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IL defense lawyerSince there is no federal mandate for masks or social distancing to help combat the coronavirus, states are taking their own approach. Many, including Illinois, have opted for a mask mandate that requires people to wear cloth masks in public. Despite this mandate, police have no real way to enforce such mandates. The burden of enforcing these rules has fallen primarily on retail workers, who have the power to deny service and remove customers from a business if they refuse to comply.

As a result, many individuals around the country have assaulted such workers. Some states have not taken any steps to provide any additional protections for essential workers, but Governor Pritzker recently signed a bill into law allowing prosecutors to charge those who assault workers for upholding mask bans with a felony.

Assaults on Workers and Felony Charges in Illinois

To be more specific, assaults on workers who are enforcing mask or social distancing policies can be punished with aggravated battery felony charges. Before this new law, ordinary battery charges were only considered misdemeanors. Such an offense was punishable by up to a year in prison and fines up to $2,500. By elevating the unique case of coronavirus-related assaults to a felony, punishments become steeper. A felony can be punished by up to five years in prison and as much as ten years if the defendant has a criminal history. Also, these prison sentences can be paired with fines of up to $25,000.

Claiming Self-Defense to Fight Assault Charges

A common strategy for defendants and their attorneys is to argue that the defendant acted out of self-defense. However, to successfully win a case by claiming self-defense, any action the defendant took must have been reasonable. For example, if someone threatens a defendant and the defendant reacts with an action far more severe than the original threat, a self-defense argument may not be plausible.

Contact an Elgin, IL Defense Lawyer

Assault is a criminal offense that carries strong penalties. If you are charged with assaulting a worker for upholding medical policies, you should work closely with an attorney who has a wide breadth of experience defending clients from criminal charges in Illinois. To work with an Elgin, IL criminal defense attorney, schedule a free consultation with The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola by calling 847-488-0889.

 

Source:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2020/08/11/illinois-coronavirus-assaulting-worker-enforcing-face-masks-felony/3342856001/

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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 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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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. 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072005700K402

https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/publications/pdf_publications/dsd_a118.pdf

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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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