Search
Facebook Twitter Our Blog
The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley
24 HOUR ANSWERING | 847-394-3200
SERVICE

1855 Rohlwing Road, Suite D, Rolling Meadows, IL 60008

24 HOUR ANSWERING SERVICE

Archive for the ‘new law’ tag

New Law Could Let People With Four DUI Convictions Get Restricted Driving Privileges

November 17th, 2015 at 2:48 pm

Illinois drunk driving attorney, Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal lawyer,One of the consequences of being convicted for driving under the influence is that your driver’s license will be revoked. Under the current laws of Illinois, it is illegal to drive a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or a combination of both. Upon conviction, a person will lose their driver’s license; more specifically, the Secretary of State will revoke their driving privileges.

The revocation period depends on the number of prior offenses:

  • For a first offense, license revocation is for a period of one year, and for those under the age of 21, revocation is for two years;
  • For a second offense committed in a period of 20 years, license revocation is for a period of and years;
  • For a third offense, license revocation is for a period of 10 years; and
  • For a fourth any subsequent offenses, license revocation is for life.

Needless to say, being convicted of a DUI seriously impacts a person’s life by taking away their ability to drive.

New Law Changes Driver’s License Revocation for Fourth DUI Offense

A new state law, referred to as House Bill 1446 or Public Act 099-0290, will be taking effect on January 1, 2016 and will allow individuals in Illinois who have been convicted of four DUIs to be able to apply for a restricted driving permit after completing five years of their revocation period.

In order to be eligible for the restricted driving permit under the new law, the applicant must demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence:

  1. That he or she has experienced a minimum of three years of uninterrupted sobriety from drugs, alcohol, or both; and
  2. That he or she has successfully completed a rehabilitative program or activity recommended by a licensed service provider.

While it is always a good legal strategy to fight a DUI charge that is pending against you so that you are not convicted of the DUI, if you ultimately are convicted, it is also important that you pursue the options available to you to get your driver’s license reinstated as soon as possible.

Under the new law, four-time DUI convictions can become eligible for an administrative hearing to request reinstatement of their driving privileges from the Illinois Secretary of State. In the alternative, these individuals can seek to obtain a restricted driving permit, which can be obtained for the purpose of transporting either yourself or a family member for certain reasons or purposes, including getting to and from work, school, substance abuse rehabilitative services or programs, for obtaining medical care and attending doctor’s appointments, or for getting children to daycare.

Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

Getting a first, second, third or subsequent DUI is a matter that can not be taken lightly. Your rights and your freedom are at stake. Consult with an experienced DUI criminal defense attorney about what options are available to you and whether you can get your driving privileges reinstated sooner rather than later. Please contact a skilled Rolling Meadows DUI attorney immediately. Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at (847) 394-3200 for assistance.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-501

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/publicacts/99/099-0290.htm

Illinois Considering Decriminalizing Certain Amounts of Marijuana Possession

May 25th, 2015 at 6:20 am

Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal lawyer, drug crimes, Illinios drug laws,Drug possession is one of the most prosecuted crimes in the American criminal justice system. Far too many people spend serious time in our jails and prisons for simply possessing a personal use quantity of a controlled substance. In fact, many of the people who are prosecuted possessed only marijuana. Fortunately, some states are taking steps to lessen or eliminate the penalties for marijuana possession. While Illinois has not yet taken steps to legalize marijuana possession, it is taking steps to decriminalize the substance.

Senate Committee Passed Important Marijuana Bill

The State Journal-Register reports that a state senate committee has passed a bill that would treat marijuana possession like a speeding ticket. The bill is called House Bill 218. If the current version of this bill were to become law it would make possession of 15 grams or less of marijuana punishable by a fine of up to $125. People who received one of these tickets would be eligible to have their records expunged after six months. To put this into perspective, 15 grams is roughly a half-ounce of marijuana, or enough to make between 20 and 30 joints. This bill already passed in the House by a vote of 62-53. The next step is for the full Senate to vote on the bill. If it passes there, it would go to the governor. Governor Bruce Rauner has not made any public statements about his position on the law, but he has made public statements supporting the idea of reducing our state’s incarcerated population. Supporting this bill would certainly accomplish that goal.

Bill Would Also Change DUI Standards

House Bill 218 would also change the standards for driving under the influence of marijuana charges. Currently Illinois law is out of touch with science. Under the current law, finding any amount of any marijuana metabolite in a person’s urine is enough for a DUI conviction. This is horribly unscientific because these metabolites can show up for weeks after a person uses marijuana while marijuana only affects a person for a few hours. If the new law were to pass, the standards for a DUI would require certain amounts of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol in either the blood or another bodily substance. Facts do not exist to support that these standards would actually prove intoxication from a scientific perspective, but they are at least less oppressive than the standards under the current law.

Call the Law Office of Christopher M. Cosley

If you have been charged with possession of marijuana or any other drug you will need the help of an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney. Don’t hesitate to call the Law Office of Christopher M. Cosley. We regularly handle drug cases so we understand both the legal and personal issues involved in these cases. We will steer you in the right direction given your personal circumstances. Call us today at (847)394-3200.

Important Change in Traffic Offense Cases

March 16th, 2015 at 6:37 pm

Illinois criminal defense attorney, Illinois defense lawyer, Illinois traffic laws,Not surprisingly, traffic offense cases are among the most common type of criminal law cases. It is much less likely for an average member of the public to be charged with a more serious crime than it is to be cited for a traffic offense such as a speeding ticket, reckless driving, or even drunk driving. Regardless of the severity of the offense, it is advisable for anyone who has been charged with any type of criminal matter to seek the advice of legal counsel in order to best improve the chances of a successful outcome in their case.

A Change in Penalties

The prevalence of citizens charged with a traffic violation makes any change in the regulations involving these crimes especially important for many members of the public. According to media reports , a bill that was signed into law last August says that drivers who are pulled over in the state of Illinois will no longer need to surrender their license in exchange for a citation. Previously, the law required motorists to hand over their license to law enforcement as bail.

The New Law

The bill is known as Senate Bill 2583 and was sponsored by Senator Michael Noland from Elgin and State Representative John D’Amico from Chicago. According to its terms, drivers in the state no longer need to post their license as bail as they previously must have done in response to being charged with certain traffic violations. Instead, the new law considers a cited driver’s signature on the traffic ticket to be enough to ensure their appearance in court for the matter, or be forced to pay a fine if they do not appear.

The new law went into effect on January 1, 2015. A provision contained in the old law allowing the Secretary of State to suspend motorists’ driving privileges who do not comply with the terms of the citation remains in effect. The stated reason for the new law includes the fact that many people use their driver’s license as a form of identification in situations that require it. If they lose it, they can run into problems in their everyday affairs.

Criminal Defense Attorney

While the new law does not require motorists to surrender their license prior to their court appearance, many traffic violations still carry the possibility of license suspension if a driver is found guilty of the infraction. The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley have successful experience defending clients charged with a myriad of traffic violations in the Chicago area of Illinois. If you have been charged with such a crime, contact our experienced Rolling Meadows defense attorneys today for a consultation.

Illinois Passes Another Troubling Eavesdropping Law

December 23rd, 2014 at 6:57 am

criminal rights violation, Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal defense lawyer, In the past the Illinois legislature passed a law that, among other things, made it illegal for law abiding citizens to record on-duty police officers doing their job. Fortunately, the Illinois Supreme Court struck down this terrible law, which was obviously unconstitutional. Illinois legislature has now passed another eavesdropping law, and while it does not have the exact same problems as the first law, it is still deeply troubling to anyone who cares about civil liberties or the rights of criminal defendants.

The New Eavesdropping Law

NBC Chicago reported on the new law, which passed the state Senate by a margin of 46 to four and is now awaiting the governor’s signature. It is supposed to focus on protecting “private” conversations. The prior law in Illinois made it illegal to record any conversation without having the consent of all of the parties involved. That is how prosecutors used it to prosecute citizens who recorded cops behaving badly. This new law will keep the ban on recording a conversation without every party’s consent, but will supposedly only apply to private conversations. However, that is not all the law does. It also dangerously expands the power of police to record citizens without seeking a warrant.

Law Expands Police Power

The new law would allow police to secretly record a suspect’s conversations for 24 hours without getting a warrant. Instead they would only have to get the permission of a prosecutor. In other words, they only have to get the permission of someone who is already on their side. This differs wildly from the previous requirement that they get a warrant to do such a wiretap. Getting a warrant requires that they prove to a magistrate (a neutral judge) that they have probable cause before they can start spying on a citizen. The old law allowed this sort of behavior under certain emergencies, like in a hostage situation, but the new law would allow much broader recording.

What About Body Cameras?

The new law, if it passes, will also make creating a comprehensive body camera plan for police officers more complicated. Unless police officers are required to consent to being recorded at all times in order to be officers, then they could argue that they should be allowed to turn the cameras off when they are having “private conversations.” These private conversations could include the very conduct and attitudes that the body cameras are designed to detect in the first place.

Criminal Defense Attorney

If you are charged with a crime, you will need the assistance of a trained and experienced criminal defense attorney. Contact the experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley and schedule a consultation today. We can discuss your case and determine what we can do to help you. If you are not charged with a crime, but a loved one is, please also feel free to call.

Expanding Crime Victim Rights up to Voters

November 4th, 2014 at 7:08 pm

victim advocate, Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal justice system, There has been much focus in the recent past on criminal justice reform and addressing issues within the system that may unduly prejudice criminal defendants. However, another key player in the criminal justice system is the victim of a particular crime, who is also granted certain rights according to the system. However, not every privilege afforded to victims within the context of the prosecution of a criminal case is always enforceable.

For example, at a defendant’s sentencing, the victim is usually granted the opportunity to speak through a victim impact statement that is presented to the court. Nevertheless, some courts have decided not to take such a statement and proceed to sentencing without hearing from the victim. As a recent report points out, victim advocates are calling for a change in the rules of criminal procedure in this area, making it a right to deliver a victim impact statement. The change will be left in the hands of Illinois voters on today’s ballot.

Strengthening Victim Rights

For many victims, addressing the court at a defendant’s sentencing with a victim impact statement goes beyond attempting to affect the sentence the judge will hand down. Many victims simply want their voice to be heard. In a more practical sense, the statement would also go on the record and be available to others who may be reviewing the case down the road on potential appeal. Supporters of this and other victims’ rights are advocating for the Crime Victims’ Bill of Rights to take effect in the state of Illinois. The proposal would ensure an enforceable right for crime victims who want to participate and have a voice in the criminal process as a result of the crime perpetrated upon them.

November Ballot

According to the article mentioned, a victim rights group known as Marsy’s Law of Illinois is advocating for an amendment to the Illinois Constitution that would guarantee that a victim or his or her surviving family members would have an opportunity to address the court if his or her rights have been violated. The amendment is included on today’s ballot and voters can choose to afford additional protections to crime victims by voting yes to the proposal. This amendment would strengthen victim rights by creating a method by which to enforce them, not just acknowledge them. It gives victims who have been denied certain rights a way to remedy the situation.

Criminal Defense Attorney

Not only can an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney advise you of your rights, but they can also advise you of what to expect from the other side in a criminal case. A change to victim rights in Illinois could represent important considerations for every criminal defendant to be aware of and take into account in defending their case. If you have been charged with a crime, do not hesitate to contact the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley today to schedule a consultation.

Proposed Law Targets Actions of Police Dispatchers

March 13th, 2014 at 12:19 pm

police, new law, Illinois, criminal defense, criminal lawyer, criminal attorney criminal defense lawyerIt is widely known that those who work in law enforcement are held to relatively high standards. Police officers are responsible for upholding the law, and for conducting themselves in an honest way in investigations and when communicating with suspects. While many may expect the same level of professionalism from those who work closely with law enforcement though, the fact of the matter is that most public employees whose positions overlap with law enforcement are not duty-bound to uphold the law.

 Different Legal Consequences

Police dispatchers regularly fulfill their duties, much like the police officers with whom they team, to serve and protect members of the public. However, they, unlike members of law enforcement, cannot be prosecuted for certain violations, such as revealing information to suspects regarding investigations targeting them. A recent article suggests that this may change if Illinois enacts a proposed law from Senator Dave Koehler from Peoria, which passed to the Senate last week.

 Proposed Law

Senator Koehler’s reasoning behind the measure is that it is inconsistent to hold the individuals who are responsible for supporting the police to a lower standard than the officers themselves regarding upholding the law. Under the proposed law, any dispatcher or other law enforcement agency employee who communicates information obtained through their employment, which delays or prevents the investigation of a crime or the apprehension or prosecution of a suspect, will be guilty of official misconduct. The crime will be considered a Class 3 felony.

 Past Actions have Gone Unpunished

Such a scenario played out a few years ago in a suburb of Chicago, when a dispatcher tipped off a local drug dealer that police officers were in the vicinity of his residence. Although the dispatcher was originally found guilty of official misconduct, the Illinois Supreme Court later overturned her conviction on the basis that no law covered the offense.

In another case, a former custodian in Pekin City was accused of collecting information from the police department regarding meth-related investigations in 2010 and 2011 during the course of her employment there and later sharing the information with suspects. She was charged in federal court for this, as well as for participating in a meth sales conspiracy, and is set to go to trial in May. She has not been charged on the state level, however, since no charge exists to address her actions.

It is the hope that the proposed law would effectively act to fill that gap in state law, and be enforced to cover the situations involving law enforcement employees and dispatchers described above.If you or someone you know has been charged with a crime in the state of Illinois, an experienced Illinois criminal defense attorney can defend your rights. Contact us today for a consultation.

Should Ex-Felons be Able to Vote?

March 3rd, 2014 at 12:47 pm

criminal justice reform, new law, Illinois law, criminal justice system, Chicago criminal defense lawyer, Illinois criminal attorneyAn article recently published by MSNBC explored the possibility for formerly incarcerated individuals to have rights restored that were previously made unavailable to them.

Criminal Justice Symposium

According to a speech Attorney General Eric Holder delivered at a bipartisan criminal justice symposium, the attitude toward disenfranchisement of those previously in prison is starting to be considered unnecessary, unethical, and not productive at all. He said that the laws were based on outdated notions rooted in exclusion and fear and, more seriously, have a disparate impact on minorities. The symposium, hosted by the Leadership Conference for Civil and Human Rights, is evidence of the push from civil rights groups for reform of the criminal justice system.

Issues Result from Current Criminal Justice System

Part of the problem is the large number, over 1.5 million, of people who are incarcerated in the United States. Almost six million have lost the right to vote as the result of laws that apply to those previously in prison. Legislators are working on laws to lower required minimum sentences at the federal level and grant judges more freedom in handing down extreme sentences.

On the state level, government leaders have made budget cuts by decreasing prison populations. Civil rights groups are hoping that current low crime rates are an indication that the time is right for changes to the criminal justice system.

Criminal Justice Reform a Bipartisan Issue

It seems that criminal justice reform is a subject both political parties can support. Last month, the Smart Sentencing Act was passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee. It is means to reduce the federal mandatory minimum sentences associated with certain drug crimes not involving violence, make certain defendants eligible for reduced sentences, and make the law retroactive which reduces the disparity in sentencing conditions for crack and powder cocaine. While the bill’s passing is positive evidence of bipartisan support, there is not as much agreement regarding increased punishment for crimes involving terrorism, domestic assault, and sexual violence against women.

Bipartisan Support may be Fragile

Still, given the current climate of combined low crime rates and economic concerns, this is seen as an opportunity to make changes that some considered long overdue. Not only will changes to the criminal justice system mean direct effects for the system itself, but indirect effects are also certain. For example, the article states that currently, the number of children in the United States with an incarcerated parent is about equal to the population of Chicago. There is a concern that the perceived agreement between parties regarding criminal justice is delicate and may be fleeting if other criminal matters are introduced and considered by Congress.

These and other changes in the criminal justice system and criminal laws in the state of Illinois are important and could affect your rights. An experienced criminal defense attorney is responsible for keeping informed about changes in the law and procedure. If you or someone you know is charged with a crime in the state of Illinois, contact us today for a consultation.

New Year Brings New Police Procedure

January 11th, 2014 at 11:24 am

The New Year is here, and with it come new laws and regulations that are going into effect. One change that could be especially relevant for criminal defendants involves new training for law enforcement in the use of Taser guns. According to WICS, who recently reported on the change, a new law went into effect on January 1st, 2014, and requires more training for police officers who may use Tasers on a suspect.

Taser gun IMAGEThe new law also requires police departments to keep detailed records of their training related to Taser use and when they are used in a confrontation with a potential defendant. In the event a police officer uses a Taser on a suspect, the officer will then be required to collect certain information from the suspect.

Some law enforcement agencies reported that it had already been their practice to keep records similar to those required by the law for the last seven years, and also regularly practiced displaying Tasers when an officer had one in his or her possession, something which was not required under the old rules. Displaying the Taser involves removing it from its holster and making sure the suspect sees it as if the officer is going to use it. At times, the suspect may start complying with law enforcement after seeing it and the officer can then secure it in the holster again without having to use it. Then, the protocol is for the officer to complete paperwork stating that they displayed the Taser, the suspect complied, and was not tased.

Under the new rule, all of the data kept by police departments will be required to be turned over to the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, who in turn will present a report containing the relevant information to the governor of the state of Illinois and the Illinois legislature.

While not all changes in police procedure may have a significant impact on the rights of a criminal defendant, violations of procedure could very well affect the outcome of a criminal case.  It is best to consult with an experienced Chicago criminal defense attorney who can discuss your case with you and protect your rights. Our attorneys have experience defending citizens in many types of criminal law cases, and we can advise you on the specific facts of your case. Contact us today for a consultation.

New Legislation Pending for Driving with Google Glass

December 26th, 2013 at 8:29 am

drivingGoogle Glass is being tested by a select number of people in anticipation of a roll out in 2014.  The concept of device is that it is a smartphone display that is worn on your face and looks like a pair of glasses.  It allows you to take pictures, view social media, make phone calls and even get directions by the sound of your voice.  While it is not for sale to the general public, legislators in Delaware, New Jersey and West Virginia have introduced legislation that seeks to ban driving while wearing Google Glass frames.

Lawmakers in Springfield are also interested in stopping distracted driving on the streets of Illinois.  Certain laws are already in place to accomplish this gial.  Currently, it is illegal to text while operating a vehicle.  Another law which will be effective in 2014 will outlaw the use of any handheld device behind the wheel.

Illinois State Senator Ira Silverstein, a Democratic representative from Chicago, recently filed a new bill that extends the law banning handheld devices.  Silverstein said that using these new Google Glass is “another way people will be distracted.  People’s attention to the road should not be interrupted.”

Detractors of this legislation point to the possible use of Google Glass which gives you turn by turn directions similar to a GPS device.  Even if your eye would drift to the small screen on your face, it is no different than checking other instruments in your car.

But the debate centers on the capabilities of Google Glass which has the ability to cause distractions to drivers with Facebook or YouTube videos.  The author of a similar bill in West Virginia, state Delegate Gary Howell, said that “it is incredible technology, but it doesn’t belong on the road.  There’s no way law enforcement officers can tell whether you’re watching a cat video or using your GPS system.”

If you have been accused of committing a crime behind the wheel, then it is important to seek legal representation.  Receiving too many moving violations can even result in the suspension of your license.  Contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in Rolling Meadows who can protect your rights.

New Laws to Improve Illinois Boating Safety

November 7th, 2013 at 1:00 pm

boatSenator Julie Morrison has sponsored a bill, which along with other measures will make waterways safer next year.  For Morrison, this bill is personal.  In 2012, her nephew, 10 year old Anthony Borcia was killed after falling off a tube on Petite Lake in Northern Illinois.  Morrison stated that “for me, this law is about turning a personal tragedy into an opportunity to protect other people.  Last summer, my nephew was killed by a boater under the influence of drugs and alcohol.  I’m doing everything I can to keep other families from experiencing our loss.”

The person responsible for Tony’s death was David Hatyina.  He was sentenced to ten years in jail after pleading guilty to operating a motorboat while under the influence of alcohol and cocaine.  His blood alcohol level while operating his boat was between .09 and .12, which is over the legal limit.

One measure that was signed into law would make the penalties harsher for people who operate boats under the influence.  If convicted of this crime, offenders would have their driver’s license suspended for three months.  It also requires boaters who are involved in boat accidents to submit to a breathalyzer or other chemical blood alcohol test.  This is how implied consent works when a driver is suspected of DUI.

The other measure would require certification before certain people can operate a watercraft.  People who were born on or after the first day of 1990 would need to complete a boat operation safety course and also receive certification from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.  Without this new law, only kids from the ages of 12 and 18 need to be certified unless they are driving a boat with their parent or 18 year old guardian.  The last bill would require boats who are towing a person to show an orange flag as a warning to other boaters.

Morrison also stated that “people need to know that drinking and boating is every bit as serious as drinking and driving.  I hope that requiring blood alcohol tests in the case of serious boating accidents will make some people think twice before they crack open a beer while they are operating a boat.”  If you have been operating any vehicle and pulled over for suspicion of DUI, you need help.  Contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in Rolling Meadows who can handle your case.

Back to Top Back to Top Back to Top