The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola

CALL FOR A FREE CONSULTATION

47 DuPage Court, Elgin, IL 60120

847-488-0889
Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in misdemeanor

IL defense lawyerWhile there are many similarities between a misdemeanor and a felony, the single most central commonality being the fact that they are both categories of criminal offenses in the Illinois justice system with which you can be charged, there are major contrasts that can mean the difference between not much time in jail and low fines to major prison time and substantial fines. Here is a closer look at the differences between felonies and misdemeanors in Illinois.

Definitions and Examples

Ultimately, the primary difference between a misdemeanor and a felony is the severity of the crime. The Illinois criminal justice system views certain crimes as less serious than other crimes, which is why they are separated into these two categories and then delineated into different classes with different penalties (shown below). The following is true of misdemeanors and felonies in Illinois:

Misdemeanors—These are not as serious as felonies, but they can still cause damage to your life and reputation, including affecting your opportunities for employment, housing, finances, and education. Fortunately, with the right lawyer, some misdemeanors can be expunged. Examples of misdemeanors include:

  • Assault and battery
  • Theft
  • DUIs and other drinking-related charges
  • Drug possession and other drug-related charges
  • Sex crimes

Felonies—These are more serious than misdemeanors; in fact, they are the most serious of criminal classifications. This means the penalties are steep. It also means that many felonies can never be expunged from your record as they can with misdemeanors; in other words, depending on the felony, you might be branded a felon for life as having committed these types of crimes in Illinois. Examples of felonies include:

  • Burglary
  • Forgery
  • Stealing cars
  • More severe drug charges, sex crimes, or DUI

Classes and Associated Penalties

Depending on what you are being charged with, there are different classes of penalties for misdemeanors and felonies. Here is a summary of each:

Misdemeanors:

  • Class C Misdemeanors lead to penalties up to the following:
  • Fines of $1,500
  • 30 days in jail
  • Class B Misdemeanors carry with them these penalties:
  • Fines up to $1,500
  • Up to 30 days in jail
  • The consequences of Class A Misdemeanors include:
  • Fines up to $2,500
  • Up to a year in jail

 Felonies:

  • Class 4 Felonies lead to the following penalties:
  • Fines up to $25,000
  • Up to three years in prison
  • Class 3 Felonies carry with them the following consequences:
  • Fines up to $25,000
  • Up to five years in prison
  • Class 2 Felonies could result in the following punishments:
  • Fines up to $25,000
  • Up to seven years in prison
  • Class 1 Felonies could lead to these penalties:
  • Fines up to $25,000
  • Up to 15 years in prison

Other than the consequences for homicide, Class X Felonies are the most severe in penalties, requiring the following punishments to be served:

  • Fines up to $25,000
  • Up to 30 years in prison

Contact a Kane County Felony Defense Lawyer

If you are facing felony or misdemeanor charges, call an Aurora IL misdemeanor defense attorney at 847-488-0889 for a free consultation. The Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola will give you a fighting chance in the Illinois criminal justice system because Brian has experience as a prosecutor and knows how to anticipate the prosecution’s arguments to better prepare for your case and convince the judge and jury to deliver a verdict in your favor.

 

Sources:

http://www.icjia.state.il.us/assets/pdf/ResearchReports/Policies_and_Procedures_of_the_Illinois_Criminal_Justice_System_Aug2012.pdf

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=073000050K5-4.5-55

https://www.isba.org/sites/default/files/Media%20Law%20Handbook%20Chapter%2005%20-%20Crimes%20and%20Punishment.pdf

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

Last modified on

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

 

Last modified on

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.

 

Sources:

https://www.illinoispolicy.org/illinois-one-of-few-states-limiting-freedom-to-choose-fireworks-on-independence-day/

https://www.wifr.com/content/news/Fireworks-Whats-Legal-Whats-Not-in-Illinois-511960851.html

 

Last modified on

Posted on in Criminal Defense

Aurora, IL drug charges attorney

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. 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/073000050K5-4.5-55.htm

http://www.illinoiscourts.gov/forms/approved/expungement/ExpungementSealing_Instructions_Approved.pdf

Last modified on
Avvo Illinois State Bar Association Kane COunty Bar Association
Back to Top