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Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C.
678-208-9200Available 24/7

Recent Blog Posts

Illinois Bans Solitary Confinement for Juveniles

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Criminal Defense

solitary confinement, Illinois policy, Illinois Criminal Defense AttorneyA federal lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has led to a settlement which will ban the practice of solitary confinement in juvenile correctional institutions in the state. This makes Illinois the twentieth state in the country to do so.

The ACLU filed its lawsuit, R.J. v. Jones, against the state in 2012 because of the serious conditions the organization says existed in Illinois juvenile correctional facilities. Instead of fighting the lawsuit, the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice agreed to negotiate with the ACLU in order to come up with proposals to improve those conditions. One of the issues the lawsuit addressed was the use of placing children in solitary confinement as punishment, a practice which Adam Schwartz, senior lawyer with the ACLU of Illinois, calls “one of the most abusive practices used in prisons in the United States.”

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Several New Criminal Laws Passed by Illinois Legislature

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Drug Crimes

New law, Illinois Law, Illinois Criminal Defense AttorneyIllinois lawmakers have been busy this legislation session, with the passage of many bills affecting the state’s criminal statutes. Almost a half dozen of these bills now await the governor’s signature, which will make them official laws. Several of those bills specifically address drug and drunk driving offenses.

Marijuana Charges

House Bill 218 amends the Illinois Cannabis Control Act, essentially making the possession of a half-ounce or less of marijuana a petty offense, similar to a speeding ticket. The fine for possession can be up to $125 and expungment of the offense off a person’s record after six months. The Illinois Department of Corrections estimates that this new law will save the state approximately $30 million. The new law also establishes a threshold level for anyone who is arrested driving under the influence of marijuana.

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Speeding in Illinois Road Construction Zones

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Traffic Violations

speeding, work zone, Illinois criminal defense attorneyAlong with the warm weather comes road construction. Whether it is a road requiring repair from the ravages of winter weather, or the expansion of an existing roadway, Illinois drivers can count on seeing the orange cones all over the state during the spring, summer, and fall months. They can also count on severe penalties for ignoring the state’s rules for driving in road construction zones.

Under Illinois law, a road construction zone requiring decreasing the posted speed limit is one in which either the Department of Transportation, Toll Highway Authority, or other local agency has posted signs which alert drivers that they are approaching a maintenance or construction speed zone. Such a zone also includes areas in which one of the aforementioned agencies has posted signs stating that the established posted speed limit is not safe or reasonable due to current or expected conditions in the area.

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New Illinois Law Would Grant Amnesty to Underage Drinkers Seeking Medical Help

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Criminal Defense

underage, underage drinking, Illinois Juvenile Crimes Defense AttorneyIn Illinois, it is against the law for anyone under the age of 21-years-old to consume, be in possession of, or deliver alcohol. Depending on the nature of the violation – as well as the charging agency – anyone found guilty violating the law faces punishment of receiving an ordinance violation, punishable by a fine, all the way to a Class 4 felony, which can be punishable by one to three years in prison. Under the state's’ Zero Tolerance policy, anyone under the age of 21 who is found guilty of consuming or possessing alcohol receives an automatic suspension of their driver’s license for three to six months – even if they were not drinking and driving.

If a young person is charged with underage drinking, it is important to consult with an attorney regarding defenses to the charge. For example, under the law, if the young person is drinking under the supervision and approval of at least one of their parents, then they cannot be charged with violating the law.

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Over 240 Arrested in Major Health Care Fraud Sweep

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Fraud

medical fraud, fraud, Illinois Criminal Defense AttorneySeveral federal agencies, working together, announced a major nationwide health care fraud sweep which resulted in the arrests of almost 250 people. Among those arrested were physicians, nurses, and pharmacists, who were all accused of defrauding both Medicare and Medicaid systems. According to investigators, the effort uncovered more than $700 million in allegedly fraudulent billing.

Many of those charged allegedly billed the government for services that were never received and medical equipment which was never provided to patients. Prescription drug fraud was also targeted by investigators, with more than 40 of the defendants who were arrested accused of defrauding Medicare’s drug benefit program. Investigators say this program has become one of the fastest growing targets of fraudulent activity, with many of the prescription painkillers dispensed ending up being sold illegally on the streets to drug addicts.

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