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Archive for the ‘Criminal Justice System’ Category

Facing Criminal Charges? Here Is What to Expect

July 10th, 2019 at 9:59 am

IL defense attorney, Illinois defense lawyerWhether you are facing DUI charges, drug possession charges, or any other criminal charge, chances are you are pretty scared. However, the case is not as hopeless as it may seem. Often, those accused are fearful because they simply do not know what is coming next. They do not know what to expect, and they fear the worst. While a Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney can fully explain the process, below are the basic steps you will go through after being charged.

The Arrest

An arrest does not occur until an officer has detained or restrained you, and taken you to a holding facility. If this occurs, you should say as little as possible. Anything you say can be used against you later in the case. You should speak to an attorney as soon as possible, and a lawyer can speak on your behalf. You should always be advised of these rights. If you are not, the arrest is unlawful and your case could be thrown out.

Bond or Release

Sometimes after an arrest, law enforcement will interview the detainee and any witnesses to piece together what happened. If they do not think you committed the crime after this, they may simply release you. If they do think you are guilty, they will set a bond amount. If this amount is paid, you are released with the expectation to appear in court. You will be assigned a court date within 60 days of your arrest. If bond is not posted, you can be held up to 30 days, or until you can appear in front of a judge for a preliminary hearing.

Arraignment

During the arraignment, you will have a chance to hear the charges against you. A judge will ask if you understand them. You will then enter a plea of either guilty or not guilty.

Pre-Trial or Trial

If you plead not guilty, you will then move into the pre-trial and trial phase. During pre-trial, your lawyer and the prosecutor will move into the discovery phase and submit evidence to the courts that will be used at trial. At trial, a judge or jury will listen to the arguments of your attorney and the prosecution and make a decision on your case.

If you plead guilty at the arraignment, you will move to a sentencing hearing. During this hearing the judge will determine the sentence you will face for the crime. After this point, you will also have a conviction permanently on your record.

Call a Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense Attorney for Help with Your Charges

If you have been charged with a crime, the Law Office of Christopher M. Cosley can help. Our skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorneys will build a solid defense for you and advise on what to do during each step of the criminal justice system. We know charges do not have to turn into convictions, and we work hard to prevent that from happening. Call us today at 847-394-3200 or contact us online for a free consultation to learn how we can help with your case.

 

Source:

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

What Is a Class X Felony in Illinois?

May 23rd, 2019 at 4:59 pm

IL defense lawyerRecently in Macon County, a man was found guilty of delivering heroin, which is a Class X felony. While many people understand what a Class 1 or Class 4 felony is in the state, what exactly is a Class X felony in Illinois?

Other than first-degree murder, which is not classified, a Class X felony is the worst charge a person can face. It has mandatory jail time, and sentences are typically for a long period of time. Due to this mandatory sentence, negotiating with the prosecution to reduce the Class X felony charge is very difficult. Anyone charged with this type of felony in Illinois must speak to a Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney to give them the best possible chance of success in court.

Class X Felonies in Illinois

Under Illinois law, there are ten different charges classified as a Class X felony. These include:

  • Aggravated kidnapping;
  • Aggravated battery with a firearm;
  • Aggravated battery of a minor;
  • Home invasion;
  • Aggravated criminal sexual assault;
  • Predatory criminal sexual assault of a minor;
  • Armed robbery;
  • Aggravated vehicular hijacking;
  • Aggravated arson; and
  • Possession of a controlled substance with the intent to distribute.

Penalties for Class X Felonies

The penalties for a Class X felony are some of the harshest in the state. If convicted, those accused face a minimum sentence of six years in prison. The maximum sentence is 30 years. This jail time is in addition to a maximum fine of $25,000. Due to the minimum sentencing requirements for these types of felonies, even first-time offenders will face jail time if convicted.

While the maximum sentence is 30 years, judges are given the discretion to add more jail time if certain aggravating factors were part of the crime. If a judge decides aggravating factors were present, they can sentence a defendant to 30 to 60 years in prison. Some aggravating factors include:

  • When the defendant has been convicted of any crime in the past;
  • When the victim of the crime was over the age of 60 or disabled;
  • When the crime was committed based on discriminatory factors such as the victim’s race, religion, or sexual orientation; and
  • When the defendant caused or threatened serious harm to the victim.

It is also important that anyone facing charges understands that probation is not possible with a Class X felony charge.

Negotiating with the Prosecution

Due to the mandatory sentencing requirements, it is typically very difficult to negotiate with the prosecution when the defendant faces a Class X felony. The State’s Attorney’s office typically chooses the best prosecutors to try a case involving a Class X felony. In addition, due to the fact that a defendant will face jail time no matter what if convicted, the prosecution does not often have reason to negotiate with the defendant.

However, negotiating with the prosecution is the only way probation is possible. If the prosecution is willing to reduce the charge, there is still a likelihood the defendant will face jail time if convicted, but they will also be eligible for probation in many cases.

Charged with a Class X Felony? Speak to a Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense Lawyer

Class X felonies are the worst charges a person could face other than first-degree murder. Due to this, and the possibility of extremely harsh penalties, anyone charged with this type of felony must speak to a Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney for immediate legal assistance. At the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley, we know how to negotiate with the prosecution in any case. We will work hard to ensure your rights are upheld and that, when possible, your charges are reduced. No one should leave these types of cases in the hands of an inexperienced attorney. The stakes are simply too high. Call us today at 847-394-3200 for your free consultation so we can begin discussing your case.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=073000050K5-4.5-25

https://newschannel20.com/news/local/decatur-man-found-guilty-of-delivering-heroin-to-springfield-resident

 

Illinois Considers Reducing Minimum Sentences for Certain Charges

May 9th, 2019 at 4:38 pm

Illinois criminal lawyerIllinois lawmakers want to change the laws on mandatory minimum sentences for some crimes. In mid-April, the Illinois House of Representatives voted on legislation that would give judge’s more discretion during sentencing. If recent House Bill 1587 becomes law, judges could consider further reducing minimum mandatory sentences for individuals convicted of drug possession, retail theft, and driving on a revoked license because of unpaid fines, child support, and other financial obligations.

The Court System and the Proposed Law

Currently, when a defendant is convicted of a crime, a judge has a range of sentences to choose from during sentencing. Each crime has a minimum mandatory sentence, as well as a maximum mandatory sentence. Judges are granted some discretion, but they cannot move outside of that range. A judge will consider a defendant’s past criminal history, and the nature surrounding the crime and determine what sentencing within that range is fair.

Under the proposed law, however, judges would have much more discretion in cases involving certain revoked licenses, retail theft, and drug possession charges. For example, if an individual was convicted of possessing a small amount of marijuana and had no criminal history, a judge may not impose the minimum sentence, but reduce the sentence even further.

Current Penalties for Crimes

If the proposed law is passed, it will be a huge move for the criminal reform so many have called on Illinois legislators to make. Currently, those convicted of these non-violent crimes face severely harsh penalties and in many cases, jail time that many argue is unnecessary when the person poses no threat.

Some of the current penalties in Illinois for these crimes include:

  • Marijuana possession in an amount between 10 and 30 grams: Up to one year in jail;
  • Meth possession in an amount of fewer than five grams: Minimum two years in prison;
  • Misdemeanor retail theft (value less than $300): Up to one year in county jail;
  • Felony retail theft (value over $300): One to three years in prison; and
  • Driving on a revoked license for financial obligations: Minimum sentence of 30 days in jail.

As the lawmakers have been arguing, clearly some of these minimum sentences need to change. However, with lawmakers on either side debating the issue, some have raised concerns about the proposed bill. Some believe the criminal justice system is not broken, and so there is no reason to fix it.

Still, the bill passed the House of Representatives by a very narrow margin. In order for the bill to be passed, the Senate would have to debate it within the next coming weeks.

Facing Criminal Charges? Contact a Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense Lawyer

This new proposed law is good news for those convicted of certain crimes, but it is one that will still only apply after someone is convicted of those crimes. Those facing criminal charges still need the help of a criminal defense attorney for help ensuring their case does not make it that far.

If you have been charged with a crime, contact skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney Christopher M. Cosley at 847-394-3200. We will help you build a solid defense so you can retain your freedom and beat the charges. In some cases, we may also negotiate with the prosecution and make solid arguments in court to have charges or sentences reduced. If you are facing criminal charges, do not try to go it alone. Call us today or fill out our online form for a free case evaluation.

 

Source:

https://www.northernpublicradio.org/post/legislation-would-let-judges-depart-mandatory-minimums-only-few-crimes

 

Are Tenants that Refuse to Leave Criminally Trespassing?

January 11th, 2019 at 9:58 pm

IL defense lawyerBeing a landlord in Rolling Meadows, regardless of whether it is of a single family home or a huge apartment building, is not easy. There is maintenance to worry about, collecting rent from tenants, and of course, possibly evicting them when they fail to make those payments. What happens though, when a tenant refuses to leave after being evicted? Can the landlord have them charged with criminal trespassing?

Illinois Statute 720 ILCS 5/21-3

The definition of criminal trespassing is outlined in Illinois statute 720 ILCS 5/21-3. Essentially, the statute states that criminal trespassing has occurred when someone enters or remains on land after the owner or occupant has asked them to leave.

This sounds like it would cover a situation in which a tenant will not leave after being evicted, or asked to leave, by their landlord. However, it does not. The statute has some exceptions.

One of these is when the person being asked to leave is living on the land. Furthermore, anyone invited onto the land by the tenant that will not leave is also not considered to be criminally trespassing, even if the owner has asked them to vacate the premises. For these reasons, a person is most often charged with criminal trespassing when they have unlawfully entered, or refused to leave, a business or public area, not when they are in their home.

In the case of a person criminally trespassing, the property owner has to phone the police and have the person arrested. Police cannot simply show up and arrest tenants that refuse to leave. If they did so, they could be held liable for unlawfully evicting a person from their home.

Illinois Code of Civil Procedure

This does not mean that landlords do not have any options when it comes to removing unwanted tenants. It simply means that they must follow the civil, not criminal, procedures outlined in the Eviction Act. According to Illinois statute 735 ILCS 5/9-209, a landlord can notify a tenant of eviction if the tenant has not paid rent five days after it was due.

Of course, it is more time-consuming to follow the requirements set out in the Act. It is though, the only legal recourse a landlord has. The process of eviction in Rolling Meadows also is not one that takes as long as many people think. From the time notice is provided by the landlord to the time the eviction is final takes approximately one month.

Contact a Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense Lawyer that Can Help

The idea of criminal trespassing, and all it encompasses, can become confusing. This charge is not always appropriate simply because someone is on someone else’s property, even if they have been asked to leave. For this reason, people are sometimes charged with criminal trespassing when they are not guilty of the crime.

If you have been charged with criminal trespassing, do not try to fight the charges on your own. Contact a skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney that can help. The penalties for criminal trespassing if convicted can include up to one year in jail, in addition to the permanent mark on your criminal record. Our office offers a free consultation so call us today at 847-394-3200 so we can start reviewing your case.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=073500050K9-209

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K21-3

 

Police Brutality

December 21st, 2018 at 2:21 pm

IL defense attorneyMost law enforcement officers conduct themselves professionally and treat those who they are arresting with as much respect as possible. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Police brutality affects people of all demographics, though minorities are disproportionately the victims of unnecessary police violence. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was hit more than 50 times by police batons, and the police who administered the beating were acquitted. A black undercover police officer himself fell victim to police violence when he was disguised as a protester — his duty being to monitor illegal acts within the crowd to make arrests later — during a St. Louis demonstration in 2017.

Residents had taken to the streets in a planned protest over the acquittal of a police officer who shot and killed an unarmed black man, then planted a weapon on him after he was dead. The undercover officer, who was wearing a shirt that revealed his waistband — indicating that he was not armed — was beaten with batons for no reason by three police officers. Earlier text messages between the officers revealed that they had planned on carrying out such beatings. When they discovered that the man they had chosen to beat with riot batons was an undercover cop, they destroyed his phone, tried to contact witnesses to influence their testimony, and lied to a federal grand jury. The officers are facing four offenses, one of which carries a maximum 10-year prison sentence, while the other three crimes carry sentences of 20 years each.

Were You the Victim of Police Brutality?

In situations where you were arrested without probable cause or police used unnecessary violence to subdue and handcuff you, your civil rights were violated. In such scenarios, you stand a good chance to have the charges placed against you dropped, depending on what those were for. It all depends on what you were arrested for. In many cases of police brutality, law enforcement was simply carrying out a routine traffic stop, was performing a stop and frisk, or was trying to disperse a crowd during a protest. In such instances in which you, both the defendant and the victim, were not arrested for a crime of violence, charges may be dropped if there is enough evidence to support your claims of police brutality. A Cook County criminal defense lawyer can help you compile evidence to submit a compelling case that police brutality did occur. Cell phone footage, police body cameras, surveillance cameras, and witnesses can all be used to prove the truth.

Contact a Cook County Criminal Defense Attorney Today

Illinois has a long history of police brutality, just like every other state in the country. For justice and to clear your name of wrongdoing, you need to work with an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney. Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley today at 847-394-3200 for a free consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www.cnn.com/2018/11/30/us/st-louis-officers-undercover-assault/index.html

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/long-painful-history-police-brutality-in-the-us-180964098/

 

What Is Obstruction of Justice?

October 22nd, 2018 at 12:54 pm

Illinois defense lawyerThe news cycle has been full of the phrase ‘obstruction of justice’ in recent months, but while it can be a crime that affects the highest officials in the country, it can also be a crime that an average person is charged with when they become involved in a criminal investigation. If you are less than truthful with law enforcement, you may wind up on the receiving end of obstruction charges if you are not careful, and the penalty can be quite severe.

No Physical Act Necessary

Illinois’ relevant statute defines obstruction of justice as willfully performing certain actions, such as concealing evidence or witnesses, or lying to police, with the intent to “prevent the apprehension of” or “obstruct the prosecution or defense of” any one specific person. In other words, if someone lies to the police or conceals or destroys evidence with the intent to stop a criminal case from going forward, they may (at least in theory) be charged with obstruction of justice.

Historically, obstruction of justice was thought to require a physical act – that is, to physically destroy papers or burn evidence or drive a witness out of state – but recent jurisprudence has given modified that statement. In 2012, the Illinois Supreme Court held in People v. Baskerville that lying to a police officer may constitute obstruction – but it is important to note that it does not always. In many obstruction cases, the decision whether or not to prosecute can be a judgment call, especially if the prosecution of that suspect is later successful (in other words, if the relevant information was discovered by other means).

If You Are Charged

If you are charged with obstructing justice, the penalties can be severe, Most charges of obstruction are processed as Class 4 felonies, meaning that they are punishable by between one to three years in jail and a fine of $25,000. In rare situations it can be charged as a Class 3 felony, usually, if the obstruction is in relation to gang activity, but even if the obstruction is related to gang activity it may be possible to seek a lesser sentence, depending on the specific situation.

In some cases, it may be that prosecutors will seek to charge a person with obstruction related to an investigation if they are unable to mount an effective case for the underlying crime – for example, San Francisco Giants baseball player Barry Bonds was convicted of obstruction of justice over his statements to a grand jury regarding steroid use (both his own and other people’s), but prosecutors did not have the evidence to charge him over alleged drug use in his own case. This may also be a means by which a lesser sentence can be sought – providing the information that was being hidden can sometimes make obstruction charges disappear.

Seek Experienced Legal Help

While little actions like telling a white lie or warning a friend that the police are looking for them can feel like good deeds, they can open you up to serious legal liability. If you are charged with obstruction of justice in Illinois, you need an experienced attorney who knows how these types of cases tend to work. The skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyers at the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley can sit down with you and try to figure out a good strategy to go forward. Call us today to schedule a consultation.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K31-4

http://illinoiscourts.gov/Opinions/SupremeCourt/2012/111056.pdf

The Timeline of a Criminal Charge in Illinois

September 11th, 2018 at 10:43 am

Cook County criminal defense attorneyFacing criminal charges can be a truly scary prospect. The process for how these charges are handled might seem tricky and confusing, but if you know the timeline and what to expect, it can ease your worries – at least a little. While every case is different and should be considered independently, there is a general framework of how the system works in Illinois. The following includes a general timeline of criminal charges in Illinois that you may encounter when facing the criminal justice system with the help of a skilled attorney:

The Offense and Arrest

A charge cannot be made unless a person is reasonably suspected of committing criminal activity. This suspicion may be determined through an extensive police investigation into an individual’s activities or through something as simple a traffic stop. However, the police must have probable cause in order to make an arrest. After being arrested, a suspect must be read their Miranda rights, informing them that they have the right to remain silent and contact an attorney.

Preliminary Hearing or Grand Jury

If the offense in question is a felony charge, a preliminary hearing or grand jury hearing will be used to formally charge the suspect. In these hearings, the prosecution must present a summary of the evidence against the defendant. The judge in a preliminary hearing or the jury in a grand jury hearing will decide whether there is enough evidence to charge the defendant with the crime.

Arraignment

At arraignment, a defendant is formally read the charges against them and given the option to plead “guilty” or “not guilty.” A defendant has the right to be represented by an attorney at the arraignment, and if necessary, the arraignment can be postponed while the defendant finds an attorney.

Trial Preparation and Trial

After arraignment, trial preparation begins. A defendant has the option to enter into a plea bargain and avoid a trial altogether. The defendant and their attorney will often enter into negotiations with the prosecution in an attempt to avoid trial. If no plea bargain is reached, then a trial will take place. Before trial, the defense attorney will contact witnesses, review documents or evidence obtained through discovery, and strategize the best options for success. At trial, both sides will present their case, and the judge or jury will decide on a verdict.

Verdict and Sentencing

The verdict will be read at the conclusion of the trial. If the defendant is found guilty, a separate sentencing hearing will be scheduled to determine the proper sentence. A sentencing hearing will also occur if a defendant decides to plead guilty at any time before a verdict is reached.

Appeal

A defendant has the right to appeal their case. To be successful, there must have been errors made during the trial, an unfair or improper sentence, or some other issue that greatly impacted the verdict and/or sentence.

Contact Us Today for Help

If you have been charged with a crime, an experienced attorney can help you navigate the legal process and determine your best options for defense. Skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer Christopher M. Cosley can help you through all stages of a criminal charge. Contact us today at 847-394-3200 to arrange a free consultation.

Sources:
http://www.illinoiscourts.gov/SupremeCourt/Rules/Art_IV/ArtIV.htm#411
http://www.icjia.state.il.us/assets/pdf/ResearchReports/Policies_and_Procedures_of_the_Illinois_Criminal_Justice_System_Aug2012.pdf

Accessing Police Records in Cook County

August 10th, 2018 at 7:16 am

police records, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney, criminal records, Illinois criminal system, current criminal chargesThere are a number of reasons why a person might want access to his or her police records. He or she may want to make sure any criminal charges are accurately depicted, or he or she may want to make sure that a certain charge or conviction is no longer listed on his or her record. Whatever the reason, in Cook County a person has the ability to access his or her police reports.

The Uniform Conviction Information Act passed in 1991 requires that a person’s criminal record and conviction information must be made public. This act was passed in an attempt at full transparency and to give those that needed this information the avenue and opportunity to seek the information that they required. An individual’s criminal record will contain arrests, convictions, and other data about contact that the person has had with the Illinois criminal system.

Reasons to Access a Criminal Record

As mentioned above, there are several reasons why a person would want or need to access his or her criminal record. The following are the more common reasons:

  • Expungement – If a person is trying to have something on his or her criminal record expunged, then he or she will likely need to look at the record to see exactly what crime should be expunged and the way in which is it presented on record. Not every crime can be expunged, so a person must examine his or her record thoroughly to determine how to go about receiving an expungement.
  • Pending Litigation – For a defendant who is facing charges, obtaining a copy of his or her criminal record could be helpful in building a defense to the current charges.
  • Checking for Accuracies – A person might want to check his or her record just to make sure that his or her criminal history is correct. Potential employers or landlords often run criminal background checks on prospective employees or renters. Therefore, it is important to know what exactly it is he or she will be seeing upon request of the record.

Who Can Receive the Record?

It is not just an individual who has permission to obtain his or her own record. There are many parties who might have an interest and include the following:

  • Victim – The victim of a crime has the right to view and obtain a copy of a person’s criminal record. Usually, a victim is presented with copies of the report after the charge is filed.
  • Defendant – The person of whom the record is for can request a copy of his or her own record.
  • Third Parties – Employers, landlords, or members of the community are able to obtain a copy of public record. The Freedom of Information Act gives anyone the right to view or obtain copies of documents that are a matter of public record.

We Can Help You Today

If you have questions about your criminal record, contact a dedicated Rolling Meadows defense attorney at The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley. We can answer any questions you might have and inform you of any options you have regarding you record.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=351&ChapterID=5

The Use of Circumstantial Evidence in Illinois Criminal Cases

July 6th, 2018 at 4:06 pm

circumstantial evidence, criminal defense cases, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney, criminal proceedings, contradictory evidenceIf you turn on any crime drama show, chances are you have heard a prosecutor or defense attorney utter the phrase, “you only have circumstantial evidence.” As a viewer of a television program, you might just hear these words and not think about what circumstantial evidence is or the role it plays in criminal defense cases. Circumstantial evidence is not just a phrase you hear television lawyers throw around, however, but a real type of evidence that is at issue in criminal proceedings.

Direct vs. Circumstantial Evidence

There are two types of evidence that can be used in criminal trials. Direct evidence is actual physical evidence used to link a defendant directly to a crime. This could be a video surveillance tape, a fingerprint at the crime scene, or any other evidence that directly points to a defendant committing a crime.

According to Illinois jury instructions, circumstantial evidence is “the proof of facts or circumstances which give rise to a reasonable inference of other facts which tend to show the guilt or innocence of a defendant.” Essentially, this is evidence that is not actually rooted in hard, physical proof, but instead includes the circumstances that surround a defendant and point to their innocence or guilt. Further, Illinois instructs juries to use circumstantial evidence combined with other evidence presented in the case to arrive at a verdict.

Circumstantial evidence is used so that inferences can be made to link a defendant to a crime. Common examples can include resisting arrest, a motive to commit the crime, the opportunity to commit the crime, evasions by the defendant, denials, inconsistencies, the presence of a defendant at the scene of the crime, and any other conduct of the defendant that could be used to draw inferences to a defendant’s guilt.

Prior Illinois Law

In the past, Illinois made special considerations around the use of circumstantial evidence. Previously, circumstantial evidence was only allowed to be used exclusively for a conviction of a defendant if the evidence excluded every reasonable possibility that the defendant might be innocent.

Now, circumstantial evidence can be used in addition to direct evidence. All evidence is considered by the trier of fact (the jury) or a judge in the event it is not a jury trial. This evidence can all be used to determine whether the prosecution has proved beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant is guilty of the crime of which they are charged.

Let Us Help You Today

If you have been charged with a criminal charge, then you need an attorney. Passionate Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney Christopher M. Cosley will work diligently to present every piece of evidence available to prove your innocence. Attorney Cosley understands that circumstantial evidence can play a huge part in a criminal trial and will present contradictory evidence at every available opportunity.

Source:

http://www.illinoiscourts.gov/circuitcourt/CriminalJuryInstructions/CRIM_03.00.pdf

Specific Intent Crimes

July 19th, 2016 at 11:46 am

Specific Intent CrimesSome crimes in Illinois are referred to as “specific intent” crimes. These crimes require that the criminal defendant have the specific intent, or a particular state of mind, to do something in order to make a conviction of a criminal defendant for the crime. To think of this another way, the criminal defendant must have had a specific state of mind, or purpose, that was the reason behind committing the crime. The specific requisite intent is often defined in the criminal statute that governs over any particular specific intent crime that a defendant is charged with.

The good thing about specific intent crimes is that the prosecution has the burden of showing that the criminal defendant had the requisite state of mind that is needed to commit the alleged crime. Proving the necessary specific intent for a crime is often the prosecution’s weakest link in their case against the criminal defendant, as it is difficult to prove a person’s state of mind. Sometimes the prosecution’s whole case will turn on proving the requisite intent element of a crime, and the prosecution may only have circumstantial evidence to support its position. A skilled criminal defense lawyer can fight the prosecutors by attacking the weakest aspects of their case.

What Are Some of the Specific Intent Crimes in Illinois?

There are several specific intent crimes under Illinois law. Indeed, these types of crimes include:

  • Theft: In order to obtain a theft conviction, the criminal defendant must have the specific intent to deprive the rightful owner of the property of possession or use of the item that is stolen.
  • Theft by deception: The criminal defendant must have the intent to defraud or steal from the victim through an act of deception.
  • Burglary: For a burglary conviction, the criminal defendant must have the intent to carry out a felony or theft upon knowingly entering or remaining in a dwelling or building without authorization to be there.
  • Residential burglary: Again, the criminal defendant must have the intent to carry out a felony or a theft inside a dwelling where he or she is not authorized to be.
  • Battery and aggravated battery: The criminal defendant has to have the intent to cause serious bodily harm to the victim of the battery.
  • Attempt of committing a crime: Attempt charges require that the criminal defendant had the intention of committing a crime, but either failed or was unable to successfully commit the crime.

When the prosecution is unable to demonstrate that the criminal defendant had the requisite specific intent that is necessary to be convicted of the crime, the charges will be dismissed. It is important to work with an experienced and skilled criminal defense lawyer who knows how to attack the specific intent aspect of criminal charges in your defense.

When You Need a Criminal Defense Lawyer

Anyone who is facing criminal charges in Illinois, for theft, burglary, battery, or any other crime should get in touch with a seasoned and experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer. Our attorneys are eager to assist you with your case today.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=1876&ChapterID=53&SeqStart=36500000&SeqEnd=39200000

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