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Are the Police Allowed to Lie to Me in Illinois?

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Will County criminal defense attorney

Being charged with a criminal offense can be a confusing and overwhelming experience. If you have been accused of drug possession or distribution, a weapons violation, theft, domestic violence, or another crime, it is essential to know your rights. Criminal defendants are afforded rights by the U.S. Constitution and other legislation. Among these important rights are the right to due process, the right to an attorney, and the right to avoid self-incrimination. However, the rights of suspects and criminal defendants are limited. One issue that is commonly misunderstood is whether police are allowed to lie to individuals suspected of a crime.

Understanding the Tactics Police May Use During a Criminal Investigation  

There are many myths regarding police conduct during interrogations and investigations. One popular myth is police officers must always identify themselves as police. You may have heard that a law enforcement officer has to tell you that he or she is a police officer if you ask him or her. This is simply not true. Police are authorized to lie about their identity – even when directly asked.

Furthermore, police are permitted to lie to suspects during a criminal investigation. While interrogating a suspect, the police may claim that they have evidence that they do not actually have. They may even claim that another criminal suspect has confessed and implicated the suspect in a crime. These are only a few of the tactics police may use to encourage a suspect to confess or to gather information about an alleged crime. This is why it is essential for criminal suspects to decline police questioning until their attorney is present. You have the right to remain silent because you have the right to avoid incriminating yourself. One of the best ways to reduce the chances of a criminal conviction is to assert your right to remain silent and calmly ask for your attorney.

What Is the Difference Between Lying and Entrapment?

Law enforcement officers are subject to restrictions when it comes to lying. Police officers cannot, for example, threaten a criminal suspect or the suspect’s family with physical violence in order to elicit a response. Police officers are also prohibited from coercing an individual to commit a crime who would not have otherwise committed the crime. This is referred to as “entrapment.” There is a thin line between a legal “sting operation,” in which an undercover police officer pretends to be a regular citizen, and entrapment. If you suspect that you were the victim of entrapment, contact an attorney right away.

Contact a Joliet, IL Criminal Defense Attorney

If you or a loved one have been accused of a crime, a skilled Will County criminal defense lawyer from the Law Offices of Tedone & Morton, P.C. can provide the legal advocacy you need. Our team understands the tactics that police use during interrogations and can help you avoid self-incrimination. We can help you build a strong defense against criminal charges. Call us today at 815-666-1285 or 815-733-5350 to schedule a free, confidential consultation.



Plainfield, IL criminal defense attorney robbery

According to Illinois law, a robbery occurs when a person took property that did not belong to him or her from another person by use of force or the threat of force. If the alleged perpetrator possessed a firearm or other weapon at the time of the offense, he or she may be charged with armed robbery. If you or a loved one have been arrested and charged with robbery, you may be shocked and unsure of what to do next. Being charged with a violent criminal offense has the potential to change the alleged perpetrator’s life forever. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you build a strong defense against the criminal charges.

Penalties for Robbery in Illinois

Robbery is typically a Class 2 felony in Illinois punishable by up to seven years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to $25,000. If the robbery took place at a rehabilitation facility, church, school, or childcare facility, or the offense was committed against an elderly or disabled person, robbery becomes a Class 1 felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison. Armed robbery is a Class X felony. In Illinois, Class X felony offenses may result in life in prison. As you can see, the criminal consequences of robbery or armed robbery are severe. It is important to get started on your defense right away.

Possible Defenses Against Robbery Charges

To secure a conviction for robbery in Illinois, the prosecution must prove several elements. They must prove that:

  • You took property directly from a person or took the property in the person’s presence

  • You took the property through the use of force or the threat of force

  • You possessed a weapon at the time of the offense (if you have been charged with armed robbery)

The prosecution must prove these elements “beyond a reasonable doubt.” This burden of proof is the highest and most difficult to attain. You may be able to avoid a conviction if you and your attorney can show that the burden of proof has not been met. Often, this is accomplished by showing that the evidence against the criminal defendant is not substantial enough to meet the high standard needed to convict someone of a crime. It may also be accomplished by presenting evidence that negates the allegations brought against the defendant. For example, if the defendant can prove that he or she was at work at the time of the robbery, the prosecution may be unable to overcome this alibi. Evidence such as eyewitness statements, security camera footage, and police reports may be used to strengthen a criminal defendant’s case.

Contact a Plainfield, IL Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you or your loved one is facing charges for robbery in Illinois, contact the Law Offices of Tedone & Morton, P.C. We can help you build a strong defense against the charges and ensure that your rights are not violated. Call the Joliet office at 815-666-1285 or the Plainfield office at 815-733-5350 to schedule a free, confidential consultation with our reputable Will County criminal defense attorneys.



Plainfield, IL criminal defense attorney robbery

Theft crimes are taken seriously in Illinois, with penalties that can include hefty fines and jail time. Typically, robberies are charged as felonies in Illinois. However, when preparing a defense, attorneys and robbery defendants have a few standard tools at their disposal. Most of these strategies amount to convincing the jury that the prosecution’s evidence does not prove a defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. With a well-structured defense and a capable, experienced criminal defense attorney, you have a strong chance of avoiding or limiting robbery charges. 

Defenses for Robbery Charges

Before you defend against robbery charges in court, you and your attorney are likely to choose between two routes: Either claiming innocence and arguing that the prosecution’s evidence does not prove guilt, or admitting guilt but arguing that the details of the crime remove accountability.

If you want to claim innocence in court, you will have to provide evidence that undermines the prosecution’s argument. For example, if you can produce an alibi with verification from several witnesses, it would be difficult for prosecutors to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the crime if your evidence shows that you were not where they claim you were. Sometimes, even if you lack proof that strongly contradicts the prosecution’s claims, you can contest the validity of certain unreliable forms of evidence. Low-quality security cameras might lack the necessary details to prove that you were at the scene of the crime, and eyewitness testimony can be fickle. 

To fight charges without a strong argument against the prosecution’s evidence, you and your attorney can opt for an affirmative defense. You will admit guilt but will suggest that your actions were beyond your control. For example, if you were involuntarily intoxicated, you can argue that you cannot be charged because the circumstances of the crime were utterly devoid of conscious intent. Some states allow robbery defendants to use a voluntary intoxication defense, but in general, Illinois does not. 

Entrapment is a less common defense because it is difficult to prove. Even if another party coerced you into committing a robbery, if there was any indication of prior intent to commit the crime, an entrapment defense would not sustain a prosecutor’s attacks. Similarly, if a defendant committed a robbery because he or she was threatened, he or she can argue that the crime was committed under duress. Like an entrapment defense, it can be difficult for a defendant to prove that he or she experienced sufficient fear to justify his or her actions.

Contact a Joliet, IL Criminal Defense Attorney

With the right defense, you can be confident in a positive outcome when you bring your robbery case to court. If you or someone you know is facing any type of theft charges, speak with a trustworthy criminal defense attorney as soon as you can. To schedule a free consultation with a diligent Will County robbery defense lawyer, call the Law Offices of Tedone & Morton, P.C., today at 815-666-1285 or 815-733-5350.




Will County armed robbery defense attorney

An act of robbery becomes “armed robbery” when an offender carries and/or uses a weapon during the commission of the crime. Weapons may include firearms, knives, and other objects that can cause bodily harm to a victim. This is why armed robbery is classified as a violent crime with more severe punishments than simple robbery in Illinois. It is important to understand the difference between the two offenses and the consequences if you are accused of them. A skilled criminal defense attorney can explain your options for defending against these serious charges. 

How Does Illinois Define Robbery?

According to Illinois law, robbery is the act of taking property from a victim using threats of violence. However, “property” does not include a motor vehicle, since that is covered in a separate law. Charges of robbery can be elevated to aggravated robbery when:

  • The alleged robber tells the victim that he or she has a weapon (such as a gun, switchblade, or ax) during the crime, but he or she actually does not

  • The alleged robber takes property after delivering a controlled substance to the alleged victim without their consent

  • The victim of the robbery is over the age of 60 

  • The victim of the robbery is physically disabled

  • The robbery occurs in a school, daycare center, or place of worship

Simple robbery is punished as a Class 2 felony, while aggravated robbery is elevated to a Class 1 felony. Each charge is punished with a prison term and fines; up to seven years and up to 15 years respectively. Felony charges may be punished by fines of up to $25,000.

How Does Armed Robbery Differ?

There are different variations of the armed robbery law, all of which have penalties that grow more severe depending on the nature of the offense. All acts of armed robbery are considered a Class X felony with baseline punishments, including a prison term of up to 30 years and fines up to $25,000. Simply carrying a non-firearm weapon during the crime will see the offender face the above punishments. Prison terms are extended depending upon the seriousness of the crime:

  • 15 years are added to the term if the offender carries a firearm during the crime

  • 20 years are added to the term if the offender discharges a firearm during the crime

  • 25 years or up to the remainder of natural life is added to the term if the offender discharges a firearm that subsequently causes bodily harm or kills a victim

Contact a Joliet, IL Criminal Defense Attorney

Violent acts are serious and can be life-altering for both the victim and the alleged criminal. However, there are ways to defend against armed robbery charges, especially if the allegations are false. If you or someone you know is accused of this serious crime, it is imperative that you hire a lawyer from the Law Offices of Tedone & Morton, P.C. who can help build a solid defense strategy. To schedule a free consultation with a tenacious Will County violent crimes defense lawyer, call our office today at 815-666-1285.




Is Cyberbullying Considered a Violent Crime in Illinois?

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Plainfield, IL violent crimes defense attorney

Social media has many benefits, but certain online sites also make it easier for teens and adults to “cyberbully” one another. Cyberbullying is defined as an act of demeaning, humiliating, or even threatening the safety of someone else through electronic means such as email, social media, and text messages. This type of behavior can be classified as harassment, which can have negative consequences. Harassment can leave deep scars on the mental health of a person, and this is especially true for young people. The victims of cyberbullying often engage in self-harming, and in some cases, they have gone on to commit school shootings. With this in mind, cyberbullying could be considered a violent crime in Illinois.

Does Illinois Have a Cyberbullying Law?

According to a recent study from Rasmussen College, 58 percent of teenagers admitted to being bullied online. 75 percent of kids admitted to having visited websites that focus on hateful comments about another minor, and 70 percent witnessed bullying via social media. It took some time, but cyberbullying is now enforced in Illinois, and legal punishments may be appropriate in order to put an end to online bullying. Illinois has an Anti-Bullying Law, which covers both face-to-face bullying and cyberbullying. It also covers acts of bullying that do not happen on a school campus. This way, a student can feel comfortable letting teachers or administrative staff know that he or she is being bullied online so action can be taken against the perpetrators.

Behaviors that are considered criminal include the following:

  • Harassing someone based on gender, race, or another protected status or distinguishing characteristic

  • Making violent and/or death threats

  • Making obscene phone calls or sending harassing text messages

  • "Sextortion" or child pornography

  • Stalking

  • Taking photos of someone to invade their privacy

What Are the Punishments for Cyberbullying?

While posting a demeaning comment online may seem like an innocuous activity, certain types of posts or actions could result in criminal consequences, including charges related to harassment or stalking. However, for teenagers, the social and academic punishments can seem just as severe as any legal action that can take place after cyberbullying someone.

In the state of Illinois, students who cyberbully can face any of the following penalties:

  • Suspension from school for up to 10 days

  • Expulsion from school for a period that does not exceed two years

On top of that, any legal action that takes place will result in a negative mark on the bully’s record. In the long run, one "inappropriate" comment that is made online can hinder a person’s ability to get into a desirable college or get a decent job.

Contact a Joliet, IL Cyberbullying Defense Attorney

Although many may not consider cyberbullying a violent crime, it can lead to violent outcomes. It is best to not engage in hateful behavior on the Internet, since this will not only avoid causing serious harm to another person, but it will also make sure you do not face legal consequences. If you or someone you know has been accused of cyberbullying, hire a lawyer from Tedone & Morton, P.C. to help build a strong defense strategy on your behalf. To schedule a free consultation with a Will County criminal defense lawyer, call our office today at 815-666-1285.




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