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Archive for the ‘Rollin Meadows defense attorney’ tag

Defending against Shoplifting Charges

December 30th, 2015 at 10:18 am

Illinois theft laws, Illinois defense lawyer, Illinois criminal attorney,The holiday season is a big time for accusations of shoplifting and retail theft to arise. Stores are packed with people, and purchase items might accidentally get placed in a purse, or might not get paid for. Retailers are on high alert and are extra accusatory this time of year, but when a person stands accused of stealing merchandise when they are innocent, it is a problem. Shoplifting under Illinois law is usually a misdemeanor offense, but when the value of the allegedly stolen item is more than $300 or the accused is a repeat offender, the charges can be upgraded to a felony. When you are facing shoplifting and retail theft charges, you need an experienced criminal defense lawyer to help protect your rights.

Defense Strategies for Shoplifting Charges

When it comes to shoplifting charges, a criminal defense lawyer who normally handles shoplifting cases can help you identify the best defense strategy that is available to you. Some more common shoplifting criminal defense strategies involve the following:

  1. The Value of the Item Allegedly Stolen Does Not Support the Charges. The item that is allegedly stolen has a value, and charges, and thus punishments, are usually based on the value of the stolen item. When evidence exists that the item was in fact taken by the defendant, a good strategy is to argue that the charges are incorrect and should be downgraded to a lesser offense.
  2. Lack of Evidence to Support the Charges against the Defendant. If there is insufficient evidence that the defendant shoplifted, then the case against the defendant should be dropped at the preliminary hearing of grand jury phase of the case, if applicable. When there is no video evidence, or no witness that can positively identify you as the suspect, there is a strong possibility that the case will be dismissed for lack of evidence.
  3. Lack of Probable Cause. Many people who are accused of shoplifting are detained by store security, and their personal items are searched for the allegedly stolen merchandise. But in order to subject the accused to these invasions, the security officer or store representative must have probable cause that the accused committed shoplifting. This means that there must be some evidence that the defendant committed the crime.

Defending against Shoplifting Charges Is Important

A shoplifting conviction will go on your permanent criminal record and you will have to face the punishments associated with your crime. That is why it is so important to consider every aspect of the case and explore every defense strategy that is available to you.

Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

Many people are accused of shoplifting. Retail theft could be accidental, or it could just be a mistake or a moment of poor judgement. Regardless of what the situation might be, if you are facing shoplifting charges, you need the help of an experienced retail theft lawyer. Please contact a skilled Rolling Meadows defense attorney at our office immediately. We are prepared to assist you with your case.

 

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K16-25

Juvenile Crime: Even Minor Offenses Can Have Huge Impact on Your Child’s Future

September 2nd, 2015 at 7:04 pm

Illinois juvenile crimes attorney, Illinois defense lawyer, Illinois criminal attorney,All too often, good kids get involved with a bad crowd and end up getting into trouble with the law. The crimes are usually the result of a moment of poor judgement (sometimes very poor judgement), but are not overly serious offenses. When teens get arrested for acts of vandalism, such as defacing property or damaging property, it can upset the whole family and can affect the teen’s life in unforeseen ways in the future.

Defacement of Property

One of the most common crimes committed by teens involves acts of vandalism or the defacement of property through graffiti art, marking or painting someone else’s property. Teens can face serious consequences, under 720 ILCS 5/21-1.3, if they are caught by police. For instance:

  • A first offense that causes less than $300 worth of damage is a Class B misdemeanor, and is punishable by a fine of up to $1,500 and up to six months of jail time;
  • A second or subsequent offense that causes less than $300 worth of damage is a Class A misdemeanor, and is punishable by a fine of up to $2,500 and up to 12 months of jail time; and
  • Charges are upgraded to a Class 3 felony when the defacement occurs to a school, church or farm equipment, which means the consequences are upgraded as well. Offenders face two to five years of jail time and a fine of up to $25,000.

Criminal Damage to Property

Another common crime committed by teens is damage to property. This may include destroying property by hitting it with a vehicle, shooting it with an air rifle or BB gun, or a number of other activities that destroys or damages the property of others. Depending how serious the damage to property is, under 720 ILCS 5/21-1 a teen can face misdemeanor or felony charges, jail time, and fines.

Juvenile Crimes Can Affect Your Child’s Future

It is important to fight charges of damage to property or defacement because juvenile convictions can have lasting impacts on a teen’s life. Juvenile courts have significant discretion over juvenile cases, so it is critical to consult with an experienced, local juvenile vandalism criminal defense attorney. Some of the most significant impacts to a teen’s life after a juvenile criminal conviction include:

  • Jail time;
  • Fines;
  • Difficulty getting a job in the future;
  • Developing a bad reputation;
  • The inability to work in certain types of industries (for example, child care providers often conduct background checks on prospective hires, and will not employ a person with any criminal history at all); and
  • In some cases, scholarships for college could be lost.

Contact the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

A criminal conviction, even as a juvenile, can have a serious impact on a teen’s future. It is important that you defend against the charges and fight for your rights. You need to get into contact with an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney immediately. Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at (847) 394-3200 for a consultation.

 

Sources:

www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=072000050HArt.+21%2C+Subdiv.+1&ActID=1876&ChapterID=53&SeqStart=64600000&SeqEnd=65400000

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=072000050HArt.+21%2C+Subdiv.+1&ActID=1876&ChapterID=53&SeqStart=64600000&SeqEnd=65400000

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.

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