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IL defense lawyerIn the state of Illinois, thousands of people are arrested for drug-related crimes statewide each and every year. While the high arrest totals may suggest minimal criminal ramifications, the reality is that a drug charge can impact your employment status, lead to significant fines, and possibly result in jail time. Despite the fact that recreational marijuana is now legal in Illinois, a person can still face legal consequences for violating the rules outlined in the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act. Below we will examine various drug charges in Illinois, and the importance of hiring a defense attorney you can believe in when facing charges of this magnitude.

Marijuana Charges in Illinois

As mentioned above, a person can still face marijuana-related charges in the state of Illinois. While it is legal for Illinois residents to possess up to 30 grams of marijuana (non-residents can possess up to 15 grams) possessing more than 30 grams is still considered a serious offense. According to Illinois state law, if you are apprehended while possessing between 30 and 100 grams of marijuana, you will face misdemeanor charges, fines up to $2,500 and up to one year in prison. It should be noted that a repeat offender will face increasingly severe consequences. Unlicensed sale of more than 10 grams of cannabis is considered a felony in the state of Illinois. If convicted, a person charged with unlicensed selling of marijuana will face one to three years in prison and fines up to $25,000.

With the legalization of recreational marijuana in Illinois, law enforcement officials are on the lookout for signs of driving while under the influence of marijuana. Police personnel will look for signs and symptoms such as bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, and the odor of marijuana after pulling over a driver on DUI suspicion. A first-time DUI offender will face Class A misdemeanor charges, and a conviction can lead to potential jail-time and license revocation.

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Posted on in DUI

IL DUI lawyerHere in the state of Illinois, law enforcement officials are constantly on the lookout for impaired drivers. Recognizing the fact that drunk drivers cause approximately 30% of all nationwide traffic fatalities, and over 10,000 each year, it should come as no surprise that police officers do everything in their power to prevent inebriated driving. According to the Secretary of State’s office, more than 29,000 people were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, throughout 2018 alone. While the sheer number of DUI arrests could indicate that a DUI conviction comes with limited legal ramifications, this could not be further from the truth. If you have been charged with driving under the influence, it is time to speak with a lawyer.

The Legal Consequences of a DUI

The first thing to understand about the consequences of a DUI conviction is that the charge will go on your permanent record and cannot be expunged. In other words, the conviction will impact your ability to secure employment, loan opportunities, and housing for the rest of your life. A first-time DUI offender will be charged with a Class A misdemeanor if convicted. Along with having a misdemeanor charge on their permanent record, the offender can also face up to one year in prison, and fines as high as $2,500.

It is important to understand that this is the minimum penalty a person will face for a first-time DUI. In the state of Illinois, there are a number of aggravating factors, such as driving without a valid driver’s license or causing serious bodily harm to another party, which can result in your DUI charge being classified as an aggravated DUI. An aggravated classification will result in the charges being elevated from a misdemeanor to a felony and lead to harsher criminal punishments.

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IL defense lawyerIn the state of Illinois, a DUI conviction can come with serious legal consequences. Even a first-time DUI offender will face Class A misdemeanor charges and a minimum revocation of driving privileges for one year. While it is always wise to comply with the requests of the officer and remain composed, it is also important to understand that refusing a breathalyzer test is not a criminal offense. Below we will discuss some of the reasons why you could consider refusing testing during a DUI traffic stop. If you have been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, seek out the guidance of a knowledgeable attorney.

The Consequences

While refusing to take part in a breathalyzer test is not a criminal offense, it is an administrative offense. In other words, because driving is a privilege and not a right, you provide implied consent to submit to a breathalyzer test if requested by law enforcement officials, the moment you become a licensed driver in the state of Illinois. Because of this, refusal to submit to testing will result in a 12-month suspension of driving privileges. A driver that refuses testing will likely be eligible to continue driving with a Monitoring Device Driving Permit (MDDP). A second refusal will result in another suspension, this time for a three year period. A two-time offender will be deemed ineligible for an MDDP.

The Potential Benefits of Refusal

Refusing a breathalyzer test can be the right decision during a DUI traffic stop. First and foremost, a refusal can result in administrative offense rather than a criminal offense on your permanent record. It should be noted that a refusal to submit to a breathalyzer does not always mean the case will be dismissed. A prosecutor will face more challenges proving the DUI charges in court, without the evidence of a blood alcohol content result. The prosecution will rely on the officer’s statement, video recordings, any field sobriety testing that took place, and witness testimony. Without the evidence from a breathalyzer test, your attorney will have a better chance of ensuring that charges are dropped.

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IL defense lawyerWhen Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed a bill in June of 2019, to make marijuana legal, Illinois became the eleventh state in the United States to legalize recreational marijuana use. The new law officially came into effect on January 1, 2020. Last week, thousands of Illinoisans flocked to cannabis stores to legally purchase marijuana for the first time in Illinois. When some people hear the word legal, they immediately think that means no limits. In all reality, Illinois’ new law comes with a number of restrictions and guidelines. If you are facing drug charges, it is time to speak with a skilled legal professional.

Restrictions to the Marijuana Law

First and foremost, while Illinois’ new marijuana law legalizes recreational marijuana use, it does not legalize it for everyone. Much like with the consumption of alcohol, minors under the age of 21 caught using marijuana will likely face criminal charges. It is also important to note that legal does not mean anywhere. You are legally allowed to smoke marijuana in a private residence or in an established smoke area (in a private establishment). Any private business owner can prohibit the use of marijuana on their property. Marijuana use is also prohibited in motor vehicles, in public parks, and in the presence of a minor.

The legalization of marijuana also comes with restrictions on the amount of marijuana one can possess. If you have more than 30 grams of marijuana at one time, you are breaking the law. A person with upwards of 30 grams of marijuana draws suspicion regarding their intent with the substance, and will prompt police to ask if they are attempting to distribute. It is also illegal for recreational marijuana users to grow a marijuana plant in their residence, although it is legal for registered medicinal users. While the new Illinois marijuana law may make you think that marijuana is legal without restrictions, this could not be further from the truth. Educate yourself on the rules of the law, and help yourself avoid serious legal ramifications.

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IL defense attorneyHere in the state of Illinois, severity of drug possession charges can depend on a number of criteria. Much like in many other states, the severity of potential criminal charges will mostly depend on the amount of narcotics and the type of substance. Recognizing the fact that Illinois is facing major issues involving drug use and drug-related fatalities, the state decided to establish the Illinois Controlled Substances Act designed to criminalize possession and intent to distribute certain controlled substances. Below we will discuss how a drug possession charge can impact you, and how you should react if you have been charged with drug possession.

Drug Possession in Illinois

A lot has changed in the past year, as it pertains to drug possession law in the state of Illinois. The Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act will go into effect in January, changing how law enforcement officials will regulate the recreational use of marijuana. With the passing of the new law, a person will now be able to legally possess up to 30 grams of marijuana. If a person is apprehended with anywhere from 30 to 100 grams, they will face misdemeanor charges, up to one year in prison, and fines as high as $2,500.

While the perception and legality about marijuana have changed statewide, the view on other drugs has not. Possession of substances such as heroin, cocaine, and morphine will result in felony charges. If convicted, the person charged could face an incredible $200,000 in fines. If a person is apprehended with upwards of 15 grams of these substances, they could spend anywhere from four to 15 years in prison. Recovering from a drug charge on your permanent record, and crippling fines can be a tall order for any person. Fortunately, a quality legal professional may be able to help you avoid a conviction altogether.

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1555 Bond Street, Suite 103A, Naperville, IL 60563

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