September
30
2022
Kidnapping is an Illinois crime that usually occurs when a perpetrator confines a victim against their will in secret. Although force or the threat of force can be present, it is not necessarily a requirement for this type of offense. And in extraordinary situations, a perpetrator can face charges for aggravated kidnapping instead, assuming their conduct meets any of the enhanced requirements. How Does Illinois Define Kidnapping? 720 ILCS 5/10-1 furnishes the Illinois definition of kidnapping. A person commits kidnapping under this section if they knowingly: Confine a victim against their will in a secretive fashion; Use force or the threat of imminent force to take a victim to another location with the intent to confine the victim against their will in a secretive fashion; or Employ deceit or enticement to induce a victim to go to another location with the intent to confine the victim against their will in a secretive fashion. What is the Illinois Penalty for Kidnapping? Section 10-1 also details the Illinois punishment for kidnapping. Under this section, kidnapping is a Class 2 felony. If convicted, the penalty can include three to seven years in prison and criminal fines up to $25,000.  How Does Illinois Define Aggravated Kidnapping? 720 ILCS 5/10-2 establishes[...]
September
22
2022
A man from LeRoy, Illinois, faces felony charges for delivery and trafficking after allegedly using Amtrak to transport methamphetamine (“meth”) across state lines, according to an article by The Pantagraph.  Apparently, the Illinois State Police obtained information that this Illinois man was making trips to St. Louis and returning to McLean County with large amounts of meth. But on September 14, police officers tailed the Illinois man after leaving the train station and executed a traffic stop. After a K9 unit indicated the presence of drugs, police searched the vehicle and seized 223.9 grams of meth. As a result of this incident, the Illinois man faces criminal charges for meth trafficking and delivery. Based on the information at hand, it seems appropriate to review the Illinois laws against and penalties for meth delivery and trafficking crimes.  Illinois Laws Against Meth Delivery The Illinois laws against the delivery of meth appear at 720 ILCS 646/55. This section makes it unlawful to deliver meth or possess meth with intent to deliver. Both versions of this offense are punishable in the same way.  Any person who violates Section 55 with respect to: Less than 5 grams — Is guilty of a Class 2 felony and subject to a prison sentence[...]
September
16
2022
In addition to driving under the influence (DUI), the Illinois Vehicle Code prohibits other dangerous driving behavior. Reckless driving is one of these traffic offenses that can result in misdemeanor or felony charges and penalties that include jail or prison time and criminal fines.  How Does Illinois Define Reckless Driving? The Illinois definition of reckless driving appears under 625 ILCS 5/11-503. This section establishes two different versions of reckless driving.  First, a person commits reckless driving under Section 11-503 if they drive any vehicle with willful or wanton disregard for the safety of other people or property. Second, a person commits reckless driving under Section 11-503 if they knowingly drive any vehicle and use an incline in a road — including but not necessarily limited to a bridge approach, hill, or railroad crossing — to send their vehicle airborne.  What is the Illinois Punishment for Reckless Driving? The Illinois punishment for reckless driving also appears under Section 11-503. At a minimum, reckless driving is typically charged as a Class A misdemeanor. If convicted for this misdemeanor in Illinois, the maximum punishment includes $2,500 in criminal fines and 12 months in jail.  On the other hand, reckless driving can become a Class 4 felony. The felony version[...]
September
9
2022
Medical Marijuana Laws in Illinois
A 31-year-old man from Peoria, Illinois, faces criminal charges for cannabis delivery in McLean County, according to an article by The Pantagraph.  Official reports indicate that Illinois State Police Task Force 6 conducted a controlled transaction using a confidential informant. The confidential informant allegedly met with the Illinois man to purchase approximately one ounce of cannabis. After the transaction concluded, the authorities arrested the Illinois man and charged him with the delivery of cannabis.  During a bond hearing on September 8, a local judge determined there was probable cause to keep the Illinois man in police custody. Furthermore, the local judge set his bond in the amount of $100,000.  While this case continues to play out in court, it seems like a good opportunity to review the Illinois laws and penalties for cannabis delivery.  Illinois Laws Against Cannabis Delivery 720 ILCS 550/5 furnishes the Illinois laws against the delivery of cannabis. Unless otherwise authorized by state law, this section prohibits the delivery or manufacture of cannabis. This section also prohibits the possession of cannabis with intent to deliver or manufacture.  Illinois Penalties for Cannabis Delivery Section 5 also provides the Illinois laws against the delivery of cannabis. Any person who violates this section with respect to:[...]
September
2
2022
Any person who engages in a street race in Illinois can face misdemeanor or felony charges, depending on the circumstances of the offense. Furthermore, the penalty for street racing usually involves the revocation of driving privileges. And if the offender causes severe harm, disability, or disfigurement, they can face enhanced penalties for aggravated street racing.  How Does Illinois Define Street Racing? The Illinois definition of street racing appears under 625 ILCS 5/11-506. This section classifies a street race as: The operation of at least two vehicles from the same point at accelerating speeds in a competition to gain the most distance; The operation of at least one vehicle over a common selected course in a competition to compare relative speeds or acceleration power over a defined distance or time; The use of at least one vehicle in an attempt to gain more distance than another vehicle; The use of at least one vehicle to block another vehicle from passing; The use of at least one vehicle to arrive at a set destination before another vehicle(s); or The use of at least one vehicle to test driver endurance or stamina over a long-distance route.  Any person who engages in a street race, as defined above, will[...]
August
26
2022
A woman from Bloomington, Illinois, faces felony charges for multiple drug crimes involving unlawful possession of cocaine, according to an article by The Pantagraph.  Official reports indicate that a confidential source assisted in this investigation against the Illinois woman. As a result of this case, the Illinois woman faces criminal charges for: Two counts of unlawful possession of cocaine (less than 15 grams); and One count of unlawful possession of alprazolam, also known as Xanax.  After arrest and booking, the Illinois woman secured her release from police custody on a personal recognizance bond in the amount of $5,000. At this juncture, the Illinois woman awaits further legal proceedings, with an arraignment scheduled for September 9, 2022.  While this case continues to develop in court, it seems like a suitable moment to review the Illinois laws against and penalties for unlawful possession of a controlled substance.  Illinois Laws Against Possession of a Controlled Substance 720 ILCS 570/402 provides the Illinois laws against the possession of a controlled substance. Under this section, it is unlawful to knowingly possess any controlled substance outside of narrowly construed exceptions for approved purposes.  The key requirement under this section involves knowledge. In order to qualify as a violation, a person must know[...]
August
18
2022
Aggravated discharge of a firearm is one of the most severe weapon crimes under the Illinois Criminal Code. Any person who commits this offense will face felony charges and the definite possibility of a prison sentence and criminal fines.  How Does Illinois Define Aggravated Discharge of a Firearm? The Illinois definition of aggravated discharge of a firearm appears at 720 ILCS 5/24-1.2. A person violates this section if they knowingly or intentionally discharge a firearm: At or into a building from outside knowing, or having a reason to know, that the building is occupied;  In the direction of another person; In the direction of a vehicle knowing, or having a reason to know, that the vehicle is occupied; In the direction of a person knowing that such person is a peace officer, community policing volunteer, correctional institution employee, or firefighter performing their official duties;  In the direction of a vehicle knowing that such vehicle is occupied by a peace officer, community policing volunteer, correctional institution employee, or firefighter performing their official duties; In the direction of a person knowing that such person is an emergency medical services provider performing their official duties;  In the direction of a vehicle knowing that[...]
August
12
2022
A 44-year-old Illinois man faces charges in McLean County for predatory criminal sexual assault of a child, according to an article by The Pantagraph.  Following a detailed investigation, the Bloomington Police Department arrested this Illinois man on Thursday, August 4. Although precise details remain scarce at this juncture, court documents did indicate that the victim was under the age of 13 years old. And the Illinois man is in police custody on a $1 million bond.  While this matter continues to progress in court, it seems appropriate to review the Illinois laws against and penalties for predatory criminal sexual assault of a child. Illinois Laws Against Predatory Criminal Sexual Assault The Illinois laws against predatory criminal sexual assault of a child appear under 720 ILCS 5/11-1.40. There are two different versions of this offense under Illinois law.  The first version of this offense requires a perpetrator aged at least 17 years old to make sexual contact — no matter how slight —with a victim under the age of 13 years old. This sexual contact must occur for the purpose of sexual gratification or arousal. Alternatively, such a perpetrator can commit an act of sexual penetration with a victim under the[...]
August
5
2022
Theft is one of the most common crimes in Illinois and many other places. From pickpockets stealing a few dollars to organized heists involving high-value property, theft takes on many different forms. Though under Illinois law, the value of the property in question plays a significant role in determining the charge and corresponding punishment.  What is the Illinois Definition of Theft? 720 ILCS 5/16-1 provides the Illinois definition of theft. Under this section, a person commits theft when they knowingly: Obtains or exerts unauthorized control over the property of someone else; Obtains control over the property of someone else by deception; Obtains control over the property of someone else by threat; Obtains control over stolen property, knowing or having a reason to know that the property in question was stolen; Obtains or exerts unauthorized control over property that is in the custody of law enforcement, knowing or having a reason to know that the property in question was stolen. For the last version of theft described above — involving property in the custody of law enforcement — the perpetrator must also: Intend to deprive the owner permanently of the use or benefit of the property in question; Use, conceal, or[...]
July
29
2022
A man faces aggravated battery charges after allegedly injuring a Normal, Illinois police officer, according to an article by The Pantagraph.  This incident occurred on Sunday, July 24. That is when police discovered the man in question asleep behind the wheel of a vehicle with signs of intoxication. In the process of arrest and subsequent processing, this man allegedly resisted and inflicted an injury to the fingers of a police officer.  The man in question has links to an address in Normal and an address in Texas. Though he will face criminal charges in Illinois for aggravated battery and awaits an arraignment scheduled for August 19.  To appreciate the potential consequences of this incident, the following sections will explore the Illinois laws against and penalties for aggravated battery.  Illinois Laws Against Aggravated Battery The Illinois laws against aggravated battery appear at 720 ILCS 5/12-3.05. There are seven versions of aggravated battery under this section, prohibiting offenses based on: Great bodily harm or permanent disability/disfigurement; Injury to a child or person with an intellectual disability; Location of conduct; Status of the victim; Use of a firearm; Use of a weapon or device; or Certain dangerous conduct. In terms of the present[...]
July
22
2022
Peoria Robbery Lawyer
Robbery is a theft crime under Illinois law. But unlike many other forms of theft, robbery requires the use or threat of force. In addition, Illinois features an aggravated version of robbery with heightened penalties. But aggravated robbery only applies to specific offenses that involve possession of a weapon or delivery of a controlled substance.  Robbery Laws in Illinois The Illinois laws against robbery appear under 720 ILCS 5/18-1. This section makes it unlawful to knowingly: Take property from the person or presence of a victim; and Utilize force or the threat of imminent force to complete the offense.  There is an important exception to Section 18-1. This section does not apply to robbery offenses involving motor vehicles. Illinois has separate laws against and penalties for the robbery of motor vehicles, referred to legally as vehicular hijacking.  Robbery Penalties in Illinois Section 18-1 also explains the Illinois penalties for robbery. At a minimum, robbery is charged as a Class 2 felony in Illinois. Upon conviction, the statutory punishment can include three to seven years in prison and up to $25,000 in criminal fines.  That being said, robbery can become a Class 1 felony, punishable as explained in the section below.[...]
July
15
2022
After allegedly crashing a truck on Interstate 55, an Illinois man faces aggravated DUI charges in McLean County, according to an article by The Pantagraph. Reports indicate that police officers responded to the scene of an accident on July 9. Allegedly, the Illinois man crashed on the interstate. The police officers who responded detected the smell of alcohol and signs of intoxication. But the Illinois man refused to provide blood, breath, or urine samples for chemical testing.  As a result of this incident, the Illinois man faces one count of aggravated DUI and several counts of obstruction of justice. If the DUI charge holds up in court, it represents the third such charge in Illinois. Though apparently, this man also faced DUI charges in Maine from 2012 to 2017.  At this juncture, the Illinois man remains in police custody on a $10,000 bond with an arraignment scheduled for August 5. In the meantime, it seems like a suitable time to review the Illinois laws against and penalties for aggravated DUI.  Illinois Laws Against Aggravated DUI 625 ILCS 5/11-501 supplies the Illinois laws against aggravated DUI. A standard DUI charge becomes aggravated in situations that include but are not limited to:[...]
July
8
2022
Home invasion is a multifaceted offense under the Illinois Criminal Code. Mirroring aspects of burglary crimes, home invasion typically involves use of force or the threat of force as well as entering another person’s residence. Given the severity and potential for harm associated with this offense, home invasion is one of the most serious felony crimes in Illinois.  How Does Illinois Define Home Invasion? The Illinois definition of home invasion appears under 720 ILCS 5/19-6. There are two elements to this offense under Illinois law.  The first element of home invasion requires the perpetrator to knowingly: Enter the residence of another person, knowing or having a reason to know that people are present; Enter another person’s residence and remain there until knowing or having a reason to know that people are present; or Gain access to another person’s residence through false representation, knowing or having a reason to know that people are present.  The second element of home invasion requires the perpetrator to also: Possess a dangerous weapon, other than a firearm, and use force or the threat of force against any person present at the residence; Cause any intentional injury to any person present at the residence; Possess a[...]
July
1
2022
Bloomington authorities charged a man from Chicago with three felony weapon crimes, including aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, according to an article by The Pantagraph.  This incident occurred on Friday, June 17 at approximately 10 p.m. That is when Bloomington police executed a traffic stop for a potential violation. The Chicago man was allegedly driving the vehicle on a suspended license. So the police arrested the Chicago man and searched the vehicle. During this search, police discovered a handgun in the trunk. This handgun was fully loaded and recently reported stolen.  As a result of this incident, local authorities charged the Chicago man with: Possession of a stolen firearm; Unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon; and Aggravated unlawful use of a weapon. At this juncture, the Chicago man declined to post bail and remains in police custody at the McLean County Jail. To understand the potential consequences at play, it will be helpful to review the Illinois penalties for all three of the aforementioned crimes.  Possession of Stolen Firearm 720 ILCS 5/24-3.8 provides the Illinois punishment for possession of a stolen firearm. Under this section, possession of a stolen firearm is generally punishable as a Class 2[...]
June
24
2022
A man from Bloomington, Illinois faces numerous misdemeanor and felony charges for alleged drug crimes, according to an article by The Pantagraph. According to reports, law enforcement arrested this 33-year-old Illinois man on June 21. At that time, the Illinois man was in alleged possession of seven different varieties of substances, including illegal drugs classified as controlled substances. As a result of this incident, the authorities charged the Illinois man with: Five counts of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver; Seven counts of possession of a controlled substance; and Two counts of other charges involving cannabis.  At this point, the Illinois man remains in police custody in lieu of posting bail. The next court date is currently a July 15 arraignment. In the meantime, it seems like a proper moment to review the Illinois statutes governing unlawful possession or delivery of controlled substances.  Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance 720 ILCS 570/402 mostly prohibits the possession of any controlled substance. Though in terms of penalties, there is a wide range of potential outcomes. But from a higher level, any person who unlawfully possesses: Large Amounts of Schedule I/II Narcotics — Will face Class 1 felony charges and[...]
June
17
2022
Three Illinois men face burglary charges after allegedly breaking into the Corn Crib stadium in Normal, according to an article by The Pantagraph. Reports indicate that these alleged burglary crimes occurred on April 18 and May 9 as well as sometime between May 4 and 5. On those dates, the alleged perpetrators broke into the Corn Crib stadium. But they did not appear to steal any items or other things of value.  As a result of this incident, local authorities pushed forward with the following charges: A 20-year-old man from Bloomington, Illinois faces three counts of burglary; An 18-year-old man from Normal, Illinois faces two counts of burglary; and A 20-year-old man from Bloomington, Illinois faces one count of burglary. While this incident continues to develop in the legal arena, it seems appropriate to review the Illinois laws against and punishment for burglary.  Illinois Laws Against Burglary The Illinois laws against burglary appear at 720 ILCS 5/19-1. This section prohibits any person from knowingly and without authority: Entering or remaining within any building, house-trailer, motor vehicle, railroad car, freight container, aircraft, or watercraft; and Demonstrating an intent to commit a theft offense or any felony crime.  It is important to[...]
June
10
2022
Obstructing identification and fraudulent identification cards are related but distinctly separate crimes under Illinois law. When a person provides false information to a police officer, it can qualify as obstructing identification. On the other hand, fraudulent ID laws usually require a person to possess, display, or use a false document. As explained in more detail below, these crimes are also punishable in different ways.  Obstructing Identification in Illinois 720 ILCS 5/31-4.5 provides the Illinois laws against obstructing identification. Under this section, it is unlawful to knowingly provide a false or fictitious name, address, or date of birth to a police officer upon: Lawful arrest; Lawful detainment; or Witness inquiry concerning a criminal offense.  Any person who commits obstructing identification in violation of Section 31-4.5 is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor. The maximum punishment for a Class A misdemeanor in Illinois includes 12 months in jail and $2,500 in criminal fines.  Fraudulent Identification in Illinois 15 ILCS 335/14B furnishes the Illinois laws against fraudulent identification cards. Under this section, it is unlawful to knowingly: Possess, display, or cause to be displayed any fraudulent ID card; Possess, display, or cause to be displayed any fraudulent ID card for the purpose of[...]
June
3
2022
An Illinois judge sentenced a former high school teacher for grooming, according to an article by The Pantagraph. This teacher will spend 180 days in the McLean County Jail and also faces two and a half years of probation.  This incident traces back to May 2019. That is when the teacher sent inappropriate comments to a 16-year-old via text message. The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services reported this incident to the LeRoy Police Department in September 2020. Law enforcement subsequently arrested the teacher in October 2020.  At the conclusion of the criminal trial in March 2022, the teacher pleaded guilty to grooming. Then a judge issued formal punishment during a sentencing hearing in June 2022, including registration as a sex offender for 10 years.  In light of this development, it seems like a suitable opportunity to review the Illinois laws against and penalties for grooming. Illinois Laws Against Grooming The Illinois laws against grooming appear under 720 ILCS 5/11-25. There are two elements to this offense under Section 11-25.  The first element requires the perpetrator to knowingly: Use a computer, online service, bulletin board, or any other device that stores or transmits electronic data; Conduct in-person communication or[...]
May
27
2022
Unlike battery offenses, assault does not require harmful or even physical contact. If the perpetrator creates a reasonable fear of imminent contact, it can qualify as assault under Illinois law. If the perpetrator’s actions fall into one of the three categories outlined below, they could face charges for aggravated assault instead. Aggravated Assault - Location of Conduct 720 ILCS 5/12-2 establishes the Illinois laws against aggravated assault. Under Subsection (a), a standard assault crime becomes aggravated assault if the offense occurred on or about any: Public way; Public property; Public place of accommodation or amusement; Sports venue; or Place of worship. Aggravated assault based on location of conduct is typically charged as a Class A misdemeanor. If convicted of a Class A misdemeanor in Illinois, the punishment can include an upper limit of 12 months in jail and $2,500 in criminal fines.  Aggravated Assault - Status of Victim Section 12-2 also furnishes the Illinois laws against aggravated assault based on the status of the victim. Under Subsection (b), a standard assault crime can become aggravated assault if the perpetrator knows the victim to be: A person with a physical disability; An elderly person over the age of 60 years old;[...]
May
20
2022
Police arrested a Bloomington, Illinois man for allegedly committing battery against a child at a grocery store, according to an article by The Pantagraph.  Reports indicate that this incident occurred on May 1 at a grocery store in Normal, Illinois. That is when the Illinois man allegedly struck a child. Using social media as an identification tool, police arrested the Illinois man on May 16. Though the McLean County State’s Attorney Office has yet to issue formal charges, as they are still processing reports and information.  While this matter continues to develop in legal circles, it seems fitting to review the potential charges at play, including battery and aggravated battery under Illinois law.  Battery Laws and Penalties in Illinois The Illinois laws against battery appear under 720 ILCS 5/12-3. This section makes it unlawful to knowingly and without legal justification: Cause bodily harm to any individual; or Make physical contact of any insulting or provoking nature with any individual. The Illinois penalties for battery also appear under Section 12-3. Battery is a Class A misdemeanor in Illinois. A conviction can lead to a maximum punishment of 12 months in county jail and $2,500 in criminal fines.  Aggravated Battery Laws and[...]
May
13
2022
The Illinois Criminal Code includes a distinct criminal offense for cannabis delivery at school. As these delivery or manufacturing crimes occur on or near school grounds — and usually in the presence of underage minors — Illinois law applies enhanced penalties. Consequently, it is paramount to understand the boundaries of this criminal offense in Illinois.  What are the Illinois Laws Against Cannabis Delivery at School? 720 ILCS 550/5.2 furnishes the Illinois laws against cannabis delivery at school. There are two elements to this offense in Illinois.  The first element involves the delivery or manufacture of cannabis — or the possession of cannabis with intent to deliver or manufacture — at or on any: School grounds;  Real property comprising any school;  Conveyances owned, leased, or contracted by a school for students or related activities; or Public way within 500 feet of any school. The second element involves the delivery or manufacture of cannabis — or the possession of cannabis with intent to deliver or manufacture — to occur: In the presence of minors under the age of 18; During school hours; or At times when minors under the age of 18 are reasonably expected to be engaged with school or related[...]
May
6
2022
The Normal Police Department is searching for a suspect in the alleged robbery of a delivery driver, according to an article by The Pantagraph.  This incident occurred on Tuesday, April 26 at approximately 6 p.m. At that point, the delivery driver just dropped off a food order near Northbrook Drive and Orlando Avenue. That is when the robbery suspect approached the delivery driver.  The robbery suspect allegedly claimed to have a firearm and demanded cash from the delivery driver. After taking a small amount of cash from the delivery driver, the robbery suspect escaped the scene on foot. The delivery driver did not sustain injury as a result of this incident.  While the authorities continue to search for this robbery suspect, it seems appropriate to review robbery and aggravated robbery offenses under Illinois law.  Robbery Under Illinois Law The Illinois laws against robbery appear at 720 ILCS 5/18-1. Under this section, a person commits robbery when they knowingly: Take property from the someone else’s person or presence; and Uses force or the threat of imminent force to complete the act.  The Illinois penalties for robbery also appear under Section 18-1. Generally speaking, robbery is charged as a Class 2 felony.[...]
April
29
2022
Bloomington Carjacking Lawyer
Standard and aggravated vehicular hijacking represent two serious offenses under the Illinois Criminal Code. Often referred to as carjacking in common parlance, these offenses involve the theft of a motor vehicle using force or the threat of force. Furthermore, the presence of certain aggravating factors can lead to enhanced penalties under Illinois law.  Vehicular Hijacking 720 ILCS 5/18-3 supplies the Illinois laws against vehicular hijacking. This section prohibits any person from knowingly: Taking a motor vehicle from the person or immediate presence of a victim; and Using force or the threat of imminent force to complete the act.  Section 18-3 also explains the Illinois penalty for vehicular hijacking. Any person who commits this offense will typically face Class 1 felony charges. If convicted for a Class 1 felony in Illinois, the penalties can include imprisonment for four to 15 years and criminal fines up to $25,000. Though certain offenders may qualify for probation or conditional discharge instead, with an upper limit of four years.  Aggravated Vehicular Hijacking 720 ILCS 5/18-4 establishes the Illinois laws against aggravated vehicular hijacking. The aggravated version of this offense applies upon the presence of any of the following factors: The victim has a physical disability[...]
April
22
2022
A 16-year-old boy from Bloomington, Illinois pleaded guilty to felony charges for unlawful possession of a firearm, according to an article by The Pantagraph. Local authorities arrested this Illinois minor in November of 2021 at Bloomington High School. Apparently, school officials suspected that the minor was in possession of cannabis. But when they searched his backpack, they discovered a firearm instead. When law enforcement arrived at the scene, they confiscated a loaded handgun with 10 rounds.  Approximately three weeks after his arrest, the authorities charged this Illinois minor as an adult for the felony of unlawful possession of a firearm and several other offenses.  While this Illinois minor awaits formal sentencing on June 7, it seems like a proper occasion to review the Illinois laws against and penalties for unlawful possession of a firearm.  Unlawful Possession of a Firearm in Illinois 720 ILCS 5/24-3.1 defines what qualifies as unlawful possession of a firearm in Illinois. Under this section, it illegal for a person to possess firearms or firearm ammunition if they are: Under 18 years old and have a firearm that can be concealed on their person; Under 21 years old and have a misdemeanor conviction (other than traffic offenses)[...]
April
15
2022
Prostitution is a sexual offense under the Illinois Criminal Code. Typically, this offense requires a person to perform — or offer or agree to perform — an act of sexual conduct or penetration. In addition, a prostitution offender must receive or agree to receive money or similar consideration in exchange for performing sexual acts.  What are the Illinois Laws Against Prostitution? The Illinois laws against prostitution appear under 720 ILCS 5/11-14. This section prohibits any person from knowingly: Performing or offering or agreeing to perform any act of sexual penetration; or Touching or fondling sex organs for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification; and Receiving anything of value in exchange. In terms of assessing this offense, it is important to understand the Illinois definition of “sexual penetration” under 720 ILCS 5/11-0.1. This section defines sexual penetration as: Any contact, no matter how slight, between the sex organ or anus of one person and an object or the sex organ, mouth, or anus of another person; or Any intrusion, no matter how slight, of a person, animal, or object into the sex organ or anus of another person.  Examples of sexual penetration under Section 11-0.1 include but are not necessarily[...]
April
8
2022
A couple from Bloomington, Illinois faces multiple felony charges for allegedly trafficking more than 10 ounces of illegal drugs into Illinois, according to an article by The Pantagraph.  Law enforcement apparently discovered controlled substances in a package mailed to the Illinois couple. Then police obtained a search warrant for the couple’s residence. Between both searches, law enforcement confiscated: 1,750 grams of amphetamine pills; 1,350 grams of unmarked pills; 720 grams of oxycodone; and 160 grams of alprazolam. As a result of this incident, the authorities charged the Illinois couple with: Multiple counts of Class X felonies, including several counts of drug trafficking; and One Class 3 felony for possession of drugs with intent to deliver.  At this juncture, the Illinois couple remains in police custody after failing to post bail. While these individuals await arraignment on April 29, it seems like a proper occasion to review several Illinois laws and penalties.  Drug Delivery Laws and Penalties in Illinois 720 ILCS 570/401 establishes the Illinois laws against and penalties for drug delivery. This section makes it unlawful to knowingly: Deliver or manufacture any controlled substance; or Possess any controlled substance with intent to deliver or manufacture. Under Section 401, there is[...]
April
1
2022
The Normal Police Department is searching for two suspects in a retail theft incident, according to an article by The Pantagraph.  Official reports indicate that the suspects entered a retail establishment on East College Avenue in Normal on March 21. The suspects allegedly took merchandise from the establishment and escaped on foot. Although this investigation remains ongoing, it is likely that the suspects in question will eventually face criminal charges for retail theft. In that vein, it seems appropriate to review the Illinois laws against and punishment for retail theft crimes.  Illinois Laws Against Retail Theft The Illinois laws against retail theft appear at 720 ILCS 5/16-25. Under this section, it is unlawful to knowingly: Take possession of, carry away, or transfer any retail merchandise without paying the full retail value and with the intention of depriving the merchant permanently; Alter, transfer, or remove any price tag or similar label with the intention of depriving the merchant of the full retail value; Transfer any merchandise from its original container and into another container with intention of depriving the merchant of the full retail value; Under-ring any merchandise with the intention of depriving the merchant of the full retail value; Remove[...]
March
25
2022
Under the Illinois Criminal Code, arson is an offense that involves the use of fire or explosives. In certain cases, a perpetrator can even face charges for aggravated arson, particularly if someone sustains serious injury. Either way, both standard and aggravated arson offenses are charged as felonies, meaning the consequences of a violation can be exceedingly severe.  Arson Laws and Penalties in Illinois 720 ILCS 5/20-1 establishes the Illinois laws against arson. Under this section, it is illegal to use fire or explosive to knowingly damage: Another person's real or personal property worth at least $150, without the owner’s consent; or Any real or personal property worth at least $150 with the intent to defraud an insurer.  Any person who commits arson in violation of Section 20-1 is guilty of a Class 2 felony. The Illinois punishment for this type of felony includes a sentencing range of three to seven years, an extended term of seven to 15 years, and criminal fines up to $25,000. Probation or conditional discharge of up to four years is available for this offense.  Section 20-1 also prohibits arson offenses that occur in specific locations. Under this section, it is unlawful to commit arson and[...]
March
18
2022
Bloomington Carjacking Lawyer
A man from Normal, Illinois faces charges for the felony crime of possession of a stolen motor vehicle, according to an article by The Pantagraph.  This incident occurred on Sunday, March 13. That is when the Normal Police Department recognized the Illinois man from an outstanding arrest warrant. Apparently, the Illinois man was driving a motor vehicle reported stolen in March 2021 by an Iowa rental company. Allegedly, the Illinois man paid cash for the rental to avoid any scrutiny on his suspended driver’s license.  At this point, the Illinois man faces criminal charges for possession of a stolen or converted motor vehicle. This man remains in police custody after declining to post bail and awaits an April 1st arraignment. While this case continues to develop in legal circles, it seems appropriate to review the Illinois statute governing possession of a stolen or converted motor vehicle. Illinois Laws Against Possession of Stolen Vehicle The Illinois laws against possession of a stolen or converted motor vehicle appear at 625 ILCS 5/4-103. Under this section, it is unlawful to knowingly: Possess a motor vehicle or any essential part of a vehicle knowing that it was stolen or converted; Alter, deface, remove, destroy,[...]
March
11
2022
The Illinois Criminal Code contains numerous provisions to address various crimes, including laws against and penalties for criminal sexual abuse. This offense requires sexual conduct or penetration, depending on the circumstances, and also addresses abuse against children under the age of 17.  What are the Illinois Laws Against Criminal Sexual Abuse? 720 ILCS 5/11-1.50 provides the Illinois laws against criminal sexual abuse. There are two versions of this offense in Illinois.  The first version applies when a person commits an act of sexual conduct: Using force or the threat of force; or Knowing that the victim is unable to understand the act or provide valid consent.  The second version applies when a person commits an act of sexual conduct or penetration and: The perpetrator is under 17 years old, and the victim is at least nine years old but less than 17 years old; or The victim is at least 13 years old but less than 17 years old, and the perpetrator is less than five years older than the victim. What are the Illinois Penalties for Criminal Sexual Abuse? Section 11-1.50 also establishes the Illinois penalties for criminal sexual abuse. Though the exact nature of the punishment changes based[...]
March
4
2022
Medical Marijuana Laws in Illinois
An Illinois man faces criminal charges for cannabis delivery after a sting operation by the Bloomington Police Department, according to an article by The Pantagraph.  Prosecutors indicated that a police informant visited the Illinois man with the intention of purchasing several pounds of cannabis. But this transaction took a wrong turn when the Illinois man became aggressive and restrained the informant in his basement.  As a result of this transaction, law enforcement obtained a search warrant for the Illinois man’s home. During the ensuing search, law enforcement confiscated approximately two pounds of cannabis, including: 725 grams of edible cannabis; 150 grams of flower cannabis; and 101 cartridges of cannabis.  At this point, the Illinois man faces criminal charges for several offenses, including the unlawful possession of cannabis with intent to deliver. Although this case will continue to develop, it seems appropriate to review Illinois laws against and penalties for the delivery of cannabis.  Unlawful Delivery of Cannabis in Illinois 720 ILCS 550/5 describes the Illinois laws against the delivery of cannabis. Unless otherwise authorized by law, Illinois prohibits the delivery or manufacture of cannabis. Similarly, Illinois prohibits the possession of cannabis with intent to deliver or manufacture.  Penalties for Unlawful[...]
February
25
2022
An Illinois man faces criminal charges for aggravated domestic battery after allegedly burning his 5-year-old children with an iron, according to an article by The Pantagraph.  Reports indicate that this 41-year-old man intentionally placed a steam iron on the legs of his two children to teach them a lesson. This man apparently left the iron on his children’s legs for approximately four seconds each.  As a result of this incident, the authorities charged this Illinois man with aggravated domestic battery. And a judge ordered this man to cease any and all contact with his children or any other person under 18 years old.  At this point, the Illinois man neglected to post bail and, thus, remains in police custody. While the legal case around this incident continues to evolve, it seems appropriate to review the Illinois laws against and penalties for aggravated domestic battery.  Illinois Laws Against Aggravated Domestic Battery The Illinois laws against aggravated domestic battery appear under 720 ILCS 5/12-3.3. This section makes it unlawful to commit domestic battery and also knowingly: Cause great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement to the victim; or Strangle the victim by applying pressure to the throat or neck, blocking the[...]
February
18
2022
The state of Illinois prohibits any person from driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol, drugs, or a combination of substances. Ultimately, any driver on Illinois roads must ensure that they can operate their vehicle safely and in compliance with applicable law. Any violation of Illinois DUI laws can result in a jail or prison sentence and criminal fines.  But if a DUI offense also involves a fatality — even an unintentional one — the offender will usually face reckless homicide charges instead. Given the severity of this type of conduct, reckless homicide is a felony crime with heightened penalties for any violation. How Does Illinois Define Reckless Homicide? 720 ILCS 5/9-3 provides the Illinois definition of reckless homicide. There are two different versions of reckless homicide under this section.  The first version of reckless homicide applies whenever a person: Commits DUI; and Causes the death of another person as a direct result, unintentionally and without legal justification. The second version of reckless homicide applies whenever a person: Uses an incline on a road — such as a bridge approach, hill, or railroad crossing — to send their vehicle airborne; and Causes the death of another person as a direct[...]
February
11
2022
A man from Bloomington, Illinois faces felony charges for the alleged and unlawful delivery of meth, according to an article by The Pantagraph.  Court documents indicate that the Illinois man delivered meth to undercover officers with the Bloomington Police Department in December. The authorities issued a warrant for this man’s arrest on January 3. During a hearing on February 7, a judge confirmed that the Illinois man would need to post approximately $15,000 to secure his release from police custody.  At this juncture, the Illinois man remains jailed and awaits further legal proceedings. To understand the potential consequences at play in this case, it will be helpful to review the Illinois laws against and penalties for the delivery of meth.  Unlawful Delivery of Meth in Illinois 720 ILCS 646/55 furnishes the Illinois laws against delivery of meth. This section makes it illegal to knowingly: Deliver meth or a substance containing meth; or Possess meth or a substance containing meth with the intent to deliver.  In this context, the knowledge requirement is exceedingly important. A person must know — or have a reason to know — that the substance in question is meth. Otherwise, charges for unlawful delivery of meth might[...]
February
4
2022
In order to purchase alcohol or tobacco unlawfully in Illinois, it is relatively common for underage minors to possess and use fake IDs. But any person who commits a violation involving fake IDs — legally referred to as fraudulent identification cards — can face incredibly severe consequences under Illinois law. What are the Illinois Laws Against Fake IDs? The Illinois laws against fake IDs appear under 15 ILCS 335/14B. This section makes it unlawful for any person to knowingly: Possess or display any fake ID; Possess or display any fake ID for the purposes of opening a financial account; Possess any fake ID with the intent to commit theft, fraud, or deception; Possess any fake ID with the intent to commit any other criminal offense with a sentence of confinement for at least one year; Possess any fake ID while also in possession of any document, device, or instrument capable of defrauding someone else; Possess any fake ID with the intent of using it to acquire any other type of identification document; Possess any implement or device capable of making an identification card, without legal authority; Possess any stolen implement or device capable of making an identification card; Manufacture, duplicate,[...]
January
28
2022
In addition to offenses like DUI, the Illinois Vehicle Code also prohibits reckless driving and street racing. Although these offenses typically lead to misdemeanor charges, there are also felony versions of reckless driving and street racing. In either case, drivers in Illinois should strive to avoid these charges altogether, as the legal consequences can be extremely severe.  Illinois Laws Against Reckless Driving 625 ILCS 5/11-503 establishes the Illinois laws against reckless driving. Under this section, a person commits reckless driving if they: Operates a vehicle in a willful or wanton manner that indicates a disregard for the safety of people or property; or Causes a vehicle to become airborne, using an incline such as a railroad crossing, bridge approach, or hill.  Illinois Punishment for Reckless Driving Section 11-503 also explains the Illinois punishment for reckless driving. At a minimum, reckless driving is charged as Class A misdemeanor in Illinois. If convicted, the punishment can include a maximum of 12 months in county jail and $2,500 in criminal fines.  On the other hand, reckless driving can become a Class 4 felony. The felony version of this offense applies whenever reckless driving involves bodily harm to a child or a school crossing[...]
January
21
2022
Local authorities responded to reports of a robbery at a gas station in Livingston County, according to an article by The Pantagraph.  This incident occurred on Wednesday, January 17th at approximately 1 p.m. That is when the perpetrator allegedly entered a gas station on Howard Street in Pontiac and brandished a firearm. After telling everyone present to get down on the floor, the perpetrator took a yet-to-be determined amount of money and fled. Police officers responded to this incident and later tracked down the perpetrator’s vehicle. The perpetrator apparently crashed in Kankakee and ran away, leaving money and drugs in the abandoned vehicle.  At this juncture, it does not seem that the authorities have apprehended a suspect in this case. But it does seem likely that, sooner or later, the authorities will issue formal charges of robbery or aggravated robbery. Robbery Laws and Penalties in Illinois The Illinois laws against and penalties for robbery appear at 720 ILCS 5/18-1. This section makes it unlawful to knowingly: Take property from the person or presence of a victim; and Use force or the threat of imminent force to complete the act. There is an important exception to the standard robbery laws explained[...]
January
14
2022
A Bloomington, Illinois man faces four counts of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child in McLean County, according to an article by The Pantagraph.  This Illinois man allegedly committed sexual conduct with a minor child under the age of 13. According to reports, the four offenses happened between November 6 and December 1 of 2021.  Local authorities issued a warrant for the Illinois man’s arrest on December 16, and a judge set the man’s bond at $1 million. While this matter continues to develop from a legal standpoint, it seems appropriate to review the Illinois laws against and punishment for predatory criminal sexual assault of a child.  Illinois Laws Against Predatory Criminal Sexual Assault 720 ILCS 5/11-1.40 furnishes the Illinois laws against predatory criminal sexual assault of a child. Under this section, this offense applies when the perpetrator is at least 17 years old, and the victim is less than 13 years old. If such a perpetrator engages in an act of sexual conduct — even if the conduct is minor or slight — with such a victim, it qualifies as predatory criminal sexual assault under Illinois law.  In addition, Section 11-1.40 provides several aggravating factors that can result[...]
January
7
2022
Medical Marijuana Laws in Illinois
Cannabis conspiracy is a specific type of drug crime under the Illinois Criminal Code. In addition to committing a separate cannabis drug crime, this offense also requires the participation of multiple people and a minimum amount of compensation received. Accordingly, cannabis conspiracy carries severe criminal consequences at the felony level.  What are the Illinois Laws Against Cannabis Conspiracy? The Illinois laws against cannabis conspiracy appear at 720 ILCS 550/9. Under this section, it is unlawful for two or more people to conspire to commit any of the following cannabis-related offenses: Unlawful possession of 100 to 500 grams of cannabis, in violation of 720 ILCS 550/4(d); Unlawful possession of 500 to 2,000 grams of cannabis, in violation of 720 ILCS 550/4(e); Unlawful delivery of 30 to 500 grams of cannabis, in violation of 720 ILCS 550/5(d); Unlawful delivery of 500 to 2,000 grams of cannabis, in violation of 720 ILCS 550/5(e); Unlawful production of 20 to 50 cannabis plants, in violation of 720 ILCS 550/8(c); or Unlawful production of 50 to 200 cannabis plants, in violation of 720 ILCS 550/8(d). In addition, Section 9 requires the offenders to obtain at least $500 for organizing, directing, or financing a cannabis conspiracy.  How[...]
December
30
2021
Bloomington Carjacking Lawyer
It is against the law in Illinois to drive under the influence (DUI) of alcohol, drugs, or a combination of substances. The moment a person becomes impaired and unable to operate their vehicle in a safe and controlled manner, DUI charges are likely to follow.  That being said, the Illinois penalties for DUI offenses increase dramatically for repeat offenders, particularly in cases of aggravated DUI. To understand exactly how this system works, the following sections will examine Illinois DUI penalties under 625 ILCS 5/11-501.  First DUI Conviction Generally speaking, DUI is a Class A misdemeanor on the first offense. At this level, the penalties can include a maximum of $2,500 in criminal fines and 12 months in jail.  Second DUI Conviction On the second offense, DUI remains a Class A misdemeanor in Illinois. But Section 11-501 triggers mandatory levels of punishment. Second-time DUI offenders are subject to a minimum of 240 hours of community service or five days in jail.  Third/Fourth DUI Conviction (Aggravated DUI) On the third offense, DUI becomes aggravated DUI and transforms into a Class 4 felony. At this level, the penalties can include a maximum of $25,000 in criminal fines and one to three years in[...]
December
24
2021
An Illinois man faces criminal charges for burglary and residential burglary after allegedly breaking into multiple Bloomington homes, according to an article by The Pantagraph.  In the early morning of Tuesday, December 21, this Illinois man allegedly broke into two Bloomington residences — one in the 1300 block of North Hershey Road and another in the first block of Bandecon Way.  As a result of this incident, the authorities charged the Illinois man with a Class 1 felony for residential burglary as well as Class 2 and Class 3 felonies for burglary. At this point, the Illinois man remains jailed after declining to post bail. While this Illinois man awaits a January 7 arraignment, it seems appropriate to review burglary and residential burglary offenses under Illinois law.  Burglary 720 ILCS 5/19-1 establishes the Illinois laws against burglary. Under this section, a person commits burglary if they knowingly and without authority: Enter or remain within any aircraft, building, house-trailer, motor vehicle, railroad car, or watercraft; and Demonstrate the intent to commit theft or a felony crime. Section 19-1 also explains the Illinois punishment for burglary. If the burglary offense did not involve property damage, then it is a Class 3 felony.[...]
December
17
2021
Aggravated battery is a serious offense under the Illinois Criminal Code. Unlike standard battery crimes — which merely require bodily harm or physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature — various circumstances can trigger charges for aggravated battery. To illustrate the different versions of this offense, the following sections will analyze four types of aggravated battery crimes under 720 ILCS 5/12-3.05. Aggravated Battery Based on Injury Aggravated battery under Section 12-3.05 can be based on the nature of injury sustained. This version of aggravated battery applies when the perpetrator also: Causes great bodily harm or permanent disability or disfigurement; Uses a flammable, explosive, or other substance to cause great bodily harm or permanent disability or disfigurement; Inflicts great bodily harm or permanent disability or disfigurement, knowing the victim to be a police officer, firefighter, or similar agent;  Causes great bodily harm or permanent disability or disfigurement to an elderly victim over the age of 60; or Strangles the victim. Aggravated Battery Based on Injury to a Child or Disabled Individual Aggravated battery under Section 12-3.05 can be based on injury to a child or disabled individual. This version of aggravated battery applies when the perpetrator is over 18 years[...]
December
10
2021
Within the arena of Illinois sex offenses, two exceedingly common charges are criminal sexual abuse and criminal sexual assault. Although these two crimes might sound eerily similar, there are subtle and severe differences between them — particularly from the standpoint of the potential consequences.Illinois Laws Against Criminal Sexual AbuseThe Illinois laws against criminal sexual abuse appear at 720 ILCS 5/11-1.50. There are two different versions of this offense. The first version applies whenever a person:Commits an act of sexual conduct using force or the threat of force; orCommits an act of sexual conduct knowing that victim cannot give consent or comprehend the act.The second version of criminal sexual abuse deals with the ages of the perpetrator and victim. An act of sexual penetration or conduct can qualify as criminal sexual abuse if:The perpetrator is under 17 years old, and the victim is at least nine years old but less than 17 years old; orThe victim is between 13 and 17 years old, and the perpetrator is less than five years older than the victim. Illinois Penalties for Criminal Sexual AbuseSection 11-1.50 also details the Illinois penalties for criminal sexual abuse. The first version of criminal sexual abuse discussed above, it is[...]
December
3
2021
A man from Normal, Illinois faces multiple felony charges for alleged cocaine delivery crimes, according to an article by The Pantagraph.  The Bloomington Police Department conducted an arrest after receiving reports that this Illinois man committed four cocaine deliveries between November 26 and December 1. Thereafter, local authorities charged the Illinois man with four counts of unlawful delivery of cocaine.  At this point, the Illinois man declined to post bail and remains in police custody. While the legal case continues to evolve, it seems appropriate to review the Illinois laws against and penalties for delivery of cocaine.  Illinois Laws Against Delivery of Cocaine 720 ILCS 570/401 provides the Illinois laws against delivery of a controlled substance, including cocaine. Under this section, there are severely controlled circumstances under which delivery of cocaine is allowed, largely for medical or research purposes.  Otherwise, Illinois prohibits any person from delivering or manufacturing a controlled substance like cocaine. Additionally, Section 401 makes it unlawful to possess a controlled substance while demonstrating an intent to deliver or manufacture. But from a punishment standpoint, delivery and possession with intent to deliver are treated in the same way under Illinois law.  Illinois Penalties for Delivery of Cocaine Section[...]
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 explosiv