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 Internet sex crimes defense attorney

Being accused of an Internet sex crime can be absolutely devastating, both personally and professionally. If you are found guilty of an online sex crime such as child pornography or indecent solicitation of a minor, you can face much more than incarceration. You may also be required to register as a sex offender and face a lifetime of social stigma. Finding housing and employment can be nearly impossible when you have a sex-related criminal conviction on your record. If you or a loved one has been charged with indecent solicitation of a minor in Illinois, contact a qualified criminal defense attorney immediately so that you can start building a strong defense against the accusations as soon as possible.

Illinois Law Regarding Online Solicitation of a Minor

Illinois law states that an individual commits indecent solicitation of a child if he or she solicits a person under age 17 to perform sex acts and intends to commit criminal sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, predatory sexual assault of a child, or aggravated sexual abuse. “Soliciting” is defined in the Illinois Compiled Statutes (ILCS) as requesting, demanding, authorizing, inciting, or advising someone to perform a certain act. Solicitation can refer to communications that take place in person as well as over the phone or using Internet communication.

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St. Charles criminal expungement and sealing attorneyEveryone makes mistakes from time to time, and that does not make someone a bad person. Individuals who have arrests or criminal convictions on their records deserve a second chance to live a law-abiding life. Unfortunately, having a criminal record can sometimes prevent a person from gaining the education and skills needed for lawful employment. Some employers outright refuse to hire a person if they have a criminal record – even if the record only shows a minor offense. Obtaining quality housing can also be hindered by a criminal record. If you have been charged or convicted of a criminal offense in Illinois, you should know that you may qualify for record expungement or sealing.

When Can a Criminal Record Be Expunged or Sealed?

You may have heard the terms “expungement” and “sealing” when it comes to erasing a criminal record. If a record is sealed, the information about your criminal charges is hidden from a criminal background check, but police and other government personnel will still be able to view your criminal records. Crimes that involve cruelty to animals, orders of protection, or offenses that require you to register as a sex offender are typically not eligible to be sealed.

When a record is expunged, the offense is completely deleted from your record. You will most likely be eligible for expungement if you were arrested for a crime but never convicted. In some cases, you may be able to have your criminal record expunged if you were convicted of a crime and have completed the sentence, as long as you have not committed any subsequent offenses during a certain waiting period. Similar to record sealing, you are not able to expunge records that include sex crimes involving a minor.

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St. Charles order of protection defense attorneyProtective orders, also called orders of protection or restraining orders, are designed to help protect victims of abuse, stalking, or harassment from being harmed by another person. While these types of orders can be an extremely valuable legal tool for victims of domestic violence, orders of protection can also be misused. If someone has filed an order of protection, and you are named as the respondent, you may not know what to do. Read on to learn about Illinois protection orders and what your options are if you have been issued an order based on false allegations of domestic abuse.

The Basics of Illinois Orders of Protection

There are three main types of protection orders in Illinois: emergency orders of protection (EOP), interims order of protection, and plenary orders of protection. An EOP can be obtained without the alleged abuser being aware of it. EOPs last up to 21 days. A plenary order can be obtained after a hearing with a judge, and it can last up to two years. An interim protection order can be ordered for the time period in between an EOP and the hearing for a plenary order. An order of protection may prohibit you from contacting the petitioner and can require you to stay a certain distance away from the petitioner’s home or workplace. You could also be required to surrender any firearms you own.

How Should I Respond to False Allegations of Domestic Violence or Abuse?

Being falsely accused of stalking, harassment, or physical violence is a terrible ordeal to go through. However, if someone has filed an order of protection against you, and you did nothing wrong, you should still follow the directions in the protection order. This includes not calling or otherwise contacting the petitioner or going near him or her. Failure to comply with a court-ordered protection order can have serious consequences, including both civil liability and criminal penalties. You could even face large fees or jail time for not following the directions contained in an order of protection.

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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.

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