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Archive for the ‘mistaken identity’ tag

Been Charged with a Hit-And-Run? Defenses Are Available

February 21st, 2019 at 5:45 pm

Illinois defense lawyerWhen someone is involved in an accident, it is natural for the fight-or-flight response to kick in. It is for this reason that many people flee the scene of an accident. This is particularly true if they do not believe there was major property damage or serious injury. Leaving the scene of an accident could result in a hit-and-run charge. Those charged will face serious consequences if convicted. Due to this, it is important anyone charged knows that there are defenses available.

Illinois Law on Hit-And-Runs

The Illinois Compiled Statute, 625 ILCS 5/11-402 explains very clearly that hit-and-runs are against the law. Those charged with this crime in Illinois may be convicted of a Class A misdemeanor, a possible license suspension, and even jail time in some cases.

In addition to the state statute, it is also law to report certain accidents to the Illinois Department of Transportation within ten days of the incident. Accidents that must be reported are those that result in death, bodily injury, or property damage over $1,500. This law pertains to contacting authorities. Even when minor accidents do not require reporting, all drivers involved are still required to stop. This is mainly so drivers can exchange information in case an issue from the accident arises later.

Defenses to a Hit-And-Run

Many people feel as though it is difficult to challenge a hit-and-run charge because the facts are typically unambiguous. Perhaps a witness wrote down the license plate number of the person that fled, or video surveillance captured the whole scene. While these facts may be damaging, it is important those charged remember that there are still defenses available.

Mistaken identity is a defense to many crimes, and an instance of a hit-and-run is no different. While witnesses, and possibly even those hit, may have a license plate number, that does not necessarily mean the owner of the car was driving. If it can be proven they were not, that individual is not criminally liable.

In order for a person to be convicted of a hit-and-run, the prosecution needs to prove that the individual knowingly left the scene of the accident. When accidents are severe, such as hitting a pedestrian, it can be difficult to convince a jury that the individual that left the scene did not know they were in an accident. However, there are times when the accident is so minor, it is reasonable to assume a person may not have even realized they were in an accident. This could be the case when a person is backing out of a parking space and hits another vehicle. If the prosecution cannot prove the individual knew they were leaving the scene of an accident, they have no case.

When an emergency situation is involved in the accident, the courts are also sometimes more lenient on those accused. For example, if someone was transporting another person to the hospital for an emergency, hit someone in the process and did not stop, the courts may decide to reduce the charges. They may even drop them altogether depending on the circumstances of the case.

Lastly, involuntary intoxication can provide a defense for hit-and-runs, as well as many other traffic offenses. For example, if an individual was unknowingly drugged or given sufficient amounts of alcohol, they would not be responsible for their behavior behind the wheel because they had no reason to believe they were intoxicated.

It is important to remember that in a hit-and-run case, or any criminal case for that matter, the burden of proof is on the prosecution. This means it is the prosecution’s responsibility to prove the defendant committed the crime, and they must do so beyond a reasonable doubt. These defenses challenge that burden of proof and are often enough to get hit-and-run cases dismissed.

Contact a Hit-And-Run Lawyer in Rolling Meadows That Can Help

Simply knowing the defenses for a hit-and-run charge are not enough. Those accused will face very many specific procedures that must be followed in court and be prepared to go up against very confident prosecutors. They will also be questioned extensively and could be presented with damaging evidence they do not know how to effectively argue in court. It is for this reason that anyone charged with a hit-and-run should contact a dedicated Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney that can help. If you have been charged with a hit-and-run, contact the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley today at 847-394-3200. We know the strategies that can be used in court to reduce your charges or get them dropped altogether. We are the best defense against hit-and-run cases in court, and we want to help you with yours. Contact us today for a free consultation on your case.

 

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-402

 

Defenses for Domestic Violence Charges

June 20th, 2018 at 9:40 am

domestic violence charges, domestic violence defense, Rolling Meadow criminal defense attorneys, mistaken identity, domestic violence allegationsDomestic violence is a major problem across the state. In general, the Illinois Domestic Violence Act provides remedies available to those who might be victims of domestic violence. When appropriate, abusers must face consequences for their actions. However, not everyone charged with domestic violence is guilty.

Overall, while the law is meant to protect victims, some individuals may choose to falsely allege domestic violence in order to advance their agenda. If you have been charged with domestic violence in the state, it is imperative that you fully understand the scope of the crime and how to mount a solid defense.

False Allegations

One of the greatest concerns in domestic violence situations is determining who is telling the truth. Situations can turn into a “he said, she said” battle that is hard to handle. With sympathy usually going to the alleged victim, the best way to prove the allegations are false is to poke holes in that person’s story. If you find inconsistencies and false statements that can be corroborated, it may be easier to prove that the alleged victim is making false accusations. False allegations are often used in child custody cases and divorce to get a more favorable outcome.

Self-Defense

Illinois law justifies the use of force against another when someone reasonably believes that type of conduct is necessary to defend themselves or someone else against another’s imminent use of illegal force. If the alleged victim was also attacking you or otherwise using force, alleging self-defense might be applicable.

Insufficient Proof

A prosecutor must meet his or her burden of proof for a defendant to be convicted of a crime. Providing evidence that prevents the prosecutor from meeting his or her burden of proof is a great strategy to get charges reduced or dropped altogether. In domestic violence proceedings, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant is guilty. Beyond a reasonable doubt means that there is no other explanation that can be arrived at from the set of facts of the case.

Mistaken Identity

Along with a defense of false allegations is the defense of mistaken identity. If the alleged victim blamed the wrong person, a defendant can introduce evidence that proves he or she was not even present or responsible for the abuse.

Consent

In very rare circumstances, an alleged victim might have consented to certain activity. In these cases, if you can prove that the alleged victim voluntarily consented, it could serve as a defense.

Let Us Help You Today

If you have been charged with domestic violence, you need an attorney who will advocate for your rights and use every possible defense. It is important to note that while there are defenses available, there is no guarantee that any of these defenses would guarantee acquittal or charges being dropped. While there is no guarantee any given defense will work, The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley can ensure you are putting the best foot forward. Our passionate Rolling Meadow criminal defense attorneys possess the skills, knowledge, and experience to achieve the best possible outcome for your circumstances. Contact us today for a consultation.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs5.asp?ActID=2100&ChapterID=59

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=1876&ChapterID=53&SeqStart=8200000&SeqEnd=9700000

When Mistaken Identity Could Be a Criminal Defense

December 29th, 2015 at 10:02 am

illinois defense lawyer, Illinois criminal attorney, defense to a crime,Countless innocent individuals are wrongly accused because they are mistakenly identified as the person who committed the crime. When this is the case, criminal defendants can and should raise mistaken identity as a defense to the criminal charges that they face. Mistaken identity can be a good defense and it is a defense of innocence.

Every defense strategy that is available to you should be utilized when defending against a crime you did not commit. Mistaken identity defenses should be raised in addition to other defenses that support your position and your criminal defense lawyer should attempt to discredit eyewitness’ identification of you, as well as refute the evidence against you.

Why Does Mistaken Identity Happen in the First Place?

Sometimes an eyewitness is available in a criminal case who swears that the defendant is the person he or she saw commit the crime. While the witness’ belief is completely wholehearted (meaning the witness does not believe that he or she is wrong and that the witness is not lying), the witness’ recollection of the defendant simply might be mistaken. A number of factors can affect a witness’ ability to recall what criminal perpetrator looked like. For instance:

  • Lighting conditions at the time of the crime can affect a witness’ ability to see the perpetrator;
  • The distance between the perpetrator and the witness can affect how well the witness can see the perpetrator’s face;
  • Weather could impact a witness’ ability to see the perpetrator;
  • Fear felt by the witness at the time of the crime can impact his or her memory, or ability to remember what the perpetrator looked like;
  • Time could alter the witness’ memory of what the perpetrator looked like, and could morph or distort the memory into someone else who looks similar to the perpetrator; and/or
  • Sometimes cues from law enforcement cause a witness to falsely identify an innocent person as a criminal. These cues are not necessarily overt or deliberate. Rather, police instructions could influence a witness’ memory. Similarly, a line up or photo array might could bias a witness’ memory of what the perpetrator looked like.

Mistaken identity is one of the leading causes of wrongful conviction and that is why it is critically important to raise this defense if it is applicable to your criminal case. Furthermore, if there is any evidence that places you somewhere else at the time of the alleged crime (i.e., you have an alibi), it is important to demonstrate this evidence as well. If you did not commit the crime in the first place, then every possible effort needs to be made to defend your rights. Your freedom and reputation are at risk if you are wrongfully convicted of a crime you did not commit.

Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

Being mistakenly identified as the perpetrator of a crime is unfortunate. You will need an experienced criminal defense lawyer to help you set the record straight. Please contact a passionate Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney immediately at the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley. We are happy to help.

 

Source:

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

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