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Archive for the ‘juvenile offenses’ tag

Criminal Record Expungement and Sealing

December 14th, 2018 at 2:17 pm

IL defense lawyerBeing convicted or charged with a crime has implications that last long after the prison or jail sentence has been served. A criminal record will undoubtedly haunt you for the rest of your life as you seek employment, apply for certain types of loans, find housing, and try to fit in with society again. Employment, in particular, can be difficult to procure if you have a criminal record, as employers often eliminate all applicants with records simply to protect themselves from negligent hiring lawsuits. Sadly, even innocent people are treated like criminals if they were arrested for a crime, but then never convicted. There are steps to take if you were arrested for a crime or convicted of a crime, such a expungement and sealing of criminal records, and a Cook County attorney may be able to help you in this process.

Record Sealing

Record sealing is the process of making a criminal record invisible to employers and the general public. Law enforcement, judges, and some other governmental entities may be able to access your criminal record even if it is sealed, however. And, not all crimes can be sealed. In fact, very few felony offenses can be placed under seal. Most misdemeanor crimes, however, can be sealed from public view. Although, misdemeanor offenses involving driving under the influence (DUI crimes), crimes of violence, and sexual crimes cannot be sealed, according to the Office of the State Appellate Director.

Record Expungement

Having an arrest record expunged is similar to having a criminal record sealed, except that in expungement, you are only seeking to have the arrest record erased so that public entities and employers can no longer see it. No matter what type of crime you were charged with, arrested for, interrogated about, and placed on trial for, it can be erased from the public record if you were found innocent. Your arrest record includes your fingerprints, mug shot, and more. Unfortunately, even an arrest record can seriously harm your future career and social standing within your community. Additionally, juvenile offenses, some probations, and some supervisions can be expunged from the public record as well. Record expungement involves complete destruction of the charges and offenses, unlike record sealing.

Contact a Cook County Record Expungement and Record Sealing Attorney

Record sealing and record expungement are long, complicated processes. Many people are denied simply because they became overwhelmed and did not understand how to properly file. Others are denied because their offenses are crimes that cannot be sealed, and they wasted time, money, and energy on a task that was doomed to fail. Whether you have recently been charged with a crime and need a criminal defense attorney, or you were previously charged and either convicted or proven innocent, the Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley can provide the legal assistance that you need. Call us at 847-394-3200 to schedule a free consultation today.



When Minors Get in Trouble With Alcohol, You Need an Illinois Juvenile Offenses Lawyer

May 11th, 2016 at 10:29 am

minors with alcohol, juvenile offenses, Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense AttorneyYoung people are often curious about alcohol, and sometimes their curiosity can land them into trouble. Rather than wait until they reach the legal age of 21 to buy, possess, and consume alcohol, juveniles find ways to gain access to alcohol, in violation of the law. Minors do not always understand the risks that they are taking, as well as the potential consequences of possessing, consuming, or trying to purchase alcohol when underage.

As a general rule, it is illegal for a person under the age of 21 to possess or consume alcohol in Illinois. A minor who is caught violating the law can face being charged with a Class A misdemeanor along with the suspension of his or her driver’s license.

License suspensions can last for three months when a minor is issued court supervision, six months when the convicted minor is a first time offender, and up to a year for a second conviction. Any third or subsequent conviction for a minor in possession or consumption of alcohol will result in a revocation of the minor’s driver’s license.  

Minor in Possession

Many teens and their concerned family members are sometimes surprised when a minor is charged with possession in Illinois—the minor may not have been physically holding or physically in possession of the alcohol in question. The alcohol might be in a backpack or car trunk, or might have even been sitting on a table near the minor when a party was broken up by the police. However, possession exists in two forms: actual possession and constructive possession.

Actual possession is what many people understand as physically holding the alcohol in your hand or on your person (i.e., a bottle of alcohol in your pocket). Actual possession makes sense to a lot of people—if you are holding an alcoholic beverage, you are clearly in possession of it. Yet, many people have trouble understanding constructive possession.

Constructive possession is based on the possessor’s intent to remain in control or possession of the alcohol, even if he or she is not physically in possession of it at the moment. A case of beer could be in your trunk, or you could have set down your alcoholic beverage nearby, but you would still be considered to have constructive possession of the alcohol.

Is There Any Scenario Where Minors Can Have Alcohol?

There are limited exceptions to the law when minors can have access to alcohol. These limited exceptions include the following:

  • Minors can have alcohol if it is with their parent’s consent and supervision while in the privacy of their home;
  • Minors can have access to alcohol if the alcohol is part of a religious ceremony; and
  • Minors who are 18 years old or older, but are under the age of 21, can have access to alcohol if it is part of an educational course.

Let Us Represent Your Child

Underaged minors get into to trouble with alcohol all of the time, and it is unfortunate. The conviction of a minor in possession of alcohol could seriously impact your child’s future, and it is important to diligently fight the charges against you child. Please contact a Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney immediately at our office. We will help your child throughout his or her case.


Illinois Legislature Considering Raising the Age for Juvenile Offenses to 20 Years Old

May 2nd, 2016 at 7:56 am

Rolling Meadows juvenile offenses, Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense LawyerAcross the country, there is a significant amount of variability as to when a teen is charged as a juvenile when he or she commits a crime. In some states, criminals are charged as adults as early as 15 years old. In other states, the juvenile boundary is set at 16 years old while several states set the limit at 17 or 18. Currently, in Illinois, the age for juvenile jurisdiction is 18 years old. However, the Illinois Legislature is considering a pair of proposed bills that would raise the age of juvenile jurisdiction to the age of 20.

The Illinois Bills Behind the Change in Age

A pair of bills could make this age change a reality in Illinois. Under HB6308, the Juvenile Court Act of 1987 would be amended such that people under the age of 21, i.e., those who are 20 years old and younger, who are charged with misdemeanor offenses would be treated as delinquent minors. Similarly, HB6191 would amend the Juvenile Court Act so that those under the age of 21 who are charged with felonies would be treated as delinquent minors by the courts.

Benefits of Raising the Juvenile Jurisdiction Age

Research has been conducted on young adults and has found that the young adult brain is still relatively immature compared to a mature adult brain, and a young adult’s brain is more akin to a teenager’s brain than to a mature adult’s brain. To say this another way, the brain of a young adult is still developing into an adult’s in his or her early and mid-twenties. Young adults in their late teens may still have difficulty managing certain emotions or exercising sound judgement. This makes young adults prone to make criminal mistakes and they are more likely to get into trouble with the law. Such enlightening research lends support to the idea that the age for juvenile jurisdiction should be increased to the age of 20.

The benefits of such a change to the law would allow for young adults who make criminal mistakes in their teens to be treated less harshly and would allow offenders to have a juvenile record, which is a criminal record that often does not follow the offender into adulthood, making it easier for the individual to obtain a job later in life.

While the proposed bills for raising the juvenile jurisdiction age to 20 are still in their early stages of review by the legislature, if they were to pass into law, more young people would be charged as juveniles. If you have a young person in your life who is facing juvenile criminal charges, his or her defense should be handled by a criminal defense lawyer who specializes in juvenile matters criminal defense.

Call The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

When a young person gets into trouble with the law, it can be scary for the young person as well as his or her family members. Juvenile offenses are just as serious as adult charges, and should be treated with immediacy and diligence. Please contact a skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer for help with your case. We can provide you with a consultation to learn more about your options.


Funding Approved for Meth Treatment Program

June 5th, 2014 at 7:00 am

drug charges, drug treatment programs, drug users, effective treatment programs, Illinois and meth, juvenile offenses, Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley, meth treatment program, Rolling Meadows criminal attorney, Rolling Meadows criminal lawyer, use of methamphetamineDrug use and addiction is a problem that runs rampant in the state of Illinois and across the country. The use of methamphetamine (meth) is a particular concern for residents of Illinois. In recent years, Illinois reported rising meth use along with an increased number of meth labs seized by police. Now more than ever, the importance of an effective meth treatment program for drug users is clear.

Treatment Program

There is hope for drug, and specifically meth, users in the state of Illinois. According to a recent news article, a nationally recognized meth treatment program based in Benton, Illinois, has secured continued funding. The funding includes a $1.2 million grant for the treatment program, which is geared towards serving the needs of juveniles who range in age from 10 to 18 years old.

Those participants are court ordered into the program, having been charged with juvenile offenses and, likely, often drug charges. Many of these juveniles have already attempted traditional treatment programs but still continue to use. This one-of-a-kind meth treatment program is seen as their last chance for success in recovery. Participants in this particular program have a higher success rate than the national average, with their recidivism rate at 40 percent as compared to 90 percent nationwide.

The program is part of a pilot project based in Franklin County. The secured funding is seen as a particular success given the state of the economy in Illinois. However, many are seeing it as money well spent. The results of successful treatment and the fact that many juveniles are getting a second chance at life are factors that make continuing the program worth it. This coupled with the creation of 35 jobs through the program will act as motivation to continue securing funding for the facility in the future.

Good News for Law Enforcement

Law enforcement is considering the continued funding for the program good news, since meth use is on the rise. Around the year 2000, police reportedly saw a sharp decline in use and meth related activity when many cookers were arrested and sent to prison and an ingredient used to manufacture meth was made more difficult to obtain by law. Now, a new method of cooking is producing more activity and increasing the incidence of meth use.

Criminal Defense Attorney

Whether you have been charged with a crime as a juvenile or with a drug offense, it is important to consult with an experienced defense attorney who can protect your rights and get you a desirable result. This often involves exploring treatment options for those who are struggling with addiction. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley have experience doing just that. Contact us today to schedule a consultation to discuss your matter. We serve clients in Rolling Meadows, Cook County, and the surrounding area.

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