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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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rights, Kane County criminal defense attorneyIf you have even been arrested or accused of a crime, you know how dehumanizing the experience can be. Criminal suspects are often treated much worse than they deserve. However, you should know that those suspected of criminal activity have certain rights which cannot legally be denied to them. Every citizen should be educated about his or her rights and take steps to ensure that they are treated properly according to the law.

The Right to Be Free from Unreasonable Search and Seizure

The Fourth Amendment to the U.S Constitution states, "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." If police wish to enter a person’s property in order to find evidence that they plan to use in court, they usually need a search warrant. Nonetheless, there are some situations which allow police to execute a search without a warrant. It is always a good idea not to give police your consent to search your home if they do not have a warrant. If police search anyway, do not attempt to physically stop them, but do make note of the circumstances and that you did not consent to the search. This information can be tremendously valuable in the future.

The Right to Counsel

The Fifth and Sixth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution ensure that criminal defendants have the right to legal counsel. Any person, regardless of the crime they have been accused of, have the right to hire an attorney. Police are not allowed to question or interrogate someone suspected of criminal activity without offering that person the chance to have a lawyer present. Even if you cannot afford an attorney, a court-appointed lawyer will be assigned to you.

The Right to Remain Silent

Many people have heard the phrase "You have the right to remain silent, anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law." These "Miranda Rights" are the reminder police must give people they arrest that they have the right not to incriminate themselves. If police interrogate a suspect without first giving them the Miranda warning, any confession or statement made cannot be used against the suspect in any criminal case. Furthermore, evidence revealed as a result of that statement or confession will likely also be thrown out of the case. If you are ever arrested, it is always a good idea to remain silent until you have the opportunity to talk to a lawyer.

If you have been accused of a crime, contact a skilled Elgin criminal defense attorney at The The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola. Call 847-488-0889 to schedule a free, completely confidential consultation of your case today.

Sources:

https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/fourth_amendment

http://www.mirandawarning.org/whatareyourmirandarights.html

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marijuana, Kane County drug crimes attorneyAn Illinois woman is facing possible felony drug charges after police officers found a bottle of the painkiller tramadol in her coat pocket. The 59-year-old woman does actually have a prescription for the type of pills found by police, but she has been charged with possession of a controlled substance that had been prescribed to one of her relatives. What makes this story unique is the way in which the pills were discovered.

Unreasonable Searches and Seizures

The pills were only discovered after police searched the woman’s car. The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects gives citizens the right to be "secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures." Usually, police must have a warrant to search a home, but motor vehicles are different. A police office must only have "probable cause" to search a vehicle. Probably cause means that the officers must have reason to believe that evidence of a crime or illegal items will be found in the car. However, there are not clear answers as to what counts as probable cause. Of course, illegal items such as drugs, drug paraphernalia, stolen goods, or weapons in plain sight usually constitute probable cause, but officers do not have to physically see contraband in order to be authorized to search the vehicle. In 1985, the Illinois Supreme Court approved car searches if the police officer claimed to be able to smell marijuana in the car.

What Constitutes Probable Cause?

The issue with which the accused woman’s lawyer is concerned, is how the police gained access to the car. Police only discovered the illegal pills because they claim they say marijuana in the vehicle. What was allegedly drugs turned out to be pistachio shells. The suspect’s attorney believes that the shells were a false pretext to search the entire vehicle because pistachio shells look nothing like marijuana. Even those police officers who have never used or seen cannabis in real life applications have seen it on television or during training. This led the woman’s attorney to claim that the police illegally searched the defendant’s vehicle. Police never found any actual marijuana in the woman’s car, but she was still arrested for possession of the tramadol. Luckily for the defendant, her attorney doubts that the charges will stick. He told reporters "I think we are a motion to suppress and a bag of pistachio nuts away from resolving this matter."

Facing Criminal Charges?

At The The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola, we are dedicated to protecting the rights of those who are facing criminal charges. To learn more about how we can help with your case, contact an experienced Elgin criminal defense attorney today. Call 847-488-0889 for a free, confidential consultation.

Sources:

https://illinoiscaselaw.com/police-car-search-legal-in-illinois-if-they-smell-marijuana/

https://www.alternet.org/drugs/illinois-woman-felony-drug-charges-cops-mistake-pistachio-shells-marijuana

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domestic violence, Elgin criminal defense attorneyDomestic battery is a serious offense in the state of Illinois. It is also an act that can be reported by someone other than your spouse, child, or significant other. Mandatory reporters—those that are required to report acts of domestic violence to the authorities—can be found in schools, doctor’s offices, and hospitals. Thanks to a new law, you will now find potential reporters in the salon as well.

Beauticians and stylists will undergo training to help them learn how to talk to victims of domestic violence. They will not face legal ramifications if they do not report suspected abuse, but they will be encouraged to do so when the situation is appropriate. The goal is to ensure that victims who really need help receive it, but not all people who are reported have actually abused someone. In fact, false allegations of domestic violence and abuse are rather common - more common than most people realize. What might a false reporting mean for you and your family?

When Mandatory Reporting Leads to Criminal Charges

Although mandatory reporting does not always lead to criminal charges, it can. The authorities may be notified, and if there are children, investigators from the state may show up at your door as well. The end result could be criminal charges for you, and possibly even a restraining order that may keep you from your family. If you have not done anything wrong, this can be a jarring experience—one that is frightening and confusing.

Alternatively, a beauty worker may encourage your significant other to make a statement with the police, even if they do not fully understand the situation. This, too, can result in criminal charges and a restraining order. It can upend your family and your life and may even result in long-term consequences, including difficulty finding employment, loss of parenting time or allocation of parental responsibilities in divorce cases, and more.

Protecting Your Rights in the Face of Domestic Battery Charges

If you or someone you know is facing criminal charges for domestic battery, it is critical that you seek experienced legal assistance. An attorney can protect your rights, help you fight for your family, and will work to achieve the most favorable outcome possible. Learn more about how an Elgin criminal defense lawyer can help with your domestic battery charges case. Call 847-488-0889 and schedule your confidential consultation at The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola today.

Sources:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-hairstylists-domestic-violence-met-20161216-story.html

https://www.futureswithoutviolence.org/userfiles/Mandatory_Reporting_of_DV_to_Law%20Enforcement_by_HCP.pdf

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wearable, Elgin DUI defense attorneyThe next time you are at the gym or out for a walk, take a look at the arms of some of the people around you. Almost certainly, you will find that at least a few have a thin strap around their wrists that looks something like a cross between a bracelet and watch band, but with no visible face. There is a very good chance that these straps are fitness trackers in the style of a Fitbit—if not the branded product itself. Over the last decade, fitness trackers have become a multi-billion dollar industry within the "wearable" technology sector. The coming additions to the wearable market, however, will be quite a bit different. It will soon be possible for a strap on your wrist to estimate when you have had too much to drink and to help you get home without being pulled over for driving under the influence (DUI).

Government Challenge

In 2015, the National Institute of Health (NIH) invited tech startups and individuals around the country to develop a prototype wearable device capable of measuring blood alcohol content in real time—or as close as possible. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), a subagency of the NIH, conducted the challenge to harness the technology being used in wearable fitness trackers and apply it toward reducing alcohol problems and increasing public safety.

This past April, the NIAAA announced the winners of the contest and awarded the top companies with a substantial prize to help fund the development of their new products. The winning device was the BACTrack Skyn, while the Proof by Milo Sensors was the runner-up. Both products are designed to perform similarly by measuring minute amounts of alcohol being secreted through the wearer’s skin and converting the measurement to an estimated blood-alcohol content (BAC). The information can be accessed by the wearer through an app on a smartphone or mobile device.

Educating the Public

While there is certainly the danger that wearable alcohol sensors will be used by some to facilitate "who can get the drunkest" contest, officials at both companies are hopeful that the ultimate result will be an increase in public safety. Evan Strenk, founder and CEO of Milo Sensors said he hopes to "empower people to make educated decisions about alcohol."

Consider a situation in which you have had a few beers with your friends. You feel like you probably could drive home but you happen to be wearing a BAC sensor. When you check the app on your phone, it shows that your BAC is currently .11, well above the legal limit of .08. Instead of leaving immediately, you decide to stay and have a soft drink and a snack—long enough for your BAC to come back down so you can drive home safely.

While a wearable device is no substitute for common sense—and there are no guarantees that a wearable will be 100 percent accurate—the devices certainly seem like they will be very helpful for many people. The first models are expected to hit the market sometime in 2017.

Arrested for DUI?

If you have been charged with driving under the influence, you could be facing serious criminal penalties and the loss of your driving privileges. Contact an experienced Elgin DUI defense attorney for assistance today. Call 847-488-0889 to schedule your free consultation at The The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola and get the help you need.

Sources:

http://www.wareable.com/fitbit/youre-fitbit-and-you-know-it-how-a-wooden-box-became-a-dollar-4-billion-company

https://www.challenge.gov/challenge/a-wearable-alcohol-biosensor/

http://mashable.com/2017/01/05/proof-alcohol-wearable/

https://www.bactrack.com/blogs/press-releases/bactrack-unveils-the-world-s-first-wearable-alcohol-monitor-bactrack-skyn

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