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IL defense lawyerAt the beginning of 2020, Illinois legalized recreational marijuana for adults and vowed to expunge marijuana charges from criminal records. Not all marijuana convictions will be expunged or sealed, but you can expect the following:

  • Cases involving 30 grams of cannabis or less are eligible for automatic expungement.
  • People can petition to have felony charges involving 30-500 grams of cannabis expunged. These requests will depend on prosecutor approval.
  • No offenses involving over 500 grams of cannabis will be expunged under the new provisions.

Unfortunately, this will not happen overnight. It is such a complex procedure that officials can only provide optimistic estimates of when they expect all eligible records to be expunged.

Complications arise when marijuana charges are connected with other felonies or misdemeanors when those convicted in the past have moved in the time since a court issued their charges, and when the paperwork involved is handled by multiple government agencies.

If you have a marijuana offense on your record and you are eagerly awaiting expungement, it can help to speak with an attorney who has a deep understanding of Illinois criminal defense and drug crimes.

Delays in Marijuana Expungements

The Illinois State Police are supposed to expunge all eligible cases since 2013 by January 2021 and all oldest cases by 2025. Records connected with other felony charges will not be expunged, and police departments are pushing for assurance from the Illinois government that felony records will not be mistakenly destroyed in this process, which then could slow this process.

To make matters more complicated, not all Illinois counties are approaching expungements with the same resources or enthusiasm. Kim Foxx, Cook County State’s Attorney, has partnered with the nonprofit Code for America to develop software that will help sift through criminal records to find any that are eligible for expungement. Governor J.B. Pritzker has expressed his drive to wipe minor marijuana charges from records to give people with past convictions more job opportunities and better chances of buying a home.

Contact an Elgin, IL Criminal Defense Attorney

Although thousands of marijuana charges in Illinois are set to be expunged, many people might not see the results they hope for until 2025 or later. To develop a better understanding of how your criminal record affects your opportunities and how to ensure that any minor marijuana charges are expunged from your record, reach out to The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola. Schedule a free consultation with an Elgin, IL criminal defense attorney by calling 847-488-0889.

 

Source:
https://www.chicagobusiness.com/crains-forum-cannabis/many-even-automatic-clearing-marijuana-records-could-be-complicated

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Il defense lawyerA lot changed in Illinois at the start of this year regarding how marijuana can be purchased and consumed, but there are still some restrictions to follow. Understanding these laws is important to safely use marijuana and avoid violations. If you or a loved one are charged with violating any of these laws, build a sturdy defense with an experienced criminal defense lawyer.

Illinois Marijuana Laws

Technically, adult use of recreational marijuana was legalized on January 1, 2020, in Illinois. This only applies to marijuana purchased from licensed dispensaries, and the private purchase and sale of cannabis remain illegal.

Just like alcohol, you must be 21 or over to purchase marijuana. Before this fullscale legalization, medical marijuana was available to those with a medical marijuana card. Those are no longer required to purchase cannabis, but anyone with such cards is subject to discounts and priority access to retailers’ stocks.

There are still some limits that define how much marijuana anyone is allowed to possess. Illinois residents are allowed to have up to 30 grams of cannabis flower. For cannabis concentrate, the limit is five grams. Edibles can only have up to 500 milligrams of THC.

In general, people 21 years and over are allowed to use legal marijuana in their homes or on-site at cannabis-related businesses. Use in public places, vehicles, school property, around people under the legal age, or near on-duty employees is prohibited. Any owner of private property is allowed to institute bans.

Criminal Records with Marijuana Charges

The bill that went into effect earlier this year states that anyone convicted for possession of 30 grams or less of marijuana in the past will have their records reviewed by the state’s Prisoner Review Board. If they determine that a record warrants a pardon, they will forward it to Governor Pritzker. If any such conviction also involved a violent crime, a pardon will not be issued. If the conviction was for possession of more than 30 grams of marijuana, that person can still push for an expungement of the charge from their record.

Contact a Kane County Criminal Defense Lawyer

Whether you face charges under the new marijuana laws or you are fighting for the cleansing of your criminal record, assistance from an experienced Elgin criminal defense lawyer is essential. At the Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola, we will fight to protect your rights and aggressively defend your case in court. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation at 847-488-0889.

 

SOURCE:

https://www.illinoispolicy.org/illinois-saw-nations-worst-population-loss-during-the-decade/

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Posted on in Marijuana

IL defense lawyerContrary to popular belief, it will not be a free-for-all beginning the first of the year when marijuana for recreational use becomes legal in Illinois. There are still certain regulations that will need to be followed. One part of the Illinois drug law that will not change in 2020 is that no one is permitted to grow cannabis plants in their home. The only exception to that rule is medical marijuana users; they will need a doctor’s note to do so (up to five plants).

Anyone caught growing cannabis without a doctor’s permission will face a drug charge and be fined $200. Instead of growing it, Illinois residents will be able to purchase the drug from any one of 20 cultivation facilities that have already been licensed to sell marijuana.

What Does the Law Currently Say?

There are still several months before marijuana becomes legal in Illinois. Until that time, residents should abide by the drug law or face felony punishments if caught possessing any illegal substance.

Right now, it is unlawful for anyone to possess marijuana and punishments become more severe with higher amounts of drugs.

  • Less than 2.5 grams: Up to 30 days in jail and/or $1,500 fine
  • 2.5-10 grams: Up to six months in jail and/or $1,500 fine
  • 10-30 grams: First offenders will face one year in jail and/or $2,500 fines while second offenders will be charged with a Class 4 felony with punishments of 1-3 years in prison and/or $25,000 in fines
  • 30-500 grams: First offenders will face Class 4 felony punishments while second offenders face Class 3 felony punishments of 2-5 years in prison and/or $25,000 in fines
  • 500-2,000 grams: Class 3 felony punishments
  • 2,000-5,000 grams: Class 2 felony punishments of 3-7 years in prison and/or $25,000 in fines
  • Over 5,000 grams: Class 1 felony punishments of 4-15 years in prison and/or $25,000 in fines

The Illinois drug law also covers false prescription violations, drug paraphernalia possession, and possession of hard drugs such as cocaine or heroin.

Once these types of convictions go on your record, they will affect the course of your life. It could tarnish your ability to get into a college you want to go to, what kind of job you want to have, and even what house you want to purchase.

The “lucky” few that can have their records expunged next year are those who were convicted of having 30 or less grams of marijuana in their possession.

Contact an Elgin, IL Drug Possession Attorney

There are several defense strategies that can help someone avoid a drug charge on their record. The lawyers from the Law Offices of Brian J. Mirandola can help build a defense and defend you from a negative conviction. To schedule a free consultation with a Kane County drug crimes lawyer, call 847-488-0889.

 

Sources:

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

https://www.illinoispolicy.org/illinois-state-lawmakers-introduce-pass-85-billion-in-spending-in-12-hours-2/

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paraphernalia, Kane County drug crimes defense attorneyBy now, you probably know that low-level possession of marijuana is no longer a criminal offense in Illinois. The possession of less than 10 grams is a civil offense punishable by a fine of up to $200—similar in most regards to a traffic violation. Illinois, however, has maintained its statute regarding the possession of drug paraphernalia. While the law was amended to account for the new guidelines on marijuana possession, loopholes still exist that could land a person in serious trouble.

What the Law Says

The Illinois Drug Paraphernalia Control Act makes it illegal to possess products, equipment, or materials that are intended to be used in producing, preparing, testing, hiding, or using controlled substances, including marijuana. (Technically, equipment for making methamphetamine is covered under a separate statute but is still illegal.) The drug paraphernalia law covers a wide variety of products, including but not limited to:

  • Pipes;
  • Bongs;
  • Carb tubes;
  • Scales; and
  • Cutting materials.

In most cases, the possession of drug paraphernalia is a Class A misdemeanor. Those who are approved for medical marijuana by the state of Illinois are permitted to possess the appropriate products to facilitate medical use.

Two Civil Law Violations

When low-level marijuana possession was decriminalized in Illinois in 2016, the Drug Paraphernalia Act was also updated. The update created a new civil law violation to go along with the civil offense of low-level possession. Specifically, the Act now says that a person who is cited for the civil violation of marijuana possession may also be cited for possession of related drug paraphernalia—presuming such paraphernalia is found.

The Act, however, does not say what should happen if no illegal drugs are found or if the police and prosecutors handle the drug possession offense as a local ordinance violation. For example, if the police legally search you and find a small marijuana pipe in your pocket but you are not in possession of marijuana, the law seems to suggest that you could be charged with the full misdemeanor offense of possession of drug paraphernalia.

Similarly, if local police do find a small amount of marijuana, they could opt to cite you under an applicable municipal ordinance instead of the state law. In such a case, the paraphernalia charge could plausibly still be brought on the state level.

Contact Us for Help

If you are facing charges of any type related to the possession of drug paraphernalia, it is important to seek help from a qualified Kane County criminal defense attorney. Call 847-488-0889 for a free, no-obligation consultation at The The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola today.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=1937&ChapterID=53

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=1947&ChapterID=53

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marijuana, Elgin criminal defense attorneyOpioid abuse has become a major public health crisis in recent decades. Many individuals become addicted to opioids after being prescribed drugs such as codeine, hydrocodone, OxyContin, or Percocet to manage extreme pain. Opioids are extremely addictive, and when a person continually takes these drugs, they eventually need more and more to feel the same pain-relieving effects. Many people become addicted to pain pills and then end up turning to heroin or fentanyl. Each day, an estimated 155 people lose their lives to opioid overdose. Some experts believe that medical cannabis could be the key to reducing the staggering number of opioid overdose deaths.

Studies Compared States with Legalized Medical Marijuana in States Without Legalized Marijuana

Recently, two studies regarding the medicinal benefits of cannabis were published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine. Researchers compared opioid prescription frequency for states which have allowed the legal use of marijuana to those states which have not adopted legalized cannabis. One study analyzed opioid prescriptions covered by Medicare Part D and the other considered opioid prescriptions covered by Medicaid.

Through the investigation, it was determined that states which allow medical cannabis had 2.21 million fewer daily doses of opioids prescribed than states without legalized medicinal marijuana. Furthermore, states which allow citizens to use marijuana for medical purposes have 5.88% fewer opioid prescriptions under Medicaid than states which have not legalized medicinal use. David Bradford, researcher, and professor of public administration and policy at the University of Georgia describes the significance of these comparisons. "This study adds one more brick in the wall in the argument that cannabis clearly has medical applications," he explains.

Low-Level Possession of Marijuana in Illinois Is Decriminalized

Medical marijuana is legal in Illinois for those who are properly registered with the state, but possession for any other reason is against the law. Holding less than 10 grams of marijuana is only a civil violation which incurs a maximum fine of $200. Possession of a larger amount of marijuana can be considered a felony offense which is punishable by several years in jail. The sale, trafficking, or cultivation of marijuana in Illinois is punishable by even more severe consequences.

If You Have Been Charged with a Drug-Related Criminal Offense, You Need an Attorney

Those found guilty of drug charges can face serious punitive consequences including imprisonment. If you are an Illinois resident who has been arrested for a drug-related crime, an effective defense strategy can help keep you out of jail. To speak with an experienced Kane County drug crimes attorney from The The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola, call 847-488-0889 today.

Sources:

https://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/trends-statistics/overdose-death-rates

https://www.cnn.com/2018/04/02/health/medical-cannabis-law-opioid-prescription-study/index.html

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072005500K4

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Avvo Illinois State Bar Association Kane COunty Bar Association
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