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When Does Burglary Become a Serious Felony?

April 18th, 2019 at 8:32 pm

Illinois defense lawyer, Illinois theft lawsRecently, thieves broke into a Lincoln Park bike shop. It is estimated that approximately $20,000 in merchandise was stolen. It was also the second time in the same month the shop was targeted. Police do not yet have anyone in custody for this latest crime that seems to be part of a rash of burglaries in the same neighborhood.

Some may consider this burglary, while others may consider the value of the goods stolen and think it is a burglary, but one with a more serious charge. The confusion begs the question, when does burglary become a serious felony in Illinois?

The Crime of Burglary in Illinois

Under Illinois law, burglary is defined as the act of entering a structure illegally with the intent to steal property or commit another serious felony. Normally, burglary is charged as a Class 2 felony, regardless of the amount of goods stolen. This means that the crime is always a felony.

Felonies are always considered more serious than misdemeanor crimes. The penalties for burglary in Illinois are severe, with those convicted facing anywhere from three to seven years, depending on the case. However, there are circumstances that can make felonies even more serious and increase the charge to a Class 1 felony.

When Burglary Becomes a Serious Felony

According to the legal statute, there are many structures that could amount to a burglary charge if someone breaks into them. Sheds, vehicles, aircraft, watercraft, and railroad cars are just a few of the structures outlined in the law. These would all fall under the category of Class 2 felonies, the lesser charge for burglary.

Certain structures can make a burglary a Class 1 felony, though. These include schools, daycares, or other child care centers. When these structures are broken into, the charge of burglary will increase and so too, will the penalties. The sentences for this crime if convicted is a maximum prison term of 15 years.

Other Factors Leading to Serious Felony Charges

In addition to defining the type of structure that was broken into, the prosecution will also take other factors into consideration. For example, if tools were used during the burglary, this can also lead to serious felony charges.

Considering that the thieves in the Lincoln Park bike shop case cut through the locks on the doors as well as the locks securing the stolen bikes in the store, it is reasonable to think they had these tools that will increase their charge if caught.

Those Charged Need the Help of a Burglary Lawyer in Rolling Meadows

Facing a charge of even a Class 2 felony has serious consequences. Those penalties become even more serious when the charge is increased. Anyone facing these accusations must speak to a dedicated Rolling Meadows burglary lawyer for help. If you have been charged with burglary, regardless of whether it is considered a Class 1 or Class 2 felony, contact the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley today at 847-394-3200. There is a possibility that you could have your charges reduced, and we can provide you the strong defense you need. We also offer free consultations, so call today and we will begin discussing your case.

 

Sources:

https://abc7chicago.com/$20k-in-merchandise-stolen-from-lincoln-park-bicycle-shop/5144942/

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

When Is Meth Possession a Felony in Illinois?

April 11th, 2019 at 8:27 pm

Illinois drug crimes lawyer, Illinois defense lawyerThe drug laws in Rolling Meadows and throughout Illinois are often confusing, and the line between a misdemeanor drug charge and a felony charge can become blurred. Most of the time, the charge that is laid depends on the scenario surrounding the alleged crime.

There are instances though, in which a drug crime is automatically a felony. Typically a harsher charge is laid when there are large volumes of a controlled substance involved, or when the crime includes certain substances. LSD, cocaine, and heroin are a few drugs that automatically make a crime a felony. Methamphetamine, or meth, is another.

Methamphetamine Laws in Rolling Meadows

According to 720 ILCS 646/60 of the Illinois statutes, meth crimes are always charged as a felony. This means that even when a person is caught with the smallest amount on them, and they did not intend to distribute the drug, they will face felony charges.

The law imposes such strict charges and penalties on those caught with meth because it is a very dangerous drug. It is incredibly addictive and exposes those that use it to toxic chemicals. Manufacturing the drug is also particularly dangerous, which is why the law also outlines severe penalties for anyone that does.

Methamphetamine Possession Felony Charges

The crime of meth possession is the most minor meth crime of all in Illinois. These are still treated as felonies. Individuals charged with meth possession face a number of possible charges, depending on the amount they were carrying at the time of arrest.

  • Class 3 felony for any amount under five grams;
  • Class 2 felony for any amount of at least 5 grams, but under 15 grams;
  • Class 1 felony for any amount of at least 15 grams, but under 100 grams; and
  • Class X felony for any amount over 100 grams.

When charged with a Class X felony, the penalties will increase even more if the amount was over 400 grams, and then again on any amount over 900 grams.

Penalties for Methamphetamine Possession in Rolling Meadows

With meth possession being the most minor of all meth crimes, it makes sense that these also carry the lightest sentences. However, anyone charged with a meth crime in Rolling Meadows must understand these sentences are still very severe.

A Class 3 felony offense, the least severe of them all, still has a potential sentence of two to five years in jail. A Class 1 felony offense carries a much longer prison sentence of 15 to 30 years in jail. Class X felonies, although rarely charged in meth crime cases, can send someone to prison for several decades if they are convicted.

Been Charged with Meth Possession? Call a Rolling Meadows Drug Crime Lawyer

Being charged with meth possession, or any other meth crime, is very scary. Those accused begin to worry about their future and what it may hold for them. A skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer can help ensure that future is a little brighter. If you have been charged with a meth crime, contact the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at 847-394-3200. We know how serious the charges are that you are up against, and we will build a strong defense against them. Do not wait for representation when you can call and get a free consultation right now.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072006460K60

https://www.iwu.edu/counseling/Illinois_Drug_Laws.htm

Challenging a Search Warrant

March 7th, 2019 at 3:44 pm

warrantDuring a criminal trial, the prosecution’s case often rests on evidence seized by law enforcement officers during a search. In order for that search to be lawful, the owner of the property must voluntarily agree to the search, or law enforcement officers must have a valid search warrant. When police officers have a search warrant, the owners of the property must never interfere with the search. However, this does not mean that the search cannot be contested in the future.

Challenging a search warrant during a trial is a very common defense for those accused of committing a crime. If the defense can prove a search was unlawful, any evidence obtained during that search is deemed inadmissible in court. This can lead to the entire case being dismissed.

So, how does one challenge the validity of a search warrant? In Rolling Meadows, there are three possible ways to do it.

Unlawful Items Seized

With a search warrant, law enforcement officials must indicate the exact property they plan to search, and the evidence they are looking for. When they conduct the search, they are only allowed to take the property specified in the warrant. If they find evidence of another crime, or evidence such as electronic data that was not listed on the search warrant, they cannot seize that property.

The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects digital devices from illegal search and seizures. In order to be seized, the search warrant must explicitly state officers are searching for these items.

False Sworn Affidavit

When law enforcement officials are trying to obtain a search warrant, they must sign a sworn affidavit. The Illinois Constitution and Criminal Code allows not only police officers, but also private citizens, to provide these sworn affidavits. An affidavit states a person’s case for the search of a certain area.

When this affidavit contains false information, this is sometimes grounds for challenging a search warrant. Defendants that believe the affidavit contains false information can petition the court for a Franks hearing. These hearings are named after a landmark case in 1978 in which Franks was the defendant.

During a Franks hearing, the defendant is required to prove the signer of the affidavit knowingly or intentionally provided false information, or that they had a reckless disregard for the truth. It is not enough to show an officer was simply negligent or made a mistake.

Warrant Staleness

When law enforcement obtains a search warrant, they are required to search a property within a reasonable time frame. This is due to the fact that in many cases, valuable evidence is likely to be lost, hidden, or destroyed before the search is conducted.

For example, if officers obtained a warrant to search a home looking for drugs, they should conduct the search shortly after receiving the warrant. If they wait too long the evidence could be consumed or destroyed.

Warrant staleness can often provide a strong defense when challenging a search warrant. However, there are times when it is not as effective. For example, digital files are designed for longevity and so, warrant staleness may not provide a valid defense for crimes such as child pornography.

Let a Qualified Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense Attorney Handle Your Case

There are several ways to challenge a search warrant in court, but those accused of committing a crime should never attempt to argue those reasons on their own. A skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer will know the law surrounding searches and seizures and will apply it to any case that may involve an unlawful search. If you have been accused of a crime, or you believe law enforcement conducted an illegal search of your property, contact the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley today at 847-394-3200. We will ensure you are treated fairly and will fight for your rights in court. Call today for your free consultation.

 

Source:

https://scholarlycommons.law.wlu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1278&context=casefiles

Driver’s License Reinstatement Hearing

February 28th, 2019 at 6:00 pm

licenseA driver’s license suspension can happen for a number of reasons. Perhaps you were charged with a DUI, or had too many points on your license. Whatever the reason, now you want your license back. And to get it back, you will need to attend a driver’s license reinstatement hearing.

These hearings are held at the Secretary of State Formal Hearing Offices, and the process can be intimidating. Lawyers are present to represent the Secretary of State, and whether or not you can start driving again all depends on the outcome. For your best chance at success, below are some tips to follow that can help.

Bring All Supporting Documents

Your hearing will end before it has even begun if you do not have all the necessary documents. An attorney for the Secretary of State will ask for them before the hearing even starts. A license reinstatement lawyer can advise on the specific documents you will need for your case, but the most common are:

  • Updated uniform report or evaluations;
  • Proof of risk education;
  • Letters of abstinence;
  • Letters of support/character letters; and
  • Documentation from a licensed facility.

It is also important to keep in mind that many petitioners still get turned away at this point, even if they have all the documents they need. This is because you are required to bring the original documents, not photocopies.

Dress Appropriately

What you wear to court may seem like a minor thing. However, the judge at the hearing will be making their decision based on their overall impression of you, and that includes how you present yourself. It is important to dress in a way that reflects that you understand the severity of the hearing and that you also respect the court. Dress pants, dress shoes, and button-down collared shirts or blouses are typically seen in court.

Have Representation

The best way to ensure success at your reinstatement hearing is to retain an attorney familiar with the Illinois Secretary of State Reinstatement Hearings. An attorney will be able to go over all the documentation to ensure it is what the court needs. They will find any inaccuracies or inconsistencies within the paperwork and clarify any information the judge may not look kindly on.

An attorney will also prepare an outline of the trial. They will inform you what types of questions will be asked, and may even have a mock hearing to give you a real feel for what to expect. This also allows you to become more familiar with the process so when you are asked certain questions, you know how to respond. The process will include an in-depth interrogation from the Secretary of State hearing officer that could include up to 100 questions. This is why it is so important to remember that in these cases especially, practice makes perfect.

Contact a License Reinstatement Lawyer in Rolling Meadows To Help Get You Back on the Road

If your license has been suspended and you have an upcoming formal hearing, do not try to handle it on your own. There is too much at stake and even forgetting just one document can delay your case for many more months. Instead, speak to a skilled Rolling Meadows license reinstatement attorney that can help. To give yourself the best chance of success at a formal hearing, contact the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at 847-394-3200 today. We will review your case and help you prepare testimony that leaves no doubt as to whether or not you are trustworthy to drive again. We offer free consultations, so call today.

 

Source:

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

 

There Are Defenses to Burglary in Illinois

February 26th, 2019 at 5:53 pm

Illinois defense lawyerRecently, burglaries occurred on the same day at two different businesses in Chicago. As of this writing, the police had not yet released much information, including whether or not the two incidents are related. They had released basic information about the suspects and are asking for the public’s help in finding them.

Facing burglary charges is extremely difficult, and may seem like a hopeless situation. It is not. A burglary lawyer in Rolling Meadows can help those accused build a strong defense and retain their freedom.

Elements of Burglary in Rolling Meadows

According to 720 ILCS 5/19-1, a person commits burglary when they enter into a building or structure without the permission of the owner or occupier. In order for burglary charges to apply, this breaking and entering must be done with the intent to commit a crime.

The prosecution must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that all three elements of the crime existed in order for a court to convict those accused. Refuting these elements will be a strong defense to any case, as this will create reasonable doubt in the minds of a judge or jury.

Defenses to Burglary in Rolling Meadows

Claiming innocence is a very common defense used against burglary charges. Defenses that include strong alibis, a lack of forensic evidence, and no eyewitnesses can all help build a strong defense of innocence.

While a situation may look bad, and like someone is committing a crime, that is not always the case. Someone may have permission to enter a building and therefore, there is no unlawful entering. Even when the owner or occupant has not given explicit consent, if the defendant believed they had permission to enter the building, this can provide a very strong defense.

In order for burglary to occur, a person has to have the intention to commit a crime, even if they have entered a building or structure unlawfully. It is for this reason that defenses such as voluntary intoxication are often very successful in burglary cases. A person cannot be convicted of burglary as long as they were simply too intoxicated, but had no intention to commit a crime.

Entrapment is a very challenging defense to prove, but it is still sometimes used. If someone encouraged the defendant to commit a crime when they otherwise would not have, they cannot be convicted of burglary. There needs to be evidence that the defendant tried to refuse, but was eventually convinced.

Contact a Rolling Meadows Burglary Lawyer for the Best Defense

Many defenses for burglary charges exist, but those accused should not try to argue them on their own. A skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer can build a much stronger case based on evidence and refuting the prosecution’s case. If you have been charged with burglary and you need the best defense, contact the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at 847-394-3200. We are dedicated to defending your freedom and will aggressively explore defense strategies with you. We offer free initial consultations, so call today and we will start reviewing your case.

 

Source:

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

https://chicago.suntimes.com/news/burglaries-reported-at-2-ravenswood-businesses-police/

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

February 21st, 2019 at 5:45 pm

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

Illinois Law on Hit-And-Runs

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

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

Defenses to a Hit-And-Run

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Source:

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

 

Is Breaking into a Car Burglary?

February 19th, 2019 at 5:37 pm

Illinois defense lawyerTwo individuals were recently arrested for multiple burglary charges in the area of 95th Street and Book Road in the Northwest Side. Naperville police say the pair first burglarized a home and then continued to steal from multiple vehicles. Both are facing felony charges, and it raises the question of whether or not vehicle burglary is a felony, or if these charges pertain only to the home they are suspected of breaking into.

Burglary and Illinois Law

According to 720 ILCS 5/19-1, burglary is defined as when a person without permission enters a “building, house trailer, watercraft, aircraft, motor vehicle, railroad car, or any part thereof with the intent to commit a felony or theft.”

The same statute also states that any violation of this law is considered a Class 3 felony. Under this law, if convicted, the two individuals mentioned above will face felony charges, possibly one for each vehicle entered.

The law does not distinguish locked vehicles from unlocked vehicles. This means even if there was no actual “breaking” into the vehicle, a person could still face vehicle burglary charges. However, the prosecution would have to prove that the defendant broke into the vehicle with the intention to steal or commit a felony.

Criminal Trespass to a Vehicle

A charge that is often associated with vehicle burglary is criminal trespass to a vehicle, outlined in 720 ILCS 5/21-2. Under this law, anyone that enters into a vehicle and operates it is also guilty of a crime. This law includes any type of vehicle including aircraft, watercraft, and snowmobiles.

This law is not part of Illinois’ burglary laws but instead, the state’s trespassing laws. Although still against the law, this crime is considered a Class A misdemeanor, which is a much lesser charge than the felony charge individuals will face with burglary charges.

Defenses to Vehicle Burglary

Many of the defenses used in burglary cases could also apply to vehicle burglary cases. For example, if an individual had permission to enter the vehicle, or even thought they had permission to enter it, they could be found innocent of vehicle burglary.

A person can very easily enter into a vehicle thinking it was theirs. This is one defense that is used often in vehicle burglary cases, but not in cases involving other types of burglary. Many people drive the same make and model of car, and if a person believes the car to be their own, they may mistakenly get in. This would not constitute vehicle burglary.

Call a Rolling Meadows Vehicle Burglary Lawyer that Can Help

Facing any type of burglary charges can be very stressful and traumatic. Felony charges are very serious and can result in high fines and several years in prison if convicted. However, a dedicated Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney can help get charges dropped or reduced to a lesser charge. If you have been charged with burglary or vehicle burglary, contact the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at 847-394-3200. We will review your case with you and discuss the many options you may have for a defense. We offer a free initial consultation so do not wait another minute. Let us start fighting for your freedom today.

 

Sources:

https://chicago.suntimes.com/crime/2-chicagoans-charged-with-naperville-residential-vehicle-burglaries/

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

Understanding the Sex Offender Registry Laws in Illinois

February 5th, 2019 at 7:22 pm

sex-offenderBeing convicted of a sex offense in Illinois carries with it several consequences. A person may be sentenced to jail time, high fines, and will most certainly be required to register as a sex offender. The laws pertaining to sex offender registration in Illinois are complicated. They are also very harsh. In fact, a person may be required to register as a sex offender even when they do not have any convictions for a sexual offense. Due to the complexity of these laws, there are many misunderstandings surrounding them.

The information below will explain the most important aspects of the sex offender registration laws within the state. While this information is comprehensive, anyone accused of a sex offense should still contact an attorney that can review their case in more detail.

Crimes Requiring a Person to Register as a Sex Offender

The full list of crimes that require someone to register as a sex offender are fully outlined in the Sex Offender Registration Act. These crimes include everything from child pornography to criminal sexual abuse and more. However, other criminal convictions can also result in a person being required to register as a sex offender. For example, if a person is convicted of murder in the first degree, upon their release from prison, they are also required to register on the sex offender registry.

Other individuals that may be required to register as a sex offender include:

  • Anyone not convicted of a sex offense because they used the defense of insanity;
  • Anyone tried for a sex offense and not acquitted;
  • Any offense committed by a juvenile that would require; registration if the juvenile was an adult; and
  • Any person determined to be a sexual predator.

Length of Time Required to be Registered

After being convicted of a sex offense, a person must register every year for ten years. Any time a person moves into a new municipality, they must register again within three days of the move, or within one year of their last registration. This timeframe begins either after a person is released from prison, or immediately after receiving a sentence of probation.

Failing to register with the registry is also a crime. When a person commits this crime, that annual timeframe changes to once every three months. This timeframe will remain for the rest of the registration period. In addition, once a person fails to register, another ten years may be added to the time they are required to be registered.

The annual timeframe is also reduced in the case of someone that has been convicted of murder in the first degree, or that has been deemed a sexual predator by the courts. In these cases, a person must re-register every three months for the rest of their life.

Process of Registering on the Sex Offender Registry

Anyone required to register on the sex offender registry can do so with the Rolling Meadows Police Department, or the police department in the municipality in which they live. In order to properly register, they must bring:

  • A current picture of themselves;
  • Current address, place of employment, and all phone numbers, including the phone number of any employers;
  • License plate numbers of any vehicles they drive;
  • Names of any school they have attended;
  • Any and all identities used online, including Twitter handles and profiles on social media networks;
  • Any URLs they use;
  • The address of any website or blogs they own;
  • Previous extensions given to the accused to register as a sex offender, including the date and circumstances surrounding that extension;
  • Copy of their parole or prison release, including the terms and conditions associated with it;
  • All information pertaining to the offense for which registration is required; and
  • Any permanent and unique marks, such as tattoos or birthmarks, on their body.

Restrictions for Those on the Sex Offender Registry

Once a person is registered on the sex offender registry, they will have several restrictions placed on them. They cannot be within 500 feet of school property, they cannot be in a public park, and anyone convicted of a sex offense after 2010 cannot use any social media sites while on probation, parole, or mandatory supervised release.

When certain conditions are met, those with children in a school may be on school property. Those on the sex offender registry also have no restrictions placed on them in regards to living with children. They must, however, report to the police if they are living with a child that is under 18 years of age and that is not their own child.

Rolling Meadows Sex Crime Lawyer Can Help Individuals Avoid the Registry

Appearing on the state’s sex offender registry can have severe consequences. Not only are there many requirements and restrictions, it can also greatly damage a person’s reputation and their ability to gain employment, housing, or an education. The best way to avoid being placed on the sex offender registry is to not be convicted of a sex offense, or any other offense that may require registration. A skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney can help those accused beat these charges, so they do not suffer the consequences of the sex offender registry and more. If you have been convicted of a sex offense or any other crime, contact the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at 847-394-3200. We will help build a solid defense for anyone charged with a crime in order to get the charges dropped or reduced. Call us today for your free consultation.

 

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?docname=072000050hart.+11&actid=1876&chapterid=53&seqstart=14300000&seqend=20800000

 

Can You Refuse Field Sobriety Tests in Rolling Meadows?

January 25th, 2019 at 10:28 pm

IL defense lawyerLike every other state, in Illinois, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol content higher than 0.08 percent. Those found guilty of doing so will be charged with driving under the influence, or DUI. There are a few steps law enforcement take before making an arrest, though. One of those is to administer field sobriety tests. Many individuals, whether they have been charged with a DUI, or they think they are about to be, wonder if these tests are mandatory. So, can you refuse field sobriety tests in Rolling Meadows?

What Are Field Sobriety Tests?

Field sobriety tests are one tool used by law enforcement when they suspect someone is driving under the influence. While there are many field sobriety tests a police officer may ask the driver to undergo, there are generally three main ones.

The Horizontal Nystagmus Test (HGN) will involve the officer holding up an object. They will then ask the driver to follow that object with their eyes as the officer moves it from left to right. The officer will then look for when the pupil begins to exhibit ‘nystagmus’, or an involuntary jerking of the eye.

Another field sobriety test is the walk and turn test. During this test, the driver will be asked to take a number of steps, turn around using just one foot, and walk back in the direction from which they came. This test is mainly done so that the officer can observe the balance and coordination of the driver.

Lastly, the third main field sobriety test is the one leg stand test. In this test, the officer will ask the driver to stand with one foot approximately six inches off the ground. The driver will also be asked to count aloud by thousands. This test is also administered to determine the coordination and balance of the driver.

Can a Driver Refuse Field Sobriety Tests?

Any field sobriety test can be refused. However, that does not mean the driver will simply be sent on their way. Instead, they will likely be arrested. If an officer asks a driver to perform a field sobriety test, they already have the intent to arrest the driver for a DUI. They are simply trying to collect more evidence against the driver for when the case goes to court.

Still, drivers are always recommended to refuse to take field sobriety tests. While it will still likely end with an arrest, by refusing they are not providing additional evidence for the police and prosecution in the case.

Contact a Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense Lawyer for Help

Even if you have submitted to field sobriety tests and been arrested for a DUI, it is crucial that you contact a skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer that can help. An experienced attorney can refute the accuracy of the tests, as well as discredit the officer’s testimony in court. If you have been arrested for a DUI, you need the best defense possible. Call us today at 847-394-3200 to get a free consultation. We will start reviewing your case right away, and prepare a defense to give you the best possible chance at a successful outcome.

 

Source:

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

Defenses to Disorderly Conduct

January 22nd, 2019 at 10:23 pm

Disorderly conductIL defense lawyer can seem like a minor crime, and the circumstances leading up to it can seem quite innocent as well. If convicted though, an individual can face harsh penalties, including jail time. It is for this reason that anyone charged with disorderly conduct needs to speak to a criminal defense lawyer in Rolling Meadows as soon as possible. There are defenses available, and an attorney will use them to give defendants the best chance of having the charges dropped or reduced.

Disorderly Conduct in Illinois

The Illinois Statute pertaining to disorderly conduct is found at 720 ILCS 5/26-1. It outlines a number of behaviors that are considered disorderly conduct. These include:

  • Breaching the peace;
  • False fire alarms;
  • Reporting a false bomb threat;
  • Threats of violence or destruction in a school or on school property;
  • Falsely reporting a crime;
  • Phoning 911 without reason;
  • Falsely reporting to the Department of Children and Family Services;
  • Falsely reporting a nursing home, mental home, or other facility for abuse or neglect;
  • Requesting an ambulance when one was not needed;
  • Falsely reporting violence;
  • Invasions of privacy/‘Peeping Tom’; and
  • Harassment by a collection agency.

The penalties sentenced for disorderly conduct will vary, depending on the specific crime that was committed. However, all those convicted will be required to perform between 30 and 120 hours of community service.

Defenses to Disorderly Conduct

For those charged with disorderly conduct, having a solid defense is critical. Even when there is no jail time sentenced, students can lose scholarships and those convicted will have a permanent criminal record. Fortunately, there are several defenses available.

The First Amendment guarantees a person’s right to speak freely. As long as the speech was not obscene, defamation, perjury, fighting words, or any other type of illegal speech, speech is generally protected. This is often used as a defense to disorderly conduct.

If there was no disruption of peace, there is often no disorderly conduct. When someone acts peacefully and legally, they cannot be charged or convicted of disorderly conduct. Even boisterous actions may not be considered disorderly conduct as long as the person charged was not disrupting or interfering with anyone else.

Private property is also often protected by the law. Legally speaking, disorderly conduct generally requires for the actions to be taken in a public place. When a person is on private property and acting in a legal manner, even if that manner is boisterous, they cannot be charged with disorderly conduct.

Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney in Rolling Meadows

Disorderly conduct may not sound like a serious crime, but the penalties can be harsh. Those convicted may even face up to one year in jail. If you have been charged with disorderly conduct, it is important that you speak to a skilled Rolling Meadows disorderly conduct lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney can help you build a defense that can get the charges dropped so you can move on with your life. Do not wait another minute. Contact the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley today at (847) 394-3200 for a free consultation.

 

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=1876&ChapterID=53&SeqStart=73600000&SeqEnd=74600000

 

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