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Posted on in Felonies

hate crime, Elgin criminal defense attorneyThe phrase "hate crime" is often used by the media and in casual conversation about certain types of criminal acts. Under state and federal law, however, "hate crime" has a specific meaning. Hate crimes are unique in that punishment for the crimes may be enhanced as a direct result of perpetrator’s motives for committing the crime.

How Illinois Defines a "Hate Crime"

A person commits a hate crime in Illinois when he or she commit one of the specifically listed acts because of "an actual or perceived race, color, creed, religion, ancestry, gender, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, or national origin of a person or group." This means that you can commit a hate crime even if you are mistaken about someone’s characteristics. It also means that not just any crime can be a hate crime. The crime must be one of the crimes listed in the law. For example, rape and murder are not listed as possible hate crimes in the Illinois statute.

The crimes that can be considered hate crimes include:

  • Assault;
  • Battery;
  • Aggravated assault;
  • Theft;
  • Criminal trespass to a residence;
  • Criminal trespass to real property;
  • Mob action;
  • Disorderly conduct; and
  • Harassment.

In January 2018, the Illinois legislature added several more offenses to the list of possible hate crimes. Stalking, cyberstalking, the transmission of obscene messages, and harassment through electronic communications can now be considered hate crimes depending on the perpetrator’s motivation.

Enhanced Penalties for Hate Crimes

The Illinois hate crime law increases the penalties for actions that are already against the law. In almost all cases a hate crime is a felony, even in cases where the "regular" crime is only a misdemeanor. This means that the maximum penalty for a hate crime could be anywhere between one to thirty years in prison, depending on the facts of the case.

Defenses to Hate Crime Allegations

If the prosecutor is going to charge a crime under the hate crime laws, the prosecutor will have an extra burden at trial. The prosecutor will need to show a judge or jury beyond a reasonable doubt that the person committed the crime and that the defendant was motivated by the one of the conditions listed in the statute.

A criminal defense lawyer may try to show that the suspect could not have committed the underlying crime. However, in some instances, the evidence is overwhelming that the defendant did commit the crime. In those cases the best defense may be to explain the motives of the defendant in committing the crime were not those covered by the hate crime law. A successful defense will create doubt in the minds of the jury about the motives of the defendant.

Contact Us for Help

If you have been charged with a crime, you need to speak with a tough and knowledgeable Kane County criminal defense attorney. Call 847-488-0889 to schedule a free consultation at The The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola today. Do not speak to anyone about your case until you have talked to a lawyer.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/072000050K12-7.1.htm

Last modified on

Posted on in DUI

DUI, Elgin DUI defense attorneyThe state of Illinois takes drinking and driving very seriously. Car accidents involving intoxicated drivers caused 10,265 deaths in 2015 and thousands more injuries. Over a million people were charged with driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI) during the same year. If you are caught drinking and driving in Illinois, the penalties can be severe and life-altering. It is important that every driver be educated about DUI laws.

When Can Someone Be Arrested for DUI?

If a police officer suspects a driver is intoxicated, the officer will pull the car over. Next, if the officer still has concerns about the driver’s sobriety he will ask them to take a field sobriety test or chemical blood alcohol content (BAC) test. The BAC test is usually done via a breathalyzer device. If the test shows a result of 0.80 percent BAC or higher, the driver will be arrested for driving under the influence and his or her driver’s license will automatically be suspended for six months. A driver who is under age 21 is not legally permitted to drive with any amount of alcohol in their body. If you are under age 21, you can be charged with driving under the influence even if you do not blow over 0.08 percent BAC on a breathalyzer.

A driver can be arrested for DUI even without a failed BAC test. If the officer’s observation of the driver and field sobriety tests show signs of intoxication, the driver may still be arrested. The automatic suspension of driving privileges does not apply without a failed or refused test.

Can I Refuse a BAC Test?

Motorists do have the right to refuse to take a breathalyzer test, but doing so results in an automatic driver’s license suspension of one year. Some individuals who refuse to take a test do so because they hope the prosecution will be unable to find other evidence that they were driving under the influence. This can happen, but it is very important to note that a person can still be charged with DUI even if they do not consent to chemical testing.

What Are the Penalties for a DUI?

If you are convicted of driving under the influence, you will face severe criminal penalties. For a first time DUI offender, the penalties include up to one year’s imprisonment, driver’s license suspension of up to a year, and $2500 in fines. An additional $1,000 fine and 25 days of community service are included in the penalties if you drove with a person under age 16 in the car while intoxicated. If you are convicted of a second DUI in Illinois, you will receive a minimum 5-year suspension of your driver’s license and a mandatory 5 days in jail or 240 days of community service. Additionally, you can be imprisoned for a year and fined $2500. A third DUI conviction results in a minimum 10-year loss of driving privileges and up to seven years in jail.

Who Can I Call for Help?

If you have been charged with driving under the influence, you need a DUI lawyer who can help keep you out of jail. To speak with an experienced Elgin criminal defense attorney at The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola, call 847-488-0889 today.

Source:

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

Last modified on
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