Wednesday, August 23, 2017

RECKLESS DISCHARGE OF A FIREARM IN ILLINOIS

To be convicted of reckless discharge of a firearm, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you 1) recklessly discharged a firearm 2) endangering the bodily safety of an individual. If either of those elements is missing, the state cannot prove its case.

In a recent Illinois appellate case, the court held that that an endangered individual must be someone other than yourself. In People v Grant, the defendant was charged with recklessly discharging a firearm by accidentally shooting himself in an empty room. The court rejected the state’s argument that the defendant was an individual and thus he could be charged because he endangered himself.

Reckless discharge of a firearm is a Class 4 felony, punishable by 1 to 3 years in prison. If the shooting is from a car, the driver of the car may also be charged for the shooter’s actions.

If you are charged with an Illinois offense, contact an experienced criminal law attorney immediately. An attorney can review your case to determine your best defense. Can the state prove all the elements of the offense? Did the police act lawfully when they made your arrest? Was any search for a weapon legal? If not, an attorney can petition the court to suppress any evidence that was illegally taken.

Even if the police acted properly and 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 could on your own.

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.

See also: Reckless Discharge of a Firearm Statute.

(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.)

Friday, August 4, 2017

DID YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO BE THERE? BURGLARY IN ILLINOIS

Suppose you were visiting a public building. You had business in the building and had every right to be there. But while there, you entered an office marked “private,” and stole some cash off a desk. Does that make you a burglar?

In Illinois, the answer is yes. You commit burglary when you enter a building or any part of that building without authority and with the intent to commit a felony or theft. According to Illinois case law, you still entered the office without authority even though you had a right to enter the building itself. The private area need not have a door so long as the space is off limits.

The fact you didn’t know part of the building was off limits may not matter. Illinois courts have held that when a person enters part of a building “with the intent to commit a theft or felony, that person enters that part without authority, regardless of whether that part of the building is normally held open to the public and regardless of whether that person entered the building as a whole with authority.” (See People v Gharrett).

If you have been charged with burglary or another crime, contact an experienced criminal law attorney immediately. An experienced attorney can review your case for its best possible defense. As with most criminal offenses, the state must prove you guilty of each element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. Can the state prove that you lacked authority to be in a building or that you intended to commit a crime? 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 could on your own.

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.)