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Archive for the ‘Illinois criminal statutes’ tag

The Differences Between Theft, Robbery, and Burglary in Illinois

July 24th, 2019 at 10:10 am

IL defense lawyer, Illinois criminal defense attorney, Many people use the terms theft, robbery, and burglary when referring to theft crimes. While these crimes do have similarities, they also have their differences. Of these, the most significant are the penalties you will face if charged. Due to this, it is important you understand the differences between these different crimes.

Theft

The Illinois Criminal Code of 2012 defines three circumstances that could constitute theft. These include:

  • Unlawfully taking property that belongs to another person;
  • Taking property from another person through deception or threats; and
  • Gaining control of property you know is stolen,

Theft is classified as either a misdemeanor or a felony. If the property stolen was valued at $300 or less, and was not taken from someone’s person, it is a Class A misdemeanor. If convicted, those charged face up to one year in jail and a maximum fine of $2,500.

When the property stolen is worth less than $300, but it was stolen directly from someone’s person, the crime is upgraded to a Class 3 felony. Theft is also charged as a Class 3 felony when the property stolen is worth between $300 and $10,000. This charge carries sentences of up to five years in state prison and a maximum fine of $25,000.

Theft of property valued between $10,000 and $100,000 is a Class 2 felony. The maximum sentence, if convicted, is a maximum of seven years in prison and a fine of $25,000. When the property stolen is worth more than $100,000, the crime is a Class 1 felony. A conviction can result in a maximum of 15 years in prison and a fine of $25,000.

Robbery

Robbery is a very similar crime to theft. It also involves taking property from a person. The difference with a robbery charge is that this crime also involves the use of force or the threat of force.

A robbery charge is upgraded to aggravated robbery when a person indicates to the victim, either verbally or non verbally, that they have a firearm. For example, if someone stole another person’s wallet while showing them a gun in their jacket, that is aggravated robbery.

Most robberies are charged as a Class 2 felony. If convicted, this charge carries a penalty of up to seven years in prison and a maximum fine of $25,000.

If the victim is older than 60 years old or has a disability, the crime is considered a Class 1 felony. Aggravated robbery is also charged as a Class 1 felony. Possible penalties include up to 15 years in prison and a maximum fine of $25,000.

Burglary

When people think of the term burglary, they typically think of a crime that involves some type of theft. That is not always necessarily the case, however.

According to 720 ILCS 5/19-1, burglary occurs when a person unlawfully enters a building with the intent to commit a felony or theft. If a person entered a building without permission with the intent to commit sexual assault, that would be considered burglary.

Burglary is always considered a felony and can be charged as a Class 3 to a Class 1 felony. If convicted, a person faces a possible five to 15 years in prison.

Call a Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense Lawyer that Can Help

Although theft, robbery, and burglary are all different crimes, they share one similarity. If convicted of any one of them, you could face serious jail time. If you have been charged with any of these crimes, call our skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorneys for help. At the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley, we will help you understand the charges you are facing, and try to get them reduced or dropped altogether. Call us today at 847-394-3200 or contact us online for your free consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www2.illinois.gov/osad/Publications/DigestbyChapter/CH%2049%20Theft.pdf

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K19-1

 

Hazing Is a Crime

July 27th, 2015 at 5:47 am

Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal lawyer, Hazing used to be a regular part of high school and college life, but now it is often considered a criminal offense. As a result of hazing going too far at multiple institutions and students being seriously hurt or even killed, a once normal right of passage is now forbidden by schools and universities. Engaging in some types of hazing can lead to a student being in serious trouble, not just with his or her school, but with the law as well.

The Law against Hazing

Illinois statute forbids certain kinds of hazing. Legally speaking, a person commits hazing when he or she requires the commitment of any act by a student or other person in a school for the purpose of induction into any group connected with the institution if two specific requirements are met. First, the act must not be sanctioned or authorized by the educational institution. Second, the act must result in bodily harm to any person. As such, harmless traditional types of hazing may not result in legal action, although they may still be against school policy and result in suspension or even expulsion under some school rules. However, any type of hazing that could result in someone getting hurt, including alcohol-related hazing, could result in criminal charges. Usually hazing is a misdemeanor, but if it results in death or great bodily harm, the charge can be a felony.

Failure to Report Hazing

Failure to report hazing is also a crime in Illinois. Schools cannot protect their students from being prosecuted under the hazing law. A school official can actually be charged with the crime of “failure to report hazing” when he or she does the following:

  1. While fulfilling his or her official responsibilities as a school official he or she observes an act that is not sanctioned by the school;
  2. The act results in physical harm to a person; and
  3. The school official fails to report the act to supervising educational authorities or, in the case of death or great bodily harm, law enforcement.

Violation of this law is a misdemeanor.

Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

If you or your child has been charged with a crime or is being investigated you will need the assistance of an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney like Christopher M. Cosley. Call us today at (847)394-3200. Neither you nor your child should ever speak to law enforcement without having an attorney present. It does not matter whether you or your child is guilty. If it is your child who is being investigated you may have questions for him or her, but demanding answers could result in your being forced to testify against your own child, so do not push him or her to answer your questions. Contact us instead.

Offenses Related to Body Modification of Minors

July 22nd, 2015 at 5:38 am

Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal law, crimes against children,Adolescence is a time of rebellion. Whether a child’s family circumstances are wonderful or horrifying, a normal part of being a teenager is testing boundaries and beginning to assert authority over one’s own life. One way many teenagers, and sometimes younger children, try to assert some control is through body modification, including piercing and tattoos. However, there are strict regulations regarding providing these services to minors. If you provide either of these services to a minor in violation of these regulations, you can find yourself charged with a criminal offense.

Tattooing the Body of a Minor

One such offense is tattooing the body of a minor. A person is usually guilty of this offense if he or she tattoos a person under the age of 18. There is an exception to this law for doctors since they have to tattoo patients undergoing certain treatments for conditions like cancer. This law is so strict that people under 18 are not even allowed to be in tattoo parlors unless they are accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Tattooing for purposes of this law is defined simply as inserting pigment under the skin of a human being by pricking with a needle to create a visible mark. Interestingly a person who tattoos a minor cannot be prosecuted under this law if he or she him or herself is a minor, so long as the tattooing is not done at a tattoo parlor. There are also certain exceptions for registered tattoo parlors to help remove gang tattoos and tattoos given to victims of human trafficking. Otherwise, tattooing a minor is considered a Class A misdemeanor so it can result in not only a fine, but jail time as well.

Piercing the Body of a Minor

Piercing the body of a minor can also be a criminal offense. The laws are not quite as strict a those regarding tattooing, however. Minors can receive body piercings with the written consent of a parent or legal guardian. However, if the piercing is a piercing of some part of the oral cavity, there exist grim warnings that must be included in the consent form, which detail the negative potential outcomes of oral piercing including infection, nerve damage, and “life threatening blood clots.” This statute has a section providing exceptions for medical professionals and also specifically excludes ear piercing. Minors who perform piercings are not prosecuted under this statute unless they perform the piercing at a business where piercings are performed. Violation of this law is a Class A misdemeanor.

Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

If you have been charged with a crime or are being investigated you will need the help of an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney like Christopher M. Cosley. Call us today at (847)394-3200. You should never speak to law enforcement without having an attorney present. It does not matter whether you are guilty or not; the only way to make sure you are protected is to have an advocate on your side.

Unlike Television, First Degree Murder Does Not Require Premeditation

May 11th, 2015 at 8:51 am

Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal lawyer, lawful justification,Many people base most of their knowledge of the criminal justice system on what they see on television. Some of the information on television is accurate, particularly when it comes to news reporting on police misconduct and other related issues. But many people’s beliefs about criminal justice come from fictional crime procedural shows, and often the information provided by these shows is inaccurate. People do not realize that their understanding is mistaken until they find themselves in need of the help of a criminal defense attorney. One such common misconception regards what constitutes first degree murder.

The Misconception: First Degree Murder Requires Premeditation

Television shows, books, and conventional wisdom leave many Americans with a mistaken belief regarding first degree murder. Most people believe that in order to be convicted of first degree murder the prosecutor must prove that the murder was premeditated — that the defendant planned it out or thought it out ahead of time. A perfect example of a premeditated murder would be one where a person hired an assassin to commit a murder for profit. This sort of premeditation is absolutely not required in order for someone to be convicted of first degree murder in Illinois. Premeditation may very well be required in some states, but each and every state has its own criminal code and its own definition for each crime.

What is Actually Required for First Degree Murder in Illinois?

Like other crimes, first degree murder is defined in Illinois by statute. There are actually three separate ways that a person can commit first degree murder in our state. All three of them require that the accused kill an individual without lawful justification. Lawful justification means a legal defense, like self defense or defense of others. Those justifications are not simple common sense justifications. Instead they are each defined very specifically by other statutes. The three types of unjustified killings that constitute first degree murder in Illinois are:

  1. Killings where, in performing the acts which caused the other person’s death the defended either intends to kill or do great bodily harm or knows that his or her acts will cause death to that individual or another;
  2. Killings where the defendant knows that his or her actions create a strong probability of death or great bodily harm to that individual or another; and
  3. Killings where the defendant is attempting or committing a forcible felony (other than second degree murder).

Notice that none of these type of murder require premeditation. In fact, some of them don’t even require that the state prove that the defendant even intended to kill the deceased.

Call the Law Office of Christopher M. Cosley

If you have been charged with a crime, you will need the help of a knowledgeable Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney. Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at (847)394-3200. When you call we can schedule an appointment to go over the details of your situation and figure out how we can best be of help.

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