November
26
2021
There are many weapon offenses under the Illinois Criminal Code, including but not limited to aggravated discharge of a firearm. This aggravated crime involves the intentional discharge of a firearm in the direction of a building or specific types of individuals, such as police officers, firefighters, and teachers.  What are the Illinois Laws Against Aggravated Discharge of a Firearm? The Illinois laws against aggravated discharge of a firearm appear at 720 ILCS 5/24-1.2. Under this section, it is unlawful to knowingly or intentionally discharge a firearm: At or into a building from the outside, knowing or having a reason to know that the building is occupied; In the direction of another person or a vehicle, knowing or having a reason to know that the vehicle is occupied; In the direction of another person, knowing or having a reason to know that the person is a police officer, firefighter, or similar official in the course of their duties; In the direction of a vehicle, knowing or having a reason to know that the vehicle is occupied by a police officer, firefighter, or similar official in the course of their duties; In the direction of another person, knowing or having a reason[...]
November
19
2021
Bloomington IL DUI Attorney
An Illinois man was recently charged with several potential felonies for attempting to elude police officers and causing damage to government property, according to an article by The Pantagraph. This incident occurred in Shelby County on March 14. That is when the Illinois man allegedly drove a vehicle upward of 90 to 100 miles per hour, attempting to elude police officers in pursuit. In the process, the Illinois man allegedly caused $500 to $10,000 in damage to a police car. While this Illinois man awaits the next steps in his legal case, it seems appropriate to review the Illinois statutes that govern fleeing or eluding police and criminal damage to government property.  Fleeing or Eluding Police Officers in Illinois 625 ILCS 5/11-204 supplies the Illinois laws against fleeing or eluding police officers. Once a police officer gives a driver a visual or audible signal to stop or pull over, it is illegal to knowingly or intentionally: Fail or refuse to obey the officer’s command; Increase the vehicle’s speed;  Turn off the vehicle’s lights; or Attempt to flee or elude the officer in any other manner.  Any person who violates Section 11-204 will likely face Class A misdemeanor charges on the[...]
November
12
2021
An Illinois woman faces criminal charges for burglary and retail theft after allegedly attempting to steal property from a local Walmart in Bloomington, according to an article by The Pantagraph.  Court records indicated that the Illinois woman attempted to return a previously purchased TV to the customer service department. Even though staff denied the refund, the Illinois woman dropped off the TV and selected a new one. Then the Illinois woman attempted to take the new TV out of the store. But staff stopped her and discovered nine items of store property.  Overall, the Illinois woman allegedly attempted to steal approximately $443 in retail property from the Walmart in question. As a result of this incident, the Illinois woman faces charges for burglary and two counts of retail theft.  While this Illinois woman awaits further legal developments at an arraignment scheduled for December 3, it seems like a proper time to review the Illinois punishments for retail theft and burglary offenses.  Illinois Punishment for Retail Theft The Illinois punishment for retail theft appears at 720 ILCS 5/16-25. Under this section, the applicable charge and corresponding punishment for retail theft changes based on various circumstances. But generally speaking, the Illinois penalties[...]
November
5
2021
Armed violence is a felony offense under the Illinois Criminal Code. This particular offense has a multifaceted series of elements. In addition to the commission of a separate felony, armed violence also requires the possession or use of a dangerous weapon, including various firearms. Category I/II/III Weapons in Illinois The Illinois breakdown of weapon categories appears at 720 ILCS 5/33A-1. Under this section, dangerous weapons are divided into the following categories: Category I — Includes semiautomatic firearms and machine guns as well as handguns, sawed-off shotguns or rifles, and other firearms that can be carried in a concealed manner;  Category II — Includes other rifles, shotguns, and firearms not classified under Category I as well as spring or stun guns, tasers, certain knives, daggers, dirks, axes, hatchets, and other deadly weapons of a similar character; and Category III — Includes bludgeons, black-jacks, slingshots, sand bags and clubs, metal knuckles, billy clubs, and other deadly weapons of a similar character. Definition of Armed Violence in Illinois The Illinois definition for armed violence appears at 720 ILCS 5/33A-2. Under this section, armed violence applies when a person commits a felony crime and also: Possesses a dangerous weapon; Discharges a Category I/II firearm;[...]
October
29
2021
Local authorities charged a man from Bloomington, Illinois with burglary, according to an article by The Pantagraph.  Court documents indicated that the Illinois man in question entered another person’s garage without legal authority or justification. In addition, the Illinois man demonstrated an intent to commit theft, which can be an element of burglary offenses under state law.  As a result of this incident, local authorities arrested the Illinois man and filed burglary charges. At this point, the Illinois man remains in police custody after declining to post $1,535 in bail.  While this Illinois man awaits an arraignment scheduled for November 19, it seems like an appropriate opportunity to review the Illinois laws against and punishment for burglary offenses.  Illinois Laws Against Burglary 720 ILCS 5/19-1 supplies the Illinois laws against burglary. There are two elements to the offense of burglary under Illinois law. The first element of this offense requires the offender to knowingly and without authority: Enter any building, house-trailer, watercraft, aircraft, motor vehicle, or railroad car; or Remain within any building, house-trailer, watercraft, aircraft, motor vehicle, or railroad car. The second element of this offense requires the offender to demonstrate an intent to commit theft or any other[...]
October
22
2021
kidnapping and aggravated kidnapping are serious offenses Under the Illinois Criminal Code that can lead to a lengthy prison sentence and steep fines. On a higher level, these offenses involve confining a victim against their will. Though the underlying circumstances of the offense can have a direct impact on the applicable punishment.  Illinois Laws Against Kidnapping The Illinois laws against kidnapping appear at 720 ILCS 5/10-1. Under this section, a person commits kidnapping if they knowingly: Confine a victim against their will in a secretive fashion; Use force or the threat of force to take a victim somewhere with the intent of secretly confining the victim; or Employ deceit or enticement to induce a victim to go somewhere, with the intent of secretly confining the victim.  Illinois Punishment for Kidnapping Section 10-1 also furnishes the Illinois punishment for kidnapping. Under this section, kidnapping is normally charged as a Class 2 felony. The Illinois punishment for this class of felony includes a prison sentence between three and seven years as well as criminal fines up to $25,000.  Illinois Laws Against Aggravated Kidnapping The Illinois laws against aggravated kidnapping appear at 720 ILCS 5/10-2. Under this section, a standard offense becomes aggravated[...]
October
15
2021
Medical Marijuana Laws in Illinois
A California man faces criminal charges for cannabis trafficking after bringing approximately 86 pounds of cannabis into Illinois, according to an article by The Pantagraph. This man also faces criminal charges for possession of cannabis with intent to deliver.  This incident stems from a traffic stop in McLean County on Thursday, October 7. When police pulled over the California man near Interstate 55, they also discovered cannabis that was divided into individual packages weighing about one pound each.  Prosecutors stated that the 86 pounds of cannabis in question had a street value of $170,000 to $430,000, depending on certain factors. The California man allegedly grew the cannabis with the intent of delivering it to Ohio for eventual sale.  As a result of this incident, the California man faces Illinois charges for cannabis trafficking and possession with intent to deliver. In light of these charges, it seems like a proper occasion to review several Illinois statutes.  Cannabis Delivery Under Illinois Law 720 ILCS 550/5 furnishes the Illinois laws against cannabis delivery. With relatively few exceptions, this section makes it unlawful to deliver cannabis or possess cannabis with an intent to deliver. Even if the delivery crime is ultimately unsuccessful, possession with[...]
October
6
2021
Local authorities filed charges of domestic battery against a woman from Bloomington, Illinois, according to an article by The Pantagraph.  Reports indicate that police officers saw the Illinois woman shove a victim in the back, causing that victim to fall to the ground. Apparently, this woman faces charges for felony domestic battery as a repeat offender.  At this point, the Illinois woman remains in police custody after declining to post bail. This woman is already subject to a no contact order, and further legal proceedings are expected.  While this case continues to develop, it seems appropriate to review Illinois laws against and penalties for domestic battery, including the definition of a family or household member. Illinois Definition of Family or Household Member The Illinois definition of a family or household member appears under 720 ILCS 5/12-0.1. This section defines a family or household member as a person’s: Present or former spouse; Parents, children, and other people related by blood or marriage; Present or former roommates who shared the same residence; Other parent to a child in common; Relatives by blood through a child; and Present or former romantic partners. In addition, disabled individuals and their personal assistants as well as[...]
October
1
2021
Criminal sexual assault is an Illinois crime that involves sexual penetration and, in many cases, the use or threat of force. In addition to the standard version of this offense, Illinois law also provides for aggravated criminal sexual assault. As explained in more detail below, the presence of certain aggravating factors can dramatically increase the penalties for criminal sexual assault in Illinois.  What is the Illinois Definition of Aggravated Criminal Sexual Assault? 720 ILCS 5/11-1.30 establishes the Illinois definition of aggravated criminal sexual assault. Under this law, the aggravated version of this offense applies when a person commits criminal sexual assault and also: Displays, uses, or threatens to use any dangerous weapon or similar object that reasonably appears to be a dangerous weapon; Inflicts bodily harm to the victim; Threatens or endangers the life any person; Commits or attempts to commit a separate felony crime; Commits the offense against an elderly or disabled victim; Delivers any controlled substance to the victim for non-medical purposes; Possesses a firearm; Discharges a firearm; or Discharges a firearm and causes great bodily harm, permanent disability or disfigurement, or death to any person. How Does Illinois Punish Aggravated Criminal Sexual Assault? Section 11-1.30 also explains[...]
September
24
2021
Local authorities in McLean County charged a man with burglary and forgery after allegedly tendering a fraudulent check, according to an article by The Pantagraph. Charging documents indicated that this man attempted to use a fraudulent check at a Commerce Bank branch in Normal, Illinois. The fraudulent check in question was in the amount of $2,300. At this point, the man in question secured his release from police custody with a $25,000 personal recognizance bond. While this man awaits an arraignment scheduled for October 8, it seems like a proper moment to review the Illinois statutes that govern burglary and forgery offenses.  Burglary The Illinois laws against burglary appear at 720 ILCS 5/19-1. Under this section, a person commits burglary if they knowingly and without authority: Enter or remain within an aircraft, building, motor vehicle, railroad car, trailer, or watercraft; and Demonstrate an intent to commit theft or any felony crime.  Section 19-1 also furnishes the Illinois punishment for burglary crimes. At a minimum, burglary is charged as a Class 3 felony in Illinois. If convicted, the penalties can include imprisonment for 24 to 60 months and criminal fines up to $25,000.  If burglary involves damage to the aircraft, building,[...]
September
17
2021
A man from Bloomington, Illinois faces charges for criminal trespass to and possession of a stolen vehicle, according to an article by The Pantagraph. According to reports, this 19-year-old man allegedly stole a passenger vehicle from its owner. After law enforcement arrested this man, the authorities charged him with criminal trespass to vehicles and possession of a stolen vehicle.  The Illinois man secured his release from police custody with a $3,000 personal recognizance bond in advance of a September 24 arraignment. While this legal case continues to develop, it seems like a proper instance to review several applicable laws and penalties under the Illinois Criminal Code.  Criminal Trespass to Vehicles 720 ILCS 5/21-2 explains the Illinois laws against criminal trespass to vehicles. Under this section, it is unlawful to knowingly and without authorization: Enter any part of any vehicle, aircraft, watercraft, or snowmobile; or Operate any vehicle, aircraft, watercraft, or snowmobile. In this context, the knowledge and authorization requirements are exceedingly important. To qualify as a violation, a person must know — or have a reason to know — that they are entering or operating another person’s vehicle. Moreover, the alleged offender must act without authorization, from the owner, under[...]
September
10
2021
Aggravated discharge of a firearm is a specific charge under the Illinois Criminal Code. Based on the severity and potential harm inherent with this offense, it is charged and punished separately from other weapon crimes in Illinois. Any person who commits aggravated discharge of a firearm will likely face felony charges and serious criminal consequences.  How Does Illinois Define Aggravated Discharge of a Firearm? 720 ILCS 5/24-1.2 furnishes the Illinois definition of aggravated discharge of a firearm. This section makes it unlawful to knowingly or intentionally discharge a firearm: At or into a building from the outside, knowing or having a reason to know that it is occupied; In the direction of another person or a vehicle, knowing or having a reason to know that it is occupied; In the direction of another person to obstruct or retaliate against a police officer, firefighter, or similar officer in the performance of their official duties; In the direction of a vehicle, knowing or having a reason to know that it is occupied by a police officer, firefighter, or similar officer in the performance of their official duties; In the direction of another person to obstruct or retaliate against medical services personnel in[...]
September
3
2021
Underage Drinking Defense Bloomington
A man from Bloomington, Illinois faces criminal charges for aggravated DUI after allegedly striking a victim and causing severe injury, according to an article by The Pantagraph. This incident occurred at approximately 9:20 p.m. on Saturday, August 28 in the 1500 block of Six Points Road in Bloomington. At that time and place, the Illinois man allegedly ran into a victim and inflicted serious bodily injuries. According to reports, the victim remains in critical condition at a local hospital.  As a result of this incident, the Illinois man faces criminal charges for aggravated DUI. Even though this case is just beginning, it seems appropriate to review the Illinois laws against and punishment for aggravated DUI. Illinois Laws Against Aggravated DUI The Illinois laws against aggravated DUI appear at 625 ILCS 5/11-501. Under this section, aggravated DUI applies when an offender commits DUI and also: It is the third or subsequent standard DUI offense; Was driving a school bus with at least one passenger on board; Causes great bodily harm, disability, or disfigurement to a victim; Has a previous conviction for reckless homicide or aggravated DUI that resulted in great bodily harm, disability, disfigurement, or death; Was driving in a school[...]
August
26
2021
The Illinois Criminal Code prohibits any person from committing various theft crimes, including burglary and robbery. These two offenses go beyond the baseline requirements for standard crimes, applying conditions such as breaking and entering or the use of force. Though there are distinct differences between burglary and robbery in Illinois.  What is the Illinois Definition of Burglary? The Illinois definition of burglary appears at 720 ILCS 5/19-1. Under this section, it is unlawful for any person to knowingly and without legal authority: Enters a building, house-trailer, watercraft, aircraft, motor vehicle, railroad car with intent to commit theft or a felony crime; or Remains within a building, house-trailer, watercraft, aircraft, motor vehicle, railroad car with intent to commit theft or a felony crime.  How Does Illinois Punish Burglary? Section 19-1 also furnishes the Illinois punishment for burglary. But this punishment can change based on various factors, including the presence of damage or the location of the offense.  It is a Class 3 felony to commit burglary without causing damage to the building or structure in question. Upon conviction for this class of felony, the punishment can include criminal fines up $25,000 and imprisonment for two to five years.  It is a[...]
August
20
2021
An Illinois woman pleaded guilty to arson and child endangerment in a case that occurred recently in Bloomington, according to an article by The Pantagraph. This incident traces back to September 3, 2019. At that time, the Illinois woman was at her residence in the 9000 block of Fond Du Lac Drive in Bloomington. The woman’s husband and child were also home at that point.  After her spouse broached the topic of a divorce, the Illinois woman left the residence briefly. Then she returned and started a fire in the bedroom, knowing that her husband and child were still present in the residence.  As a result of this incident, the Illinois woman faced charges for arson, child endangerment, and several other offenses. Although this woman reduced her sentence through a plea agreement, it seems like a suitable opportunity to review the Illinois statutes that govern arson and child endangerment offenses.  Child Endangerment Laws and Penalties in Illinois 720 ILCS 5/12C-5 establishes the Illinois laws against child endangerment. Under this section, a person commits child endangerment if they knowingly: Jeopardize the safety of a child’s life or health or permit such action to occur; or Place a child in circumstances that[...]
August
12
2021
Often misunderstood outside of legal circles, assault is an Illinois crime that involves a reasonable fear of harmful or offensive contact. Unlike battery crimes, assault does not require physical contact. But if a perpetrator makes a victim fear that such contact is imminent, they can face criminal charges for regular or aggravated assault under Illinois law.  What are the Illinois Laws Against Assault? 720 ILCS 5/12-1 establishes the Illinois laws against assault. Under this section, it is unlawful to knowingly engage in conduct that places another person in reasonable fear of battery, without legal authorization or authority.  How Does Illinois Punish Assault? Section 12-1 also furnishes the Illinois punishment for assault. Under this section, assault is usually charged as a Class C misdemeanor. If convicted, the penalties can include a maximum of 30 days in jail and $1,500 in criminal fines. Any person who commits assault may also face a community service requirement of 30 to 120 hours.  What are the Illinois Laws Against Aggravated Assault? 720 ILCS 5/12-2 provides the Illinois laws against aggravated assault. Under this section, a regular assault crime becomes aggravated assault based on: Location of Conduct — The offense occurs on the public way, public[...]
August
6
2021
A man from Normal, Illinois secured his release from police custody, though two separate felony charges involving meth possession remain pending, according to an article by The Pantagraph.  According to official reports, this 46-year-old man faces criminal charges for the unlawful possession of meth and possession with intent to deliver. A personal recognizance bond in the amount of $50,000 secured this man’s release from police custody.  That being said, the felony charges for both drug crimes will move forward, with an arraignment currently scheduled for August 20. While this case continues to play out in court, it seems appropriate to review the Illinois statutes that govern both of these meth possession crimes.  Possession of Meth in Illinois The Illinois laws against possession of meth appear at 720 ILCS 646/60. Under this section, it is unlawful to possess methamphetamine or any substance containing methamphetamine.  Any person who violates Section 60 by possessing meth will likely face the penalty scheme outlined below: Less than 5 grams — Class 3 felony with a prison sentence between two and five years as well as criminal fines up to $25,000; Between 5 and 15 grams — Class 2 felony with a prison sentence between three[...]
July
30
2021
Local authorities charged a Bloomington, Illinois man with home invasion and other crimes, according to an article by The Pantagraph.  Allegedly, the Illinois man broke into a residence in Bloomington and inflicted physical harm to a person inside the structure. After his arrest, local authorities charged this man with: Home invasion; Aggravated battery; Domestic battery; Criminal trespass to a residence; and Criminal damage to property.  At this point, the Illinois man remains in police custody in McLean County. While this Illinois man awaits further legal proceedings, it seems like a suitable moment to review the Illinois laws against and penalties for the most serious charge at play — home invasion.  Illinois Laws Against Home Invasion 720 ILCS 5/19-6 establishes the Illinois laws against home invasion. There are effectively three elements to this offense. First, the perpetrator must knowingly enter another person’s residence or dwelling place, without authority or authorization. The second element of home invasion requires the perpetrator to: Know, or have a reason to know, that people are inside the residence or dwelling place at the time of the offense;  Lie in wait at the residence or dwelling place until knowing, or having a reason to know, that other[...]
July
23
2021
Across the State of Illinois, it is often a crime to possess or use a fraudulent ID card, which is also referred to as a “fake ID.” In more recent times, the General Assembly created a new law that prohibits any person from obstructing identification. Although these offenses might seem similar, they are actually completely separate crimes.   How Does Illinois Define and Punish Obstructing Identification? The Illinois laws against obstructing identification appear at 720 ILCS 5/31-4.5. Under this section, it is unlawful to intentionally or knowingly supply a false or fictitious name, address, or birthdate to a police officer who has: Arrested the person in question lawfully; Detained the person in question lawfully; or Requested information from a person, when there is good cause to believe that the person witnessed a crime. A violation of Section 31-4.5 is normally charged as a Class A misdemeanor. If convicted, the punishment can include a maximum of 12 months in jail and $2,500 in criminal fines, either or both.  How Does Illinois Define and Punish Fake IDs? The Illinois laws against fake IDs appear at 15 ILCS 335/14B. Under this section, it is illegal for any person to knowingly: Possess, display, or cause[...]
July
16
2021
Commonly referred to as carjacking, the Illinois Criminal Code prohibits both regular and aggravated vehicular hijacking. These crimes are closely related to robbery but involve motor vehicles instead of other types of property. Any person who commits regular or aggravated vehicular hijacking can face severe punishment for their actions. Vehicular Hijacking 720 ILCS 5/18-3 supplies the Illinois laws against and penalties for vehicular hijacking. Under this section, a person commits vehicular hijacking if they knowingly: Take a motor vehicle from someone else’s person or presence; and Use force or the threat of imminent force to complete the offense.  A vehicular hijacking offense in violation of Section 18-3 is typically charged as a Class 1 felony. If convicted, the punishment can include four to 15 years in prison and up to $25,000 in criminal fines. Probation or conditional discharge of up to 48 months is available for Class 1 felonies in Illinois.  Aggravated Vehicular Hijacking 720 ILCS 5/18-4 furnishes the Illinois laws against and penalties for aggravated vehicular hijacking. Under this section, the aggravated version of this offense applies when a person commits vehicular hijacking and also: The victim is disabled or elderly; There is a passenger under 16 years old[...]
July
8
2021
A man from Normal, Illinois received a five-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to aggravated criminal sexual abuse, according to an article by The Pantagraph.  According to court documents, this Illinois man engaged in multiple acts of sexual contact with a minor child in 2020. The authorities levied three charges against the Illinois man in December. But the prosecution dropped two of the charges pursuant to a plea agreement.  Even though the Illinois man in question already received their sentence, it seems appropriate to review the Illinois statutes governing regular and aggravated criminal sexual abuse.  Criminal Sexual Abuse The Illinois laws against criminal sexual abuse appear at 720 ILCS 5/11-1.50. There are two different variations of this offense under Illinois law. First, it is unlawful to: Commit a sexual act through the use or threat of force; or Commit a sexual act, knowing that the victim is unable to comprehend the act or provide consent. Any person who violates the laws above is guilty of a Class 4 felony on the first offense. If convicted, the punishment can include criminal fines up to $25,000 and a prison sentence between one and three years.  The second version of criminal sexual abuse[...]
July
2
2021
After pleading guilty to aggravated robbery of a Bloomington hotel, an Illinois man received a 15-year prison sentence, according to an article by The Pantagraph.  The robbery incident in question occurred on January 7, 2020 at the Best Western located at 604 1/2 IAA Drive in Bloomington. That is when the Illinois man entered the hotel and demanded money from an employee. According to court documents, the Illinois man indicated verbally that he was armed with a weapon and used the threat of force to complete the crime. After the Illinois man left the hotel with an undisclosed amount of money, the Bloomington police arrived at the scene. At first, police officers were unable to locate the Illinois man. But they later apprehended and arrested the Illinois man after responding to reports of disorderly conduct in the 2000 block of Rainbow Avenue. Since the arrest, the Illinois man declined to post $30,035 in bail and has remained in police custody at the McLean County Detention Center. With this Illinois man’s prison sentence beginning, it seems like an opportune moment to review Illinois laws against and penalties for aggravated robbery.  Illinois Laws Against Aggravated Robbery 720 ILCS 5/18-1 establishes the Illinois[...]
June
25
2021
An Illinois man faces felony charges for cocaine possession and delivery crimes, according to an article by The Pantagraph.  Official reports indicate that the authorities arrested this Illinois man for unlawful possession of one to 15 grams of cocaine. This man also faces criminal charges for possession of cocaine with intent to deliver.  Law enforcement released the Illinois man from custody pursuant to a $50,000 personal recognizance bond. There is an arraignment scheduled in this matter for July 2.  While this legal case continues to develop, it seems like a proper occasion to review the Illinois statutes that govern possession and delivery crimes involving cocaine.  Unlawful Possession of Cocaine The Illinois laws against possession of cocaine appear at 720 ILCS 570/402. With the exception of rare circumstances, it is unlawful to possess cocaine or any other controlled substance in Illinois.  The punishment for a violation of Section 402 depends largely on the type and quantity of controlled substance in question. Concerning cocaine, specifically, unlawful possession is punishable as follows: Up to 15 grams — Class 4 felony with a term of imprisonment between four and 15 years and criminal fines up to $25,000; 15 to 100 grams — Class 1[...]
June
17
2021
The Illinois Criminal Code prohibits a variety of theft crimes, including several different versions of robbery. Even though robbery crimes always involve the use or threat of force, there are subtle differences between regular, aggravated, and armed robbery. Furthermore, the Illinois punishment for these crimes escalates sharply based on the type of offense in question.  Robbery 720 ILCS 5/18-1 provides the Illinois laws against robbery. Under this section, it is unlawful to knowingly: Take another person’s property from their person or presence; and Employ force or the imminent threat of force to complete the act.  Any person who commits robbery in violation of Section 18-1 will likely face Class 2 felony charges. If convicted, the punishment can include imprisonment for three to seven years and criminal fines up to $25,000. There is an important exception in this context. Section 18-1 does not apply to the theft of motor vehicles. That offense is referred to as carjacking and prohibited under a separate section of the Illinois Criminal Code.  Aggravated Robbery Section 18-1 also furnishes the Illinois laws against aggravated robbery. Under this section, a standard robbery offense becomes aggravated robbery if the perpetrator also: Indicates to the victim that they are[...]
June
11
2021
A Bloomington man faces Illinois criminal charges for regular and aggravated domestic battery, according to an article by The Pantagraph.  Allegedly, the Bloomington man attempted to strangle a female victim. This man also threatened to shoot the victim if they attempted to contact the police or otherwise seek help.  As a result of this incident, the authorities charged the Bloomington man with two counts of domestic battery and one count of aggravated battery. At this point, the Bloomington man remains in police custody after declining to post bail.  While the legal process continues to play out in this case, it seems appropriate to review the Illinois statutes governing regular and aggravated domestic battery.  Domestic Battery The Illinois laws against domestic battery appear at 720 ILCS 5/12-3.2. Under this section, a person commits domestic battery if they knowingly and without legal justification: Cause bodily harm to any family or household member; or Initiate physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature with any family or household member.  Section 12-3.2 also establishes the penalty for domestic battery. Under this section, domestic battery is typically charged as a Class A misdemeanor on the first offense. If convicted, the offender can face a maximum[...]
June
4
2021
Medical Marijuana Laws in Illinois
Even though the State of Illinois legalized cannabis for recreational use, strict regulations remain in place concerning the distribution or possession of cannabis. More specifically, Illinois requires possession or distribution of cannabis to occur in accordance with the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Program Act or the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act and the Industrial Hemp Act. Any person who violates these regulations can face charges for the unlawful possession or distribution of cannabis.  Unlawful Possession of Cannabis 720 ILCS 550/4 establishes the Illinois boundaries for unlawful possession of cannabis. Outside of established medical and recreational exceptions, it is still a criminal offense to possess cannabis. Any person who possesses cannabis outside of established regulations can face charges for unlawful possession under Section 4. The penalty for this offense changes based on the amount of cannabis in question, as explained below: Unlawful possession of 10 grams or less — Is a civil offense with a minimum fine of $100 and a maximum fine of $200;  Unlawful possession of 10-30 grams — Is a Class B misdemeanor with a maximum fine of $1,500 and the potential of a six-month jail sentence; Unlawful possession of 30-100 grams — Is a Class A[...]
May
28
2021
The State of Illinois features strict laws against driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol, drugs, or similarly intoxicating substances. Any driver who commits DUI in Illinois can face a variety of consequences, including confinement, fines, and license suspension. On top of the standard DUI laws mentioned above, Illinois also has an elevated charge of aggravated DUI. The aggravated version of this offense applies to certain repeat offenders and in various other circumstances. Any driver who commits aggravated DUI can expect to face even more severe punishment under Illinois law.  What is the Illinois Definition of Aggravated DUI? Illinois law at 625 ILCS 5/11-501 provides the state-specific definition of aggravated DUI. Under this section, the situations in which a regular DUI becomes aggravated DUI include but are not limited to: A driver commits DUI for a third or subsequent time; A person commits DUI while operating a school bus with passengers on board; A driver commits DUI and causes serious physical harm, permanent disability, or disfigurement to any victim; A person commits DUI on a suspended or revoked driver’s license; A driver commits DUI while operating a vehicle-for-hire with passengers on board; or A person commits DUI and causes the[...]
May
21
2021
Local authorities charged a Bloomington, Illinois man with criminal sexual assault and unlawful restraint, according to an article by The Pantagraph.  The incident in question occurred on September 7th of last year. That is when the Bloomington man allegedly committed sexual acts by pinning down the victim. That is why the Bloomington man also faces charges for unlawful restraint.  The Bloomington man declined to post bail and, thus, remains in police custody at the McLean County Jail. While this man awaits an arraignment scheduled for May 28th, it seems appropriate to review the Illinois statutes that govern criminal sexual assault and unlawful restraint. How Does Illinois Define and Punish Unlawful Restraint? 720 ILCS 5/10-3 establishes the Illinois definition of unlawful restraint. A person commits unlawful restraint in Illinois if they: Detain a victim against their will; and Act knowingly and without legal authority.  Section 10-3 also explains the Illinois punishment for unlawful restraint. Any person who commits unlawful restraint will likely face Class 4 felony charges. The statutory punishment for this class of felony includes one to three years in prison and maximum of $25,000 in criminal fines.  How Does Illinois Define and Punish Criminal Sexual Assault? 720 ILCS 5/11-1.20[...]
May
14
2021
Arson is an offense under the Illinois Criminal Code that involves damage to property using fire or explosive. To qualify as a criminal offense, the perpetrator must act with knowledge. Though depending on the circumstances of the offense, arson can be charged in four different ways in Illinois.  Arson The Illinois laws against arson appear at 720 ILCS 5/20-1. Under this section, a person commits arson if they knowingly use fire or explosive to: Damage someone else’s real or personal property worth more than $150, without consent of the owner; or Damage any property worth more than $150 with the intent to defraud an insurer.  Under Section 20-1, arson is typically charged as a Class 2 felony. If convicted, the Illinois punishment includes the possibility of a prison sentence between three and seven years as well as criminal fines up to $25,000.  Residential Arson Section 20-1 also furnishes the Illinois laws against residential arson. A standard arson offense becomes residential arson if the perpetrator knowingly damages someone else’s residence or dwelling, partially or totally.  Under Section 20-1, residential arson is usually charged as a Class 1 felony. If convicted, the Illinois punishment includes the possibility of a prison sentence between[...]
May
7
2021
Authorities charged an Illinois man with aggravated unlawful use of a weapon after leading police on a high-speed chase, according to an article by The Pantagraph.  On Sunday, May 2nd, the Bloomington Police Department responded to reports of reckless driving near the 700 block of North East Street. When officers attempted to stop a passenger vehicle, the driver sped off at approximately 100 miles per hour.  Shortly thereafter, police officers received a report of a crashed vehicle on North Center Street by Illinois Route 9. The driver apparently crashed into a bus after driving through a red light. Police officers also recovered a loaded firearm as part of their investigation.  As a result of this incident, the Illinois man faces criminal charges for aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and several other offenses. To understand the potential consequences of these charges, it will be useful to review an applicable Illinois statute.  Illinois Definition of Aggravated Unlawful Use of a Weapon The Illinois definition of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon appears at 720 ILCS 5/24-1.6. There are two elements to this offense under Illinois law. First, the alleged offender must knowingly carry a firearm on their person, in their vehicle,[...]
April
30
2021
Similar to DUI, reckless driving under Illinois law is a criminal offense that involves dangerous operation of a motor vehicle. Any person who endangers other people or property on the roads can face criminal charges for regular or aggravated reckless driving. How Does Illinois Define Reckless Driving? The Illinois definition of reckless driving appears at 625 ILCS 5/11-503. Under this section, a person commits reckless driving if they: Operate a vehicle in willful or wanton manner that endangers the safety of people or property; or Knowingly send a vehicle airborne using an incline, such as a bridge approach, hill, or railroad crossing. Concerning the second item above, the knowledge requirement is significant. A person must know — or have a reason to know — that they are using an incline to send their vehicle airborne. An accidental or unintentional act that sends a vehicle airborne does not generally qualify as reckless driving in Illinois.  What are the Penalties for Reckless Driving in IL? Section 11-503 also establishes the Illinois penalties for reckless driving. Under this section, reckless driving is typically charged as a Class A misdemeanor. The Illinois punishment for this class of misdemeanor includes a maximum of 364 days[...]
April
23
2021
Aggravated Sexual Assault Defense
A 27-year-old Illinois man faces 10 counts of felony charges for unlawful delivery of cocaine, according to an article by The Pantagraph.  The Illinois man in question was already in police custody for another crime when the authorities delivered these drug delivery charges. According to official reports, the alleged crimes occurred on seven different occasions between October and December of 2019.  At this point, the Illinois man remains in police custody on a $100,000 bond. While this man awaits his arraignment on May 7, it seems appropriate to review Illinois laws governing unlawful delivery of a controlled substance. Illinois Laws Against Delivery of a Controlled Substance The Illinois laws against delivery of a controlled substance appear under 720 ILCS 570/401. This section makes it unlawful to deliver or manufacture any controlled substance. These substances are classified in different schedules, based on addictiveness and potential medical use, if any. This section also makes it illegal to possess a controlled substance with the intent to deliver or manufacture. In this sense, it does not matter if the alleged perpetrator actually completes the delivery in question. Possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute is treated in the same way as a[...]
April
16
2021
Battery is one of the most multifaceted offenses in the Illinois Criminal Code. There is a standard version that casts broad net. Then there is a specific version that addresses harm to unborn children. There is also a domestic version that deals with abuse to family or household members. Battery 720 ILCS 5/12-3 establishes the Illinois definition of battery. Under state law, a person commits battery if they knowingly and without justification: Inflict physical harm or injury on a victim; or Initiate contact with a victim in an insulting or provoking way.  Battery is classified as a Class A misdemeanor under Section 12-3. At that level, a conviction can lead to a maximum of 12 months in jail and $2,500 in criminal fines. Battery of an Unborn Child 720 ILCS 5/12-3.1 provides the Illinois laws against battery of an unborn child. Under state law, an unborn child is a member of the human species from embryo implantation to birth.  A person commits battery to an unborn child if they knowingly cause any physical harm to an unborn child. A person commits aggravated battery to an unborn child if they knowingly cause severe harm, permanent disability, or disfigurement to an unborn[...]
April
9
2021
Peoria Robbery Lawyer
Criminal damage to property is an Illinois crime that prohibits the destruction of or interference with another person’s property. More specifically, this offense addresses damage committed in a knowing, reckless, or intentional fashion. Though depending on the circumstances of the offense, the criminal penalties for a conviction can vary to a significant degree. How Does Illinois Define Criminal Damage to Property? Illinois law at 720 ILCS 5/21-1 defines what qualifies as criminal damage to property. Under this section, it is a crime to: Knowingly damage another person’s property; Recklessly damage another person’s property, using fire or explosives; Knowingly start a fire on another person’s land; Knowingly injure another person’s domestic animal without consent; Knowingly place a stink bomb or a similar device on another person’s land or building; Knowingly damage any property with the intent to commit insurance fraud; Knowingly discharge a firearm at any part of a railroad train; Knowingly damage or otherwise tamper with any fire hydrant or fire-fighting equipment; or Intentionally open any fire hydrant without authorization.  What is the Illinois Penalty for Criminal Damage to Property? Section 21-1 also establishes the Illinois penalty structure for criminal damage to property offenses. It is vital to note that[...]
April
2
2021
Underage Drinking Defense Bloomington
In the State of Illinois, fake IDs represent serious criminal offenses. These fraudulent identification cards misrepresent important information, such as a person’s name, age, or similar details. Depending on the nature of the offense, actions involving fake IDs can be charged as misdemeanor or felony offenses.  Advertising or Promoting Fake IDs Illinois law at 15 ILCS 335/14B makes it unlawful to advertise or distribute information that promotes the sale, gift, or furnishing of fake IDs.  Any person who violates this rule is typically charged with a Class A misdemeanor. Upon conviction for this charge, the penalties can include 364 days in jail and $2,500 in criminal fines.  In addition, the Secretary of State may request a restraining order against the offender to prevent further advertisement or promotion of fake IDs.  Using or Displaying Fake IDs Section 14B also makes it illegal to knowingly possess, display, or otherwise use a fake ID. Any person who violates this rule is typically charged with a Class 4 felony. Upon conviction for this charge, the penalties can include one to three years in prison and $25,000 in criminal fines.  On top of the statutory penalties above, Section 14B creates several mandatory minimum levels of[...]
March
26
2021
In the State of Illinois, there are laws against and penalties for various sex crimes, including criminal sexual abuse. Although this category of offenses bears a certain similarities to sexual assault crimes, criminal sexual abuse has a specific statutory definition and punishment, as the following sections will explain in more detail.  What are the Illinois Laws Against Criminal Sexual Abuse? The Illinois laws against criminal sexual abuse appear at 720 ILCS 5/11-1.50. Under this section, criminal sexual abuse occurs when a person: Commits an act of sexual conduct through force or violence; Commits an act of sexual conduct through the threat of force or violence; Commits an act of sexual conduct, knowing that the victim is unable to provide consent or understand the nature of the act; Commits an act of sexual conduct or sexual penetration, and the victim is under the age of 17 years old.  In this discussion, Illinois law at 720 ILCS 5/11-0.1 provides precise definitions for the terms “sexual conduct” and “sexual penetration,” as explained below. Sexual Conduct — This term refers to the touching or fondling of sexual organs for the purpose of sexual gratification or arousal, whether directly or indirectly.  Sexual Penetration — This[...]
March
19
2021
Two Illinois men face charges for armed robbery, residential burglary, and other crimes after allegedly participating in looting activities last summer, according to an article by The Pantagraph.  This incident allegedly occurred on July 12, 2020 in Normal, Illinois. That is when the two men in question — plus a third, unidentified male — apparently broke into a victim’s home and brandished a handgun. After striking the victim and stealing property, the perpetrators fled the scene.  As a result of their alleged participation in this incident, the two Illinois men in question face numerous criminal charges. In order to understand the potential criminal consequences at play, it will be necessary to review the Illinois penalties for armed robbery, residential burglary, burglary, and mob action.  Armed Robbery Penalties in Illinois Illinois law at 720 ILCS 5/18-2 clarifies the state penalties for armed robbery offenses. Under this section, armed robbery is typically a Class X felony. The maximum statutory punishment for a Class X felony includes a prison sentence between six and 30 years as well as criminal fines up to $25,000. Illinois does not allow probation or conditional discharge for Class X felonies.  Residential Burglary Penalties in Illinois Illinois law at[...]
March
12
2021
Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol, drugs, or other substances is a criminal offense in the State of Illinois. Any person who commits this offense can face severe criminal punishment, including but not limited to confinement in jail and criminal fines. Furthermore, DUI offenders in Illinois will likely lose their driving privileges for a period of time. To avoid these charges, it is vital to comprehend the precise boundaries of Illinois laws against and punishment for DUI.  Illinois Laws Against DUI The Illinois laws against DUI appear at 625 ILCS 5/11-501. Under this section, it is illegal to operate — or be in physical control of — a motor vehicle while: Their blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) meets or exceeds 0.08%; Under the influence of alcohol; Under the influence of any intoxicating compound or combination of intoxicating compounds; Under the influence of any drug or combination of drugs; Under the combined influence of alcohol, intoxicating compounds, drugs, or other substances; There is any amount of an illegal controlled substance, such as heroin or cocaine, in the driver’s body;  There is a qualifying tetrahydrocannabinol concentration in the driver’s body, resulting from consumption of marijuana. From a legal standpoint, under the influence refers[...]
March
5
2021
Under the Illinois Criminal Code, kidnapping is an offense that involves confinement against someone’s will. Also highly similar, the crimes of unlawful restraint and forcible detention are separate offenses from kidnapping. To understand the nuances between these three offenses, it will be helpful to review several Illinois statutes at play.  What are the Illinois Laws Against and Punishment for Kidnapping? 720 ILCS 5/10-1 establishes the Illinois laws against kidnapping. A person commits kidnapping if they knowingly: Confine a victim against their will;  Use force or the threat of force to take a victim to another location, intending to confine them against their will; or Employ deceit or enticement to induce a victim to go to another location, intending to confine them against their will.  Section 10-1 does create a special consideration involving individuals with profound intellectual disabilities and minor children under the age of 13 years old. In these situations, confinement qualifies as kidnapping if the parent or legal guardian does not consent. Section 10-1 also describes how Illinois punishes kidnapping. Under this section, kidnapping is a Class 2 felony. If convicted, the statutory punishment can include a prison sentence between three and seven years as well as criminal fines[...]
February
26
2021
After allegedly participating in the looting spree across Bloomington-Normal region in June of last year, an Illinois woman is charged with burglary and other crimes, according to an article by The Pantagraph. The looting spree in question occurred on June 1, 2020, in the wake of nationwide civil unrest. This Illinois woman allegedly took part in a looting incident that occurred at a Walmart store in Normal, Illinois on Greenbriar Drive. At present, this Illinois woman faces criminal charges for burglary, looting, and mob action. Instead of posting $1,035 in bail, this woman remains in police custody with an arraignment scheduled for March 26, 2021.  While the legal case continues to develop for this Illinois woman, it feels like an appropriate opportunity to review several Illinois statutes at issue in the present story.  Burglary: Laws and Penalties in Illinois The Illinois laws against and penalties for burglary appear at 720 ILCS 5/19-1. Under this section, burglary occurs when a person knowingly and without legal authority: Enters someone else’s building, aircraft, house-trailer, watercraft, motor vehicle, or railroad car; and Demonstrates an intent to commit or theft or another felony.  Under Section 19-1, burglary is normally a Class 3 felony in Illinois,[...]
February
19
2021
A man from Normal, Illinois faces multiple felony charges after displaying a firearm in a social media post, according to an article by The Pantagraph. With a previous conviction for aggravated unlawful use of a weapon on his record, this man lost the right to possess firearms.  According to the authorities, this Normal man posted a video on social media appearing to be in possession of a firearm. When law enforcement later arrested this man on February 18, they discovered four different firearms. As a result, the Normal man faces four criminal charges for unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon.  Instead of posting in bail, the Normal man remains in police custody, awaiting an arraignment scheduled for March 19. In the interim, it seems like a proper occasion to review an applicable Illinois statute.  Illinois Laws Against Possession of a Firearm by a Felon 720 ILCS 5/24-1.1 explains the Illinois laws against possession of a firearm by a felon. This section makes it unlawful for any person: With a previous felony conviction to possess firearms or ammunition on their person, at home, or a place of business; or In the custody of the Illinois Department of Corrections to[...]
February
12
2021
Medical Marijuana Laws in Illinois
Marijuana growing is a commonly used term for an Illinois criminal offense called unlawful marijuana production. In this context, the term production refers to the cultivating, harvesting, planting, or tending of marijuana plants. Even though Illinois legalized marijuana for recreational use, the process of growing or producing marijuana plants remains a regulated activity. Any person who disregards these legal requirements can face criminal charges for unlawful marijuana production.  What is the Illinois Definition of Unlawful Marijuana Production? The Illinois definition of unlawful; marijuana production appears at 720 ILCS 550/8. Under this section, there is a general prohibition against the production or possession of marijuana plants. To qualify as a criminal offense, the alleged perpetrator must know — or have a reason to know — that they were involved in the unlawful production or possession of marijuana plants.  In addition, Section 8 establishes several exceptions to unlawful production crimes. Since the state legalized marijuana for recreational use, there are now guidelines for the lawful production and possession of marijuana plants. But unless authorized under the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act or the Industrial Hemp Act, production or possession of marijuana plants remains largely illegal in Illinois.  What is the Illinois Punishment[...]
February
5
2021
A man from Normal, Illinois was sentenced to 300 years in prison for six counts of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child, according to an article by The Pantagraph. In exchange for his December guilty plea, prosecutors dropped 13 other charges, including aggravated criminal sexual abuse.  Accordingly to court documents, all of these crimes involved the same child victim, occurring across several incidents and spanning several years. The Illinois man initiated sexual contact with the victim approximately 30 times.  Based on the severity of these offenses, Eleventh Circuit Court Judge Casey Costigan determined that a severe punishment was appropriate and applied a 50-year sentence for each count. The Illinois man must serve these sentences consecutively, which means release is highly unlikely.  In the aftermath of this trial and sentencing, it seems fitting to review the Illinois laws against and punishment for predatory criminal sexual assault of a child. What are the Illinois Laws Against Predatory Criminal Sexual Assault of a Child? 720 ILCS 5/11-1.40 establishes the Illinois laws against predatory criminal sexual assault of a child. Under Illinois law, there are two elements to this offense.  First, the perpetrator must be at least 17 years old and commit an[...]
January
29
2021
The McLean County Sheriff’s Office arrested an Illinois man on felony charges of meth delivery, according to an article by The Pantagraph.  According to official reports, the Illinois man had between 15 and 100 grams of meth in his possession. Apparently, this man demonstrated an intent to commit a delivery crime, as well.  At this juncture, the Illinois man remains in police custody at the McLean County Jail. This man neglected to post in bail and awaits an arraignment scheduled for February 19. In the meantime, it seems appropriate to review the Illinois laws against and punishment for meth delivery.  Illinois Laws Against Meth Delivery 720 ILCS 646/55 provides the Illinois laws against meth delivery. Under this section, it is unlawful to deliver meth to another person — or otherwise attempt to transfer possession, whether or not money changes hands. It is also illegal to possess meth under circumstances that indicate an intent to deliver or otherwise transfer.  Illinois law treats delivery and possession with intent to deliver crimes in identical fashion. It does not matter if the delivery crime is actually completed. Possession with intent to deliver features the same punishment under Illinois law.  Illinois Punishment for Meth Delivery[...]
January
22
2021
After allegedly attempting to defraud several banks in Normal, Illinois, an Indiana woman faces criminal charges for theft, burglary, and other crimes, according to an article by The Pantagraph.  This incident traces back to January 2020. That is when the Indiana woman apparently used a fake ID and false credit card to receive a $5,000 advance from one bank. The Indiana woman also allegedly requested a $6,500 advance from another branch.  As a result of this incident, the Indiana woman faces two counts of burglary, one count of theft, and three counts of other crimes. While this woman awaits her day in court, it seems appropriate to review several Illinois laws and penalties.  Theft Under Illinois Law 720 ILCS 5/16-1 establishes the Illinois laws against and penalties for theft. Under this section, theft occurs when someone knowingly: Obtains or exerts control over another person’s property; Utilizes deception to obtain or exert control over another person’s property; Employs threats to obtain or exert control over another person’s property; or Obtains control over property, knowing or having a reason to know that the property was stolen. Section 16-1 also provides a fluctuating penalty structure for theft crimes. From a general standpoint, the[...]
January
15
2021
Unlike assault crimes, Illinois law requires battery offenses to involve physical contact of a harmful, insulting, or provoking nature. Any person who initiates this type of contact can face criminal penalties, including jail time and fines. In more extreme situations, the perpetrator can even face felony charges for aggravated battery. What is the Illinois Definition of Battery? 720 ILCS 5/12-3 furnishes the Illinois definition of battery. Under this section, a person commits battery if they knowingly and without legal justification: Cause physical harm or injury to another person; or Initiate contact of an insulting or provoking nature with another person.  What is the Illinois Punishment for Battery? Section 12-3 also explains the Illinois punishment for battery. Under this section, battery is a Class A misdemeanor in Illinois.  If a person is convicted for this class of misdemeanor, they can face a maximum of 12 months in jail and $2,500 in criminal fines. Conditional discharge, court supervision, or probation is also available for a maximum of 24 months.  What is the Illinois Definition of Aggravated Battery? 720 ILCS 5/12-3.05 supplies the Illinois definition of aggravated battery. There are various types of aggravated battery under this section. But generally speaking, a battery[...]
January
8
2021
Bloomington IL DUI Attorney
Illinois authorities filed felony charges against a Bloomington man for distribution of cocaine, according to an article by The Pantagraph.  According to official reports, one count involved the distribution of cocaine in an amount between one and 15 grams. The other count involved the distribution of cocaine in an amount of less than one gram. At this point, the Bloomington man has paid $50,000 to secure a personal recognizance bond. While this man awaits his arraignment on February 19, it seems prudent to review Illinois laws against and penalties for the distribution of cocaine.  Illinois Laws Against Distribution of Cocaine As detailed in 720 ILCS 570/401, it is unlawful to manufacture, distribute, or otherwise attempt to transfer possession of controlled substances. In this context, the term controlled substance refers to many illegal drugs, including those classified in Schedule II like cocaine.  On a related note, it is also illegal to possess a controlled substance with the intent to manufacture or distribute. This offense is referred to generally as possession with intent to distribute. It is punishable in the same way as completed distribution crimes. So a person in possession of cocaine who demonstrates an intent to distribute can face the[...]
January
1
2021
The Illinois Criminal Code includes specific provisions that prohibit any person from committing burglary or residential burglary. Even though these offenses might sound highly similar, they are categorized and punished separately. Under Illinois law, the potential prison sentence can increase dramatically for burglary offenses committed in another person’s residence.  Burglary Illinois law at 720 ILCS 5/19-1 provides the definition of burglary. Under this section, a person commits burglary if they: Knowingly and without legal authority enters or remains in a building, house-trailer, watercraft, aircraft, motor vehicle, railroad car; and Demonstrates an intent to commit theft or a felony crime.  Any person who commits burglary in violation of Section 19-1 is guilty of a Class 3 felony. If convicted for this type of felony, the statutory punishment can include a prison sentence between two and five years as well as criminal fines up to $25,000. Probation or conditional discharge of a maximum of 30 months is also a possibility.  That being said, residential burglary that involves damage to the structure in question becomes a Class 2 felony. If convicted for this type of felony, the statutory punishment can include a prison sentence between three and seven years as well as criminal[...]
December
25
2020
Law enforcement arrested a Bloomington man for criminal sexual assault, arson, and domestic battery, according to an article by The Pantagraph. Allegedly, this Bloomington man committed sexual assault against a female victim. Then he attempted to light the residence on fire and prevented the victim from leaving the premises. This man also allegedly battered the victim during an earlier incident.  While this Bloomington man awaits his arraignment on January 15, it seems like a suitable occasion to review several Illinois laws and penalties at play in this situation.  Domestic Battery The Illinois laws against domestic battery appear at 720 ILCS 5/12-3.2. Under this section, it is unlawful to knowingly and without legal justification: Inflict physical harm to a family or household member; or Initiate insulting or provoking contact with a family or household member. Any person who commits domestic battery in violation of Section 12-3.2 is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor. If convicted, the statutory punishment includes a maximum jail sentence of 364 days and criminal fines up to $2,500. Arson The Illinois laws against arson appear at 720 ILCS 5/20-1. Under this section, it is unlawful to knowingly use fire or explosives to: Damage the property of another[...]
December
18
2020
Illinois law enforcement are searching for a suspect after several attempted vehicular hijackings that occurred in Will County, according to an article by Patch. According to official reports, this incident occurred on Sunday, November 29th at approximately 5:20 p.m. That is when the suspect allegedly attempted a vehicular hijacking at a gas station on South La Grange Road in Mokena. Apparently, the suspect attempted a similar incident just before at a similar location.  Until law enforcement arrests a suspect for these attempted crimes, legal charges will remain forthcoming. Though in the meantime, it feels appropriate to review several Illinois statutes that prohibit vehicular hijacking.  Vehicular Hijacking 720 ILCS 5/18-3 provides the Illinois laws against and penalties for vehicular hijacking. Vehicular hijacking charges are applicable when a perpetrator: Knowingly takes possession of a motor vehicle from the person or presence of someone else; and Uses force or the imminent threat of force to complete the offense.  Under Section 18-3, vehicular hijacking is a Class 1 felony in Illinois. The statutory punishment for this type of felony includes a prison sentence between four and 15 years as well as criminal fines up to $25,000.  Aggravated Vehicular Hijacking 720 ILCS 5/18-4 details the[...]
December
11
2020
A 33-year-old Illinois man faces criminal charges for reckless homicide and aggravated DUI after allegedly causing a fatal crash in Livingston County, according to an article by The Pantagraph. Official reports indicate that the Livingston County Sheriff’s Department responded to this incident just before midnight on Saturday, December 5th. The Illinois State Police, the Streator Police Department, the Reading Fire Department, and the Livingston County Coroner's Office also assisted with this incident. When the authorities arrived at 600 Block of South Park Street, they discovered an automobile accident. The Illinois man in question was driving the vehicle with a passenger. The passenger died as a result of injuries sustained during the accident. Law enforcement arrested the Illinois man at the scene. After his arrest, the Illinois man posted bail in the amount of $15,000 and was released from police custody with a court date scheduled for December 28th. In the meantime, it seems fitting to review Illinois laws against aggravated DUI and reckless homicide.  Aggravated DUI 625 ILCS 5/11-501 details the Illinois laws against aggravated DUI. Under this section, a standard DUI becomes aggravated DUI upon the third or subsequent offense. There are also other situations in which aggravated DUI[...]
December
4
2020
Aggravated discharge of a firearm is an Illinois crime that involves extremely dangerous gun use. Accidental discharge or a similar mistake does not rise to the level of aggravated discharge in Illinois. Instead, the alleged offender must knowingly or intentionally fire a gun at a person, building, or vehicle.  What are the Illinois Laws Against Aggravated Discharge of a Firearm? 720 ILCS 5/24-1.2 establishes the Illinois laws against aggravated discharge of a firearm. A person commits this offense if they intentionally discharge a firearm: At a building from outside, knowing or having a reason to know that there are people inside the structure; In the direction of another person or at a vehicle, knowing or having a reason to know that there is someone inside; In the direction of another person, knowing or having a reason to know that they are a police officer, firefighter, or similar agent in the performance of their official duties; At a vehicle, knowing or having a reason to know that there is a police officer, firefighter, or similar agent inside who is performing their official duties; In the direction of another person, knowing or having a reason to know that they are an emergency[...]
November
27
2020
An Illinois man faces felony charges for soliciting another person to commit murder, according to an article by The Pantagraph.  This Illinois man was already in police custody for separate child sex crimes, including predatory criminal sexual assault and aggravated criminal sexual abuse. The child sex crimes all involved a victim under the age of 13 years old.  According to official statements, this investigation involved collaboration between the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office and the Braidwood Police Department. Though law enforcement officials did not release any additional information about the nature of the solicitation of murder charges.  At this point, the Illinois man remains in police custody, instead of posting bail in the amount of $500,000. While this man awaits further developments in his legal case, it seems appropriate to review two Illinois statutes that address solicitation of murder.  Solicitation of Murder The Illinois laws against solicitation of murder appear at 720 ILCS 5/8-1. This section makes it unlawful to solicit another person commit first-degree murder.  Section 8-1 also explains the punishment for solicitation of murder. Any person who commits this offense is guilty of a Class X felony. Usually, the punishment for this felony includes imprisonment for 15 to 30[...]
November
20
2020
Bloomington IL DUI Attorney
Due to the dangerousness of meth and its manufacturing process, the State of Illinois qualifies meth delivery crimes as felony offenses. Though depending on the circumstances of the offense, there are both regular and aggravated versions of this crime. Furthermore, the punishment for delivering meth generally fluctuates based on the quantity in question.  Delivery of Meth 720 ILCS 646/55 explains the Illinois laws against and penalties for delivery of meth. Under this section, it is unlawful to deliver, sell, give, or otherwise transfer possession of meth. It is also illegal to possess meth under circumstances that indicate an intent to deliver.  Any person who violates this section by delivering or possessing with intent to deliver: Less than 5 grams of meth — Is guilty of a Class 2 felony, including a possible sentence of three to seven years in prison and up to $25,000 in criminal fines; Between 5 and 15 grams of meth — Is guilty of a Class 1 felony, including a possible sentence of four to 15 years in prison and up to $25,000 in criminal fines; Between 15 and 100 grams of meth — Is guilty of a Class X felony, including a possible sentence of[...]
November
13
2020
A former officer who worked for the Normal Police Department is seeking a plea deal for theft crimes committed last year, according to an article by The Pantagraph.  According to official reports, the former officer arrived at a residence in Normal in response to a 911 call on November 25, 2019. At some point thereafter, the former officer stole approximately $12,000 in cash from the residence.  In response to reports of the missing cash, the Illinois State Police commenced an investigation. Based on that investigation, the authorities arrested and charged the former officer in December of 2019.  While this former officer awaits further developments in their legal case, it seems like a good opportunity to review Illinois laws against and penalties for theft crimes.  How Does Illinois Define Theft Crimes? The Illinois definition of theft appears at 720 ILCS 5/16-1. Under this section, theft occurs when a perpetrator knowingly: Obtains or exerts control over another person’s property without authorization; Employs deception to obtain control over another person’s property; Uses threats to obtain control over another person’s property; Receives property knowing, or having a reason to know, that the property was stolen; or  Obtains or exerts control over property in the[...]
November
6
2020
Medical Marijuana Laws in Illinois
Even though Illinois legalized cannabis for recreational use in 2020, there are still instances in which possession of marijuana can be a crime. There are strict rules on the amount of marijuana that is acceptable for lawful possession. As a result, unlawful possession can occur based on the amount of marijuana involved or certain other circumstances. Lawful Possession of Marijuana 410 ILCS 705/10-10 explains the boundaries of lawful possession of marijuana in Illinois. Under this section, marijuana possession and use is lawful for adults who are at least 21 years old. But there are certain possession limits that apply in this context.  For Illinois residents over 21 years old, it is lawful to possess: 30 grams of cannabis flower;  5 grams of cannabis concentrate; and 500 milligrams of THC in cannabis-infused products.  For out-of-state residents over 21 years old, it is lawful to possess: 15 grams of cannabis flower;  2.5 grams of cannabis concentrate; and 250 milligrams of THC in cannabis-infused products. Section 10-10 also creates special considerations for qualifying medical marijuana patients who grow their own cannabis plants. Unlawful Possession of Marijuana Unlawful possession occurs when a person exceeds the possession limits described above — or otherwise uses or[...]
October
30
2020
Forgery is an offense under the Illinois Criminal Code that involves misrepresentation with fraudulent intentions. There are many different types of forgery in Illinois. Depending on the object of forgery in question, the punishment can fluctuate greatly. In most cases, forgery crimes include extended confinement and hefty fines.  What are the Illinois Laws Against Forgery? 720 ILCS 5/17-3 establishes the Illinois laws against forgery. Under this section, a person commits forgery if they demonstrate fraudulent intent and knowingly: Creates a false document or alters any document to make it false; Delivers or uses such a false document, knowing that the document is false; Possesses a false document with the intention to deliver or use it and knowing that the document is false; Uses the digital signature of another person unlawfully and without authorization; or Exploits the signature device of another person unlawfully and without authorization to create a false electronic signature. In this context, the term “false document” includes but is not necessarily limited to documents that: Contain false information of a material nature; Claim falsely to be prepared in an official manner; or Indicate lawful authority even though such authority is misrepresented.  It is also worth noting that the[...]
October
23
2020
Local police officers arrested an Illinois man in McLean County on two felony charges, according to an article by The Pantagraph. The Illinois man faces charges for the unlawful delivery of cocaine. The Illinois man is apparently part of several ongoing investigations. As a result, there could be additional charges against him. At this point, the Illinois man remains in police custody after neglecting to post bail in the amount of $50,035.  While this Illinois man awaits his arraignment, it feels appropriate to review Illinois laws against and penalties for cocaine delivery.  Illinois Laws Against Delivery of Cocaine The Illinois definition of what qualifies as delivery appears at 720 ILCS 570/102. This section establishes that the term delivery refers to actual, attempted, and constructive transfers. It does not matter if there was an agency relationship or if money or other consideration was exchanged.  Illinois law at 720 ILCS 570/401 makes it unlawful to deliver or manufacture controlled substances, including cocaine. This section also makes it illegal to possess a controlled substance in a way that indicates an intention to distribute or manufacture. Even if the intended distribution crime did not occur, possession with intent is punishable in the same way[...]
October
16
2020

When Does DUI Become Aggravated DUI in Illinois?

Categories: DUI |

The Illinois Criminal Code prohibits any person from driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol, drugs, or a combination of both. When a person becomes impaired and loses their ability to operate their vehicle in safe fashion, it qualifies as a DUI in Illinois. Though in certain circumstances, a regular DUI can become an aggravated DUI and subject the offender to felony charges.  How Does Illinois Define Aggravated DUI? 625 ILCS 5/11-501 provides the Illinois definition of aggravated DUI. The aggravated version of this offense applies if a person commits DUI: For a third or subsequent time; For a second time, if there was a child passenger under the age of 16 years old; While transporting multiple passengers on a school bus or a vehicle-for-hire; While also causing great bodily harm or permanent disability or disfigurement to someone else; After a previous conviction for reckless homicide while under the influence; While driving in a school zone and causing great bodily harm or permanent disability or disfigurement to someone else; While also causing the death of someone else; While driving without a license or on a suspended or revoked license; Knowing, or having a reason to know, that the vehicle did[...]
October
9
2020
Unlawful use of weapons is a criminal offense in Illinois that involves the possession and use of firearms and other dangerous weapons. In the interest of public safety, Illinois law provides various controls on the ability to possess, carry, or use firearms and other dangerous weapons. Any person who commits unlawful use of weapons in Illinois can face confinement and steep criminal fines.  Illinois Definition of Unlawful Use of Weapons Illinois law at 720 ILCS 5/24-1 establishes the boundaries for unlawful use of weapons. This offense applies to any individual who: Sells, manufactures, purchases, possesses, or carries various dangerous weapons, such as switch-blade knives, black-jacks, or brass knuckles; Carries on their person or in any vehicle a device capable of distributing noxious liquid gas or a similar substance, with the exception of accepted devices for personal defense; Carries or possesses in any vehicle or in a concealed fashion any firearm, outside of approved exceptions such as disassembled transportation; Sets a spring gun trap;  Possesses any device that is intended to silence or muffle the sound of a firearm discharge; Sells, manufactures, purchases, possesses, or carries any machine gun that is capable of discharging rounds automatically;  Carries or possesses any firearm[...]
October
2
2020
Bloomington police officers arrested an Illinois man for aggravated criminal sexual abuse, sexual assault, and several child sex crimes, according to an article by The Pantagraph. From approximately May 2010 to June 2020, this Illinois man allegedly committed multiple sex crimes against two different victims. According to official reports, both victims were under the age of 13 years old when the sex crimes occurred.  The Illinois man allegedly committed sexual assault and abuse against the first victim between 2010 and 2012. He also alleged committed sexual assault and abuse against a second victim between 2015 and 2020. Based on victim statements and police investigation, local authorities issued a warrant for the Illinois man’s arrest on September 23rd.  As a result of his alleged commission of these crimes, the Illinois man faces 32 felony counts for various sexual offenses, including: Criminal sexual assault (16 counts); Aggravated criminal sexual abuse (12 counts); and Predatory criminal sexual assault of a child (four counts).  While the alleged offender awaits further proceedings in McLean County, it seems appropriate to review the potential penalties he could face if convicted.  Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse The Illinois punishment for aggravated criminal sexual abuse appears at 720 ILCS 5/11-1.60.[...]
September
24
2020
Criminal Trespassing Defense Lawyer
Illinois authorities arrested a man from Bloomington and charged him with aggravated domestic battery, according to an article by The Pantagraph.  The underlying incident apparently occurred on Saturday, September 12th. That is when the Bloomington man allegedly caused serious physical harm to a family or household member. The victim received medical treatment for physical injuries that included cuts to the face, apparently due to repeated strikes and kicks.  The alleged perpetrator remained in police custody as of Wednesday, September 16th without bond. After a risk assessment evaluation and a court hearing, the alleged perpetrator may be able to qualify for bond. Either way, his arraignment is scheduled for Friday, September 25th.  While the alleged perpetrator waits for his arraignment and further proceedings, it seems like an opportune moment to review Illinois laws concerning aggravated domestic battery.  Definition of Aggravated Domestic Battery 720 ILCS 5/12-3.3 provides the Illinois definition of aggravated domestic battery. Under this section, a regular domestic battery offense becomes aggravated domestic battery if the perpetrator knowingly or intentionally: Inflicts great bodily harm during the offense; Causes permanent disfigurement or disability during the offense; or Strangles the victim or otherwise impedes their normal breathing functions during the offense. In[...]
September
18
2020
A home invasion is a violent criminal offense under the Illinois Criminal Code. These offenses typically involve breaking and entering or using false pretenses to cause or attempt to cause physical harm. Any person who commits home invasion in Illinois will face severe consequences, including imprisonment and criminal fines.  What Qualifies as a Home Invasion in Illinois? 720 ILCS 5/19-6 provides the Illinois laws against home invasion. There are two major requirements for this offense. First, knowing or having a reason to know that people are or will be present, the perpetrator must intentionally: Enter the residence of someone else without authorization; Enter the residence of someone else without authorization and remain there; or Represent him or herself falsely as a government agent, utility worker, or similarly positioned individual to gain unauthorized access. Second, in the course of committing a home invasion, the perpetrator must also: Use force or the threat of force while armed with a dangerous weapon, other than a firearm; Cause intentional injury to any person within the residence; Use force or the threat of force while armed with a firearm; Discharge a firearm during the offense;  Cause serious physical harm, disability, disfigurement, or death by discharging[...]
September
10
2020
Bloomington IL Domestic Violence Attorney
The Illinois Criminal Code establishes laws against many sex crimes, including criminal sexual abuse and criminal sexual assault. Although these two criminal offenses share many similarities, there are subtle differences in their legal definitions. Additionally, criminal sexual assault carries a much more severe punishment structure.    Criminal Sexual Abuse   The Illinois laws against and penalties for criminal sexual abuse appear at 720 ILCS 5/11-1.50. Under this section, a person commits criminal sexual abuse if they: Commit an act of sexual conduct; and Use force or the threat of force; or The victim is unable to understand the act or incapable of providing consent. Section 11-1.50 also details the punishment for criminal sexual abuse. A first offense is ordinarily punishable as a Class 4 felony. Upon conviction, the perpetrator can face one to three years in prison and up to $25,000 in criminal fines.   A second or subsequent offense is usually punishable as a Class 2 felony. Upon conviction, the perpetrator can face three to seven years in prison and up to $25,000 in criminal fines.   It is worth noting that Illinois law outlines two other types of criminal sexual abuse. Both of these versions deal with younger[...]
September
4
2020
The Bloomington Police Department arrested two Illinois people for the felony crime of meth delivery, according to an article by The Pantagraph.    According to official statements, the alleged perpetrators are a 38-year-old woman from Normal and a 51-year-old man from Bloomington. Police officers arrested both individuals for an attempted sale of less than five grams of meth.    At this point, both individuals declined to post bail and remain in police custody. Their arraignments are scheduled for September 18th. In the meantime, it seems like a good time to review Illinois laws concerning delivery of meth.    What is the Illinois Definition of Delivery?   Illinois law at 720 ILCS 570/102 defines the term delivery. Under this section, delivery refers to the actual or attempted transfer of possession of illegal substances, including meth. It does not matter if the delivery is successful or if any money was exchanged. Illinois law prohibits any person from transferring — or attempting to transfer — possession of illegal substances like meth.    How Does Illinois Punish Meth Delivery?   Illinois law at 720 ILCS 646/55 makes it unlawful to deliver or otherwise transfer possession of meth. It is also illegal to attempt to[...]
August
28
2020
Under the Illinois Criminal Code, arson is a criminal offense that involves the use of fire or explosive to damage property. Any person who commits this offense in Illinois will face criminal punishment, including prison time and steep fines. Depending on the applicable circumstances, an offender can face one of four different types of arson under the Illinois Criminal Code, as explained in the following sections.    Arson   Illinois law at 720 ILCS 5/20-1 provides the definition of arson. Under this section, a person commits arson if they use fire or explosive to knowingly: Inflict damage upon any real or personal property worth $150 or more, without the consent of the property owner; or Intend to defraud an insurance provider by inflicting damage upon any property worth $150 or more.  Any person who commits arson in violation of Section 20-1 is guilty of a Class 2 felony. A conviction for a Class 2 felony in Illinois includes a maximum statutory punishment of seven years in prison, $25,000 in criminal fines, and four years of probation.   Residential Arson   Section 20-1 also details the definition of residential arson. Under this section, a person commits residential arson if they use[...]
August
21
2020
Medical Marijuana Laws in Illinois
After the State of Illinois legalized cannabis for recreational use, there were many changes to the laws governing distribution or possession of marijuana. While in-state residents and out-of-state visitors may now purchase cannabis legally, they must do so from state-approved vendors.  Any person who attempts to circumvent approved processes can face criminal charges, even though cannabis is legal. If two or more people conspire to commit a marijuana crime, everyone involved can face charges for calculated criminal cannabis conspiracy.  What is the Illinois Definition of a Cannabis Conspiracy? 720 ILCS 550/9 details the Illinois definition of a calculated criminal cannabis conspiracy. There are two elements to this offense. The first element involves a violation — or an attempted violation — of any of the following criminal statutes: Unlawful possession of cannabis (720 ILCS 550/4) in the amount of 100 to 2,000 grams; Unlawful delivery of cannabis or possession of cannabis with intent to deliver (720 ILCS 550/5) in the amount of 30 to 2,000 grams; or Unlawful production or manufacture of cannabis (720 ILCS 550/8) in the amount of 20 to 200 plants.  The second element requires that the perpetrator: Conspired with at least one other person to commit the[...]
August
14
2020
The Illinois Criminal Code features laws against and penalties for various illegal acts, such as robbery or armed robbery. In general terms, robbery is a theft crime where the perpetrator uses force or the threat of force to complete the offense. The corresponding punishment can vary depending on certain factors, including the type of victim and possession or use of a weapon.  Robbery 720 ILCS 5/18-1 of the Illinois Criminal Code establishes the rule against robbery. This section makes it unlawful for any person to: Knowingly steal anything from a property owner; Directly from the owner’s presence or person; and By using force or the threat of force.  Section 18-1 does provide an important exception in this context. Robbery crimes do not involve motor vehicles. The Illinois Criminal Code has a separate statute that criminalizes the forceful theft of motor vehicles, which is referred to as carjacking.  At a baseline level, any person who commits robbery in violation of Section 18-1 is guilty of a Class 2 felony. The statutory punishment for a Class 2 felony includes imprisonment for three to seven years and criminal fines up to $25,000. That being said, robbery can become a Class 1 felony in[...]
August
7
2020
Bloomington IL DUI Attorney
Illinois police officers arrested two men and one woman in McLean County for various felony drug crimes involving cocaine, according to an article by The Pantagraph.    These arrests occurred in the evening of Friday, July 31st and resulted in the following charges: Unlawful possession of cocaine; Unlawful delivery of cocaine; and Unlawful possession of cocaine with intent to deliver. All three individuals in question are scheduled for an arraignment on August 14th. Until then, it seems like a valuable opportunity to review several Illinois criminal statutes.    Unlawful Possession of Cocaine   Illinois law under 720 ILCS 570/402 makes it unlawful to possess any controlled substance, including Schedule II substances like cocaine. Any person who violates Section 402 by possessing: Less than 15 grams of cocaine — Is guilty of a Class 4 felony with a potential sentence of $25,000 in fines and one to three years in prison;  Between 15 and 100 grams of cocaine — Is guilty of a Class 1 felony with a potential sentence of $200,000 in fines and four to 15 years in prison; Between 100 and 400 grams of cocaine — Is guilty of a Class 1 felony with a potential sentence of[...]
July
31
2020
The Illinois Criminal Code includes laws against multiple property crimes, such as criminal trespass to property and criminal damage to property. Both of these crimes involve illegal activities involving another person’s property. But these offenses are defined separately and contain distinct punishment schemes.    Criminal Trespass to Property   720 ILCS 5/21-3 details the laws against criminal trespass to property. A person commits this offense if they: Enter or remain in a building, knowingly and without legal authority; Access someone else’s land, despite receiving notice not to enter; Remain on someone else’s land, after receiving notice to leave; Misrepresent their identify to gain unlawful access to a building or land;  Remove a legal notice from a building intentionally; or Enter an agricultural property used for crops, livestock, or similar purposes, despite receiving notice not to enter. Section 21-3 also establishes the punishment for criminal trespass to property. Most commonly, this offense qualifies as a Class B misdemeanor. If convicted, the maximum sentence includes criminal fines up to $1,500 and six months in jail.    Criminal Damage to Property   720 ILCS 5/21-1 provides the laws against criminal damage to property. A person commits this offense if they knowingly or recklessly:[...]
July
24
2020
Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs is a common problem in Illinois and across the United States. To dissuade this type of dangerous behavior, there are strict laws against intoxicated or impaired driving across the nation. In Illinois, there is a specific definition of what qualifies as DUI, including testing benchmarks for alcohol or marijuana consumption.    What is the Illinois Definition of DUI?   The Illinois definition of DUI appears under 625 ILCS 5/11-501. This section makes it unlawful to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of various substances.    In this context, under the influence means that a person is impaired and incapable of driving in a safe manner. It does not matter if that person is legally entitled to consume the substance in question.    More specifically, Section 11-501 makes it unlawful to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of: Alcohol; Intoxicating compounds; Pharmaceutical drugs; Illegal drugs; or Any combination of alcohol, intoxicating compounds, or drugs. There are specific provisions of Illinois law that govern the DUI testing requirements for alcohol and marijuana. Illinois law presumes that a driver is under the influence if they register a: Blood-alcohol concentration (BAC)[...]
July
17
2020
Bloomington IL DUI Attorney
After a traffic stop in Bloomington, an Illinois man faces criminal charges for aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and possession by a felon, according to an article by The Pantagraph.    On Sunday, July 12th, police officers executed a traffic stop on Grandview Drive. In the process, the police officers discovered that the Illinois man was carrying a loaded handgun in his pocket. Furthermore, this Illinois man was a felon.    As a result of this incident, the authorities charged the Illinois man with: Unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon; and Aggravated unlawful use of a weapon. The Illinois man declined to post $5,035 in bail and, thus, remains in police custody. While this man’s legal case plays out, it seems like a suitable opportunity to review several Illinois laws and penalties.    Unlawful Possession of a Weapon by a Felon   Illinois law at 720 ILCS 5/24-1.1 makes it illegal for convicted felons to possess firearms or ammunition for firearms. Though Section 10 of the Firearm Owners Identification Card Act (430 ILCS 65/) does provide an exception to this rule.    Any person who commits unlawful possession of a weapon by a felony will face Class[...]
July
10
2020
Even though prostitution has long-standing history in human societies, it is a criminal offense in the State of Illinois. Any person who commits a sexual act in exchange for anything of value can face serious consequences, including jail time and criminal fines. Though Illinois law does have special considerations for victims of human trafficking and involuntary servitude as well as minor children engaged in prostitution.    What are the Illinois Laws Against Prostitution?   720 ILCS 5/11-14 establishes the Illinois laws against prostitution. Under this section, a person commits prostitution if they knowingly: Offer or agree to perform an act of sexual penetration; or Offer or agree to touch or fondle for the purposes of sexual arousal; and Receive anything of value in consideration for offering or agreeing to perform these acts.  Illinois law under 720 ILCS 5/11-0.1 provides a specific definition of the term sexual penetration. This term refers to any contact or intrusion — no matter how slight — between the sexual organs of different people or objects.    Examples of sexual penetration include fellatio and cunnilingus as well as vaginal and anal penetration. Sexual penetration does not require the presence or emission of semen under Illinois law. [...]
July
3
2020
Bloomington IL DUI Attorney
Allegations of sexual assault led to an investigation and the ultimate arrest of a 30-year-old man serving as an Illinois Department of Corrections officer, according to an article by The Pantagraph.    The Illinois State Police began looking into this matter after receiving complaints of sexual misconduct from inmates at the Logan Correctional Center in Lincoln, Illinois. As a result of those efforts, the authorities arrested the male officer and charged him with custodial sexual misconduct and official misconduct.    The next steps in the legal case will likely occur in court next month. In the interim, it seems like a great opportunity to review Illinois laws against and penalties for several types of misconduct.   Custodial Sexual Misconduct   720 ILCS 5/11-9.2 provides the Illinois laws governing custodial sexual misconduct. There are two elements to this offense. First, the offender must be an employee of a: Penal system; Treatment and detention facility; or Law enforcement agency.  Second, the offender must engage in sexual penetration or conduct with a person in their custody. In this context, custody is a broad term, including pretrial arrest through trial, detention, and even probation or treatment.    Any offender who commits custodial sexual misconduct[...]
June
26
2020
Bloomington IL DUI Attorney
Two women from Bloomington, Illinois will face felony charges for drug and weapon crimes, according to an article by The Pantagraph.    Local authorities charged both women on Saturday, June 20th, following a police investigating and raid. During a raid of the residence where both women lived, law enforcement discovered cocaine, a firearm, and drug paraphernalia, according to official reports.    Among the varied criminal charges these women face are: Manufacture and delivery of cocaine; Possession of a controlled substance; and Unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon. While the two Illinois women await their July 17th arraignment and further legal proceedings, it seems like an opportune moment to review several Illinois statutes.    Manufacture and Delivery of Cocaine   Illinois law under 720 ILCS 570/401 makes it unlawful to manufacture or deliver controlled substances, including cocaine. Any person who violates Section 401 can face the following penalties: 15 grams or less — Class 1 felony punishable by a prison sentence of four to 15 years and fines up to $250,000; 15 to 100 grams — Class 1 felony with a mandatory prison sentence of six to 30 years and fines up to $250,000; 100 to 400 grams —[...]
June
19
2020
Across the State of Illinois, it is illegal to possess or use a fake ID with false information on it. Referred to legally as fraudulent identification cards, criminal offenders use fake IDs for numerous unlawful purposes. Any person who possesses or even attempts to use a fake ID can face criminal punishment under Illinois law.    What Qualifies as a Fake ID in Illinois?   The Illinois definition of a fake ID appears in 15 ILCS 335/1A. Under this section, a fake ID refers to any identification card with false information that attempts to be authentic. This term can include real identification cards, altered to feature modified information, and fraudulent cards, created to seem like the real thing.    How Does Illinois Define Crimes Involving Fake IDs?   Illinois law under 15 ILCS 335/14B provides a breakdown of various crimes involving fake IDs. This section makes it unlawful to knowingly: Possess or display a fake ID; Use or attempt to use a fake ID for the purposes of obtaining a bank, credit, or retail account for financial gain; Possess a fake ID with the intent of committing theft, fraud, or similar acts of deception;  Possess a fake ID with the[...]
June
12
2020
Local law enforcement has arrested approximately 30 people after a rash of looting and thefts throughout Bloomington and Normal, according to an article by The Pantagraph. Many of these individuals face felony charges for looting, mob action, and various other offenses.  These criminal incidents occurred after countless droves engaged in non-violent demonstrations in protest of George Floyd’s death at the hands of police officers. Taking advantage of overwhelmed law enforcement agencies, there was widespread looting and burglary at various stores and commercial businesses.  According to official statements, law enforcement arrested more than 20 people in the immediate aftermath of the looting. More recently, law enforcement arrested another six people in connection with a specific looting incident. The authorities have already filed preliminary charges against many of these alleged criminal actors.  Although the criminal charges vary greatly from person to person, two of the most common charges were looting and mob action. To better understand these criminal offenses, it will be helpful to review several Illinois statutes. Looting The Illinois laws against and penalties for looting appear in 720 ILCS 5/25-4. This section makes it unlawful to knowingly and without legal authority: Enter another person’s residential home or dwelling; or  Enter[...]
June
4
2020
An Illinois man faces charges for hate crimes and other felonies after driving his motorcycle into a protest in Bloomington, according to an article by The Pantagraph.  On Sunday, May 31st, protestors gathered in downtown Bloomington to protest the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. That is when the Illinois man allegedly drove his motorcycle into the crowd at excessive speed. After hitting two protestors, the Illinois man fled the scene.  As a result of this incident, the Illinois man faces 17 counts of various criminal charges, eight of which are hate crimes. The collision in question occurred within 1,000 feet of a local school, which led to additional hate crime charges.  At this point, the Illinois man declined to post bail and remains in police custody at the McLean County jail. While the legal process continues to play out, it seems appropriate to review Illinois laws against and penalties for hate crimes.  What is the Definition of a Hate Crime in Illinois? 720 ILCS 5/12-7.1 establishes the Illinois definition of a hate crime. There are two elements to this offense under Illinois law. First, the perpetrator must choose their victim(s) on the basis of actual or perceived: Race; Color;[...]
May
29
2020
Available in both misdemeanor and felony versions, reckless driving is a moving violation that involves dangerous behavior on the roads. More specifically, reckless driving involves a clear and present danger to innocent bystanders and property owners alike. In the worst cases, reckless driving can even result in serious physical injury, disability, or disfigurement.  Illinois Laws Against Reckless Driving The Illinois laws against reckless driving appear in 625 ILCS 5/11-503. Under this section, it is unlawful for any person to: Willfully operate motor vehicle with a clear disregard for the safety of other people or property; or Intentionally send a motor vehicle airborne using an incline, such as bridge approach, hill, or railroad crossing. Illinois Penalties for Reckless Driving The Illinois penalties for reckless driving also appear in Section 11-503. At a minimum, reckless driving is a Class A misdemeanor. If convicted for this type of misdemeanor in Illinois, an offender can face up to $2,500 in criminal fines and a maximum of 364 days in jail. That being said, reckless driving can become a Class 4 felony. The felony version applies if a person commits reckless driving and inflicts bodily harm to a child or school crossing guard. If convicted[...]
May
22
2020
A McLean County teacher faces three Illinois state felony charges for unlawful possession and delivery of meth, according to an article by The Pantagraph.  The Normal Police Department investigated this case and, ultimately, demonstrated enough probable cause to search the teacher’s domicile. While executing a search warrant, police officers discovered meth and drug paraphernalia.  As a result of this incident, the McLean County teacher faces two counts of unlawful delivery of less than five grams of meth. He also faces one count of unlawful possession of less than five grams of meth.  At this point, the McLean County teacher declined to post bail and remains in police custody. While he awaits further developments in his legal case, it seems proper to review Illinois laws against and penalties for meth possession and delivery.  Meth Possession Laws and Penalties 720 ILCS 646/60 details the Illinois laws against and penalties for possessing meth. Under this section, it is illegal to knowingly possess meth or any substance containing meth. The punishment for violating Section 60 depends mostly on the amount of meth in question. Unlawful possession of: Less than 5 grams of meth — Is a Class 3 felony, punishable by two to five[...]
May
15
2020
Unlawful use of weapons is a wide-ranging offense under the Illinois Criminal Code. From a general standpoint, this offense deals with the possession, use, manufacture, and purchase of various dangerous weapons, including firearms. Any person who commits unlawful use of weapons will face severe criminal consequences in the form of confinement and fines.  What is the Illinois Definition of Unlawful Use of Weapons? The Illinois definition of unlawful use of weapons appears under 720 ILCS 5/24-1. People commit unlawful use of weapons if they: Carry, possess, purchase, manufacture, or sell various illegal weapons, such as black-jacks, brass knuckles, and switchblades; Carry with the intent to use a dangerous weapon, such as a knife, broken glass, or similarly deadly device; Carry with the intent to use a firearm in a place of religious worship; Carry on their person or in a vehicle a noxious, non-lethal substance, generally in liquid or gas form; Carry in a vehicle or in a concealed fashion any firearm, unless doing so occurs in accordance with state law or on a person’s private property; Set a deadly trap, such as a spring gun; Possess a silencer or similar attachment designed to muffle the sound of a firearm;[...]
May
8
2020
Bloomington IL Traffic Lawyer
Illinois law requires drivers who fail to stop or report an accident involving physical injury or death are guilty of a felony. Given the harm involved, these charges are more serious than if the driver failed to stop or report an accident involving only property damage.  In this context, the term physical injury refers to any harm that forces the victim to seek professional medical treatment. In other words, minor cuts, scrapes, or bruises fall short of the definition of a physical injury concerning hit and run crimes. Leaving the Scene of an Accident 625 ILCS 5/11-401 requires all drivers in Illinois to stop their vehicle after causing an accident involving physical injury or death. Drivers must remain at the scene of the accident, or at least as close as reasonably possible, until the authorities arrive. Then the driver must cooperate with law enforcement and provide any requested information. Any person who violates Section 11-401 by leaving the scene of an accident involving physical injury or death is guilty of a Class 4 felony. Upon conviction, an offender can face one to three years in prison, up to $25,000 in criminal fines, and driver’s license revocation. Failure to Report an[...]
May
1
2020
More commonly referred to as carjacking, regular and aggravated vehicular hijacking are Illinois crimes that involve the theft of motor vehicles. In both cases, the perpetrator uses force, or the threat of force, to complete the crime. Though there are many subtle differences between the regular and aggravated versions of this offense.  What are the Illinois Laws Against Vehicular Hijacking? The Illinois laws against vehicular hijacking appear at 720 ILCS 5/18-3. Under this section, vehicular hijacking occurs when a person: Knowingly takes possession of another person’s motor vehicle; Takes the motor vehicle directly from in the presence of another person; and Uses force or the threat of force to complete the act.  How Does Illinois Punish Vehicular Hijacking? Section 18-3 also provides the punishment structure for vehicular hijacking. In Illinois, this offense is a Class 1 felony. If convicted, the perpetrator usually faces a prison sentence between four and 15 years as well as criminal fines up to $25,000.  What are the Illinois Laws Against Aggravated Vehicular Hijacking? The Illinois laws against aggravated vehicular hijacking appear at 720 ILCS 5/18-4. The aggravated version of this offense applies when a person commits vehicular hijacking and: The vehicle is taken from a[...]
April
24
2020
Two Chicago individuals face charges for multiple felony drug crimes after a traffic stop in Bloomington turned up 324 grams of cannabis and cocaine, according to an article by The Pantagraph.   On Saturday, April 28th at approximately 7:30 p.m., Bloomington law enforcement pulled over a vehicle near West Washington Street and Euclid Avenue. With assistance from a K-9 unit, law enforcement established probable cause and executed a search of the vehicle.    While searching the vehicle, law enforcement uncovered 254 grams of cannabis, 64.5 grams of crack cocaine, 5.5 grams of powder cocaine, several hundred pills, and various materials.    As a result of this search, law enforcement arrested the vehicle’s occupants — a 34-year-old male and a 22-year-old female, both from Chicago. Thereafter, the authorities charged both of those individuals with: Unlawful manufacture or distribution of 30-500 grams of cannabis; Unlawful manufacture or distribution of 15-100 grams of cocaine; and Several other felony drug crimes.  Both individuals remain in place custody in lieu of posting bail. To understand the severity of the criminal charges they are facing, it will be helpful to review Illinois state law governing unlawful manufacture or distribution of cannabis and cocaine.    Unlawful Manufacture[...]
April
17
2020
A 37-year-old man from Bloomington, Illinois faces aggravated arson charges after allegedly setting his residence on fire, according to an article by The Pantagraph.  This incident occurred in the afternoon of Monday, April 13th in the 800 block of East Bissell Street. That is when and where the Bloomington man apparently started a residential house fire, even though a woman and a teenage minor were present.  The Bloomington Police and Fire departments responded to this incident after receiving complaints of a domestic dispute and house fire. Firefighters were able to minimize the impact by containing the blaze to the bedroom. While there was heavy smoke and intense heat, first responders did not report any physical injuries.  After starting their investigation, which is still ongoing, the Bloomington Police and Fire departments found evidence that the fire was intentional. Consequently, police officers arrested the Bloomington man and charged him with aggravated arson.  At this point, the Bloomington man remains in the McLean County Jail after neglecting to post $15,035 in bail. His arraignment is currently scheduled for May 8th. While this legal case continues to develop, it seems appropriate to review the Illinois laws against and punishment for aggravated arson. Illinois Laws[...]
April
10
2020
From a general standpoint, kidnapping occurs whenever a perpetrator takes a victim and holds them captive. If these actions occur against the victim’s will or without their consent, it qualifies as kidnapping in Illinois. Furthermore, Illinois law provides for aggravated kidnapping charges, as well. Aggravated kidnapping is appropriate when the perpetrator displays particularly reckless conduct, such as possession or discharge of a firearm.  Kidnapping The Illinois definition of kidnapping appears under 720 ILCS 5/10-1. This section makes it unlawful to knowingly: Confines another person against their will in secret; Uses force or the threat of force to carry another person and secretly confine them against their will; or Deceives another person into going somewhere with the intent to secretly confine them against their will.  Section 10-1 also establishes the punishment for kidnapping. Any person who violates this section is guilty of a Class 2 felony. If convicted, the standard punishment can include three to seven years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines. Probation up to 48 months is available for Class 2 felonies like kidnapping.  Aggravated Kidnapping The Illinois definition of kidnapping appears under 720 ILCS 5/10-2. A regular kidnapping offense becomes aggravated kidnapping if the perpetrator: Demands,[...]
April
3
2020
Across the State of Illinois and the United States, driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs is a pervasive issue. Each year, DUI offenses cause an unfortunate amount of property damage, physical harm, and fatalities. To deter this type of behavior, Illinois features stringent laws against and harsh punishment for DUI offenses.  What Qualifies as a DUI in Illinois? 625 ILCS 5/11-501 prohibits any person from operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a combination of both. In this context, under the influence means that a person is incapable of safely operating a vehicle. This type of impairment can occur as a result of consuming any combination of: Alcohol; Pharmaceutical drugs; Illegal drugs; or Other intoxicating compounds.  Section 11-501 also provides a specific level for intoxication due to alcohol. If a person registers a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or more, then he or she is considered under the influence of alcohol.  How Does Illinois Punish DUI Offenses? Section 11-501 establishes the punishment structure for DUI offenses under Illinois law. It is vital to note that DUI penalties have a wide range — fluctuating based on various factors, such as transportation of a minor[...]
March
27
2020
A 29-year-old man from Illinois faces charges for aggravated domestic battery and allegedly inflicting serious harm on his ex-girlfriend, according to an article by The Pantagraph.  This incident occurred on Wednesday, March 18th in McLean County. That is when the Illinois man went to his ex-girlfriend’s residence. The man confronted his ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend, threatening them both with deadly weapons.  The ex-girlfriend apparently took the Illinois man outside of the residence, arguing loudly, according to witness statements. At that point, the Illinois man allegedly knocked his ex-girlfriend to the ground and inflicted serious physical harm on her. When the ex-girlfriend arrived at a nearby hospital for treatment, medical professionals diagnosed her with a skull fracture, subdural hematoma, and various cuts and bruises. These injuries were considered life-threatening, placing her in critical condition.  As a result of this incident, the authorities arrested the Illinois man and charged him with aggravated domestic battery. The Illinois man remains in McLean County Jail instead of posting bail in the amount of $15,000.  While the Illinois man awaits the next steps in his legal case, it seems appropriate to review Illinois laws concerning domestic battery. Before progressing to the specific laws and penalties,[...]
March
19
2020
After legalization in January, the possession of marijuana is now mostly legal across Illinois. Even though the Illinois Criminal Code changed the nature of possession crimes, many other marijuana crimes remain largely the same. For example, any person who distributes marijuana or engages in cannabis trafficking is guilty of a crime. To understand exactly what this means, the following sections will explore marijuana distribution and trafficking crimes under Illinois law.  Marijuana Distribution The Illinois laws against marijuana distribution appear under 720 ILCS 550/5. Outside of approved and licensed exceptions, this section makes it unlawful to knowingly distribute or manufacture marijuana. Section 5 also prohibits any person from possessing marijuana with the intent to distribute or manufacture. The punishment for a violation of Section 5 changes based on the amount of marijuana in question. It does not matter whether a person distributed marijuana or merely possessed the substance with intent to distribute. For example, unlawful distribution of: 2.5 grams or less — Class B misdemeanor with a maximum jail sentence of six months and up to $1,500 in fines; 2.5-10 grams — Class A misdemeanor with a maximum jail sentence of 364 days and up to $2,500 in fines; 10-30 grams[...]
March
13
2020
While commonly used interchangeably, theft, burglary, and robbery are actually completely separate crimes under Illinois law. To understand and appreciate the subtle differences between these criminal offenses, the following sections will explore relevant laws and penalties under Illinois state law.  Theft Illinois laws against and penalties for theft crimes appear under 720 ILCS 5/16-1. A person commits theft under this section if they obtain control over another person’s property: Without authorization; Using deception; Employing threats; Knowing, or having a reason to know, that the property was stolen or likely stolen; or That is in the custody of law enforcement or a similar agency.  The penalty for this offense changes based on the type of theft in question. For example, theft of items worth less than $500 that occurs: From the Person — Results in Class A misdemeanor charges, which are punishable by a maximum of 364 days in jail and $2,500 in criminal fines; or Not from the Person — Results in Class 3 felony charges, which are punishable by a maximum of five years in prison and $25,000 in criminal fines.  Burglary Illinois laws against and penalties for burglary crimes appear under 720 ILCS 5/19-1. A person commits burglary[...]
March
6
2020
Illinois law enforcement arrested a Mississippi man in McLean County for felony drug and gun crimes as well as two misdemeanors, according to an article by The Pantagraph.  After arresting the Mississippi man, the authorities charged him with felony possession of marijuana with intent to deliver. The man had between 500 and 2,000 grams of marijuana in his possession. Additionally, the Mississippi man was in possession of a stolen handgun. He also faces two misdemeanor charges for unlawful possession of a firearm without a Firearm Owner’s Identification (FOID) card.  At this point, the Mississippi man neglected to post bail in the amount of $20,035 and, thus, remains in police custody. While he awaits the next steps in his legal case, it seems pertinent to review Illinois laws concerning possession with intent to deliver as well as two versions of unlawful possession of firearms.  Possession With Intent to Deliver Illinois law under 720 ILCS 550/5 provides a general prohibition against possession of marijuana with intent to deliver or manufacture. But state law does carve out an exception for state-licensed providers and facilities.  Any person who violates Section 5 is subject to a multi-tiered penalty structure based on the amount of marijuana[...]
February
28
2020
When a person commits certain moving violations in Illinois — especially serious ones like DUI and aggravated DUI — that person can lose driving privileges. Depending on what happened and the number of previous offenses, if any, the Secretary of State may require driver’s license suspension or revocation. While these two mechanisms are slightly different, they both prohibit a person from driving for a certain period of time.  Reasons for License Suspension or Revocation The reasons for driver’s license suspension or revocation in Illinois include but are not necessarily limited to: Driving Under the Influence (DUI) — Drivers who operate their vehicles while intoxicated or impaired can face license suspension or revocation.  Excessive Driver’s License Points — Drivers who accumulate too many points for moving violations, such as speeding or reckless driving, can face license suspension or revocation.  Graduated Driver’s License (GDL) Violations — Underage drivers with moving violations or unpaid tickets can face license suspension or revocation.  Failing to Appear in Court — Drivers who fail to appear in court for moving violations, traffic tickets, or other offenses can face license suspension or revocation.  Reinstatement After Suspension or Revocation The Illinois reinstatement process is different for suspended and revoked[...]
February
21
2020
The Illinois Criminal Code includes prohibitions against many types of theft crimes, including three kinds of robbery. In all respects, robbery must involve the use of force or the imminent threat of force. Though the corresponding penalties fluctuate based on whether the offender committed robbery, aggravated robbery, or armed robbery. Robbery 720 ILCS 5/18-1 establishes the Illinois laws against and penalties for robbery. Under Illinois law, a person commits robbery if they knowingly take property: From the person or presence of the victim; and Using force or the imminent threat of force.  There is an exception to robbery laws. Section 18-1 does not apply to the theft of motor vehicles. Theft crimes involving motor vehicles are governed by separate sections of the Illinois Criminal Code.  Under Section 18-1, robbery is typically a Class 2 felony. If convicted for this class of felony, the offender can face the following penalties: Sentencing Range: Between three and seven years in prison; Extended Term: Between seven and 14 years in prison; Criminal Fines: Up to $25,000; and Probation: Up to 48 months. Aggravated Robbery Section 18-1 also provides the Illinois laws against and penalties for aggravated robbery. Under Illinois law, a standard robbery crime[...]
February
14
2020
In separate incidents, Illinois authorities charged two men from McLean County with aggravated driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs, according to an article by The Pantagraph. The first incident occurred on November 28th in Bloomington. That is when a 58-year-old man from Bloomington allegedly committed his fourth DUI offense. As a result of this incident, the authorities charged the Bloomington man with two counts of aggravated DUI. He remains in custody in lieu of posting bail in the amount of $5,035.  The second incident occurred on February 9th in McLean. That is when a 39-year-old man from McLean allegedly committed his third DUI offense. charged the McLean man with four counts of aggravated DUI. He remains in custody in lieu of posting bail in the amount of $2,035. While both of these men await their day in court, it seems appropriate to review Illinois laws against and penalties for the crime of aggravated DUI.  What is the Illinois Definition of Aggravated DUI? 625 ILCS 5/11-501 establishes the Illinois definition of aggravated DUI. Under this section, a regular DUI offense can become an aggravated DUI offense under various circumstances. These circumstances include but are not limited to: Committing[...]
February
7
2020
A man from Towanda, Illinois, faces criminal charges for battery and aggravated battery in McLean County for two separate incidents, according to an article by The Pantagraph. Both incidents occurred on Saturday, January 25th in Normal.  For the misdemeanor battery charge, the Illinois man allegedly kicked a victim in the stomach. For the aggravated battery charge, the Illinois main allegedly punched a private security guard.  At this point, the Illinois man remains in custody as he did not post bail. While he awaits the next developments in his legal case, it seems appropriate to review Illinois laws governing battery and aggravated battery.  Battery 720 ILCS 5/12-3 establishes the Illinois approach to battery crimes. Under this section, a person commits battery is they knowingly and unlawfully: Cause bodily harm or injury to a person; or Make physical contact that is insulting or provocative. In many circumstances, battery is a Class A misdemeanor under Section 12-3. If convicted the perpetrator can face a maximum sentence of 364 days in jail and $2,500 in criminal fines. Aggravated Battery 720 ILCS 5/12-3.05 outlines the Illinois approach to aggravated battery crimes. Under this section, there are many reasons for which battery can become aggravated battery,[...]
January
31
2020
Bloomington IL DUI Attorney
Local law enforcement arrested and charged a man from Normal, Illinois, with the criminal offense of cocaine delivery, according to an article by The Pantagraph. On Monday, January 27th, the Illinois man allegedly conducted a transaction to deliver cocaine in Normal. The amount in question was less than one gram of cocaine. Consequently, the authorities charged the Illinois man with unlawful delivery of a controlled substance.  To understand what this means, it will be helpful to review several Illinois legal definitions as well as relevant laws and penalties. Definitions of Controlled Substance and Delivery The Illinois definitions for “controlled substance” and “delivery” appear under 720 ILCS 570/102. This section defines a controlled substance as any drug or similar substance that is classified under a schedule. These schedules divide drugs and similar substances into categories based on their addictiveness and medical use, if any. Cocaine is classified under Schedule II, as it has a high potential for addiction and limited medical benefits.  Section 102 defines delivery as an actual, constructive, or attempted transfer of a controlled substance. In this context, it does not matter if there was money or other consideration involved. Any attempt to transfer possession of a controlled substance[...]
January
24
2020
Car accidents in Illinois do not always result in charges for a criminal offense. Instead, liability for damages generally follows the doctrine of negligence. The driver who caused the accident — or his or her insurance carrier — will be responsible for any resulting harm or injury. In certain cases, the perpetrator’s actions were so dangerous that criminal charges are appropriate, including involuntary manslaughter and reckless homicide.  Involuntary Manslaughter The definition of involuntary manslaughter appears under 720 ILCS 5/9-3. This offense occurs under the following conditions: A perpetrator acts in a reckless manner, whether lawfully or unlawfully; These actions are likely to cause serious harm or death; and A victim dies as a proximate result of the reckless actions.  In this context, it does not matter whether the perpetrator acted in a lawful fashion. If their conduct was reckless and likely to cause harm or death, then it can rise to the level of involuntary manslaughter. A victim must die in order for this charge to apply.  Section 9-3 also establishes the penalties for involuntary manslaughter. At a minimum, this offense qualifies as a Class 3 felony in Illinois. If convicted at this level, the perpetrator can face a sentencing[...]
January
16
2020
In the interest of public health and safety, Illinois law requires driver’s license suspension for any person convicted of DUI. In order to obtain a restricted driving permit, DUI offenders must generally install a breath alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID) on their vehicle. These devices measure the driver’s blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) before allowing the vehicle to start.  What are the Rules Associated With BAIIDs? When a driver is required to install and maintain a BAIID, there are several overarching rules from an administrative standpoint. Specifically, Illinois Administrate Code Title 92 Section 1001.441 requires these drivers to: Refrain from operating vehicles without a BAIID installed; Take their vehicle to an authorized BAIID provider for installation within 30 days; Return to an authorized BAIID provider every 60 days for device calibration and data retrieval; Maintain a written log of any unsuccessful vehicle starts, running retests, or other problems; Bring their vehicle to an authorized BAIID provider within five days of receiving a notice for service or inspection; and Abstain from tampering with or removing the BAIID. What is the Cost of BAIIDs? Illinois law requires drivers to pay all costs and fees associated with the installation, use, and monitoring of BAIIDs. Though[...]
January
10
2020
On January 1, 2020, the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (410 ILCS 705/1 et seq.) became effective in Illinois. Under this act, it is now legal to possess and use marijuana for recreational purposes in Illinois. This act also imposes specific limitations on the legal possession and use of marijuana.  Personal Use of Marijuana 410 ILCS 705/10-5 details the new rules for personal use of marijuana in Illinois. Under Section 10-5, it is now legal for people over the age of 21 to: Possess, consume, use, purchase, or transport marijuana, subject to the possession limits described in the following section; Cultivate marijuana plants for personal use, if the cultivator is authorized for medical marijuana; and Possess, use, purchase, or transport marijuana paraphernalia or similar devices.  So long as a person conforms to the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act, there will not be any civil or criminal charges related to marijuana possession. Similarly, the seizure or forfeiture of assets is no longer appropriate for marijuana possession. Possession Limit for Marijuana 410 ILCS 705/10-10 establishes the possession limits for marijuana and related products. Under Section 10-10, it is lawful for Illinois residents over the age of 21 to possess a maximum of:[...]
January
3
2020
On January 1st, a new law will adjust the Illinois Criminal Code to safeguard churches, synagogues, mosques, and other places of worship, according to an article by The Pantagraph. More specifically, this new law amends the statutes governing murder, aggravated battery and assault, and unlawful use of weapons.  Introduced as House Bill 38, this measure passed through both houses of the Illinois legislature in less than a year. The governor signed this bill into law on August 9th as Public Act 101-0223, with an effective date of January 1, 2020.  Once this law becomes effective, several statutes within the Illinois Criminal Code will change, including those relating to first-degree murder, aggravated battery, unlawful use of weapons, and aggravated assault.  First-Degree Murder Moving forward, first-degree murder under 720 ILCS 5/9-1 will include additional provisions. Specifically, it will qualify as first-degree murder if the victim was: A member of a congregation; Engaged in prayer or other religious activities; and At a church, synagogue, mosque, or other place of worship.  The penalty for first-degree murder will remain the same under 730 ILCS 5/5-4.5-20. Upon conviction for this crime, the offender usually faces a prison sentence between 20 and 60 years. Though in certain[...]
December
27
2019
An Illinois man faces felony charges for unlawful possession of marijuana with intent to deliver and another drug crime, according to an article by The Pantagraph.  The 22-year-old man is from the 200 block of West Locust Street in Normal. Law enforcement arrested him with approximately 12 pounds of marijuana and a small amount of psilocybin mushrooms. As a result, the authorities charged this man with: Unlawful possession of a Schedule I controlled substance; and Unlawful possession of marijuana with the intent to deliver. The Illinois man remains in custody at the McLean County Jail, as he declined to post $20,035 in bail. While this man awaits his next hearing, it seems like a proper chance to review Illinois laws against and penalties for unlawful possession.   Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance Generally speaking, 720 ILCS 570/402 makes it unlawful to possess any controlled substance. Furthermore, Illinois law divides controlled substances into different categories — referred to legally as schedules — based on risk of addition and medical use, if any.  The present news story involved psilocybin mushrooms, which are classified under Schedule I in Illinois. For Schedule I controlled substances like psilocybin mushrooms, unlawful possession is a Class 4[...]
December
20
2019
When the State of Illinois issues a driver’s license, it grants the ability to operate a motor vehicle, but this privilege is not absolute. If a person regularly disregards traffic laws — or commits serious offenses, such as reckless homicide or driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs — that person can lose his or her driving privileges.  When the state suspends or revokes a person’s driving privileges, that person cannot drive during the suspension or revocation period. In certain circumstances, Illinois does allow a person to obtain a restricted driving permit, though these permits only allow a person to drive between certain locations and for specific reasons.  Restricted Driving Permit When a person has a suspended or revoked driver’s license, he or she can request a restricted driving permit from the state. Restricted driving permits only allow a person to operate a motor vehicle for the following purposes: Driving between home and work or the performance of work duties; Going to or taking a family member to a medical facility for treatment; Driving to a licensed provider for substance abuse treatment activities; Going to or taking a family member to an educational institution for class; or Transporting[...]
December
13
2019

What is Scott’s Law in Illinois?

Categories: Criminal Defense |

Scott Gillen was a firefighter with the Chicago Fire Department providing assistance at a crash site. Tragically, a drunk driver struck and killed Scott while he was performing his official duties. In response to this unfortunate death, Illinois enacted Scott’s Law.  Sometimes referred to as the “Move Over” law, this rule requires drivers to slow down and change lanes when approaching certain emergency or construction vehicles. Any driver who violates Scott’s Law will face a steep fine structure. If the violation involves harm or injury, there can be jail time and license suspension, as well. What are the Requirements of Scott’s Law? 625 ILCS 5/11-907 establishes the requirements of Scott’s Law. Under this section, all drivers must do the following when approaching an authorized emergency vehicle, Reduce their speed; Operate their vehicle with caution; and Move over at least one traffic lane. In this context, the term authorized emergency vehicle has a specific definition. This term applies to any vehicle with legally equipped lights that flash, rotate, or oscillate. Furthermore, the owner or operator of the vehicle must be performing their official duties. Authorized emergency vehicles include but are not necessarily limited to: Police cars; Fire engines; Ambulances; and Construction[...]
December
6
2019
Criminal damage to property is an Illinois crime that addresses intentionally destructive behavior. This offense applies whenever an offender destroys another person’s property recklessly or knowingly. In these cases, Illinois mandates an escalating penalty structure with confinement periods and hefty criminal fines.  Illinois Definition of Criminal Damage to Property The Illinois definition of criminal damage to property appears under 720 ILCS 5/21-1. This section makes it unlawful for any person to: Knowingly damage another person’s property; Recklessly use fire or explosives to damage another person’s property; Knowingly start a fire on another person’s property; Knowingly inflict harm on another person’s domestic animal; Knowingly install a stink bomb or similar device on another person’s property; Knowingly damage property with the intent of committing insurance fraud; Knowingly discharge a firearm at a train;  Knowingly damages or disrupts any fire hydrant or firefighting equipment; or Intentionally opens a fire hydrant without proper authorization.  It is vital to note that Illinois law applies a state of mind requirement to criminal damage to property crimes. The perpetrator must act knowingly, recklessly, or intentionally in order to face charges for this offense. A mere mistake or error is not likely to rise to the level of[...]
November
29
2019
From a general standpoint, arson is an Illinois crime that involves the use of fire or explosives to harm or injure. More specifically, Illinois law provides for several different types of arson crimes. Depending on the circumstances of the offense, the corresponding punishment can change drastically, as well.  Arson 720 ILCS 5/20-1 establishes the Illinois definition of arson. Under this section, a person uses fire or explosives to knowingly: Damage real or personal property worth more than $150 without the owner’s consent; or Attempt or commit insurance fraud by damaging property worth more than $150.  To qualify as arson, the perpetrator must act with knowledge. Stated otherwise, the perpetrator’s actions must be intentional. Mere errors or mistakes do not necessarily qualify as arson under Illinois law.  Section 20-1 categorizes arson as a Class 2 felony. If convicted for this crime, the offender can expect to spend three to seven years in prison, pay up to $25,000 in criminal fines, and endure 48 months of probation.  Residential Arson The Illinois definition of residential arson also appears under Section 20-1. Residential arson occurs when the perpetrator knowingly damages another person’s home or dwelling place. Residential arson can involve partial or total damage[...]
November
22
2019
Law enforcement arrested an Illinois woman for home invasion after she broke into her ex-boyfriend’s residence and inflicted a knife wound, according to an article by NBC affiliate WAND.  This incident occurred in Decatur at approximately 6:40 a.m. on November 15th. That is when the Illinois woman allegedly climbed through a window in her ex-boyfriend’s house on Wood Street. Armed with a large kitchen knife, the Illinois woman found her ex-boyfriend in the bedroom. Initially, the Illinois woman hit her ex-boyfriend with the blunt end of the knife. When a scuffle ensued, the Illinois woman also inflicted a stab wound to the face of her ex-boyfriend. The ex-boyfriend apparently suffered a permanent scar as a result of the knife wound.  Law enforcement arrested the Illinois woman several hours later on November 15th. As a result of this incident, the woman faces charges for home invasion and several other crimes. At the moment, the woman remains in custody in Macon County with the option of paying $25,000 in bail. While prosecutors mount a legal case against the woman, it feels like a great time to review Illinois laws against and penalties for home invasion offenses.  How Does Illinois Define Home Invasion?[...]
November
15
2019
Several law enforcement agencies collaborated to arrest two men for allegedly kidnapping a woman from Carlyle, Illinois, according to an article by FOX 2.  On Thursday, October 24th at approximately 9:45 a.m., the Carlyle Police Department and Clinton County Sheriff’s Office responded to reports of an alleged kidnapping. When the officers arrived at an apartment building in the 700 block of 8th Street, they were able to rescue the victim and remove her from danger.  At that point, law enforcement officers moved to arrest the kidnapping suspects and take them into custody. Initially, the two men refused to comply and remained inside the apartment building. To defuse the situation, law enforcement established a perimeter and requested backup from a tactical team.  One of the suspected kidnappers then voluntarily surrendered to law enforcement. But the other suspect stayed in the building, refusing to cooperate. Consequently, the police tactical team breached the apartment to secure the suspect. Although the suspect resisted arrest, the tactical team was able to subdue him without further incident or injury.  The authorities have yet to file formal charges related to this incident, as law enforcement needs to complete their investigation. Based on the available facts, it seems[...]
November
8
2019
When a person is arrested, charged, or convicted for a crime in Illinois — such as domestic violence or driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs — they can face imprisonment and hefty criminal fines. In addition, a single arrest, charge, or conviction creates a criminal record for the offender. These criminal records are publicly available and can have a negative effect on background checks for employment, housing, and more.  Recognizing the potential consequences of criminal records, Illinois law allows certain individuals to expunge or seal their criminal records. The expungement or sealing process effectively hides a criminal record from background checks, enabling a person to move past a previous arrest, charge, or conviction.  What is the Difference Between Expungement and Sealing? Although expungement and sealing are closely related, there are key differences between these two processes. Furthermore, expungement and sealing are mutually exclusive. A former criminal is ineligible for either expungement or sealing, not both.  Expungement refers to a complete eradication of arrests, charges, or sentences in a criminal record. After a successful expungement, the criminal record effectively disappears. From a record-keeping standpoint, expunged arrests, charges, or sentences never actually happened.  Sealing refers to a partial concealment[...]
November
1
2019
Various law enforcement agencies are searching for an Illinois man who allegedly committed aggravated DUI and resisted arrest, according to an article by The Pantagraph.  On October 7th at approximately 9:30 p.m., LeRoy Police Department officers stopped the Illinois man near Interstate 74 and Illinois Route 136. Before the officers could complete their investigation or an arrest, the Illinois man fled the scene by running into a nearby corn field.  The LeRoy police officers attempted to locate the Illinois man, with assistance from the Downs and Normal police departments, McLean County Sheriff's Office, and the Illinois State Police. Despite a coordinated search, law enforcement was ultimately unable to locate the Illinois man. When law enforcement does locate and arrest the Illinois man, they expect to charge him with aggravated DUI, resisting arrest, and another crime. To understand the extent of criminal penalties this man could face once arrested and charged, it will be necessary to review several applicable Illinois statutes.  Aggravated DUI 625 ILCS 5/11-501 provides the penalty structure for aggravated DUI in Illinois. On a threshold level, aggravated DUI qualifies as a Class 4 felony. The typical Illinois punishment for this type of felony includes one to three years[...]
October
25
2019
Outside of extremely narrow exceptions, it is a criminal offense to possess cocaine in the State of Illinois. Referred to legally as a controlled substance, cocaine is classified under Schedule II based on its limited medical use and abusive potential. Any person who possesses cocaine — or an imitation substance that is substantially similar — can face severe criminal penalties under Illinois, including prison time and fines.  What are the Laws Against Possession of Cocaine? From a general standpoint, 720 ILCS 570/402 makes it a crime to knowingly possess a controlled substance like cocaine. Section 402 also prohibits the possession of counterfeit cocaine or an analog of cocaine, both of which are intended to mimic and substantially similar to actual cocaine. In this context, the knowledge requirement is extremely important. A person must know — or have a reason to know — that they are in possession of cocaine. Otherwise, it does not qualify as a violation of Section 402 or trigger the criminal penalties described in the following section.  What is the Punishment for Possession of Cocaine? Section 402 also establishes the punishment for unlawful possession of cocaine. Though the corresponding prison sentence and criminal fines can fluctuate based[...]
October
18
2019
Sexual abuse and sexual assault are two different sex crimes under Illinois law. While there are many similarities between these two offenses, Illinois law defines and punishes them separately. To understand the nuances between these crimes, the following sections will examine several relevant Illinois statutes.  What are the Illinois Laws Against Criminal Sexual Abuse? 720 ILCS 5/11-1.50 exhibits the Illinois laws against criminal sexual abuse. There are two different versions of this crime under Section 11-1.50.  One version of criminal sexual abuse revolves around the ages of the perpetrator and the victim. This version applies when there is sexual conduct or penetration and: The perpetrator is under 17 years old, and the victim is between 9 and 16 years old; or The victim is between 13 and 16 years old, and the perpetrator is less than five years older than the victim.  The other version of criminal sexual abuse centers on force and consent. This version applies when there is an act of sexual conduct and the perpetrator: Uses force or the threat of force to complete the sexual conduct; or Knows that the victim is unable to either provide consent or understood the nature of the sexual conduct. What[...]
October
11
2019
Under Illinois law, robbery is a theft crime that involves force or the threat of force. Without the presence of threatened or actual force, it does not qualify as robbery in Illinois. For more serious offenses, the perpetrator could face charges for aggravated robbery instead. To understand the difference between these two criminal offenses, it will be helpful to review important definitions and penalties under Illinois law. What Qualifies as Robbery in Illinois? 720 ILCS 5/18-1 provides the definition of robbery in Illinois. Under this section, a person commits robbery when he or she: Intentionally takes someone else’s property; From the person or presence of the owner; and Using force or the threat of force. There is an important exception under Section 18-1. It does not qualify as robbery when a person steals a motor vehicle. Illinois has separate laws governing the theft of motor vehicles, which qualifies as either regular or aggravated vehicular hijacking. How Does Illinois Punish Robbery? Under Section 18-1, robbery is ordinarily a Class 2 felony in Illinois. If convicted for this level of felony, the standard punishment includes three to seven years in prison, $25,000 in criminal fines, and 48 months of probation.  That being[...]
October
4
2019
Any person who drives under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs represents a serious danger to the general public. Accordingly, the State of Illinois features harsh laws against DUI. Any person who violates these laws can face criminal punishment, including jail time, fines, and license suspension or revocation.  Illinois Definition of Driving Under the Influence Illinois law under 625 ILCS 5/11-501 makes it unlawful to operate motor vehicles while impaired by alcohol, drugs, or both. It qualifies as a DUI if a person is incapable of driving safety due to: A blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or more; The influence of alcohol; The influence of intoxicating compounds or a combination of intoxicating compounds; The influence of drugs or a combination of drugs; The influence of controlled substances or a combination of controlled substances; The combined influence of alcohol, intoxicating compounds, drugs, or controlled substances; or Recent consumption of marijuana or medical marijuana.  Whether or not a person has a valid prescription is irrelevant in this context. If that person is impaired and incapable of driving safely, DUI charges are appropriate. This applies even if that person lawfully obtained the drug, compound, or substance in question.  Illinois Punishment for Driving[...]
September
27
2019
A former police officer from Moline, Illinois, faces charges for aggravated assault and aggravated discharge of a firearm after shooting a gun from his convertible, according to an article by WQAD.  This incident occurred on September 12th at approximately 6 p.m. in the 2500 block of the Avenue of the Cities. That is when the Illinois State Police arrived at the scene responding to reports of gunshots.  Initial investigations indicated that the Moline man discharged several gunshots from his convertible. Thankfully, those gunshots did not cause harm or injury to any bystanders. As a result of this incident, the authorities apprehended the Moline man and charged him with: Two counts of aggravated assault; and Two counts of aggravated discharge of a firearm.  The authorities also transported the Moline man to the Scott County Jail, where he was held on a $250,000 bond. While this legal case plays out in court, it seems like an opportune occasion to review the Illinois penalties for the aggravated versions of assault and discharge of a firearm.  Aggravated Assault 720 ILCS 5/12-2 furnishes the Illinois penalties for aggravated assault. In the least severe cases, aggravated assault is a Class A misdemeanor. The potential penalties for[...]
September
20
2019
When a person commits DUI or similarly dangerous traffic offenses in Illinois, he or she can lose driving privileges and go through a period of driver’s license suspension or revocation. In order to regain driving privileges, that person must fulfill certain conditions and apply for license reinstatement. Though the terms and conditions of reinstatement often changed based on a person’s criminal history and other relevant factors.  Driver’s License Suspension vs. Revocation When a person loses driving privileges in Illinois, the applicable requirements change based on the type of suspension or revocation in question. But most drivers tend to fall into the three categories outlined below.  Suspension — Driver’s license suspension is generally temporary and limited to a maximum of one year. During the suspension period, it may be possible to obtain a restricted driving permit (RDP). But the driver must meet certain requirements, such as financial hardship, insurance coverage, or a breath alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID).  Revocation — Driver’s license revocation is a more permanent process that can last for an indefinite period of time. During the revocation period, certain drivers can apply for an RDP. But it is not guaranteed. And the driver must reach their eligibility date[...]
September
13
2019
Predatory criminal sexual assault of a child is an Illinois sex crime that addresses victims under the age of 13. In general terms, Illinois law prohibits any person aged 17 years or older from engaging in sexual acts with this type of victim. These laws exist to protect younger children from sexual predators. Only specific types of conduct qualify as predatory criminal sexual assault of a child under Illinois law.  What is the Definition of Predatory Criminal Sexual Assault of a Child? The definition of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child appears under 720 ILCS 5/11-1.40. The standard version of this criminal offense applies whenever a person who is at least 17 years old commits: An act of sexual penetration against a victim who is under 13 years old; or An act of sexual contact, however slight, with a victim who is under 13 years old. If the purpose of the act is the sexual gratification of either the perpetrator or the victim, it can qualify as predatory criminal sexual assault of a child under Illinois law. In addition to the standard version of this offense, Section 5/11-1.40 also provides specific versions of predatory criminal sexual assault of a[...]
September
6
2019
Five Illinois teenagers were charged under the felony murder rule for their role in a car theft gone wrong, according to an article by WTTW.  These teenagers and an accomplice were attempting to steal an elderly man’s vehicle in Lake County, but the elderly man resisted and refused to turn over his vehicle. The elderly man ultimately pulled out a gun and fired, striking and killing the accomplice. Even though the teenagers did not actually cause the death of their accomplice, they were in the process of committing a forcible felony together. In this type of situation, the teenagers can face first-degree murder charges, even without firing the fatal bullet. This is referred to as the felony murder rule.  To understand the legal significance of the felony murder rule, it will be necessary to first review the definition of a forcible felony. Then it will be possible to analyze the definition of and penalties for first-degree murder.  What is the Illinois Definition of a Forcible Felony? 720 ILCS 5/2-8 indicates the Illinois definition of a forcible felony. Under this section, the term forcible felony refers to any of the criminal acts below: Treason; Robbery; Burglary (both the standard and residential[...]
August
30
2019
Drug crimes and addiction ruin many lives across the State of Illinois every year, tearing families apart and even resulting in fatal overdoses. Accordingly, Illinois law prohibits any person from manufacturing, delivering, or trafficking drugs. When a person violates these laws by manufacturing, delivering, or trafficking drugs, the end result is generally an extended prison sentence and a staggering amount of fines. Drug Manufacturing/Delivering 720 ILCS 570/410 frames the Illinois laws against drug manufacturing/delivering. Under this section, it is unlawful to create illegal drugs or distribute them to other people. It is also unlawful to possess illegal drugs in such a quantity that indicates an intent to manufacture or deliver.  The penalties for drug manufacturing/delivering also appear under Section 570/410. Though Illinois law pegs the applicable punishment to the type and quantity of illegal drugs at issue. To illustrate this principle, please find below a breakdown of different Illinois penalties for drug manufacturing/delivering.  For the most dangerous drugs listed in Schedules I/II — such as heroin, cocaine, and fentanyl — large-scale manufacturing or delivering can result in Class X felony charges. A conviction typically leads to a maximum of 30 years in prison and $500,000 in fines. For smaller amounts[...]
August
23
2019
A Peoria councilman potentially faces criminal charges after his arrest last month for aggravated domestic battery, according to an article by Peoria Public Radio.  This criminal inquiry stems from an incident that occurred on July 30th at approximately 9:30 p.m. That is when the Peoria Police Department responded to an allegation of domestic battery on the 3000 block of North Bigelow Street. The police officers arrested the city councilman in connection with these allegations. The city councilman was later charged with aggravated domestic battery and released the next day on a $100 bond.  In order to understand the boundaries of aggravated domestic battery, it may be necessary to review the Illinois laws against the standard version of domestic battery. To that end, it is possible to take a refresher course on domestic battery under Illinois law by reading this Prior Law Firm blog post — What is Domestic Battery in Illinois? Returning to the topic at hand, the following sections will explore the Illinois laws against and penalties for aggravated domestic battery.  Illinois Laws Against Aggravated Domestic Battery 720 ILCS 5/12-3.3 establishes the Illinois laws against aggravated domestic battery. Under this section, a standard domestic battery crime becomes aggravated domestic[...]
August
16
2019
The Third District Appellate Court in Ottawa recently ordered a new trial for a Peoria man who allegedly committed armed robbery, according to an article by the Journal Star. The appellate judges were not convinced that the Peoria man was fit to stand trial.  In terms of background, this case traces back to April 6, 2016. On that date, the Peoria man allegedly went to a Family Dollar store and attempted to purchase some candy. At the register, this man allegedly pulled a handgun on the store clerk and stole money from the register.  Local law enforcement responded to the incident and conducted a full investigation. Thereafter, they charged the Peoria man with armed robbery. During the ensuing trial in the circuit court, the judge relied on a written agreement that the Peoria man was fit to stand trial. Thereafter, the Peoria man received a guilty verdict and a 21-year prison sentence. On appeal, the Third District Appellate Court determined that the circuit court judge failed to independently verify the Peoria man’s fitness to stand trial. According to the appellate decision, the circuit court judge should have independently verified the Peoria man’s fitness, instead of relying on a written agreement. [...]
August
9
2019
After pleading guilty to residential arson, an Urbana, Illinois, teenager received a 15-year prison sentence, according to an article by The News-Gazette. This latest guilty plea resolved a complex criminal case against the teenager, which also included aggravated battery charges.  The incident in question dates back to June 8th. That is when the Urbana teenager helped start a garbage fire at a large residential building in Campustown. The fire spread to the building’s electrical infrastructure, causing serious damage to the property. The building managers had to shut down parts of the building to repair the damage, which temporarily displaced several residents. The total cost of repairs was in the tens of thousands. Though an insurance policy provided the necessary funds to complete all of the repairs. As the Urbana teenager pleaded guilty, an Illinois state court judge dismissed charges for aggravated arson and sentenced the him to 15 years in prison. As he is still a minor, the teenager will spend the first part of his sentence in a Department of Juvenile Justice facility.  While this Urbana teenager serves out his prison sentence, it seems like an appropriate time to review the statutory laws against and penalties for arson in[...]
August
2
2019
Starting on January 1st, there will not be a statute of limitations for standard and aggravated criminal sexual assault crimes in Illinois, according to an article by WIFR. Once effective, House Bill 2135 removes the three-year timeline for victims to report sexual assault and similar crimes to the appropriate authorities. Additionally, the 10-year limit for prosecuting sexual assault crimes will also disappear. Considering the potentially sweeping impact of this new law, it feels like a great time to assess Illinois laws against standard and aggravated criminal sexual assault. Criminal Sexual Assault 720 ILCS 5/11-1.20 provides the Illinois definition of criminal sexual assault. Under this section, criminal sexual assault only occurs when there is an act of sexual penetration. Additionally, Section 11-1.20 requires that the victim was: Subject to force or the threat of force during the act; Unable to understand the act or provide knowing consent; Under the age of 18 years old a family member of the perpetrator; Between the ages of 13 and 17 years old and under the authority, supervision, or trust of the perpetrator.  Typically, Section 11-1.20 categorizes criminal sexual assault as a Class 1 felony. But in particularly extreme cases, the perpetrator can face additional[...]
July
26
2019
Illinois State Police troopers arrested a Yorkville woman on Interstate 88 for driving under the influence (DUI) at over 100 miles per hour, according to an article by the Daily Herald. In her fourth DUI offense, this woman registered a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of almost three times the legal limit.  The state troopers pulled over the Yorkville woman at approximately 12:30 a.m. on July 17th for speeding as well as improper lane and signal use. According to police documents, the woman sped up in an attempt to outrun the state troopers.  When the state troopers approached the vehicle, they immediately noticed the stench of alcohol. The Yorkville woman admitted to driving that evening and subsequently failed the field sobriety tests. Later, a chemical test indicated the woman’s blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) was 0.238.  Under Illinois law, any person who commits three or more DUIs will automatically face charges for aggravated DUI. As this Illinois woman is facing her fourth DUI charge, it technically qualifies as her second aggravated DUI charge. While the legal process plays out in the state courts, it seems appropriate to examine the Illinois penalties for aggravated DUI to ascertain the Yorkville woman’s potential sentence.  Illinois Penalties for[...]
July
19
2019
A Jackson County jury found a Marion man guilty of unlawful use of weapons and three other Illinois crimes after a two-day trial, according to an article by CBS affiliate KFVS.  The incident that gave rise to this criminal case dates back to January 2019. That is when the Marion man brandished a firearm at a convenience store. When Carbondale police officers arrived at the scene, the Marion man attempted to flee on foot.  The police officers gave chase and eventually apprehended the Marion man. During the ensuing investigation, the officers discovered a pistol with a defaced serial number and one round of live ammunition.  As a result of his actions, the Marion man faced charges for unlawful use of a weapon, defacing a firearm, and two other crimes. After the trial concluded on July 19th, the jury determined that the Marion man was guilty on all four counts.  At this juncture, the court will set a sentencing date to determine the Marion man’s exact punishment. In order to understand part of the Marion man’s potential sentence, it will be necessary to analyze the Illinois penalties for unlawful use of a weapon and defacing a firearm.  Illinois Penalties for Unlawful[...]
July
12
2019
Sometimes referred to as the world’s oldest profession, the practice of prostitution has a long-standing place in human history. Despite these historical roots, Illinois law prohibits the exchange of sexual acts for money or other things of value. If a person receives something of value in exchange for performing sexual penetration or other acts, then he or she is guilty of prostitution and subject to criminal penalties under Illinois law.  What is the Definition of Sexual Penetration in Illinois? 720 ILCS 5/11-0.1 details the meaning of sexual penetration under Illinois law. This term refers to any contact or intrusion between: A person’s sexual organs or anus; and A physical object; or Another person’s sexual organs or anus.  Illinois law does not require evidence of ejaculation to prove that sexual penetration occurred. Examples of sexual penetration under Section 11-0.1, include but are not limited to: Anal penetration; Cunnilingus; and Fellatio. What is the Definition of Prostitution in Illinois? 720 ILCS 5/11-14 provides the Illinois definition of prostitution. Under this section, prostitution occurs whenever a person receives money, or anything else of value, in exchange for performing sexual acts. In this context, sexual acts include: Sexual penetration, as defined in the previous[...]
July
5
2019
When Governor J.B. Pritzker signed a new law on June 25th, Illinois became the 11th U.S. state to legalize recreational possession of marijuana, according to an article by the Associated Press. As of January 1, 2020, the legal limit will be 30 grams for residents and 15 grams for non-residents.  Officially titled the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (CRTA), this initiative will allow adults over 21 years of age to purchase, possess, and use marijuana recreationally. At present, only those people with a medical prescription may legally purchase, possess, or use marijuana in Illinois.  Once the CRTA becomes effective, there will be a path to expungement for an estimated 800,000 people with marijuana-related convictions. The state will expunge the criminal records for anyone purchased or possessed 30 grams or less of marijuana. Offenders who committed other possession crimes may petition for expungement, but the state prosecutors may block some of those petitions.  As established in the Findings section of the CRTA, the Illinois General Assembly decided that it was necessary to legalize marijuana in order to: Empower law enforcement to concentrate on violent and property crimes; Generate proceeds for substance abuse prevention and treatment; Produce revenue for education; Invest public[...]
June
28
2019
Any equipment used in conjunction with illegal drugs and other controlled substances is referred to as drug paraphernalia in Illinois. Under state law, it is illegal to deliver or possess drug paraphernalia. Any person who violates these laws can face criminal liability in the form of prison time and fines. Definition of Drug Paraphernalia Under 720 ILCS 600/2, the term drug paraphernalia refers to equipment, materials, and other products used with illegal drugs. Within this term, Illinois law specifically includes equipment that is intended to: Grow illegal drugs; Consume illegal drugs; Cultivate illegal drugs; Manufacture illegal drugs; Test illegal drugs; or Ingest illegal drugs.  If such equipment is used to violate Illinois law — such as the Cannabis Control Act or the Illinois Controlled Substances Act — then it likely qualifies as drug paraphernalia.  On the other hand, the term drug paraphernalia does not include equipment, materials, and other products used to manufacture methamphetamine. That type of equipment is governed by the Methamphetamine Control and Community Protection Act.  Possession of Drug Paraphernalia Under 720 ILCS 600/3.5, Illinois prohibits any person from possessing drug paraphernalia with the intent to consume or prepare illegal drugs.  Any person who possesses drug paraphernalia in[...]
June
21
2019
A 26-year-old driver faces criminal charges for distribution of cocaine and cannabis after a recent traffic stop in Decatur, Illinois, according to an article by the Herald & Review. Police officers executed this traffic stop on Thursday, May 30th near the 700 block of East Johns Avenue. The officers stopped the driver due to a missing or malfunctioning light on the rear-end plate. After asking the driver to exit the vehicle, the police officers executed a thorough search. In the process the officers discovered: One large bag of cannabis, weighing approximately 40 grams; and Eight individual bags of cocaine, each weighing approximately 0.8 grams. As a result of this traffic stop and search, the authorities charged the driver with unlawful distribution of cannabis and cocaine. The driver did not post the $20,000 bond and, thus, remains at Macon County Jail for further proceedings. While this driver waits for the next steps in his legal case, it seems appropriate to review Illinois charges and confinement periods for the unlawful distribution of cannabis and cocaine.  Cannabis Distribution Any person who engages in the unlawful cannabis distribution of: Less than 2.5 grams — Will likely face Class B misdemeanor charges and a maximum[...]
June
14
2019
The State of Illinois prohibits any person from stealing property or other valuable items under the general umbrella of theft crimes. Within that umbrella, Illinois also has specific types of theft, including but not limited to burglary and residential burglary. What is the Illinois Definition of Burglary? The Illinois definition of burglary appears under 720 ILCS 5/19-1. There are two elements to this offense under Illinois law. To commit burglary a person must: Enter or remain in a specific type of structure or vehicle, intentionally and without legal authority; and Have the intent to commit theft or other felony crimes. 720 ILCS 5/19-1 includes the following types of structures and vehicles in the definition of burglary: Aircraft; Buildings; House-trailers; Motor vehicles; Railroad cars; or Watercraft. What are the Illinois Penalties for Burglary? The Illinois penalties for burglary also appear under 720 ILCS 5/19-1. It is a Class 3 felony when a burglary occurs in, but does not cause damage to: Aircraft; Motor vehicles; Railroad cars; or Watercraft. The typical Illinois penalties for a Class 3 felony center on a prison sentence between two and five years, criminal fines up to $25,000, and conditional discharge or probation for 30 months. If[...]
June
7
2019
To preserve safe roadways across the state, Illinois law prohibits driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs. Additionally, even if a person is completely sober, Illinois law also bars people from driving recklessly or dangerously. If convicted for either DUI or reckless driving, Illinois law mandates serious criminal penalties, including but not limited to jail or prison time, fines, and probation. Driving Under the Influence (DUI) The Illinois definition of DUI appears in 625 ILCS 5/11-501. A person is guilty of DUI if he or she operates a motor vehicle with a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or more. It also qualifies as DUI if a person drives dangerously because he or she is: Under the influence of alcohol; Under the influence of any intoxicating compound(s); Under the influence of any controlled substance(s); Under the combined influence of alcohol, intoxicating compounds, and/or controlled substances. Under Illinois law, a first- or second-offense DUI typically counts as a Class A misdemeanor, punishable as follows: First Offense: A conviction can result in up to 364 days in jail, $2,500 in criminal fines, and a 24-month probationary period; and Second Offense: A conviction can result in the penalties above as well as[...]
May
31
2019
From an overarching standpoint, forgery involves the creation of a fake document or the alteration of an existing document. For example, some minors possess forged identification cards to illegally purchase alcohol. Some scammers send forged emails pretending to be a legitimate institution, such as a bank or government agency. Regardless of the type of forged document, the intent often remains the same. These fake documents exist to misrepresent important facts or details and defraud other parties. To deter this type of behavior, Illinois employs strict laws against and severe penalties for committing forgery offenses. How is Forgery Defined in Illinois? 720 ILCS 5/17-3 defines the crime of forgery in Illinois. Under this section, forgery occurs when a person: Creates a fake document or alters any existing document, with intent to use the document to defraud another party; Issues or delivers a fake document, with knowledge that the document is forged; Possesses a fake document, with knowledge that the document is forged and intent to issue or deliver the document; Unlawfully utilizes another person’s digital signature, as defined by the Financial Institutions Electronic Documents and Digital Signature Act; or Unlawfully utilizes another person’s signature device, as defined by the Electronic Commerce[...]
May
24
2019
Governor J.B. Pritzker is pushing hard to legalize marijuana for recreational use across Illinois, according to an article by The Pantagraph. With solid backing in the state legislature, the governor intends to have a program for recreational marijuana in place by next year. Under the governor’s plan, any person over the age of 21 would be allowed to purchase, possess, and use marijuana recreationally. Residents of Illinois would be able to purchase and possess one ounce of marijuana. Non-residents would be limited to one half ounce of marijuana. The new legislation would overturn certain convictions and expunge the offender’s criminal record. If this legislation plan succeeds, recreational use of marijuana would become legal in Illinois on January, 1, 2020. At that point, Illinois would join the other 10 states with recreational marijuana, including California, Washington, and Michigan. That being said, it will take a little longer for the state to establish the necessary mechanisms to regulate the legal sale of marijuana. Initial licenses for marijuana growing, processing, and dispensing are not expected until the summer of 2020. That means the first legal sales will not occur until at least midway through next year. According to the governor’s office, revenue from[...]
May
17
2019
The State of Illinois has many laws against the use of dangerous weapons, such as knives, clubs, and firearms. Due to the inherent risks associated with the use of firearms, specifically, there are additional restrictions and penalties under Illinois law, including aggravated discharge of a firearm. How Does Illinois Define Aggravated Discharge of a Firearm? The Illinois definition of aggravated discharge of a firearm appears in 720 ILCS 5/24-1.2. This crime only applies in specific situations and under limited circumstances — when a person intentionally discharges a firearm: At or into a building with knowledge that there are people inside; In the direction of a person or a vehicle with a person inside; In the direction of a law enforcement officer in the performance of official duties; In the direction of a vehicle carrying a law enforcement officer in the performance of official duties; In the direction of emergency services personnel in the performance of their official duties; In the direction of a vehicle carrying emergency services personnel in the performance of their official duties; In the direction of a teacher or educator in an academic environment; In the direction of an emergency management worker in the performance of official[...]
May
10
2019
A home invasion under Illinois law is a highly specific type of criminal offense. Unlike the more general crime of breaking and entering, a home invasion also deals with the use of force or threats of force. If there is no one present who sustains physical harm during the offense, it does not normally qualify as a home invasion under Illinois law. Illinois Definition of Home Invasion The Illinois definition of a home invasion appears in 720 ILCS 5/19-6. Under this section, it is unlawful to knowingly enter another person’s residence or dwelling without permission or authorization. The crime of home invasion only applies if the offender knows — or has a reason to know — that people are present in the residence or dwelling. Additionally, the criminal offender must also: Use force or the threat of force while armed with a dangerous weapon; Cause physical injury to a person intentionally; Use force or the threat of force while armed with a firearm; Discharge a firearm and use force or the threat of force; Inflict physical harm, disfigurement, or death by discharging a firearm; or Commit sexual assault, predatory sexual assault against a child, sexual abuse, or a similar crime[...]
May
3
2019

What are the Penalties for DUI in Illinois?

Categories: DUI |

It is illegal to drive under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs in Illinois because of the risk of property damage, physical injury, and even death. To deter people from engaging in this type of driving behavior, Illinois law under 625 ILCS 5/11-501 outlines a multifaceted penalty structure for DUI offenses. Penalties for Standard DUI Offenses When a person commits DUI in Illinois, a conviction results in certain standard penalties. Generally, Illinois law charges DUI as a Class A misdemeanor and includes the following penalties: First Offense: Upon conviction, the offender may face up to 364 days in jail, $2,500 in criminal fines, and a 24-month probationary period; and Second Offense: Upon conviction, the offender is subject to the first-offense penalties and a mandatory minimum of five days in prison or 240 hours of community service. Furthermore, a DUI conviction in Illinois will result in driver’s license suspension or revocation. During the suspension or revocation period, the DUI offender will not be able to drive a car or operate similar vehicles. Penalties for DUI While Transporting a Minor When a person commits a DUI while transporting a minor child under the age of 16, there is a separate penalty[...]
April
26
2019
When any person engages in certain types of property damage in Illinois, he or she will face charges for criminal damage to property. This offense exists on top of civil remedies available to the property owner, punishing specific conduct with potential jail time and criminal fines. That being said, this offense is limited to perpetrators who engage with knowledge in distinct varieties of property damage. What is the Definition of Criminal Damage to Property? Under 720 ILCS 5/21-1, criminal damage to property occurs when a person knowingly, recklessly, or intentionally: Damages another person’s property; Uses fire or explosives to damage another person’s property; Sparks a fire on another person’s land; Injures another person’s pet or domestic animal without consent; Deposits a stink bomb or similarly offensive device on another person’s land or building; Destroys any property with the intent of defrauding an insurance provider; Discharges a firearm at a railroad train; Tampers with or otherwise impairs any fire-fighting equipment; or Opens any fire hydrant. In certain cases, there is an affirmative defense to this offense. If the property owner consented to the damage, then the perpetrator may escape criminal liability. What are the Penalties for Criminal Damage to Property? The[...]
April
19
2019
Under the laws of the State of Illinois, it is unlawful to make unwanted physical contact with another person. This is referred to legally as battery or aggravated battery, depending on the circumstances of the offense. The presence of actual contact is what differentiates battery from assault crimes, which only address threats of unwanted physical contact. Battery The definition of battery under Illinois law appears in 720 ILCS 5/12-3. Under this section, battery occurs when a person knowingly and without legal justification: Inflicts physical harm or injury on another person; or Makes insulting or provoking physical contact with another person. The penalties for battery in Illinois also appear in 720 ILCS 5/12-3. In most circumstances, battery results in Class A misdemeanor charges. Upon conviction, the typical punishment includes up to 364 days in jail, $2,500 in fines, and 24 months of probation. Aggravated Battery The definition of aggravated battery under Illinois law appears in 720 ILCS 5/12-3.05. Under this section, aggravated battery occurs when a person commits battery and: Inflicts severe physical harm or injury on another person; Harms a child or person with an intellectual disability; The offense occurs in a specific location, such as a public venue, sports[...]
April
12
2019
Orders of protection and no contact orders are legal devices available to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and similar crimes. In a general sense, these legal orders prevent the criminal perpetrators from further contact with the victims. From a more precise standpoint, the eligibility and protections available for these orders varies based on the type of offense and relationship between the victim and perpetrator. Orders of Protection for Domestic Violence Orders of protection are available to victims of domestic violence in Illinois. In order to qualify for an order of protection, the victim must suffer abuse at the hands of family or household member. Specifically, a family or household member includes a person’s: Blood and other relative(s); Spouse or former spouse(s); Roommate(s) or former roommate(s); Co-parent of a common child; Romantic partner(s) or former romantic partner(s); and Caregiver(s), in the case of certain disabled adults. When a victim qualifies for an order of protection, there are 18 different remedies and protections available under Illinois law. In awarding an order of protection, the options available to the Illinois courts include but are not limited to: Preventing the perpetrator from having any further contact with the victim; Determining child custody[...]
April
5
2019
The Illinois House just passed a bill that would remove the statute of limitations for sexual assault and similar adult sex crimes, according to an article by CBS affiliate WIFR. Co-sponsored by State Representative Maurice West II, this bill would allow state authorities to pursue criminal cases against sex crime perpetrators at any time. At present, Illinois law requires the prosecution of adult sex crimes within a period of three to 10 years. Outside of that narrow window, the authorities cannot pursue criminal cases against the perpetrators of adult sex crimes. The present bill mirrors a similar initiative that Illinois enacted in 2017. As explained in this Prior Law Firm blog — Illinois Waves Goodbye to Statute of Limitations on Child Sex Abuse — that is when Illinois officially removed the statute of limitations for child sex crimes. Considering the impact of the present bill, it feels appropriate to take a closer look at the Illinois laws against and penalties for two adult sex crimes potentially affected — Criminal Sexual Assault and Aggravated Criminal Sexual Assault. Criminal Sexual Assault 720 ILCS 5/11-1.20 establishes the definition of and penalties for criminal sexual assault in Illinois. Specifically, this section prohibits any person[...]
March
29
2019
Law enforcement arrested an 18-year-old man from Urbana, Illinois for an armed robbery incident that occurred on the University of Illinois campus, according to an article by FOX Illinois. The incident in question occurred on March 7th near the 100 block of North Gregory Street. That is when this Urbana man allegedly threw a student to the ground at gunpoint. Then this man allegedly extracted money and a phone from the student with the assistance of several accomplices. Even though a trial in this case will not occur for some time, this seems like an ideal opportunity to review Illinois laws against and penalties for robbery and armed robbery. Robbery in Illinois As explained in 720 ILCS 5/18-1, robbery occurs when a perpetrator intentionally steals property from a victim. Robbery must occur directly from the person or in the presence of the victim. And the perpetrator must use force — or the threat of imminent force — to complete the crime. In most situations, robbery is a Class 2 felony in Illinois. Upon conviction, the perpetrator can expect a prison sentence of three to seven years and a maximum of $25,000 in fines. There is also the potential for up[...]
March
22
2019
Under Illinois law, it is illegal to kidnap or otherwise confine a person against his or her will. While popular movies and TV shows might take a simplistic view of kidnapping, there are many subtleties to this crime in Illinois. Depending on the circumstances of the offense, the kidnapper can even face serious prison time and steep fines for aggravated kidnapping. Kidnapping in Illinois Under 720 ILCS 5/10-1, a person commits kidnapping in Illinois if he or she willingly: Confines another person in secret against that person’s will; Uses force or the threat of force to compel another person into confinement; or Deceives or entices another person into confinement. 720 ILCS 5/10-1 classifies kidnapping as a Class 2 felony. Upon conviction, the potential penalties include three to seven years in prison, $25,000 in criminal fines, and 48 months of probation. Aggravated Kidnapping in Illinois Under 720 ILCS 5/10-2, a regular kidnapping offense can become aggravated kidnapping under specific circumstances. Aggravated kidnapping applies when the kidnapper: Attempts to extract a ransom payment in exchange for the victim; Takes a minor child under 13 years old or a person with an intellectual disability; Inflicts serious physical injury upon the victim; Conceals his[...]
March
15
2019
After a conviction for driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs in Illinois, there is a mandatory period of driver’s license suspension. In the most severe cases, the DUI offender can even have his or her driving privileges revoked indefinitely. In order to regain driving privileges in Illinois, which is referred to legally as reinstatement, the DUI offender must complete a series of requirements. In general terms, driver’s license reinstatement in Illinois involves the following four steps. Attend Initial Consultation The first step toward reinstatement is the initial consultation. This meeting takes place between the DUI offender and an informal hearing officer. The hearing officer reviews the DUI offender’s case file and driving record. Then the hearing officer details all of the documents and requirements necessary for reinstatement. Satisfy Alcohol and Drug Requirements For DUI offenders with a suspended or revoked driver’s license, Illinois mandates certain alcohol and drug requirements. Specifically, the offender must complete an evaluation and receive one of the classifications below: Minimal Risk: The DUI offender must complete an approved alcohol and drug education course; Moderate/Significant Risk: In addition to all minimal risk requirements, the DUI offender must complete alcohol and drug treatment, including intervention[...]
March
8
2019
An appellate court determined that an Illinois man charged with illegal drug possession was not required to unlock his cell phone for police investigators, according to a recent decision from Appellate Court of Illinois, Third District. In terms of specific background information, this legal battle dates back to June 2017. At that time, the Illinois man was riding as a passenger in a vehicle in Rock Island. A law enforcement officer pulled over the vehicle and executed a traffic stop. During the traffic stop, additional officers arrived with a K9 unit. When the K9 unit indicated the presence of contraband, the law enforcement officers conducted a complete search of the vehicle. As a result of that search, the officers located a prescription pill bottle filled with cocaine powder, a measuring scale with cocaine residue, and approximately 20 individually sized plastic bags. After locating the illegal drugs and related contraband, the officers then searched the Illinois man’s person. Law enforcement requested that the man unlock his cell phone. But the man refused to do so. Consequently, the law enforcement officers obtained a search warrant to examine the contents of the man’s phone. In support of their search warrant, law enforcement argued[...]