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Archive for the ‘Class A misdemeanor’ tag

Why Resisting Arrest Is a Bad Idea

June 19th, 2019 at 5:19 pm

IL defense lawyer, Illinois criminal attorneyWhether it is for a traffic violation, a possession charge, or an accusation of any other crime, being arrested is a very scary thing. It is natural for the body’s fight or flight response to kick in, and for people to try and resist the arrest. However, this is a very bad idea. Resisting arrest will only lead to additional charges and, if an officer becomes injured, it is charged as a felony. Instead, those charged should comply with the arresting officer and then call a Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney that can help them beat the charges.

Resisting Arrest in Illinois

In Illinois, resisting arrest is defined as knowingly interfering with, or obstructing an officer’s attempt to make a legal arrest. It is most often charged as a misdemeanor, but this charge still holds serious consequences for those accused. If the offender injures a police officer while resisting arrest though, it is charged as a Class 4 felony. The extent of the injury is not considered, meaning even a minor injury to an officer is enough to result in felony charges.

The statute includes peace officers, firefighters, and correctional institution employees as those that can make an arrest. Many people think that resisting arrest requires a person to flee the scene or engage in a physical fight with the arresting officer. However, due to the vague language in the statute, an officer may charge a person with resisting arrest for simply refusing to put their hands behind their back, on a squad car, or refusing to lay on the ground.

Penalties for Resisting Arrest

When resisting arrest is charged as a Class A misdemeanor, the penalty is a maximum of 48 hours in jail, and between 48 to 100 hours of community service. If convicted, individuals are not eligible for probation in order to reduce the sentence of either jail time or community service. This makes resisting arrest charges difficult to escape.

The charges become much more serious when the officer is injured during the rest. This Class 4 felony charge can result in up to three years in prison and a maximum fine of $25,000.

Even though a misdemeanor charge may not even result in any jail time, it is important to consider the consequences of such a charge. Those convicted will have a prior offense on their criminal record. If they are charged with another crime in the future, the judge may even extend the sentence for that subsequent crime upon conviction.

Resisting arrest is usually one charge of many. Even if the original charge is dropped or the individual is found not guilty, the resisting arrest charge will likely still stand. If a person is convicted, they will face the same penalties even if they beat all other charges. It is for this reason that it is so important to never resist arrest. Although there are defenses available, it is much easier to defend against only one charge instead of two.

Call the Experienced Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense Attorney

When facing arrest, the best thing a person can do is cooperate with the police and let a skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer sort out the facts of the case afterwards. If you have been charged with resisting arrest, or any other crime, call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at 847-394-3200. We will hold officers accountable if they have made an unlawful arrest, or if they used excessive force during the arrest that was later used against you. We know how to defend innocent individuals against many charges, and we want to help you, too. Call us today for your free consultation.

 

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K31-1

What You Should Know About Underage Drinking in Illinois

August 17th, 2018 at 11:02 am

Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney, underage drinking, underage drinking charges, felony charges, Class A misdemeanorIllinois is not the only state that has strict laws regarding underage drinking. In Illinois, it is illegal for a person under the age of 21 to drink or possess alcohol. Even so, there are many individuals under the age of 21 that decide to drink alcoholic beverages.

Being charged with underage drinking can be detrimental to a minor’s future. Consider the following information that you should know about underage drinking in Illinois.

An Underage Drinking Charge is Considered a Class a Misdemeanor in Illinois

For anyone under the age of 21, it is illegal to possess or consume alcohol. Being found to have any amount of alcohol in your system as a minor can result in a Class A misdemeanor charge. It is also illegal for minors to transport open alcohol containers in their vehicles. This carries the potential of up to one year in jail and a maximum fine of $2,500.

Fake IDs Can Result in a Felony Charge

Often, what goes hand in hand with underage drinking is the underage individual using fake identification that states they are 21 or older. However, using a fake ID and being caught with it can bring about a felony charge. One can be convicted of a Class 4 felony.

The penalty for a Class 4 felony can be one to three years in jail and fines up to $25,000. The felony charge applies to “fraudulent” driver’s licenses. Fraudulent means that the ID was made by someone other than the federal government. Possessing an ID that contains incorrect information can result in a misdemeanor charge.

There is Zero Tolerance for Underage Drinking and Driving

Illinois has developed a strict zero tolerance policy for individuals under the age of 21 who have consumed alcohol and drove. If an underage individual is found to have any trace of alcohol in his or her system while driving, then he or she will be charged with a DUI. Furthermore, the driver will lose his or her driving privileges. Additionally, the first offense carries a three-month suspension of his or her driving privileges.

A second conviction for an underage DUI is a one-year suspension of driving privileges. Additional charges and convictions will result in harsher penalties. A blood alcohol concentration of .08 or more can result in a DUI charge and result in stricter penalties and longer suspension of driving privileges.

Contact Us Today for Help

Skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney Christopher M. Cosley knows that an underage drinking conviction can be devastating to a young person’s life. Do not let one charge result in a lifetime of consequences. Attorney Cosley is committed to your defense. Years of experience has resulted in an aggressive approach to defending cases. Contact us today to get your defense started.

Source:

http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/drivers/traffic_safety/DUI/uselose.html

Violating Probation Can Land You in Jail

July 20th, 2018 at 6:29 pm

Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney, violating probation, Illinois criminal cases, probation violation, Class A misdemeanorIn criminal cases involving jail or prison time, there is often a high probability that upon release from incarceration, an individual will be placed on probation. Probation requires a person to follow strict rules and guidelines on how he or she should conduct himself or herself as he or she transitions back to the real world.

As of this writing, an Illinois man is on his way to jail after violating probation. The man pled guilty to committing a string of burglaries and burning a vehicle. He pled guilty to two counts of burglary and one count of arson, according to the Daily News. As a result of this guilty plea, the man was placed on probation. One of the conditions of his probation was that he was not to get arrested for any additional crimes or offenses. He did not meet this condition. The man was arrested for two charges: possession of a knife and unlawful display of a title with a prior conviction. Both of these charges are considered Class A misdemeanors.

As a result of the arrest after being placed on probation, it was no surprise that the court revoked his probation. There was debate from the prosecutor and the defense on how much jail time was actually warranted or needed. Ultimately, the judge sentenced the man to 28 days in jail and another 48 months, or two years, of probation following his release. He is also to undergo additional testing and counseling.

Probation in Illinois

If a person is guilty of a crime, it is always the hope that he or she will not have to serve jail or prison time. Probation can be an excellent alternative to lengthy jail sentences. It allows the defendant to live his or her live and move forward, but still be under supervision to be sure he or she is abiding by the rules and staying out of trouble. A violation of probation puts that ‘freedom’ at risk.

After violating probation, a judge is likely to revoke probation and send the defendant to jail for the first time or back to jail.

However, there are a few defenses that could potentially be employed after a probation violation. These include:

  • Inaccurate testing (if probation was for drug or alcohol use);
  • Exigent circumstances preventing a defendant from meeting with the probation officer, such as a hospital visit; and
  • The defendant made every attempt possible to follow the rules of the probation and a violation was not his or her fault. For example, if a no contact order is placed against the defendant and he or she is avoiding the victim, but a chance meeting occurs, this could be a defense.

The above is by no means an exhaustive list of defenses. Probation violation defenses are specific to the terms of the probation.

Let Us Help You Today

If you have violated probation and are worried about the consequences, contact a dedicated Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney at The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley. We work diligently to present every possible defense to get the best result possible. Contact us today.

Sources:

http://www.effinghamdailynews.com/news/local_news/burglar-returned-to-jail-after-probation-violation/article_78019d3c-721b-5677-b574-75738f69b104.html

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=073000050K5-6-4

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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