Thursday, February 19, 2015

ILLINOIS GETS NEW EAVESDROPPING LAW

After the former law was struck down as unconstitutionally broad, Illinois has enacted a new eavesdropping statute.

Under the new law, it is illegal to use an eavesdropping device to record private conversations unless all parties consent. (See Illinois Eavesdropping Statute.) A private conversation is defined as oral communication between two or more parties, whether in person or through wire or other means, and where one or more of the parties intended the communication to be private under circumstances reasonably justifying that expectation.

A person commits the crime of eavesdropping when he or she knowingly or intentionally uses an eavesdropping device to surreptitiously overhear, transmit or record a conversation to which he or she is not a party unless all parties to the private communication consent. It is also illegal to disclose any information obtained through that eavesdropping.

Police are not permitted to eavesdrop without a court order unless they were unaware that the communication was privileged.

Eavesdropping as a first offense is a Class 4 felony, punishable by 1 to 3 years in prison. A second offense is a Class 3 felony, punishable by 2 to 5 years. Eavesdropping on law enforcement or the state’s attorney while in the performance of their duties is a Class 3 felony for a first offense, and a Class 2 for subsequent offenses.

If you are charged under the new law or for another criminal offense, contact an experienced criminal law attorney immediately. An attorney can review your case to determine your best possible options. As with most crimes, the state must prove all the elements of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. Did you intentionally eavesdrop? Did the complaining witness really have a justified expectation of privacy?

If you have questions about this or another related Illinois criminal or traffic matter, please contact Matt Keenan at 847-568-0160 or email matt@mattkeenanlaw.com.

(Besides Skokie, Matt Keenan also serves the communities of Arlington Heights, Chicago, Deerfield, Des Plaines, Evanston, Glenview, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Niles, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Rolling Meadows, Wilmette and Winnetka.)

ILLINOIS ENACTS NEW LAW TO PREVENT "REVENGE PORN"

Before the modern digital era, jilted lovers would exact revenge on their unhappy exes by mailing those compromising photos. Once the photos or negatives were destroyed, however, the images were gone. End of problem.

But in these times, things are not so simple. Photos taken by cellphone during an unguarded moment may be impossible to eradicate. And transmitting a damaging image has never been so simple.

As a result, Illinois has enacted a law to ban the dissemination of private sexual images without the subject’s consent. Starting June 1, 2015, it is a Class 4 felony punishable by 1 to 3 years to intentionally disseminate an image of another who 1) is at least 18, 2) engaged in a sexual act or where intimate parts are exposed and 3) is identifiable from the image or information with the image.

If you are charged with this offense, contact an experienced criminal law attorney immediately. An attorney can review your situation to determine your best possible defense. As with most crimes, the state has the burden of proving all the elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. Did you intentionally send the photos? Is the victim identifiable? Were the photos in fact sexual? Even if the evidence against you is overwhelming, an attorney who is respected in the courthouse may be able to negotiate a more favorable plea agreement than you can on your own.

If you are charged with this offense, do not speak about your situation with police or third parties. Any efforts to explain the situation could result in giving the state’s attorney the ammunition they need to convict you.

If you have questions about this or another related Illinois criminal or traffic matter, please contact Matt Keenan at 847-568-0160 or email matt@mattkeenanlaw.com.

Source: Non-consensual dissemination of private sexual images.

(Besides Skokie, Matt Keenan also serves the communities of Arlington Heights, Chicago, Deerfield, Des Plaines, Evanston, Glenview, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Niles, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Rolling Meadows, Wilmette and Winnetka.)