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Archive for the ‘Class A misdemeanor’ tag

Reckless Driving in Illinois

May 18th, 2018 at 10:00 am

reckless driving, traffic offenses, reckless driving charges, speeding, Class A misdemeanorWhile many believe reckless driving to be a minor offense, in reality it can lead to serious consequences that have lasting effects. As such, if you have been charged with reckless driving in Illinois, we ask you to reach out to us today for professional help.

What is Reckless Driving?

In Illinois, reckless driving is governed by statute 625 ILCS 5/11-305. There are two situations in which a person can be found guilty of reckless driving:

  1. A person who drives “with willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property” is said to be driving recklessly; and
  2. A person who knowingly drives “a vehicle and uses an incline in a roadway, such as a railroad crossing, bridge approach, or hill, to cause the vehicle to become airborne” is driving recklessly.

Common examples of reckless driving include a person who is driving at a high rate of speed, someone who is driving erratically, or any other type of driving that might rise to the level of negligent driving. Driving erratically includes drivers who swerve in and out of lanes without notice and without the use of their turn signals.

Penalties in Illinois

If you are found to be driving recklessly in Illinois, the penalties are much higher than with a minor speeding ticket or traffic violation. Reckless driving is considered a Class A misdemeanor. A Class A misdemeanor carries up to 364 days in county jail and the potential for a fine up to $2,500. Additionally, a charge of reckless driving on your driving record also means points added to your license.

If you do not want to have a reckless driving charge on your driving record, there is the potential for an alternative penalty. Instead of the charge being added to the record, a driver can be placed under supervision. Supervision usually requires the payment of a fine, attendance and completion of Traffic Safety School, or both. However, once you use the supervision for the reckless driving charge, you can no longer be eligible for supervision for any additional reckless driving charges, or for a first DUI charge.

Additional Consequences to Reckless Driving

Upon conviction, you will receive fines, court costs, jail time, or possible supervision. There are other consequences to consider in a reckless driving charge, or any traffic-related offense:

  • License Suspension: The Illinois Point System has a three-strike rule. This means that if you receive three moving violations within a 12-month period, you may have your license suspended, although this may depend on your individual circumstances.
  • Increased Insurance Rates: With the addition of points on your license, your insurance premiums will likely go up.

We Can Help You Today

If you have been charged with reckless driving and want to hear about the options available to you, contact the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley. A dedicated Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney at our office is equipped with the knowledge and skill to explain your options and get the best results possible.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-503

http://www.cookcountycourt.org/ABOUTTHECOURT/MunicipalDepartment/FirstMunicipalDistrictChicago/TrafficSection/CourtSupervision.aspx

Aggravated Speeding: What You Need to Know

February 12th, 2018 at 9:21 am

aggravated speeding, aggravated speeding conviction, Illinois traffic offenses, speeding charges, Class A misdemeanorMany people drive a little fast every now and then. For instance, the car in front of you may be going too fast and you simply keep up with the flow of traffic. Or, perhaps you are running late for work and you need to speed up to get there on time. Perhaps you have a sports car and enjoy going fast.

Drivers can be pulled over for going 10, 15 and 20 mph over the speed limit. In these cases, the only punishment is a speeding ticket. You will have to pay the fine as well as take traffic school if you want to avoid insurance premium increases.

However, if you are caught going 26 mph or more above the speed limit, you will face hefty penalties. Going a few miles above the speed limit is one thing, but driving at an excessive speed is considered reckless. This is called aggravated speeding.

What is Aggravated Speeding?

Under 625 ILCS 5/11-601.5, aggravated speeding occurs when a person drives a vehicle at a speed that exceeds the speed limit by 26 mph or more. A person who drives 26-34 mph above the speed limit will face a Class B misdemeanor, while a person exceeding the speed limit by 35 mph or more will face a Class A misdemeanor. This is the most serious type of misdemeanor, and it is one step away from a felony.

Penalties for Aggravated Speeding

A Class B misdemeanor is punishable by six months in jail and a $1,500 fine. A Class A misdemeanor means up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. The penalties increase when the speeding occurs in a school or construction zone.

An aggravated speeding conviction stays on your record for seven years. Unless you have your record sealed, such a charge will stay on your criminal record for the rest of your life.

Court supervision may be an option for those facing aggravated speeding charges. If you have never faced such a charge previously, you may be able to complete court supervision and keep the charge from appearing on your driving record. The terms of your supervision may include fines, community service, and traffic school.

Let Us Help You with Your Case

Speeding is typically an infraction that involves a ticket, fines, and traffic school. However, excessive speeding can result in a criminal record. Do not let a single speeding incident affect your life.

If you are facing misdemeanor charges for a speeding ticket, you need solid legal defense to avoid fines and jail time. Get help from the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley. Talented Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney Christopher Cosley has helped many clients who have been accused of driving at a speed exceeding the speed limit by 26 mph or more. Contact us today for professional help.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/062500050K11-601.5.htm

https://www.isba.org/sections/trafficlaw/newsletter/2015/06/excessiveaggravatedspeeding

The Ramifications of Illinois Minor in Possession Charges

July 12th, 2017 at 7:00 am

Class A misdemeanor, juvenile crimes, minor in possession, Rolling Meadows juvenile crimes attorney, underage drinkingFor good or ill, underage drinking is a rite of passage for many young people, though it often leads to legal trouble for those involved.  While such issues are commonly seen as youthful peccadilloes, in reality an underage drinking issue can affect a young adult’s future in a significant manner.

If a parent or authority figure becomes aware of minor in possession charges entered against a son, daughter or ward, it is incumbent upon both them and the young adult to become aware of the potential consequences if convicted of such a charge.

Restrictions & Exceptions

Illinois has very strict regulations regarding minors caught with alcohol. Generally, if one is under the age of 21, it is illegal to either possess or consume alcohol. If they are observed doing so in public or in ‘a place open to the public,’ they may be charged with a Class A misdemeanor.

A Class A misdemeanor is the most serious class of non-felony offense, and under Illinois law it is punishable by a fine of up to $2,500 and up to one year in jail (not prison—the distinction is fine but important to observe).  

The law does state that a minor may legally consume alcohol at home—thus, not in a public place —without repercussions if they have the approval and direct supervision of a parent (or anyone standing in those proverbial shoes).  Other exceptions do also exist under the relevant statute; however, they are few in number and quite rare to encounter or experience.

One, for example, is that minors may possess or consume alcohol as part of religious ceremonies. While this is a clear-cut exception, it is one that applies to a significant minority of young people caught indulging in alcohol. Most of the time, the absolutist logic of the statute itself will apply—if a minor is caught consuming or possessing alcohol in public, then he or she will almost always be charged with that Class A misdemeanor.

Alternatives to Jail Time

While the majority of defendants in minor possession cases will be charged with a Class A misdemeanor, it does not mean that the majority will be convicted of such an offense. Judges also have considerable leeway to impose alternative sentences or add extra requirements that a convicted minor must fulfill. It is, however, required that the defendant be informed of the possible maximum sentence so as to ensure that any guilty plea is voluntary—if the defendant was not specifically informed and still pled guilty, receiving a sentence of jail time, it would open up the possibility of appeal based on lack of understanding of the potential consequences.

In terms of alternative sentences or additional penalties imposed, the most common choices are community service (as opposed to jail time) and court supervision or probation. Supervision in particular tends to be favored for first-time offenders, as successful completion of the supervision period without any further legal trouble leads to a dismissal of the charges and no permanent indication on the defendant’s criminal record.

Consult a Knowledgeable Juvenile Crimes Attorney

Very often, episodes of underage drinking are met with nostalgia or minimizing by friends and family. However, the law does not share such an indulgent view. The passionate Rolling Meadows juvenile crimes attorney at The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley will fight for you and do our best to achieve a fair outcome. Contact our offices today to set up an initial appointment.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=073000050K5-6-3.1

Driving on a Suspended License in Illinois Can Mean Big Trouble

March 22nd, 2017 at 7:59 am

suspended license, Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense LawyerAfter your driver’s license has been suspended, either for racking up too many points for traffic violations or getting a DUI, there can be many pressures to continue driving without a license. It may be difficult to find alternative transportation to your job or to school. Or, taking public transit may be a challenge. You may be concerned about asking your friends or family to drive you because you do not want to be an inconvenience. However, if the state has suspended your driver’s license and you choose to continue driving despite being legally stripped of your driving privileges, you can face serious consequences if you are caught by law enforcement.

Driving on a suspended driver’s license is a criminal offense in Illinois under 625 ILCS 5/6-303. The charges are usually a Class A misdemeanor, but you could possibly be charged with a felony under certain circumstances. Whether you are charged with a misdemeanor or a felony will depend on the reason why your driver’s license was suspended in the first place.

There Are Serious Consequences for Driving on a Suspended License

Driving on a suspended license is not a small offense like a traffic ticket. It is a criminal offense that could put you in jail and could saddle you with a large fine. It also means that you might be sentenced to do community service and you will have a criminal record. It is possible that it could also take even longer to get your driving privileges reinstated because the Secretary of State will extend your driver’s license suspension period if you are convicted of driving on a suspended driver’s license. There is also the chance that your license could be permanently revoked.

There are other consequences that go along with a driving on a suspended license conviction. For instance, if the offense was a felony level offense, it could prevent you from voting, getting certain jobs, running for political or governmental office, getting certain business licenses, and even owning a gun.

There are nuances in the law and certain rules and procedures that need to be followed as you try to get your driver’s license reinstated. An experienced license reinstatement attorney can be a huge help in making sure that you do not make any mistakes that could make your situation worse. Do not take a chance by not having legal representation. Contact a lawyer as soon as you can to help you handle this matter.

Speak with a Driver’s License Reinstatement Lawyer About Getting Your License Back

If you have had your driving privileges suspended by the state of Illinois, then you need to look into getting your driver’s license reinstated. An experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer can help you get everything in order to your driver’s license back as soon as you possibly can.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K6-303

Consequences of Driving with a Suspended or Revoked License

August 26th, 2015 at 7:43 am

Illinois defense lawyer, Illinois criminal attorney, Illinois criminal law,When your driver’s license has been suspended or revoked, it can become a significant inconvenience for you. You cannot drive yourself places and may have to rely on others for help.

Some people think that they can drive on a suspended or revoked license, just so long as they do not get caught. However, doing so could, in fact, lead to significant penalties and lasting repercussions on the driver’s life.

Being Caught Driving with a Suspended or Revoked License

Illinois law 625 ILCS 5/6-303 prohibits an Illinois driver from operating a motor vehicle while  his or her driver’s license is suspended or revoked. As such, drivers face a number of consequences when they are caught driving on a suspended or revoked license, and penalties for doing so vary based on why the driver’s license was suspended or revoked in the first place, and whether this is a first, second, third or subsequent offense.

As an initial matter, the length of the suspension/revocation is as follows:

  • License suspension: The Illinois Secretary of State will extend the suspension of the driver’s license by an additional and equal period of suspension, i.e., the suspension will be doubled in total length; or
  • License revocation: The Illinois Secretary of State will extend the period of revocation by one year from the date of conviction.

License Was Suspended or Revoked for a Moving Violation, Non-Aggravating Circumstance, or Non-Payment of a Fine

When license revocation or suspension is due to a moving violation, a non-aggravating circumstance, or non-payment of a fine, the driver will be charged with a Class A misdemeanor for a first, second, or subsequent offense, and may receive up to one year in jail. Second, third and subsequent offenses also require the driver to complete a community service requirement.

License Was Suspended or Revoked for Leaving the Scene of an Accident or a DUI

When license revocation or suspension is due to leaving the scene of an accident, or for a DUI, the driver will be charged with the following:

  • First offense: Driver will be charged with a Class A misdemeanor, and if convicted, the driver will receive either a 10-day minimum jail sentence or 30 days of community service;
  • Second offense: Driver will be charged with a Class 4 felony, and if convicted, the driver will receive either a 30-day minimum jail sentence or 300 hours of community service;
  • Third offense: Driver will be charged with a Class 4 felony, and if convicted, the driver will receive a 30-day minimum jail sentence; or
  • Subsequent offense: Driver will be charged with a Class 4 felony, and if convicted, the driver will receive a 180-day minimum jail sentence.

Reach Out to the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

If your driver’s license has been suspended or revoked, you should do whatever is necessary to get it back as soon as possible. Do not hesitate to contact an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer immediately. Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at (847) 394-3200 to discuss your case.

Offenses Related to Body Modification of Minors

July 22nd, 2015 at 5:38 am

Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal law, crimes against children,Adolescence is a time of rebellion. Whether a child’s family circumstances are wonderful or horrifying, a normal part of being a teenager is testing boundaries and beginning to assert authority over one’s own life. One way many teenagers, and sometimes younger children, try to assert some control is through body modification, including piercing and tattoos. However, there are strict regulations regarding providing these services to minors. If you provide either of these services to a minor in violation of these regulations, you can find yourself charged with a criminal offense.

Tattooing the Body of a Minor

One such offense is tattooing the body of a minor. A person is usually guilty of this offense if he or she tattoos a person under the age of 18. There is an exception to this law for doctors since they have to tattoo patients undergoing certain treatments for conditions like cancer. This law is so strict that people under 18 are not even allowed to be in tattoo parlors unless they are accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Tattooing for purposes of this law is defined simply as inserting pigment under the skin of a human being by pricking with a needle to create a visible mark. Interestingly a person who tattoos a minor cannot be prosecuted under this law if he or she him or herself is a minor, so long as the tattooing is not done at a tattoo parlor. There are also certain exceptions for registered tattoo parlors to help remove gang tattoos and tattoos given to victims of human trafficking. Otherwise, tattooing a minor is considered a Class A misdemeanor so it can result in not only a fine, but jail time as well.

Piercing the Body of a Minor

Piercing the body of a minor can also be a criminal offense. The laws are not quite as strict a those regarding tattooing, however. Minors can receive body piercings with the written consent of a parent or legal guardian. However, if the piercing is a piercing of some part of the oral cavity, there exist grim warnings that must be included in the consent form, which detail the negative potential outcomes of oral piercing including infection, nerve damage, and “life threatening blood clots.” This statute has a section providing exceptions for medical professionals and also specifically excludes ear piercing. Minors who perform piercings are not prosecuted under this statute unless they perform the piercing at a business where piercings are performed. Violation of this law is a Class A misdemeanor.

Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

If you have been charged with a crime or are being investigated you will need the help of an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney like Christopher M. Cosley. Call us today at (847)394-3200. You should never speak to law enforcement without having an attorney present. It does not matter whether you are guilty or not; the only way to make sure you are protected is to have an advocate on your side.

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