The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola


47 DuPage Court, Elgin, IL 60120

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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.




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IL defense lawyerOne of the biggest ways to celebrate the Fourth of July is to light off and/or watch a fireworks display. However, if you were caught setting off fireworks in Illinois, you are most likely currently facing misdemeanor charges.

Illinois is one of only six states in the country that have banned consumers from purchasing and lighting fireworks on their own. The crime is punishable by a Class A misdemeanor enforced by a fine of up to $2,500 and a prison term of one year.

What Is Acceptable in Illinois?

While larger fireworks are not legal for purchase in Illinois, those who want to celebrate on July 4th can legally buy novelty items. The American Pyrotechnics Association reported that Illinois residents can celebrate with sparklers, smoke machines, snappers, and party poppers among other items that are less likely to cause injury.

Items that are illegal in Illinois include, but are not limited to:

  • Handheld fireworks
  • Bottle rockets
  • Firecrackers
  • Skyrockets
  • Missiles
  • Pinwheels

Illinois policy reported that in 2017 there were over 12,000 firework-related injuries in the state. They reported that as “less than the number of injuries resulting from tipped furniture and children’s toys” but they are injuries that could still be avoided if the law was unbroken.

The report went on to name the most common item which leading to injury, sparklers - an item on the legal list of novelty tools. This begs the question: should sparklers also be made illegal since they can cause injury?

Alternatives to Lighting Fireworks in Illinois

The quickest and easiest solution if you really want to light fireworks legally is to travel to the next state over. Indiana, Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, and Michigan all allow consumers to purchase and set off their own fireworks - of course while following their specific safety instructions.

The only other states besides Illinois to have a ban on fireworks excluding sparklers and novelty items are Ohio and Vermont. States that have a complete ban on any and all firework-related items are New Jersey, Delaware, and Massachusetts.

Contact an Elgin, IL Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you or someone you know was caught lighting fireworks in Illinois this July 4th, hire a lawyer from the Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola to build a defense strategy and help you avoid misdemeanor charges. To schedule a free consultation with a Kane County criminal defense lawyer, call 847-488-0889.




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Posted on in Criminal Defense

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Here in the state of Illinois, misdemeanor charges can come with significant criminal punishments. While some people underestimate the potential impact of a misdemeanor when compared to a felony, the long-term ramifications of a conviction can include difficulty securing employment, housing, or loan opportunities. Legally speaking, a misdemeanor can result in jail time and significant fines. 

Below we will discuss what crimes could lead to a misdemeanor conviction, and what you should do if you have been charged.

Misdemeanor Crimes in Illinois

According to Illinois state law, there are a number of crimes that can ultimately result in a misdemeanor charge. Assault or disorderly conduct (examples of disorderly conduct include public intoxication or a violation of noise ordinances) constitute a Class C misdemeanor. This is the least severe of the three misdemeanors, but can still result in up to 30 days in jail, a two year probation period, and maximum fines of $1,500. 

Common examples of criminal offenses warranting a Class B misdemeanor include but are not limited to aggravated speeding (driving more than 25 miles per hour over the legal speed limit) and minor drug charges. In the event of a conviction, you could face as much as 60 days in jail. The third and most serious charge is a Class A misdemeanor. This includes DUI, burglary, and unlawful possession of a weapon. If you are convicted of a Class A misdemeanor, possible punishments include up to one year of incarceration and fines as high as $2,500. 

How a Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help 

After being charged with a misdemeanor, it is important to act quickly. A skilled criminal defense attorney may be able to have the case thrown out due to improper execution of arrest procedures. In the event of a conviction, you still have a number of options. According to Illinois state law, a large number of misdemeanor crimes are eligible for expungement or criminal sealing. It should be noted that in the event of a record seal, the misdemeanor can still be viewed on your criminal record by law enforcement, but it will make the criminal record inaccessible via background check or public record. 

Contact an Elgin, IL Criminal Defense Attorney

With well over a decade of experience in the state of Illinois, including as an assistant state’s attorney of the Kane County, Attorney Brian J. Mirandola is uniquely prepared to help you fight against a misdemeanor charge. Through careful examination of your case, he will develop a strategy to pursue dropped or reduced charges. To schedule a free consultation with an experienced Kane County criminal defense attorney, call us today at 847-488-0889. 


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assault, Kane County criminal defense attorneyLike many legal terms, people often use the word assault incorrectly. Although it is used casually to refer to aggressive or violent behavior, the Illinois Criminal Code defines the offense much more specifically. If you have been charged with assault, you are probably unsure of what to do next. The best start to effective criminal defense is educating yourself about your charges. If you are facing assault charges, read on to learn what exactly you are up against.

Assault and Battery Defined

The colloquial definition of assault usually refers to some type of physical altercation between individuals. What many think of as assault is actually two separate offenses according to the Illinois Criminal Code: assault and battery. The legal meaning of assault can only be completely understood when one considers the definition of battery.

Battery refers to instances when a person intentionally and without reason "(1) causes bodily harm to an individual or (2) makes physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature with an individual." Battery can include things like a fist fight in a bar, slapping someone’s face, or even something as simple as poking someone in the chest with the intention of provoking them. Assault, in the legal sense, includes the threatening actions which precede aggressive or unwanted physical contact. More precisely, assault occurs when an individual is in "reasonable apprehension of receiving a battery."

Assault and Battery Are Often Charged in Conjunction With Each other

You have probably heard the phrase "assault and battery" before. These two crimes are often charged together but can also be charged separately. An example of an action which would probably lead to an assault charge but not a battery charge is if a person attempted to strike another but missed. Because physical contact was not made, a battery charge would not be appropriate. However, the person who was almost hit experienced assault because he or she was in fear of being punched.

Assault Must Be Intentional

In order for an action to be considered assault, the person committing the action must have knowingly put the target in reasonable apprehension of being hurt. So, actions which are unintentional or accidental cannot be considered assault. Assault can also be justified in situations of self-defense.

Get the Legal Help You Need

Assault or battery charges can be considered a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances. A conviction can result in jail time and significant fines. If you are facing charges for any type of violent crime, contact a knowledgeable Elgin criminal defense attorney for help. Call 847-488-0889 to schedule your free initial consultation today.


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Posted on in Theft

shoplifting, Elgin criminal defense attorneyThe National Association for Shoplifting Prevention reports that over 10 million people have been caught shoplifting in the last five years. Even more surprising, they estimate that about one out of every 11 people in the U.S have shoplifted. Many people consider shoplifting to be "no big deal" or even see it as a rite of passage for young people. The truth is that retail theft is a crime, and depending on the circumstances, can result in serious criminal penalties.

What is Considered Shoplifting?

The most common example of shoplifting occurs when a person attempts to take merchandise from a store without paying for it. He or she may hide the items in a coat or bag while shopping and then attempt to leave the store without paying for those items. Often, a loss prevention officer (LPO), or an employee who is tasked with preventing shoplifting, confronts the person attempting to steal from the store.

Other tactics used by shoplifters include changing price tags on merchandise in order to pay a lesser price for an item, making fraudulent returns in order to receive cash or store credit, and keeping property after a lease has ended. Interestingly, store employees are also a big shoplifting risk. Sometimes a cashier will pretend to ring up a customer as usual but actually, they are not charging the customer for all of the merchandise he or she is leaving with.

Illinois Penalties for Shoplifting

If you are caught shoplifting and the police are called, the extent to which you are held criminally accountable will depend on the value of the goods stolen (or attempted to steal) as well as any prior criminal convictions. If the items cost $300 or less, you will probably be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. The penalties for this charge include fines up to $2,500 and up to one year of imprisonment. If you have prior convictions of theft or related crimes, stealing or attempting to steal items worth less than $300 can result in being charged with a Class 4 felony and being fined up to $25,000. You are also at risk of being imprisoned for one to three years.

Shoplifting property which is valued at more than $300 is a Class 3 felony and can result in fines up to $25,000 and between two and five years of imprisonment. If you use an emergency exit when leaving the store with stolen goods, that charge is increased to a Class 2 felony. The penalties for this include fines up to $25,000 and three to seven years’ imprisonment.

Criminal Defense Attorneys Who Will Fight for Your Freedom

If you have been charged with shoplifting, contact experienced Elgin, IL retail theft attorney Brian J. Mirandola for guidance with your case. Call 847-488-0889 for a free, confidential consultation today.


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