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Kane County Drug Charges Lawyer

Throughout the United States, more than 1.6 million people were arrested for drug law violations in 2016, according to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report. Here in the state of Illinois, even minor drug charges can come with severe legal ramifications. As written in the Illinois Controlled Substances Act, different types of drugs and amounts warrant different legal consequences. Fines and jail time are also influenced by paraphernalia present and the intent of the alleged user. 

If you have been arrested on any sort of drug charge, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney who can defend your rights.

Of the U.S. residents arrested on drug charges throughout 2016, more than 85 percent were cited for possession of an illegal substance. Here are the penalties for two of the most common substances involved in narcotics arrests:

Marijuana Possession

Despite the legalization of recreational marijuana in a number of states around the country, possession of marijuana can result in harsh criminal punishment in Illinois. Possession of fewer than 2.5 grams of cannabis constitutes a Class C misdemeanor, which is punishable by a fine. If someone is arrested for possession of over 10 grams of marijuana, they can be charged with a Class B misdemeanor, with fines up to $1,500 and up to 180 days in jail. Drug possession charges of more than 30 grams of marijuana may result in a felony. According to Illinois state law, a Class 4 felony conviction comes with a minimum sentence of one year in prison. 

Cocaine Possession

Cocaine penalties are significantly more severe than marijuana possession charges. From 1 up to 15 grams, a cocaine possession charge is a Class 1 felony. Even one gram of cocaine is punishable by imprisonment and up to $25,000 in fines. If arrested with anywhere between 15 to 99 grams of cocaine, one could face a minimum of four years in prison. Those possessing more than 100 grams of cocaine could spend decades behind bars. Other drugs that constitute a Class 1 felony include heroin, peyote, morphine, and amphetamines. 

Contact an Elgin, IL Criminal Defense Lawyer

With years of experience defending clients arrested on drug possession charges, attorney Brian J. Mirandola is prepared to fight for you. Drug charges can be fought on a number of fronts, including lack of knowledge and entrapment. If your rights were violated during or after the arrest, our aggressive representation could result in dropped charges. To schedule a free consultation with an Aurora, IL criminal defense attorney that you can believe in, call our offices today at 847-488-0889.  

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=1941&ChapterID=53&SeqStart=5200000&SeqEnd=7900000

https://www.drugwarfacts.org/chapter/crime_arrests

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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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medical marijuana, Kane County drug crimes defense lawyerLast week, an Illinois House panel called The House Elementary Education Committee unanimously approved legislation which would allow school children to consume medical marijuana in school. The proposed legislation would allow a parent or legal guardian to administer infused medical marijuana on school grounds and in school-owned transportation.

Medical Marijuana Prevents Student’s Seizures

House Bill 4870 was largely influenced by a lawsuit brought by parents of a child who has seizures. The girl suffers from seizures after undergoing chemotherapy treatment, and medical marijuana is the only medication which effectively controls them. The parents sued the school because they were not allowed to change their daughter’s medical marijuana patch or administer medical marijuana oil under her tongue on school grounds. As the law currently stands, a school nurse could lose his or her license if they administered medical marijuana to a student – even if the student has a valid medical marijuana card. Although it is unlikely, the student and her parents could face criminal prosecution for sending the girl to school with a medical marijuana patch. Advocates of the bill say that this is unacceptable.

Only Medical Cannabis Will Be Included in Bill

The proposed legislation does not allow students to smoke marijuana in the schools. Parents are only allowed to administer infused products to their children. This includes food, oils, or other products which contain medical marijuana but are not smoked. If the bill passes the full House and is eventually signed by the governor, schools will be required to allow parents and legal guardians to administer medical marijuana to their children in school. Children must have a valid pre-approved medical marijuana card in order to qualify for this opportunity.

The measure is sponsored by State Representative Lou Lang. He said of the bill, "Before anyone sets their hair on fire about medical marijuana in school, it&s important to understand that tots won&t be toking up in class. Discreet, private locations in a school will set aside for parents to administer the product and have no impact on anyone else in the building." Colorado, New Jersey, Maine and Washington state already allow students to use medical marijuana at school.

Experienced Kane County Criminal Defense Lawyer

To be clear, marijuana of any kind, including medical cannabidiol is currently not allowed in schools. If you or your child has been charged with a drug-related crime, you need an attorney who will help you understand your rights and protect your freedom. Call 847-488-0889 to speak with a skilled Elgin drug crimes defense attorney at The The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola today.

Sources:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/skokie/community/chi-ugc-article-medical-marijuana-administered-in-schools-by-2018-03-12-story.html

https://www.cnn.com/2018/01/22/health/medical-marijuana-school-illinois/index.html

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Posted on in Drug Crimes

drugs, Kane County drug crimes defense attorneyIllinois has fairly strict laws about drug possession, distribution, and trafficking. The latter two are decidedly more serious, as one might imagine, but many become confused when dealing with the prosecution process. There are state and federal charges, with varying degrees of severity, and those unfamiliar with the law may have trouble determining which regulations apply to them and which do not.

Classifying Drugs

The Illinois Controlled Substances Act sets forth information on which drugs are classified under which schedule, and grants the state of Illinois the authority to reschedule any drug if it is rescheduled under the corresponding federal law. There are five schedules, with Schedule I including the most dangerous drugs and Schedule V listing the least dangerous.

There are a number of factors that go into federal and state authorities classifying a drug under a certain schedule, including but not limited to the potential for abuse, the degree to which the drug can be used for legitimate medical purposes, and potential long-range effect on individual and public health. This is relevant in terms of assessing distribution and trafficking offenses because public health is a concern. A drug may be is placed on a certain schedule due to widespread fear of abuse or belief in its potential to cause long-term effects, distribution or trafficking of the drug can cause significant harm to public health.

Distribution vs. Trafficking

What many people fail to grasp is that distribution and trafficking are different offenses, even though the two words may be colloquially synonymous. Distribution is generally referred to in Illinois law as delivery, and as such, money does not have to change hands for a distribution charge to be warranted. In some cases, charges of ‘possession with intent to distribute’ have been brought when someone has a large quantity of drugs in his or her possession or many of the tools needed to distribute—such as a large supply of bags or a quantity of cash—even if no sale or delivery to someone else has been made.

Distribution becomes trafficking when state lines are crossed—not necessarily physically, as trafficking charges can be brought against those who mail controlled substances if knowledge and intent can be proven. The relevant statute permits extremely harsh sentences and monetary fines for those convicted of such an offense. The law requires that anyone convicted of trafficking be sentenced to no less than twice the minimum possible amount of time, which can add up if the type and amount of drug trafficked are significant. Simple distribution does not cross state lines.

Ask a Knowledgeable Attorney

Being charged with drug distribution or trafficking is extremely serious, and in such a situation, it is imperative to enlist the help of an experienced Kane County criminal defense attorney. Call 847-488-0889 for a free consultation at The The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola today.

Source:

http://ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=072005700HArt.+II&ActID=1941&ChapterID=53&SeqStart=600000&SeqEnd=2600000

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decriminalization, Kane County criminal defense attorneyFor the second time in two years, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner will have to decide whether or not to approve legislation that would make low-level possession of marijuana a civil offense rather than a crime. Last summer, the Republican governor used his amendatory veto authority to rewrite the proposed decriminalization measure, reducing the amount of marijuana to be considered low-level and increasing the punitive fines. Last year’s bill eventually stalled before making it back to the governor’s desk, but this year’s version also includes the changes Rauner made a year ago.

Current Legal Guidelines

Under existing Illinois law, if you possess or use marijuana, you are subject to criminal prosecution unless you have been formally approved for participation in the state’s medical cannabis pilot program. While many people may not think of marijuana possession as a serious crime, possession of up to 2.5 grams is a Class C misdemeanor, and up to 10 grams constitutes a Class B misdemeanor. Anything more than 10 grams is a may be prosecuted as a felony depending upon your conviction history, and potential penalties are increased if you are found to have intent to deliver.

Proposed Changes

Despite the inclusion of provisions suggested by the governor himself, there is no guarantee that Rauner will sign the measure this time around. Should he decide to do so, however, possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana would no longer be prosecutable as a crime. Instead, it would be considered a civil offense, similar in nature to a traffic ticket. Individuals guilty of low-level possession would be ordered to pay a fine of at least $100 and as much as $200. The new law would also require the circuit court overseeing the jurisdiction issuing the fine to expunge all low-level possession records twice per year, once on January 1 and again on July 1.

Opportunity for Progress

Many around the state see the decriminalization of minor marijuana possession as a clear step in the right direction. They believe that zealous prosecution of non-violent drug crimes—especially those involving marijuana—tend to waste municipal and state resources. From a policy perspective, the measure would also contribute to Governor Rauner’s stated goals of significantly reducing the population of the Illinois prison system.

If you have been charged with possession of illegal drugs, including marijuana, cocaine, or heroin, you need an attorney who will fight to protect your rights. Contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Elgin, Illinois today. Call 847-488-0889 to schedule your free confidential consultation at The The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola.

Sources:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/politics/ct-marijuana-decriminalization-legislation-0519-20160518-story.html

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

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/99/SB/PDF/09900SB2228lv.pdf

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