Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C.

Joliet Office

815-666-1285

Plainfield Office

815-733-5350


Joliet, IL domestic violence defense attorneyChildren learn from the early years of their life what is right and what is wrong. They do this by observing the behavior of their parents, or those adults closest to them. Therefore, if a minor is in a household that experiences acts of domestic violence, the child is more likely to mimic the behavior later in life. According to the Office of Women’s Health (OWH), more than 15 million children live in homes that have experienced domestic violence at least once. These children are more at risk for abusive acts that can lead to being arrested and charged with simple assault.

The Reality of Children Caught in Abusive Households

Illinois law defines domestic violence as any one member of a household causing injury by means of choking, biting, hitting and similar acts to any other member of the household including:

  • Blood relatives

  • Spouses

  • People who share the home

  • Parenting partners

  • People with disabilities and their assistants

When a child is caught in the middle, it does not matter if he or she is being physically abused. The abusive behavior will still affect his or her mental health. The OWH reported that children who witness domestic violence can develop anxiety and depression when they become teenagers. Minors can also experience symptoms of poor self-esteem and even have their physical health be put at risk of diabetes, heart failure, and obesity.

The best thing a parent can do to keep his or her child away from any abusive behavior is to get out of the relationship--however hard it may be--to protect from any negative long-term effects.

How Does a Child Become the Abuser?

Children who see violence happening in the household can think that it is normal behavior and can act violently to either conform or to protect themselves from others. Teenagers can become bullies out of self-defense so they do not have to suffer more abuse.

In many cases, when minors become abusive, they target their violence toward those who share domestic space with them, according to a study done by the U.S. Department of Justice.

The report concluded that one in every 12 cases of domestic violence that was brought to authorities nationwide involved an abuser under the age of 18 years old. It also stated that juveniles are more violent the older they get, as shown by these statistics:

  • 16 percent of reported assaults were by minors under 12 years old.

  • 25 percent of reported assaults were by minors ages 12-17 years old.

  • 44 percent of reported assaults were by recent adults ages 18-25 years old.

These offenders can be arrested and taken to court to face simple assault charges. Depending on the nature of the crime, a child can face time in a juvenile detention facility, fines, and/or community service.

Contact a Joliet, IL Criminal Defense Attorney

Any case of domestic violence should be taken seriously. In many instances, a pattern of abusive behavior starts with parents or adults and transfers to a child in the household. It is important to know that even minors can be charged with simple assault in domestic abuse situations. If you or your child is facing charges of domestic violence, hire a lawyer from the Law Offices of Tedone & Morton, P.C. to help defend you from consequences. To schedule a free consultation with a Will County domestic violence defense lawyer, call 815-666-1285.

 

Sources:

http://www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/women/victims.html

https://www.womenshealth.gov/relationships-and-safety/domestic-violence/effects-domestic-violence-children

https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/ojjdp/219180.pdf

 

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Joliet, IL stalking charges defense attorney

A lot of people do not think of stalking as a form of domestic violence, but it can be just as devastating to a victim as physical abuse. Stalking can come in many different forms, especially now with the prevalence of electronic communication and social media outlets. Illinois law has different categories when it comes to stalking charges, but stalking is generally defined as engaging in conduct that makes another person, the victim, fear for his or her own safety and/or suffers emotional distress. Whether it be actually following someone or harassment through text messages, it is important to know how Illinois law defines the different types of stalking and their penalties if you are ever faced with this kind of charge.  

Types of Stalking

The obvious form of stalking that everyone knows about is the act of one person following another from place to place with the intent to commit bodily harm or even kidnap the victim. However, Illinois also observes stalking as being any of the following:

  • Threatening a victim with bodily harm

  • Sexual assault

  • Restraint of a victim or threats of restraint against the victim’s family

  • Taking unlawful surveillance of the victim without his or her consent or knowledge.

Any person convicted of stalking of this nature will be charged with a Class 4 felony, punishable by one to two years in prison and fines of up to $25,000 for the first offense. Subsequent offenses are charged as a Class 3 felony, punishable by two to five years in prison and fines of up to $25,000.

Stalking becomes a more serious crime when bodily harm or actual abduction occurs. Then, the charges turn into aggravated stalking. The state of Illinois also views the violation of a temporary restraining order as aggravated stalking, which is a Class 3 felony for a first offense. Subsequent offenses will be charged as a Class 2 felony, punishable by three to seven years in prison and fines of up to $25,000.

As the use of social media websites has increased, cyberstalking has become more serious. Illinois law defines this offense as engaging in electronic communication directed toward a victim who becomes fearful for his or her safety or experiences emotional distress. In severe cases, victims have committed suicide as a result of cyberstalking. Any person convicted of cyberstalking can face a Class 4 felony sentence for a first offense and a Class 3 felony for subsequent offenses.

How to Avoid a Stalking Conviction

There are several defense strategies that an alleged stalker could utilize in order to avoid a wrongful conviction:

  • Intent: An alleged stalker could argue that he or she had no intention of causing harm to the victim of the stalking.

  • A mistake of fact: An alleged stalker could say that the incident under investigation was simply a “wrong place at the wrong time” type of scenario and that he or she was not purposefully following the alleged victim.

  • Duress or coercion: The alleged stalker could say that someone forced or persuaded him or her to stalk or harass the victim, and he or she would not have done so without the third party’s involvement.

  • Insanity: The alleged stalker could say he or she was not in the right state of mind to distinguish the difference between right and wrong when the alleged stalking took place.

The above defense strategies are only for stalking charges. Unfortunately, if a person is charged with stalking, he or she can sometimes also face charges of breaking and entering, trespassing, or intimidating a witness.

Contact a Joliet, IL Criminal Defense Attorney

Cases involving stalking are usually complicated and sensitive for both parties involved. These are serious charges that can carry stiff penalties depending on the circumstances of the incident(s). If you or someone you know is facing stalking charges, you need to seek legal counsel so you understand your options for defending against these accusations. The Law Offices of Tedone & Morton P.C. will collect evidence and build a strong defense strategy for you. To schedule a free consultation with a Will County domestic violence defense lawyer, call 815-666-1285 today.

 

Source:

https://victimsofcrime.org/our-programs/past-programs/stalking-resource-center/stalking-laws/criminal-stalking-laws-by-state/illinois

 

Plainfield, IL defense attorneys

In Illinois, burglary and robbery are two different offenses based on the situation. A person can be charged with robbery if property has been stolen from a home or business. According to Illinois law, a burglary charge is what is issued even if no property is taken.

Burglary is defined by Illinois law as entering a building, car, boat, airplane, or motorhome with the intent of stealing property. An act of burglary then becomes an act of robbery when property is physically taken by force.

Burglary Punishments

There are numerous ways a person can commit burglary, and each circumstance can result in a felony conviction. The severity of the punishment is determined by whether the alleged robbery damaged any property during the event.

  • Class 3 Felony: Is charged when there has been no damage to a household, building, car, airplane, boat, or motorhome.
  • Class 2 Felony: Is charged when there is damage done to a household, building, car, airplane, boat, or motorhome. This conviction can result in a prison term between three and seven years.
  • Class 1 Felony: Is charged when a burglary has been committed against a daycare center, school, another childcare facility, or religious center. This charge can result in a prison term between four and 11 years.

In cases of Class 2 or Class 1 felonies, the prosecution can increase the severity of a sentence based on the criminal history of the suspect. In some cases, a conviction can result in a fine of up to $25,000.

Burglary Defense Strategies

With the help of a skilled defense attorney, there are several ways a suspect can defend against burglary charges.

  • Prove Innocence: In many cases, burglaries are committed at night, which makes it difficult for a victim to properly identify suspects. The prosecution has to prove beyond doubt that a suspect really committed the crime.
  • Misunderstanding: In some burglary cases, a homeowner or property owner has previously given a suspect permission to be at the location, and the suspect was simply acting on that agreement.
  • Lack of Intent: In order for there to be a burglary charge, there must be proof of intent to steal property.
  • Entrapment: A suspect can argue that someone else tricked them into committing the crime when they otherwise would not have.

Contact a Joliet, IL Criminal Defense Attorney

If you have been charged with burglary, the first step is to seek the help of a skilled defense attorney. The Will County burglary defense lawyers of the Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C. are ready to fight for the best possible result in your case. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 815-666-1285.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=1876&ChapterID=53&SeqStart=62600000&SeqEnd=63400000

https://criminal.findlaw.com/criminal-charges/burglary-defenses.html

https://statelaws.findlaw.com/illinois-law/illinois-burglary-laws.html

The 29-year-old gunman pleaded to a reduced charge that could see him released from prison in less than four years.

Marcos Camargo,29, pleaded guilty to shooting a man to death but can get out of prison in less than four years. Credit Courtesy of the Will County Sheriff's Department

A plea deal struck Tuesday in Will County Court could spring a killer from prison in less than four years.

Marcos Camargo, 29, copped to second degree murder and agreed to take a 14-year prison sentence.

But Camargo can get out in half that with good time credit, said his attorney, Cosmo Tedone. And Camargo has already served more than three of those seven years in the Will County jailwhile waiting for his case to play out.

"I just think this is a fair disposition based on the facts of the case, the witnesses, their being no forensic evidence, and the fact that somebody did die," Tedone said.

"Even though my client has maintained his innocence all along, this is a fair disposition," said Tedone, who along with attorney Charles Bretz represented Camargo.

Camargo was indicted on charges of first degree murder, aggravated battery with a firearm and aggravated discharge of a firearm in connection with a June 2009 killing in Joliet's St. Patrick's neighborhood.

Assistant State's Attorney Chris Koch said that just prior to the fatal shooting, 17-year-old Alfredo Aguirre and "several individuals" chased another man down an alley between Comstock and Illinois streets. Camargo—who was not being chased—then shot Aguirre to death and also allegedly wounded a second man, 22-year-old Anthony Alexander of Plainfield. Alexander took a bullet to his foot.

Koch said Camargo told detectives he was "shooting low but must have shot higher than he thought." Tedone countered that it was actually Alexander who told that to detectives. Koch told Judge Edward Burmila that it showed Camargo had an "unreasonable belief of self-defense."

Alexander is doing three years and three months in Danville Correctional Center for burglary, possession of cannabis and robbery. Tedone said prosecutors had secured a writ to ship Alexander in from Danville to testify against Camargo.

While the sentence deal has been agreed to, it won't be official unless Judge Burmila imposes it on March 5.

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