The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola


47 DuPage Court, Elgin, IL 60120

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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.



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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.



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Posted on in Felonies

Kane County defense attorney

Facing felony charges comes with significant stress and uncertainty. In all reality, it is important to act quickly after the initial arrest. With an aggressive and comprehensive legal strategy, it is possible you could secure a lesser charge, or avoid a conviction altogether. In Illinois, a felony charge can carry substantial jail time and devastating fines. Immediately after your arrest, it is critical to seek the guidance of an experienced criminal defense attorney who you can believe in. 

Common Illinois Felonies

Here in the state of Illinois, even a Class 4 felony (the lowest of Illinois' felonies) can bring up to $25,000 in fines and as many as three years in prison. Listed below are some of the most common felonies committed throughout the state:

Aggravated DUI: According to Illinois state law, a drinking and driving arrest can be elevated to an aggravated DUI in a number of situations. If a person is convicted of a third or any subsequent DUIs, they will likely face Class 2 felony charges. Other aggravating factors include driving under the influence without a valid driver’s license, while transporting a child, or causing bodily harm to another party. 

Drug Crimes: When facing a drug charge in the state of Illinois, the severity of the charges depend on the type of substance and the quantity. Displayed within 720 ILCS 570/402, possession of drugs such as heroin or cocaine constitute a felony charge, for any amount. If you are found with less than 1 gram, you will likely face a Class 4 felony charge. As the quantity increases, the legal severity does as well. If you are apprehended with an excess of 15 grams of either heroin or cocaine, you could face as many as 15 years in prison. For more information on the implications of a felony drug charge, speak with a legal professional. 

Other Felony Crimes: A felony charge can dramatically impact the rest of your life. From difficulty securing employment or residential opportunities to substantial fines and possible jail time, an arrest of such magnitude should not be taken lightly. Other common felonies committed throughout the state of Illinois include burglary, motor vehicle theft, and forgery. In the event of an arrest, seek out legal assistance immediately.  

Contact an Elgin, IL Felony Defense Lawyer 

With years of legal experience within the state of Illinois, Attorney Brian J. Mirandola relentlessly represents his clients in order to secure the best possible legal outcome. Through consultation regarding the arrest and the development of a precise strategy, a skilled attorney can help you secure a reduction of charges or complete dismissal. To schedule your free consultation with an experienced Kane County criminal defense attorney, contact us today at 847-488-0889. 


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juvenile, Illinois law, Illinois criminal defense attorneyThe Illinois state legislature has sent a bill to Governor Bruce Rauner that would give juvenile court judges more control over the transfer of juvenile defendants to the regular court system. If the governor approves the new law, it is expected to reduce the number of juveniles tried as adults by half or more, according to estimates. By doing so, proponents hope, rehabilitative and intervention programs available to juveniles can increasingly break the cycle of crime, keeping more young people entering into a lifetime of criminal trouble.

As the setting for the nation’s first juvenile court in 1899, Illinois—specifically Cook County—has remained at the forefront in the fight against juvenile crime. Over time, however, stricter laws have led to increased prosecution and penalties against younger and younger defendants. Currently, children as young as 13 years old may be tried as adults in Illinois, depending on the nature of their alleged crimes. Despite the developmental differences between children and adults, the prosecution of juveniles as adults is often automatic. A child defendant may never even appear in juvenile court before being pushed into the adult system.

The new law, if approved, will dramatically decrease the automatic transfer of juvenile defendants. Only those who are at least 16 years old and charged with murder, aggravated battery with a firearm, and aggravated criminal sexual assault would be subject to an automatic transfer. All other juvenile defendants would be required to appear before a juvenile court judge for a hearing. Based on consideration of a number of factors, including nature of the crime, likelihood for rehabilitation, mental capacity, and others, the judge would decide whether to keep the case in juvenile court or transfer it to the adult system.

With a renewed focus on rehabilitation, the proposed law would be "a great step forward for long overdue juvenile justice reform in Illinois," said Rep. Elaine Nekritz, D-Northbrook, who sponsored the bill in the State House. Although her intent was to eliminate automatic transfers entirely, Nekritz recognized that compromise is sometimes necessary to achieve progress. Governor Rauner’s office has not yet acted on the measure, promising only to "carefully consider any legislation that crosses his desk."

Until these changes are approved, certain criminal charges may force a juvenile’s case into the regular justice system. If you or your child is in such a situation, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in Elgin. Our team of compassionate legal professionals will help you understand your options and work with you in protecting your rights under the law. Call 847-488-0889 to schedule your free consultation today.

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Posted on in Fraud

fake id, underage drinking, Illinois criminal defense lawyerAdvances in digital technology have made producing and obtaining a false driver’s license or identification care easier than ever. Individuals under the age of 21, obviously, are the most likely try to use fake IDs to get into bars and nightclubs or to purchase alcohol. Fake IDs may also be created and obtained as part of larger identity theft schemes to illegally access a victim’s assets or accounts. Whatever their intended purpose, possession of a fraudulent identification card is prosecutable under law, and potential penalties in Illinois are among the most severe in the country.

What Constitutes a Fake ID?

An identification card that is passed off as an official identification card from any governmental or quasi-government organization that contains false or altered information is considered a "fraudulent identification card" under the Illinois Identification Card Act. A card need only resemble an official ID, or use the words "official," "state," "Illinois," or any other state name to be considered a fake ID.

Getting Caught

The vast majority of fake IDs are used in the attempt to gain access to bars, clubs, and alcohol by those who are not yet of legal age. Recent efforts to curb underage drinking and fake ID use in the state have led to more knowledgeable bouncers and bar staff with better training to spot a fraudulent card. MTV News recently reported that bouncers are more likely to simply confiscate a fake ID and deny access to the establishment than anything else. Bar staff frequently do not have a vested interest in pursuing further action. On occasion, however, the card may be turned over to the police and a person caught with a fake ID could face serious consequences.

Potential Penalties

The Illinois Identification Card Act specifies that it is a Class 4 felony "to knowingly possess, display, or cause to be displayed any fraudulent identification card." Penalties include up to three years in prison, mandatory minimum fines of $500 or community service, and a one year suspension of driving privileges. The use of fake IDs to access accounts or information, or to commit other crimes, carries even more significant consequences. As a felony, convictions related to possessing a fake ID could potentially follow an individual for years to come, and may limit future opportunities.

It IS a Big Deal

College students and other young adults insist that using fake IDs to get into bars is pretty harmless or "not that big a deal." Law enforcement and the Illinois Office of the Secretary of State believe otherwise. Fake IDs and underage drinking are a big deal and the laws of the state will continue to treat them as such.

If you are facing charges related to possessing a fraudulent identification card or underage drinking in Illinois, you need lawyer on your side who understands the legal process. Contact an experienced Kane County criminal defense attorney today for consultation. We can help you understand the options available to you and ensure your rights are protected.

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