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possession, drug crimes, Oakbrook criminal defense attorneyThe Cook County state's attorney recently announced that her office will no longer prosecute the majority of misdemeanor marijuana charges and will instead recommend nonviolent offenders who are charged with low-level felony possession of cannabis, cocaine, Ecstasy, and heroin be enrolled in drug treatment programs.

Currently, a person who is charged with a Class 4 felony possession faces either one to three years in prison, a $25,000 fine or both. The state attorney said in her announcement that instead of facing criminal charges, an alternative prosecution program will be created to help keep drug addicts out of the criminal justice system and, instead, get them into rehabilitation programs. By treating chronic drug addiction has a public health issue – instead of a criminal one – prosecutors hope to help alleviate the overcrowding of the Cook County court system.

The Cook County courts have been bogged down for years, dealing with these low-level drug possession cases. Statistics from the American Civil Liberties Union reveal that in 2010, there were 33,000 people arrested in the county for possession of marijuana. This comes out to 91 arrests per day.

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Illinois criminal defense attorney, Illinois defense lawyer, Illinois DUI attorney,Driving under the influence of any controlled substance, drug, or alcohol is a crime in the state of Illinois. Drugged driving has become more of a concern in recent years as some states have begun the process of legalizing marijuana or issuing medical marijuana licenses. It is not unlawful to merely have these substances in your system, presuming that you are lawfully entitled to possess them. However, at a certain threshold, the substances may begin affecting your reaction speeds, and thus your ability to drive and perform other tasks that may affect the safety of others. It is that point that you begin crossing over from a lawful activity into something that may put a misdemeanor or felony on your record if you injure someone while driving under the influence of such substances.

Drugged Driving: Intentional or Otherwise

Another serious misconception is that you cannot be “under the influence” of prescription drugs that you have been lawfully prescribed by a physician. Not only can many of these drugs affect reaction speeds, focus, and ability to drive, but the effects may be amplified significantly when mixed with other drugs or alcohol. While it is always dangerous (not to mention illegal) to take prescription drugs that do not belong to you, taking these drugs and driving poses serious safety concerns to yourself and others on the road.

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Posted on in Drug Crimes

Illinois meth labs, Oak Brook drug crimes defense lawyerMethamphetamine is an addictive drug that is a substantial public health risk. More than that, meth is also a drug that can be made of many household items, making it accessible to everyone. Its components are relatively simple, but its creation is dangerous and complicated and can lead to significant safety threats, including chemical burns, explosions, fires, and other injuries. Even “amateur” labs utilizing relatively simple methodology can lead to participants being convicted with felony drug offenses. Operating a meth lab is a serious offense in Illinois and involvement in such operations can have a substantial effect on your future.

Methamphetamine in Illinois

A recent news story summarized the 100-plus arrests made in Illinois’ own St. Clair County. Along with drugs come guns, violent criminals, violent offenses, and disputes over money, domain and power. Possession, use, and distribution of methamphetamine, while in itself a crime, may also lead to charges such as:

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drugged drivingMost people know that it is unlawful to drive under the influence of drugs in Illinois. What is less clear is how Illinois measures how much of a substance a person can have in their system while driving in order to be considered legally intoxicated.

When a person is charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, the person is automatically considered intoxicated if the driver’s blood alcohol is measured at .08 percent or more. By contrast, Illinois’s drugged driving law does not set a minimum amount of drugs that can be found in a person’s system before they can be convicted of a DUI for drugged driving. Instead, Illinois’s drugged driving statute states that a person may be convicted of drug driving if:

1. The driver was found to have been under the influence of a drug or combination of drugs that made them incapable of driving safely; or

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drug possession, Illinois laws, criminal laws, Illinois criminal defense lawyer, criminal defense attorneyThere are many different types of drug crimes in Illinois, usually related to possession, delivery, or manufacturing of illegal substances. Drug possession charges are particularly common.  Local residents often face possession charges following a search after being stopped on the street or pulled over in a car.

In Illinois, criminal drug/controlled substance possession is governed primarily by the Illinois Controlled Substances Act and the Cannabis Control Act.

What Penalties Do Possessors Face?

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Timothy N. Morris, 29, was found guilty of calculated criminal drug conspiracy and was sentenced to 10 years in prison on October 1. The crime is a Class X felony which carry mandatory sentences of 6 to 30 years in prison upon conviction. The Naperville Sun reports that Morris has to serve at least 75 percent of his term in prison and pay about $2000 dollars in fines and court costs. Furthermore, he will be supervised for three years after completing his time in prison.

Morris was part of a narcotics ring that operated last year in the Naperville-Aurora area and Chicago.  Naperville Police Department’s Special Operations Group arrested three other suspects in connection with the drug ring: Ian E. Lona, Gilda L. Ruales, and Teresa I. Sanchez. They were arrested on October 6, 2011, in Naperville and Morris was arrested 14 hours earlier on Chicago’s west side.

Police started investigating the actions of the group after Ruales had been arrested for selling cocaine in Aurora. Later, police found out that Ruales and Sanchez were dealing drugs in Naperville and Aurora. Following this lead, undercover police agents purchased cocaine and hundreds of ecstasy pills from the members of the ring.

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Prosecutors claim that 50 year old David Hatyina had been using alcohol and cocaine before driving a boat that struck and killed a 10 year old boy onPetiteLake. Hatyina has been charged with five counts of aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol that resulted in death, and two counts of reckless homicide in the July 28 death of Tony Borcia.

The young boy and his 12 year old sister had been tubing behind a boat their father was driving. Waves caused the boy to fall off the tube and into the lake. His father turned the boat around to pick him up, but Hatyina appeared with his 29-foot Baja speed boat, driving it right towards Tony, ignoring attempts from the boy’s older siblings to get his attention to stop. Instead, Hatyina kept on driving and plowed his boat into the boy, killing him.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Blood samples showed that Hatyina had taken cocaine just hours before the accident and that his blood alcohol content was between .09 percent and .128 percent at the time of the crash. Witnesses told police that before the accident, Hatyina had been speeding his boat on the lake and had almost caused several accidents with his reckless driving.

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Police in Woodstock report that an alleged drug dealer suffered critical injuries when he chased to a customer who refused to pay for drugs.

The alleged dealer was thrown from the hood of a car while trying to run down customer John C. Kurchina  on Sunday night.  Following a drug deal at a home at the 600 block of Lawndale Avenue in Woodstook, the Kurchina took a still undisclosed amount of marajuana and then ran from the alleged dealer without paying.

That's when the alleged dealer decided to give chase, according to police.

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A Chicago man, DaJuan Brown, 35, is currently being held on $1 million dollars bail after being charged with running a prostitution ring from his home in the 1400 block of North Laramie Avenue. Brown, who has prior convictions for domestic battery, pimping

and robbery, has been charged with involuntary servitude and aggravated trafficking. Police say he has been operating the ring for the past five years.

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A two-month police investigation of drug activity in the East Garfield Park neighborhood has led to the arrests of nine gang members who were allegedly responsible for running an open-air heroin market in the area. Police seized $6,700 in cash and several grams of heroin, worth about $3,000 on the street.

In an interview with the Chicago Tribune, First Deputy Superintendent Al Wysinger stated, "This is the community's block. It does not belong to the gang bangers, the drug dealers. It's theirs (the community). We&ve taken it back and we&re going to turn it over to them."

It was residents’ complaints about the violence that led police to take action. But Wysinger also told the Tribune that with the department’s limited resources "we can&t be every place all the time." He added, "You&re going to see a stepped-up police presence initially, but we&re going to wean it back and actually turn it over to the community," Wysinger said, adding that police have warrants out for three other suspects.

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