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Archive for the ‘Rolling Meadows juvenile crimes attorney’ tag

The Ramifications of Illinois Minor in Possession Charges

July 12th, 2017 at 7:00 am

Class A misdemeanor, juvenile crimes, minor in possession, Rolling Meadows juvenile crimes attorney, underage drinkingFor good or ill, underage drinking is a rite of passage for many young people, though it often leads to legal trouble for those involved.  While such issues are commonly seen as youthful peccadilloes, in reality an underage drinking issue can affect a young adult’s future in a significant manner.

If a parent or authority figure becomes aware of minor in possession charges entered against a son, daughter or ward, it is incumbent upon both them and the young adult to become aware of the potential consequences if convicted of such a charge.

Restrictions & Exceptions

Illinois has very strict regulations regarding minors caught with alcohol. Generally, if one is under the age of 21, it is illegal to either possess or consume alcohol. If they are observed doing so in public or in ‘a place open to the public,’ they may be charged with a Class A misdemeanor.

A Class A misdemeanor is the most serious class of non-felony offense, and under Illinois law it is punishable by a fine of up to $2,500 and up to one year in jail (not prison—the distinction is fine but important to observe).  

The law does state that a minor may legally consume alcohol at home—thus, not in a public place —without repercussions if they have the approval and direct supervision of a parent (or anyone standing in those proverbial shoes).  Other exceptions do also exist under the relevant statute; however, they are few in number and quite rare to encounter or experience.

One, for example, is that minors may possess or consume alcohol as part of religious ceremonies. While this is a clear-cut exception, it is one that applies to a significant minority of young people caught indulging in alcohol. Most of the time, the absolutist logic of the statute itself will apply—if a minor is caught consuming or possessing alcohol in public, then he or she will almost always be charged with that Class A misdemeanor.

Alternatives to Jail Time

While the majority of defendants in minor possession cases will be charged with a Class A misdemeanor, it does not mean that the majority will be convicted of such an offense. Judges also have considerable leeway to impose alternative sentences or add extra requirements that a convicted minor must fulfill. It is, however, required that the defendant be informed of the possible maximum sentence so as to ensure that any guilty plea is voluntary—if the defendant was not specifically informed and still pled guilty, receiving a sentence of jail time, it would open up the possibility of appeal based on lack of understanding of the potential consequences.

In terms of alternative sentences or additional penalties imposed, the most common choices are community service (as opposed to jail time) and court supervision or probation. Supervision in particular tends to be favored for first-time offenders, as successful completion of the supervision period without any further legal trouble leads to a dismissal of the charges and no permanent indication on the defendant’s criminal record.

Consult a Knowledgeable Juvenile Crimes Attorney

Very often, episodes of underage drinking are met with nostalgia or minimizing by friends and family. However, the law does not share such an indulgent view. The passionate Rolling Meadows juvenile crimes attorney at The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley will fight for you and do our best to achieve a fair outcome. Contact our offices today to set up an initial appointment.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=073000050K5-6-3.1

Juvenile Traffic Offenses Can Lead to Loss of License

November 19th, 2015 at 3:27 pm

Illinois juvenile crimes attorney, Illinois traffiv violations lawyer, Illinois defense attorney,One of the most exciting things about becoming a young adult is that teens can obtain driving privileges. Starting as early as age 15, teens can apply for a driver’s permit, and can work their way up through the graduated driver’s license program offered by the Illinois Department of Motor Vehicles. After the permit phase is complete, or when a teen reaches the age of 16, teens aged 16-17 can enter the initial licensing phase, and once a teen turns 18, he or she can enter the full licensing phase. So long as teens comply with the rules set forth concerning the permit phase and/or the initial licensing phase, they can keep happily driving wherever they want to go.

Traffic Violations Impact Teens’ Ability to Drive

However, receiving a citation for a driving offense can impact or endanger a teen’s driving privileges. Juvenile traffic offenses, such as the following, may endanger the privilege of driving:

  • Receiving a moving violation conviction while in the permit phase of the graduated license program means that a teen driver will have to wait an extra nine months before he or she can apply for the initial licensing phase.
  • Similarly, getting caught driving without a permit will leave a teen ineligible for a driver’s license until the age of 18.
  • Permit holder teens driving in violation of the nighttime driving restrictions, codified by 625 ILCS 5/6-107(b), can result in a suspension of a teen’s driving privileges.
  • While a driver is under the age of 21, if the young driver gets two driving offense convictions within a 24 month period then under 625 ILCS 5/6-206(a)(36) the young driver will end up with a suspension of his or her driver’s license.
  • Any young driver whose driver’s license is suspended will have to pay a reinstatement fee of $70.
  • When a teen goes to get his or her driver’s license, if there are any unresolved traffic citations, a driver’s license will not be issued.

Driving without a License

Driving without a license can land a teen in a lot of trouble. A teen is not permitted to drive without a valid license in Illinois, which means that if the teen does not have one, or it is suspended or revoked, he or she is not supposed to operate a vehicle. Even if the teen has a valid license, but he or she just does not have it with him or her at the time the teen is pulled over by law enforcement, he or she can be cited for driving without a driver’s license.

If a teen is caught driving without a license, if he or she is not able to prove that he or she does in fact hold a valid license, the teen will be subject to a license suspension. What this means is that the teen’s ability to apply for a driver’s license in the future is suspended for a period of time. Even if the teen has never held a driver’s license to begin with, his or her ability to apply for one would be suspended. Driving without a license can result in a Class B misdemeanor, while driving with a suspended or revoked license is a Class A misdemeanor.

Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

If you are a teen or have a teen who has gotten a traffic violation which could impact his or her driving privileges, please do not hesitate to contact an experienced Rolling Meadows juvenile matters lawyer immediately. Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley. Our phone number is (847) 394-3200.

 

Source:

https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/drivers/teen_driver_safety/gdl.html

Illinois Zero Tolerance Policy for Underage Drunk Driving

September 16th, 2015 at 7:22 am

Illinois juvenile crimes attorney, Illinois DUI attorney, Illinois defense lawyer,Illinois has very strict laws when it comes to underage individuals driving under the influence of alcohol. Illinois is a zero tolerance state, meaning that if an underage driver is asked by law enforcement to submit to a chemical test and it is discovered that the underage driver has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of anything other than zero, the underagedriver will be subject to penalties.

Under Illinois’ zero tolerance law, when a law enforcement officer makes a traffic stop and the driver is under the age of 21 and the officer has reason to suspect that the driver may be operating the vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the officer can require that the underage driver submit to a chemical test. Any concentration of alcohol in the test results will result in the underage driver being arrested and processed for driving under the influence (DUI).

There are different levels of driving under the influence when it comes to underage drivers. There is driving under the influence in violation of the zero tolerance law, 625 ILCS 5/11-501.8, which means the underage driver has a BAC of 0.01 or higher, and there is driving under the influence in violation of the state’s DUI laws, 625 ILCS 5/11-501, which means that the underage driver was operating the vehicle with a BAC of 0.08 or higher.

Conviction Under The Zero Tolerance Law Means Loss of License

When an underage driver is convicted of driving under the influence, the consequences vary depending on whether it is a first time offense, the driver’s BAC, and whether the underage driver refused the chemical testing.

  • A first-time violation of the zero tolerance law results in the loss of driving privileges for a period of three months. A second violation is a year.
  • A first-time violation of the zero tolerance law, and refusing to submit to the chemical test, results in the loss of driving privileges for a period of six months. A second violation is two years.
  • A first-time violation of the DUI laws as an underage driver results in the loss of driving privileges for a period of six months. A second violation is a year.
  • A first-time violation of the DUI laws, and refusing to submit to the chemical test, results in the loss of driving privileges for a period of 12 months. A second violation is three years.

Defending against Alleged Zero Tolerance Law Violations

There may be a legitimate and legal reason that an underage driver has alcohol in their system. Many prescription medications contain alcohol as an active ingredient, and an underage driver may have taken the medication before getting behind the wheel. It is also possible that the underage driver has alcohol in his or her system as a result of a religious service or ceremony. These are two exceptions to the zero tolerance law that can be argued as reasons for why the underage driver had alcohol in his or her system under 625 ILCS 5/11-501.8(e).

Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

If you or someone you love has been charged with a zero tolerance law violation or a DUI in Illinois, it is important that you aggressively fight the charges. Feel free to contact an experienced Rolling Meadows juvenile defense lawyer immediately. Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at (847) 394-3200 for a consultation on your case.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/062500050K11-501.8.htm

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

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/062500050K11-501.8.htm

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