Search
Facebook Twitter Our Blog
The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley
24 HOUR ANSWERING | 847-394-3200
SERVICE

1855 Rohlwing Road, Suite D, Rolling Meadows, IL 60008

24 HOUR ANSWERING SERVICE

Archive for the ‘Cook County defense lawyer’ tag

Illinois Passes Another Troubling Eavesdropping Law

December 23rd, 2014 at 6:57 am

criminal rights violation, Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal defense lawyer, In the past the Illinois legislature passed a law that, among other things, made it illegal for law abiding citizens to record on-duty police officers doing their job. Fortunately, the Illinois Supreme Court struck down this terrible law, which was obviously unconstitutional. Illinois legislature has now passed another eavesdropping law, and while it does not have the exact same problems as the first law, it is still deeply troubling to anyone who cares about civil liberties or the rights of criminal defendants.

The New Eavesdropping Law

NBC Chicago reported on the new law, which passed the state Senate by a margin of 46 to four and is now awaiting the governor’s signature. It is supposed to focus on protecting “private” conversations. The prior law in Illinois made it illegal to record any conversation without having the consent of all of the parties involved. That is how prosecutors used it to prosecute citizens who recorded cops behaving badly. This new law will keep the ban on recording a conversation without every party’s consent, but will supposedly only apply to private conversations. However, that is not all the law does. It also dangerously expands the power of police to record citizens without seeking a warrant.

Law Expands Police Power

The new law would allow police to secretly record a suspect’s conversations for 24 hours without getting a warrant. Instead they would only have to get the permission of a prosecutor. In other words, they only have to get the permission of someone who is already on their side. This differs wildly from the previous requirement that they get a warrant to do such a wiretap. Getting a warrant requires that they prove to a magistrate (a neutral judge) that they have probable cause before they can start spying on a citizen. The old law allowed this sort of behavior under certain emergencies, like in a hostage situation, but the new law would allow much broader recording.

What About Body Cameras?

The new law, if it passes, will also make creating a comprehensive body camera plan for police officers more complicated. Unless police officers are required to consent to being recorded at all times in order to be officers, then they could argue that they should be allowed to turn the cameras off when they are having “private conversations.” These private conversations could include the very conduct and attitudes that the body cameras are designed to detect in the first place.

Criminal Defense Attorney

If you are charged with a crime, you will need the assistance of a trained and experienced criminal defense attorney. Contact the experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley and schedule a consultation today. We can discuss your case and determine what we can do to help you. If you are not charged with a crime, but a loved one is, please also feel free to call.

Police Deadly Force Examined on National Level

November 28th, 2014 at 12:14 pm

Illinois criminal defense attorney, Illinois criminal lawyer, Fergerson shooting, Everyday citizens are not the only ones whose behavior must conform to certain standards set by law. Police, too, are supposed to follow a set of provisions, many of them put in place by the U.S. Constitution, in carrying out their duties as representatives of the government. Failure to do so, in either case, could result in different consequences. One of the most extreme examples of police action in the context of carrying out their duties is the use of deadly force and the circumstances in which it can and should be used. A shooting death which occurred over the summer has brought this issue to the forefront of media discussions.

License to Kill

There is little doubt that police officers and law enforcement are allowed, in certain limited circumstances, to use deadly force when necessary. These situations include, but are not limited to, ones in which the police officer’s lives are in clear and obvious danger, or are facing a threat of significant harm or death themselves. The problem that the referenced report points out is that there is very little tracking of fatalities caused by officers’ use of deadly force and investigation into the matter to determine whether the use of force in a given case should be met with any consequences.

Usually, reports submitted to the FBI from police agencies only make it optional to include cases of justifiable homicide. This data also does not usually include how often police officers are criminally prosecuted for using deadly force. These cases are likely included within the other criminal killings reported by the agency without distinguishing it as an officer perpetrated crime.

Incomplete Data a Problem

Considering the recent shooting in Ferguson, officials are being reminded just how much this under reporting poses a problem in addressing the issue of police use of force. When there is such a lack of data and corresponding lack of evidence, it becomes difficult to distinguish situations in which rights were violated from those where action was justified. It also invited the public to a wide interpretation of facts, some of which are likely not true.

Congress has acted in the past to correct the lack of data issue, but a lack of federal funding caused the program to suffer over 10 years ago. Now, organizations are concentrating on the use of better databases as well as officer training and education to ensure proper procedures are being followed. Still, the system leaves much to be desired. Several major cities have reported no justifiable homicides in recent years, and some for several years in a row. It is unclear whether this is due to such homicides not occurring, or the fact they were not reported. The ultimate goal is transparency and information being readily available to the public.

Criminal Defense Attorney

If you or someone you know has been charged with a crime, contact the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley today to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced Rolling Meadows defense attorneys.

Continued Call for Treatment of Mentally Ill in the Criminal Justice System

November 6th, 2014 at 1:27 pm

Illionois prisons, Illinois criminal defense attorney, mental health treatment, The continued imprisonment coupled with lack of treatment of some criminal defendants who suffer from a mental illness continues to be a problem in the state of Illinois and across the country. The issue of the mentally in in the criminal justice system has been getting media attention recently, and with good reason. In fact, this firm has featured several blog posts concerning this topic in the recent past. Now, there is a renewed call for additional treatment of inmates with serious mental illnesses. According to a recent report, new research is bolstering the argument for treatment even further.

More than Mental Health Services

The report finds that in order to appropriately respond to the high number of mentally ill in the criminal justice system, the system needs to offer more by the way of treatment than just mental health services. The need for mental health treatment within the context of the criminal justice system stems largely from the fact that there is a relatively high number of defendants who suffer from such illnesses, some very serious, and this results in the justice system being the largest provider of treatment in the U.S. despite the fact that it is not equipped for the task.

Researchers are saying that the idea that untreated symptoms of mental illness cause criminal behavior may not be true. They are calling for new interventions for people with serious mental illnesses, beyond treatment courts and diversionary programs that have been developed and implemented over the last couple of decades. These efforts would specifically be aimed at those involved in any aspect of the criminal justice system who suffer from more serious conditions, as research has shown many of the same risk factors apply to them as to people who do not suffer from such conditions.

Potent Interventions

These researchers recently completed a study and published their findings in the International Journal of Law and Psychiatry. The study calls for more potent interventions for those who are mentally ill in the criminal justice system. This will include effective and accessible mental health treatment in addition to an understanding of the additional factors that place such a person at risk for criminal behavior. That way, certain risk factors can be identified as modifiable through intervention.

Risk factors identified by the researchers for criminal involvement in addition to mental illness included antisocial behavior, a tendency for criminal thinking, substance abuse and addiction, and exposure to trauma. Additional factors that come into play for these criminal defendant is whether they are unemployed or homeless. It is not uncommon for those in these situations to act out in response to stress, as they usually do not have good coping skills or support systems.

Criminal Defense Attorney

Overall, one of the main points of the study was that attributing criminal behavior solely to mental illness is an oversimplification of the problem and additional factors must be taken into account for an effective solution. Criminal behavior can often be attributed to a number of factors. If you have been charged with a crime, do not hesitate to seek the representation of an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney. Contact the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley today for a consultation about your matter.

Federal Action Renews Privacy Questions

October 29th, 2014 at 2:01 pm

Illinois criminal defense attorney, Illinois defense lawyer, police privacy issue, DEA, An recent report discussed federal action in a drug case involving the use of a fake social media account seemingly belonging to a criminal defendant who had been charged with numerous drug crimes. Allegedly, a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent set up a false account using photos and other personal information taken from a criminal defendant’s cell phone in order to get others to reveal incriminating information. Although the Justice Department is purportedly reviewing the case, a federal lawsuit ensued and the case was set to be heard in a New York Court in mid-October, but may now be mediated.

Privacy Considerations

This case is just one example of the privacy concerns that have been raised in different states across the country – including Illinois – specifically regarding the protection of privacy in light of developing technology. The law is clearly struggling to keep up with the changing world of social media, cell phones, and other technological developments. While the use of some of these technologies may be acceptable and legal within the context of a criminal investigation, it seems the line can easily be crossed into raising important privacy issues that both courts and law enforcement may find difficult to address.

Legal experts, too, seem to be struggling with the privacy in the age of evolving technology issue. Many of the rules of law regarding privacy protections are severely outdated compared to the technologies that are readily available to average members of the public in today’s society. The problem arises when trying to make new technologies fit these older rules. These technological advancements are prompting those in the legal field to question how they see items such as a phone and social media profiles.

Case at Hand

The case at hand presents an interesting set of facts for the court to consider in making a decision, if it comes to that. While law enforcement officials may routinely set up false social media accounts and profiles in their investigations, this case reportedly involves an agent using another person’s identity and information to do so without her consent. In addition, the defendant is arguing that she cooperated with law enforcement by turning her cell phone over, but not with the understanding that they would use the information they obtained in a different context other than looking for evidence of a crime.

Criminal Defense Attorney

Issues with police procedure can arise in any type of criminal case. It is important to enlist the representation of an attorney who can identify legal issues in your case and advocate for your rights. The dedicated Rolling Meadows defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley have successful experience representing clients in many types of criminal matters. Please contact us today to schedule a consultation to discuss your case.

Back to Top Back to Top Back to Top