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Wheaton Marijuana Defense LawyerIllinois is one of 18 states that legalized the use of marijuana for recreational purposes. However, that does not mean that anyone can use this substance at anytime without consequence. There are still many marijuana-related laws on the books, including laws limiting the quantity of marijuana a person can possess and where he or she can possess it. For example, Illinois law prohibits the use of cannabis in schools or on public transportation. It is also illegal to drive under the influence of cannabis.

If you or a loved one were charged with a cannabis-related offense, do not make the mistake of taking these charges lightly. While the use of marijuana is legal in certain circumstances, it is still possible to face significant criminal penalties for a marijuana offense.

Driving Under the Influence of Cannabis

THC is the component in cannabis plants responsible for the “high” or cognitive effects of the substance. Individuals under the influence of THC usually experience slowed reaction time, reduced coordination, and impaired judgement. Multiple scientific studies show the relationship between cannabis use behind the wheel and impaired driving. Consequently, it is illegal for Illinois drivers to drive while under the influence of marijuana–even if the driver has a valid medical marijuana card.

Police may arrest a driver for driving under the influence if they suspect that the driver is under the influence of cannabis. The smell of cannabis in the vehicle, drug paraphernalia, bloodshot eyes, and slowed speech may all be signs that a driver is intoxicated by cannabis. Field sobriety tests and blood tests for THC content may be used to confirm that the driver was under the influence. DUI penalties are the same for drugged drivers as they are for drunk drivers. Drivers who operate a vehicle while under the influence of cannabis may face license revocation, steep fines, and in some cases, jail time.

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DuPage County Criminal Defense AttorneyEveryone should be aware of their rights – whether they are currently involved in the criminal justice system or not. The United States Constitution and state-level legislation protect our right to avoid self-incrimination, be free from unreasonable searches of our property, and much more.

If you or a loved one were arrested for a criminal offense, it is even more crucial that you fully understand the rights and responsibilities of criminal defendants. Part of this understanding requires myths and rumors about the police to be debunked.  

Myth: The Police Must Identify Themselves as Law Enforcement Officers

Television shows and movies have helped perpetuate many myths and rumors about police officers. Perhaps the most enduring of these myths is the legend that police must identify themselves as law enforcement officers. You may have heard that police must answer “yes” if you ask them, “Are you a cop?”

This is completely untrue. Police do not have to identify themselves as police officers. Undercover officers pretending to be regular citizens are regularly used in sting operations and undercover drug busts.

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Wheaton Criminal Defense LawyerDid you know that the human brain does not finish developing until a person is in their mid to late 20s? The prefrontal cortex, the area of the brain that regulates impulse control and problem-solving, is one of the last parts of the brain to reach full development. It is no surprise that teenagers and young people sometimes make rash, irresponsible decisions.

If your child was charged with theft, possession of a fake ID, assault, drunk driving, or another criminal offense, do not lose hope. The state of Illinois recognizes that many juvenile offenders are good people who made a poor decision. The state has instituted various diversion programs that may keep juvenile offenders out of detention facilities and give them a chance to turn their lives around.

Diversion Programs Give Youth a Second Chance

Fortunately, Illinois prioritizes rehabilitation over punishment when it comes to juvenile offenders. The state offers several diversion programs that allow juvenile offenders get the help they need and avoid strict criminal penalties. Completing certain diversion programs may result in the dismissal or reduction of criminal charges. Other programs are used to help juvenile offenders avoid further criminal charges. For example, the llinois Second Chance program provides services to offenders under the age of 17 ½ who suffer from addiction or mental health problems who are being released from correctional facilities. The program provides aftercare young people need to reduce the chances of recidivism.

Components of Illinois Diversion Programs

Juvenile diversion programs vary based on the age of the offender, the nature of the offense, and the jurisdiction. However, all programs have the same goal of helping a young person turn his or her life around. Diversion programs often require the juvenile to participate in:

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Wheaton Criminal Defense AttorneyA misdemeanor DUI is bad enough. You could face a bit of jail time, and you will probably have your license revoked for a period of time. However, when you are facing felony charges related to a DUI, your situation is very serious. You could be facing more than a year of prison time, and it could be much longer than a year depending on the particular circumstances. Charging a DUI as a felony is an extreme way to handle extreme DUI cases. For you to be charged with a felony DUI, there must have been some fact or circumstances that made your alleged conduct much more serious than an average, run-of-the-mill drunk driving incident. If you have been charged with a DUI-related felony, it is important that you are represented by an experienced lawyer who can try to minimize the impact this case will have on your life. 

What Circumstances Turn a DUI into a Felony?

There are only a handful of situations where a felony charge will stem from a DUI. Factors that can raise a DUI to the felony level include: 

  • Young passenger - On a first DUI, you could be charged with a felony if you injured a passenger who was under 16 years old. If it is your second DUI, simply having a passenger under 16 is a Class 4 felony - or a Class 2 if the passenger was injured. 

  • Repeat offenses - A third DUI, or any DUI after the third, is automatically a felony. If you have a prior conviction for a DUI that killed someone, you could be convicted of a Class 3 felony. If this is your sixth DUI, then you could be charged with a Class X felony. This is the most serious level of criminal charge in Illinois and carries up to 30 years in prison.

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Wheaton Violent Crimes LawyerWhile battery is typically only a misdemeanor in Illinois, aggravated battery is a felony. Battery is defined as causing physical harm to or making physical contact with a person in a way that is insulting or provoking. A single slap or spitting on someone may be considered a simple (misdemeanor) battery. When aggravated battery is charged, it is because there were circumstances present that make the attack much more serious. 

Depending on the circumstances, aggravated battery could be charged as anything between a Class 3 felony and a Class X felony - which could carry a life sentence. If you are facing an aggravated battery charge, it is important that you secure excellent legal representation as soon as possible - ideally, before arraignment. 

What Circumstances Elevate Simple Battery to Aggravated Battery?

Illinois state law sets out a list of aggravating factors that can cause a battery to be charged as a felony. If you have been charged with aggravated battery, it is probably because the state believes that you battered someone and one of these circumstances was present: 

  • Serious harm - A battery that severely injures the victim aggravates the charge. If the victim suffers great bodily harm, permanent disability, or disfigurement, you could face felony charges. 

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Abraham Lincoln A lawyer’s time and advice are his stock and trade. -Abraham Lincoln
Warrenville Office
Address28371 Davis Parkway, Suite 103, Warrenville, IL 60555
Phone(630) 657-5052
Fax(888) 350-9195
Wheaton Office
Address1776 S. Naperville Road, Building A, Suite 105, Wheaton, IL 60189
Phone(630) 580-6373
Fax(888) 350-9195
Chicago Office
Address321 N. Clark Street, Suite 900, Chicago, IL 60654
Phone(312) 985-5676
Fax(888) 350-9195
Joliet Office
Address58 N. Chicago Street, Suite 102,
Joliet, IL 60432
Phone(815) 582-4901
Fax(888) 350-9195
Davi Law Group, LLC handles criminal law matters for clients in Chicago and throughout the western suburbs including DuPage County, Will County, Kane County, Kendall County and Cook County and the cities of Aurora, Bloomingdale, Bolingbrook, Carol Stream, Darien, Downers Grove, Elmhurst, Geneva, Glen Ellyn, Hinsdale, Joliet, Kendall County, Lisle, Lombard, Naperville, Oak Park, Oak Brook, Oswego, Park Ridge, Roselle, St. Charles, Villa Park, Warrenville, Wheaton, Winfield, Woodridge and Yorkville.

 

 

 

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