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Archive for the ‘weapons charges’ tag

Probable Cause: When Are Police Allowed to Search a Vehicle without a Warrant?

July 15th, 2015 at 3:45 pm

your rights, Illinois defense lawyer, Illinois criminal attorney,Two of the most common types of criminal charges are drug charges and weapons charges. These two types of cases have something in common. They often involve a police officer searching some area (like a car or a home or a person) and finding an item that is the very basis of the crime, like a gun or drugs. Of course, many people understand that in most situations the police need a warrant to go in and search someone’s home. This is ultimately because of the Fourth Amendment. However what many people do not understand is that, because of some United States Supreme Court decisions, the police usually do not need a warrant to search a vehicle.

Occasionally the Police Need a Warrant to Search a Car

Very often police do not need a warrant to search your vehicle. Certainly, however, there are some exceptions. For example, if your car is being stored in your garage at your home and none of the warrant exceptions apply that would allow the police to search your home without a warrant, then they probably cannot search the car without a warrant (or your permission) either. This is because without your permission or a warrant, they cannot go into the garage. However, if your car were parked on a public street in front of your house, then a warrant likely would not be required.

Most of the Time the Cops Do Not Need a Warrant

Most of the time police officers do not need a warrant to search a car that you are out driving around. This exception to the Fourth Amendment dates back to a case almost as old as automobiles, known as Carroll v. United States. In this case from 1925 the United States Supreme Court ruled that an officer can search an automobile without a warrant so long as the officer has “probable cause” to believe that either evidence or contraband is in the automobile. Probable cause is one of the lowest burdens of proof in our legal system. The reasoning behind this ruling is two-fold.

First of all, since by their very nature cars are movable, there is a real threat of evidence destruction if officers have to wait for a warrant. Secondly, the Court theorized that there is less of an expectation of privacy in a car then there is in a home since cars are operated on public roadways under state regulations. Motor homes that are readily mobile, trailers pulled by trucks, boats, house boats, and airplanes are also covered by this exception.

Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

If you are the suspect in a crime, or if you have already been charged, you will need help. There are many issues to consider beyond just whether or not you are guilty. In many cases there are important constitutional issues at stake like issues regarding the Fourth Amendment. In these cases you need someone on your side who has an in depth understanding of the law. You will need the help of an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney. Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley today at (847)394-3200.

Body Armor: What Seems Like a Good Idea Can Land You in Prison

January 30th, 2015 at 1:57 pm

Illinois defense attorney, violent crime, Illinois criminal lawyer,Gun crimes are a reality in our society. Otherwise law abiding citizens find themselves carrying guns or other weapons for self-defense when they themselves would never want to hurt a fly. Others resort to protective measures like bullet-proof vests or bullet-proof backpacks to protect themselves. While combining both measures may seem like an excellent self-defense strategy, doing so in Illinois could wind you up in some hot water.

What is Body Armor?

Illinois has a statute that defines body armor. Body armor can be any of the following:

  • Military-Style Vests and Jackets. These include flack jackets, military surveillance vests, and other types of protective armor designed to be worn by military personnel. They are made of Kevlar or similar materials which are designed to prevent bullets from penetrating the chest.  Usually these vests or jackets are designed to be worn over your clothing.

  • Soft body armor. Unlike flack jackets, these vests are softer, but they still contain Kevlar. These are designed to be worn under a shirt. In movies and on television when characters are shot and then get back up to reveal they had a “bullet-proof vest” on under their shirts, this is the type of body armor they are portraying.

  • Undercover body armor. Unlike the vest/jacket types mentioned above, this type of body armor can take many forms. While it still includes bullet-resistant material like Kevlar, it can take the form of a jacket, coat, raincoat, quilted vest,  or three piece suit vests. The key part of this portion of the statute is that the prohibited body armor was designed to be used by undercover police officers. Since that is a requirement, it is unlikely that things designed for use by school children like bulletproof backpacks would be covered.

Wearing Body Armor Can be a Crime

There is a crime in Illinois called “unlawful use of body armor.” If a person knowingly wears body armor and is in possession of a dangerous weapon, other than a firearm, in the commission or attempted commission of any offense, then he or she is guilty of this crime. This means that committing a crime while possessing a weapon that is not a gun and wearing body armor at the same time is a crime.

Interestingly, one does not commit this crime if he or she is carrying a gun as opposed to a different dangerous weapon. However, there is a different crime one has to be concerned about when a gun is involved. If a person commits the crime of being a felon in possession of a firearm while wearing or in possession of body armor, then he or she is guilty of a class X felony punishable by at least 10 and no more than 40 years in prison. Additionally, if one wears or possesses body armor while possessing a gun and not having been issued a valid Firearms Owner’s Identification Card, then he or she is guilty of a class X felony.

Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

If you are charged with a weapons crime or any criminal offense, you will need an experienced and passionate lawyer on your side. That is why you should call the law offices of experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney Christopher M. Cosley. When you call us at (847)394-3200 we can schedule a consultation to discuss your case and see if we can be of help.

City Visitors Must Abide by Chicago Gun Laws

December 4th, 2014 at 10:59 am

federal laws, weapons violations, Illinois defense lawyer, Illinios criminal defense attorney,Considering some of the tragic events that occur in the world today, it is perhaps not surprising that citizens who choose to exercise their Second Amendment right to bear arms also may choose to travel with their firearms. Whether they anticipate using the weapon for self defense or protection, or just simply to gain some peace of mind, it is important for those individuals choosing to do so to realize that there are usually laws regulating weapon possession by which they must abide. If not, violators of weapons laws may face serious criminal charges, including felony crimes. Visitors to this area should also be aware that they need to follow Chicago gun laws, as well.

Gun Laws in Chicago

According to a recently published news article, gun owners who visit Chicago should familiarize themselves with the city’s gun laws before deciding to take their weapon with them to the city, or to the state of Illinois. There are three main laws governing possession of firearms that are applicable throughout the state, including in the city of Chicago: one in the Criminal Code, one in the Wildlife Code, and the Firearm Owner’s Identification Act. These laws are in addition to any local regulations or ordinances put in place by smaller communities within the state of Illinois. Even those who are not residents of Illinois are subjected to these laws and are expected to abide by them while in the state.

Nonresidents who are in possession of a firearm in Illinois are expected to have their weapon properly registered in their home state. They would also likely do well to meet any other requirements imposed by their home state regarding the legal possession of the firearm. In addition, nonresidents who want to transport their weapon into Illinois must carry it in a closed case, and the weapon must not be immediately accessible or otherwise must be broken down so that it is not in functioning condition. Chicago does not recognize concealed carry permits from other states, but nonresidents from states with concealed carry laws that are substantially similar to Illinois’ law can apply for a permit here.

Criminal Defense Attorney

There have been many changes to Chicago gun laws in the recent past, including how they apply to nonresidents. As a result, legal issues regarding this area of law can get complicated quite quickly. Consulting with an experienced criminal defense attorney about the most recent gun laws in Illinois and how they affect your rights is the safest way to ensure the laws are followed and criminal conduct is avoided.

If you or someone you know has been charged with a weapons offense in the Chicago area, contact the Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley today to schedule a consultation to discuss your matter. Our office is located in Rolling Meadows.

Father Faces Charges after Accidently Shooting Son

November 13th, 2012 at 5:52 pm

CBS Chicago reports that Charles Johnson faces charges of unlawful use of a weapon after his 17 year old son was accidentally shot on October 20th.

Johnson was apparently arguing with his son and they were struggling for control of the weapon when the gun discharged and the son was shot in the head. The dispute came about after Johnson found the gun in his son’s room. Johnson confronted his son about having the weapon and was trying to take it from him and that is when the argument ensued. The 17 year old is reported to be in critical condition at Saint Francis Hospital which is located in Evanston.

It is currently undetermined if Johnson will face additional charges because he is a convicted felon and is therefore legally disallowed from being in possession of a handgun. The penalty for a felon possessing a handgun can be up to ten years’ imprisonment.

Gun violence is not a new thing in the Chicago area. In fact, it has been a problem that has plagued the city and surrounding areas for decades. For this reason, the courts can be especially hard on cases involving firearms. If you find yourself in a situation where you are charged with a firearm offence, you need to have an aggressive and knowledgeable Illinois criminal defense attorney by your side to defend you. All cases are not open and shut cases and the outcome cannot be easily predicted. Your attorney can assist you from the bond hearing all the way to the trial, if there is one. It is the prosecution’s responsibility to prove the case against you. Remember that you are innocent until proven guilty and your attorney will make sure that all of your rights are protected through the judicial process.

Illinois to Rethink Juvenile Justice Recidivism and Lockup Aftercare

September 5th, 2012 at 1:37 pm

George Timberlake, a retired Illinois judge and the Report Commission’s chairman, says the group observed more than 250 prisoner review board hearings and analyzed the files of about 400 young people whose parole was revoked.

He says many of the juveniles who ended up back in custody didn’t commit new crimes, but instead were found guilty of technical violations of a parole order, such as skipping school and staying out late.

“How many teenagers do you know who are where they are supposed to be when they are supposed to be there?” Timberlake says. “Certainly, they need to be educated that time matters and it affects other people’s schedules, but doesn’t mean they need to be back in prison because of it.”

Arthur Bishop, director of the Illinois Juvenile Justice Department, has been on the job for less than two years. He began his career as a caseworker in the state’s child welfare agency. He says his team is in place to change the way kids in the system are treated. It’s pretty simple, Bishop says: Treat kids who commit crimes more like kids, and less like adults.

The old model still exists, Bishop says. Parole officers who aren’t necessarily trained to work with youth still handle many of the juvenile cases, but a new test model is up and running in the Chicago area.

Bishop says as soon as a young person arrives at a youth center, an aftercare specialist will begin to work with him or her, assessing any needs, like mental health issues. They may also have to develop a plan for their release.

“Not only does that aftercare specialist work with the youth, but they also begin to engage with families. And I’m emphasizing these points because that’s not historically done,” Bishop says. “Families are often put on what I call the ‘pay no mind’ list because many of the families … have the same — I’ll use my scientific word — ‘messed up’ backgrounds.”

While the push to change the culture of Illinois’ juvenile justice system may help reduce the number of kids who end up in facilities, it’s also tied to the state’s deep budget woes. In 2010, the Illinois auditor general said that it costs an average of $86,861 a year to keep a juvenile in Illinois’ Youth Centers – far more than for community-based strategies.

If you find yourself in a criminal situation you will need all the help you can get. Do not hesitate to get qualified legal help as soon as possible. Contact an experienced Illinois criminal defense attorney today to determine the best course of action for dealing with your criminal charges.

Juvenile on Drugs Shoots Relative by Accident

September 2nd, 2012 at 10:20 pm

Drugs can cause many unnecessary tragedies. This seems to be the case in a recent case where a 16-year-old shot and critically wounded his younger relative. The shooting was reported by the Chicago Tribune. According to police, the young man was packaging drugs while under the influence of narcotics. He was carrying a gun which misfired and the shot hit the man’s fifteen year-old female relative. The drugged juvenile then left the crime scene, got rid of the gun and phoned his mother who was able to convince her son to surrender. The juvenile was arrested and taken into custody only a few hours after the incident. The unlucky teenage girl was taken to a hospital in a critical condition.

The young man may be facing many types of charges, from drug charges to felony charges to weapons charges. Whatever they may be, the penalties are likely to be severe, especially if the wounded girl does not recover from her injuries. In this case, the drug-influenced accident could ruin the lives of two young people. The girl’s fate is in the hands of medical professionals, but the young man requires legal help. An experienced criminal defense attorney can affect the outcome of any ensuing legal proceedings and help minimize the consequences of this accident.

Criminal attorney Christopher M. Cosley is dedicated to providing the right kind of help for his clients. If your loved one has committed a similar crime, possibly under the influence of drugs, and requires professional help, contact our skilled and highly qualified Rolling Meadows, Illinois juvenile crime attorneys right away. We can help you to get your child’s life back on track.

Visit to Jail Lands Man in a Cell of His Own

June 20th, 2012 at 2:24 pm

Julius Price, 23, managed to evade police for two weeks. The Chicago man had been identified as the prime suspect in the stabbing of four Guardian Angels on a North Side “L” platform. Ironically, Price was arrested after attempting to visit his co-defendant, Keith Gunn, 34, at the Cook County Jail. When arrested, Price was carrying a Bible and a length of rope.

Prosecutors told the Chicago Tribune that Gunn had pistol-whipped a 27 year old passenger on the train in an attempt to steal the man’s cell phone. When he fled with the phone, four Angels caught him and brought him down to the ground. Price allegedly approached the group with a knife.

According to the report, Price stabbed one of the Angles in the lower abdomen and another in the upper arm, which took eleven stitches to close. He cut another on the right arm, sending that man to the hospital for seventeen stitches. Another Angel was stabbed on top of the head and was also bitten on the arm. Both Price and Gunn ran away but the attack was caught on security cameras.

Prosecutors say Price has a long criminal history. He was convicted of misdemeanor battery in 2005 and residential burglary in 2006. He was sentenced to eight years in prison for the burglary conviction. Price is now being charged with four counts of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and his bail has been set at $750,000.

The amount of Price’s bail indicates just how serious the charges against him are. Conviction could result in a very long prison sentence. If you have been arrested and charged with battery, it’s important to hire an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney who can defend you and protect your rights.

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