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DuPage County Criminal Defense LawyerA drug-related felony conviction can change your life. People with a felony drug conviction often struggle to find adequate housing, let alone a good career or educational opportunities. The “collateral consequences” of a drug-related felony are often worse than any judicial punishment. Even seemingly minor conduct involving controlled substances can lead to a felony conviction. The line between a misdemeanor and a felony is very thin when it comes to drug enforcement. Many people who are charged with a drug felony are not hardened drug dealers - they are members of the community struggling with addiction. Even possessing certain types of drugs for personal use could get you charged with a life-altering felony offense. If you are facing felony drug charges in Illinois, it is important that you are represented by an experienced and dedicated drug crimes defense attorney. 

Types of Felony Drug Charges Explained

There are three main categories of felony drug offenses in Illinois. They are:

  • Possession - Possession just means that you had an illegal intoxicant on you or in a space you control, like your car or house. The precise definition of “in possession” is not always clear. If a friend leaves a substance in your car, you could be charged with possession whether you knew it was there or not. In some cases, a lawyer can have a felony simple possession charge reduced to a misdemeanor. Note that possession with intent to sell is a much more serious crime that is often charged based solely on the quantity of the substance you had. 

  • Trafficking - “Trafficking” sounds like it should be applied to large-scale operations that involve literal tons of illicit substances. However, Illinois’ laws are strict. Bringing even a small amount of a drug into the state with apparent intent to process or distribute it can lead to trafficking charges. 

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Wheaton Violent Crimes Defense LawyerDomestic violence charges often lead to harsher sentencing than simple assaults. They are also a lot more stigmatized. One of the main differences between domestic violence and assault is who the victim is. A lot of people believe that “domestic violence” and “intimate partner violence” are synonymous, but they are not. In Illinois, you could be charged with domestic violence for assaulting someone who is related to you, who lives in your household, or who you used to be romantically involved with. It is not limited to someone you are currently in a relationship with. A lot of people are surprised to find themselves charged with domestic violence after a dispute with, for example, a roommate. An attorney may be able to help you reduce the severity of your charges. 

Who Can Domestic Violence be Committed Against?

If you are the primary aggressor in a physical altercation with a stranger or friend, you are most likely going to be charged with assault. While an assault charge is still serious and can land you in jail, a domestic violence charge can close doors in your future. Even if this is not the case, people may look at your conviction and believe that you were physically abusive toward someone you were in a romantic relationship with. 

However, you could be charged with domestic violence rather than assault if the victim was: 

  • Your ex - Even if you have since broken up or gotten divorced, you could still face domestic violence charges for an altercation with an intimate partner. If the victim was your child’s other parent, then you could be charged with domestic violence even if you were never in a relationship. 

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Wheaton Criminal Defense AttorneyIt is commonly believed that you cannot get in legal trouble for drugs if you do not have any drugs on you. Unfortunately, you can still be arrested if you do not have any drugs, but do have the tools to use them. Interpreting the laws surrounding drug paraphernalia can be complicated. A lot of normal household items, like cotton balls, can be used to prepare illegal substances for use. Then, there are types of pipes that could be used legally for tobacco or cannabis, or illegally for smoking other drugs. If you find yourself facing charges for possessing drug paraphernalia, it is important that you take the charge very seriously. A serious paraphernalia charge can be just as bad if not worse than a charge for possessing a small quantity of the illegal drug itself. 

3 Things You Should Know About Drug Paraphernalia in Illinois

The definition of paraphernalia can change over time. Just a few years ago, a water pipe - or as most people would call it, a bong - could be considered paraphernalia if there was evidence suggesting that it was being used for cannabis rather than tobacco. Today, it is generally legal for adults to use whatever type of smoking apparatus they please to consume cannabis. 

A few things you should be aware of regarding Illinois’ drug paraphernalia laws include: 

  • Wide interpretation - The law bans “equipment, products, and materials of any kind” meant to be used to process or consume illicit substances. As you can imagine, this description opens itself to a wide variety of interpretations. In theory, those cotton balls we mentioned in the first paragraph could get you arrested if there is something going on to suggest that you were going to use them to process crushed pills into an injectable solution - such as the presence of needles and a burnt spoon. 

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DuPage County Criminal Defense AttorneyThe Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects Americans’ right to own firearms. However, the right to own or carry a gun is limited by federal and Illinois laws. The Illinois Firearms Restraining Order Act, often called the “red flag law,” allows for the confiscation of an individual’s firearms and prohibits the person from purchasing additional firearms. If you own a firearm in Illinois or you are facing criminal charges related to the possession or use of a firearm, it is crucial that you understand how red flag laws can affect you.

Suspension of a Person’s Firearm Privileges

Recent school shootings have put gun ownership in the national spotlight. Many people believe that gun ownership is a constitutional right while others think that reducing the number of guns in the U.S. will reduce gun violence. Whatever your opinions on the matter, it is important to understand how Illinois law can affect your ability to own or purchase firearms.

Under the Firearms Restraining Order Act, individuals who have concerns about potential gun violence can petition the court to suspend a person’s gun rights. Police may confiscate the person’s guns and suspend the person’s right to purchase firearms. The law is called the red flag law because it is based on the assumption that someone planning to hurt themselves or another person will exhibit certain warning signs or red flags.

Examples of red flags that can lead to the suspension of a person’s gun rights include:

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DuPage County Shoplifting LawyerShoplifting and other forms of retail theft have been on the rise for the last few years. Many people who take something from the store without paying see the act as a victimless crime. Stealing an item from a big box store with millions of dollars in assets may seem inconsequential. However, being convicted of retail theft can have serious repercussions. In some cases, shoplifting can even be a felony offense.

If you or a loved one were accused of theft, contact a criminal defense lawyer for personalized legal help right away.

Misdemeanor Charges for Shoplifting

The severity of theft charges in Illinois depends on the value of the allegedly stolen items. If someone is accused of stealing property worth less than $300, it is a Class A misdemeanor offense. Misdemeanor theft is punishable by a maximum fine of $2,500 and, possibly, jail time. Fortunately, individuals charged with misdemeanor retail theft may eventually expunge or seal their criminal records. This hides the record of the arrest from employers, landlords, and the general public. This option is not typically available for felony retail theft charges.

Felony Charges for Shoplifting

Shoplifting or retail theft is a felony offense if the goods allegedly stolen are worth more than $300. However, retail theft or shoplifting may be a felony offense even if the alleged stolen items are worth less than $300 if the person:

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Abraham Lincoln A lawyer’s time and advice are his stock and trade. -Abraham Lincoln
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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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