Disorderly Conduct for Filing a False Police Report

joliet disorderly conduct attorney

Earlier this year, headlines across the country were ablaze with reports that an actor had been attacked outside a sandwich shop in the Streeterville neighborhood of Chicago. The actor, an openly gay African-American, reported to Chicago police that he was walking to his apartment when two men approached him, hit him, and put a noose around his neck, all while yelling homophobic and racial slurs and making references to President Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” campaign slogan.

Holes in the Story

In the weeks that followed, details of the story began to fall apart, and authorities started to believe that the actor orchestrated the staged attack. An investigation suggested that the “victim” had paid two men to fake an attack, but his motives for doing so were unclear. The actor was eventually arrested and charged with one count of disorderly conduct for making a false report to police. When additional evidence was presented to a Cook County grand jury in early March, the Grand jury came back with 15 additional counts, one for each statement made to police.

At the end of March, Cook County prosecutors suddenly announced that all of the charges were being dropped against the actor but failed to provide much in the way of reasoning. The mayor’s office, Chicago Police, and other authorities have called for an extensive investigation into the handling of the case by the city and county.

Felony Charges for False Police Reports

While the story of the attack—staged or not—was certainly shocking, many who followed the story were surprised to learn that the actor faced felony charges. Unde r Illinois law , knowingly making a false report to a peace officer that a crime has been committed, is being committed or will be committed falls under the crime of disorderly conduct.

Disorderly conduct, in some instances, can be a relatively minor offense. For example, acting unruly in public and breaching the peace can be considered a Class C misdemeanor for disorderly conduct. Causing a false alarm or making a false report to the police about a crime is much more serious. In this instance, the actor faced 16 Class 4 felony counts, each of which carries a sentence of between one and three years in prison and $25,000 in fines.

It is important to note that making a false report is only prosecutable if the person making the report knows the report to be false. If you make a report to police in good faith regarding a crime that you believe is taking place, has taken place, or will take place, you cannot be prosecuted if you end up being wrong.

Call a Joliet Defense Attorney for Help

If you are facing charges for disorderly conduct in any capacity, contact an experienced Will County criminal defense lawyer . Call 815-740-4025 for a free consultation at the Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba today.

What is Considered an Unlawful Vehicle Search by Police?

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In the United States, certain limitations are placed on how and when police can search a person’s private property. The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution says that citizens have the right “to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures” and that no search warrants should be issued “but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” If evidence used against you in a criminal proceeding was obtained via an unlawful search, the evidence, or entire case, may be dismissed.

Police Can Search Your Car if You Give Them Consent

There are several ways that police have the authority to search an individual’s personal property. One of these is if the owner of the property gives the police consent or permission. For example, if you are pulled over for a traffic infraction and the police ask if they can search your vehicle and you say yes, this is a lawful search. Police may ask in a roundabout way to search your vehicle, saying something like, “You do not mind if I take a look around, do you?” Consenting to vehicle searches automatically makes them legal in the eyes of the law. Citizens do have the right to refuse an officer’s request to search their vehicle, but saying no will not necessarily stop the search from occurring.

Police Can Search Your Car if They Have Probable Cause

Even if you say no to a search, police may still search your vehicle if they have probable cause to believe that evidence of a crime is in the vehicle. Police can also search the car if the driver has been arrested. It is important to note that a minor traffic violation such as speeding is not considered probable cause for a search. If the officers pull you over for a minor traffic infraction but then finds probable cause to suspect illegal items or evidence is in your vehicle, they may legally conduct a search. For example, if you are pulled over for running a red light but officers smell marijuana in your vehicle, they have probable cause to search.

Contact a Joliet Criminal Defense Attorney

If you are facing criminal charges or believe you were victim to an unlawful search, speak with an experienced Distracted driving Will County criminal defense lawyer from the Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba. Contact us at 815-740-4025 today.

Types of Driver Distractions and Consequences for Distracted Driving

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There has been much research conducted on the ability and effectiveness of humans when they multitask. Though many people still say they are good at multitasking, the consensus is that humans cannot multitask efficiently. We often make mistakes when we multitask and we have to go back to figure out what other task we were doing. When it comes to driving, we already have a plethora of tasks to do behind the wheel. Make sure you are going at an appropriate speed, periodically check your rearview and side mirrors, constantly scan the road in front of you, pay attention to other drivers -- the list goes on. When we allow other things to distract us while we are driving, that just adds one more thing to the list. Distracted driving is not tolerated in Illinois and you could face serious consequences if you are caught.

Types of Distractions

There are many types of distractions that could take away your attention from driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that they are three main type of distractions:

Visual: A visual distraction occurs when the driver takes their eyes off of the road. Visual distractions can come from objects both inside and outside of the car. Examples of visual distractions can include looking at a GPS, checking your cell phone or looking at something on the side of the road.

Manual: A manual distraction happens when the driver takes one or both hands off of the wheel for any reason. Manual distractions can include checking your cell phone, eating and drinking, adjusting audio controls and smoking.

Cognitive: Cognitive distractions happens when the driver’s mind is not focused on driving. Though it may seem harmless, thinking about things other than driving can pose a danger to yourself and others. Examples of cognitive distractions can include thinking about family issues, worrying about money and daydreaming.

Consequences for Distracted Driving

The most common type of distraction while a person is driving is from an electronic device or cell phone. In the state of Illinois, using a hand-held electronic communication device while driving is illegal. If you are age 19 and older, you are permitted to use a cell phone as long as you are using it with a Bluetooth headset, earpiece or voice activated commands. If you get into an accident as a result of being distracted while driving, you can face criminal charges ranging from a Class A misdemeanor to a Class 4 felony.

Get in Touch With a Will County Traffic Ticket Defense Attorney Today

It may seem harmless when you are sending a quick text or chatting on the phone while you are driving, but it can be extremely dangerous to take your eyes and mind off the road. If you are caught, you could face serious consequences, especially if you cause an accident. The Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba, P.C. can help you fight a traffic ticket or criminal charges that may stem from distracted driving. Our skilled Joliet traffic ticket defense lawyers will help you determine what your best course of action is. Call our office today at 815-740-4025 to schedule a free consultation.


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