Tag Archives: Illinois

sexual assault, sexual abuse, violence, domestic violence, domestic abuse, IllinoisAn uncomfortable subject to approach, sexual offenses and sexual assault are crimes that are committed every day in our country, no matter how hard we may try to sweep them under the rug. “Sexual assault” is a broad term, and can include four different types of criminal offenses. It is important to be familiar with each of them.

 The legal age of consent in Illinois is 17. Consent refers to “any freely given agreement to the act of sexual conduct or sexual penetration.” Consent must be given verbally, and physical resistance is taken as a sign that the act was not consented to. In this sense, it does not matter if a victim was “asking for it.” Types of sexual assault may include:

  • Criminal sexual assault;
  • Aggravated criminal sexual assault;
  • Predatory criminal sexual assault;
  • Aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

Under Illinois law, criminal sexual assault consists of sexual penetration plus one of the following four circumstances:

Continue reading

Since stories about identity theft have become increasingly popular in the media, the laws regarding this crime have also evolved to include different types of identity theft. Knowing exactly what this crime entails could be important for your case if you have been charged with identity theft. Of course, each case is different and the best thing you can do for your situation is to obtain an Illinois criminal lawyer right away. identity theftA person can be charged with identity theft when authorities believe that he or she has knowingly does one of the following:

  • Uses personal identifying information or documents to commit a felony;
  • Obtains, possesses, transfers, sells, or records any personally identifying information or documents belonging to another individual;
  • Uses any personally identifying information or documents without legal authority to do so;
  • Uses personally identifying details to get access to communications made or received or actions taken regarding another person;
  • Provides the license number of a roofing contractor or fire sprinkler contractor that will not be used on a building permit application;

In addition to these stipulations, a person could also  be accused of aggravated identity theft. This happens when he or she commits the above crimes of identity theft against someone over the age of 60 or a person with a disability or as activities to further the work of an organized gang. Being accused of identity theft can be an embarrassing situation filled with consequences. It’s important not to underestimate the impact of being charged with this crime. Depending on the accusations in your case, you could be charged with a felony. As soon as you are accused, you need to obtain legal representation for your case. Already been charged with identity theft? Contact the office of an Illinois criminal defense lawyer today to have your rights represented.

Continue reading

Many parents of teenagers struggle with the question of whether it would be better to allow their child to drink “responsibly” at home under parental supervision than to let them go out, believing their child will be drinking anyway.  The intentions are understandable.  You want to keep your child safe.  However, you should really consider the consequences of your decision. If you allow your child to drink in your home, your child could perceive this as tacit approval for all underage drinking.   Underage drinking is a very dangerous activity for an adolescent to pursue.  According to the Mothers against Drunk Driving (MADD) website, compared to teens who don’t drink, drinking teens are more likely to:

  • Die in a car crash
  • Get pregnant
  • Flunk school
  • Be sexually assaulted
  • Become an alcoholic later in life
  • Take their own life through suicide

Underage drinking also has serious legal implications.  Illinois, along with all 50 states, have zero tolerance laws for drinking and driving.  In Illinois, if a person under the age of 21 is caught driving with even a trace of alcohol in his/her system, driving privileges are revoked.  Illinois’ Zero Tolerance Law also prohibits consumption and possession even while not driving.  Jail time and fines are possibilities. Furthermore, under the Zero Tolerance Law, if great bodily harm or death results from knowingly allowing underage drinking in your home, you may face a Class 4 Felony.    This could mean imprisonment of 1-3 years and a fine of up to $25,000.  So while you may think that you are protecting your child and your child’s friends by supervising their drinking activities, you are actually opening yourself up to liability. If you or someone in your family has violated the Zero Tolerance Law, you will need an experienced attorney to assist you.  Contact a qualified Illinois defense attorney today.

Continue reading

Embezzlement tends not to be an everyday word that people hear often. It is most often spoken in action movies in which the characters create fake identifications and get high-paying jobs, which they use to embezzle money from the company to become rich before retiring to a far-away, tropical island.  The word “embezzlement,” though, was defined in Moore v. United States in 1895 by the Supreme Court. “Embezzlement is the fraudulent appropriation of property by a person to whom such property has been entrusted, or into whose hands it has lawfully come.” What this means is that, for example, if someone is hired for a job working for the government doing some financial work, he or she is then legally responsible for that money. If that person then decides to misuse or use that money for a reason other than its intended purpose, such as putting it into a personal bank account, he or she is embezzling that money. Moore v. U.S. also stated that there is a difference in embezzlement and larceny because in embezzlement the criminal received control of the money or property lawfully and knowingly of those who own it. In larceny, the criminal intends to misuse the money when he or she takes the money or position in which he or she can take the money. Within the crime of embezzlement, there are six elements:

  1. There is some type of trustworthy relationship between the property owner and the alleged embezzler
  2.  The property is government property
  3.  The defendant gained possession or responsibility of the property through his or her employment
  4.  The property did not belong to the defendant, it is the property of the United States
  5.  The actions taken with the property by the defendant was not appropriate  for its own use, it was used for something other than its intended use
  6.  The defendant intended for the owner of the property to no longer have that property

If you have considered using a government position to embezzle money for your own gain, first consider that it is a serious offense. If you have been  accused of embezzlement, contact a Naperville white collar crime defense attorney for help. Law Office of Glenn M. Sowa, LLC, Attorneys at Law can assist you with your embezzlement case in Naperville, Ill. today.

Continue reading

Cannabis sativa is the plant that the drug marijuana is derived from. The plant’s leaves, flowers, stems, and seeds are all dried and shredded to create the drug with the psychoactive chemical, THC, that is inside. An annual survey recently found that more teenagers are actually smoking marijuana, or weed, more often than cigarettes, most likely due to the decreasing negative opinion of the drug. Although it has found to have medical benefits and very few permanent negative effects, marijuana does still alter the mind for a length of time when it is consumed and it can be dangerous.  The effects of drinking and driving are ingrained in the brains of young drivers in America through drivers’ education classes, highway and freeway billboards, parents, teachers, and sometimes even friends and siblings. What few people are taught, though, is that it is just as dangerous to drive a vehicle while under the influence of drugs, including marijuana. Motor coordination and judgment are seriously impaired by weed and it increases the likelihood of being in an accident by over 200 percent. Along with immediate danger in a car, smoking any substance can lead to respiratory problems in the future. Marijuana smokers have been found to have the same lung problems as tobacco smokers, such as daily cough and phlegm production, frequent and acute chest pains, and a higher risk of lung infection. Development of psychosis has also been linked to marijuana use, although genetic predisposition and the age at which one begins to smoke marijuana were also factors. Other mood problems that have arisen from the use of marijuana include suicidal thoughts, depression, and anxiety in adolescents. These people also showed signs of lack of motivation to engage in rewarding activities and personality disturbances. Marijuana use during pregnancy, like tobacco and alcohol, can affect the baby as well. Children of those marijuana users who used it during pregnancy have been found to have neurobiological problems. These problems may develop as difficulty with attention, memory, and problem solving. If you have been found with marijuana or another illegal drug, contact a criminal attorney for help today. Law Office of Glenn M. Sowa, LLC Attorneys at Law can help you with your drug court case in Naperville and Geneva, Ill. now.

Continue reading