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Archive for the ‘Criminal defense’ Category

Illinois Teen Accused of Terrorism Pleads Not Guilty

June 22nd, 2013 at 9:51 am

The whole country was turned upside down not too long ago when the Boston Marathon was bombed and there were many injuries and three deaths. The entire nation followed the news and awaited the results of the FBI’s search for those who caused it, then when and if the FBI could catch them and shut down any of their future plans.

LucyAlthough much of the fuss has died down following the Boston Marathon bombings, terrorism has not stopped. Recently in Illinois, a teenager was charged with and pleaded not guilty to terrorism, according to ABC World News.

The 18-year-old boy, Abdella Ahmad Tounisi, is from a Chicago suburb and has supposedly attempted “to join an al-Quaida-linked militant group fighting Bashar Assad’s regime in Syria,” reported ABC news.

The alleged terrorist stood in court recently with his attorney, who pleaded not guilty on his behalf. The criminal act that Tounisi was charged with is attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist group and lying about the operation when questioned by federal authorities.

He was arrested at the O’Hare International Airport when he was beginning the first leg of a trip to join Jabhat al-Nusrah.

Abdella Ahmad Tounisi faces up to 23 years in prison if he is convicted of this terrorist crime.

Often times, terrorism starts at a young age such as this in foreign terrorist groups, and Tounisi may even count himself lucky for being caught before he actually got into the life of a terrorist. American authorities do what they can to keep the streets safe from terrorists, so be careful if you get yourself mixed up in it.

If you find yourself accused of a crime such as terrorism, or perhaps some other crime, contact a criminal attorney for assistance. Attorney Chris Cosley can help you in your criminal court case in Rolling Meadows, Ill. today.

 

Woman Takes Plea Agreement for Aggravated DUI

June 19th, 2013 at 9:59 am

Being arrested and charged with a DUI can be a frightening experience particularly for a person who had no knowledge that a crime was committed. An incident that took place back in December resurfaces in recent news when a woman takes a plea agreement.

Pam The 34-year-old woman admitted to driving while under the influence. Her actions caused the death of a 60-year-old man driving a scooter. However, she claims she did not know she had hit anyone. She thought she had hit the curb only.

Some might say that she was fully aware of what she was doing, getting behind the wheel under the influence and with a revoked license. In addition, the woman denied driving the vehicle but later confessed.

The police say that the woman ran a red light and hit a man on a motorcycle who later died of his injuries. She was later arrested the day of the incident at about 7:00 am, two hours after the incident. She was sentenced to eight years in prison.

Being intoxicated impairs a person’s judgement. Unfortunately, the person who is drinking does not realize that they are impaired, and they may use poor judgment to drink and drive, putting him or herself and everyone else on the road in danger. One bad decision has the potential to ruin the lives of many.

A DUI arrest is a serious matter. It does not make you a bad person, but if someone is injured as a result of your poor decision, it can be devastating to the victim, their family, and to you. In a DUI case, time is of the essence. It is imperative for the accused individual to have proper legal representation. If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with a DUI, contact a criminal defense attorney in Illinois to discuss your options and the best course of action.

 

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Police Chief Accused of Crime in Southern Illinois

June 15th, 2013 at 9:51 am

The Chicago Sun Times recently reported that an Illinois police chief from the southwest was accused in early May of two felony misconducts for supposedly misusing a pickup truck that was seized in a drug case.

Lucy 5-2956-year-old Caseyville Police Chief J.D. Roth was accused of not only driving a 2003 Dodge Dakota Ram 1500 pickup truck for police business, but also for personal use instead of selling the truck in an auction as he was instructed to do.

Roth was instructed to get bids from local car dealers and sold it for $7,500 to a dealer whose owner is friends with Roth. He then bought the car back soon after. The state law requires, however, that the vehicle must be sold for the benefit of the public.

Roth has also been accused of personal use of luggage that he bought with public funds.

Although both the luggage charge and the truck charge are each punishable by a fine of $25,000 and five years in prison, Roth’s attorney is confident that his 26 year police career will help to prove Roth’s innocence.

One of Roth’s attorneys, Clyde Kuehn, said, “Twenty-six years he’s been in law enforcement in this area … and he’s developed a reputation of being a good law enforcement officer, and he’s served the community.”

Although Roth may have support because he has been a police officer for so many years, no one can get away with crime. If he is proven guilty, Roth will face his charges and serve his punishment just as any other citizen would be required to do.

If you have been accused of a crime, whether or not you work in law enforcement like Roth does, contact a criminal attorney for assistance in having your name cleared. Attorney Chris Cosley can help you with your criminal case in Rolling Meadows, Ill. today.

 

Photo courtesy of David Castillo Dominici/FreeDigitalPhotos.com

Why a Former Prosecutor is Better Criminal Defense Attorney

June 11th, 2013 at 3:47 pm

Being in the criminal system can be a scary enough situation for anyone. Your future is dependent on what your attorney brings to the table. How it is received by the judge, jury and prosecutor can determine your future. It might seem that too many people have your life at their disposal. Ensuring you are properly represented is crucial, and having an attorney who clearly understands both the defense and the prosecution can aid your case immensely.

ChristineThe level of difference between a prosecutor and a defense attorney is evident in the way each does their job. A prosecutors job is to prove the defendant’s guilt; without proof, the defendant goes free. If evidence is available, the prosecutor will use whatever it takes to win the case. The research, the knowledge of emotional ties to a jury, and ability to appeal to a judge’s reasoning are all tactics a prosecutor uses to win a guilty verdict. On the other hand, a defense attorney has to just implant a seed of doubt to get a not guilty verdict. They do not have to prove anything. They can appeal to emotions as well, but it is to find doubt in the prosecutors story, rather than fact.

Finding the right attorney to defend you in your case is important. You want an Illinois criminal defense lawyer who understands how to fight for your rights, disprove the case against you, and impart doubt in the jury. His experience as a prosecutor allows Chicago criminal defense attorney Chris Cosley to understand your case from all angles and to stand out as an excellent lawyer. Christopher M. Cosley is a former assistant state’s attorney, lead prosecutor for a DUI division, and felony prosecutor with a wealth of knowledge and tactics to help any case. He understands both sides and can focus clearly on winning cases for the defense. Contact Christopher M. Cosley today and see why he is the right defense attorney for you.

 

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Illinois state police receive Robbins rape kits dating back to ‘86

June 7th, 2013 at 12:05 pm

The United States seems to have a great government and justice system, but it can only be kept that way if the people working for our country are kept in check just as any business would keep its employees in check. Recently, Illinois found that it had a bit of work to do to keep it’s law enforcement system running smoothly when it was found that evidence from rape cases were not being submitted for testing in labs.

The Illinois State Police were sent 51 sexual assault kits from previous cases to the Illinois State Police for investigation after being found untested in the Robbins Police Department evidence room according to Tom Dart, Cook County Sheriff.

Dart said, “The victims should know they will have their cases heard, and they will be treated like they should have been treated. My goal is to bring justice to these folks.”

He added that the untested kits date back as far as 1986 and they were found alongside guns that were supposed to be sent into the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to trace the ownership for cases as well.

LucyThis case, which began a few months ago was just the beginning of a national problem, spreading across the country to Denver, Col. as well as other areas of Illinois.

When the Downers Grove Police Department also found untested rape kits in their storage facility, Deputy Chief Kurt Bluder argued, “If every department sent in every piece of evidence to be examined we’d bring the system to its knees.”

Blunder also said that he thinks it best to first see where the case is headed before sending in the rape kits to be tested only when it is absolutely necessary.

The Denver Police Commander, Ronald Saunier, responded to the issue similarly, saying that many of the kits collected are merely for documentation of the incident and there is never an intention of sending those in for tests.

The CALL7 Investigators from the ABC Denver news station did a little research of their own on this incident and found that nearly 72 percent of the rape kits collected since 2007  have never been tested.

The Robbins Police Department is buckling down, trying to eliminate the possibility of evidence going without testing. If you have been accused of a crime, contact an Illinois criminal defense attorney to help you fight the evidence. Contact an experienced Illinois criminal attorney for assistance now.  Christopher M. Cosley and attorneys at his office will fight for you in Rolling Meadows, Ill. today.

 

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What is Expungement? Do I Qualify to Have my Record Expunged?

June 3rd, 2013 at 8:24 pm

Christine

A criminal record is serious and can hurt your future employment prospects. If you have a certain type of arrest, probation, or supervision on your record with no conviction, the state of Illinois does leave it possible for you to get your record expunged under Section 5.2 of the Criminal Identification Act (20 ILCS 263 0/5.2). Expungement eliminates a case brought up against you from your record as if it never existed. Expungement can be a good way to start fresh after an incident.

However, in order to have your record expunged, you must have had no prior criminal offense or municipal ordinance violation. If you have been convicted of either, your records can be sealed, so that your record is not public knowledge.

Expungement or sealing of records can only be applied in criminal cases and not in cases such as traffic offenses, divorces and orders of protection.  In cases where you do not qualify for expungement, you can seek out the governor for a pardon for your conviction, in which case your record will be erased for that case. This, however, is quite rare.

In order to start the process, you must file a petition in the county where the arrest was made or where the charge was brought against you. There is a filing fee you must pay of $60 that goes to the Illinois State police and then a court filing fee. It will take a few months to be processed completely, which includes the 60 days the State has to object to your petition.

Expungement and sealing can be an overwhelming and stressful process to which you may want to have someone who is experienced in the law to walk through with you. Find a criminal defense attorney who understands the process and can assist you in the Cook County area.

 

 

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Chicago Man Faces Charges for Hit-and-Run

May 31st, 2013 at 1:35 pm

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A 40-year-old man from Chicago was involved in a fatal hit-and-run on March 21 and has been charged with “leaving the scene of an injury/death accident, driving with a revoked license, not giving the right of way to a pedestrian and not having insurance,” according to the Chicago Tribune.

Fernando Marin was driving down South Homan Avenue when a woman and her sister were crossing the street. Marin tried to turn left as the traffic lights were changing from green to yellow, but he did not  yield to the woman. Ida Quintanilla, 58, was fatally injured in the crash. She was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital where she was pronounced dead. A 35-year-old woman was also injured in the crash. However, her injuries are not life-threatening. Marin continued driving after the crash and fled the scene of the crime without slowing down, according to court documents.

A witness managed to get the license plate number for the vehicle that was involved in the hit-and-run, and authorities were able to trace it to Marin. It turned out that the owner of the truck was the suspect’s girlfriend. There was blood on the car and its grill was cracked.

Marin’s bail was set at $250,000 in Cook County Bond Court. Furthermore, if Marin, who has been twice charged for DUI in the past, is released on bail he will be placed on electronic monitoring.

Traffic violations and DUIs are serious crimes that can, for example, result in heavy fines and community service, or even put you behind bars for a long time. If you have been charged with a traffic misdemeanor or felony, you need to talk to a lawyer. Contact a skilled traffic violations attorney in Chicago as soon as possible.

 

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Homicide, manslaughter, and murder: what’s the difference?

May 27th, 2013 at 1:14 pm

When watching shows like Law & Order or even the news, the terms manslaughter, homicide, and murder are used frequently and very rarely explained.  However, it can be helpful to be aware of the technical differences between the three terms.

In the state of Illinois, homicide is defined as the killing of one person by another.  Murder and manslaughter are different types of homicide.

Lara May 22Homicides can be classified as criminal, excusable, or justifiable.  Criminal homicides are classified as unjustifiable and lead to very severe consequences.  If the homicide is excusable or justifiable, there was no criminal intent to kill someone (for example self-defense, defending another person, etc.)

Murder in particular is defined as the unlawful killing of another human being with malice.  There are four different ways that malice can be shown, according to the state.  These ways include the intent to kill, the intent to inflict great bodily injury, reckless indifference to an unjustifiably high risk to human life, and the intent to commit a felony.

Murder is subdivided further into the two categories of first-degree and second-degree.  First-degree murder in Illinois is classified as the killing of an individual without lawful justification.  The person committing the crime either intends and plans to kill or do great bodily harm to the individual or else knows their act has a high probability of leading to death or great bodily harm.

Second-degree murder, on the other hand, involves a killing that is not premeditated.  If you commit second-degree murder, you have intentionally killed somebody but were not planning to do so ahead of time.

And then there is manslaughter, which is the unlawful killing of another human being.  However, it is done without malice and includes two different types: voluntary and involuntary.  In voluntary manslaughter, a human being is killed after the offender had no intent to kill but merely acted in “the heat of passion.”  This refers to an intensely emotional state of mind induced by some sort of provocation.

Involuntary manslaughter involves unintentionally killing an individual without lawful justification.  In this category, the offender has also recklessly performed an action that was likely to cause death or great bodily harm.

While the differences between these terms are simple when explained, they are often hard to remember.  If you have the misfortune of being involved in a murder/homicide/manslaughter case or simply have any questions about the details of each term, contact an experienced Illinois criminal attorney.

 

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What’s the difference between assault and battery?

May 23rd, 2013 at 12:04 pm

The term “assault and battery” is thrown around a lot: on the news, on TV, etc.  Although it may seem that the two words are interchangeable, there are some very important differences between them.

Lara May 22To begin, assault and battery are two distinct offenses. It is impossible for you to commit “assault and battery”; it’s one or the other.

According to the Illinois Criminal Code, there are two main categories of crime: “offenses directed against property,” and “offenses directed against the person.”  The later category includes homicide, kidnapping, sex offenses, and “bodily harm.”  Assault and battery are the two main “bodily harm” offenses.

The Illinois Criminal Code states that assault has occurred when somebody “engages in conduct which places another in reasonable apprehension of receiving a battery.”  Essentially, assault is a threat, which could be real or simply implied, of a battery.

Battery, on the other hand, is when somebody “causes bodily harm to an individual,” or “makes physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature with an individual.”  In order for the act to be considered criminal, the person committing it must act “intentionally or knowingly without legal justification.”

So the key is, then, that intent is required for an offense to be considered battery.  It is also true that although it is technically considered as a “bodily harm” offense, just plain contact can be enough.  There is one case in the past that considered a finger poke in the chest as a battery.

Simple assault is considered a Class C misdemeanor in Illinois, which results in a maximum $500 fine and 30 days in jail.   Aggravated assault on the other hand, is considered a more serious misdemeanor or even a felony.  Some factors that cause an assault to be aggravated are assault committed with a firearm, while hooded or masked, against certain victims, or at certain locations.

Simple battery, however, is considered a Class A misdemeanor, which results in a maximum $1,000 fine and 6 months to 1 year in jail.  The battery is considered aggravated if there is “great bodily harm,” or includes one of the factors referred to with aggravated assault.  Any aggravated battery is considered a felony.

The difference between assault and battery is pretty simple, but sometimes it’s difficult to remember all of the intricate details.  If you have questions about the difference between the two for your own legal purposes or simply out of curiosity, contact a Cook County criminal attorney to assist you.

 

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The Right to an Attorney

May 19th, 2013 at 7:15 pm

Although nowadays we take the right to an attorney in a criminal trial for granted, most people don’t know that this right is only about 50 years old. What’s more, the right might never have come into effect without one man: Clarence Earl Gideon. LeeviClarence Earl Gideon was a poor drifter who was accused in a Florida court of felony theft. He had stolen a measly amount of money and a few bottles of beer and soda from a beer joint. Gideon could not afford the assistance of a lawyer and the state of Florida would not provide him with one. Gideon had to represent himself at his own trial and he lost the case. He was sentenced to five years in prison. Gideon did not give up, however. He studied the US legal system and decided that his constitutional rights had been violated. The Sixth Amendment states that “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right … to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.” Gideon wrote a petition to the Supreme Court of the United States which agreed to hear his appeal. Eventually, the Supreme Court decided that “a criminal defendant who cannot afford to hire a lawyer must be provided with a lawyer at no cost.” Gideon was later acquitted in another trial. In 1963, Robert F. Kennedy said that “If an obscure Florida convict named Clarence Earl Gideon had not sat down in prison with a pencil and paper to write a letter to the Supreme Court; and if the Supreme Court had not taken the trouble to look at the merits in that one crude petition among all the bundles of mail it must receive every day, the vast machinery of American law would have gone on functioning undisturbed.” If you are facing criminal charges, remember your rights. Contact a skilled criminal defense attorney in Chicago, Illinois today.

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