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drugs, Kane County drug crimes attorneyAs per the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, police cannot search a person’s private residence without a search warrant issued by a judge. So, if police believe you have illegal items in your home, that suspicion alone is usually not enough to merit a legal search. However, the laws which protect citizens’ privacy are quite different when it comes to motor vehicles. Because we operate vehicles on public roads, police have much more freedom when it comes to searching a person’s car or truck. If police have searched your vehicle and discovered marijuana, amphetamines, opioids, or other illegal drugs, you may be facing harsh criminal consequences.

When Can Police Legally Search a Vehicle?

Although police have more authority to search motor vehicles than homes, they are still required to follow certain rules regarding vehicle searches. An officer cannot stop and search a vehicle without a reasonable cause for doing so.

There are five main ways a police officer is authorized to search someone’s vehicle. Firstly, if the driver of the vehicle gives the officer consent, the officer may search the vehicle. It is important to always politely decline police vehicle searches if given the chance. A search is also permitted If the officer has probable cause to believe evidence of criminal activity such as stolen items, drugs, or illegal weapons is in the car. Furthermore, police may search a car if they believe doing so is necessary for their own protection. For example, if police have stopped a vehicle but worry the drivers are armed and dangerous, they may be permitted to search the car for weapons. Police may also search a vehicle after a person is arrested. Lastly, police can search a vehicle if they have a search warrant.

Unwarranted Searches Can Result in Dropped Charges

If police searched your vehicle and discovered illegal drugs in it, make sure to discuss the legality of the search with a qualified criminal attorney. If it can be demonstrated that police did not have a valid reason to search the car, truck, motorcycle, or other vehicle, the evidence obtained from that search can be thrown out. If the evidence against you is dismissed, the criminal charges will most likely be dropped.

Do Not Face Drug Charges Alone

Illinois law says that those found transporting drugs in their car may face fines, probation, loss of driving privileges, and jail time. Possession of small amounts of marijuana has been decriminalized in Illinois, but possessing more than 10 grams of cannabis or having drugs like heroin, cocaine, morphine, amphetamine, and barbituric acid/salts can result in much more severe criminal penalties.

If you have been arrested on drug charges, speak to an experienced Kane County criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Call 847-488-0889 today to schedule your free initial consultation at The The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola.

Sources:

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

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

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drug, Kane County drug crimes attorneyWe have discussed the dangers of the synthetic opioid fentanyl in previous posts. The extremely potent substance is significantly stronger than heroin or morphine and is responsible for thousands of overdose deaths each year. Many individuals have died after using heroin which was secretly laced with fentanyl. Only three milligrams of the powder is enough to kill a grown man. The enormously unsafe nature of fentanyl has even led to legislation which allows drug dealers who sell fentanyl-laced products to be charged with homicide. However, a new synthetic opioid which is even more potent than fentanyl is now being discovered in homes across the United States, and lawmakers are responding sternly.

Carfentanil is a Deadly Synthetic Opioid

While fentanyl continues to be a massive public health concern, Carfentanil has even more sinister implications. The substance was originally engineered to be an elephant tranquilizer, but some people are now risking their lives by using it recreationally. The drug’s extreme toxicity has even provoked concerns that terrorists could use it as a weapon of mass destruction. Needless to say, law enforcement and legislators are paying close attention to this drug.

Dark Web Dealer Faces Life in Prison

A man faces possible life behind bars after being arrested on drug distribution charges in June of last year. Federal agents searching the Californian home discovered a large quantity of carfentanil as well as hundreds of vials of ketamine and fentanyl tablets. The 39-year-old San Francisco resident recently pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute controlled substances using the "dark web."

More and more drug dealers are using the internet to buy and sell illicit drugs. The term "dark web" refers to specific websites which are not indexed by web search engines and can only be accessed using specific "back door" methods. The man will have to serve 10 years in federal prison at a minimum, but experts suspect that he will actually be sentenced to many more years. The 1.7 grams of Carfentanil found in his home is enough to kill over 86,000 people. The man was also charged with conspiracy to launder money and will be forced to surrender the bitcoin cryptocurrency he used during the illegal online transactions.

Facing Drug Charges?

If you have been arrested on drug-related charges, you need an attorney who can help you understand your legal options and make the best decisions possible moving forward. To schedule a free, confidential initial consultation about your drug manufacturing and delivery case, contact an experienced Illinois drug crimes defense lawyer. Call 847-488-0889 today.

Sources:

https://www.statnews.com/2016/09/29/why-fentanyl-is-deadlier-than-heroin/

https://www.courthousenews.com/dark-web-drug-dealer-looking-at-life-in-prison/

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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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marijuana, Elgin drug crimes defense lawyerMarijuana laws in the United States are changing rapidly. Currently, Washington D.C and eight states have legalized the sale and possession of marijuana for recreational purposes while many others, including Illinois, allow the consumption of cannabis as treatment for certain medical conditions. In Illinois, it is still illegal for those without a medical marijuana registration card to possess, purchase, use, or sell marijuana. There are many myths regarding marijuana and its legality which Illinois citizens should be aware of.

Myth 1: It Is Legal to Drive Under the Influence of Marijuana If You Are a Registered Medical User

Some people think that if they are in a state where recreational marijuana is legal or they have their medical marijuana ID card that they are able to smoke marijuana in a car. This is absolutely not the case. Although there has been considerably less research about the effects of marijuana use on driving abilities than the effects of alcohol impairment, it is still considered dangerous and reckless to drive under the influence of cannabis. [BW1]

Myth 2: Police Must Tell You If They Are Police

Many of society’s misconceptions about drug laws come from television and movies. One of these myths is that if a police officer is undercover or otherwise not immediately identifiable as an officer of the law, that he or she must confess their identity if asked directly. In movies, this usually involves a character saying something along the lines of "Are you a cop? If you are, you have to tell me." Citizens need to be aware of that this is completely false. Police are authorized to lie in order to keep themselves or others safe from danger, to prevent a crime from occurring, or to find sources of criminal activity. Police often pose as drug dealers or other criminals in order to bring offenders to justice in sting operations or investigations.

Myth 3: Officers Must Have a Warrant to Search Your Car If They Suspect It Contains Marijuana

The Fourth Amendment to the U.S Constitution protects citizens from unreasonable search and seizure, however, motor vehicles are not protected from searches the way a home or business is. In order to search a person’s vehicle, police must only have probable cause. This can include things the officer sees, hears, or smells. If an officer smells marijuana or smoke from a car, he or she is authorized to search it.

Facing Drug Charges?

Although Illinois has decriminalized the possession of up to ten grams of marijuana, there are still stiff penalties for those caught using, selling, or purchasing marijuana illegally. If you have been charged with a drug crime, contact an experienced Elgin criminal defense lawyer for help today. Call 847-488-0889 for a free consultation at The The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola.

Sources:

https://www.ghsa.org/state-laws/issues/drug%20impaired%20driving

http://www.governing.com/gov-data/state-marijuana-laws-map-medical-recreational.html

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opioids, Elgin criminal defense attorneyRecreational use of opioids like heroin, fentanyl, oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, and morphine has become more popular than ever. These highly addictive drugs are designed to fight extreme pain, but many people either use them recreationally or become addicted and eventually need the drugs to simply feel normal.

It is a vicious cycle. Many of those who become addicted start off using prescribed pain pills but when the prescription runs out, they turn to buying the pills illegally. Others find that pills are not effective or available and turn to heroin for relief. Heroin is especially dangerous because it is often mixed with fentanyl, which is up to 100 times more potent than morphine and many times that of heroin. The combination of easy access to the drugs, the prevalence of fentanyl-laced heroin, and the extremely addictive nature of these substances have dramatically increased the number of people who die from overdose. Of the 64,000 reported drug overdose deaths in 2016, two-thirds were linked to opioids. This represents an increase in drug overdose deaths of over 20 percent since 2015.

Deadliest Drug Overdose Crisis in US History

Another startling statistic is the increase in America’s murder rate. Data shows that the rate at which murders are committed in the United States has risen in 2015, 2016, and the first half of 2017. Criminal justice experts suggest that this three-year increase in murders could be linked to the opioid crisis. In the past, opioid misuse was mostly limited to people stealing or selling pain pills, but today, the problem is mostly driven by illicit drugs. In fact, before 2015, prescription pain medications were the biggest cause of drug overdose deaths. Everything started to change around 2014 when fentanyl-related overdoses  began to climb sharply. Currently, synthetic opioids like fentanyl are responsible for more overdoses than any other drug. Experts believe that with this shift from prescribed pain pills to illicit drugs came more violence.

Richard Rosenfeld of the University of Missouri explains, "As demand for illicit drugs increases, people enter the underground drug market to purchase the drug. Those underground markets tend to be relatively volatile and sometimes violent places, so I’m suggesting that what we’re seeing here is a spike in drug-related homicides associated with drug transactions that become violent." While the link between the increasing murder rate and opioid abuse is not completely understood, data suggests that the American population has every reason to be troubled by this opioid crisis.

Are You Facing Drug-Related Charges?

Getting involved with illegal drugs can be an extremely slippery slope. Those found guilty of possessing or selling substances like heroin can face devastating punitive and personal consequences. If you have been charged with a drug-related crime, you need an attorney who will fight for your rights. Contact an experienced Elgin criminal defense lawyer for help today. Call 847-488-0889 for a free, confidential consultation of your case at The The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola.

Sources:

https://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2017-preliminary-semiannual-crime-stats-released

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/2/6/16934054/opioid-epidemic-murder-violent-crime

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