher will likely face DUI charges. Driving while impaired by other substances such as medicinal marijuana or prescription medication can also result in a DUI charge. Individuals under the age of 21 and bus drivers must have a BAC of zero.

What Happens During a DUI Traffic Stop?

In Illinois, law enforcement is only allowed to pull someone over for a suspected DUI if they have reasonable cause. This means they must have observed conduct that was not consistent with reasonable driving behavior. If they saw a driver swerving in and out of lanes, for example, that is reasonable cause.

A police officer will likely begin by asking for your driver’s license, vehicle registration, and insurance information. If they still suspect that you are under the influence, they will then ask you to perform certain sobriety tests. If, after performing the field sobriety tests, the officer still suspects you of DUI, they will arrest you and take you to the police station.

It is important to understand that there is no law in Illinois that requires you to take field sobriety tests. Submitting to them could hurt your case in the future, as they are highly unreliable.

What Happens if I Refuse a Chemical Test?

Chemical tests can include breath, urine, or blood testing. While you can refuse field sobriety tests, you cannot refuse chemical testing. Under Illinois’ implied consent laws, all drivers have already given consent for this testing when they get behind the wheel. Anyone that fails to submit to these tests will have their license suspended for one year.

What Is a Statutory Summary Suspension/Revocation?

If you refuse to take the chemical tests or fail the tests, your license is automatically suspended. This suspension takes place 46 days after the date on the suspension notice. Anyone with an Illinois driver’s license that refuses chemical testing in any other state will also have their license suspended in Illinois.

Do I Need an Illinois DUI Lawyer?

Yes. If you have been charged with DUI, there is a lot on the line. You will likely lose your license if you have not already, and you could even face jail time. A skilled Rolling Meadows DUI lawyer will do everything they can to prevent that from happening. At the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley, we want to help. We will fight for your rights, ensure the traffic stop was legal, and prepare a strong defense to give you the best chance of a positive outcome. Call us today at 847-394-3200 to schedule your free consultation so we can start discussing your case.

 

Source:

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

False Accusations of Domestic Violence

September 5th, 2019 at 7:14 am

IL defense lawyer, IL defense attorney, Being falsely accused of domestic violence is extremely scary. You are likely confused, emotional, and wondering what to do next. These are all very natural reactions. However, the things you do, and do not do, in the next few days and weeks are important. They can help your case, or result in the prosecution pursuing charges. Below are the three most important things to do when someone has falsely accused you of domestic violence.

Do Not Speak to the Other Party

It is very common for those falsely accused to want to reach out to the other party. This is one of the biggest mistakes made in domestic violence cases. It is crucial you do not speak to your accuser. If there has been an order of protection issued against you, this is a violation that has serious consequences. Even if an order has not been issued, speaking to your accuser can have disastrous consequences. They may use anything you say against you later on, and could even take your words out of context.

Gather Evidence

You may think the other side is busy collecting evidence to prove their case, and that is likely true. However, it is important you start collecting evidence, too. Domestic violence cases often involve little more than both parties telling their side of the story. Judges must determine who they believe, with little evidence to review.

When you have been falsely accused, you know there is no evidence, or that it has been manufactured. This can make it even more frightening, but this can sometimes work in your favor. You can gather evidence to refute any they may present. Evidence you should gather includes texts and emails to prove a history of false allegations, medical records to dispute accusations of injuries, and proof of the accuser’s history of substance abuse.

Speak to Witnesses

Again, due to the fact that there is often very little evidence in domestic violence cases, witness testimony is crucial. Speak to people that are familiar with the relationship and that can testify there has never been any violence, to their knowledge. If there are witnesses that can also testify about false accusations in the past, or the reason for the false accusation, that could also greatly help your case. Judges weigh witness testimony very heavily when making their decisions. They are also more likely to believe your side of the story if others corroborate it.

Contact an Illinois Domestic Violence Attorney Today

Those falsely accused of domestic violence potentially face a long process to clear their name. Do not do it on your own. Too many people think accusations made in the heat of the moment will go away on their own. Too often, they do not. It is crucial you speak to a skilled Rolling Meadows domestic violence attorney as soon as possible. If you have been falsely accused, call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley today at 847-394-3200. We will advise on the next steps to take, ensure your rights are upheld throughout the process, and give you the best chance of success. Contact us today for your free consultation.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ChapterID=59&ActID=2100

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K12-3.4

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