St. Charles drug crimes defense attorneyYou probably already know that it is against the law to possess, sell, or distribute controlled substances in Illinois. However, you might not know that in some cases, distributing or delivering drugs can lead to homicide charges. Illinois enacted the Drug-Induced Homicide law in 1989. Under this law, if a person delivers a drug to another person, and that individual dies as a result of using the drug, the deliverer can be charged with drug-induced homicide. Someone convicted of drug-induced homicide in Illinois can face up to 60 years of incarceration.

Illinois’s Drug-Induced Homicide Law Is Hotly Debated

Illinois statutes state that a person commits drug-induced homicide if he or she unlawfully distributes, delivers, or sells an illegal drug to another person, and that person dies as a result of the drug. Drug-induced homicide is a Class X felony offense and is punishable by 15-30 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000. In some cases, the prison sentence for drug-induced homicide can be extended to 60 years. There is a large amount of controversy surrounding this law. Some people believe that it is grossly unfair to charge a person with homicide for selling drugs to another person, and if the other person voluntarily consumed the drugs, then he or she took the risk. Others believe that the magnitude of the current opioid crisis in Illinois necessitates harsh penalties for selling fatal drugs. Since 2008, opioid overdoses have led to almost 11,000 deaths in Illinois. Drug overdoses, in general, are now considered the leading cause of death for people under age 50 in the United States.

Illinois' “Good Samaritan Law”

Drug-induced homicide is one exception to the Illinois “Good Samaritan Law.” The Emergency Medical Services Access Law of 2012 provides protection against being charged with a criminal offense for seeking help for someone who is overdosing. In some cases, if a person seeks emergency medical treatment for another individual who is overdosing, both the person seeking help and the person overdosing are protected from drug possession charges. However, the person seeking help could still be prosecuted for drug-induced homicide if he or she is the one who sold or distributed the drugs, and the overdose leads to death.

...
Continue reading

St. Charles felony DUI defense lawyer

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is against the law in Illinois just as it is in every other U.S. state. If you are caught driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent or more in Illinois, you can be arrested and charged with driving under the influence (DUI). The criminal penalties associated with an Illinois DUI conviction will depend heavily on the circumstances of the offense. Some individuals who are convicted of a DUI may qualify for a diversion program and are able to avoid jail time entirely. Others, however, will face years of incarceration for a DUI conviction. Read on to learn more about Illinois DUI law and what you can do if you have been charged with this serious offense.

Misdemeanor DUI

If you are caught drinking and driving and you have never previously been convicted of DUI, you will likely face a Class A misdemeanor DUI charge. The penalties associated with a first-time DUI conviction include the revocation of your driver’s license for one year, a maximum jail sentence of six months, and a maximum fine of $1,000. You may be able to regain your driving privileges if you participate in the Monitoring Device Driving Permit program (MDDP) and install a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID) in your vehicle. A BAIID works like a breathalyzer and requires the driver to submit breath samples for blood alcohol content (BAC) analysis. A second DUI conviction is also a Class A misdemeanor, but it carries a mandatory minimum jail sentence of five days and a maximum sentence of one year.

...
Continue reading

St. Charles DUI marijuana attorney

If you are like most people, you probably assume that driving under the influence (DUI) only refers to driving while intoxicated from alcohol use. However, this is not the only way that a person can be charged with DUI in Illinois. According to Illinois statutes, it is against the law to drive while under the influence of any drugs or alcohol. Even medical marijuana users or individuals taking prescription medications can be at risk of receiving a DUI if the drug hinders their ability to drive safely.

How Will the Legalization of Marijuana Affect Illinois DUI Laws?

Illinois will soon be the 11th U.S. state to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. House Bill 1438 was signed into law by Illinois Governor JB Pritzker in June 2019, and it will take effect on January 1, 2020. After this date, adults 21 years old or older will be able to legally purchase marijuana, THC-containing edibles, and cannabis concentrate products. However, it is critical for Illinois residents to understand that they are still subject to DUI laws regarding driving under the influence of cannabis even after legalization takes effect. Illinois law prohibits driving under the influence of “any drug or combination of drugs to a degree that renders the person incapable of safely driving.” If you are driving under the influence of marijuana and are stopped by a police officer, you could be arrested for DUI.

...
Continue reading

St. Charles drug crimes defense attorney diversion program

The state of Illinois takes drug-related crimes very seriously. A person convicted of drug trafficking, drug possession, drug manufacturing and distribution, or another drug-related offense can face years or even decades of incarceration. Fortunately, Illinois law allows some drug offenders a certain amount of leniency if they participate in a diversion program. One of the diversion programs available to drug offenders is called 410 probation. The purpose of the 410 probation diversion program is to help drug offenders avoid a permanent criminal record and lead a law-abiding life after a drug-related arrest.

Who Can Participate in the 410 Probation Program?

Not everyone is eligible for a diversion program such as 410 probation. The court will consider a number of factors to determine whether or not a defendant qualifies for participation in a diversion program. These factors most often include the defendant’s past criminal record, any drug or alcohol addictions, his or her mental health, and the circumstances of his or her offense.

...
Continue reading

St. Charles assault and battery defense attorney

Although we often hear the terms “assault” and “battery” together, these are two distinct criminal charges under Illinois law. Being convicted of assault and/or battery can lead to heavy fines, a permanent criminal record, and possible incarceration. Having a conviction for assault or battery on your record can seriously damage your professional opportunities as well as your personal reputation. If you or a loved one have been charged with assault, aggravated assault, or battery, make sure you fully understand the criminal charges being brought against you and how to defend against these serious charges.

What Is the Difference Between Assault and Battery?

The crimes of assault and battery often occur within the same incident or altercation. An assault is defined as behavior that reasonably puts another person in fear of harm, while battery involves the actual infliction of harm or injury. An individual can be charged with assault even if he or she does not physically touch the alleged victim in any way. For example, raising your hand in a way that makes the other person believe you are going to strike him or her can be considered assault. A great number of actions can be considered battery, including slapping, kicking, punching, spitting, and other provoking or insulting contact. You may be surprised to learn that a person does not need to suffer actual bodily harm or pain in order to be considered a victim of battery. Actions that are demeaning or intentionally inflammatory can constitute battery under Illinois law.

...
Continue reading