Category Archives: Drug Charges

St. Charles drug crime defense attorney

Many drug possession charges and other criminal charges are the results of law enforcement officers searching the defendant’s property. Being the subject of a police search can be extremely stressful and confusing. When a police officer asks to search your property, do you have the right to deny the request? Your rights regarding searches of your personal property can vary depending on the circumstances, so it is crucial to understand the Illinois laws regarding search and seizure. If you are charged with a crime because drugs or other contraband are found on your property, and the search was not conducted legally, the evidence discovered in the search may not be admissible in court.

Police Searches of Your Home

The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution places limits on when and how law enforcement can search an individual, his or her property, or seize contraband and other items. The Constitution states, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause…” However, in most instances, a police officer may not search or seize an individual or his or her property unless the officer has a valid search warrant signed by a judge or a valid arrest warrant. In some situations, the legal concept of “exigent circumstances” gives police the right to search a home without a warrant. A law enforcement officer has the authority to enter a home or perform a warrantless search if there is a risk of imminent danger, contraband is in plain sight, the evidence is being destroyed, or a suspect is attempting to escape.

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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.

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St. Charles drug crimes lawyer

Illinois is possibly on the verge of legalizing marijuana for recreational use for adults age 21 and older, perhaps as early as Jan. 1, 2020. This would mean residents of the state could possess up to 30 grams of cannabis and non-residents could have up to 15 grams. The decriminalization could also lead to expungement for certain marijuana possession convictions that were made based on the current laws.

Marijuana Possession Penalties 

Currently, if a person is caught with 10 grams or less of marijuana, it is considered a civil violation, which means no jail time and a maximum fine of $200. A first offense with 10-30 grams is a misdemeanor, which could result in a year in jail and up to $2,500 in fines. Anything over 30 grams is a felony, with conviction resulting in anywhere from a year to 30 years in jail and fines up to $25,000.

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Illinois drug charges lawyer

When a child has been exposed to drugs or witnessed drug use by their parent or caregiver, the adults involved may be charged with child abuse or neglect. Child endangerment may also extend to infants who have been born with drugs in their systems. Child abuse or neglect can include any of the following scenarios:

  • Drugs are being manufactured with a child present or in a child’s home;
  • Drugs are being sold or given to a minor;
  • Minors are present during the sale or sharing of drugs between adults;
  • Caregivers are under the influence of drugs and cannot properly care for a child; and
  • Drug manufacturing ingredients are being used or stored with a child present.

Child Abuse and Neglect in Illinois

Drug-related child abuse involves an adult caregiver, whether it is a parent or other household member, or even a babysitter, using, selling, or manufacturing drugs in the child’s presence or where the child lives. This does not mean only inside of the home, but also in the garage, other outbuildings, or anywhere on the property. 

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drug charges, marijuana possession, Naperville criminal defense lawyer, marijuana possession charge, criminal offense chargesAlthough the possession of a small amount of cannabis has been decriminalized in Illinois, you can be charged with a criminal offense for allegedly possessing more than 10 grams of the substance. If you are facing a criminal charge for marijuana possession, you can fight the charge with an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Depending on your case’s circumstances, your defense strategy could hinge on one of the following factors.

You Possessed Less than 10 Grams

Possession of 10 grams of marijuana or less is a civil charge punishable by a fine of up to $200. Possession of more than 10 grams is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500 — for your first offense. For any subsequent offense, possession of more than 10 grams of marijuana can land you in jail for up to six years and leave you on the hook for a $25,000 fine.

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