cell phone search, US Supreme Court, Illinois Criminal Defense LawyerBeing arrested for a crime can be a very frightening experience, especially if it has never happened to you before. It is easy to get caught up in trying to protect yourself by simply agreeing to any requests by the arresting officer, including searches of your property that might otherwise require a warrant. While becoming confrontational with law enforcement is not likely to be in your best interest, knowing your rights certainly is. Any violation of your rights could result in the charges against you being dismissed completely, which, as of last year, includes a warrantless search of your cell phone.

Search of Your Person

When you are arrested or detained, an arresting officer is permitted to conduct a search of your person for items that would present a danger both to him or her and to yourself. The search is also designed to prevent the destruction of evidence currently on your person, including controlled substances, drug paraphernalia, or other proof of criminal activity. Last summer, however, the United States Supreme Court declined to extend permission to the search of electronic devices, ruling instead that a warrant based on probable cause is required first.

Digital Privacy

The proliferation of mobile digital technology is creating new legal challenges around the world. In light of social evolution, however, the Supreme Court recognized that information contained on a cell phone presents no immediate threat to law enforcement, and that the destruction of physical evidence contained on the phone is not of great enough concern to justify warrantless searches. Further, the Court maintained that much of the information viewable on a cell phone or mobile device is actually stored on servers belonging to wireless carriers and other entities. Accessing information from such entities in other settings requires a subpoena, a court order, or warrant, and a warrantless search incident to arrest should not override those requirements.

If you are facing any type of criminal charges and your cell phone was searched with your consent or a warrant, your Fourth Amendment rights may have been violated. Contact an experienced Arlington Heights criminal defense attorney for assistance with your case. Our team has worked with hundred of clients facing difficult situations and are prepared to help you protect your future. Call 847-253-3100 to schedule your initial consultation today.

Posted in Cell Phone Use, Fourth Amendment Rights, Illinois Criminal Defense Attorney, U.S. Supreme Court | Tagged , , , , , ,

first refusal, Illinois law, Illinois family law attorneyThe right of first refusal is the requirement that a divorced or separated parent always contact his or her child’s other parent to care for the child when he or she needs a babysitter, rather than contacting another relative or a friend. If the other parent cannot take the child at that time, the parent seeking childcare may then seek it from another individual – but only after first offering it to the child’s other parent. This is because, in most cases, it is best for a child to spend time with his or her parents.

In 2013, the Illinois House of Representatives passed HB2992, which amended the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act to allow courts to consider this right when developing child custody arrangements. The amendment provides family courts with the discretion to include the right of first refusal in child custody or visitation orders as appropriate.

The Child’s Best Interests

As with all other decisions related to child custody and child support, the court puts the child’s best interests firsts when developing arrangements for him or her. For most children, having as much time with both parents is in their best interest because it fosters nurturing relationships between the child and his or her parents. The only cases where this is not ideal are cases where the parent has a history of committing violent acts against the child or the other parent or if the parent has a criminal record that includes convictions of crimes against children.

The right of first refusal is one of the many factors the court must consider when determining a child’s custody arrangement. Like with other factors, such as the child’s relationships with each parent and other individuals present in each household, the right of first refusal may be worked into an agreement, rather than used as a single determining factor in a custody case. In some cases, it is unrealistic for a parent to be able to be required to always ask the other parent to provide childcare when he or she needs it – if the parents live in different states or even just a considerable distance from each other, the travel logistics involved with providing the right of first refusal can make it impossible.

Requirements for Parents

Under this amendment to the state’s existing child custody law, the parent who is subject to the right of first refusal requirement must notify the other parent when child-care is needed for an significant period of time. Parents, with the help of the court as needed, must create their own standards regarding the invocation of the right of first refusal. They may decide what constitutes a “significant period of time,” agree upon arrangements for communication and transportation, and any other necessary consideration. To facilitate their enforcement, such arrangements are to be included in the parents’ order for custody or visitation.

Arlington Heights Family Law Attorneys

If you are currently working through a divorce or considering filing for divorce in the near future, call 847-253-3100 to schedule your free consultation with a dedicated Illinois family law attorney at Cosley Law Office. We can answer any questions you have about divorce, child support, and child custody while acting as advocates for you and your child.

Posted in Child Custody, Family Law, Illinois Family Law Attorney | Tagged , , , , , ,

court supervision, Illinois law, Arlington Heights Criminal Defense AttorneyWhen you have been charged with a crime for the first time, it can be very overwhelming. The criminal justice system can seem very confusing, impersonal, and, often, extremely frightening. You probably realize that a conviction on criminal charges can carry serious penalties and greatly impact your future opportunities. In some cases, however, such as a first-time DUI offense or misdemeanor retail theft, you may be eligible for court supervision as a preferable alternative.

Court Supervision Defined

Under Illinois law, for most misdemeanor offenses, a presiding judge may elect to place a defendant under the supervision of the court rather than immediately handing down a conviction. An order for court supervision, in effect, places the criminal proceedings on hold for a reasonable amount of time based on all of the relevant factors in the case. The law limits the length of such orders to a maximum of two years, which may only be extended in very specific circumstances. During the period of supervision, a defendant is expected to fully comply with the conditions set forth by the court, or risk imprisonment and revocation of the order.

Conditions of Court Supervision

Any and all conditions of an order for supervision should be directly related to the defendant’s offense or rehabilitation. Statutorily, such conditions may require that an individual under court supervision:

  • Make regular reports to the court or other designated agency;
  • Pay fines and expenses related to supervision or make contributions to anti-crime programs in lieu of fines associated with conviction;
  • Continue to work or attend school;
  • Undergo medical, psychiatric, or substance abuse evaluation and treatment;
  • Perform community service;
  • Continue to support dependents;
  • Refrain from illegal drug use;
  • Avoid certain people and geographic areas;
  • Refrain from possessing a firearm; and
  • Comply with any other condition found to be reasonable by the court.

Upon successful completion of the supervision period, the court will dismiss the original charges. With a few limited exceptions, the dismissed charges may be eventually eligible for complete expungement from the defendant’s record.

If you have been charged with misdemeanor crime in Illinois, and would like to know more about the court supervision process, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in Arlington Heights. We will help you understand your options and work with you in deciding whether to pursue court supervision or to fight for a full acquittal. Call 847-253-3100 to schedule your consultation today.

Posted in DUI, Illinois Criminal Defense Attorney, Illinois law, Misdemeanors | Tagged , , , , ,