Tag Archives: Illinois law

Criminal Property Damage, property crime, law firmA Long Grove, Illinois man was arrested recently for throwing a brick through the front door of his neighbor’s home. The man also allegedly entered the home and threatened his neighbor’s wife, then damaged property in the couple’s yard. He allegedly caused the damage because the two victims were Muslim, and said that, "That's what Trump would do,” according to Patch.com. Being charged with criminal property damage can carry a heavy penalty if you are found guilty. In this case, other penalties may apply, such as assault, unlawful entry, and the offense being upgraded to a hate crime. But what constitutes as criminal damage to property?

Proving Intent

In order for the prosecution to successfully charge and sentence a person for criminal damage to property, they must be able to show that the defendant had intent. The defendant must have intentionally caused damage to another’s property, according to Illinois statute 720 ILCS 5/21-1. Or, the damage must have been caused by:

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Pleading Self-Defense in IllinoisAccording to Illinois criminal code 720 ILCS 5, it is acceptable for an individual to use force against someone else when that person reasonably believes that this force is necessary to defend themselves or someone else against another party’s impending violence. This means that if you believed that force was necessary to use in order to protect yourself or another person, you are justified in taking such actions. The statute goes on to say, “However, he is justified in the use of force which is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm only if he reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or another, or the commission of a forcible felony.” For example, if you are a six-foot tall, 200-pound male and you beat up an unarmed, frail, 80-year-old woman and claimed that you feared for your life or another’s, that self-defense plea would not be accepted in court.

Use of Force to Protect a Dwelling or Property

It is lawful to use force to protect a home or property. However, it is only lawful to use force to protect a dwelling if:

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Illinois Reckless DrivingIf you violate Illinois reckless driving laws, you may face serious penalties. Reckless driving is not merely a traffic violation, like a speeding ticket; instead, it is a crime. The consequences of a reckless driving conviction are significant, which makes it especially important that you contact a knowledgeable attorney as soon as possible.

Reckless Driving

The first part of the Illinois reckless driving statute is not very specific as to what constitutes as reckless driving. Section one of the statute defines reckless driving as driving a vehicle with “willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.” This can encompass many different behaviors behind the wheel. The second part of the statute includes intentionally using an incline such as a hill or railroad crossing for the purpose of becoming airborne. Reckless driving is a class A misdemeanor.

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Driving on a Suspended or Revoked License May Result in Harsher DUI ConsequencesIf you are convicted of DUI in the state of Illinois, it is likely that your driver’s license will be revoked suspended for a certain period of time. Once you have completed your DUI sentence, you still have to apply to get your license back. You may have to pay a fee or go through additional administrative steps in order to do so. In the meantime, if you drive before your license is reinstated, you are risking harsher penalties for any other DUI convictions in the future.

Driving on a Suspended or Revoked License

It is illegal in the state of Illinois for you to drive a vehicle while your driver’s license is suspended or revoked. The criminal charge that you receive for this offense depends on the reason that you lost your license in the first place. Regardless of what level of criminal offense you face, a conviction for driving on a suspended license will result in the Secretary of State re-suspending your license for a period of time that is equal in length to the original period of suspension. If you are convicted of driving on a revoked license, the Secretary of State will revoke your license for an additional period of one year following the date of your conviction. This suspension or revocation is in addition to the other penalties that you receive for the offense, which depend on the level of offense of which you are convicted. Any conviction is likely to involve community service or jail time under Illinois law.

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Shoplifting Under Illinois LawShoplifting, or what is commonly referred to as retail theft, occurs when you take something that does not belong to you from a store or other type of business. While it may seem minor in nature, it is a negative mark on your criminal history that you may have to disclose to prospective employers. The reality is that any criminal conviction involving theft or deception will only have negative repercussions for you, your family, and your future. Fortunately, with the help of experienced Illinois criminal defense lawyers, you may be able to avoid a negative result.

Defining Retail Theft Under Illinois Law

Retail theft can take a number of forms, but always involves an individual who takes something from a retailer that does not belong to him or her. Some common examples of retail theft are as follows:

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