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Elgin IL criminal defense attorneyIf the police find evidence of illegal drugs on your person or property, you may be at high risk of a conviction on drug charges. However, if that evidence was obtained through an illegal search and seizure, your attorney can help you stand up for your rights and fight for that evidence to be excluded, which may help you avoid a sentence. There are several ways in which a search and seizure can be unlawful, and your lawyer will help you determine if any of them is a factor in your case.

How the Fourth Amendment Addresses Illegal Search and Seizure

The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states that “the people have a right to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.” According to the Fourth Amendment, for a search and seizure to be legal, the officers must either have your permission to search your home, your vehicle, your person, or your other property, or they must have a judge-approved warrant to search those same places. 

In Illinois, however, there are a couple of exceptions to the warrant requirement:

  • Probable cause accompanied by exigent circumstances—The police may not need a warrant for a search if it is “accompanied by exigent circumstances,” meaning there is not enough time to get a warrant before either evidence gets destroyed or the safety of people is put in jeopardy.

  • Search incident to arrest—An arresting officer is permitted to search the immediate area surrounding the person being arrested without a warrant, especially if that area might contain evidence that could be destroyed or weapons that could be used to create a dangerous situation.

How Illegal Search and Seizure Can Help Your Defense

If the arresting officers obtain the evidence of your drug possession illegally, you can make the case to dismiss it from the proceedings. Circumstances leading to an illegal search and seizure include: 

  1. No Permission Given and No Warrant—In many cases, a search without your permission and without a warrant will be considered illegal, which would mean any evidence collected could be suppressed from the trial.

  2. No Warrant and No Exceptions Met—Without a warrant, and without meeting the aforementioned exceptions in Illinois, it can also be argued that the search and seizure was illegal.

  3. No Probable Cause—Obtaining a warrant requires the officer to demonstrate probable cause to suspect they will find evidence of a crime. If your attorney can argue that the police had no legitimate reason to suspect you or search you, then the search might have been illegal.

  4. Flawed Warrant—Not all warrants are created equal. Some warrants miss critical information and lack specific details, rendering them unusable and unlawful.

  5. Overstepping Warrant Grounds—Warrants generally must specify the type of evidence sought, and if an officer tries to expand the search beyond the scope of the warrant, some evidence could be considered illegally obtained..

Contact an Elgin, IL Drug Charge Defense Attorney

Illegal search and seizure is a violation of your constitutional rights, and a skilled Aurora, IL criminal defense lawyer can help you ensure that it is not used against you in a criminal trial. Reach out to the Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola at 847-488-0889 for a free consultation with an attorney who will protect your rights.

 

Sources:

https://www2.illinois.gov/osad/Publications/DigestbyChapter/CH%2043%20Search%20and%20Seizure.pdf

https://constitutioncenter.org/interactive-constitution/interpretation/amendment-iv/interps/121

https://www.moneycrashers.com/legal-myths-criminal-law-arrested/

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Elgin IL reckless driving defense attorneyWhile both aggravated speeding and reckless driving are more than minor traffic violations, they are still separate and different charges, each carrying with them relatively severe penalties. In some cases, the two can be compounded with other charges, making for an especially challenging case to manage and difficult punishments to handle.

What Is Aggravated Speeding?

Speeding may seem like a minor and oftentimes innocuous traffic violation, at least relative to other dangerous behaviors, but there are instances when speeding is not simply a minor infraction. As speed increases, it can become more and more dangerous, and excessive speeds can result in aggravated speeding charges under Illinois law.

According to state law, aggravated speeding occurs when the driver is speeding above the local limit by 26 miles per hour or more. In cases of 26 mph to 34 mph above the limit, the crime is considered a Class B misdemeanor by Illinois law, and in cases when the speeding is 35 mph or more above the speed limit, it is considered the more severe Class A misdemeanor. 

Depending on the severity of the aggravated speeding charge, offenders might face fines of up to $2,500, up to one year in county jail, and suspension of their drivers’ license. Aggravated speeding charges can also lead to higher car insurance rates, and even a permanent mark on the driver’s criminal record that may be ineligible for expungement.

What Is Reckless Driving?

Reckless driving is any driving that puts the safety of people or property at risk. In other words, according to Illinois law, it is the “willful disregard” for the public’s safety while driving. Many behaviors can be considered under this particular charge, including excessive speeding above the local limits, driving drunk, running a red light, tailgating other vehicles, weaving in and out of traffic, and texting while driving. Reckless driving is classified as a Class A misdemeanor in Illinois. Penalties include up to $2,500 in fines and up to one year in county jail.

Can You Ever Be Charged with Both Reckless Driving and Aggravated Speeding?

Aggravated speeding and reckless driving are both very serious traffic crimes, and they are both treated as such; in fact, many times the two coincide and a driver will be charged with both. Since driving above 20 mph can be viewed as reckless driving and driving above 26 mph is considered aggravated speeding, then driving over 26 mph could result in a charge of both depending on the circumstances surrounding the incident, such as an accident, an injury, or damage to property. 

Contact an Aurora IL Reckless Driving Lawyer

Whether you are facing aggravated speeding or reckless driving charges, or both, you will need an experienced Elgin IL aggravated speeding attorney to help guide you through the process and advocate for your fair treatment under the law. Call the Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola at 847-488-0889 for a free consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-601.5

https://www.isba.org/sections/trafficlaw/newsletter/2015/06/excessiveaggravatedspeeding

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Kane County burglary defense lawyerIf you are accused of burglary, which is considered a felony in Illinois carrying with it harsh penalties, defending your case can be challenging. The prosecution will likely muster all available evidence in an attempt to establish your guilt. However, a skilled defense attorney can help you protect your rights and work to ensure a fair legal process so that you have a chance of avoiding unnecessary penalties. Depending on the situation, here are some defense strategies that your attorney could use.

1: Challenge Assertions of Intent

In Illinois, burglary is defined as unlawfully entering or remaining on a property with the intent to commit a felony or theft. Your attorney may be able to help you avoid a burglary conviction by challenging the prosecution’s attempts to establish your intent. If this strategy is successful, your charges may be dismissed or reduced to a lesser offense like criminal trespassing.

2: Emphasize Procedural Flaws

Your attorney can fight to ensure that your constitutional rights are protected. If there was impropriety in your arrest, or if the prosecution attempts to present evidence obtained through an unlawful search and seizure, your lawyer may be able to make the cases for your charges to be dismissed. Your lawyer can also challenge evidence that may be unreliable or circumstantial.

3: Establish an Alibi

If you were elsewhere at the time the alleged crime was committed, your attorney can help you present evidence and testimony to demonstrate the legitimacy of your alibi. A solid alibi can help you make the case for your innocence, and may lead to a dismissal of charges or a verdict of not guilty.

4: Show That You Were Not in Control of Your Actions

In some cases, it may be possible to argue that the alleged actions that led to your burglary charges were not under your control. This could be the case if you have a mental illness that impedes your ability to control your actions, or if you were forcibly coerced.

Contact an Elgin, IL Burglary Attorney

Though burglary charges can feel difficult to overcome, you have the right to a fair trial, and your attorney can work to present the best possible defense. If you are facing charges, consider contacting an Aurora IL criminal defense lawyer at 847-488-0889 for a free consultation. The talented team at the Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola knows the appropriate strategies to employ during your trial so that they can help you attain a fair outcome.

 

Source:

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K19-1

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Aurora drug possession defense attorneyEspecially during these times of pandemic anxiety, many people may look for ways to relax in the form of opioids and other prescription drugs. You might think this is not a crime because the drugs are not illegal, but if you yourself do not have a prescription for those drugs and yet still possess, use, distribute, or sell them, you may be charged with a drug crime in Illinois. Here are the types of drugs and their possession consequences. 

Types of Prescription Drugs You Cannot Possess without a Prescription

Before the COVID-19 pandemic even arrived in the United States, there was an epidemic of another kind destroying lives: the opioid epidemic. And while the focus these days is primarily on the virulent pandemic, illegal prescription drug use, abuse, possession, sale, and distribution are all common, possibly even more so, during these difficult times. 

Per the Illinois Controlled Substances Act, charges and penalties concerning drugs do not just involve illegal drugs like heroin, ecstasy, and LSD, classified as Schedule I controlled substances; they also include prescription drugs like painkillers and psychiatric medicines that have the potential to put local citizens’ health and well-being at risk if not taken under the proper guidance and supervision of a qualified doctor. Among the most common prescription drugs that people might be charged with possessing in Illinois are:

  • Stimulants (Schedule II), such as Adderall, Ritalin, and amphetamines

  • Opioids and other narcotics (Schedule II), such as morphine, methadone, oxycodone, and hydrocodone. These drugs have brand-names registered as Oxycontin, Percocet, and Vicodin

  • Other pain relievers (Schedule III), like ketamine, codeine, and some steroids

  • Psychiatric drugs (Schedule IV), including anti-anxiety medicines like Xanax, Klonopin, and Valium

What Happens If Charged with Possession of Unprescribed Prescription Drugs

Even if you are not actively taking a prescription drug illegally or selling or distributing it, you can still be charged with possessing certain controlled substances, including prescription drugs, that have the potential to put the safety, health, and well-being of you and others in jeopardy without the guidance of a doctor. Possession of prescription drugs without a prescription, depending on the Schedule of drug and the amount of that drug, can result in anything from a few years in jail to more than 30 years in prison in addition to substantial monetary penalties, including up to $25,000 depending on the severity of the charges.

Contact an Aurora, IL Drug Possession Lawyer

As the pandemic rages on, law enforcement officers are still cracking down on the opioid epidemic. Even possessing a prescription drug without a prescription can land you in jail with significant financial penalties. If you are facing charges, call a Kane County criminal defense attorney at 847-488-0889 for a free consultation. The experienced professionals at the Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola will develop the right strategies that can help you win your case.

 

Sources:

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs5.asp?ActID=1941&ChapterID=53

https://www.dph.illinois.gov/opioids/home

https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/sites/default/files/docs/state_profile-illinois.pdf

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IL defense lawyerWhile there are many similarities between a misdemeanor and a felony, the single most central commonality being the fact that they are both categories of criminal offenses in the Illinois justice system with which you can be charged, there are major contrasts that can mean the difference between not much time in jail and low fines to major prison time and substantial fines. Here is a closer look at the differences between felonies and misdemeanors in Illinois.

Definitions and Examples

Ultimately, the primary difference between a misdemeanor and a felony is the severity of the crime. The Illinois criminal justice system views certain crimes as less serious than other crimes, which is why they are separated into these two categories and then delineated into different classes with different penalties (shown below). The following is true of misdemeanors and felonies in Illinois:

Misdemeanors—These are not as serious as felonies, but they can still cause damage to your life and reputation, including affecting your opportunities for employment, housing, finances, and education. Fortunately, with the right lawyer, some misdemeanors can be expunged. Examples of misdemeanors include:

  • Assault and battery
  • Theft
  • DUIs and other drinking-related charges
  • Drug possession and other drug-related charges
  • Sex crimes

Felonies—These are more serious than misdemeanors; in fact, they are the most serious of criminal classifications. This means the penalties are steep. It also means that many felonies can never be expunged from your record as they can with misdemeanors; in other words, depending on the felony, you might be branded a felon for life as having committed these types of crimes in Illinois. Examples of felonies include:

  • Burglary
  • Forgery
  • Stealing cars
  • More severe drug charges, sex crimes, or DUI

Classes and Associated Penalties

Depending on what you are being charged with, there are different classes of penalties for misdemeanors and felonies. Here is a summary of each:

Misdemeanors:

  • Class C Misdemeanors lead to penalties up to the following:
  • Fines of $1,500
  • 30 days in jail
  • Class B Misdemeanors carry with them these penalties:
  • Fines up to $1,500
  • Up to 30 days in jail
  • The consequences of Class A Misdemeanors include:
  • Fines up to $2,500
  • Up to a year in jail

 Felonies:

  • Class 4 Felonies lead to the following penalties:
  • Fines up to $25,000
  • Up to three years in prison
  • Class 3 Felonies carry with them the following consequences:
  • Fines up to $25,000
  • Up to five years in prison
  • Class 2 Felonies could result in the following punishments:
  • Fines up to $25,000
  • Up to seven years in prison
  • Class 1 Felonies could lead to these penalties:
  • Fines up to $25,000
  • Up to 15 years in prison

Other than the consequences for homicide, Class X Felonies are the most severe in penalties, requiring the following punishments to be served:

  • Fines up to $25,000
  • Up to 30 years in prison

Contact a Kane County Felony Defense Lawyer

If you are facing felony or misdemeanor charges, call an Aurora IL misdemeanor defense attorney at 847-488-0889 for a free consultation. The Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola will give you a fighting chance in the Illinois criminal justice system because Brian has experience as a prosecutor and knows how to anticipate the prosecution’s arguments to better prepare for your case and convince the judge and jury to deliver a verdict in your favor.

 

Sources:

http://www.icjia.state.il.us/assets/pdf/ResearchReports/Policies_and_Procedures_of_the_Illinois_Criminal_Justice_System_Aug2012.pdf

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=073000050K5-4.5-55

https://www.isba.org/sites/default/files/Media%20Law%20Handbook%20Chapter%2005%20-%20Crimes%20and%20Punishment.pdf

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Avvo Illinois State Bar Association Kane COunty Bar Association
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