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Archive for the ‘assault’ tag

Crimes Against Undocumented Immigrants

December 26th, 2018 at 2:20 pm

IL defense lawyerWith all of the political talk about illegal immigrants coming into the country who may be criminals, it brings another question to mind: what rights do illegal immigrants have when it comes to being protected by the law? Are crimes against illegal immigrants punishable, and if so, are perpetrators penalized to the same extent that they would be had the victim been a U.S. citizen?

Undocumented Immigrants and Workers Fear Retaliation

The National Immigration Project reports that immigrant victims are in fear of “reporting violent crimes and labor violations to law enforcement and working with the criminal justice system will expose them to deportation.” These victims also fear that they will be separated from their children and banished from the U.S. permanently if they do seek traditional victim support systems through law enforcement.

Senate Bill 34 VOICES Act Now Law

Senate Bill 34, the Voices of Immigrant Communities Empowering Survivors (the VOICES Act), is now law after the Illinois Senate and House both passed over Governor Bruce Rauner’s veto. The law states that police must investigate complaints of abuse and assault in a timely manner when the victim or alleged victim is an undocumented immigrant. By filing a report, immigrants can use them to work towards citizenship and visas. Opponents of the law argue that some undocumented immigrants will report crimes simply to further their chances of receiving citizenship. On the other side, proponents argue that undocumented immigrants and workers suffer fear of retaliation from their employers and fear of being deported if they speak up about a crime that was committed against them or a crime that they witnessed happen to another person and that this law will help remedy those fears.

What if I Have Been Charged with a Crime Against an Immigrant?

The most common crimes committed against undocumented workers include the following:

  • Human trafficking;
  • Robbery and theft;
  • Assault;
  • Sexual assault;
  • Battery;
  • Domestic violence; and
  • Workplace crimes.

If you have been accused of committing any of these offenses, you need to speak with an attorney. In some rare cases, alleged offenders are charged with hate crimes if there is evidence that the offense was committed because of the victim’s race or national origin. A hate crime can add potential serious jail or prison time to any offense that you are charged with.

Call a Cook County Criminal Defense Lawyer Today

Crimes against undocumented immigrants are treated just as severely as crimes committed against U.S. citizens. As such, it is dangerous to enter the mindset that the allegations made against you are not serious. Make no mistake, you need to contact an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney immediately. Call 847-394-3200 to reach the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley today to schedule a free consultation.

 

Sources:

http://rockrivertimes.com/2018/11/28/illinois-house-overrides-voices-act-veto/

https://www.nationalimmigrationproject.org/victims.html

 

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Assault in Illinois

April 23rd, 2015 at 5:00 am

Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal lawyer, Illinois criminal statutesWhat exactly is assault? Because different states have different standards, there can often be confusion about what counts as assault, what counts as battery, and whether they are the same thing. For example, our neighbor to the southwest, Missouri, does not recognize a crime of battery and considers all offenses that involve striking another person to be “assaults.” Here in Illinois, however, we have multiple types of assault and multiple types of battery.

Simple Assault in Illinois

The first assault crime in Illinois is known as either “assault” or sometimes as “simple assault.” A person commits this crime when he or she, without lawful authority, knowingly does something that places another person in reasonable apprehension of receiving a battery. So the immediate follow up question has to be: what is considered a battery in Illinois? Illinois defines battery where one person knowingly, without legal justification, either (1) causes bodily harm to an individual, or (2) makes physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature with an individual. Basically, one commits an assault when one makes another reasonably afraid that they are either about to suffer bodily harm or be touched in some sort of insulting or provoking way. Simple assault, on its own, is a relatively minor offense in Illinois. It is only a Class C misdemeanor. There is a special sentencing provision that requires that anyone convicted of assault perform between 30 and 120 hours of community service if such community service is available in the community where the assault was committed, unless the person is sentenced to actual incarceration.

Aggravated Assault in Illinois

Aggravated assault is like simple assault, but the facts of the case are somehow worse than a simple assault; thus, aggravated assaults are punished more harshly. There are three main times of aggravated assault in Illinois:

  • Assaults aggravated based on location of the conduct;
  • Assaults aggravated based on the status of the alleged victim; and
  • Assaults aggravated based on the use of a firearm, device, or motor vehicle.

Aggravated assault based on location or conduct comes in a few forms. This includes assaults that are committed against a person who is on or about a public way, assaults that take place on public property, assaults that occur at a place of accommodation or amusement, and assaults that occur at sports venues. This kind of aggravated assault is a Class A misdemeanor.

Aggravated Assault Based on Victim Status

Aggravated assault based on the status of the alleged victim is the most sweeping part of the aggravated assault law. Alleged victims who have special protections under this statute include:

  1. Physically handicapped people and people aged 60 or older;
  2. Teachers and school employees on school grounds, grounds adjacent to the school, or in any part of a building used for school purposes;
  3. Park district employees on park grounds, grounds adjacent to park grounds, or in any part of any building used for park purposes;
  4. Peace officers, community policing volunteers, firefighters, private security officers, emergency management workers, EMTs, or utility workers under certain circumstances;
  5. Correctional officers or probation officers who are performing their official duties;
  6. Employees of jails, prisons, and juvenile detention centers or treatment centers for sexually dangerous or sexually violent persons who are doing their official duties;
  7. State or local employees and officials doing their official duties;
  8. Transit employees performing their duties and transit passengers;
  9. Sports officials or coaches who are involved in any level of athletic competition; and
  10. Process servers who are engaged in their official duties.

The severity of each type of offense based on victim status depends upon the exact victim status in question. Most of them are Class A misdemeanors, but some of them are class 4 felonies.

Aggravated Assault Based on Use of a Firearm, Device, or Motor Vehicle

There are nine types of aggravated assault that fit into this category. It includes assaults where the assailant is:

  1. Using a deadly weapon, air rifle, or item that looks like a firearm;
  2. Discharging a firearm other than from a motor vehicle;
  3. Discharging a firearm from a motor vehicle;
  4. Wearing a hood, robe, or mask to conceal the assailant’s identity;
  5. Flashing a laser sight near a person;
  6. Using a firearm but not discharging it when the victim is some sort of law enforcement or first responder doing their job;
  7. Operating a motor vehicle in a manner where someone would reasonably fear they could be hit;
  8. Operating a motor vehicle in a manner where a law enforcement-type or first responder would reasonably fear being hit; or
  9. Recording the assault with the intent of disseminating the recording.

Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

If you have been charged with assault, you need an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney on your side. Christopher Cosley has represented many people in your very position and he wants to fight for you. Call the Law Offices of Christopher M . Cosley today at (847)394-3200.

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New Travel Restrictions for Suspects of Violent Crimes

August 20th, 2013 at 8:00 am

passportIn 2012, a Chicago Tribune investigation uncovered a high number of criminal suspects flee the state of Illinois to avoid sentencing.   It is a problem that existed across all levels of law enforcement.

The Tribune found that police departments have allowed over 60 fugitives escape justice when they ran to Mexico.  When they submit extradition paperwork it often overwhelms the county officials who need to process these requests.  Of the fugitives in Mexico, at the time of their investigation, officials were only seeking the deportation of 12 suspects.

There is also an issue with the judges who held bond hearings.  They set low bonds for suspects who were being charged with crimes such as rape and murder.  They also were not required to confiscate passports from suspects with dual citizenship.  But now Illinois lawmakers have passed a law to limit these avenues for suspects to escape justice.

Now judges are required to restrict the travel or seize the passport of suspects accused of first degree murder and other violent crimes. “This closes a huge loophole that was brought to my attention by the Chicago Tribune,” said one of the law’s sponsors, state Senator Ira Silverstein, a Democrat from Chicago.

Another loophole was closed by lawmakers this August.  There was an exemption in Illinois which allowed family members to aid and harbor suspects without being charged with a crime.  This allowed families to provide a suspect with money, drive them to the airport and even keep information from the authorities.  Now, family members found to have aided or abetted suspects of crimes can be charged with a felony.

With these new laws in place, it puts a greater importance on the legal advice of an attorney with a background in representing suspects of violent crimes.  Don’t play with your fate by trying to run from your charges.  Contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in Cook county today.

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Assault and Battery in Illinois

August 11th, 2013 at 9:56 am

Assault and battery is most often heard as a single term and not thought of as two separate criminal offenses, which is what they are. A judge can charge a person with one or the other, although they are typically paired together.

Assault is defined in Illinois law as, “conduct which places another in reasonable apprehension of receiving battery.”

Battery can be either “conduct causing bodily harm to another person or insulting, provocation or unwanted physical contact with another person.”

The main difference is that assault does not include physical contact or injury to the victim.

Once it is found that someone is guilty of battery, the court must then determine the degree, such as whether or not the crime was aggravated battery, which is more serious. Aggravated assault may be charged if the victim has a serious injury or if the defendant used a deadly weapon.

LucyIf someone is charged with assault and/or battery, he or she will typically argue one of the following:

  • Self-defense or defense of someone else
  • Defense of property
  • Consent of victim to contact (battery)
  • Lack of reasonable apprehension (assault)

As a Class C misdemeanor, assault usually results in jail time of up to 30 days and/or a fine of up to $1,500 or the defendant may have to perform 30 to 120 community service hours. Aggravated assault, though, is a Class A misdemeanor or a Class 4 felony, depending on the prosecutor.

Class A misdemeanor charges result in up to a year in jail and/or up to a $2,500 fine. Class 4 felonies, however, are punished much more severely with up to three years in jail and/or a fine of up to $25,000.

Battery is charged as a Class A misdemeanor, however, aggravated battery can be charged as a Class 3, Class 2, Class 1 or Class X felony. Class 3 is charged with two to five years in prison, but Class 2, 1 and X are charged with up to 30 years in prison.

Most often, courts decide to sentence defendants with probation instead of jail time, unless they are charged with a Class X felony, which is not eligible for probation.

Even for the same crime, there are many outcomes that can come from a court room, which is why it is important to have a great criminal attorney at your side. Contact attorney Chris Cosley in Rolling Meadows, Ill. for assistance with your assault and battery charges today.

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Lovers Quarrel on Valentine’s Day Turns Bloody

March 3rd, 2013 at 8:00 am

loveOn Thursday February 14th, a couple celebrated Valentine’s Day with a night on the town.  Skokie resident Elaine Cook, 51, and her boyfriend later returned to her apartment and got into a fight.  The altercation became bloody when Cook bit her boyfriend’s tongue.

At first, Cook requested that her boyfriend of ten months to leave.  She became even more upset when he attempted to kiss her goodnight.  Cook bit off a chunk of her boyfriend’s tongue.  She was arrested and charged with aggravated domestic battery and is being held in place of a $100,000 bail.

The boyfriend, who asked not to be named in the press, put the portion of his tongue on ice in an attempt to have it reattached.  An ambulance was called by Cook’s roommate and transported the boyfriend to Evanston Hospital.  Unfortunately, the doctors were unable to reattach the chunk of tongue due to a lack of blood flow.

At this point, the 47 year old man from Chicago is unsure what the next step will be.  He reported that “It’s just sad. The whole thing.  I’m in a lot of pain and I’m not sure what direction I’m going to at this point.”  He does know that he doesn’t want to see Cook in jail or have her life ruined.

Most people are not lucky enough to have charges dropped when a crime is committed.  The reality of this situation is that Cook might be tried and found guilty of domestic abuse.  If you have been accused of assault, it is important to have the legal guidance of a professional.  Contact a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer in Cook County to protect your reputation and future.

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Felon Facing New Charges Due to DNA Testing

December 31st, 2012 at 6:32 am

Felon Facing New ChargesMichael A. Escort, 52, a Joliet man currently serving time for a different crime has been convicted of a 1989 murder, according to the Chicago Tribune. Escort is currently in prison for an aggravated criminal sexual assault and aggravated kidnapping conviction, but is now also facing charges of first-degree murder of an Englewood woman named Mary Smith. Police News Affairs told the Tribune that “DNA evidence linked Escort to the murder and he was in the custody of the Illinois Department of Corrections when he was arrested for the murder.” Bond has been set at $750,000, but—because he is already in prison—Escort cannot be released on bond.

Post-conviction DNA testing is controversial. The most active group in favor of DNA testing is the Innocence Project, a non-profit associated with the Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University. According to Innocence Project data, “301 people in the United States have been exonerated by DNA testing, including 18 who served time on death row. These people served an average of 13 years in prison before exoneration and release.” Advocates of post-conviction DNA testing say it’s especially important for people convicted of crimes before DNA testing was available.

Yet opponents of DNA testing, like that that could sentence Escort to an even longer sentence than he’s already serving, say that DNA testing shouldn’t be treated as the end-all, be-all means of evidence. According to the New Scientist, “different forensic analysts can reach very different conclusions about whether or not DNA matches a profile from a crime scene.”

If you or someone you know has been wrongly accused of a crime—or is facing conviction due to faulty DNA testing—don’t go through it alone. The most important step to exoneration is contacting a dedicated Illinois criminal defense attorney today.

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

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Chuck E. Cheese Employee Accused of Stabbing Customer

October 20th, 2012 at 3:40 pm

An argument about a salad plate escalated into an alleged stabbing and an arrest. The Chicago Tribune is reporting that last month, 19 year old Chuck E. Cheese employee Shardonnae Pruitt was charged with simple assault and battery after stabbing a patron with a box cutter.

The incident occurred at the restaurant/arcade chain, Chuck E. Cheese’s Kedzie Ave.location. According to the report, a 40 year old male customer became very irate when Pruitt took his salad plate away from him. The man threw his eating utensils on the floor and demanded to see the manager. He told the manager he wanted to file a formal complaint. When the manager stepped away, eyewitnesses told police that Pruitt threatened the man and then pulled a box cutter and used it to stab the 25 year old woman that was with the man. The woman was treated at and released from a local hospital.

Pruitt was held by security until police arrived and arrested her. She has been charged with simple assault and battery. There has been no statement released by Chuck E. Cheese corporate about the incident. The Huffington Post is reporting that another crime took place at the chain’s Pittsburgh location. In that incident, a child’s birthday party was interrupted by violence when a woman was upset that her ex had invited his new girlfriend to the party. The woman then attacked multiple other women with a brick and a knife.

Minor disputes can escalate into serious charges. If you find yourself in a situation where you need to defend yourself against criminal charges, make sure you hire a qualified criminal defense lawyer represent you. Contact an experienced Rolling Meadows attorney today.

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Prosecutor Gets Stabbed and Battered by Convicted Felon

October 2nd, 2012 at 6:28 pm

On September 14th, a Cook County prosecutor intervened in a quarrel between four men which nearly cost him his life, reports the Chicago Tribune. He was on his way to meet a friend at Diversey Harbor to go fishing when he saw two men being chased by two guys in a park. The men were screaming for help, so the prosecutor intervened. He yelled to the chasers and told them to stop, but instead of stopping, they attacked the prosecutor. He managed to grab one of the attackers and tried to keep use him as a shield between himself and the second attacker, but he lost his footing and fell to the ground. The attackers hit him with a beer bottle and stabbed him several times.

The wounded prosecutor was helped to a nearby hospital by his friend who arrived near the park not long after the attack. The prosecutor had suffered injuries to his side, face, and under his right arm. The injuries were not severe, however, and he is recovering from the attack at home.

One attacker, Edgar Diaz, 21, was arrested a few days after the incident. He has been charged with attempted first-degree murder and aggravated battery. Diaz has been convicted before of unlawful use of a weapon and he has also been involved in other felonies, for example, armed violence and drug crimes. Diaz’s bond court was held on September 24.

Diaz is looking at a long prison sentence. His best option is to get legal help from experienced lawyers who can build a strong defense. Although Diaz probably cannot avoid a conviction, his penalties have the potential to be reduced. If you or anyone you know has been charged with a similar crime, contact a skilled and knowledgeable felony defense attorney in Chicago, Illinois.

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Tinley Park Man Accused of a Hate Crime against Bank Worker

September 14th, 2012 at 5:24 pm

On September 2nd, a representative of a bank visited a foreclosed home near the 6200 block of West 179th Street of Tinley Park.  This man was working on the outside the home when he was verbally abused from a neighboring home.  His name was not released but he is a 51 year old African American man.  The resulting altercation caused a Tinley Park man to be charged with a felony hate crime.

The neighbor accused of slinging racial slurs at this man is 47 year old Joseph Berndt, who resides at 17903 S. Highland Avenue.  He also yelled at this man and accused him of breaking into the foreclosed property next door.  Unfortunately, when this agent tried to explain his professional capacity to Berndt, he was answered by a beer can and a brick as well as racial slurs and insults.

Berndt went on the property to chase this worker away when the projectiles didn’t scare him off.  He was brandishing a lead pipe and swinging to allegedly harm this poor man.  As this man was fleeing, he ended up tripping onto the ground.  At this time Berndt is accused of choking this man while threatening to kill him.  Luckily, the man was able to escape Berndt’s grasp and call the police.

Berndt has said that he was under the impression that his neighbor’s house was being burglarized in an attempt to excuse his wild behavior.  While he has been accused of a felony hate crime, no more is known of his guilt or innocence.  If you have been accused of any sort of felony crime, count on a lawyer who can get you a favorable outcome in your dire situation, contact an experienced felony defense attorney in Cook County today.

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Police Find Suspect Hiding in Attic

July 26th, 2012 at 3:32 pm

A 31 year old man is in critical condition after being shot in the back several times. One of those bullets just missed the victim’s spine. Police say that the victim’s girlfriend walked outside of her house and saw him being held with a gun pointed to his head by a man she later identified as Christopher Boyd, 30. She begged Boyd to let her boyfriend go and he lifted the gun away. As the victim began to run into the house, Boyd began shooting at him.

According to a report on CBS Chicago, police received a tip later in the day from someone who claimed that the person who committed the shooting was hiding out in a nearby home.  Police received permission from the residents of the house to enter and search inside. As police were looking around, they noticed paint chips falling from the ceiling. They could also hear movement coming from upstairs in the attic. When they looked in the attic, there was Boyd, attempting to hide. He complied when told by officers to come down from the attic and was arrested.

The victim is expected to survive his injuries. Prosecutors did not release a motive for the shooting. Boyd was arraigned on a charge of aggravated battery with a gun, the judge denied bond, basing his decision on Boyd’s multiple felony convictions, which included prison time served for resisting arrest in a 2010 incident that injured an officer. He was paroled for that charge in May.

A felony conviction could mean a prison sentence, among other consequences that can last for years. If you’ve been charged with a felony, you need to hire an experienced, Cook County criminal defense attorney who can help protect your rights.

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