Category Archives: Drug Charges

St. Charles drug charges defense attorney

The majority of drug possession charges result from a police search of a person’s property. In the United States, citizens have a reasonable right to privacy. Although police are authorized to search an individual or his or her property in some situations, they must follow certain rules and procedures when doing so. When evidence of a crime is uncovered during an unlawful police search, it is possible that this evidence will not be admissible in court. If you or a loved one has been charged with possession of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, or another controlled substance, it is crucial that you know the laws regarding search and seizure of personal property.

When Can Police Search a Person?

The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution gives citizens the right to be free from “unreasonable” search and seizure. However, defining which searches are reasonable and which are unreasonable is not always as straightforward as it may seem. Police can search an individual if he or she:

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St. Charles drug possession defense attorney

In Illinois, it is a crime to possess illicit substances such as cocaine, methamphetamine, or heroin. However, knowing exactly what counts as being in possession of these substances is not always easy. For example, if a passenger drops a small baggie of cocaine in your car, and it is later discovered by police, are you considered to be in possession of the substance, even though it was not technically on your person? It is essential if you are facing drug charges in Illinois to understand the nature of the charges laid against you and to be fully informed of your defense options. Being charged with possession of a controlled substance can result in significant penalties, so it is imperative to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney right away.

The Definition of Drug "Possession"

There are two distinct forms of possession according to Illinois law: actual possession and constructive possession. If you are caught by police with illegal drugs on you, this is considered actual possession. The illicit substance may be discovered in your hand, in your pocket, or in a backpack or purse belonging to you. You may also be charged with actual possession if law enforcement witnesses you attempting to hide or dispose of the substance. For example, if an officer sees you throw something out of your car window while you are being pulled over, you may be accused of being in actual possession of an illicit substance.

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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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