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Archive for the ‘criminal damage to property’ tag

Juvenile Crime: Even Minor Offenses Can Have Huge Impact on Your Child’s Future

September 2nd, 2015 at 7:04 pm

Illinois juvenile crimes attorney, Illinois defense lawyer, Illinois criminal attorney,All too often, good kids get involved with a bad crowd and end up getting into trouble with the law. The crimes are usually the result of a moment of poor judgement (sometimes very poor judgement), but are not overly serious offenses. When teens get arrested for acts of vandalism, such as defacing property or damaging property, it can upset the whole family and can affect the teen’s life in unforeseen ways in the future.

Defacement of Property

One of the most common crimes committed by teens involves acts of vandalism or the defacement of property through graffiti art, marking or painting someone else’s property. Teens can face serious consequences, under 720 ILCS 5/21-1.3, if they are caught by police. For instance:

  • A first offense that causes less than $300 worth of damage is a Class B misdemeanor, and is punishable by a fine of up to $1,500 and up to six months of jail time;
  • A second or subsequent offense that causes less than $300 worth of damage is a Class A misdemeanor, and is punishable by a fine of up to $2,500 and up to 12 months of jail time; and
  • Charges are upgraded to a Class 3 felony when the defacement occurs to a school, church or farm equipment, which means the consequences are upgraded as well. Offenders face two to five years of jail time and a fine of up to $25,000.

Criminal Damage to Property

Another common crime committed by teens is damage to property. This may include destroying property by hitting it with a vehicle, shooting it with an air rifle or BB gun, or a number of other activities that destroys or damages the property of others. Depending how serious the damage to property is, under 720 ILCS 5/21-1 a teen can face misdemeanor or felony charges, jail time, and fines.

Juvenile Crimes Can Affect Your Child’s Future

It is important to fight charges of damage to property or defacement because juvenile convictions can have lasting impacts on a teen’s life. Juvenile courts have significant discretion over juvenile cases, so it is critical to consult with an experienced, local juvenile vandalism criminal defense attorney. Some of the most significant impacts to a teen’s life after a juvenile criminal conviction include:

  • Jail time;
  • Fines;
  • Difficulty getting a job in the future;
  • Developing a bad reputation;
  • The inability to work in certain types of industries (for example, child care providers often conduct background checks on prospective hires, and will not employ a person with any criminal history at all); and
  • In some cases, scholarships for college could be lost.

Contact the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

A criminal conviction, even as a juvenile, can have a serious impact on a teen’s future. It is important that you defend against the charges and fight for your rights. You need to get into contact with an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney immediately. Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at (847) 394-3200 for a consultation.



Breaking Badly: Criminal Damage to Property

March 4th, 2015 at 9:26 am

Illinois criminal defense attorney, Illinois defense lawyer, vandalism,We all know that if we break or destroy something that belongs to another person we are likely on the hook for the costs of replacing or repairing what we damaged. What some people do not realize until they find themselves in need of a criminal defense lawyer is that breaking the property of another is often a crime that can carry jail time.

Criminal Damage to Property

Illinois statute creates the offense of criminal damage to property. There are nine different ways a person can commit this offense. They include:

  1. Knowingly damaging another person’s property without the owner’s consent;
  2. Recklessly damaging another person’s property with fire or explosives;
  3. Knowingly starting a fire on someone else’s land without the owner’s consent;
  4. Knowingly injuring another person’s domestic animal without the owner’s consent;
  5. Knowingly depositing a stink bomb or similar smelly substance on someone else’s land or building to interfere with the use of the building or land without the owner’s consent;
  6. Knowingly damaging certain types of property to defraud an insurance company;
  7. Knowingly shooting a firearm at a train;
  8. Knowingly tampering with a fire hydrant or fire fighting equipment; and
  9. Intentionally opening a fire hydrant without proper permission.

Criminal Damage to Government Supported Property

Under Illinois law, government supported property is property supported at least in part by government funding. It is a crime to:

  1. Knowingly damage government supported property without the state’s consent;
  2. Knowingly damage government property with an explosive or fire;
  3. Start a fire on government supported property without the state’ s consent; and
  4. Knowingly use a stink bomb or similar item on government supported property without the state’s consent to interfere with the use of the property.

While many types of regular criminal damage to property can be misdemeanors if the amount of the damages is not too great, all types of damage to government supported property are felonies. The class of felony depends upon the cost of the damage done. If the damage to the property is more than $10,000 the offender will also face a fine in an amount equal to the value of the damage to the property.

Institutional Vandalism

A person commits institutional vandalism when he or she damages one of certain types of properties at least in part because of the actual or perceived race, creed, religion, or national origin of another person or group of people. It may be considered a “hate crime” version of property damage. The properties covered by this statute include:

  1. Places of religious worship or personal property contained therein;
  2. Cemeteries or other places used for burying or memorializing the dead or personal property contained therein;
  3. Schools, educational centers, and community centers or personal property contained therein; and
  4. The grounds adjacent to any of the above three places.

Even if the damage done is only valued at costing one cent, institutional vandalism is at least a Class 3 felony. If the value of the damaged property exceeds $300 or if the offender has a prior conviction for this type of offense, it is a Class 2 felony.

Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

If you are facing property damage charges, or are charged with some other crime, you need help. You should call the law offices of experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney Christopher M. Cosley. Our phone number is (847) 394-3200.

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