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Archive for the ‘probation’ tag

New Bill Could Lead to More Cases Tried in Juvenile Court

June 13th, 2018 at 4:18 pm

juvenile court, juvenile crimes, juvenile incarceration, probation, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorneyEveryone makes mistakes, but minors and young adults are prone to doing so because they are learning and developing. Of course, mistakes often have consequences, but they should not alter the course of a person’s life.

A new bill introduced by State Representative Laura Fine would let judges decide if misdemeanor cases of 18, 19, and 20-year-olds could be tried in juvenile court, rather than adult court, according to WSIL-TV.

Rep. Fine stated the bill was introduced to focus on misdemeanors to “give kids who make a mistake a second chance.” Science tells us that the brain is not fully developed until around the age of 26. Therefore, a young adult might not be in complete control for his or her crimes. The purpose is to not excuse criminal behavior, but to give the young adult the chance to rehabilitate through juvenile court rather than face the harsher penalties imposed in regular court.

Support for the Bill

This bill has a lot of support from groups like the Americans Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Illinois Parent Teachers Associations. These groups claim that younger adults (18-20) are likely to react to certain situations like a teenager. These situations include potential threats, stressful situations, or other emotional situations.

Critics of the Bill

With support also comes opposition. The groups that represent the state’s attorneys, probation officers, and detention officers think trying certain cases in juvenile court is not wise. Their argument is that at the age of 18, a person is able to do many “adult” things, such as vote, serve in the military, etc. Other concerns lie with the costs that might be associated with this change in law. More people who are charged, and subsequently convicted, of misdemeanors equates to more people in beds at juvenile centers, which could have incalculable costs. Finally, there is concern that this bill could be a slippery slope for treating adults as children.

The bill passed through a committee and is currently sitting in the Illinois House of Representatives for consideration.

While this bill is not yet law, and could potentially never become law, it brings about an interesting discussion regarding juvenile crime. Individuals need to be held accountable for their crimes, but juveniles and young adults present a fierce debate.

Juvenile crimes have punishments that involve both incarceration and non-incarceration. Incarceration can range from house arrest to adult jail or prison time for more serious offenses. Non-incarceration options include anything from a verbal warning to probation.

We Can Help You Today

If you have been charged with a juvenile crime, you need an attorney who is looking out for your best interests. Skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney Christopher M. Cosley is here to help. Attorney Cosley understands that kids make mistakes and is committed to getting the juvenile the best possible outcome.

Sources:

http://www.wsiltv.com/story/37683392/young-adults-could-be-tried-in-juvenile-court

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/BillStatus.asp?DocTypeID=HB&DocNum=4581&GAID=14&SessionID=91&LegID=109512

What Happens if I Violate My Probation?

May 14th, 2018 at 6:00 am

probation, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney, violate my probation, violating probation, Illinois criminal defensesWhen sentencing an individual upon conviction of a charge, a judge often has a variety of options available. One of the most common types of sentencing in Illinois involves placing an individual on probation.

Probation is a sentence that requires a defendant to adhere to certain supervision rules to ensure that the defendant is not committing other crimes and is being rehabilitated after his or her conviction. An individual must follow the terms of his or her probation exactly, otherwise he or she could be found in violation of his or her probation.

Of course, violating probation has consequences. If you have violated your probation, there are defenses and options available to you, and it is in your best interests to contact an attorney immediately for help.

What is Probation?

Individuals that are sentenced to probation are required to follow a set of rules established by the court. The terms of probation can vary from case to case; however, most often these rules include the following:

  • Reporting to a probation officer. This can be done either in person or over the phone, depending on the court’s ruling;
  • Refraining from using any and all illegal drugs;
  • Committing no crime;
  • Some type of restriction on weapons that one can have in his or her possession;
  • Attending counseling mandated by the court;
  • Paying all fines and court costs; and
  • Attending any scheduled court dates.

The above is not an exhaustive list of all probation terms, but is a list of the most common types of rules that must be followed. A violation of any of the above can be reported.

The court also determines the time that a defendant will be on probation. Making it through that period of time without any violations will result in release from probation and a defendant being able to move forward with his or her life. A violation of probation, however, can result in further punishment. 

If probation is violated, then a Notice of Violation of Probation will be filed with the court and will be mailed to the defendant’s last known address. A defendant must appear in court or a warrant will be placed for arrest.

There are different punishments available to the courts for violation of probation. These include letting a defendant continue with his or her probation (more common for first-time violators), lengthier probation time, or even jail time.

Contact Us Today for Help

At The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley, we know that mistakes happen. As such, a dedicated Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney at our office is ready to defend you with any applicable defenses. We are passionate about advocating for your rights and obtaining the best possible result under the circumstances. Contact us today for legal assistance.

Sources:

http://www.cookcountycourt.org/ABOUTTHECOURT/OfficeoftheChiefJudge/ProbationDepartments/ProbationforAdults/AdultProbationDepartment/FAQ.aspx

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=073000050K5-6-4

How Probation Works in Illinois

August 9th, 2017 at 9:40 am

how probation works, probation, Rolling Meadows probation violation defense attorney, probation violation, criminal defense representationProbation, not to be confused with parole, is a court ordered sanction that can be imposed on some criminal offenders as an alternative to incarceration. Probation affords an offender who has demonstrated a willingness to rehabilitate himself or herself the opportunity to remain a member of the community (and to stay out of jail) so long as he or she strictly complies with the conditions of his or her probation.

In Illinois, probation conditions vary from offender to offender and case to case but often include:

  • A curfew;
  • Mandatory participation in rehabilitation programs and/or counseling;
  • Prohibition on consuming drugs and alcohol;
  • Drug testing;
  • Paying restitution, attorneys fees, and/or fines;
  • Completing community service;
  • Staying within the state unless granted permission to leave;
  • Diligently searching for a job;
  • Leaving the victim(s) of the crime alone;
  • Reporting to a probation officer; and/or
  • Prohibition on possessing weapons.

In Illinois, each and every court ordered condition of probation is very important as violating just one of them means that the offender is in violation of probation.

What Does it Mean to Be in Violation of Probation?

When an offender is placed on probation the court clearly lists the conditions of probation that must be met. If the offender fails to meet any of these conditions, then he or she is considered to be “in violation of probation” and risks having their probation revoked. When this happens, then his or her probation officer may either issue a warning or request the alleged violator to appear in court so that a judge can determine whether or not the terms of his or her probation were violated.

Before an Illinois offender who is requested to appear in court under suspicion of violating the conditions of his or her probation can have their probation revoked, the prosecution must file a Motion to Revoked Probation. When this happens, a hearing is scheduled and both the person who allegedly violated the conditions of his or her probation as well as the prosecution have an opportunity to argue their respective sides of the matter.

If the court finds that the individual did in fact violate the terms of his or her probation, then the judge has the power to revoke probation and sentence the individual to serve time in jail instead. However, the judge also has the option of extending the individual’s probation, imposing additional conditions of probation, or ordering the individual to serve a brief stint in jail before being placed back on probation.

Clearly, being in violation of probation is no joke. Therefore, if you have been accused of violating a condition of your probation, then it is important that you know and exercise your legal rights. Most importantly, remember that your probation can not be revoked until you have had the opportunity to present evidence in your defense at your probation violation hearing, and be aware that you can have a criminal defense attorney represent you at this hearing.

Contact a Violation of Probation Defense Attorney for Professional Assistance

At The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley we provide aggressive criminal defense representation to clients accused of violating the terms of their probation across Illinois. Our experienced Rolling Meadows probation violation defense attorneys are here to help you. Call  847-394-3200 today.

Source:

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

What is Conditional Discharge?

August 19th, 2015 at 6:55 am

jail time, Illinois criminal justice system, Illinois defense attorney,Nearly everyone has heard of imprisonment as a possible sentence for a crime, and most people have heard of probation. But there is one unique resolution to criminal charges in Illinois that is unfamiliar to many throughout the state: “conditional discharge.” In addition to this, Illinois allows for another type of punishment, as well, known as “court supervision.”

What is Conditional Discharge?

Conditional discharge is a sentence that a judge can impose if they believe that neither a sentence of imprisonment nor one of periodic imprisonment or probation supervision is appropriate. Conditional discharge is similar to probation in that there are certain conditions you must comply with in order to keep your freedom, but it is different in that you do not have to report to or be supervised by a probation officer. The monitoring is done by the court instead of by a probation officer. Conditional discharge results in a conviction on your record. If you violate the terms of your conditional discharge and you get caught then the prosecutor can file a motion to revoke your conditional discharge. They do not have to prove you violated your conditional discharge beyond a reasonable doubt in the way they would have to prove a criminal charge. Instead, they must only prove it by a preponderance of the evidence. If the prosecution is successful, you could wind up with additional terms being added to your conditional discharge, or you could wind up in jail.

What is Court Supervision?

Court supervision is similar to probation. In this program, you are supervised by someone, you must comply with certain requirements over a period of time (like performing community service or taking certain classes), and if you get in trouble or do not comply with the terms of your supervision you may be put in jail. Supervision is different from probation, however, in that if you successfully complete court supervision, you will not have a conviction on your record. While you may still have to report the supervision to certain authorities in some situations, for the most part you will not face the consequences that those with convictions face. Supervision is typically not available for felonies, sex offenses, or some other offenses including some traffic offenses.

Call Christopher M. Cosley

If you are charged facing criminal charges in Rolling Meadows, you will need the help of an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney. You should contact the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at (847)394-3200. We will explain all of the possible outcomes in your case and will answer any questions you have about options like conditional discharges. Then we will fight for the best outcome in your case.

Endangerment and Abandonment of Children

July 20th, 2015 at 7:49 pm

Illinois defense lawyer, crimes against children, Illinois criminal attorney,Parenting a child is hard. It is one of the hardest things there is to do, and while there are plenty of books on it there is no one agreed upon instruction manual that works for parenting every single child. Because of this the government has traditionally given parents significant leeway when it comes to making parenting choices. However, particularly in modern times, there are some sorts of parenting issues in which the government does involve itself. While the physical or sexual abuse of a child are some of the most drastic cases, issues like child endangerment and abandonment can also result in criminal charges.

What Is the Crime of Child Endangerment?

While the crime of child endangerment seems like it could include almost anything, it has a narrow definition defined by Illinois law. In order to be guilty of this crime a person must either (1) cause or allow the life or health of a child under the age of 18 to be endangered, or (2) cause or allow a child to be put in circumstances that endanger his or her life or health. A common cause of this sort of charge is leaving a child unattended in hot car. As a general rule a child under age six is considered “unattended” if he or she is left in the car for more than 10 minutes, although the jury can consider other issues. Depending on whether the offense is a first offense and whether the child dies as a result of the endangerment, this crime can be a felony or a misdemeanor. If the person who endangers the child is the child’s parent there is a special program under which the parent can be placed on probation and, if the parent cooperates and works with the Department of Family and Children’s Services, the charges may be dismissed.

What Is the Crime of Child Abandonment?

Abandonment is another crime related to the care of children. This crime happens where a parent, guardian, or other person who has physical custody of a child knowingly leaves a child under age 13 without supervision by a person over the age of 14 for a period of 24 hours or more. This must be done without regard for the health, safety, or welfare of the child. There are multiple factors that are considered in these cases including:

  • The child’s age;
  • The number of children left unattended;
  • Any special needs of the child;
  • How long the child is left;
  • The condition and location of the place the child is left;
  • What time of day the child is left;
  • The weather conditions;
  • Where the allegedly abandoning adult went when he or she left the child;
  • Whether the child’s movement was restricted;
  • Whether the child was given a number to call if there were an emergency;
  • Whether the child was left with food;
  • Whether the conduct was because of an economic hardship or illness;
  • The age and capabilities of the person providing supervision for the child;
  • Any other factor that could endanger the health or safety of the child; and
  • Whether the child was left under the supervision of another person.

If the defendant in these cases is the child’s parent, then the defendant may be eligible for the same sort of probation leading to dismissal that is allowed in some child endangerment cases.

Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

When you are charged with a crime, there are many decisions you have to make. Will you post bail? Will you have a trial or seek out a plea agreement? If you are having a trial, what sort of defense will you use and what witnesses will you call? One of the most important decisions you make, however, will be who you select as your attorney. You will need the help of an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney. Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley today at (847)394-3200.

Supervised Release in Illinois

February 3rd, 2015 at 8:53 pm

Illinois defense attorney, sentencing guidelines, Illinois criminal lawyer,Most people who have not had dealings with the criminal justice system base their knowledge of that system on what they see on television. Unfortunately, television depictions of criminal law are not always accurate, and even when they are, they cannot possibly represent the criminal law of every state because every state has different laws. One example of this issue has to do with parole. People assume because of television that when someone is released from prison, he or she is released on parole. However, in Illinois, that is not the case. Illinois eliminated parole (except for those people who were sentenced long enough ago that parole was a possibility when they were sentenced) and replaced it with supervised release, a different system entirely.

Who is Subject to Supervised Release?

Illinois statute requires a program known as mandatory supervised release. The statute says that whenever someone is sentenced to prison and that sentence is not one of natural life, “every sentence includes a term in addition to the term of imprisonment.” If a person was sentenced under the law in effect before February 1, 1978, then that term is one of parole, just like is seen on TV. If the person was sentenced under the laws in effect after that date, the term is one of “mandatory supervised release.”

What is the Difference Between Parole and Supervised Release?

Under parole systems, which many states still have, the person is released before he or she serves every day of his or her sentence. The person has specific parole rules he or she has to live by, and if he or she violates one of those rules he or she might go back to prison to finish serving out the sentence. If the person does not break the rules then he or she remains on parole until his or her sentence has expired, and then he or she is let free. Under a supervised release system, the person serves his or her sentence in prison, and after it is served there is an additional term of supervised release on top of that sentence. The supervised release term is usually two or three years. It is usually served out of custody under supervision, but some offenders actually wind up serving it in prison either by their own choice or because they are unable to find an approved home plan.

Federal Court Cracks Down on Supervised Release Conditions

Under parole systems, there are a host of conditions that can be placed on a parolee’s release. However, conditions are different under a supervised release system. There are limits on what sorts of conditions courts can impose. The Chicago Sun Times recently reported that a U.S. Appeals Court overturned four sentences because of the supervised release conditions judges had imposed. These conditions included:

  • A ban on “excessive drinking” that did not define “excessive”;
  • A lifetime ban on a person being around children under age 18, including his own children, without a probation officer’s approval; and
  • An order to get a GED or go back to prison, even if the inmate lacks the intellectual capacity to pass the GED test.

Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

When you are convicted of a crime and sentenced to prison in Illinois, supervised release is mandatory. Before you plead guilty or go to trial in any case where this is a possibility, you need to seek the advice of an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney. Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at (847)394-3200. We will schedule a consultation to discuss your case.

Probation Supervision

July 20th, 2013 at 12:32 pm

LucyIf you have been charged with and found guilty of a crime in the U.S., you may have to pay a fine, serve jail time and/or be on probation for a certain length of time. Probation is usually after you get out of jail, although sometimes it is a less severe alternative, when you can live home, but you are still under strict supervision by law officials and you are still limited to what you can and cannot do.

When you are being supervised for probation, your officer makes sure that people on probation follow all the conditions that were set by the court when he or she was released.

Probation officers are also responsible for the safety of the community in which the person on probation is released into. Along with the safety of the community, probation officers also help with the health of the person on probation. This includes medical care, employment assistance and mental health treatment, basically anything that will help him or her to re-enter into the community.

If you have a probation officer, it is his or her responsibility to monitor you at all times, be a line of communication to the court and to keep you and people around you safe. They must interfere in a situation in which you are involved if they do not approve, and be sure that you know what the court expects from you and help you to achieve that.

Probation officers are not meant to be friends, they are doing their jobs as officers of the law. It would be much easier for criminals to not have to check in and be monitored at all times. If you have been accused of a crime, however, contact a criminal attorney to help you get out probation-free. Attorney Christopher Cosley can help you in a Rolling Meadows crime court today.

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