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 ‘Rolling Meadows defense attorney’ tag

Defenses to Retail Theft

August 16th, 2019 at 9:51 am

IL shoplifting lawyer, IL defense attorneyIn May, a woman was sentenced to four years in prison after being convicted of stealing pillowcases from the Mattoon Walmart on July 4 of last year. Her charge was upgraded from a misdemeanor to a felony due to past convictions. No agreement between the defense and prosecution could be reached regarding her sentencing after she pleaded guilty.

The penalty was a harsh one, and one many people face when they are accused of retail theft. Some people face worse. It is because of this that when a person is facing charges of retail theft, they often imagine the worst. However, if you have been charged, it is important to understand there are defenses available.

Lawful Ownership

It is not uncommon for people to shop at the same store time and time again. When they have visited a store in the past and purchased something, they often return to the same store with the same product. The store owner or staff may see the item and accuse a person of retail theft, even though they had purchased it in the past.

Lack of Intent

Sometimes, people shop for many things at one time. Things become cluttered and a person may not realize they still have an unpaid item in the bottom of their cart, or elsewhere that is not readily visible. Upon leaving the store, the store owner or staff may accuse them of trying to steal the item, even though the individual had no intent to do so.

Impaired Mental State

If a person is under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time they are accused, it could provide the defense that they did not understand they were committing a crime. This sometimes goes hand in hand with lack of intent. For example, someone that is drunk is much likelier to forget they are holding something in their hand when they leave a store than a sober person is.

Additionally, if someone suffers from a mental disability, the defendant can argue they were not aware they were committing a crime.

Mistaken Identity

Like any other crime, sometimes store owners, staff, and law enforcement simply get it wrong and charge the wrong person. This often happens in retail theft cases. Store owners or staff see someone steal an item and follow them into a shopping center or parking lot where there are many people nearby. Sometimes they simply mistake the identity of an innocent person for someone that stole something from them. When the only evidence in these cases is the store owner’s word against the accused, law enforcement may lay charges.

Call a Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense Attorney for Help with Your Case

Retail theft is taken very seriously in Illinois, and can carry very harsh sentences for those convicted. If you have been charged, you need the help of an experienced Rolling Meadows theft attorney. At the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley, we know not everyone accused of a crime is guilty. After reviewing your case, we will prepare a solid defense for you to give you the best chance of a positive outcome. Call us today at 847-394-3200 or fill out our online form for your free consultation.

 

Sources:

https://jg-tc.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/woman-gets-years-in-prison-for-stealing-pillow-cases-from/article_f561050f-2cf9-5e35-b8e7-1505bb441453.html

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=072000050HArt.+16,+Subdiv.+10&ActID=1876&ChapterID=53&SeqStart=39600000&SeqEnd=40100000

 

Traffic Ticket FAQs

August 7th, 2019 at 9:48 am

IL traffic ticket attorneyAny time someone is pulled over for a traffic ticket, they have many questions. Will they have to go to court? Will they lose their license? Is traffic safety school an option? These are just a few of the most common questions criminal defense attorneys in Rolling Meadows are asked every day. The answers to them, and to other frequently asked questions about traffic tickets, are below.

What Should I Do if I Am Pulled Over?

If you are pulled over, it is best to cooperate with police. Turn off your engine and radio, and keep your hands visible. Do not reach for your driver’s license or insurance information until the officer asks to see them. Remain calm and friendly, and do not argue with the officer.

Do not admit guilt, even if the officer asks if you know why they pulled you over. The officer could be recording your response so they can use it against you later in court. Cooperate fully and, if the officer issues a traffic ticket, contact an attorney.

Do I Need an Attorney for a Traffic Ticket?

For certain offenses, such as driving over 26 miles per hour the posted speed limit, you will absolutely need an attorney to represent you in court. Sometimes though, even minor traffic offenses will require an attorney, depending on the facts of your case, such as if you have several points on your license already. After receiving any traffic ticket, you should call an attorney that can advise you of your legal options.

Will I Have to Go to Court?

Your traffic ticket will state whether you have to attend court for the offense. In most cases, drivers only have to appear if a conviction will result in jail time or an automatic license suspension. However, mailing in payment for the offense is considered a guilty plea. This is entered onto your public driving record, which can place you at risk for suspension in the future. As such, you may choose to go to court to fight the ticket, even if you are not required to.

Will I Lose My License?

In Illinois, drivers over the age of 21 that receive convictions for three moving violations in the span of one year will likely have their license suspended. Drivers under the age of 21 must only have two convictions for moving violations over the course of two years to have their license suspended. Certain offenses include penalties of automatic license suspension. These offenses include passing a stopped school bus or failing to yield to an emergency vehicle.

Will My Auto Insurance Rates Increase?

If you are convicted of a traffic violation, your auto insurance rates will likely increase. The amount they increase will depend on the nature of the situation and the offense you received the ticket for. If the ticket is dismissed, you are placed on court supervision, or are found not guilty, the offense is not made part of your public driving record. As such, your auto insurance rates will not increase.

Is Traffic Safety School an Option?

Individuals with a clean driving record are sometimes placed on court supervision and given the opportunity to attend traffic safety school. This is a good option, as you will not be convicted of the offense, and the ticket will not appear on your public driving record. As such, you will be less likely to lose your license in the future, and your insurance rates will not increase. While you may be able to request traffic safety school by mail, these cases are most successful when you appear in court to make the request.

Contact an Illinois Criminal Defense Lawyer for Help with Your Ticket

Getting a traffic ticket does not sound like a major event to many. However, under certain circumstances, traffic tickets can have a very detrimental impact on those that receive them. If you have received a ticket and are worried about losing your license or have to appear in court, you must speak with our skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyers today. Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at 847-394-3200 or contact us online for your free consultation. We will help prepare you for court and give you the best chance of keeping your license.

 

Sources:

https://www.einsurance.com/insurance-guide/illinois/auto-insurance/

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=062500050HCh.+6+Art.+II&ActID=1815&ChapterID=49&SeqStart=85500000&SeqEnd=87500000

Should Illinois Raise the Age for Juvenile Offenders?

July 31st, 2019 at 10:19 am

IL defense attorney, Illinois juvenile law attorney, The law on juvenile delinquents in Illinois is garnering international attention. Together, the Justice Lab and Juvenile Justice Initiative are meeting with individuals from Germany and Croatia that are involved in the juvenile justice system in their own countries. Among them are prosecutors, judges, and probation leaders. Their hope is to create better strategies to deal with juvenile delinquents in Illinois so the state can see reduced recidivism rates and help enable the state’s youth for a better tomorrow. One of the main factors they are considering is raising the age of juvenile delinquents in the state.

The Current Law

Currently, anyone that is 18 or younger and charged with a crime is considered a juvenile delinquent. Historically, anyone charged with a felony was charged in adult court, regardless of their age. That law was changed in 2014 so that those under the age of 18 and charged with a felony were also considered juvenile delinquents.

However, there are some exceptions. At the court’s discretion, if the crime is considered especially heinous, a juvenile could be tried in adult court. These crimes typically include particularly violent offenses such as rape and murder.

The Proposed Law

At the meeting that involved foreign individuals in the criminal justice system, recommendations were made to raise the age of juvenile delinquents from 18 to 21. State Senator Laura Fine from Glenview has also suggested raising the age from 18 to 21 in Senate Bill 239.

Fine has seen for herself what raising the age does. After visiting Germany, a country that deems anyone under the age of 21 a delinquent, she says she has seen real progress. When introducing the bill, she stated the many benefits the new law would have, and why it is so important in today’s world.

Benefits of the Proposed Law

One argument Fine gave for increasing the age was that those between the ages of 18 to 25 had the highest rate of recidivism. That is, they are the individuals most likely to commit another crime upon their release. This is due to the fact that this younger age group is not as fully developed as older adults and as so, they should not be treated as such.

Fine also pointed to the fact that youths are dealing with so much more today than they were when the law was originally created. They are on social media all the time, are open to new, and much more damaging, forms of bullying, and regularly participate in active-shooter drills at school, leaving them in fear much of the time.

This pressure is too much for many youths to handle. That is the reason so many minors are simply circulated through the justice system time and time again. This is not only extremely damaging to the youth that is going through it, but also to future victims. By placing older youths in the juvenile system rather than trying them as adults, the hope is that they will get the rehabilitation they need instead of strictly punishment.

Was Your Child Charged with a Crime? Contact a Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense Attorney

There is no doubt that if Fine’s bill passes, it will do a tremendous amount of good for juveniles in Illinois, and the state as a whole. However, we are not there yet. Today, if your child is charged with a crime, they could still be tried as an adult, which will have an incredibly negative impact on the rest of their lives. That does not have to happen.

If your child has been charged with a crime, contact a skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer. At the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley, we will work hard to keep your child in the juvenile justice system and get them the rehabilitation they need so they can live the rest of their life without a criminal record. Call us at 847-394-3200 or fill out our online for your free consultation and learn more about how we can help your family.

 

Source:

https://www.publicnewsservice.org/2019-06-05/juvenile-justice/an-international-view-of-justice-for-illinois-young-adults/a66696-1

 

The Differences Between Theft, Robbery, and Burglary in Illinois

July 24th, 2019 at 10:10 am

IL defense lawyer, Illinois criminal defense attorney, Many people use the terms theft, robbery, and burglary when referring to theft crimes. While these crimes do have similarities, they also have their differences. Of these, the most significant are the penalties you will face if charged. Due to this, it is important you understand the differences between these different crimes.

Theft

The Illinois Criminal Code of 2012 defines three circumstances that could constitute theft. These include:

  • Unlawfully taking property that belongs to another person;
  • Taking property from another person through deception or threats; and
  • Gaining control of property you know is stolen,

Theft is classified as either a misdemeanor or a felony. If the property stolen was valued at $300 or less, and was not taken from someone’s person, it is a Class A misdemeanor. If convicted, those charged face up to one year in jail and a maximum fine of $2,500.

When the property stolen is worth less than $300, but it was stolen directly from someone’s person, the crime is upgraded to a Class 3 felony. Theft is also charged as a Class 3 felony when the property stolen is worth between $300 and $10,000. This charge carries sentences of up to five years in state prison and a maximum fine of $25,000.

Theft of property valued between $10,000 and $100,000 is a Class 2 felony. The maximum sentence, if convicted, is a maximum of seven years in prison and a fine of $25,000. When the property stolen is worth more than $100,000, the crime is a Class 1 felony. A conviction can result in a maximum of 15 years in prison and a fine of $25,000.

Robbery

Robbery is a very similar crime to theft. It also involves taking property from a person. The difference with a robbery charge is that this crime also involves the use of force or the threat of force.

A robbery charge is upgraded to aggravated robbery when a person indicates to the victim, either verbally or non verbally, that they have a firearm. For example, if someone stole another person’s wallet while showing them a gun in their jacket, that is aggravated robbery.

Most robberies are charged as a Class 2 felony. If convicted, this charge carries a penalty of up to seven years in prison and a maximum fine of $25,000.

If the victim is older than 60 years old or has a disability, the crime is considered a Class 1 felony. Aggravated robbery is also charged as a Class 1 felony. Possible penalties include up to 15 years in prison and a maximum fine of $25,000.

Burglary

When people think of the term burglary, they typically think of a crime that involves some type of theft. That is not always necessarily the case, however.

According to 720 ILCS 5/19-1, burglary occurs when a person unlawfully enters a building with the intent to commit a felony or theft. If a person entered a building without permission with the intent to commit sexual assault, that would be considered burglary.

Burglary is always considered a felony and can be charged as a Class 3 to a Class 1 felony. If convicted, a person faces a possible five to 15 years in prison.

Call a Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense Lawyer that Can Help

Although theft, robbery, and burglary are all different crimes, they share one similarity. If convicted of any one of them, you could face serious jail time. If you have been charged with any of these crimes, call our skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorneys for help. At the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley, we will help you understand the charges you are facing, and try to get them reduced or dropped altogether. Call us today at 847-394-3200 or contact us online for your free consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www2.illinois.gov/osad/Publications/DigestbyChapter/CH%2049%20Theft.pdf

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K19-1

 

Four Common Defenses to DUIs

July 17th, 2019 at 10:05 am

IL DUI lawyer, Illinois drunk driving attorney, If you are convicted for driving under the influence, it will have a severe and devastating impact on your life. You will likely have your license suspended, face crippling fines, and possibly even jail time. Even after serving a sentence or paying a fine, a conviction will still remain on your record. That could keep you from gaining employment, housing opportunities, and possibly prevent you from obtaining a professional license or seizing academic opportunities. To avoid these consequences, you need a strong defense for your DUI charges, and a Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney can help you with it. Below are some of the most common defenses used against DUI charges.

Illegal Traffic Stop

In Illinois, police must have reasonable cause to pull you over. They cannot stop you simply because they suspect or have a hunch that you are intoxicated. Reasonable cause means they must have seen you violate a traffic law, such as running a red light or driving a car with a broken or missing taillight. If the officer that pulled you over cannot provide a satisfactory reason why they had reasonable cause, the evidence in the case can be suppressed.

Illegal Search and Seizure

Under the Fourth Amendment, the police cannot generally search your vehicle without first obtaining a search warrant. However, this works a bit differently in DUI cases. If you give consent to have your vehicle searched, the search is lawful. The search is also lawful if the police feel it is necessary for their own protection, such as if they are searching for a weapon they feel you may use against them. Lastly, if you are arrested for a DUI during a traffic stop, the police can search your car for evidence pertaining to the arrest, such as beer cans or bottles.

If none of those circumstances apply, the police cannot search your car. For example, they cannot pull you over for a suspected DUI and search your car when you have been cooperative and have not been arrested. If they do, any evidence collected can also be suppressed.

Inaccurate Field Sobriety Test

Field sobriety tests are notoriously inaccurate. They are largely subjective and can be affected by a person’s health condition, or even their mental state after being pulled over. Uneven pavement, flashing lights, and impractical footwear can all also give inaccurate results after a field sobriety test. These can be challenged in court and if successful, that evidence can be thrown out, and a judge may determine the officer did not have reasonable cause to arrest you.

Violation of Fifth Amendment Rights

Under the Fifth Amendment, anyone charged with a crime has certain rights. Law enforcement must inform individuals of these rights, and uphold them. You do not have to answer their questions and as soon as you decline, the police must stop questioning you. If they continue to press you for answers, deny you the right to an attorney, or fail to uphold any of your other rights, evidence obtained can be deemed inadmissible at trial.

Speak to a Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense Lawyer Today

If you have been charged with a DUI, a dedicated Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney will know the defenses available, and the best one to use for your case. If you are facing charges, contact the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley today at 847-394-3200 for your free consultation. A charged does not have to turn into a conviction, and we will work hard to prevent it from happening.

 

Source:

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

 

Facing Criminal Charges? Here Is What to Expect

July 10th, 2019 at 9:59 am

IL defense attorney, Illinois defense lawyerWhether you are facing DUI charges, drug possession charges, or any other criminal charge, chances are you are pretty scared. However, the case is not as hopeless as it may seem. Often, those accused are fearful because they simply do not know what is coming next. They do not know what to expect, and they fear the worst. While a Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney can fully explain the process, below are the basic steps you will go through after being charged.

The Arrest

An arrest does not occur until an officer has detained or restrained you, and taken you to a holding facility. If this occurs, you should say as little as possible. Anything you say can be used against you later in the case. You should speak to an attorney as soon as possible, and a lawyer can speak on your behalf. You should always be advised of these rights. If you are not, the arrest is unlawful and your case could be thrown out.

Bond or Release

Sometimes after an arrest, law enforcement will interview the detainee and any witnesses to piece together what happened. If they do not think you committed the crime after this, they may simply release you. If they do think you are guilty, they will set a bond amount. If this amount is paid, you are released with the expectation to appear in court. You will be assigned a court date within 60 days of your arrest. If bond is not posted, you can be held up to 30 days, or until you can appear in front of a judge for a preliminary hearing.

Arraignment

During the arraignment, you will have a chance to hear the charges against you. A judge will ask if you understand them. You will then enter a plea of either guilty or not guilty.

Pre-Trial or Trial

If you plead not guilty, you will then move into the pre-trial and trial phase. During pre-trial, your lawyer and the prosecutor will move into the discovery phase and submit evidence to the courts that will be used at trial. At trial, a judge or jury will listen to the arguments of your attorney and the prosecution and make a decision on your case.

If you plead guilty at the arraignment, you will move to a sentencing hearing. During this hearing the judge will determine the sentence you will face for the crime. After this point, you will also have a conviction permanently on your record.

Call a Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense Attorney for Help with Your Charges

If you have been charged with a crime, the Law Office of Christopher M. Cosley can help. Our skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorneys will build a solid defense for you and advise on what to do during each step of the criminal justice system. We know charges do not have to turn into convictions, and we work hard to prevent that from happening. Call us today at 847-394-3200 or contact us online for a free consultation to learn how we can help with your case.

 

Source:

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

Penalties for Leaving the Scene of an Accident in Illinois

June 26th, 2019 at 5:33 pm

IL defense lawyer, Illinois criminal attorneyIn early May, a Berwyn woman was taking an Uber home after celebrating her 23rd birthday in Chicago. On her way home, a drunk driver crashed into the vehicle she was in, killing her and injuring three others. The driver fled the scene and was caught shortly after. Now, he faces many charges, including leaving the scene of an accident.

In Illinois, it is law that all drivers stop at the scene of any accident they are involved in. When they do not, they face serious penalties.

Leaving the Scene of an Accident Involving Property Damage

Even when there is only property damage and no real injury to anyone involved, all drivers must still stop and report the accident to the police. Failing to do this is considered a Class A misdemeanor. Although these are some of the least severe charges a person could face after leaving the scene of an accident, the consequences are still serious. This crime is punishable by up to one year in jail, a $2,500 fine, and a probation period of up to 24 months.

It is also important to understand that drivers must stop at the scene even if the vehicle they hit was unattended, or not carrying anyone at the time. Failure to do this is also considered a Class A misdemeanor that carries the same penalties as if someone had been in the vehicle.

When the property damage to a vehicle is valued over $1,000, the Secretary of State will suspend the driver’s license of the person that caused the accident.

Leaving the Scene of an Accident Involving Personal Injury or Death

Of course, if someone is hurt in an accident and any person involved flees the scene, they will face harsher penalties. This is considered a Class 4 felony that carries penalties between one to three years in jail and a maximum fine of $25,000. Anyone that violates this law will also have their license revoked by the Secretary of State.

Additionally, Illinois statute ILCS 5/11-402 also requires anyone involved in an accident resulting in death or personal injury to report the accident to the police. This must be done as soon as possible, but no later than 30 minutes after the accident took place. Violating this law carries penalties of between three to seven years in prison and a maximum fine of $25,000.

Do Not Try to Beat the Charges on Your Own; Call a Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense Lawyer

Fleeing the scene of an accident is one of the most common crimes people are accused of in Rolling Meadows. While it may not sound serious, law enforcement and the prosecution will not take it lightly. It is for this reason anyone facing charges must call a criminal defense attorney.

If you have been charged with leaving the scene of an accident, or any other crime, contact a skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney at the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley today at 847-394-3200. We will prepare the effective legal defense you need to help get your charges reduced, or even dropped altogether. Call us today or fill out our online form for your free consultation.

 

Source:

https://avondaleadvocate.com/man-charged-with-dui-fleeing-deadly-stevenson-crash/11524/

Why Resisting Arrest Is a Bad Idea

June 19th, 2019 at 5:19 pm

IL defense lawyer, Illinois criminal attorneyWhether it is for a traffic violation, a possession charge, or an accusation of any other crime, being arrested is a very scary thing. It is natural for the body’s fight or flight response to kick in, and for people to try and resist the arrest. However, this is a very bad idea. Resisting arrest will only lead to additional charges and, if an officer becomes injured, it is charged as a felony. Instead, those charged should comply with the arresting officer and then call a Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney that can help them beat the charges.

Resisting Arrest in Illinois

In Illinois, resisting arrest is defined as knowingly interfering with, or obstructing an officer’s attempt to make a legal arrest. It is most often charged as a misdemeanor, but this charge still holds serious consequences for those accused. If the offender injures a police officer while resisting arrest though, it is charged as a Class 4 felony. The extent of the injury is not considered, meaning even a minor injury to an officer is enough to result in felony charges.

The statute includes peace officers, firefighters, and correctional institution employees as those that can make an arrest. Many people think that resisting arrest requires a person to flee the scene or engage in a physical fight with the arresting officer. However, due to the vague language in the statute, an officer may charge a person with resisting arrest for simply refusing to put their hands behind their back, on a squad car, or refusing to lay on the ground.

Penalties for Resisting Arrest

When resisting arrest is charged as a Class A misdemeanor, the penalty is a maximum of 48 hours in jail, and between 48 to 100 hours of community service. If convicted, individuals are not eligible for probation in order to reduce the sentence of either jail time or community service. This makes resisting arrest charges difficult to escape.

The charges become much more serious when the officer is injured during the rest. This Class 4 felony charge can result in up to three years in prison and a maximum fine of $25,000.

Even though a misdemeanor charge may not even result in any jail time, it is important to consider the consequences of such a charge. Those convicted will have a prior offense on their criminal record. If they are charged with another crime in the future, the judge may even extend the sentence for that subsequent crime upon conviction.

Resisting arrest is usually one charge of many. Even if the original charge is dropped or the individual is found not guilty, the resisting arrest charge will likely still stand. If a person is convicted, they will face the same penalties even if they beat all other charges. It is for this reason that it is so important to never resist arrest. Although there are defenses available, it is much easier to defend against only one charge instead of two.

Call the Experienced Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense Attorney

When facing arrest, the best thing a person can do is cooperate with the police and let a skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer sort out the facts of the case afterwards. If you have been charged with resisting arrest, or any other crime, call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at 847-394-3200. We will hold officers accountable if they have made an unlawful arrest, or if they used excessive force during the arrest that was later used against you. We know how to defend innocent individuals against many charges, and we want to help you, too. Call us today for your free consultation.

 

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K31-1

Can Your License be Suspended for Texting and Driving in Illinois?

June 3rd, 2019 at 5:12 pm

IL defense attorney, Illinois criminal lawyerThe last week of April was Distracted Driving Awareness Week in Illinois, and troopers all across the state participated. Over the seven-day span, they issued a total of 566 distracted driving tickets. The campaign could not have come at a better time, as drivers in Illinois are about to face much steeper penalties if they regularly text and drive.

Current Illinois Law on Texting and Driving

Currently in Illinois, it is illegal for any driver to use a handheld device while driving. This is covered under the statute 625 ILCS 5/12-610.2. This law, which is one of the stricter distracted driving laws in the country, states that no driver shall hold a cellphone or electronic device, including tablets, while they are behind the wheel of a car that is moving.

Under this law, there are only a few instances in which the use of an electronic device is legal. These include:

  • If the device is built into the car, such as a GPS;
  • When using a phone to call for emergency assistance;
  • When a cell phone is in hands-free mode, or the driver is using a headset;
  • Using a phone while parked on the shoulder of the road;
  • Using a phone on the roadway if the flow of traffic has stopped and the vehicle is in park or neutral; and
  • Using a single button on a cellphone to start or stop a call.

Anyone found using a cell phone for any reason, or in any manner, other than those described above faces penalties. Those penalties are also about to become much steeper.

Current Penalties for Texting and Driving

The penalty for texting and driving is $75 if it is the driver’s first offense. This increases to $100 for a second offense, $125 for a third offense, and $150 for a fourth and subsequent offense. In addition to these, the driver will also have to pay court costs. For example, in Rolling Meadows drivers can expect to pay anywhere from $179 to $214 in court costs. This makes the penalty for even a first offense around $300.

While these penalties are currently in effect, they are only going to last for another couple of months. After that time, drivers that are caught texting and driving will face even greater penalties.

New Penalties for Texting and Driving are On the Way

As of July 1, 2019, distracted driving will be considered a moving violation. This is different than the summary offense classification they currently fall under. While the $75 fine for a first offense will still apply, those caught in subsequent offenses will face more than just increased fines.

When the new law goes into effect this summer, those convicted of driving while distracted will have their driver’s license suspended if they have three moving violations within a period of 12 months. Those under the age of 21 face even harsher penalties under the new law. If they are convicted of two moving violations within a 24-month period, their license is suspended.

Call a Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense Lawyer and Keep Your License

In order for a driver’s license to be suspended, the driver must first be convicted of the violation. A lawyer can help drivers fight the charges and keep their license.

If you have been charged with a moving violation and now fear license suspension, a dedicated Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney at the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley can help keep it off your driving record. Call us today at 847-394-3200 to learn about the many possible defenses that are available, and how we will use them to give you your best chance of success in court. Call now, or fill out our online form for your free case evaluation.

 

Sources:

https://khqa.com/news/state/illinois-state-police-issue-over-930-citations-during-distracted-driving-week

http://ilga.gov/legislation/fulltext.asp?DocName=&SessionId=91&GA=100&DocTypeId=HB&DocNum=4846&GAID=14&LegID=110209&SpecSess=&Session=

Illinois Considers Reducing Minimum Sentences for Certain Charges

May 9th, 2019 at 4:38 pm

Illinois criminal lawyerIllinois lawmakers want to change the laws on mandatory minimum sentences for some crimes. In mid-April, the Illinois House of Representatives voted on legislation that would give judge’s more discretion during sentencing. If recent House Bill 1587 becomes law, judges could consider further reducing minimum mandatory sentences for individuals convicted of drug possession, retail theft, and driving on a revoked license because of unpaid fines, child support, and other financial obligations.

The Court System and the Proposed Law

Currently, when a defendant is convicted of a crime, a judge has a range of sentences to choose from during sentencing. Each crime has a minimum mandatory sentence, as well as a maximum mandatory sentence. Judges are granted some discretion, but they cannot move outside of that range. A judge will consider a defendant’s past criminal history, and the nature surrounding the crime and determine what sentencing within that range is fair.

Under the proposed law, however, judges would have much more discretion in cases involving certain revoked licenses, retail theft, and drug possession charges. For example, if an individual was convicted of possessing a small amount of marijuana and had no criminal history, a judge may not impose the minimum sentence, but reduce the sentence even further.

Current Penalties for Crimes

If the proposed law is passed, it will be a huge move for the criminal reform so many have called on Illinois legislators to make. Currently, those convicted of these non-violent crimes face severely harsh penalties and in many cases, jail time that many argue is unnecessary when the person poses no threat.

Some of the current penalties in Illinois for these crimes include:

  • Marijuana possession in an amount between 10 and 30 grams: Up to one year in jail;
  • Meth possession in an amount of fewer than five grams: Minimum two years in prison;
  • Misdemeanor retail theft (value less than $300): Up to one year in county jail;
  • Felony retail theft (value over $300): One to three years in prison; and
  • Driving on a revoked license for financial obligations: Minimum sentence of 30 days in jail.

As the lawmakers have been arguing, clearly some of these minimum sentences need to change. However, with lawmakers on either side debating the issue, some have raised concerns about the proposed bill. Some believe the criminal justice system is not broken, and so there is no reason to fix it.

Still, the bill passed the House of Representatives by a very narrow margin. In order for the bill to be passed, the Senate would have to debate it within the next coming weeks.

Facing Criminal Charges? Contact a Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense Lawyer

This new proposed law is good news for those convicted of certain crimes, but it is one that will still only apply after someone is convicted of those crimes. Those facing criminal charges still need the help of a criminal defense attorney for help ensuring their case does not make it that far.

If you have been charged with a crime, contact skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney Christopher M. Cosley at 847-394-3200. We will help you build a solid defense so you can retain your freedom and beat the charges. In some cases, we may also negotiate with the prosecution and make solid arguments in court to have charges or sentences reduced. If you are facing criminal charges, do not try to go it alone. Call us today or fill out our online form for a free case evaluation.

 

Source:

https://www.northernpublicradio.org/post/legislation-would-let-judges-depart-mandatory-minimums-only-few-crimes

 

Back to Top Back to Top Back to Top