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Archive for the ‘harassment’ tag

Defenses to Disorderly Conduct

January 22nd, 2019 at 10:23 pm

Disorderly conductIL defense lawyer can seem like a minor crime, and the circumstances leading up to it can seem quite innocent as well. If convicted though, an individual can face harsh penalties, including jail time. It is for this reason that anyone charged with disorderly conduct needs to speak to a criminal defense lawyer in Rolling Meadows as soon as possible. There are defenses available, and an attorney will use them to give defendants the best chance of having the charges dropped or reduced.

Disorderly Conduct in Illinois

The Illinois Statute pertaining to disorderly conduct is found at 720 ILCS 5/26-1. It outlines a number of behaviors that are considered disorderly conduct. These include:

  • Breaching the peace;
  • False fire alarms;
  • Reporting a false bomb threat;
  • Threats of violence or destruction in a school or on school property;
  • Falsely reporting a crime;
  • Phoning 911 without reason;
  • Falsely reporting to the Department of Children and Family Services;
  • Falsely reporting a nursing home, mental home, or other facility for abuse or neglect;
  • Requesting an ambulance when one was not needed;
  • Falsely reporting violence;
  • Invasions of privacy/‘Peeping Tom’; and
  • Harassment by a collection agency.

The penalties sentenced for disorderly conduct will vary, depending on the specific crime that was committed. However, all those convicted will be required to perform between 30 and 120 hours of community service.

Defenses to Disorderly Conduct

For those charged with disorderly conduct, having a solid defense is critical. Even when there is no jail time sentenced, students can lose scholarships and those convicted will have a permanent criminal record. Fortunately, there are several defenses available.

The First Amendment guarantees a person’s right to speak freely. As long as the speech was not obscene, defamation, perjury, fighting words, or any other type of illegal speech, speech is generally protected. This is often used as a defense to disorderly conduct.

If there was no disruption of peace, there is often no disorderly conduct. When someone acts peacefully and legally, they cannot be charged or convicted of disorderly conduct. Even boisterous actions may not be considered disorderly conduct as long as the person charged was not disrupting or interfering with anyone else.

Private property is also often protected by the law. Legally speaking, disorderly conduct generally requires for the actions to be taken in a public place. When a person is on private property and acting in a legal manner, even if that manner is boisterous, they cannot be charged with disorderly conduct.

Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney in Rolling Meadows

Disorderly conduct may not sound like a serious crime, but the penalties can be harsh. Those convicted may even face up to one year in jail. If you have been charged with disorderly conduct, it is important that you speak to a skilled Rolling Meadows disorderly conduct lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney can help you build a defense that can get the charges dropped so you can move on with your life. Do not wait another minute. Contact the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley today at (847) 394-3200 for a free consultation.

 

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=1876&ChapterID=53&SeqStart=73600000&SeqEnd=74600000

 

False Accusations of Domestic Violence: False Claims of Stalking and Harassment

September 21st, 2015 at 7:23 am

Illinois domestic violence attorney, Illinois defense lawyer, Illinois criminal lawyer,Some instances of domestic violence are actually based on fact. One person in the relationship is overly jealous, jilted or has other issues that make them a violent person, and they act out against their spouse, significant other or partner in a physically abusive, controlling, or manipulative way. But there are many cases where allegations of domestic violence are false, and when false allegations of domestic violence are made, it can have serious impacts on the life of the person who stands accused.

When presented with the idea of domestic violence, many people automatically think of domestic battery, where one spouse, significant other or partner physically abuses the the other person in the relationship. But domestic violence can also include stalking and harassment.

Stalking

For example, stalking is considered a form of domestic violence because stalking occurs when one person (i.e., the alleged stalker) knowingly acts in a way towards another (i.e., the alleged victim) that makes the alleged victim scared for their safety. Stalking is codified in 720 ILCS 5/12-7-3.

Allegations of stalking arise often in situations where a couple is in the process of breaking up or trying to make up, or where one person in the relationship wants to reconcile while the other does not. But there are many instances where an alleged “victim” claims he or she is being stalked, when the actions of the alleged “stalker” do not rise to the level where a reasonable person would fear for their safety.

Defending against stalking allegations requires the skills of an experienced domestic violence criminal defense attorney who can analyze the facts, interview the alleged “victim” and get down to the reasoning behind making the allegations in the first place. Then the victim’s logic for making stalking allegations can be compared to what a reasonable person would have done or felt in the same situation. When a reasonable person would not have felt threatened or afraid, the stalking charges cannot stand.

Harassment

Harassment by telephone is another common form of domestic violence that may arise when one person repeatedly makes threats, exacts verbal abuse, makes obscene comments and other forms of harassment using a telephone. But the medium through which the harassment is communicated has been expanded to include electronic communications, text messaging and social media platforms. Harassment by telephone is codified under 720 ILCS 5/26.5-2.

Allegations of telephone harassment, and harassment through other forms of communication, are frequently seen in breakups where one party is still trying to reconcile the relationship. The person trying to reconcile might call the other repeatedly, trying to get in touch with them, but to no avail.

There may be other reasons the alleged “harasser” is calling. Perhaps the couple shares a child and one is calling about support for the child, but the other is deliberately ignoring their calls. Or a recently split couple may have to deal with the fallout of their break up, such as moving out, splitting assets and property or resolving other issues associated with the dissolution of their relationship. If the alleged “harasser” is merely acting responsibly by trying to elicit collaboration to tie up the loose ends of their break up, it is hardly harassment when the other party is being uncooperative and unresponsive by not answering the phone or other forms of communication.

Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

If you stand falsely accused of domestic violence, such as stalking or harassment, you need to aggressively fight the charges against you. Please contact a passionate Rolling Meadows domestic violence defense lawyer immediately. Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at (847) 394-3200 to speak with a skilled attorney.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K12-7.3

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K26.5-2

Illinois’ Hate Crime Law

July 8th, 2015 at 2:36 pm

Illinois defence attorney, Illinois criminal lawyer, felony crimes,In the wake of the tragedy in Charleston, S.C., there has been a great deal of public discourse about the reasons why people commit violent crimes. Those of us who handle these cases understand that a whole host of sociological, psychological, and physical factors come in to play and that in some cases it is simply impossible to know why these things happen. There is certainly some evidence that the shooter in the Charleston case may have been motivated by racism. But it is impossible for us to know if that was this young man’s exclusive motivation, and we will not understand his true mental state unless and until he undergoes psychiatric evaluation.

When race, or some other sensitive characteristic, such as gender or religion, plays a role in a crime, it often gets called a hate crime. Hate crimes have a very specific definition under the law, and it is important to understand exactly what a hate crime is.

What Is a Hate Crime in Illinois?

In Illinois, hate crimes are defined by statute. Under Illinois law a person commits a hate crime if, “by reason of the actual or perceived race, color, creed, religion, ancestry, gender, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, or national origin” of a person or group of people that person commits one of the following crimes:

  • Assault;
  • Battery;
  • Aggravated assault;
  • Misdemeanor theft;
  • Criminal trespass to residence;
  • Misdemeanor criminal damage to property;
  • Criminal trespass to vehicle;
  • Criminal trespass to real property;
  • Mob action;
  • Disorderly conduct;
  • Harassment by telephone; or
  • Harassment through electronic communications.

Of course, there are some obvious hate crimes missing from this statute. This statute takes crimes that would otherwise be relatively minor, and turns them into serious felony offenses because of the defendant’s motive. It is important to note that extremely serious felonies like murder and rape are not included on the list. Perhaps this is because of the harsh sentences that already result from those offenses. However, while murder itself cannot qualify as a hate crime in Illinois, a person could be charged with both murder and a hate crime at the same time.

For example, imagine the defendant who is accused of murdering someone and in the course of the crime he or she also breaks some of that person’s property, and he or she is motivated by one of the protected characteristics when he or she does so. That person could be charged with and convicted of both murder and a hate crime. It is important to understand that the federal government also has its own hate crime laws, so if a person is charged in federal court, those laws, not the Illinois law, would apply.

Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

If you are facing criminal charges then you have many important decisions to make. Perhaps the most important decision you will make will be when you choose a skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney. Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley. We have the experience and the tenacity to handle your situation the way it should be handled. Call us today at (847)394-3200.

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