Wednesday, October 31, 2018

THE ILLINOIS CYBERSTALKING LAW: DEFENSES TO USE OF A TRACKING SOFTWARE

You didn’t want your ex- to think they could outsmart you. So you placed an electronic tracking device on their phone. In so doing, you have violated the Illinois cyberstalking law, which prohibits knowingly, surreptitiously, and without lawful justification, placing electronic monitoring software on an electronic communication device as a means of harassing another person.

However, you may have a defense. There are two exceptions to this rule:

1) The software installer gave clear notice regarding the use of the specific type of tracking software or spyware in advance to the device’s owner or primary user.

2) You obtained written or electronic consent of all owners and primary users of the device on which the tracking software is installed. However, you must have sought the consent through a mechanism that does not seek to obtain any other approvals from the owner or primary user.

Under the law, an electronic communication device may include a wireless telephone, personal digital assistant, or a portable or mobile computer. Electronic monitoring software means any software or application that surreptitiously tracks computer activity and then records and transmits the information to third parties with the intent to cause injury or harm.

Apart from the above defenses, can the state prove you acted knowingly or that you used the device to harass your ex-?

If you have been charged with cyberstalking, contact an experienced criminal law attorney immediately. An attorney can review your case for its possible defense. As with most crimes, the state must prove you guilty of all the elements of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. Can the state prove your use of the tracking software was surreptitious? Even if the evidence against you is overwhelming, an attorney who is respected in the court house 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.

Source: Illinois Cyberstalking Law.

(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.)

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

THE CRIME OF POSSESSING A METHAMPHETAMINE PRECURSOR IN ILLINOIS

Under certain circumstances having a box of Sudafed can turn into a Class 4 felony.

In Illinois, you may not knowingly purchase, receive, own or otherwise possess any product that contains a methamphetamine precursor if you already have been convicted or have received supervision for a methamphetamine offense.

However, there is one exception to this law. You can still get that box of Sudafed if it has been properly prescribed.

If you have been charged with a crime, contact an experienced criminal law attorney immediately. An attorney can review your case for its best possible defense. Did the police have probable cause to search for the drugs? The state must also prove all the elements of your offense beyond a reasonable doubt. Can the state prove you had a prior methamphetamine offense? Did you have a valid prescription?

Even if the police acted lawfully and the evidence against you is overwhelming, an attorney who is respected in the court house 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.

Source: Methamphetamine and Community Protection Act.

(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.)

Monday, October 8, 2018

THE CRIME OF SEXTING IN ILLINOIS

Texting can be a little too easy and nearly instantaneous. If you are angry or otherwise impaired, there isn’t much standing between you and your own bad judgment. So you hit send on that ill-advised message and the next thing you knew, the police were at your door.

In Illinois, you sext when you send messages or use obscene, lewd or immoral language with the intent to offend by means of the telephone. Your intent to offend can be inferred from your use of obscene, lewd or immoral language. (See Illinois Transmission of Obscene Messages Law).

A first sexting offense is a Class B Misdemeanor. However, later offenses can be charged as a Class A Misdemeanor with a minimum of 14 days in jail. Under certain circumstances, sexting may become a Class 4 felony, for example, if you threatened to kill the victim, you were on probation at the time, or you had 3 or more similar violations within a 10 year period. Further, it is a Class 4 felony if you, as an adult, sext someone under age.

If you have been charged with sexting, contact an experienced criminal law attorney immediately. An attorney can review your case for its best possible defense. As with most crimes, the state must prove all the elements of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. Can the state prove that you intended to offend? Was the language you used truly lewd or obscene? 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.)

Monday, October 1, 2018

CAN YOUR ROOMMATE LET POLICE SEARCH YOUR HOUSE?

The police came to your home while you were away. Police asked your roommate if they could search your room, and he said, “Sure, why not?” As a result, police found drugs under your mattress. Now you are under arrest.

Is your roommate’s consent to the search legal?

Under the Fourth Amendment, police may not search your home without a warrant unless they have a valid exception such as consent. Consent may be given by someone with either actual or apparent authority. Your roommate has actual authority to allow the police in to the areas that the roommate rents or occupies. But what about your areas? Does your roommate have the apparent authority required to let the police into your room?

Apparent authority exists if the facts available to an officer at the time of a search would allow a person of reasonable caution to believe that the consenting party had authority over the property to be searched. When the consenting party is your spouse, the law presumes that the spouse has authority to allow a search of all areas in your homestead.

In People v Mojica, the defendant’s wife allowed the police to search his detached garage. The defendant argued that no reasonable officer could believe that his wife had apparent authority where she did not have a key and had not entered the garage for some time. The court rejected defendant’s argument. The wife never told police she was denied access to the garage. The officer could reasonably believe that as a spouse, the wife had authority to enter the garage but rarely choose to do so.

In another Illinois case, the defendant’s girlfriend allowed officers to search his coat in a shared closet. The court held that the officers could reasonably believe that the girlfriend had apparent authority to consent. The closet was not locked or private but held the apartment’s washer and dryer and was accessible to all eight residents of the home. (See People v. Burton, 409 Ill. App. 3d 321, 349 Ill. Dec. 829, 947 N.E.2d 843 (2011).)

Illinois courts have rejected apparent authority where a driver consented to the search of a passenger’s purse or where defendant’s social guest gave the consent. (See People v James and People v. Pickens, 275 Ill. App. 3d 108, 211 Ill. Dec. 823, 655 N.E.2d 1206 (1995).)

If you have been charged with a crime, contact an experienced criminal law attorney immediately. An attorney can review your case for its best possible defense. Perhaps the person consenting to the search did not have authority—either actual or apparent—to do so. If so, an attorney can petition the court to suppress the evidence from the search.

. Even if the police acted properly and the evidence against you is overwhelming, an attorney who is respected in the court house 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.)