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Archive for the ‘self-defense’ tag

What Are Defenses to Domestic Violence in Illinois?

August 21st, 2019 at 9:53 am

IL defense attorney, IL domestic violense attorney Domestic violence is a problem in Illinois and all across the country. As such, the states have enacted strict laws to protect victims of domestic violence. In Illinois, one such law is the Illinois Domestic Violence Act of 1986. This law allows protections and remedies for victims, but sometimes it is used inappropriately. Not everyone accused of or charged with domestic violence is guilty. Unfortunately, even when that is the case, juries tend to sympathize with the victim.

For this reason, anyone facing charges must speak to a Rolling Meadows domestic violence attorney that can build them a solid defense. Some of the defenses most commonly used in domestic violence cases are below.


Self-defense is one of the most common defenses used in domestic violence cases. Sometimes two people in a household may argue to the point that one becomes aggressive and violent. Even if they do not physically touch the other person, they may throw things or otherwise threaten harm. When this is the case, Illinois law allows a certain amount of force if you are defending yourself or your property. As such, self-defense is a very solid argument for domestic violence charges.

Being Falsely Accused

Arguments in a household can become very heated. Sometimes, they become so heated that one party becomes revengeful and wants to hurt the other person, not physically, but with other consequences. They may call the police and allege domestic violence is taking place. Or, one party may have thought the other was becoming violent when they were not. Again, if the police are called, they may lay domestic violence charges even if the situation had not become violent.

Domestic violence cases are often a case of one person’s word against another’s. These situations tend to happen behind closed doors and with no witnesses. Due to this, it becomes very difficult to determine who is telling the truth. Law enforcement, juries, and judges may automatically favor the victim. For this reason, it is important to raise arguments that contradict the accuser’s story. Perhaps the accused was not even present in the home, or maybe the victim’s story is inconsistent. These arguments raise a good defense in domestic violence cases.

Lack of Proof

In order for the prosecution’s case to be successful, they must present sufficient proof that domestic violence took place. In criminal cases, the prosecution has a very strict burden to prove the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Again, because domestic violence often takes place behind closed doors, this is difficult. The victim’s word is not enough to garner a conviction.

Charged with Domestic Violence? Call a Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense Attorney for Help

If you are facing charges of domestic violence, you likely feel as though the situation is hopeless. It is not. There are many defenses available to these charges, and a skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney can help you determine which one is right for your case. At the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley, we know that not every argument is a case of domestic violence, and we are committed to helping those that are innocent retain their freedom. Call us today at 847-394-3200 for your free consultation so we can start reviewing your case.



Charged With Domestic Violence When You Acted in Self-Defense?

November 18th, 2016 at 9:39 am

domestic violence, self-defense, Rolling MeadowsDomestic disputes occur between significant others and family members frequently in Illinois. Sometimes these  get out of hand and rise to the level of domestic violence.  

Under Illinois law, domestic violence generally involves acts of violence or threatening behavior between two people who share a domestic relationship, or used to share a domestic relationship. Domestic violence disputes arise between spouses, exes, significant others, family members who are related by blood or marriage, and people who share a living space, such as roommates.

Even the most minor physical contact can be construed as a battery. If you are concerned that someone is likely to make a false claim of domestic violence against you, you should avoid making physical contact with that person at all costs. But just because you deliberately refrain from physical contact does not mean that someone will not make an attack on you.

Charged with Domestic Violence When You Acted in Self-Defense

There are many cases of domestic assault and battery where the accused is charged with domestic violence when he or she was merely acting in self-defense. While it is unfortunate that charges are being pressed against you for domestic violence, it is fortunate that self-defense could be a potential defense to these charges.

Under Illinois law, a person is justified to use force against another when he or she believes that the use of force is necessary to defend him or herself from imminent harm from another’s use of force. A skilled Illinois criminal defense lawyer can examine the specifics of your case and help ensure the charges are dropped against you if you were acting in self defense.

Defense of Others Might Also be a Defense to Domestic Violence Charges

Not only can you act in self defense, but you can also act in the defense of others. Another common scenario where domestic violence charges are filed involves one person acting violently or threateningly against someone else, where a third party steps in to aid in the defense of the victim. If this occurred in your case, it is imperative that you speak to an attorney as soon as possible to ensure your rights are protected.

Let Us Help With Your Domestic Violence Defense

If you are faced with allegations of domestic violence, but you believe that your actions were justified as an act of self defense or the defense of others, you should contact a dedicated Rolling Meadows domestic violence defense lawyer as soon as possible. Our attorneys can examine the specifics of your criminal charges in Illinois, and utilize our knowledge and experience to help craft a solid defense. Reach out to us today for a consultation and to learn how we can be of assistance.


Potential Defenses to Illinois Disorderly Conduct Charges

March 23rd, 2016 at 7:00 am

Illinois disorderly conduct charges, Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer, Disrupting the peace or posing a threat to public safety is often the grounds for a disorderly conduct arrest under 720 ILCS 5/26-1. However, there are plenty of good reasons why you might have acted or behaved the way that you did—actions which may serve as a defense to disorderly conduct charges.

If you are facing disorderly conduct charges, but believe that you have a defense that justifies your actions, you should discuss your particular case with an experienced criminal defense lawyer.

Potential Defenses to Disorderly Conduct Charges in Illinois

There are four main defenses to disorderly conduct criminal charges. These defenses include:

  1. Exercising Your First Amendment Right to Free Speech. Some people who are very passionate about speaking out on an issue that is important to them have been charged with disorderly conduct, when the truth of the matter is that the defendant was merely exercising his or her First Amendment right to freedom of speech. Not all topics that are discussed openly in public are accepted by everyone. Yet nonetheless, people have the right to talk about controversial topics in public.
  2. You Acted in Self-Defense. Various criminal defendants find themselves facing disorderly conduct charges after getting into a fight or altercation in public. However, the reason for fighting may be a good one, such as acting in self-defense. All too often, people get into brawls while out at a bar or while socializing. A fight can get out of hand, and can pose danger to others who are nearby. Additionally, police are often called. Self-defense is a very specific defense and the criminal defendant’s actions must correspond to the legal requirements for a self-defense claim.
  3. You Acted in the Defense of Another. In certain situations, acting out in the defense of another is a good defense to disorderly conduct charges. However, for this defense to work, there are very specific legal requirements that must be satisfied by the facts. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can inform you as to when defense of another is a good defense to disorderly conduct charges.
  4. You Were the Victim of Outrageous Police Conduct or Entrapment. Very infrequently, a criminal defendant might stand falsely accused of disorderly conduct, due to the actions of law enforcement. Perhaps the law enforcement officer making the arrest exaggerated his or her accusations about your conduct, or maybe you were acting in accordance to instructions you received from law enforcement, and then you find yourself charged with disorderly conduct. Going up against the police is a tough fight, but if it is the truth then it is a good defense to disorderly conduct charges.

Contact Us for Help

There are plenty of good and valid defenses to disorderly conduct charges. If you are facing disorderly conduct charges, an experienced disorderly conduct lawyer should be able to help you identify any possible defenses you might have. Please do not hesitate to contact a dedicated Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney at our office. Our attorneys are prepared to advocate on your behalf immediately.


Weapons in Schools: When Children Exercise Poor Judgement

October 21st, 2015 at 7:43 am

Illinois juvenile crimes attorney, Illinois defense lawyer, Illinois criminal lawyer, Weapons in schools is an issue that teachers, professors, principals, and school districts do not take lightly, and often any student who brings a weapon into the classroom faces severe consequences for this juvenile offense. A school can be any place of learning, which includes public and private educational institutions ranging from elementary level to college or university.

Severity of Punishment Tied to the Type of Weapon

Illinois statute 720 ILCS 5/24-1(c) specifically addresses how no one may bring weapons into a school, carry weapons on a school bus, or even have a weapon within 1,000 feet of a school. The punishments associated with these crimes vary depending on the threat or potential danger associated with the weapon.

  • Guns, rifles and bombs. Under the statute, if a person brings a weapon into a school, such as a gun, rifle, or a bomb, that person will be charged with a Class 2 felony, and faces between three and seven years of jail time;
  • Pistols, revolvers, stun guns and tasers. When the weapon that is brought into a school is a pistol, revolver, stun gun or taser (and some ballistic knives), the offense results in a Class 3 felony; and
  • Hand-held type weapons. Bringing hand-held type weapons, such as bludgeons, brass knuckles, throwing stars, knives, stilettos, razors, dangerous pieces of glass, switch blades, and any spring-loaded, or cannister-powered projectile weapons, into a school results in a Class 4 felony.

What Other Items Have Been Considered to Be A “Weapon”?

While there are the more traditional things we think of to be weapons, such as knives, guns, etc. there are some less obvious things that have also been considered to be weapons according to teachers, school administrators, and the courts. For example, tools, such as pliers, wrenches, screwdrivers and box cutters were considered to be “weapons” according to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois Eastern Division in Douglas Bartlett v. City of Chicago School District #299 et al., (Case No. 1:13-cv-02862 (Ill. N. D. 2014)). However, it should be noted that in the Bartlett case, the person who brought the alleged “weapons” to school was a teacher, and not a student.

While state law does specifically define certain types of weapons that are not permitted in schools, case law in the state indicates that there are many other items that, if brought to school, could be construed as a weapon.

When Children Face Weapons Charges

With all of the scary media coverage of school shootings, it is frightful to think that kids would take weapons to school. But only a relatively small number of cases where students bring weapons to school result in the student using the weapon to hurt others. More often, a student will bring a weapon to school to show their friends, or might do it on a dare, without the intention of hurting anyone. Sometimes a student will take a weapon to school because they think they need it for self-defense against a bully. Children do not necessarily understand the full impact that taking a weapon into a school has.

Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

If your child exercised poor judgement and brought a weapon to school, or if your child brought something that he or she felt was harmless to the school and is now facing weapons accusations from the school, please do not hesitate to contact a passionate Rolling Meadows juvenile crimes lawyer immediately. Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at (847) 394-3200 for help today



Criminal Defenses of Compulsion, Entrapment, and Necessity

May 27th, 2015 at 12:51 pm

Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal lawyer, Illinois criminal statutes,Sometimes the job of a criminal defense attorney is to convince a prosecutor, judge, or jury that the defendant did not do what he or she is accused of doing. In other cases, however, the defendant may have committed a crime, but he or she had a good, legally recognized reason for doing it. Three of these possible criminal defenses are compulsion, entrapment, and necessity.


Compulsion is a legally recognized defense in Illinois. In Illinois a person is not guilty of a crime if he or she believes that death or great bodily harm will be inflicted upon him or her, his or her spouse, or his or her child if the person does not do the acts that would otherwise be criminal. The person must be committing the acts that would otherwise be criminal under the threat or menace of imminent infliction of death or great bodily harm in order for this defense to apply. Historically some courts held that wives were entitled to a presumption of compulsion if their husbands were present when they committed what would seem to be criminal acts, but that is no longer the law in Illinois.


The entrapment defense means that a person is not guilty of an offense if his or her otherwise illegal conduct was incited by a public official or employee or agent for the purpose of obtaining evidence for the prosecution of that person. But this is not always a defense. Think, for a moment, of the cases where an undercover cop poses as a drug dealer or prostitute in order to catch people in the market for these illegal goods and services. The reason these cases usually do not involve entrapment defenses is that a person cannot claim entrapment if he or she was “predisposed” to commit the offense and the public agent, official, or employee merely affords them the opportunity to do so.


Necessity is the defense that covers those situations where committing a crime is the lesser of two evils. If a person commits a crime, he or she is legally justified in doing so if he or she reasonably believed his or her conduct was necessary in order to avoid a public or private injury greater than the injury that might reasonably result from his or her own conduct. This defense only applies if the defendant is blameless in creating the situation to begin with.

Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

Are you being accused of a crime? Do any of the defense above sound like they might apply to your situation? Then you need the help of a dedicated Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney like Christopher Cosley. Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley today at (847)394-3200 and we can schedule a meeting to discuss your situation and what defenses, if any, may apply to you.

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