Nearly 1,500 Chicagoans were arrested as violence continued across the U.S. as Americans took to the streets to protest the death of George Floyd. Roughly 80% of those facing charges are facing simple disorderly conduct charges. Chances are, many of the misdemeanor charges will be dropped, although disorderly conduct can be charged as high as a class-three felony in certain situations.
253 cases have been handed over to Chicago’s felony review division. Of those, 184 charges remained, the majority of those relating to unlawful possession of a weapon. Another 40 charges were for burglary. The majority of those cases have been approved and will be prosecuted.
What is Felony Disorderly Conduct?
Generally speaking, disorderly conduct is when you are out with your friends and you get a little bit too trashed. You end up picking a fight and the both of you are charged with disorderly conduct. Other acts qualify for disorderly conduct, as well. These can include sleeping on a public bench or making a false claim to police. In most cases, such charges are on par with a traffic offense and do not even constitute crimes.
In other cases, disorderly conduct can be charged as a felony. These include class-3 and class-4 felonies. A class-4 felony carries a possible prison sentence of five years. Types of disorderly conduct that can lead to felony charges include making a false report of a fire or a bomb threat against a school. Class-3 felonies generally involve a bogus bomb threat.
Burglary Charges for Looting
Burglary, legally defined, involves the unlawful entry into a building, vehicle, or storage area for the purpose of committing a felony. The prosecution needs to prove two elements of the case in order to successfully prosecute. Firstly, they must prove that you unlawfully entered a building. Secondly, they must show that your intent was to commit a felony.
Without knowing the details of a lot of these burglary cases, it stands to reason that a number of these cases will be pled down to trespassing. The police will need to present evidence that the individuals that they have in custody did, in fact, take something from the business. Without that, you have no burglary. Evidence that the individuals were on tape removing property from a building would be enough to show intent. Without that proof, the alleged burglars could plead their case down to trespassing, which is a misdemeanor.
Phone Video is Being Used to Make Arrests
The cumulative videos of thousands of people who were present at the lawful protests and the looting will be used to make cases against those charged for related crimes. Additionally, social media is helping police and FBI agents construct timelines of events as they occurred.
Talk to a Chicago Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you have been charged with crimes related to the Chicago protests and riots, call David Freidberg today at (312) 560-7100 and let us begin building your defense immediately.