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The Wrongs to Children Act

October 31st, 2018 at 10:10 am

abuseChild labor laws have come a long way since the beginning of the 20th century, when millions of children throughout the U.S. worked in factories, in plants, and on the street. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, one out of eight children was employed in 1870. By 1900, one out of five children was employed. Nowadays, it is rare that a child under 15 years of age is employed, aside from farm work or normal chores.

Why Do We Need Child Labor Laws?

In the past, U.S. children were taken advantage of as “employees.” They were abused physically and emotionally, they were not given fair wages, their working conditions were atrocious, and most importantly of all, they were not allowed to be children. A child with a 10 or 12 hour work day, which was not uncommon in the early 1900s, would, of course, have no time or energy to devote to education, play, rest, or happiness. Child labor is still a large problem in third world countries, with one in four children between the ages of five and 17 working in sub-Saharan Africa, according to UNICEF.

Child Labor Laws in Illinois

The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 was the first groundbreaking piece of legislation that took aim at child labor. In the years since, other federal and state laws have been enacted. The Illinois Wrongs to Children Act, statute 720 ILCS 150, was created in 1961 to continue strengthening child labor laws. The Act makes it illegal to take, receive, hire, employ, use, exhibit, or have in custody any child under 14 years old for the purpose of:

  • Begging;
  • Dancing;
  • Peddling;
  • Doing acrobatics, gymnastics; or contortionism;
  • Walking on a rope or wire;
  • Performing an obscene, immoral, or indecent act;
  • Playing on a musical instrument;
  • Singing; or
  • Tightrope walking.

A violation of the Act is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of $2,500. A second or subsequent violation is a Class 4 felony, punishable by one to three years in prison and a maximum fine of $25,000.

What Is Allowed Under the Act

The purpose of the Wrongs to Children Act was to get children off the street as street performers and to stop people from employing or using them in unsanctioned, unlicensed events where children are more likely to be injured, harmed, abused, or taken advantage of. As such, it is perfectly legal for a child to sing or play an instrument in their school’s band or for a paying orchestra. Performing acrobatics as a gymnast in competition is, likewise, legal. Singing and dancing are allowed for TV, plays, movies, commercials, and other events as well. If you have questions about the legality of an act, you should contact an attorney.

A Rolling Meadows Child Crimes Attorney Can Help

Whether you have been charged with assault or battery of a child, child abuse or child neglect, or charged under the Wrongs to Children Act, you need to call a criminal defense lawyer today. Contact skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney Christopher M. Cosley today at 847-394-3200.

 

Sources:

https://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2017/article/history-of-child-labor-in-the-united-states-part-1.htm

https://data.unicef.org/topic/child-protection/child-labour/

Disorderly Conduct Offenses

October 29th, 2018 at 1:05 pm

Illinois defense attorneyDisorderly conduct, 720 ILCS 5/26-1, may sound like a harmless offense—one that will result in nothing more than a few days of community service at the worst, but in reality, it can be a life-altering moment in a person’s life. Depending on the circumstances, disorderly conduct is a felony. Being found guilty could mean the end of your career, your social status within your community, your child custody or visitation rights, and more: your freedom. Disorderly conduct can result in one to three years in prison and a $25,000 fine.

What Were You Charged For?

The most common scenarios of a defendant being charged with disorderly conduct include the following:

  • Being drunk in public—While it is not a crime in and of itself to walk down the street or sit in a bar while being intoxicated, acting in an overtly drunk, loud, obnoxious, or harassing manner is a crime. All it takes is a few too many drinks and a lapse in judgment to end up behind bars for the night, with a disorderly conduct charge looming in your future.
  • Yelling loudly late at night or early in the morning—Disturbing the peace by yelling or making unnecessary loud noises late at night or early in the morning is a serious crime, believe it or not. While you may have had a perfectly good reason to yell, either out of self-defense or surprise, or your loud yelling was largely exaggerated by the accuser, you still need an attorney to ensure that you are not given a criminal record.
  • Being at a protest—Sadly, all it takes these days to be arrested at a protest is simply being there at the protest. You do not have to be inciting a riot, blocking machinery or traffic, damaging property, yelling, or even refusing to disperse in order to be charged with various crimes at a protest or demonstration. To be sure, 575 people were recently arrested at a Women’s March, as reported by The New York Times. Unnecessary or unlawful arrests at protests happen every day, and disorderly conduct is a common charge. Furthermore, police do not have to have your permission to search you by patting you down and do not have to have very much, if any, evidence to make an arrest. While such an arrest is not legal, it is commonplace.

Other Forms of Disorderly Conduct

  • Entering a dwelling for lewd purposes as a “peeping Tom;”
  • Calling 911 unnecessarily;
  • Public misconduct;
  • Falsely reporting a bomb, crime, or child abuse; and
  • Inciting a riot.

Our Disorderly Conduct Defense Attorneys Can Help

If you have been arrested for disorderly conduct, you need to reach out to a Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney immediately. Contact the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley today at 847-394-3200.

 

 

Source:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/29/us/politics/womens-march-arrests-dc.html

Fleeing or Evading Police

October 26th, 2018 at 12:57 pm

Illinois defense lawyerOne of the most serious traffic crimes is fleeing or evading the police. Bureau of Justice Statistics data reveals that one person dies every day during police chases. The penalties for fleeing law enforcement are founded on the sheer danger that fleeing or evading police has on other road users as well as the fact that if a harsh penalty did not exist, police would have a very difficult time arresting anyone. As such, fleeing the police results in a Class A misdemeanor and license suspension of up to six months for a first-time offense, up to 12 months for a second offense, and a Class 4 felony for third and subsequent offenses. A Class A misdemeanor is punishable by up to one year in jail, while a Class 4 felony is punishable by one to three years in state prison and a maximum fine of $25,000.

Definition of Fleeing or Evading Law Enforcement

According to Illinois statute 625 ILCS 5/11-204, fleeing or evading must have the following elements:

  • A police officer gave a visual or audible signal directing the driver to bring their vehicle to a stop; and
  • The driver of motor vehicle willfully fails or refuses to obey the officer’s direction and:
    • Increases speed;
    • Extinguishes the vehicle’s lights; or
    • Otherwise flees or attempts to elude the officer.

What Does a “Signal” Entail?

A large part of fleeing or eluding is the signal made by the peace officer. If no signal was noticed by the driver, how can they be held accountable for not pulling over? After all, the driver must have “willfully failed or refused” to obey the officer. By definition, a signal:

  • Can be made by hand, voice, siren, or red or blue light;
  • If the officer is in a police uniform and police vehicle, the light must be displayed with “illuminated oscillating, rotating or flashing red or blue lights.” When used with a siren or horn, a driver should know to pull over. Amber or white oscillating or rotating flashing lights may also be sued in addition with red or blue lights.

Defenses that May Apply to You

  • Not knowing that the police officer was a law enforcement agent (they were not in a police car, they did not use lights or sirens, they were in plain clothes and did not show a badge upon pulling you over, etc);
  • You were involved in a collision and were disoriented or confused as a result;
  • You were rushing to the hospital or fleeing out of some other necessity; and
  • You are suffering from dementia or old age.

Contact a Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense Attorney

Fleeing and eluding will result in a criminal record, suspend license, serious fines, and potentially jail or prison time. For experienced legal defense, call passionate Rolling Meadows traffic offense attorney Christopher M. Cosley today at 847-394-3200.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-204

https://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=5906

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

Penalties for Teenage Breaking and Entering

October 19th, 2018 at 9:00 am

juvenileBreaking and entering has long been a sort of game for teenagers looking for a thrill. For example, teens in Colorado recently broke into a Colorado home, threw a party, and recorded it on Snapchat. Teens and younger adolescents may dare or encourage one another to break into abandoned homes, which may not actually be abandoned, schools, and other structures. However, breaking and entering, which is called burglary whether there was an intent to steal something or not, is a felony crime.

Residential Burglary and Possession of Burglary Tools

Under Illinois statute 720 ILCS 5/19-3, the elements of residential burglary include the following:

  • Knowingly entering a residence (including a car, RV, boat, railroad car, or other structure) without permission;
  • Entering or remaining in a residence  for the purpose of committing a theft or other felony; or
  • Misrepresenting oneself in order to gain entrance to a residence for the purpose of committing a theft or other felony.

Defendants facing burglary charges may be put behind bars for three to seven years. However, residential burglary is a first-degree felony if the structure entered was a school, place of worship, or daycare facility, punishable by four to 15 years in prison. Teens 18 and older will be tried as adults. Furthermore, if anyone was killed, even accidentally, during breaking and entering (burglary), the defendant faces a first-degree murder charge.

Possession of burglary tools under Illinois statute 720 ILCS 5/19 2 is a Class 4 felony, punishable by one to three years in prison, and involves the following elements:

  • Possession of tools suitable for breaking and entering a structure, car, or watercraft (including lock picking tools, explosives, or other devices); and
  • Intent to break into breaking into a place and commit a felony or theft.

Juvenile Penalties for Breaking and Entering

Unlike adult sentencing, there are generally no strict guidelines for punishing minors in juvenile court. As such, a judge has much more leeway in determining an appropriate punishment. The court may look at the juvenile’s age, the seriousness of the crime committed, their criminal history if any, whether or not they are enrolled in school, their grades, their home life, their general attitude regarding the crime or remorse, and many other personal characteristics. Penalties for breaking and entering include potential fines, incarceration in a juvenile detention facility, probation, counseling, and restitution.

Call a Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense Attorney Today

If your child is 18 or older, he or she will be tried as an adult, and if found guilty, awarded a felony record and potentially years in prison. If he or she is a minor under 18 years of age, they will most likely be tried in juvenile court. However, if serious injury, aggravated battery, or death occurred as a result of the burglary, and your child is 16 or older, they will be tried in adult court. You need to take action to protect your child’s future whether they are 10, 14, or 18. Call dedicated Rolling Meadows juvenile crimes attorney Christopher M. Cosley today at 847-394-3200.

 

Source:

https://abc7ny.com/teens-break-into-home-for-party-record-snapchat-video/2548147/

Fighting a Third or Fourth DUI Charge

October 18th, 2018 at 11:00 am

IL DUI attorney, IL drunk driving lawyerOne-third of drivers arrested for drunk driving are repeat offenders, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data revealed that for some states, 47 percent of DUI offenders are repeat offenders. Ultimately, if you have already been convicted of one DUI, there a high chance that you will be charged with another. Moreover, after a second DUI conviction in Illinois, the penalties become much higher.

Aggravated DUI

An aggravated DUI is a serious offense — one that results in mandatory imprisonment or community service terms not being eligible for suspension or reduction. Additionally, aggravated DUI charges result in a minimum of 480 hours of community service or 10 days of imprisonment for those out on probation or conditional discharge. Aggravated DUI is charged when the offender was driving under the influence:

  • In a school zone, while the school speed was in effect, and caused a crash resulting in bodily harm;
  • While driving a school bus with one or more minors as occupants;
  • And caused a serious bodily harm;
  • And caused a death;
  • Without vehicle liability insurance; and
  • In many other circumstances.

Additionally, aggravated DUI is charged whenever the offender has already had two DUI convictions, according to the Illinois Secretary of State.

Third DUI Conviction

  • Class 2 felony (three to seven years imprisonment);
  • License revocation for 10 years minimum; and
  • Vehicle registration suspension.

If the offender’s BAC was 0.16 or greater, the penalties include:

  • Mandatory 90-day  imprisonment; and
  • Mandatory minimum fine of $2,500.

If the offender committed the DUI while transporting a child under 16 years old, the penalties include:

  • Mandatory fine of $25,000; and
  • Mandatory 25 days of community service in a child-benefiting program.

Fourth DUI

  • Class 2 felony;
  • License revocation for life; and
  • Vehicle registration suspension.

If the offender’s BAC was 0.16 or greater, the penalties include:

  • Mandatory minimum fine of $5,000.

If the offender committed the DUI while transporting a child under 16 years old, the penalties include:

  • Mandatory fine of $25,000; and
  • Mandatory 25 days of community service in a child-benefiting program.

Fifth DUI Conviction

  • Class 1 felony (four to 15 years imprisonment);
  • License revocation for life; and
  • Vehicle registration suspension.

If the offender’s BAC was 0.16 or greater, the penalties include:

  • Mandatory minimum fine of $5,000.

If the offender committed the DUI while transporting a child under 16 years old, the penalties include:

  • Mandatory fine of $25,000; and
  • Mandatory 25 days of community service in a child-benefiting program.

Sixth or Subsequent DUI Conviction

  • Class X felony (six to 30 years imprisonment);
  • License revocation for life; and
  • Vehicle registration suspension.

If the offender’s BAC was 0.16 or greater, the penalties include:

  • Mandatory minimum fine of $5,000.

If the offender committed the DUI while transporting a child under 16 years old, the penalties include:

  • Mandatory fine of $25,000; and
  • Mandatory 25 days of community service in a child-benefiting program.

Call a Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense Attorney Today

It is vital to work with an experienced Rolling Meadows felony DUI attorney if you have been charged with a third or subsequent DUI offense. Contact Christopher M. Cosley today at 847-394-3200.

 

Sources:

https://one.nhtsa.gov/people/outreach/traftech/1995/tt085.htm

https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/publications/pdf_publications/dsd_a118.pdf

https://www.madd.org/statistics/

Possession or Sale of Hypodermic Needles

October 12th, 2018 at 7:02 pm

Illinios defense lawyerHaving a hypodermic needle in your possession can land you in cuffs. This is due to Illinois’ Hypodermic Syringes and Needles Act, which makes it illegal for minors to be in possession of any hypodermic needles or syringes, and illegal for adults to possess hypodermic needles for the injection of controlled substances. Studies have shown that Needle and Syringe Exchange Policies (NSEPs) drive down HIV and other needle-transmitted-diseases, so why is possessing needles a crime, even if used for injecting drugs? Unfortunately, the logic of this law is as unjust as it is flawed, and is simply another criminal charge in the name of the war on drugs, tacked on increase overall prison time and incentivize defendants to take a quick plea deal.

What the Law Says About Needle Possession

Under Illinois statute 720 ILCS 635, it is illegal for anyone to possess a “hypodermic syringe, needle or “other instrument adapted for the use of controlled substances or cannabis by subcutaneous injection.” Adults are legally allowed to purchase dozens of syringes from pharmacies and possess up to 100 at any given time, so the mere possession of such a needle is not a crime. What makes the needle illegal is when it is used or intended to be used for injecting controlled substances, unless of course, you are a physician, nurse, or hospital worker performing your professional duties. A defense to this criminal offense is proving that the needle was used for another purpose other than delivering a controlled substance. Common reasons and medical conditions for using hypodermic needles and syringes include:

  • Dozens of types of cancer;
  • Deep vein thrombosis;
  • Type I and Type II diabetes;
  • Hormone treatment including testosterone therapy;
  • Allergy treatment;
  • Fertility purposes;
  • Injection of vitamins and minerals for general health or to compensate for a deficiency; and
  • Hundreds of other types of diseases and disorders.

Sale of Hypodermic Needles

Unless you are authorized to sell hypodermic needles (such as a doctor, pharmacist, or drug manufacturer), selling any needles could result in a felony offense. The sale of hypodermic needles is a Class 4 felony in Illinois.

A Rolling Meadows Attorney Is Available to Talk Today

Possession of a hypodermic needle used for administering a controlled substance, which is a Class A misdemeanor, carries a penalty of up to one year in jail and a fine of $2,500. Each subsequent offense is a Class B misdemeanor, which is a Class 4 felony punished by one to three years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000. This means that if you were found with four hypodermic needles allegedly used for the purpose of administering controlled substances, you could face one Class A misdemeanor and four Class 4 felony charges. As such, if you are facing any hypodermic needle charges, whether for possession or sale, you need to contact the dedicated Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorneys at the office of Christopher M. Cosley today at 847-394-3200.

 

Sources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4496270/

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=1954&ChapterID=53

 

Child Abandonment

October 8th, 2018 at 6:48 pm

abandonmentOver 25 years ago, a St. Charles couple decided to go on vacation to Mexico for nine days. They decided not to bring their children along, and while Home Alone II was playing in theaters, these two real-life parents left their nine- and four-year-old daughters home alone intentionally. They were arrested and their story gained national media attention, eventually leading to the creation of Illinois’ child abandonment law. Today, child abandonment is a serious criminal offense that can be penalized as a Class 4 felony, which carries a prison sentence of one to three years and a maximum fine of $25,000.

Characteristics Defining Child Abandonment

Illinois statute 720 ILCS 5/12-21.5 defines child abandonment as the following:

A parent, caregiver, or other guardian who currently has physical custody or control of a child under 13 years of age leaves that child without “supervision by a responsible person over the age of 14” for 24 hours or longer. This statute does not include those who legally relinquish a child in accordance with the Abandoned Newborn Infant Protection Act. In order to determine whether or not the child’s mental or physical health or safety or welfare was disregarded, the following will be taken into consideration;

  • Child’s age;
  • Number of children left alone in the location;
  • Potential special needs of the child;
  • Length of time the child was left alone;
  • Condition and location of the place the child was left;
  • Time of day or night the child was left alone;
  • Weather conditions when the child was left alone, and whether the child had proper protection from natural elements;
  • The location of the parent or guardian when they left the child and the physical distance between the child and parent during the time they were left alone;
  • Was the child’s movement restricted, such as being locked in a room?
  • Was the child provided with a phone number of a responsible person to call in the event of an emergency? Was the child able to make such a call if need be?
  • Were food and other provisions made accessible to the child?
  • Was leaving the child caused by illness or economic hardship of the parent, and did they make a good faith effort to provide safety and health for the child?
  • Age and mental and physical capabilities of the person left to look after the under-13-year-old child;
  • Whether or not another person was left to supervise the child; and
  • Other factors that could cause danger to the child.

Call an Attorney at Once

Leaving a 12-year-old child alone for a day because you had to attend to your dying mother’s needs at a nearby hospital will be looked at much differently than if you left your five-year-old alone for a week to go gambling in Las Vegas. Every case is different, and you need an experienced attorney to help prove your qualities as a parent. If you are facing child abandonment charges, you may also be charged with child neglect and potentially child abuse. Combined or alone, any of these offenses can cause you to lose custody of your child, place you behind bars for months or years at a time, and essentially ruin your entire life. We urge you to contact the skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorneys at the office of Christopher M. Cosley today at 847-394-3200.

 

Sources:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/aurora-beacon-news/news/ct-abn-home-alone-schoo-impact-st-1215-20171221-story.html

http://www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/methnet/laws_legislation/bodharm_09.html

What Is Grand Larceny?

September 27th, 2018 at 9:38 am

Chicago theft and larceny defense attorneyLarceny, more commonly referred to as theft, occurs when a person knowingly obtains the property of another with the intention of permanently depriving the owner of their property, as per 720 ILCS 5/16-1. The degree of larceny or theft that an individual is charged with depends on the value of the property taken. Larceny charges do not include robbery, armed robbery, burglary, carjacking, or other crimes of violence, which are punished more severely than larceny offenses.

“Grand” larceny or “grand” theft is commonly thought of as the threshold between a misdemeanor and a felony charge, though in Illinois that language is not specifically used. Illinois law classifies various degrees of larceny on a scale described below, with the highest felony classification for theft being a Class X felony, which can result in decades behind bars.

  • Class A Misdemeanor – The property taken is valued at $500 or less. Punishment includes a jail sentence of up to one year and a fine of up to $2,500.
  • Class 4 Felony – The property taken is valued at $500 or less and was taken from a school or place of worship. Punishment includes a prison sentence of one to three years, with a maximum fine of $25,000.
  • Class 3 Felony – The property taken is valued at $500 to $10,000. Punishment includes a prison sentence between two and five years and a fine of up to $25,000.
  • Class 2 Felony – The property taken is valued at $10,000 to $100,000, or it is valued at $500 to $10,000 and was taken from a school or place of worship. Punishment includes a prison sentence between three and seven years and a fine of up to $25,000.
  • Class 1 Felony – The property taken is valued at $100,000 to $500,000, or it is valued at $10,000 to $100,000 and was taken from a school or place of worship. Punishment includes a prison sentence between four and 15 years and a fine of up to $25,000.
  • Class 1 Felony Non Probationary – The property taken is valued between $500,000 and $1 million. Punishment includes a prison sentence of up to 30 years and a fine of up to $25,000.
  • Class X Felony – The property taken is valued at over $1 million, or it is valued at more than $100,000 and was taken from a school or place of worship. Punishment includes a prison sentence between six and 30 years a fine of up to $25,000.

Restitution

In addition to the fines listed above, the victim can also seek repayment for the value of the property that was stolen and the financial losses they suffered as a result of larceny. This is referred to as restitution. For example, a victim whose pickup truck was stolen may have lost $4,000 in revenue because their small landscaping business went without a truck for a month, and they may have lost $4,000 in productivity during the time period it took to purchase a new vehicle or have theirs returned to them. Thus, they may claim restitution of $8,000.

Contact a Rolling Meadows Larceny Defense Attorney

Theft is one of the most prevalent offenses in Illinois, and here in Cook County, there are over 1,800 counts of theft per 100,000 inhabitants, according to the Illinois State Police. Those charged with any degree of theft need to protect themselves by contacting a skilled attorney. We urge you to contact dedicated Cook County criminal defense lawyer Christopher M. Cosley for assistance today. Call our office at 847-394-3200 to arrange a free consultation.

Sources:
http://www.isp.state.il.us/docs/cii/cii16/cii16_SectionI_Pg11_to_246.pdf
http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K16-1

Understanding the Consequences of Prescription Forgery in Illinois

September 25th, 2018 at 1:21 pm

Cook County drug charges defense lawyerPrescription drug abuse is on the rise, and police and prosecutors are becoming increasingly vigilant about cracking down on those who they believe are breaking the law by using falsified prescriptions to obtain controlled substances. Because of the opioid epidemic, which has resulted from over-prescribed pain medications pushed by pharmaceutical companies and physicians, hundreds of thousands of Americans are looking for any means to get their hands on narcotics. Obtaining opioids by falsifying a prescription may seem safer than buying drugs on the street, but make no mistake—prescription forgery is a serious crime in Illinois.

What Illinois Law States About Prescription Forgery

According to 720 ILCS 570/406.2, a person commits prescription forgery (known as “unauthorized possession of prescription form”) if they have altered a prescription, possessed a form not issued by a licensed practitioner, possessed a blank prescription form without authorization, or possessed a counterfeit prescription form. Examples of prescription drug forgery include the following:

  • Changing the dose amount on a prescription written by a doctor.
    Stealing a prescription pad off a doctor’s desk.
    Writing a prescription for yourself.
    Using a computer to create a fraudulent prescription form.

The Consequences of Prescription Forgery

Shockingly, even a first time prescription forgery offender can be fined up to $100,000, and they may be sentenced to between one and three years in prison. If a person is charged with their second prescription forgery offense, they may be fined up to $200,000 and sentenced to between two and five years in prison.

It is common for a person who is charged with prescription forgery to be facing other drug charges at the same time, such as burglary, possession of an illegal drug, or an intent to traffic drugs. All of these offenses can add up to considerable time behind bars and fines that would be impossible to pay back in a lifetime of full-time work—something that would become extremely difficult to accomplish with a felony record.

Defending Medical Professionals

Medical professionals are not immune to prescription forgery charges. Doctors have been known to use their license as an opportunity to write friends or family members a prescription without reason, or to prescribe opioids to addicted patients who pay them cash under the table. If you are a physician or pharmacist, you will lose your professional license in a heartbeat if you are found guilty of prescription forgery.

A Cook County Drug Crimes Defense Attorney Can Help

More than 115 Americans die every day from overdosing on opioids, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Instead of taking steps to combat addiction and help self-medicated individuals overcome or manage their mental or physical ailments, our criminal justice system sends its best prosecutors to lock up victims of opioid addiction. If you have been charged with prescription forgery, you need a strong defense that will help you avoid the consequences of a conviction. Contact dedicated Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer Christopher M. Cosley today at 847-394-3200 to schedule a free consultation.

Sources:
https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/opioids/opioid-overdose-crisis
http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072005700K406.2

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