parenting time interference, Arlington Heights criminal defense attorneyCrimes where children are the victims carry stiff penalties and are among the type priorities of federal, state, and local law enforcement. The crimes of kidnapping and parenting time interference often overlap, but they also have some important differences.

What is Parenting Time Interference?

While most parenting time disputes are handled within the family court system, sometimes actions cross the line from civil issues to criminal issues. The crime of custodial interference is known as Unlawful Visitation or Parenting Time Interference.

You commit this crime when you detain or conceal a child with the intent of depriving someone of his or her rights to parenting time. There is a provision to the law that allows for this type of activity if the parent has a reasonable fear the child will be harmed or put in imminent danger if the other parent exercises their parenting time.

An example of this crime would be if one parent lied about the whereabouts of a child to keep the other parent from exercising their court-ordered parenting time.

Penalties for Parenting Time Interference

The basic violation of this crime is a petty offense, making it similar to getting a speeding ticket. But, it can also be charged as a Class A misdemeanor is many circumstances. If you are charged with the misdemeanor Unlawful Visitation or Parenting Time Interference, you could face up to a year in jail and $2,500 fine.

What is Parental Kidnapping?

Parental kidnapping is much more than just not letting the other parent exercise their parenting time. The crime of parental kidnapping known as child abduction under Illinois law, involves intentionally concealing, detaining, or removing a child from a court’s jurisdiction in the case where a court order has been issued, when a petition has been filed or served, or without the legal consent of the mother or legal guardian if no court case has been commenced.

If the child is taken outside of the state of Illinois it automatically becomes a federal crime and will involve the FBI.

Penalties for Parental Kidnapping

Child abduction is usually a Class 4 felony. It is punishable by three to six years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000. If there are aggravating factors, child abduction can be charged as a Class 3 or Class 2 felony. This would mean a prison sentence between five and 14 years.

If you have been accused of a serious crime you need to speak with a skilled and knowledgeable Arlington Heights criminal defense lawyer. At Cosley Law Office, our team has vast experience with both the family court and criminal court systems, allowing us to better serve the needs of our clients. A strong criminal defense starts with you understanding your rights. Call 847-253-3100 to schedule your free consultation today.


Posted in Criminal Defense, Parenting Time | Tagged , , , , ,

misconduct, divorce, Illinois divorce attorneyWhen your spouse has engaged in behavior that is destructive to your relationship, it is not unreasonable to want to extract a measure of recompense. If his infidelity or her continued verbal abuse caused your marriage to break down, you may feel entitled to some type of restitution or other consideration to help alleviate your loss. While such a reaction may be a normal part of the grieving process inherent to divorce, the law in Illinois does not really provide such relief.

No Recognized Fault

For many years, it was possible to obtain a divorce on fault grounds in the state of Illinois. Doing so required proof of a spouse’s wrongdoing, which could often be very difficult, but the judgment actually reflected a specific reason for the divorce. Such grounds included adultery, physical or mental abuse, abandonment, habitual substance abuse, and the commission of an infamous crime. Divorce proceedings involving fault, however, were rarely conducive to amicable settlements, which has become a major focus of divorce laws around the country. In keeping with such trends, Illinois has eliminated fault grounds for divorce beginning in 2016. Now, no matter what may have happened within the marriage, a divorce will only be granted on the no-fault grounds of irreconcilable differences.

Property and Maintenance

So, maybe you cannot get the court to acknowledge your spouse’s wrongdoing in divorce judgment. But, it should still be possible to be granted additional financial considerations, right?  Wrong. The statutes regarding property division and spousal maintenance—sometimes called alimony—have long prevented a spouse’s behavior from being taken into account. In fact, the law states that such determinations must be made “without regard to marital misconduct.” This also applies to proceedings for child support, as well. The problem with considering marital misconduct is that it is impossible to place a monetary value on marriage. Requiring a party to pay a certain amount or allocate a certain value of property to the other spouse as retribution would require the court to do exactly that.

Professional Representation for Your Divorce

While you may not be able to ask the court to punish your spouse for his or her behavior, you do have the right to an equitable divorce settlement and we are prepared to help you protect that right. Contact an experienced Rolling Meadows family law attorney today to schedule your free initial consultation. Call 847-253-3100 for an appointment.



Posted in Divorce | Tagged , , , , ,

violent crime, assault, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorneyNews stories and government reports often focus on the numbers and trends related to violent crime. Aside from the obvious social and cultural impact of such actions, the penalties for violent crimes are the among the harshest in the criminal justice system. To provide a level of statewide consistency, many violent crimes carry mandatory minimum sentences.

What Crimes Are Considered Violent?

Violent crimes involve harm or threat of harm to other people. They are considered to be much more serious than property crimes like theft or trespassing. Common examples of these type of offenses in Illinois include:

  • Murder;
  • Sexual assault;
  • Battery;
  • Robbery;
  • Assault and/or battery;
  • Kidnapping;
  • Reckless discharge of a weapon; and
  • Arson.

Domestic violence crimes are also considered violent crimes. If you are charged with a violent crime, bail is likely to be set higher upon your arraignment, if you are eligible for bail at all.

Penalties for Violent Crimes

Violent crimes fall into two broad categories under Illinois law: misdemeanors and felonies. Misdemeanors are punishable by a maximum of up to a year in jail, while felonies are punishable by up to one year or more in prison, including life in prison for some offenses. While some crimes that are based upon threats or minor harm to a person may be misdemeanors, most violent crimes are considered felonies.

Under Illinois law Class 1 and Class X felonies are the most serious kinds of crimes. These crimes carry penalties of anywhere from four years to life in prison. Sexual assault, murder, and kidnapping are examples of these kinds of serious violent crimes.

In many cases, if there is a criminal history of related crimes, penalties will be harsher and probation will often not be considered.

Defenses to Charges of a Violent Crime

There are a variety of defenses available for defendants accused of violent crimes. Because each case is unique, the specific defenses available will depend on the facts of the case. Common defenses include:

  • Police misconduct in the investigation;
  • Mistaken identity;
  • Self-defense;
  • Alibi; or
  • Mental defect or disability that made the defendant unable to understand to do what they were doing or the consequences of their actions.

A successful criminal defense case starts with the defendant. If you have been charged with a violent crime, you need to speak with a tough and knowledgeable Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney immediately. Do not talk to anyone about your case before you speak with a lawyer. Call 847-253-3100 today to schedule a free, confidential consultation and get the assistance you need in protecting your rights.


Posted in Violent Crimes | Tagged , , , , ,