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Archive for the ‘entrapment’ tag

Common Defenses to Drug Charges in Rolling Meadows

January 29th, 2019 at 7:02 pm

IL defense lawyerBeing charged with a drug crime, whether it is a simple possession charge or the more serious charge of drug trafficking, can have serious consequences. If convicted, a person may face high fines, jail time, loss of child custody, and loss of immigration rights. After a conviction, individuals also have a permanent criminal record that will follow them for the rest of their life.

While the situation may seem hopeless, it is not. There are several common defenses to drug charges, and a qualified attorney will use them to help anyone accused of committing a drug crime.

Entrapment

Due to numerous television shows and movies that have focused on entrapment, people are often unsure whether or not this can actually be used as a defense. In Illinois, it can. Entrapment occurs whenever a law enforcement officer, or other authority, incites or induces a person to commit a crime. However, if it can be proven that the person was going to commit the crime without any interference from the officer, this defense cannot be used.

For example, if a person sells drugs to an undercover police officer, that would not be considered entrapment. The person was likely to sell the drugs anyway and just happened to sell them to a police officer. That same person, however, may have prescription drugs in their possession that were prescribed to them. If an undercover officer repeatedly asked to buy the drugs and the person declined numerous times before finally giving them the drugs, that may be considered entrapment.

Informant Credibility

Police officers often rely on the public to solve crimes. They rely on eyewitness testimony and informants to provide them with the information they would to otherwise have. In some instances though, these informants are not always credible. An informant may have reason to turn over an innocent person to the authorities, such as in divorce proceedings or if the informant is simply acting out of revenge. When an informant is not credible, the information they are giving to the authorities is not considered credible either, and this can help build a solid defense.

Violation of Legal Rights

When someone is arrested for committing a crime, they have several legal rights. One of these is the right to a lawful search and seizure, as protected by the Fourth Amendment. When officers or other authorities violate this right, any evidence obtained through that search and seizure can be thrown out of court. The same is true for Miranda warnings, and many other rights those accused of committing a crime are entitled to.

Presence of Drugs

When an individual is arrested and charged with a drug crime, law enforcement officials must seize the drugs in question. If the prosecution cannot produce these drugs as evidence during trial, the charge will likely be dropped. In a case involving drug crimes, the presence of the actual drugs in question is one of the main pieces of evidence the prosecution has. Without it, there is often no case.

Addiction and Mental Health Issues

Substance abuse addictions and mental health issues are serious problems and are also often a part of many drug crimes case. When these issues are present, often those accused may be eligible for treatment rather than harsher penalties, such as being sentenced to jail. Some of these programs, such as court supervision, allow the accused to complete a program. Upon successful completion, the case is dismissed and a criminal conviction is avoided. That allows individuals to move on with their life without a criminal record following them throughout it.

A Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Provide a Proper Defense

It is one thing to know the possible defenses available in drug crime cases. It is another thing altogether though, to argue those defenses in court in order to get charges dropped or reduced. A passionate Rolling Meadows drug crimes lawyer though, can help those accused build and argue a strong defense. If you have been charged with a drug crime, call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at 847-394-3200. Many people have addictions, were in the wrong place at the wrong time, or are completely innocent of a crime and have still been charged. A proper defense will show this, so you can move on with your life. Contact us today for your free consultation and we will start reviewing your case.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/072000050K7-12.htm

https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/fourth_amendment

Criminal Defenses of Compulsion, Entrapment, and Necessity

May 27th, 2015 at 12:51 pm

Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal lawyer, Illinois criminal statutes,Sometimes the job of a criminal defense attorney is to convince a prosecutor, judge, or jury that the defendant did not do what he or she is accused of doing. In other cases, however, the defendant may have committed a crime, but he or she had a good, legally recognized reason for doing it. Three of these possible criminal defenses are compulsion, entrapment, and necessity.

Compulsion

Compulsion is a legally recognized defense in Illinois. In Illinois a person is not guilty of a crime if he or she believes that death or great bodily harm will be inflicted upon him or her, his or her spouse, or his or her child if the person does not do the acts that would otherwise be criminal. The person must be committing the acts that would otherwise be criminal under the threat or menace of imminent infliction of death or great bodily harm in order for this defense to apply. Historically some courts held that wives were entitled to a presumption of compulsion if their husbands were present when they committed what would seem to be criminal acts, but that is no longer the law in Illinois.

Entrapment

The entrapment defense means that a person is not guilty of an offense if his or her otherwise illegal conduct was incited by a public official or employee or agent for the purpose of obtaining evidence for the prosecution of that person. But this is not always a defense. Think, for a moment, of the cases where an undercover cop poses as a drug dealer or prostitute in order to catch people in the market for these illegal goods and services. The reason these cases usually do not involve entrapment defenses is that a person cannot claim entrapment if he or she was “predisposed” to commit the offense and the public agent, official, or employee merely affords them the opportunity to do so.

Necessity

Necessity is the defense that covers those situations where committing a crime is the lesser of two evils. If a person commits a crime, he or she is legally justified in doing so if he or she reasonably believed his or her conduct was necessary in order to avoid a public or private injury greater than the injury that might reasonably result from his or her own conduct. This defense only applies if the defendant is blameless in creating the situation to begin with.

Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

Are you being accused of a crime? Do any of the defense above sound like they might apply to your situation? Then you need the help of a dedicated Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney like Christopher Cosley. Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley today at (847)394-3200 and we can schedule a meeting to discuss your situation and what defenses, if any, may apply to you.

Solicitation and a Sting in the Suburbs

January 14th, 2015 at 5:21 pm

Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal lawyer, prostitution, When we think of undercover police work we often think of narcotics cases. Police go undercover to buy or sell drugs and catch people who do the same. But this is certainly not the only area where police work under cover. Sex crimes like prostitution and solicitation also provide undercover work for police and lead to arrests in the suburban area. If you have been arrested for a sex crime in the Rolling Meadows area, it is in your best interests to contact an attorney immediately.

A Sting in the Suburbs

The Chicago Sun Times reports that 14 men were recently arrested after meeting police officers in an undercover solicitation sting in the west suburbs. Undercover police officers placed ads for prostitution services on an adult classifieds website called Backpage.com. The men then allegedly went to a hotel to meet with the advertised prostitutes only to instead find undercover cops. In 2014, more than 130 men were arrested by Cook County Sheriff’s officers using this Backpage sting method. The unit has arrested around 700 people using this method since 2009. The men caught in this sting were charged with a violating a local Cook County public morals nuisance ordinance.

Solicitation Laws in Illinois

The public morals ordinance applied to these men has been around for a few years. It decriminalized being a john in a sense, in that it removed jail time from the picture. However, being punished under this ordinance can result in substantial fines, community service, and even the impounding of vehicles. These fines may be substantially greater than the punishments that were actually doled out back when these cases were prosecuted in criminal court. The upside, though, aside from no risk of jail time, is that prosecution under this ordinance does not result in an actual criminal conviction. This ordinance only applies in certain parts of Cook County.

State criminal law also addresses solicitation of a prostitute. The crime is called “solicitation of a sexual act.” Under the law, any person who offers someone money or anything of value to perform any act of sexual penetration or touching or fondling of the sex organs commits solicitation of a sexual act. This is a Class A misdemeanor normally, but if the prostitute is a minor or is severely or profoundly intellectually disabled it becomes a felony. Class A misdemeanors can be punished by up to a year in jail. The fine can be anything up to $2,500 per count.

Criminal Defense Attorney

When you or someone you love is charged with a crime, you need the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney. Contact the dedicated Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley and we will schedule a free consultation.

The Defense of Entrapment in Illinois

December 17th, 2013 at 8:20 am

Some criminal defendants find themselves charged with a crime as the result of police “encouragement,” which may involve an undercover officer or confidential informant interacting with the defendant in the commission of the crime. When a defendant in this situation discovers the extent of the circumstances surrounding his or her arrest, there are usually serious concerns and questions that arise almost immediately concerning the legality of the police conduct.  Illinois law provides guidance on this issue.

entrapmentThe law in Illinois provides for the affirmative defense of entrapment, which is meant to provide protection against law enforcement’s use of aggressive or reprehensible tactics in inducing criminal conduct. According to the relevant statute, a person is not guilty of a criminal offense if his or her conduct is incited or induced by the police or their agent for the purpose of obtaining evidence against them. See 720 ILCS 5/7-12.  However, this defense is not available if the defendant was predisposed to commit the crime and law enforcement’s actions merely afforded the defendant the opportunity or ability to commit the offense. Typically, the defense of entrapment is relevant in “vice” crimes, such as prostitution or drug deals, since these crimes are committed privately with willing victims who will not otherwise report the crime, which makes normal detection exceedingly difficult.

It is the defendant’s burden to raise the defense of entrapment and prove it to the necessary degree in order to be successful in getting the charges dismissed by the court.  Essentially, in raising the affirmative defense of entrapment, the defendant is admitting to the crime, but arguing to the court that the reason they did so was because law enforcement induced them into committing the illegal act.  On the other hand, if the government suggests the defense should not apply due to defendant’s predisposition, they must prove the same beyond a reasonable doubt in order to overcome the affirmative defense of entrapment. In order to prove disposition, the government may attempt to introduce evidence such as prior convictions or prior conduct, readiness of acceptance, admissions made by the defendant, and evidence as to the defendant’s reputation.

Properly and successfully arguing the defense of entrapment requires thorough legal knowledge and skill. If you or someone you know has been charged with a crime in connection with government involvement, speaking with an experienced Illinois criminal defense attorney about the facts of your case is critical. We can provide expert guidance in the defense of your charges, and advise you of and protect your rights while fighting for your best interests. Contact us today for a consultation.

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