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Hinsdale Illinois Criminal Defense Blog

Tens of thousands of marijuana convictions to be cleared

Marijuana is set to become legal in the state of Illinois in January 2020, making hundreds of thousands of people eligible for expungement of marijuana-related offenses from their records. The State's Attorney for Cook County said that government agencies will partner with the organization Code for America to expedite the process of expungement. In Cook County, tens of thousands of conviction records will be automatically sealed with the help of a technology called Clear My Record. Marijuana convictions can damage a person's chance to find a job or get a home.

Under the terms of the new marijuana law, felony convictions related to less than 30 grams of marijuana will be expunged. Prosecutors will also have more time to focus on more serious criminal activity as they will not have to deal with so many marijuana cases. People who have convictions involving between 30 and 500 grams of marijuana will have to file petitions for expungement. Prosecutors will have the opportunity to object to these latter expungements, so they're not guaranteed.

Understanding the difference between probation and supervision

Being subject to probation or supervision after being found guilty of a crime is never an ideal situation to be in since your freedom will be limited to a large extent. However, either outcome could be a great alternative to jail time.

If you are facing criminal charges, you must gain a good understanding of your possible consequences. Understanding the true consequences of each possible outcome will enable you to make better decisions for your future, especially if you are offered a plea deal. The following are the key differences between probation and supervision in Illinois.

Illinois man allegedly runs into cornfield to escape police

A 41-year-old Illinois man has been charged with drug possession, weapons possession and assaulting a police officer after allegedly attempting to flee from a McDonough County Sheriff's Office deputy during the early morning hours of Aug. 8. The man is being held at the McDonough County Jail. Police say that when they ran a records check on the pickup truck the man was using, they discovered that the vehicle had been reported stolen. Approximately 15 grams of methamphetamine and a stolen handgun were allegedly discovered in the vehicle.

The chain of events began when the deputy approached a man who appeared to be sleeping behind the wheel of a pickup truck parked at the intersection of Illinois Route 336 and U.S. Highway 136 near Tennessee. The man behind the wheel allegedly attempted to flee the scene when the deputy woke him, but the deputy managed to prevent the vehicle from moving by shifting it into park. A scuffle then ensued, and the deputy says that he used a Taser to try to subdue the man. When the Taser was ineffective, the man allegedly fled on foot into a nearby 20-acre cornfield.

Illinois man facing 10 drug charges sentenced to probation

A 33-year-old Illinois man who was facing 10 drug possession, manufacturing and delivery charges will not be spending any time behind bars. The Decatur resident was sentenced to two years of probation after pleading guilty to a single count of possessing a controlled substance with the intent to deliver. The plea and the sentence were part of deal negotiated between the man's defense attorney and Macron County prosecutors. The man was also ordered to pay a fine of $1,150 and cover the costs of laboratory testing. The sentence was handed down on July 25 in Macron County Circuit Court.

The man's legal problems began in August 2018 when officers from the City of Decatur Police Department observed him sitting outside a vacant home on West Marietta Street. Officers claim that the man seemed anxious and was clutching a backpack. A search of the backpack is said to have yielded 12.5 grams of cocaine and 197 pills that were later identified as ecstasy, amphetamines, alprazolam and Oxycodone.

Men found with $11,400 of ecstasy during traffic stop

A 31-year old man and a 23-year old man from Illinois have been charged with possessing an estimated $11,400 worth of ecstasy. The drugs were allegedly found during a routine traffic stop by a McHenry County Sheriff's deputy.

After the police pulled the vehicle over, they reportedly found 114 grams of MDMA, also known as ecstasy. The men were detained and taken to the McHenry County Jail. The 31-year-old man was charged with possession of a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance with the intent to deliver. He also received a second charge of possession of a controlled substance for allegedly having 0.6 grams of cocaine. He has a prior conviction of consumption of alcohol by a minor in 2008.

Illinois police seize drugs during residence search

Police in Illinois charged a 29-year-old woman and a 46-year-old man with drug possession and drug possession with the intent to distribute after allegedly discovering significant quantities of cocaine and heroin in their Coles County residence. The two people were taken into custody on the afternoon of June 27 when officers from the Mattoon Police Department, the East Central Illinois Task Force and the Coles County Crisis Response Team executed a search warrant. The suspects were both transported to the Coles County Jail for processing.

According to media accounts, the two suspects were attempting to destroy evidence when police entered their Mattoon home. During a search of the Marshall Avenue property, officers allegedly discovered approximately 20 grams of a substance believed to be cocaine and in excess of 26 grams of a substance identified as heroin. The way the drugs were packaged indicated that they were for sale, according to police. About $1,800 in currency was also seized.

Helping your high school student overcome drug possession charges

Certain kinds of questionable decisions seem to go hand-in-hand with teenage rebellion. Underage drinking, even drinking and driving, is a common way for teenagers to push back at social boundaries. Others may choose to experiment with drugs, in no small part because of the social taboo that comes from drug prohibition.

The changing laws in Illinois may soon change the culture of drug use and rebellion among teenagers. With the legalization of marijuana, the potential for a carefully regulated system could reduce teen access to marijuana, but that probably won't stop teenage experimentation. Adult legalization does not mean that teens will get a free pass on drug possession, even if all they have is a little marijuana.

What Illinois law says about underage drinking and driving

Drivers in Illinois who are under the age of 21 are subject to a zero-tolerance drunk driving law. For a first offense, an individual will lose his or her license for three months, and the penalty increases to six months for refusing to take a alcohol test. Violating the zero-tolerance policy a second time prior to age 21 will result in a license suspension of up to a year.

Individuals who are 18 or older may be entitled to relief after 30 days. However, this requires the use of a breath alcohol ignition interlock device. Failure to make use of such a device is a felony that could result in jail or prison time as well as fines of up to $25,000. Underage drivers who are convicted of DUI could spend up to a year in jail as well as have their drivers license revoked for at least a year for a first offense.

Illinois man with 10 prior felonies sentenced

An Illinois man with 10 prior felony convictions has been sentenced to 201 months in a federal prison for possession of heroin and cocaine with the intent to distribute, threatening a federal official and mailing threatening letters to federal officials. The sentence was announced in a June 5 press release from the office of the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois. Court documents reveal that the man committed these crimes while under supervised release for a 2001 felony armed robbery conviction.

The man was charged with serious drug offenses in August 2018 when police arrived at his East St. Louis apartment to take him into custody for violating the conditions of his supervised release. When officers arrived, the man threw two large bags out of one of the apartment's windows. The bags contained about 90 grams of crack cocaine and 200 grams of heroin. Police say that they discovered more drugs when the conducted a further search of the residence.

Illinois Supreme Court takes up 'revenge porn' issue

The Illinois Supreme Court has heard arguments concerning "revenge porn," defined as the distribution of sexually explicit content without the subject's consent. The high court in the state is in the process of determining whether First Amendment protections allow an individual to make such images or videos in their possession available after a relationship sours.

An Illinois state law passed in 2015 made sharing private sexual content a class 4 felony if such material was shared without the subject's consent. Possible punishments include up to three years in prison. The case before the state Supreme Court involves a woman who allegedly distributed images that were sent to her then-fiancé by another woman. When the relationship ended, the woman claims that her ex attempted to defame her by questioning her sanity and claiming that she no longer performed certain household tasks.

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Gene Ognibene Associates

Gene Ognibene Associates
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Clarendon Hills, IL 60514

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