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IL defense lawyerThe new decade brought over 250 new laws - or amended laws - to the state of Illinois. The changes affect a variety of law topics, but the majority are classified under criminal law. Of course, many people quickly became aware of the legalization of recreational marijuana, but a fortunate amendment to one bill affected domestic violence and sexual offenses. As of the first of the year, there is no longer a statute of limitations to prosecute major sex crimes in Illinois.

The Law: Then and Now

Illinois law previously had a limited amount of time in which a prosecutor could take an alleged sex offender into litigation. A typical sex crime case includes offenses such as:

  • Rape
  • Sexual harassment
  • Sexual abuse
  • Sexual assault
  • Statutory rape (adult has sexual contact with a minor even with consent)
  • Molestation

In order to have their attackers brought to justice, a victim would have to come forth and report the crime within three years of the crime. Then, the prosecuting attorney would have 10 years from the time of the report to convict the alleged sex offender.

As of 2020, though, Illinois removed all statute of limitations for major sex crimes regardless of the age of the victim. This gives the victim and prosecutor more time to get the facts of the case correct and bring the guilty party to justice.

Other Changes Related to Sexual Offenses

Illinois amended its law to fight against workplace sexual harassment in order to make women feel more comfortable working with their fellow employees. Under the new rules, government workplaces will be required to give employees annual sexual harassment training regardless of gender, age, or orientation. This includes:

  • State officials
  • Lobbyists
  • Other state government employees

Illinois also amended its Domestic Violence Act by decreeing that all court systems must process any emergency violations of a protection order. This includes during the evening or court holidays. Previously, emergency violations reported during these days/times were held until the following regular workday.

Contact an Elgin, IL Criminal Defense Attorney

These new laws are less well-known than the legalization of marijuana. However, the new laws come with punishments, just like before 2020 began. If you are struggling against accusations of domestic violence, the lawyers of the Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola can look into your case and build a defense. 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/publicacts/fulltext.asp?Name=101-0130

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

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IL defense lawyerJoyriding is one common reason people steal motor vehicles. However, unlike vehicular theft, joyriding is usually a temporary theft that ends in either the thief returning the vehicle to where they found it or they abandon it when they are finished with it.

Illinois defines joyriding as vehicular trespass as opposed to theft which is punishable as a misdemeanor offense. Vehicular theft, on the other hand, is a felony with penalties that increase in severity based on the value of the vehicle that was stolen.

Joyriding Versus Vehicular Theft

Illinois punishes joyriders less severely than car thieves because the vehicles are usually returned to where they were stolen from - this is why it is easy to apprehend those who joyride.

Those who joyride will face a Class A misdemeanor which can be punished as one year in prison and/or a fine of up to $2,500.

Actual theft of a vehicle means that the offender has no intention of returning the car, boat, or aircraft they have taken. The most common reason people steal a vehicle is to sell it and make money and if this happens, it can be harder to find the right culprit.

In order to convict someone of vehicular theft, the prosecution must prove that the person who is found in possession of a stolen vehicle knew that the vehicle was sold illegally. If the buyer did not know, they cannot be charged with the crime and they can help lead the court to the person who sold them the stolen car.

Once the proper offender is found, they will face a specific felony charge depending on the type of vehicle that was stolen:

  • Class 3 felony: when the vehicle that is stolen is worth more than $500, but less than $10,000 the offender is punished with a prison term of five years.
  • Class 2 felony: when the stolen vehicle is government property valued at under $10,000 or is a normal vehicle valued more than $10,000, but less than $100,000 the offender will be punished with a prison term of seven years.
  • Class 1 felony: when the stolen vehicle is government property valued at $10,000-$100,000 or a normal vehicle valued at $100,000-$500,000 the offender will be punished with a prison term of 15 years.
  • Class X felony: when the stolen vehicle is government property valued over $100,000 or a normal vehicle valued over $1,000,000 the offender will be punished with a prison term of 30 years.

Contact an Elgin, IL Vehicular Theft Attorney

Since the punishments for vehicular theft are more life-changing than joyriding, it is important for offenders to seek the help of a lawyer after they are arrested. The lawyers of the Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola can make sure you are not being wrongfully charged with a crime that is more severe than what actually happened. 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

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K21-2

 

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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.

 

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K21-1

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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.

 

Sources:

https://www.illinoispolicy.org/illinois-one-of-few-states-limiting-freedom-to-choose-fireworks-on-independence-day/

https://www.wifr.com/content/news/Fireworks-Whats-Legal-Whats-Not-in-Illinois-511960851.html

 

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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. 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/073000050K5-4.5-55.htm

http://www.illinoiscourts.gov/forms/approved/expungement/ExpungementSealing_Instructions_Approved.pdf

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