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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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Posted on in Felonies

IL defense lawyerThe state of Illinois classifies breaking and entering as a burglary charge regardless of if there were stolen items or not. It is a crime that needs only intent to commit another crime in order to be punishable as a felony.

Illinois law also charges breaking and entering crimes for more than just buildings or households. Burglary can be committed against trailers, aircraft, boats, cars, and public buildings (i.e. schools).

Understanding the Law

Burglary is charged against an offender when they knowingly - and without permission - enter a home, car, etc… of someone else with the intention of committing theft or another felony crime.

If the offender is found without having caused damage to the property and without taking any possessions, they will be charged with a Class 3 felony. Punishments for this crime include a fine of $25,000 and a jail sentence of no more than five years.

Charges become elevated depending on the circumstances of the burglary:

  • Class 2 felony is charged if damage has been done to the property. Punishable by a $25,000 fine and a jail sentence of no more than seven years.
  • Class 1 felony is charged if the burglary has been committed against a school, daycare facility, or place of worship. Punishable by a $25,000 fine and a jail sentence of no more than 15 years.

A lesser Class 4 felony can be charged against any offender caught in possession of tools that can be used in a breaking and entering crime. These tools consist of:

  • Key
  • Crowbar or other device
  • Explosives
  • Lock picks
  • Slim jims

Possession of burglary tools is punishable by a $25,000 fine and a jail sentence of no more than three years.

Burglary Versus Home Invasion

Illinois law has separate punishments for burglary and home invasion because they are essentially different crimes. Residential burglary is entering a person’s dwelling place without permission with the intent to commit another felony.

This crime is usually committed either when no one is home or by the offender attempting to gain entry by tricking the homeowner into thinking they are someone who requires entry into the house.

In comparison, home invasion is a more threatening crime in which an offender - knowing a person(s) is at home - forcibly breaks into the home with the intent to harm the homeowner with a deadly weapon. Home invasion is a Class X felony punishable with a prison term of 30 years with the possibility to add years depending on the circumstances of the crime.

Contact an Elgin, IL Criminal Defense Attorney

There are ways to defend against false charges of burglary that include mistake of fact; a person who was given permission to be on the property could be mistaken as a burglar. Strategies for avoiding serious penalties should be discussed with a knowledgeable attorney. The lawyers from the Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola are ready to defend against any false charges. To schedule an appointment with a Kane County criminal defense lawyer, call our office at 847-488-0889.

 

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=072000050HArt%2E+19&ActID=1876&ChapterID=0&SeqStart=63000000&SeqEnd=63800000

 

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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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Posted on in Traffic violations

IL defense attorneyA recent study from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration concluded that on a national scale, falling asleep behind the wheel of a car has caused 72,000 crashes - 44,000 injuries and up to 6,000 deaths. Drivers are expected to keep control of their vehicles at all times, so, in Illinois, if someone falls asleep at the wheel, they can at least be issued a traffic ticket. In cases where another person was hurt or killed by a drowsy driver, the offender will face felony charges.

Penalties that Result from Drowsy Driving

It is not safe to drive when you are tired. Drivers who do not only put themselves at risk, but also endangers the lives of others on the road or pedestrians walking along the side of the road.

This is why anyone who causes an accident while driving sleepily will face reckless driving penalties which in most cases means a Class A misdemeanor. There are some exceptions which make the charges felony offenses:

  • Class 4 felony charges are given to those who drive recklessly in a school zone which causes bodily harm to a child and/or crossing guard.
  • Class 3 felony charges are given to those who drive recklessly in a school zone which permanently disables or disfigures a child and/or crossing guard.

Both charges consist of heavy fines of up to $25,000 and jail time ( one to three years for Class 4 felony and two to five years for Class 3 felony).

Illinois law says that drivers could also face charges of reckless homicide if they unintentionally cause the death of another person. Reckless homicide is a Class 3 felony unless:

  • The driver falls asleep in a school zone and hits a child and/or crossing guard. This offense will be a Class 2 felony punishable with a prison term of three to14 years.
  • The driver falls asleep in a school zone and kills two or more people. This offense will be a Class 2 felony punishable with a prison term of six to 28 years.
  • The driver fails to obey a police officer or traffic control worker in a construction zone. This offense will be a Class 2 felony punishable by a prison term of three to 14 years.
  • The driver fails to obey a police officer or traffic control working in a construction zone and kills two or more people. This offense will e a Class 2 felony punishable by a prison term of  six to 28 years.

How to Avoid a Drowsy Driving Accident

Drivers should be aware of their conditions before getting behind the wheel of a car. If someone feels fatigued in any way, they should not drive. Signs to watch out for are:

  • Excessive yawning
  • Blinking frequently
  • Inability to remember events after they have happened
  • Drooping eyelids

Anyone experiencing tired feelings should let someone more awake drive. Or, that person could take a nap before preparing to drive wherever they are going.

Contact an Elgin, IL Criminal Defense Attorney

Falling asleep while driving is something that could happen to anyone, but no one should have to face the consequences of what happens after. Especially not alone. The lawyers from the Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola can help build a defensive strategy to protect offenders from a negative outcome in court. 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=072000050K9-3

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-503

https://www.cdc.gov/features/dsdrowsydriving/index.html

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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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