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What is an Attempted Crime in Illinois?

Joliet Illinois attempted crimeUnder Illinois law you may be guilty of a crime even if you have not yet successfully completed a criminal action. Illinois has three main categories of actions that are punishable in the criminal justice system, even if a “full” crime was not committed. These categories are attempt, conspiracy, and solicitation. Sometimes these are called inchoate crimes or offenses. These are crimes that are close to occurring, but have not actually occurred yet. You can be convicted of an attempt of almost any crime.

What is the Legal Definition of Attempt?

The legal definition of an attempted crime is different than the way the word “attempt” is used in everyday language. Because attempted crimes can result in the loss of your freedom, and require a prosecutor to demonstrate your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, the law outlines an attempted crime as having certain elements. The perpetrator must:

• Intend to commit a specific offense;
• Take an action; and
• The action must be a substantial step towards the commission of that offense.

Most cases hinge on whether a specific action is a “substantial step”. If the action was not a “substantial step” someone cannot be found guilty of an attempted crime.

Defenses to Attempt

You have the same defenses available to you that you would have if you were charged with the actual crime. This means you may be able to claim self-defense or defense of others in some instances.

The main defense available for attempted crimes is to attack the elements. You can argue that you did not take a substantial step, you did not take any action, or that you had no intent to commit a crime.

You cannot argue that you misunderstood the facts so that even if you had carried out your actions and plan it would have been impossible for you to succeed. An example of this would be if you thought you had poison, but you really only had water. You cannot argue that it would have been impossible to try and kill someone because you only had water. You still intended the criminal action.

Consequences for Attempted Crimes

Illinois law takes attempted crimes very seriously. In most cases, the sentence for an attempted felony will be up to the maximum prison sentence as a felony under the next lowest class. For example, if you are convicted of an attempted Class 1 felony, you can be sentenced to a maximum prison sentence associated with a Class 2 felony.

You cannot be convicted of both attempt and the actual crime itself.

Being charged, or even accused of a crime is a serious matter. Before you talk to anyone, you need to consult with a skilled and experienced Will County criminal defense attorney. Call the Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba today at 815-740-4025 to schedule your free initial consultation. We are committed to providing you with the high quality legal representation you deserve no matter how dire your situation may seem.

Too Good to Be True Online Deals May Be Stolen Property

Joliet Stolen Property AttorneyHave you have ever scrolled through eBay, or a similar auction site, looking for bargains? With nearly 160 million active user accounts on eBay alone, chances are pretty good that you or someone in your family checks out available deals at least occasionally. Online commerce has created an entirely new opportunity for bargain-hunters, but authorities have issued warning that a large number of auction site deals may, in fact, involve stolen property.

A report issued by the National Retail Federation estimates that as many as one-third of auction and classified site listings for items claiming to be “new in box” or “new with tags” are merchandise that has been stolen from retail stores or warehouses. Such schemes often involve organized retail theft rings, such as the multi-million dollar operation run by four Chicago residents arrested in 2013 for a nationwide string of shoplifting. While the main item of choice for that particular group was computer hard drives, theft rings may focus on stealing clothing, purses, jewelry, or any other items that can be quickly converted to cash through an intermediary known as a “fence.”

While more complex operations may allow the fence to then distribute the merchandise for a profit, smaller-scale thieves often try to fence stolen property online on their own. Loss prevention executives around the country have observed a marked increase in “e-fencing” in recent years. Some thieves have been able to make substantial money in the process, including an Australian university student who was arrested last week with more than $11,000 in merchandise in her dorm, after already netting the same amount in eBay sales.

Officials from eBay have indicated that the online site is committed to combating fraudulent activity and the sale of stolen property through its listings. Retailers and law enforcement agencies, as well, continue to try to track down retail thieves for both legal and commercial purposes. Shoplifters, of course, can face criminal charges, but every stolen item slowly but surely contributes to rising retail prices and necessary markup to compensate for the loss.

If you have been accused of retail theft or buying or selling stolen property, you need an attorney who is dedicated to helping you protect your rights. Contact an experienced Joliet criminal defense lawyer today at the Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba. We will review your case and help you find a favorable resolution, no matter what the charges against you may be. Call 815-740-4025 to schedule your free consultation.

Refusing a Breathalyzer Test

Joliet DUI Breath Refusal AttorneyYou are driving home from a night out with some friends. You have had a few drinks but you feel fine to drive. Halfway home, you see you the blue lights behind you. Immediately, you pull over and start get out your license and registration. The officer comes to your window, asks if you have been drinking, and then asks you to submit to a breathalyzer test. While it may be very tempting to refuse, it is extremely important to understand seriousness of such a decision.

By operating a motor vehicle in the state of Illinois, you are presumed to have granted your implied consent to submit to blood alcohol content (BAC) chemical testing. As such, the office of the secretary of state may impose administrative penalties on drivers fail or refuse testing. While refusing a test is not technically a criminal offense, the administrative penalties can still have a tremendous impact on your life.

If you refuse a BAC chemical test, your driving privileges will be automatically suspended for one year. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may be eligible for driving relief after 30 days. A second or subsequent refusal during a future DUI stop will result in a statutory summary suspension of your driving privileges for 3 years with no relief available.
While a simple license suspension may seem like a preferable alternative to a DUI conviction, it is important to remember that the DUI case against you can proceed without test results. The officer may present his or her observations, along with other proof of your impairment. In fact, your refusal to submit to testing may be presented as a suggestion that you knew you were too drunk to drive.

The criminal penalties associated with a DUI conviction would be imposed in addition to the statutory summary suspension for refusing the test. This means that you could be feeling the effects of your decision for many years to come.

If you have failed or refused BAC chemical testing and are facing charges of driving under the influence, you need the help of an experienced Will County criminal defense lawyer. At the Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba, we understand how to work within the law to find a solution that minimizes the impact to your life and your future. Call us today at 815-740-4025 to schedule your free, confidential consultation and put our knowledge and skill to work for you.

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