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Archive for February, 2020

Can the Store Demand Money After You Are Caught Shoplifting?

February 26th, 2020 at 3:55 pm

IL shoplifting attorney, IL defense lawyerShoplifting, officially known as retail theft in Illinois, is a very common crime. When it occurs, the person is often caught by store clerks while they are still on the property. In these cases, the store has a few options. They can simply ask for their merchandise back and allow the person to leave. Most of the time when this happens, the person is also banned from returning to the store. The store could also detain the person for a period of time before allowing them to leave. Or, in the worst-case scenario, they could call the police and press charges.

Many times, the store will let you go if you are caught shoplifting merchandise with a very small value. However, they may still send you a demand letter requesting that you pay them a fine. The question is, should you?

Is a Civil Demand Letter Binding?

A civil demand letter is not binding. That means you are under no legal obligation to meet the demands of the letter. However, it is important to understand that if the store has hired an attorney and taken this first step, they are likely going to pursue further action if you do not comply with the demand.

The best way to determine if you should pay the amount the demand letter is asking for is to speak with a criminal defense attorney. A lawyer can advise on whether the demand is reasonable, the future steps the store may take if you refuse to pay it and represent you in case the store does take further action.

When Do You Have to Pay?

There are times you may have to pay the store restitution. If the store files a lawsuit against you in civil court, they will ask for compensation for their damages. This is not usually a step taken by commercial businesses, particularly if you did not leave the store with any of their merchandise. However, the store may decide to press criminal charges.

After being caught shoplifting, you are not entirely free and clear, even if the store has allowed you to leave. Once they send their civil demand letter, they may still decide to press charges if you refuse to pay restitution. If they do this, you could face misdemeanor or felony charges. If you are convicted and a judge or jury finds you guilty, the judge will then likely order you to pay restitution to the store owner. You may also face additional fines that are paid to the state, and will also incur court costs you are required to pay.

You Still Need an Illinois Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you have been caught shoplifting and the store allowed you to leave, you should still speak with a skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer. An attorney can advise on civil demand letters and, if you decide to pay it, a lawyer will protect your rights and ensure the store does not take further action. If you have been accused of shoplifting, contact the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley. Attorney Cosley has the necessary experience to advise on the next steps if a store has caught you shoplifting, and will give you the best chance of beating any charges you face. Call us today at 847-394-3200 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.

 

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=072000050HArt.+16,+Subdiv.+10&ActID=1876&ChapterID=53&SeqStart=39600000&SeqEnd=40100000

 

Posted in Theft

Common Questions About the Juvenile Justice System in Illinois

February 19th, 2020 at 3:47 pm

IL juvenile justice system, IL defense lawyer, IL juvenile attorney, When children get into trouble with the law and face common charges such as retail theft, parents often do not know what will happen next, or what rights their child has. They have a lot of questions and, if your child has recently been charged with a crime, it is likely that you have asked them, as well. Below are some of the most commonly asked questions about the juvenile justice system in Illinois, and the answers to them.

What is the Age of a Juvenile?

In Illinois, anyone that is 17 years old or younger is considered a juvenile if they have been charged with a misdemeanor offense. This law was changed in January of 2010 to increase the age from 16 to 17. The age limit for juveniles is a topic the Illinois legislature continues to debate.

How Long Can My Child be Detained After an Arrest?

The length of time a child is held in custody after being arrested for a crime can seem interminable to parents. If your child is under the age of 12, law enforcement can detain them for no longer than six hours. Children between the age of 12 and 17 can be kept up to 12 hours if they have been accused of committing a non-violent crime, and up to 24 hours if they have been charged with a violent crime.

Can Police Question My Child if I am Not Present?

There is a widely held misconception in Illinois that law enforcement are prohibited from questioning a juvenile without one of the child’s parents being present. This is not true. After a child’s arrest, law enforcement must make reasonable attempts to contact at least one of the child’s parents. If they do not reach you, they can contact another responsible adult to be present.

Although police must make this attempt, they are not required to wait until your arrival to begin questioning your child. They also do not require your permission to question your child. However, a youth officer must be present.

Will My Child be Tried in Adult Court?

Of all the questions asked about the juvenile system in Illinois, this is perhaps the one parents ask the most. Being tried in adult court is, of course, the worst-case scenario since a conviction will have harsher sentences and can result in a minor spending time in prison with adults.

Whether or not a juvenile is tried in adult court largely depends on the nature of the alleged crime. When a minor is accused of a misdemeanor crime and is 17 years old or younger, they will most likely be tried in juvenile court. Minors accused of committing a felony offense will usually remain in the juvenile system only if they are 16 years old or younger.

Is Your Child Facing Charges? Call Our Illinois Juvenile Defense Lawyer

Learning that your child has been charged with a crime is an incredibly upsetting experience. You are feeling anger, frustration, and sadness, and likely also have many questions about what will happen next. At the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley, our skilled Rolling Meadows juvenile defense lawyer can answer them all. Attorney Cosley has extensive experience with the juvenile justice system in Illinois. He understands how to navigate it to give you and your child the best chance of a positive outcome. Call us today at 847-394-3200 to schedule your free consultation.

 

Source:

http://ijjc.illinois.gov/publications/raising-age-fact-sheet

State Prosecutor Warns Drivers that DUI Charges Apply to Marijuana

February 12th, 2020 at 6:46 am

DUI charges, Mariujana, IL defense attorney, The new year saw many changes to Illinois law, and the one garnering the most attention is the fact that both medicinal and recreational marijuana are now legal in the state. Although Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons says that he is in support of the new law, as it may eliminate the black market, he also has a warning for drivers. That is the fact that law enforcement across the state has been training on how to spot drivers under the influence of marijuana. He wants to remind drivers that while marijuana is now legal, it is still against the law to drive under the influence of the drug.

What is Drugged Driving?

The Illinois statute for driving under the influence includes both alcohol and drugs that can impair a driver’s ability to drive safely. Even prescription drugs can mean a driver will face charges if it is found that those drugs impair the motorist. This includes prescriptions for medical marijuana.

Although drugged driving is illegal in the state, law enforcement and prosecutors may have a difficult time securing a conviction, at least in these early days of legalization. Certain testing devices, such as breathalyzers, cannot detect THC the same way they can detect alcohol. While other testing devices are being developed around the country, there is currently no roadside test to determine if a driver is impaired by marijuana. As such, law enforcement will rely mainly on their own observations, which are entirely subjective.

Defenses to Drugged Driving

Even without roadside tests, urine and blood tests can detect THC, the psychoactive component of marijuana, in a person’s system. Law enforcement may rely on these tests to establish a driver was impaired at the time of their arrest, but there are issues with these tests, as well.

The main one of these is that THC can remain in a person’s system for up to 30 days. That means that a person may have consumed marijuana weeks ago, but was not under the influence of the drug at the time of the arrest. That can provide a very effective defense to drugged driving.

As with all DUI cases in the state, an improper stop may also provide a valid defense. Law enforcement must have a legitimate reason to pull a driver over. They must have noticed signs that caused them to suspect a DUI, such as a driver that swerved in and out of their lane. When there was no probable cause to stop a motorist, any information or evidence obtained after the stop is inadmissible in court.

Lastly, the fact that testing for drugged driving is so subjective can also be used as a defense. An officer may claim for example, that a driver displayed a lack of coordination during roadside tests, which led to an arrest for drugged driving. However, an injury or illness may also cause coordination issues that do not affect a person’s ability to drive. This can also be used as a defense.

Charged with a DUI? Call Our Illinois Criminal Defense Lawyer

With the legalization of marijuana in Illinois, and overzealous law enforcement officers wishing to make arrests, charges of drugged driving are likely to increase in the state. Many of the individuals charged will be innocent of a DUI and need the help of an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer. At the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley, we can prepare a solid defense for you to help you beat the charges and retain your freedom. Call us today at 847-394-3200 to schedule your free consultation so we can further discuss your case.

 

Source:

https://fox2now.com/2020/01/02/illinois-prosecutor-warns-against-smoking-and-driving/

Posted in DUI/DWI

How to Argue the Evidence in a Domestic Violence Case

February 5th, 2020 at 3:42 pm

IL defense attorney, IL domestic violence lawyerDomestic violence cases pose many problems for both the prosecution and defense. One of the biggest challenges that arise in these cases pertains to evidence. Domestic violence typically takes place behind closed doors in a private home. As such, they are very difficult to prove for the prosecution, and there is always a challenge for the defense when attempting to prove that something never took place. Below are a few types of evidence that the prosecution may use in a domestic violence case, and how a criminal defense attorney may argue against them.

Physical Evidence

In domestic violence cases, the prosecution will rely heavily on physical evidence. This is because juries are more likely to believe facts rather than evidence that may be clouded by a person’s own biases or opinions. For this reason, the prosecution may use photographs of the alleged victim’s injuries, or of property that was used during the alleged act.

Although this type of evidence seems very damaging at first, an experienced criminal defense lawyer will know how to argue against it. For example, injuries depicted in photographs may have been sustained in an accident and not during a crime. Property may have been damaged as a result of being dropped on the ground, and not because it was used to hit another person.

Witness Testimony from Bystanders

Testimony provided by bystanders in domestic violence cases often relies on what a person heard rather than what they saw. Domestic violence rarely occurs out in the open when people can actually see what is happening. However, a neighbor may overhear an argument that they assume is part of domestic violence. When testimony relies on what a person heard, a defense attorney can argue that the event was simply an argument and that no physical violence actually took place.

Witness Testimony from the Alleged Victim

In many cases, the alleged victim may take the stand to testify against the alleged perpetrator. This evidence can seem very damaging at first, as they will likely tell a jury their version of events, and hope to gain sympathy. A criminal defense attorney will know how to refute this testimony as well. They may submit evidence such as text messages or emails that falsely accused the defendant in the past, or other evidence that can prove these claims are false.

Testimony from Police Officer

The police officer that visited the scene at the time of the alleged crime will play a central role in any domestic violence case. The prosecution will likely call the officer to testify about their observations once they arrived on the scene. This testimony is not always as damaging as the prosecution hopes.

For example, if the alleged victim does not testify, but the officer testifies about statements the victim made, those statements could be considered hearsay. Hearsay refers to the act of one person testifying about statements another person heard. Because this is not direct, or first-hand evidence, hearsay is generally considered inadmissible in court, which means the judge will instruct the jury to disregard that evidence.

Facing Charges? Call Our Illinois Criminal Defense Attorney

It is never easy to face criminal charges, but those involving domestic violence are some of the worst. They can ruin a person’s reputation and worse for those convicted, they come with harsh penalties such as high fines and jail times. It is for this reason that if you have been accused of domestic violence, you must speak to a skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney. At the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley, our attorney has the necessary experience to defend against these charges and give you the best chance of beating the charges. Call us today at 847-394-3200 to schedule your free consultation.

 

Source:

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

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