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Archive for the ‘The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley’ tag

Influx of Mentally Ill Being Imprisoned

August 15th, 2014 at 7:21 am

Cook County criminal lawyers, illegal street drugs, mental health hospital, mental health prison, mental health system, mental illness, mental illness treatment, mentally ill imprisoned, non-violent crime, The Law Offices of Christopher M. CosleySome may be aware of the problem that links mental illness with crime in this country, but many likely do not realize the significance of the problem. The seemingly constant rise in the number of mentally ill individuals who are arrested for non-violent crimes poses a multitude of problems. On the societal level, jails are becoming more overcrowded as taxes are spent to house countless inmates, some of whom arguably are improperly imprisoned. On the individual level, mentally ill people are being punished for committing acts that they may not have otherwise committed if they were well. They often are not getting proper treatment for their condition in prison. A recent news article examined this problem further as it exists in Cook County.

The Statistics

The Cook County Sheriff’s website supposedly posts numbers regarding new arrivals daily on their website. In one week, a single day saw 36 percent of all new arrivals reporting a mental illness. Two days later, that number jumped to 54 percent. Many argue that these numbers are more reflective of a mental health hospital than a prison. The fact remains that the jail has become an accidental treatment center for the many prisoners it houses with a mental illness. This problem is not one that is isolated in Cook County, but rather one that plagues jails across the country. The unfortunate part is that these jails and their staff are not equipped to handle the huge task placed upon them.

The Prisoners

The mentally ill who are imprisoned suffer from anything from bipolar to post-traumatic stress disorder. They may participate in criminal activity when off of their medication, or they may self-medicate with illegal street drugs in an effort to cope with their condition. No matter the path they take, they end up in jail for their offense. Jails have seen a rise in this type of prisoner in cities across the United States, and usually the inmates suffer from serious mental illnesses but have been arrested for non-violent crimes.

Many of the prisoners are housed at jails for relatively short amounts of time, either awaiting trial or to serve shorter prison sentences. However, these short stays further complicate the effort in properly screening and treating those with a mental illness as it limits the time within which to manage medications and provide care. In that way, longer prison terms may be more beneficial for providing better treatment. However, the fact remains that there is a shortage of mental hospitals equipped to handle the mentally ill population in the U.S., and so the job is being improperly left to prisons to handle.

Criminal Defense Attorney

The experienced Cook County criminal lawyers at The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley have successfully represented clients in a wide range of criminal matters. If you or someone you know has been charged with a crime, contact us today to schedule a consultation to discuss your case. We serve clients in Cook and DuPage counties, as well as the surrounding area.

Teen Drinking Targeted by Officials

July 2nd, 2014 at 7:00 am

Christopher M. Cosley, high school graduation, juvenile law attorney, Rolling Meadows criminal lawyer, teen drinking, The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley, underage drinking, Chicago juvenile crime lawyerThe end of a school year brings graduation and all of the celebrations that go along with the occasion. Many high school students are undoubtedly eager to enjoy the milestone and excitedly look forward to the next part of their lives. However, it is an unfortunate fact that many event celebrations for  teens involve underage drinking, or at least the opportunity to do so. A recent article discusses law enforcement officials’ response in Pontiac, Illinois.

Underage Drinking

Police officers are aware of a correlation between the incidence of underage drinking and warmer weather in the summertime. Their concern, however, is that teens do not appreciate the fact that choosing to participate in underage drinking and risking an arrest can have long lasting and damaging effects on their lives in the future.

School officials also side with law enforcement, saying that students partaking in celebrations is to be expected. But, it is also important that such celebrating be done in a responsible way. School representatives encourage students to enjoy their graduation with friends and family in a smart and safe way. The local school in Pontiac offered a safe and legal alternative celebration that they hosted, called Operation Graduation. It was an all-night event allowing teens to celebrate in a drug and alcohol-free environment.


Potential consequences of an underage drinking arrest include suspension of the individual’s driver’s license for at least six months due to the state of Illinois’ zero tolerance policy. Other consequences include a probationary sentence, community service, the imposition of a curfew, and potential ramification from school administration, like restrictions on extracurricular activities.

If convicted of a higher graded Class A misdemeanor, an individual faces a maximum sentence of one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. Both the age of the individual and whether they have any prior criminal history are factors that are considered in order to determine whether the person will be sentenced to a period of incarceration, a period of probation, and/or any fines imposed.

Other criminal offenses involved with teen drinking could include an arrest for driving under the influence. Minors are subject to the same testing as adults, including breath, blood, and urine screenings. In addition to losing their license, teens could be sentenced to probation time or fines.

Of course, some may argue that the legal consequences of underage drinking pale in comparison to the personal tragedy that can occur. Poor judgment and decision making that results from underage drinking could have potential life-long consequences if such behavior results in a crash, death, or other significant injury.

Juvenile Law Attorney

If you or someone you know has been charged with underage teen drinking or any other criminal offense as a juvenile, the experienced attorneys at The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley can assist in your defense. Contact us today for a consultation. We serve clients in DuPage and Cook Counties and surrounding areas.

Assault and Battery Law in Illinois

June 28th, 2014 at 6:49 am

battery, Assault & Battery, Chicago criminal defense attorney, Christopher M. Cosley, Cook County criminal defense lawyer, Rolling Meadows, The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley, Class C misdemeanor, assault crime, aggravated assault, Class 4 felony, aggravated batteryAssault and battery are two serious offenses that are treated as such in criminal courts in the state of Illinois. Those charged with such crimes are advised to immediately seek the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney to protect their rights. Below are some of the basics regarding relevant assault and battery laws in Illinois.


In the state of Illinois, an assault charge is usually graded as a Class C misdemeanor. The penalties associated with such an offense are a maximum of 30 days incarceration and up to $1,500 in fines. Typically, the facts that give rise to such a charge involve engaging in conduct or acting in a way that places another in fear of harm. It is important to note that the crime of assault does not necessarily involve physical contact with the victim; a verbal threat or threat of physical harm is enough to meet the law’s requirements.

Certain circumstances warrant a charge to be elevated to an aggravated assault. This usually happens when a deadly weapon is involved, the defendant is disguised when committing the crime, or the alleged victim is within a certain class of individuals, including but not limited to teachers, law enforcement officials, and firemen. Aggravated assaults are graded as Class A misdemeanors, which carry a maximum one-year jail sentence and a fine of up to $2,500. If the victim falls within the designated class of individuals, the crime becomes a Class 4 felony and carries a maximum three-year prison term and a maximum $25,000 fine.


Under Illinois law, it is considered battery if a person causes bodily harm to another or makes insulting or provoking contact with another. Pushing someone could be the basis for a battery charge. Because the crime invokes physical harm, it is generally treated more seriously than assault. Battery is graded as a Class A misdemeanor and can invoke a maximum jail term of one year or a fine of up to $2,500.

Aggravated battery is charged when the victim suffers significant bodily harm or permanent disability. The use of a firearm could also support a charge of aggravated battery. This crime is graded as a Class 3 felony and carries a maximum five-year prison term as well as fines that could reach up to $25,000.

Criminal Defense Attorney

Depending on the circumstances, assault or battery charges could have serious consequences for those accused of them. The attorneys at The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley have successfully defended a number of clients charged with assault and battery. Contact us today for a consultation in our Rolling Meadows office. We can listen to the facts of your specific case, advise you of your options, and protect your rights.

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