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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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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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