The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola

CALL FOR A FREE CONSULTATION

47 DuPage Court, Elgin, IL 60120

847-488-0889
Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Kane County drug crimes attorney

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

Last modified on

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

Last modified on

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

Last modified on

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

Last modified on
Avvo Illinois State Bar Association Kane COunty Bar Association
Waiting for Resize
Back to Top