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Posted on in Theft

b2ap3_thumbnail_porch-pirate_20200217-141909_1.jpgSomeone is known as a “porch pirate” when they steal packages from the doorstep of someone else’s house. The state of Illinois is the 13th worst state in the country when it comes to packages being taken. This offense is punished as theft because the person who commits the violation has the intention of keeping the items they take and they know it is against the law. Under Illinois’ theft law, porch pirating is considered a misdemeanor for items that value under $500 and a felony for items that value over $500.

The Penalty for Being Caught Pirating from Porches

On average, 11 million homeowners have packages stolen from their doorsteps in one year. As a result, victims find themselves changing their schedules when they know they have a package being delivered so they can be home to claim their box immediately.

Others pay a hefty cost to install home cameras in order to catch any would-be porch pirates in the act. These products lead to the identification of the offending parties who are then liable for all stolen items.

Illinois law classifies porch pirating as a form of theft. Charges increase in severity depending on the value of the stolen items:

  • A Class A misdemeanor is charged when the stolen items have a value of $500 or less. Offenders face up to one year in jail and fines of up to $2,500.
  • A Class 4 felony is charged when the building being pirated is a place of worship, a school, or government property. Offenders face a prison term of 1-3 years and fines of up to $25,000.
  • A Class 3 felony is charged when the property being stolen values between $500 and $10,000. Offenders face a prison term of 2-5 years and fines of up to $25,000.
  • A Class 2 felony is charged when the property being stolen values between $10,000 and $100,000. Offenders face a prison term of 3-7 years and fines of up to $25,000.
  • A Class 1 felony is charged when the property being stolen values between $100,000 and $500,000. Offenders face a prison term of 4-10 years and fines of up to $25,000.
  • A Class X felony is charged when the property being stolen values over $1,000,000. Offenders face a prison term of 6-30 years and fines of up to $25,000.

On average, the property that is pirated from doorsteps values between $50 and $100.

How to Defend Against Allegations of Porch Pirating

Most of the time porch pirates are caught if the homeowner has a camera installed to monitor the front doorway. However, a camera can only capture so much and sometimes a certain identification cannot be made.

Or, a person could be falsely accused of porch pirating if their car was seen at the victim’s home when the package was taken.

Some defenses against charges of theft include:

  • Mistake of fact
  • No intent to permanently deprive the homeowner of their goods
  • Prove owner’s consent to the taking of the package
  • Coercion
  • Entrapment
  • Insanity

If the items are returned to the homeowner after charges are issued against the offender, this does not erase the theft charges.

Contact an Elgin, IL Criminal Defense Attorney

The lawyers from the Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola have experience helping defendants of all sorts of theft cases. They can bring light to the facts of the case and protect clients from any unlawful punishments. To schedule a free consultation with a Kane County criminal defense lawyer, call our office at 847-488-0889.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K16-1

https://patch.com/illinois/chicago/how-often-porch-pirates-steal-amazon-packages-chicago

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IL DUI lawyerIn the state of Illinois, even just one conviction of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs will revoke the offending driver’s license for a certain amount of time.

Minors who drive while intoxicated will be charged under the zero-tolerance law and lose all driving privileges for at least two years. Adults can have their license revoked for life depending on the amount of DUI convictions they have on their record.

Illinois Restricted Driving Permit

Not having a valid driver’s license is impactful especially for adults who have to commute to a job. They could lose working time if they do not have a car in order to get to work on time.

Teenagers who drive to school have a similar problem and can miss school time without transportation.

To fix this problem, Illinois allows some DUI offenders to apply for a restricted driving permit. This court-approved document allows a driver to attend school or work but does not allow pleasure or leisure driving.

To be eligible for a restricted driving permit, a driver must:

  • Prove that hardship will exist if they cannot drive
  • Pass a current drug or alcohol evaluation
  • Provide proof of attendance in a treatment program

If a driver has multiple DUI convictions on their driving record, they may still be issued a restricted driving permit, but must also use a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device to monitor their alcohol consumption before driving.

Obtaining a restricted license makes continuing work and/or school easier until a driver can reinstate their license.

What Needs to Be Done to Reinstate a License?

There are obvious requirements that must be met in order for a driver to earn their license back. They must maintain a clean driving record and pass an alcohol evaluation with proof of treatment.

There are other steps a driver must take to earn their license back:

  • Provide proof of attendance in a remedial education program
  • Appear before an officer of the Secretary of State to prove that public wellbeing will not be harmed if allowed to drive again
  • File proof of financial responsibility and pay a $500 reinstatement fee
  • Pass the driving exam - written, vision, and driving

A driver’s license is reinstated when all the steps have been completed and the Secretary of State files all appropriate information on the driver’s record.

Contact an Elgin, IL DUI Attorney

It can be a difficult road after being convicted of a DUI. Often the process becomes confusing for the driver who wishes to reinstate their license. The lawyers from the Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola can help clients through the process and make sure they are not being mistreated by the courts. To schedule a free consultation with a Kane County DUI lawyer, call our office at 847-488-0889.

 

Source:

https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/publications/pdf_publications/dsd_a118.pdf

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IL defense lawyerDomestic violence affects one in four women nationwide. Unfortunately, many acts of abuse are not reported and therefore are not stopped. The reality is that silence about abuse can lead to the death of the victim. Those who do report domestic violence can then issue an order of protection against their abuser. In the state of Illinois, violation of this court-ordered document is a misdemeanor offense that can be elevated to a felony offense against second-time violators.

What Is an Order of Protection?

After reporting the domestic violence, a victim can hire an attorney and ask them to file for an order of protection against their abuser. Typically, this order is issued when the victim and abuser are relatives or spouses.

Once the alleged abuser has been given the order, it stops them from:

  • Continuing the abuse or threat of harm
  • Sharing a household with the victim, especially if drug addiction is involved
  • Coming near the victim and others protected under the order. This includes at home, school, work, or any other public place.
  • Hiding a child from the victim or taking a child out of state

The order also allows a victim temporary physical custody over all minors involved in a domestic violence case. Custody becomes permanent after the Illinois court decides where the child will be most protected.

An order of protection could also require an abuser to attend counseling and turn over all weapons to the police while the domestic violence case is under investigation.

If at any time an abuser violates the terms of the order of protection, they will be charged with a Class A misdemeanor punishable as a prison term of up to one year and a fine of $25. If an abuser violates a second order of protection, they will face a Class 4 felony charge.

How to Defend Against Order of Protection Violations

Since an order of protection requires both victim and abuser to appear in court, both parties should seek the help of a lawyer. For the alleged abuser, a lawyer is the best defense against false charges of violating an order of protection.

A lawyer can make sure that an alleged abuser’s rights are not being violated during the domestic violence case. At times, a victim could attempt to report false charges against an alleged abuser for revenge. The offender can defend these allegations by:

  • Proving the order of protection was not violated by means of an alibi
  • Prove the victim set up a situation that would make the violator break the order of protection
  • Prove mistake of fact or entrapment

Contact an Elgin, IL Criminal Defense Attorney

An order of protection is good to keep a victim safe from their abuser, but it can also be a tool for false victims to get what they want while punishing an ex-lover. Those who are fighting false allegations of order of protection violations should hire a lawyer from the Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola. Our knowledgeable Kane County domestic violence lawyers can protect your rights and keep you out of prison. To schedule a free consultation, call our office at 847-488-0889.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K12-3.4

http://www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/women/ordersofprotection.html

http://www.new-hope.org/facts-about-domestic-violence/?gclid=CjwKCAiA98TxBRBtEiwAVRLqu2S9Deoz0HuwKIYkziaSaV-j2JELVSExNAsghDQ7XBvlsGJFcWDxPxoCjHYQAvD_BwE

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IL defense lawyerIn 2015, the state of Illinois made the act of distributing “revenge porn” a felony offense. This crime is when a person distributes private, intimate photos and videos without permission of the person in the images.

Illinois amended the Civil Remedies for Nonconsensual Dissemination of Private Sexual Images Act - which covers revenge porn - so that victims of revenge porn can collect compensation starting the first of 2020.

What is Revenge Porn?

Typically, revenge porn occurs after a nasty breakup. One ex-partner unlawfully sends intimate material from their ex-partner in order to get back at them for the breakup. According to national statistics, 90 percent of revenge porn victims are female.

Under Illinois’s Civil Remedies for Nonconsensual Dissemination of Private Sexual Images Act, revenge porn includes pictures and/or videos of:

  • Sexual acts with a partner or solo
  • Exposure of a person’s intimate body parts
  • Intimate images of a person under 18 years old

Offenders are guilty of revenge porn if they knowingly distribute these types of images without the consent of the photographed person. Also, if the offender knew that the images were supposed to remain private, but they send them out anyway, they will be convicted accordingly.

Guilty parties will be charged with a Class 4 felony, punishable with a prison term of one to three years and a fine of up to $25,000.

New Amendment to the Law

When intimate photos of a person are distributed to people who were never supposed to see them, the victim can suffer more than just invasion of privacy:

  • Reputation can be harmed
  • If the images went to a boss or co-workers, the victim can lose their job
  • Younger victims in school can experience bullying
  • If put on the internet, the private photos will never go away and can harm a victim’s future goals - college, political aspirations, etc.

The humiliation and other repercussions a victim can experience because of revenge porn are why Illinois now allows those people to collect economic, emotional damages, and punitive damages.

The victim must report the crime and press charges within two years of the incident.

Offenders can defend the charges by proving - or attempting to prove - that they were not the ones that distributed the intimate images of the victim.

Contact an Elgin, IL Criminal Defense Attorney

Felony sex convictions come with a lot of punishments that will change a person’s life forever. Aside from prison and monetary fines, some sex charges come with a mandatory registration on the sex offender list. The lawyers of the Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola can help defend from serious punishments. To schedule a free consultation with a Kane County felony defense attorney, call our office at 847-488-0889.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/072000050K11-23.5.htm

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/illinois-revenge-porn_n_6396436

https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/chicago-politics/new-illinois-laws-going-into-effect-in-2020/2191493/

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IL traffic lawyerIn 2019, the Illinois State Police issued 5,860 tickets for violators of Scott’s Law. This law protects law enforcement officials during traffic stops by requiring drivers to give enough room when they see stopped police vehicles on the road.

Of the violations in 2019, the ISP reported that 27 police cruisers were struck and three officers were killed. In an attempt to protect Illinois officers, the state government amended Scott’s Law so that punishments are more costly to violators.

How Has Scott’s Law Changed?

Scott’s Law was passed in 2002 to protect Illinois law enforcement officers. This past year, there were more violations than in 2016, 2017, and 2018 combined.

Violators of Scott’s Law used to be fined $100 for first offenses, but this year, fines have been doubled to $250. Subsequent offenses will cost no less than $750. Additionally, each violation of Scott’s Law will be punished with a $250 fine that will fund education of this law.

Lastly, drivers who injure or kill any during a violation of Scott’s Law will be charged with a Class 4 felony; punishable by a fine of up to $25,000 and a prison term of 1-3 years.

Scott’s Law is not the only traffic charge that was amended starting in 2020:

  • Speeding through a construction zone will now be punished with a fine of $25,000 - an increase from $10,000.
  • Disobeying traffic signals within a worksite will be punished with a fine of $100-$1,000. This is a new law that started at the first of the year.
  • Passing a stopped school bus with its stop sign extended will be punished by a fine of $300 - increased from $100 - for first offenses. Subsequent offenses are punished with a fine of $1,000 - increased from $500.

Other Roadway-Related Rule Changes

The state of Illinois added several other law changes to make the road safer:

  • The distracted driving law was made more specific by officially including watching and making YouTube videos illegal while driving.
  • Chicago-area interstates will have more video surveillance installed in order to make an investigation of roadway crimes easier.
  • Garage and public parking lot fees will increase - 6% daily and 9% monthly - and funds will go towards Governor J.B. Pritzker’s “Rebuild Illinois” infrastructure project.

Contact an Elgin, IL Criminal Defense Attorney

It is still early into the year and not everyone has adjusted to the new laws. If you are fighting traffic charges, a lawyer from the Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola can help defend against major fines. To schedule a free consultation with a Kane County traffic offense lawyer, call our office at 847-488-0889.

 

Sources:

https://www.chicagotribune.com/politics/ct-liststory-illinois-new-laws-2020-20191218-k3sjxat7mvgonbbbvyr7anlbja-list.html

https://www.wifr.com/content/news/Illinois-stiffens-penalties-for-Scotts-Law-violators-in-2020-566184421.html

https://www.ksdk.com/article/news/local/illinois-doubling-scotts-law-fines-in-2020/63-d9f1e458-8707-4a81-b54b-44ee8cc7a5c1

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Avvo Illinois State Bar Association Kane COunty Bar Association
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