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Posted on in Fraud

IL defense attorneyIllinois has two separate laws covering forgery and identity theft, however, they are both deceptive practices that are taken seriously due to the harm it causes a victim. Forgery is a crime that could lead to identity theft because it starts with using someone else’s signature to steal money, goods, or personal information. Both crimes are felony offenses, but for identity theft, punishments become more severe depending on the harm done to a victim.

What Is the Difference?

Illinois law says that someone commits forgery when they do any of the following with the intent to defraud a victim:

  • Make or alter a document that has false information
  • Deliver false documents with the knowledge that the information is false
  • Possession with intent to deliver false documents
  • Obtain, possess, or sell another person’s personal information unlawfully
  • Use an electronic device to create a false signature for another person
  • Writing the signature of another person to cash a check or purchase goods

These actions touch the shallow end of identity theft because once a person has the personal information of another, they have the tools they need to commit the more hurtful crime. Forgery is a Class 3 felony most of the time; charges are elevated to a Class 4 felony if a Universal Price Code Label is forged.

Identity theft is covered in greater detail by Illinois law. The crime is defined as someone using the personal and financial information of another in order to obtain money, goods, property, or anything else of value.

Once the alleged thief has the victim’s personal information, they commit identity theft by:

  • Using another’s information to commit another type of felony
  • Selling or distributing another person’s information to others who will commit another felony crime
  • Using another’s information even though they know the information is stolen
  • Using another’s information to portray themselves as the victim in order to commit a crime or obtain items of value
  • Using another’s information in order to gain access to more personal of financial information
  • Aggravated identity theft: stealing personal or financial information from a person over the age of 60 years

Like forgery, identity theft is a felony offense. Depending on the severity of the crime - the monetary value of goods stolen and the amount of previous identity theft convictions against a thief - the charges can range from Class 4 to Class X felonies.

Contact an Elgin, IL Criminal Defense Lawyer

Any deceptive crime can be harmful to a victim and can change the life of an alleged thief not only through a criminal record, but also their reputation in the community. If you are being accused of identity theft, hire a lawyer from the Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola. Our lawyers have experience making sure a client’s rights are not being violated during a litigation. 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=072000050K17-3

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K16-30

Last modified on

Posted on in Theft

b2ap3_thumbnail_porch-pirate_20200217-141909_1.jpgSomeone is known as a “porch pirate” when they steal packages from the doorstep of someone else’s house. The state of Illinois is the 13th worst state in the country when it comes to packages being taken. This offense is punished as theft because the person who commits the violation has the intention of keeping the items they take and they know it is against the law. Under Illinois’ theft law, porch pirating is considered a misdemeanor for items that value under $500 and a felony for items that value over $500.

The Penalty for Being Caught Pirating from Porches

On average, 11 million homeowners have packages stolen from their doorsteps in one year. As a result, victims find themselves changing their schedules when they know they have a package being delivered so they can be home to claim their box immediately.

Others pay a hefty cost to install home cameras in order to catch any would-be porch pirates in the act. These products lead to the identification of the offending parties who are then liable for all stolen items.

Illinois law classifies porch pirating as a form of theft. Charges increase in severity depending on the value of the stolen items:

  • A Class A misdemeanor is charged when the stolen items have a value of $500 or less. Offenders face up to one year in jail and fines of up to $2,500.
  • A Class 4 felony is charged when the building being pirated is a place of worship, a school, or government property. Offenders face a prison term of 1-3 years and fines of up to $25,000.
  • A Class 3 felony is charged when the property being stolen values between $500 and $10,000. Offenders face a prison term of 2-5 years and fines of up to $25,000.
  • A Class 2 felony is charged when the property being stolen values between $10,000 and $100,000. Offenders face a prison term of 3-7 years and fines of up to $25,000.
  • A Class 1 felony is charged when the property being stolen values between $100,000 and $500,000. Offenders face a prison term of 4-10 years and fines of up to $25,000.
  • A Class X felony is charged when the property being stolen values over $1,000,000. Offenders face a prison term of 6-30 years and fines of up to $25,000.

On average, the property that is pirated from doorsteps values between $50 and $100.

How to Defend Against Allegations of Porch Pirating

Most of the time porch pirates are caught if the homeowner has a camera installed to monitor the front doorway. However, a camera can only capture so much and sometimes a certain identification cannot be made.

Or, a person could be falsely accused of porch pirating if their car was seen at the victim’s home when the package was taken.

Some defenses against charges of theft include:

  • Mistake of fact
  • No intent to permanently deprive the homeowner of their goods
  • Prove owner’s consent to the taking of the package
  • Coercion
  • Entrapment
  • Insanity

If the items are returned to the homeowner after charges are issued against the offender, this does not erase the theft charges.

Contact an Elgin, IL Criminal Defense Attorney

The lawyers from the Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola have experience helping defendants of all sorts of theft cases. They can bring light to the facts of the case and protect clients from any unlawful punishments. 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

https://patch.com/illinois/chicago/how-often-porch-pirates-steal-amazon-packages-chicago

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IL defense lawyerDomestic violence affects one in four women nationwide. Unfortunately, many acts of abuse are not reported and therefore are not stopped. The reality is that silence about abuse can lead to the death of the victim. Those who do report domestic violence can then issue an order of protection against their abuser. In the state of Illinois, violation of this court-ordered document is a misdemeanor offense that can be elevated to a felony offense against second-time violators.

What Is an Order of Protection?

After reporting the domestic violence, a victim can hire an attorney and ask them to file for an order of protection against their abuser. Typically, this order is issued when the victim and abuser are relatives or spouses.

Once the alleged abuser has been given the order, it stops them from:

  • Continuing the abuse or threat of harm
  • Sharing a household with the victim, especially if drug addiction is involved
  • Coming near the victim and others protected under the order. This includes at home, school, work, or any other public place.
  • Hiding a child from the victim or taking a child out of state

The order also allows a victim temporary physical custody over all minors involved in a domestic violence case. Custody becomes permanent after the Illinois court decides where the child will be most protected.

An order of protection could also require an abuser to attend counseling and turn over all weapons to the police while the domestic violence case is under investigation.

If at any time an abuser violates the terms of the order of protection, they will be charged with a Class A misdemeanor punishable as a prison term of up to one year and a fine of $25. If an abuser violates a second order of protection, they will face a Class 4 felony charge.

How to Defend Against Order of Protection Violations

Since an order of protection requires both victim and abuser to appear in court, both parties should seek the help of a lawyer. For the alleged abuser, a lawyer is the best defense against false charges of violating an order of protection.

A lawyer can make sure that an alleged abuser’s rights are not being violated during the domestic violence case. At times, a victim could attempt to report false charges against an alleged abuser for revenge. The offender can defend these allegations by:

  • Proving the order of protection was not violated by means of an alibi
  • Prove the victim set up a situation that would make the violator break the order of protection
  • Prove mistake of fact or entrapment

Contact an Elgin, IL Criminal Defense Attorney

An order of protection is good to keep a victim safe from their abuser, but it can also be a tool for false victims to get what they want while punishing an ex-lover. Those who are fighting false allegations of order of protection violations should hire a lawyer from the Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola. Our knowledgeable Kane County domestic violence lawyers can protect your rights and keep you out of prison. To schedule a free consultation, call our office at 847-488-0889.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K12-3.4

http://www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/women/ordersofprotection.html

http://www.new-hope.org/facts-about-domestic-violence/?gclid=CjwKCAiA98TxBRBtEiwAVRLqu2S9Deoz0HuwKIYkziaSaV-j2JELVSExNAsghDQ7XBvlsGJFcWDxPxoCjHYQAvD_BwE

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Posted on in DUI

IL DUI lawyerThe state of Illinois is strict when it comes to punishments for driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. However, first-time convictions generally have penalties that help an offender not repeat the offense as opposed to sending them to prison.

First-time DUI convictions are considered Class A misdemeanors and come with revocation of the driver’s license for one year. Additionally, vehicle registration will be suspended for a set amount of time.

Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) also plays a role in DUI penalties; if a first-offender has a BAC of over .16, they will have to pay a fine of $500 and participate in 100 hours of community service.

When Does Jail Become a Punishment?

First-time offenders should only be punished with jail time if their DUI offense occurs while they are transporting another person under the age of 16 years old. This is assuming no other charges are issued during the crime.

When a driver commits a second or subsequent DUI offense, then jail time becomes a mandatory part of the punishment. A second DUI conviction is charged as a Class A misdemeanor punishable as a five-day jail term - or 240 hours of community service - and a five-year revocation of driver’s license. Fine of $1,250 if BAC is over .16

Third and subsequent DUI convictions are considered “aggravated” offenses, for which the charges become felonies punishable with revocation of driver’s license, vehicle registration suspension, a 90-day mandatory jail sentence if BAC is over .16, and a fine of up to $25,000.

A jail term can also be added to punishments if other charges are issued during a DUI investigation. Charges that can lead to jail time include:

  • Endangering a minor passenger
  • Collision with another motor vehicle
  • Injury or death of another driver and/or pedestrian (vehicular manslaughter)
  • Fleeing the scene of an accident
  • Certain types of property damage (if the cost for repair is between $10,000 and $100,000)

DUI Defense Strategies

A common way to defend against serious DUI punishments is to refuse to take a breathalyzer test at the scene of the traffic stop. This will make it impossible to determine BAC at the time of the crime, however, if a driver refuses the test, their license will automatically be suspended for one year.

All those who are fighting a DUI charge can build a defensive strategy to avoid jail time and the first step should be to hire a lawyer. A professional knows how to build a strategy and make sure no unnecessary punishment is given out.

Contact an Elgin, IL DUI Defense Attorney

DUI traffic stops can be a complicated process and sometimes information can be mixed up. If you or someone you know is fighting a DUI charge with false information or unlawful treatment of the police, hire a lawyer from the Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola. A knowledgeable Kane County DUI defense lawyer can help make sure your rights have not been violated and protect you from serious punishment. To schedule a free consultation, call our office at 847-488-0889.

 

Source:

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

Last modified on

IL defense lawyerIt has been getting harder and harder for criminals to steal from retail shops due to the security measures being taken. However, people still attempt to steal and unfortunately, this makes stores extra cautious.

As a result, patrons who frequent a specific store may be falsely accused of retail theft if they have previous purchases with them when they enter the store. Without the proper authorities being involved, a falsely accused person could face possible felony charges.

What Are Illinois’ Penalties for Retail Theft?

The state of Illinois covers a wide range of criminal actions when it comes to retail theft. A person could face charges of retail theft not only for running from a store without buying items but also if they are caught:

  • Switching labels on an item to make it seem cheaper in price
  • Attempting to remove security devices from an item to not set off the alarm
  • Moving an item from its proper container to attempt to decrease the value
  • Claiming ownership of an item that was taken without purchase
  • Using an anti-theft device to hide the crime

Charges and punishments are given out depending on the monetary amount stolen and if the accused has a history of thievery. Retail theft of items valued lower than $300 will be cited as a Class A misdemeanor for first offenses and a Class 4 felony for subsequent offenses.

If the value of the stolen items totals more than $300, the thief will be charged with a Class 3 felony for first and subsequent offenses.

Punishments include fines of as much as $25,000 for felony cases ($2,500 for misdemeanors) and prison time depending on the severity of the case.

How Could Someone Be Suspected of Theft When There Was No Crime?

It is common for someone to enter a store where they previously purchased an item in order to buy another similar product. For example, a woman could enter a store with a previously purchased bottle of makeup looking to compare her purchase with a fresh bottle that she would like to buy.

The shopper could be confronted by the store’s security if they see her pocketing the used bottle before going to buy her new purchase. This is a common “mistake of fact” which is a simple defense for false theft accusations; if the shopper simply proves that she entered the store with the already opened and used purchase, the accusations become void.

Other defensive strategies for false accusations include:

  • Proving that the criminal action was done on accident
  • Proving that the accused did not know that the theft was happening
  • Proving that the accused was persuaded to steal and they would not have done so without pressure
  • Proving that the accused did not know what they were doing was wrong

Contact an Elgin, IL Retail Theft Lawyer

Some false accusations of retail theft cannot be resolved simply. If the retail establishment insists that there was a crime, the accused should contact a lawyer from the Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola to build a defensive strategy and avoid unlawful consequences. To schedule a free consultation with a Kane County retail theft lawyer, call our office at 847-488-0889.

 

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K16-25

Last modified on
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