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

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

 

What to Expect When Charged with Domestic Violence

April 25th, 2019 at 8:37 pm

Illinois defense attorney, Illinois domestic violence lawyer, Being accused of domestic violence can be terrifying. It is likely that your accuser is someone you love, and there is a possibility you could end up with a criminal record. Not knowing what is going to come next is one of the most frightening aspects of the entire process.

While each domestic violence case is different, there are a few similarities they all share. They all typically begin with a phone call to the police, reporting the domestic violence. It is important for anyone to understand that once this happens, the decision to lay charges does not rest with the alleged victim. When police respond to a 911 call to report domestic violence, they must make an arrest. After the arrest is made, the accused will face a number of hearings and possibly a trial.

The Bond Hearing

When people are accused of committing a crime, they are often able to post bond or bail. This releases them from the police station until they have their first hearing in front of a judge. According to the Illinois Code of Criminal Procedure, however, bond is not possible for those accused of domestic violence. At least, not right away.

Instead, defendants must wait for a bond hearing when they will appear in front of a judge. There is no law that states this must happen right away. Often defendants must wait until the following day, or even until the following Monday if there were arrested during the weekend.

At the hearing, a judge will only determine if the defendant is eligible to post bond, how much it should be, and whether or not to issue a protective order. The judge will consider the defendant’s criminal history and the seriousness of the alleged crime.

When a judge allows the defendant to post bond, they still cannot have any contact with the alleged victim for 48 hours. This remains true even if the alleged victim wishes to see the defendant.

The Status Hearing

The status hearing is held to determine if the case is going to trial. The court will call upon the victim to make an appearance. When the victim fails to appear, this is often enough for the courts to dismiss the case. If the court still wishes to speak to the victim, they will sometimes schedule another status hearing.

There are some cases a judge may decide to take a case to trial even if the victim was not present at the status hearing. These include when the defendant has confessed, or there is substantial evidence against the defendant.

The Trial

If an alleged victim comes forward and wishes to testify, the case will most likely move to trial. A judge will set a trial date, but this does not necessarily mean that the case will go before a jury. At this time, the defendant can ask their attorney to negotiate a plea bargain deal with the prosecution. For those that do not want to take their chances at trial, this option allows the defendant to enter a guilty plea in exchange for a reduced sentence.

Charged with Domestic Violence? Call the Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense Lawyer that Can Help

The process after being charged with domestic violence is a lengthy one, and no one should handle their case alone. An experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney can help anyone charged build a strong defense and possibly even get all charges dismissed. If you were charged with domestic violence, contact the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at 847-394-3200. Cases involving domestic violence charges move quickly, and there is no time to waste. Call today for your free consultation so we can start reviewing your case.

 

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ChapterID=59&ActID=2100

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

Back to Top Back to Top Back to Top