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Aurora, IL drug lawyer

Throughout the U.S., the number of states with either legalized medical or recreational marijuana, or both, is on the rise. With that comes an increase in incidents of driving while under the influence of cannabis and more focus from law enforcement on busting impaired drivers. If you have been charged with driving under the influence of drugs, it is critical you enlist the help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer immediately. 

Drugged Driving in Illinois 

Here in the state of Illinois, medical marijuana is legal for approved applicants under the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act, signed in 2013. Since the induction of the program, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has approved over 42,000 applicants for legal consumption of marijuana for medicinal purposes. Driving under the influence of marijuana though can come with significant criminal punishment, whether you are a legal medical marijuana cardholder or not.

If a police officer has reasonable cause to believe you may be under the influence of marijuana, they are permitted to submit you to chemical testing. If you refuse the chemical test, you will face an automatic 12-month license suspension. Failing a chemical test results in a six-month license suspension. A chemical test that finds 5 nanograms or more of THC per milliliter of whole blood results in a failed test, or 10 nanograms of THC found in another bodily substance. 

Even if a person has a medical marijuana card, they will face the consequences of a DUI charge, in the same manner as a drunk driver. According to Illinois state law, a first-time DUI conviction constitutes a Class A misdemeanor, with up to one year in jail, a year of revoked driving privileges, and fines up to $2,500. Subsequent DUI convictions result in longer license revocation periods and significant jail time. 

Anyone without a medical marijuana card who is pulled over for DUI and has marijuana in their vehicle can also face a drug possession charge, the severity of which depends on the amount seized by police. 

Contact an Elgin, IL Drug DUI Lawyer 

If you have been charged with driving under the influence of marijuana, Attorney Brian J. Mirandola is prepared to fight on your behalf in the pursuit of the best possible legal outcome. Attorney Mirandola will aim to help you retain your driving privileges and keep a conviction off your record. To schedule a free initial consultation with a skilled Kane County criminal defense attorney, call us at 847-488-0889. 

Sources:

https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/publications/pdf_publications/dsd_a118.pdf

https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/drivers/traffic_safety/DUI/home.html

https://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/blogs/stateline/2018/05/31/drugged-driving-deaths-spike-with-spread-of-legal-marijuana-opioid-abuse

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

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Posted on in Drug Crimes

Aurora, IL drug lawyer

Here in the state of Illinois, possession of illegal drugs can come with serious legal ramifications. While medical marijuana is legal, recreational use and possession of marijuana are not. While possession of cannabis charges are serious, getting caught with even a small amount of cocaine, methamphetamine, or heroin can be life-changing if you are convicted.

If you are charged with a drug crime, it is important to understand the potential consequences and seek experienced legal assistance as soon as possible. 

Drug Charges in Illinois 

According to Illinois state law, the possible legal penalties of drug crimes depend on the type of substance and the amount seized by law enforcement.

If you are apprehended with less than 10 grams of marijuana, you may be charged with a civil offense, with a fine of up to $200. Possession of 10 to 30 grams is a misdemeanor for a first offense with up to a year in jail and fines of $2,500. Anything more than 30 grams becomes a felony, with mandatory minimum sentencing for a conviction and fines up to $25,000. 

With hard drugs like cocaine, meth, and heroin, a possession conviction automatically constitutes a felony on your record, starting with one to three years in jail and up to $25,000 in fines.

Drug Defense Strategies 

At The Law Office Brian J. Mirandola, we aggressively fight for the rights of our clients. Our trusted criminal defense team will do everything it can to keep a conviction off your record and secure the best possible outcome in your case. We can help prove your innocence if you did not know about the narcotics police say you possessed, or effectively negotiate a plea agreement with possible probation. Depending on the facts of your case, we may be able to secure enrollment in a diversion program to further lessen the potential damage.

Contact an Elgin, IL Drug Crime Defense Lawyer

Do not let a drug allegation severely impact your life. The Law Office Brian J. Mirandola is here to fight for you. To schedule a free initial consultation with an adept Kane County criminal defense attorney, contact our team today at 847-488-0889. 

Sources:

https://norml.org/laws/item/illinois-penalties

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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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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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