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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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Posted on in Marijuana

IL defense lawyerContrary to popular belief, it will not be a free-for-all beginning the first of the year when marijuana for recreational use becomes legal in Illinois. There are still certain regulations that will need to be followed. One part of the Illinois drug law that will not change in 2020 is that no one is permitted to grow cannabis plants in their home. The only exception to that rule is medical marijuana users; they will need a doctor’s note to do so (up to five plants).

Anyone caught growing cannabis without a doctor’s permission will face a drug charge and be fined $200. Instead of growing it, Illinois residents will be able to purchase the drug from any one of 20 cultivation facilities that have already been licensed to sell marijuana.

What Does the Law Currently Say?

There are still several months before marijuana becomes legal in Illinois. Until that time, residents should abide by the drug law or face felony punishments if caught possessing any illegal substance.

Right now, it is unlawful for anyone to possess marijuana and punishments become more severe with higher amounts of drugs.

  • Less than 2.5 grams: Up to 30 days in jail and/or $1,500 fine
  • 2.5-10 grams: Up to six months in jail and/or $1,500 fine
  • 10-30 grams: First offenders will face one year in jail and/or $2,500 fines while second offenders will be charged with a Class 4 felony with punishments of 1-3 years in prison and/or $25,000 in fines
  • 30-500 grams: First offenders will face Class 4 felony punishments while second offenders face Class 3 felony punishments of 2-5 years in prison and/or $25,000 in fines
  • 500-2,000 grams: Class 3 felony punishments
  • 2,000-5,000 grams: Class 2 felony punishments of 3-7 years in prison and/or $25,000 in fines
  • Over 5,000 grams: Class 1 felony punishments of 4-15 years in prison and/or $25,000 in fines

The Illinois drug law also covers false prescription violations, drug paraphernalia possession, and possession of hard drugs such as cocaine or heroin.

Once these types of convictions go on your record, they will affect the course of your life. It could tarnish your ability to get into a college you want to go to, what kind of job you want to have, and even what house you want to purchase.

The “lucky” few that can have their records expunged next year are those who were convicted of having 30 or less grams of marijuana in their possession.

Contact an Elgin, IL Drug Possession Attorney

There are several defense strategies that can help someone avoid a drug charge on their record. The lawyers from the Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola can help build a defense and defend you from a negative conviction. To schedule a free consultation with a Kane County drug crimes lawyer, call 847-488-0889.

 

Sources:

https://www.iwu.edu/counseling/Illinois_Drug_Laws.htm

https://www.illinoispolicy.org/illinois-state-lawmakers-introduce-pass-85-billion-in-spending-in-12-hours-2/

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Posted on in Fraud

IL defense lawyerThere are several types of deceptive practices that can be punishable as felony charges in Illinois. The most common deception that goes on today is forgery which is defined by Illinois law as:

  • Making or altering documents to defraud another person.
  • Issuing or delivering altered documents.
  • Possessing with intent to deliver altered documents.
  • Unlawful usage of another person’s signature.
  • Unlawful usage of another person’s PIN number as an electronic signature.

Forgery is a felony offense in most situations, but the worst punishment of this type of conviction is the damage that it does to one’s personal reputation.

If you are convicted of a forgery charge, others will change the way they see you and question your morals. People will begin to wonder when you are lying to manipulate a situation or if you are trying to harm another person for selfish reasons.

What Are the Legal Ramifications to Forgery Charges?

A forgery charge is only punishable as a misdemeanor - Class A misdemeanor - when the document being altered is an academic degree or coin. The misdemeanor punishment is less than one year in prison, probation, and a fine of up to $2,500.

All other forgery violations are considered felonies:

  • Most violations are considered Class 3 felonies and are punishable by two to five years in prison, periodic imprisonment for up to 18 months, probation or conditional discharge for up to 30 months, a fine of up to $25,000 for each offense, and/or restitution.
  • A Class 4 felony is charged when a forged document has only one Universal Price Code Label. The punishment for this type of felony is the same as a Class 3 felony except the jail time is reduced to 1-3 years in prison.

 

 How to Defend Against Forgery Charges

The first step to defend against forgery charges is to hire a knowledgeable attorney who can build a strong case on your behalf. They will also be able to dig into the prosecution’s case and discover if any of your rights were compromised in order to obtain incriminating evidence.

If the charges cannot be dismissed, the defense can argue that there was no intent to defraud or deceive the alleged victim. Other defenses include:

  • Mistake of fact.
  • Duress or compulsion.
  • Infancy - for alleged forgers under the age of 13.
  • And insanity.

Previously mentioned, forgery does include academic degrees. However, the defense for altering this type of document can be avoided if the paper is clearly marked as “for novelty purposes only” according to Illinois law.

Contact an Elgin, IL Defense Attorney

If you or someone you know is facing felony forgery charges, a lawyer from the Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola can help build a defensive strategy to protect you from a negative outcome. To schedule a free consultation with a Kane County forgery defense lawyer, call 847-488-0889.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K17-3

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K17-1

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