The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola


47 DuPage Court, Elgin, IL 60120


b2ap3_thumbnail_damage.jpgAnger can result in a person lashing out in a variety of ways. They can lash out verbally by threatening a person who is causing their anger or they can lash out physically by assaulting someone or damaging their property.

In the state of Illinois, property damage can lead to either misdemeanor or felony charges depending on the seriousness of the damage that occurs during the violation. The more money it costs to fix the property that was damaged, the higher the consequences for the offender.

Illinois Criminal Property Damage Law

Illinois law makes it clear what is considered a property damage offense and what the proper consequence should be based on the evidence provided. The following are offenses that are included in the Illinois Criminal Property Damage Law:

  • Knowingly damaging another person’s property
  • Recklessly damaging someone’s property by means of fire or explosion
  • Starting a fire on someone else’s land
  • Knowingly injuring a pet owned by someone else
  • Damaging property to collect insurance payments

The least severe punishment for property damage is a Class A misdemeanor and it is charged when the damage done is less than $300 to fix. The misdemeanor punishment is one year in prison and a $2,500 fine.

Punishments increase from there:

  • Class 4 Felony: property damage between $300-$10,000 or when the damage takes place against a school, place of worship, or farming equipment. Punishments include a prison term of one to three years and fines of up to $25,000.
  • Class 3 Felony: property damage between $10,000-$100,000 leads to punishments of a prison term of two to five years and fines of up to $25,000.
  • Class 2 Felony: property damage more than $100,000 leads to punishments of a prison term of three to seven years and fines of up to $25,000.
  • Class 1 Felony: property damage against a place of worship, school, or farm equipment that is over $100,000 leads to punishments of a prison term of four to fifteen years and fines of up to $25,000.

A misdemeanor charge can be increased to a Class B misdemeanor if the property that was damaged or tampered with is a fire hydrant or other piece of fire department emergency equipment. Punishments include a prison term of six months and a $1,500 fine.

Contact an Elgin, IL Criminal Defense Attorney

Even one conviction on your criminal record can change the course of your life. It can affect the kind of college you can attend, the kind of job you want to be hired for, and the type of house you can purchase. If you or someone you know is fighting property damage charges, hire a lawyer from the Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola to build a defense strategy and keep your record clean. To schedule a free consultation with a Kane County criminal defense lawyer, call 847-488-0889.



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IL defense lawyerOne of the biggest ways to celebrate the Fourth of July is to light off and/or watch a fireworks display. However, if you were caught setting off fireworks in Illinois, you are most likely currently facing misdemeanor charges.

Illinois is one of only six states in the country that have banned consumers from purchasing and lighting fireworks on their own. The crime is punishable by a Class A misdemeanor enforced by a fine of up to $2,500 and a prison term of one year.

What Is Acceptable in Illinois?

While larger fireworks are not legal for purchase in Illinois, those who want to celebrate on July 4th can legally buy novelty items. The American Pyrotechnics Association reported that Illinois residents can celebrate with sparklers, smoke machines, snappers, and party poppers among other items that are less likely to cause injury.

Items that are illegal in Illinois include, but are not limited to:

  • Handheld fireworks
  • Bottle rockets
  • Firecrackers
  • Skyrockets
  • Missiles
  • Pinwheels

Illinois policy reported that in 2017 there were over 12,000 firework-related injuries in the state. They reported that as “less than the number of injuries resulting from tipped furniture and children’s toys” but they are injuries that could still be avoided if the law was unbroken.

The report went on to name the most common item which leading to injury, sparklers - an item on the legal list of novelty tools. This begs the question: should sparklers also be made illegal since they can cause injury?

Alternatives to Lighting Fireworks in Illinois

The quickest and easiest solution if you really want to light fireworks legally is to travel to the next state over. Indiana, Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, and Michigan all allow consumers to purchase and set off their own fireworks - of course while following their specific safety instructions.

The only other states besides Illinois to have a ban on fireworks excluding sparklers and novelty items are Ohio and Vermont. States that have a complete ban on any and all firework-related items are New Jersey, Delaware, and Massachusetts.

Contact an Elgin, IL Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you or someone you know was caught lighting fireworks in Illinois this July 4th, hire a lawyer from the Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola to build a defense strategy and help you avoid misdemeanor charges. To schedule a free consultation with a Kane County criminal defense lawyer, call 847-488-0889.




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Aurora, IL drug charges attorney

Here in the state of Illinois, misdemeanor charges can come with significant criminal punishments. While some people underestimate the potential impact of a misdemeanor when compared to a felony, the long-term ramifications of a conviction can include difficulty securing employment, housing, or loan opportunities. Legally speaking, a misdemeanor can result in jail time and significant fines. 

Below we will discuss what crimes could lead to a misdemeanor conviction, and what you should do if you have been charged.

Misdemeanor Crimes in Illinois

According to Illinois state law, there are a number of crimes that can ultimately result in a misdemeanor charge. Assault or disorderly conduct (examples of disorderly conduct include public intoxication or a violation of noise ordinances) constitute a Class C misdemeanor. This is the least severe of the three misdemeanors, but can still result in up to 30 days in jail, a two year probation period, and maximum fines of $1,500. 

Common examples of criminal offenses warranting a Class B misdemeanor include but are not limited to aggravated speeding (driving more than 25 miles per hour over the legal speed limit) and minor drug charges. In the event of a conviction, you could face as much as 60 days in jail. The third and most serious charge is a Class A misdemeanor. This includes DUI, burglary, and unlawful possession of a weapon. If you are convicted of a Class A misdemeanor, possible punishments include up to one year of incarceration and fines as high as $2,500. 

How a Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help 

After being charged with a misdemeanor, it is important to act quickly. A skilled criminal defense attorney may be able to have the case thrown out due to improper execution of arrest procedures. In the event of a conviction, you still have a number of options. According to Illinois state law, a large number of misdemeanor crimes are eligible for expungement or criminal sealing. It should be noted that in the event of a record seal, the misdemeanor can still be viewed on your criminal record by law enforcement, but it will make the criminal record inaccessible via background check or public record. 

Contact an Elgin, IL Criminal Defense Attorney

With well over a decade of experience in the state of Illinois, including as an assistant state’s attorney of the Kane County, Attorney Brian J. Mirandola is uniquely prepared to help you fight against a misdemeanor charge. Through careful examination of your case, he will develop a strategy to pursue dropped or reduced charges. To schedule a free consultation with an experienced Kane County criminal defense attorney, call us today at 847-488-0889. 


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Aurora, IL defense lawyer

After being charged with a crime, it is important to understand the potential long-term ramifications. Outside of possible jail time, significant fines or loss of driving privileges, a misdemeanor or felony conviction can impact many aspects of your life. Many individuals with a criminal charge on their record face difficulty finding employment, securing housing, and receiving financial loans. 

Some criminal charges are eligible for expungement or a record seal, which remedy many potential complications in life. The expungement process can be complex and difficult, however, and requires the guidance of a skilled criminal defense lawyer. 

Understanding the Expungement Process 

An expungement is a court-ordered process that allows the legal record of an arrest to be erased from a person’s criminal record. Eligibility for expungement depends on the type and severity of the crime. Here in Illinois, expungement is possible in a large number of cases. If you were arrested for a misdemeanor or felony, but never convicted, you will likely be able to have the charges expunged. In other cases, you can file for expungement after completing a mandated suspension, or in the instance of a conviction reversal or dropped charges. 

If expungement is not possible, you may be able to pursue a criminal record seal. While this will not result in a complete erasure of the offense, it will ensure your record can only be viewed by law enforcement or through the court. A record seal ensures any potential employers or property managers will be unable to access the record. A criminal record seal is possible with most minor traffic offenses and felony traffic offenses that are reduced to misdemeanors. In the vast majority of cases, a felony or misdemeanor conviction can be sealed three years after completion of the sentence. 

Contact an Elgin, IL Expungement Lawyer 

If want to protect your future through expungement, the first step is to hire an adept attorney. With years of experience within the state of Illinois, Attorney Brian J. Mirandola will fight to secure your expungement eligibility. His diligent care and aggressive representation can make the difference in attaining full expungement or a criminal record seal. To schedule a free consultation with a Kane County criminal defense lawyer, contact us today at 847-488-0889. 


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trial penalty, Elgin criminal defense attorneyNearly every person or entity involved with the American criminal justice system is aware of the existence of the so-called "trial penalty." This penalty refers to the harsher sentences imposed on criminal defendants who exercise their right to a trial compared to those who accept plea bargains. There is little question that some form of a trial penalty is acceptable, but a new report from a national organization of defense attorneys suggests that the differences in sentences have become so severe that the penalty is threatening the right to a trial guaranteed by the Constitution’s Sixth Amendment.

The Sixth Amendment

The Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution promises, "In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury…" The amendment also guarantees a defendant the right to face the witnesses against him or her, as well that the right to legal counsel.

In any accepted plea bargain, a criminal suspect waives his or her right to a trial—often in exchange for reduced charges and a lesser sentence. How much the charges are reduced and how much of a lesser sentence have become serious concerns for defense lawyers and criminal defendants across the country.

A New Report

Earlier this month, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) released a report called The Trial Penalty: The Sixth Amendment Right to Trial on the Verge of Extinction and How to Save It. The report was the result of more than two years of research that looked back on more than 50 years of case results in the United States. According the report, the rate of federal criminal cases that go to trial has been dropping for the last half-century. Less than 3 percent of such cases go to trial today at the federal level, and about 6 percent of state criminal cases do. About 20 percent of federal criminal cases went to trial just 30 years ago.

One of the most troubling practices that contributes to the severe trial penalty, according to the report, is that prosecutors tend to threaten charges that carry mandatory minimum sentences if a defendant does not accept a plea bargain. For example, most Class 1 felonies in Illinois carry a mandatory minimum prison sentence of at least four years. A prosecutor could threaten to charge a defendant with a Class 1 felony count of criminal sexual assault unless the suspect pleads guilty to a Class A misdemeanor for criminal sexual abuse. The disparity between the two charges—and their respective sentences—would make any defendant think about waiving the right to trial and pleading guilty, even if they did not commit the crime.

The report suggests that eliminating such threats would go a long way in making the trial penalty more reasonable. Other suggested ways to mitigate the problem include requiring full discovery before a guilty plea can be entered and including a judge in the plea negotiation process.

Call Us for Help

If you have been charged with a crime and you are being pressured to plead guilty, contact an experienced Kane County criminal defense attorney. Call 847-488-0889 for a free consultation at The The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola today and get the guidance you need before you make any life-changing decisions.


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