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Archive for the ‘criminal defense cases’ tag

The Use of Circumstantial Evidence in Illinois Criminal Cases

July 6th, 2018 at 4:06 pm

circumstantial evidence, criminal defense cases, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney, criminal proceedings, contradictory evidenceIf you turn on any crime drama show, chances are you have heard a prosecutor or defense attorney utter the phrase, “you only have circumstantial evidence.” As a viewer of a television program, you might just hear these words and not think about what circumstantial evidence is or the role it plays in criminal defense cases. Circumstantial evidence is not just a phrase you hear television lawyers throw around, however, but a real type of evidence that is at issue in criminal proceedings.

Direct vs. Circumstantial Evidence

There are two types of evidence that can be used in criminal trials. Direct evidence is actual physical evidence used to link a defendant directly to a crime. This could be a video surveillance tape, a fingerprint at the crime scene, or any other evidence that directly points to a defendant committing a crime.

According to Illinois jury instructions, circumstantial evidence is “the proof of facts or circumstances which give rise to a reasonable inference of other facts which tend to show the guilt or innocence of a defendant.” Essentially, this is evidence that is not actually rooted in hard, physical proof, but instead includes the circumstances that surround a defendant and point to their innocence or guilt. Further, Illinois instructs juries to use circumstantial evidence combined with other evidence presented in the case to arrive at a verdict.

Circumstantial evidence is used so that inferences can be made to link a defendant to a crime. Common examples can include resisting arrest, a motive to commit the crime, the opportunity to commit the crime, evasions by the defendant, denials, inconsistencies, the presence of a defendant at the scene of the crime, and any other conduct of the defendant that could be used to draw inferences to a defendant’s guilt.

Prior Illinois Law

In the past, Illinois made special considerations around the use of circumstantial evidence. Previously, circumstantial evidence was only allowed to be used exclusively for a conviction of a defendant if the evidence excluded every reasonable possibility that the defendant might be innocent.

Now, circumstantial evidence can be used in addition to direct evidence. All evidence is considered by the trier of fact (the jury) or a judge in the event it is not a jury trial. This evidence can all be used to determine whether the prosecution has proved beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant is guilty of the crime of which they are charged.

Let Us Help You Today

If you have been charged with a criminal charge, then you need an attorney. Passionate Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney Christopher M. Cosley will work diligently to present every piece of evidence available to prove your innocence. Attorney Cosley understands that circumstantial evidence can play a huge part in a criminal trial and will present contradictory evidence at every available opportunity.

Source:

http://www.illinoiscourts.gov/circuitcourt/CriminalJuryInstructions/CRIM_03.00.pdf

Juveniles Caught With Fake IDs in Illinois: The Consequences

November 17th, 2017 at 4:10 pm

criminal defense cases, fake ID laws, juvenile crime, Rolling Meadows juvenile charges defense lawyers, unlawful possessionAs the legal drinking age in Illinois is 21, it is not all that uncommon for underage juveniles to be caught with fake IDs. While such an offense may not seem like more than a youthful indiscretion, it is important to note that unlawful possession of fictitious identification in Illinois can be charged as a felony offense under some circumstances.

Unlawful Possession of Fictitious Identification

Under code section 15 ILCS 335/14A, it is a felony offense for any person in Illinois to:

  • Knowingly possess or display a fake or illegally altered ID card;
  • Knowingly possess or display a fake or illegally altered ID card in order to obtain a bank account, credit, a debit card, or a credit card;
  • Knowingly possess a fake or illegally altered ID card in order to commit credit card fraud, theft, or any other illegal action;
  • Knowingly possess a fake or illegally altered ID card in order to commit a violation which can be punished by imprisonment for one year or more;
  • Knowingly possess a fake or illegally altered ID card while also in unauthorized possession of a document or device that is capable of defrauding another; 
  • Knowingly possess a fake or illegally altered ID card while intending to use said card in order to acquire another source of identification;
  • Knowingly issue (or assist another in issuing) a fake ID card;
  • Knowingly change, or attempt to change, an ID card;
  • Knowingly possess, manufacture, provide, or transfer an identification document (either real or fake) in order to obtain a fake ID card;
  • Apply for a fake ID card for another person; or
  • Retain someone to apply for a fake ID card.

Offenders convicted of unlawfully possessing fictitious identification in Illinois can be found guilty of a:

  • Class 4 felony – If the offender knowingly possessed or displayed a fake or illegally altered ID card, applied for a fake ID card for another, or had someone apply for a fake ID card for him or her. However, if the offender is convicted of a second or subsequent violation then he or she is guilty of a Class 3 felony.
  • Class 4 felony – If the offender had two or more fake or illegally altered ID cards in his or her possession at the time he or she was arrested.

Additional Potential Consequences

In addition to the consequences outlined above, individuals who violate our state’s fake ID laws can find themselves in a heap of trouble. For example, the State of Illinois has the power to revoke or suspend an individual’s driving privileges if he or she is caught violating our state’s fake ID laws even if the individual is never convicted. Furthermore, anyone caught engaging in one or more of the following acts can be convicted of a Class A misdemeanor (punishable by a fine or up to $2,500 and up to a year in jail):

  • Knowingly allowing someone else to use his or her ID,
  • Using someone else’s ID, or
  • Altering a state ID or driver’s license.

Let Us Help You Today

If you or your child has been charged with unlawful possession of fictitious identification or a related offense in Illinois, contact the experienced Rolling Meadows juvenile charges defense lawyers of The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley without delay. Our firm handles a wide array of criminal defense cases throughout Illinois and has stellar references. Do not hesitate to contact us today for help.

Source:

https://www.illinois.gov/ilcc/All%20documents%20site%20wide/Education/Under%2021/Materials/MinorFakeIdEnglish.pdf

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=001503350K14A

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