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IL defense attorneyChildren who are exposed to drug usage at a young age are more likely to start abusing drugs themselves. Adults who possess or use a controlled substance can face felony charges which leads to fines, jail time, and probation.

Juveniles who are caught in possession, or using, drugs will not face felony convictions because the Illinois court system focuses on rehabilitation rather than punishment. The hope is to steer young adults away from drug use before they get into real trouble after reaching full adulthood.

Illinois Drug Laws

Juveniles face the same drug rules that adults do, except that tobacco is also considered a “controlled substance” because nicotine is addictive. In July, Illinois raised the legal age to purchase cigarettes and e-cigarettes from 18 to 21 years old.

As for marijuana and other drugs, there is zero-tolerance for minors to possess or use drugs. Adults who are caught selling drugs to minors face twice the amount of jail time than if they sold to another adult. The minors are punished by:

  • Drug counseling for the minor and their parents.
  • Probation in that a minor will be required to attend check-in with a probation officer while also attending school regularly and participating in community service. If the minor is of legal working age, they will also be required to maintain a job.
  • Complete a diversion program which is similar to probation, but less formal because the minor will not have to go through juvenile court to have their probation requirements ordered.

Only in serious cases - or repeat offenses - will a child be sent to detention for drug possession. Aside from a juvenile detention facility, a minor offender can be sentenced to home confinement, foster care, or sent to a juvenile home.

Defending Against Juvenile Drug Charges

While the crime will not usually see a child sent to jail or have a permanent blemish on their record, it is still serious when a juvenile is convicted of drug possession. It can be difficult for the child to receive acceptance into a good college, enlist in the military, or eventually land the job of their dreams.

This is why minors and their parents should seek the help of a criminal defense lawyer who can investigate whether or not:

  • The minor’s rights were compromised in an illegal search and seizure.
  • The minor knew that they were in possession of a controlled substance; prosecution must prove this in order to convict.
  • The police involved acted professionally throughout the arrest of the minor.

A lawyer can also help the parents of the child if it is found out that the adults involved were also in possession of controlled substances. This could lead to child abuse offenses if the parents used the drugs around the minor.

Contact an Elgin, IL Drug Crimes Attorney

Minors have their whole lives ahead of them and a possible drug conviction could change the course of their lives. The lawyers of the Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola can help make sure a minor avoids serious punishment from a drug charge. To schedule a free consultation with a Kane County drug crimes lawyer, call our office at 847-488-0889.

 

Sources:

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

https://norml.org/laws/item/illinois-penalties

https://www.illinoispolicy.org/illinois-becomes-1st-state-in-midwest-to-raise-tobacco-age-to-21/

 

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IL defense lawyerSexual assault is a felony crime in Illinois and can be considered a crime of domestic violence if the abuser is related to their victim.

Illinois law defines sexual assault as one person commits an act of sexual penetration without the consent of the other person involved. Another type of sexual assault is called “statutory rape” in which a person over the age of 18 years old engages in a sexual act with a minor - under 18 years old. Even if the minor gives consent, they are not considered old enough to be able to give proper consent and the adult can be charged with sexual assault.

According to Illinois Law

Illinois legislation reports that most cases of sexual assault are not even reported, let alone convictions made. Approximately only one in five reported cases end in a conviction; the number is so low because of the impact in which sexual assault takes on the victim.

Victims tend to face long-term mental scars after an attack. Not all of them are able to relive the trauma in order to bring their abuser to justice. Other cases do not end in conviction due to lack of evidence or false accusations.

Those that are convicted, however, face severe penalties:

  • First offenders are charged with a Class 1 felony punishable by a prison term of four to 15 years.
  • Second offenders are charged with a Class X felony punishable by either a lifetime prison sentence or a term of 30-60 years.
  • Aggravated sexual assault - if the offender uses a weapon, the victim is under 8 years old, or the victim is mentally disabled - results in a Class X felony punishable by a mandatory prison term of six to 30 years with the possibility of being extended to a life sentence.

Additionally, anyone convicted of sexual assault is required to register as a sex offender. In Illinois, a sex offender is required to register annually for a 10-year term. An offender only needs to register for 10 years unless they are labeled a “sexual predator” and then they will need to register for the remainder of their life.

Ways to Defend Allegations of Sexual Assault

Alleged sex offenders should hire an attorney who can investigate their case and avoid false convictions. It is not uncommon for victims to make a mistake and identify a wrong suspect during the investigation. Other times, a victim can falsely accuse an alleged abuser of the crime in order to get them into trouble.

Whatever the case, a lawyer will be able to learn the truth and build a strong defense:

  • There was consent: a lawyer could be able to prove that the defendant and their alleged victim consensually engaged in “hardcore” or “violent” sexual contact.
  • Mistaken identity: if an accused abuser shares physical qualities with a lot of other people, they can be mistaken for the actual criminal. A defense would be to find an alibi who can account for the accused’s whereabouts during the incident.
  • Insanity: a lawyer could prove that their client is not in the right state of mind to know right from wrong.

Contact an Elgin, IL Criminal Defense Attorney

A sexual assault conviction will change a person’s life forever. If the accused is an innocent person, they will have to face punishments unnecessarily. The lawyers of the Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola are capable of making sure anyone accused of sexual assault can avoid a negative outcome to their case. To schedule a free consultation with a Kane County criminal defense lawyer, call our office at 847-488-0889.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K11-1.20

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=3731&ChapterID=54

https://www.isp.state.il.us/sor/faq.cfm?CFID=146006236&CFTOKEN=7e765f6e95c15f6c-3D3AA5CD-D893-F221-E6E5D902A39087CE&jsessionid=ec30dd33bd14bbd52e956c26a622b604f405#register

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IL defense lawyerThe road is dangerous enough on its own, but when driving through a construction zone, there are many other obstacles to be aware of. Therefore, instead of speeding up, drivers are expected to slow down and be extra alert in case of holes in the road, barricades, and workers doing their jobs.

Speeding within a construction zone is a traffic violation and can be considered reckless driving. This is because a driver who is traveling too fast through a work zone is putting themselves, other drivers, and construction workers at risk of injury or death.

Punishments can be as simple as a traffic ticket for speeding in a construction zone or as serious as facing felony reckless homicide penalties.

Rules of Construction Zones

The Illinois Department of Transportation reported that from 2010-14 there were 4,500 motor vehicle crashes within construction zones. Of that number, 1,100 people were injured and 27 were killed.

The two most common reasons for these collisions are distracted drivers and speeding. Whether there are workers present or not, a car can be pulled over for speeding and be issued a ticket. An appearance in court is mandatory after a violation as well as paying a fine:

  • $375 for first offenders
  • $1,000 for second and subsequent offenders

If a driver commits two speeding offenses within a construction zone in the span of two years, the Illinois Secretary of State will suspend the driver’s license for a period of 90 days.

Enforcement in Construction Zones

Of course, there can be police officers posted at construction zones to catch people speeding. There are also photo speed enforcement devices that can be set up in construction zones when no police officers are physically present, but workers are.

These devices capture images of the speeding vehicle including license plates and the rate of speed the car is traveling. Then, authorities have 14 days to mail the ticket or else the driver cannot be charged for the crime.

Severe Results from Speeding in Construction Zones

If a driver is traveling too fast through a work zone, they are less likely to see workers who are doing their jobs. Often, construction zones are full of large equipment that is hard to see around and so motorists should slow down in case a worker suddenly appears from behind a large object.

If a worker is hit and killed by a motorist, that driver can face a Class 2 felony charge of reckless homicide. This punishment is a prison term of 3-14 years.

Contact an Elgin, IL Traffic Violation Attorney

Being issued a speeding ticket within a construction zone does not mean the driver will automatically have to pay the fine. Drivers can appear in court with a knowledgeable attorney who can build a defense. The lawyers of the Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola can make sure the ticket was not issued unlawfully or that the driver’s right were being violated in any way during the traffic stop. To schedule an appointment with a Kane County traffic violations lawyer, call our office at 847-488-0889.

 

Source:

http://www.idot.illinois.gov/assets/uploads/files/travel-information/pamphlets-&-brochures/workzone%20il%20fact%20sheet.pdf

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b2ap3_thumbnail_stop.jpgOver the years, drivers have become more and more aggressive on the road. A lot of drivers push the speed limits; in a hurry to get where they are going. Others have gotten into the habit of running red lights or not stopping at stop signs. In a recent study by AAA, 939 people were killed nationwide as a result of drivers failing to stop at intersections that require them to stop for other cars or pedestrians. Because of this statistic, drivers who fail to stop could potentially be charged with reckless driving or even reckless homicide in cases where a person was killed.

Why It Is Important to Obey Stop Signs/Lights

The amount of people who travel in cars has also increased year after year, making the roadways a busy place. It is important that everyone obey the rules of the road to avoid collisions that could potentially involve many cars.

In Illinois, drivers are required to come to a complete stop at a red light or a stop sign. If at a light, drivers must remain stationary until the light turns green. At a stop sign, drivers must yield to the right-of-way rule which states that whoever stops at their stop sign first can cross the intersection first. Drivers turning left usually have to wait until other drivers make their turns before they make theirs.

Pedestrians always have the right-of-way at intersections that are marked with stop signs. All drivers must stop when they see pedestrians crossing their side of the road.

The exception to red light stops is for people who are making a right turn at a light. Drivers must still stop before making their turn in order to check on-coming traffic. When it is safe - and there are no pedestrians crossing - drivers can make their right turns.

Otherwise, those who drive through a red light will:

  • Be fined $120 for a traffic violation
  • Be fined $100 if caught by an automatic traffic camera
  • Have 20 demerit points added to their driving record

Reckless Driving Punishments

Illinois law says that reckless driving is the operation of a motor vehicle in a way that puts others on the road in danger. Driving through red lights or stop signs falls under this definition because other drivers or pedestrians are not prepared for someone to continue through an intersection when there is a signal to stop.

Reckless driving is punishable as a Class A misdemeanor in Illinois with punishments including:

  • Up to one year in jail
  • Fines of up to $2,500 and court fees
  • Suspension of license if a driver already has two strikes on their record

Worse penalties come if a person is killed by a driver running a stop signal. The driver will face reckless homicide charges; a Class 3 felony in Illinois punishable by 3-5 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000.

Contact an Elgin, IL Reckless Driving Attorney

Sometimes people think they have more time to get through an intersection before the light turns red or they can just ignore the stop sign because there is no one else at the intersection. Or they could just miss the stop sign completely if they are on an unfamiliar road. The lawyers of the Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola can protect you from the more severe penalties to keep your driving record clean. To schedule a free consultation with a Kane County reckless driving lawyer, call our office at 847-488-0889.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=062500050HCh%2E+11&ActID=1815&ChapterID=49&SeqStart=109500000&SeqEnd=134100000

https://illinoisrecklessdriving.com/law-penalties/

https://newsroom.aaa.com/2019/08/red-light-running-deaths-hit-10-year-high/

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Posted on in Drug Crimes

b2ap3_thumbnail_drug-Crimes.jpgIllinois still has a few months before marijuana is legal for more than just medical usage. There are still serious consequences for those who are caught possessing, selling, and/or trafficking marijuana or another illegal substance.

Illinois Controlled Substance Act

The act of trafficking drugs into the state of Illinois is covered under the Controlled Substance Act. Trafficking is defined as knowingly bringing an illegal substance into the state with the intent to deliver and/or sell the drugs to others.

Offenders of the Controlled Substance Act will face felony punishments that increase in severity based on the amount of drug in the offender’s possession.

Trafficking cannabis punishments include:

  • Less than 2.5 grams: Up to a $1,500 fine and up to six months in jail
  • 2.5-10 grams: Up to $2,500 in fines and up to one year in jail
  • 10-30 grams: Class 4 felony with fines of up to $25,000 and 1-3 years in jail
  • 30-500 grams: Class 3 felony with fines of up to $55,000 and 2-5 years in jail
  • 500-2,000 grams: Class 2 felony with fines of up to $100,000 and 3-7 years in jail
  • 2,000-5,000 grams: Class 1 felony with fines of up to $150,000 and 4-15 years in jail
  • Over 5,000 grams: Class X felony with fines of up to $200,000 and 6-30 years in jail

Trafficking of other illegal substances including morphine, heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamines are also punishable under the Controlled Substance Act. Up to 15 grams for any of these substances can see the offender charged with a Class 1 felony; 4-15 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

Defenses for Drug Trafficking

Anyone facing trafficking charges should seek help and advice from a knowledgeable attorney who can build a solid strategy to avoid major penalties.

The most common way people traffick drugs into the state is by having it hidden in a car. So, the best defense for an offender is to claim that they did not know the drugs were in the vehicle. That can be an unreliable strategy especially if the car is the offender’s possession and has been for years, but it is worth a try.

Other strategies include:

  • Entrapment
  • Insanity
  • Infancy (for individuals under the age of 13 years)
  • Compulsion

Any of these strategies can be discussed and decided upon with a lawyer who has studied the case.

Contact an Elgin, IL Drug Crimes Attorney

If you or someone you know is facing charges of drug trafficking, the lawyers of the Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola a ready to build a defense strategy to help avoid a negative outcome. To schedule a free consultation with a Kane County drug trafficking lawyer, call our office at 847-488-0889.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=072005700HArt%252E+IV&ActID=1941&ChapterID=53&SeqStart=5200000&SeqEnd=7900000

https://www.iwu.edu/counseling/Illinois_Drug_Laws.htm

 

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Avvo Illinois State Bar Association Kane COunty Bar Association
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