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Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney
Former Cook County Felony Prosecutor

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Charged with One of These Common IL New Year’s Eve Crimes?

You’ve counted down the last moments of 2022, and now 2023 is here – it’s time for a fresh start. However, moving on from the previous year can be a bit more complicated if you’re facing criminal charges from the last minutes of 2022.

Some crimes commonly get people arrested in Illinois on New Year’s Eve. But just because they’re common doesn’t mean they’re not serious. Quite a few common crimes perpetrated on the last day of the year can haunt you for years afterward.

Here is what you need to know about crimes that get people arrested more often on New Year’s and what those crimes can mean for your future.

Public Intoxication

Public intoxication is a tricky thing in Illinois. That’s because it is not illegal in the state to be drunk in public as long as you’re over the age of 21. The government has passed laws that make it illegal for any local or state government to make laws against those who are drunk in public because they see it as discriminating against those who may have substance abuse issues.

However, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle while intoxicated or walking on the street (stick to the sidewalks). It’s also unlawful to physically control other vehicles, such as boats, snowmobiles, scooters, and other equipment. Doing so can land you in jail and cause you to lose your driver’s license under Illinois law.

Assault

It’s unfortunate that this holiday also sees a rise in assaults. Assault in Illinois is causing a person to feel afraid for their physical safety. Putting up your fists and threatening to be violent toward another is assault, but threatening someone with words alone is not. Perpetrating an act of assault against someone who is a member of your household or family can get you in trouble for domestic assault as well.

If you are found guilty of assault in Illinois, then it’s typically a Class C misdemeanor. Assault can imprison you for up to a month and make you liable for fines of up to $1,500. You may also be subject to probation for several years and must complete community service hours.

Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney 2023

Criminal Property Damage

It is illegal in Illinois to destroy or damage property that belongs to another. You may sometimes hear this crime referred to as criminal mischief or vandalism. Property damage or putting someone in harm’s way due to property damage is the primary issue.

Criminal property damage is committed by doing things such as ramming a car with a car, lighting a fire in someone’s backyard, poisoning your dog, or even smashing a window to your home. The damage can be small or large. As long as it’s with malicious intent, it’s criminal property damage.

Being found guilty of criminal property damage in Illinois can be a Class A or B misdemeanor, or a felony, depending on the property’s value, what was damaged, and who the target was. If you are found guilty of a misdemeanor, it can send you to jail for up to one year and make you responsible for thousands of dollars in fines. If it’s a felony charge, you can go to prison for up to 15 years and pay as much as $25,000 in fines.

 

About the Author:

Andrew M. Weisberg is a former felony prosecutor who now serves as a defense attorney in the greater Chicago area. He has extensive experience handling all types of criminal cases, from sex offenses and domestic violence to retail theft-related crimes, murder, and drug crimes. His work has been recognized by Avvo, Expertise, National Trial Lawyers, and others, and he has been featured on countless news outlets for his experience and knowledge in criminal law.

 

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