Archive for the ‘drug charges’ tag
February 15th, 2017 at 9:01 am
All too many people find themselves ticketed for leaving the scene of an accident in Illinois, and these drivers fail to understand that leaving the scene of an accident is not just a traffic violation—it is a criminal offense. As such, it is important to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney if you have been ticketed for leaving the scene of an accident in Illinois. A skilled lawyer will be able to identify any potential defenses you have and will work hard to fight the charges that are pending against you.
There are several reasons why someone might leave the scene of an accident. For instance, you might panic because you do not know what to do. Or, you might leave because you think that there is nothing for you to do about the situation, such as when you accidentally hit a parked car and have no way to leave contact information and have no way to reach the driver of the vehicle you hit.
Sometimes drivers flee the scene of an accident because they are worried about facing other criminal charges in addition to the accident if police show up at the scene, such as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol or reckless driving charges.
What Are Your Obligations if You Are Involved in a Motor Vehicle Accident?
Under 625 ILCS 5/11-402, leaving the scene of an accident in Illinois is illegal. If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, you are supposed to stop immediately and remain at the scene until you can provide contact information (including providing your name address vehicle registration number and the name of the owner of the vehicle if it does not belong to you) to the affected parties, and/or until you render the appropriate aid for the given situation. In some situations, this could mean having to remain at the scene until law enforcement and/or emergency personnel arrive at the scene. You are also required to report the motor vehicle accident to the appropriate authorities under 625 ILCS 5/11-403 and you have 10 days to report the accident to the Illinois Secretary of State.
What Are the Consequences of Leaving the Scene of an Accident?
A conviction for leaving the scene of an accident is a misdemeanor, which can leave you with a criminal record, jail time, a fine, and a lengthy probation period. Additionally, a conviction for leaving the scene of an accident can result in long-term consequences as well. For instance, your driving privileges could be suspended or revoked and having a leaving the scene of an accident conviction on your record could prevent you from getting certain types of jobs in the future, especially if those jobs involve driving.
Consult With a Criminal Defense Lawyer Now
You should consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney if you have been charged with leaving the scene of an accident in Illinois. The potential consequences of a conviction are numerous, and you need to do everything that you can to help protect yourself and your rights. Working with a passionate Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney who has years of experience handling these types of cases would be to your benefit.
January 11th, 2017 at 8:30 am
Drug trafficking, and cocaine trafficking in particular, is a serious felony offense in Illinois. The crime of drug trafficking involves knowingly selling, transporting, and importing controlled substances, such as cocaine, with the intent to manufacture or deliver the drugs.
There are two different sets of laws that govern criminal charges associated with cocaine trafficking. When the drug offense is committed within the state of Illinois, generally state law applies to the case. However, if a drug offense is committed across multiple jurisdictions, i.e., the drug offense involved activities occurring in two separate states, then the matter falls under the purview of federal law.
Transporting Cocaine Across State Lines Leads to Federal Drug Charges
One of the most common ways that drug charges go from being a strictly state matter to a federal matter, is when drugs are transported across state lines. Getting drugs like cocaine across state lines can involve:
- Transporting cocaine across state lines by automobile or bus;
- Transporting cocaine across state lines by using the rail system;
- Transporting cocaine across state lines by using a boat across Lake Michigan; or
- Transporting cocaine across state lines by use of a private plane, jet or commercial airline.
Whether your cocaine drug charges are at the state or federal level, if you are facing drug charges at all you need to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney serving Rolling Meadows and the surrounding areas. Your criminal defense lawyer will know the intricacies of the law regarding cocaine possession, distribution, and transportation, and your lawyer will help prepare the best defense possible in light of your particular circumstances. You deserve fair treatment under the law and a skilled criminal defense attorney will fight so that you can get the best possible outcome in light of your specific situation.
Charged With Two Crimes: Trafficking and Possession
Generally if you are facing cocaine trafficking charges, you were likely caught in the act by law enforcement or you were implicated in the crime from some other evidence, such as videotape footage, testimony from others involved in the crime, etc. Many times, defendants who are charged with cocaine trafficking are also charged with cocaine possession, since they are usually found by law enforcement to be in actual possession of the cocaine that was being trafficked.
It is common practice for law enforcement in Illinois to charge a defendant with as many crimes as possible at the time of arrest. If the offense even closely resembles a crime, the arresting officer will likely charge the defendant with it. This is referred to as “stacking” or “multiplying” the charges against the defendant and it is to the prosecution’s advantage. By effectively charging you with every possible crime that facts and circumstances surrounding your offense could possibly justify, the prosecution is given the best possible chance to have charges stick in court to turn into a conviction.
For Defense Against Cocaine Charges: Call The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley
If you have been arrested and charged with a cocaine offense, you need to work with a skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney who has years of experience handling drug cases like yours. We are prepared to help you today.
December 9th, 2016 at 10:55 am
Begin caught while committing a drug offense and/or being charged with a drug offense is tough in its own right. You will need to hire a criminal defense lawyer and go to court, and you can potentially face jail time, fines, probation, and a criminal record that will be with you for a long time. Additionally, the police can take your personal property if it is associated with the drug offense, such as your car, money, or other belongings.
Illinois Drug Asset Forfeiture Laws Are Far-Reaching
Illinois has certain aggressive and broad drug asset forfeiture laws. Under Illinois drug asset forfeiture laws, any property that is associated with criminal drug activity can be seized by the police. This causes many problems for people who own property that was taken into custody by police. These laws do not distinguish between the person who allegedly committed a crime and who actually owns the property. Moreover, the laws extend to other items that may have been purchased with money associated with a crime. Finally, the property is not automatically released if the charges against the alleged offender are dropped.
If you borrowed your mother’s car, went driving to your friend’s house, and for some reason were pulled over, the car was searched, drugs were found, and you were arrested, your mother’s car could be seized under the state’s drug asset forfeiture laws—even though it is not your car. Your mother will have to request that her car be returned to her, which can be a time-consuming hassle.
Additionally, the Fourth District Appeals Court just recently held that the police can also seize property that was purchased with money associated with drug crimes when there is a direct link between the property and the drug money. According to the Herald & Review, an Illinois woman lost out on a $50,000 winning lottery ticket because it was suspected by police to have been purchased with drug money. The woman herself was not directly involved with drugs, rather her boyfriend was, but the police took her winning lottery ticking nonetheless.
The point is that while being charged with a drug crime directly affects you and your loved ones, there can be other complications for those who are close to you as well, pending their property ends up muddled in with your alleged offense.
Let Us Help You Today
If you have been arrested and charged with a drug offense, you need to focus on fighting and beating the drug charges that have been lodged against you. The consequences for a drug conviction are very serious and could have a long-term impact on your life. Whether you are facing charges for possession of a controlled substance or cannabis, distribution, or manufacturing drugs, you should speak with a skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney who has a lot of experience handling drug cases.
September 29th, 2016 at 12:11 pm
Illegal drug deals can take many forms, but nearly all drug deals have something in common: they are all transactions. At their core, all drug transactions are the same – they are an exchange where each party gets something that they want. Drug transactions involve a recipient party (i.e., the drug “buyer”) providing something to a drug dealer in exchange for the drugs. A majority of the time, drugs are traded for money.
But in some situations, a drug dealer might accept something other than money as payment for drugs. Sometimes a dealer will want certain services (e.g., the dealer may want the drug “buyer” to commit a crime, or perform some act in exchange for the drugs) in exchange for drugs, or the dealer might want property or valuables instead of cash. Sometimes the dealer may want the drugs to be paid for in stolen goods, like a stolen car or stolen jewelry, watches or electronics. The dealer might even encourage a buyer to commit burglary in order to get the drugs.
Burglary Is Serious Business
There are a number of reasons why people commit burglary; one common reason is to sell the stolen goods for money in order to pay for drugs or to trade the stolen goods directly with the dealer for drugs. Entering someone else’s home or other property without permission and taking things that do not belong to you is a form of theft known as burglary. The Illinois burglary statute covers unauthorized access into a building, dwelling, house trailer, boat, motor vehicle, or airplane. Stealing anything from one of these locations, or intending to commit a felony in one of these locations, is considered to be burglary under Illinois law.
Getting Charged With Multiple Offenses
Getting caught paying for drugs with stolen goods can land you in trouble with the law. Committing a burglary is a serious enough crime on its own, but then using stolen goods to finance a drug transaction makes your situation significantly worse when you are caught by law enforcement. Not only can you, as the drug purchaser, be charged with theft and the burglary, but you can also be charged with the drug transaction and drug possession charges as well. If the drug dealer is caught along with you, he or she could be charged with receipt or possession of stolen property, as well as criminal charges for selling or trafficking the drugs.
Caught Trading Stolen Goods For Drugs? Call A Lawyer
Burglary charges and drug offenses are not matters that should be taken lightly. You can face serious penalties, such as jail time and harsh fines. If you are in trouble with the law, you should contact an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible to obtain guidance on what to do in your particular situation.
August 10th, 2016 at 3:33 pm
Being arrested on drug charges can have a lasting impact on your life. Besides the cost of the charge itself, your job or livelihood could be placed at risk, and you may even lose government funding if you are attending or planning on going to college. Understand how the state of Illinois processes these charges, and what you can best do to protect yourself from the adverse consequences.
Drug Scheduling in Illinois
In Illinois, the penalties of a drug charge depend on several factors, including the assigned “schedule” of the drug you allegedly had in your possession. Based on the drug’s potential for abuse and whether or not they are considered approved for medical use, this schedule is as follows:
- Schedule I drugs: opiates and opium derivatives that have a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use (heroin, LSD, ecstasy, etc.);
- Schedule II drugs: some accepted medical use, a high potential for abuse, and the propensity to cause severe psychological or physical dependence (Demerol, OxyContin, Percocet, etc.);
- Schedule III drugs: a lower potential for abuse and a moderate to low risk of physical or psychological dependence (Vicodin, Tylenol with Codeine, Suboxone, etc.);
- Schedule IV drugs: a low potential for abuse compared to other higher schedule drugs (Xanax, Klonopin, Valium, Ativan, etc.);
- Schedule V drugs: a low potential for abuse compared to other higher schedule drugs and primarily preparations that contain limited quantities of higher level narcotics (Robitussin AC, Codeine, Phenergan, etc.).
Other Factors Considered in Your Drug Possession Case
While the scheduling of the alleged drug is a major factor in determining the potential consequences of a drug charge, there are many other factors considered as well. Examples include the number of previous convictions and/or possession charges, the amount of the drug you were allegedly carrying, and your proximity to a school at the time of an arrest.
Possible Penalties of Drug Possession
Schedule I drugs often result in felony charges, which could lead to incarceration of anywhere from four to 50 years, depending on the amount you were allegedly carrying. However, there are exceptions. In contrast, lower schedule drugs are often considered misdemeanors, which typically results in a shorter sentence. Still, there are factors that could aggravate a lower schedule drug charge and increase your penalties.
Contact Our Illinois Criminal Law Attorneys
If you are facing a drug charge in Illinois, it is critical that you contact an attorney that understands how to defend your rights and mitigate your charges. Our Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorneys possess this knowledge, and we will take swift, aggressive action in your case. Get the representation you deserve. Contact us to schedule your confidential consultation today.
July 27th, 2016 at 3:46 pm
If the television show “Breaking Bad” taught us anything, it is that the manufacturing of methamphetamine can be a highly lucrative endeavor. Methamphetamine manufacturing laboratories that are well hidden can be hard for law enforcement to detect, and so individuals who operate a methamphetamine lab might be operational for quite a while, even possibly years, before getting caught by the police.
However, the possession, sale, distribution, and manufacture of methamphetamine is illegal under the Methamphetamine Control and Community Protection Act. Regardless of whether the operation involves making a tiny batch of methamphetamine, or pounds of it, those who are caught will be charged with a felony.
Methamphetamine Manufacturing Conviction
Anyone who is charged with methamphetamine manufacturing faces a felony conviction, which most likely means years of jail time, in addition to the payment of hefty fines. A conviction also means that the criminal defendant’s name will be placed on the Convicted Methamphetamine Manufacturer Registry, which is maintained by the Illinois State Police. This registry is made available to the public and lists the convicted felon’s name, date of birth, the offense(s) that landed them on the registry, their conviction date, and the county where they were found to be manufacturing methamphetamine.
Aggravated Methamphetamine Manufacturing
Making methamphetamine is dangerous. There is risk of explosion, toxic fumes, fire, chemical burns, etc. When an individual manufactures methamphetamine in a place where he or she can hurt other people if something goes wrong, it is considered aggravated methamphetamine manufacturing, and this charge carries more serious consequences than methamphetamine manufacturing. Methamphetamine manufacturing can be aggravated if:
- The methamphetamine manufacturing occurred in a multi-unit dwelling;
- The methamphetamine manufacturing occurred somewhere where a minor, disabled person, a person over 60 years old, or pregnant woman was present;
- The methamphetamine manufacturing occurred in a location that is protected by guns, explosions, booby traps, alarm systems, guard dogs, surveillance, or dangerous animals;
- The methamphetamine manufacturing occurred in a location that is within 1,000 feet of a place of worship or school;
- The methamphetamine manufacturing causes someone to:
- Be killed;
- Suffer serious bodily injury;
- Become disabled; or
- Become disfigured.
- The methamphetamine manufacturing causes a fire or explosion that damages property.
Are You Facing Methamphetamine Charges?
Do not hesitate to contact a Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney if you are facing methamphetamine manufacturing charges. A conviction for methamphetamine manufacturing is a felony and is not something to take lightly. Reach out to us today for help.
July 20th, 2016 at 6:00 am
Drug possession is one of the most common drug charges that criminal defendants face. When it comes to drug possession, whether it’s marijuana, heroin, methamphetamine, prescription pills or other controlled substances, it is important to understand that there are two types of drug possession: actual possession and constructive possession.
What Is Actual Possession of Drugs?
Actual possession arises when you are caught with the drugs on your person. This might mean that the drugs were found by law enforcement who are conducting a search, in your pocket, or tucked away in some other article of your clothing. Actual possession can also be established if you are found with drugs in your purse or backpack that you are carrying with you when you are searched.
Drug charges based on actual possession are tough to defend against since you are basically caught red-handed. But just because drugs were found on your person does not necessarily mean that you had knowledge that you were carrying drugs (someone else could have slipped the drugs in your purse or pocket), or that the drugs are yours. Furthermore, the drugs can only be entered as evidence against you if the stop conducted by the police officers, the search, and the seizure were all done legally.
What Is Constructive Possession of Drugs?
Constructive possession arises when drugs are found somewhere that can be associated with your control. For instance, if drugs are found in your bedroom, in your house or apartment, in your car or trunk, in your shed, in your field, in your locker, etc., you can be considered as having constructive possession of the drugs since these places are linked to your ownership or control.
Drug charges based on constructive possession are easier to fight since there may be a lot of opportunities for other people to have intervened and placed the drugs in or on property that can be associated with you. While it is tough to argue that drugs found in a secret box stashed under your bed were put there by someone else, it is possible that drugs could have been left in your home or car by a friend, for example. It is also possible that someone else was trespassing on your property and planted marijuana plants in your field. When other people have access to these areas, it becomes increasingly more difficult to demonstrate your possession.
How Can a Drug Possession Criminal Defense Lawyer Help?
An experienced criminal defense lawyer can help you fight the drug possession charges that you are facing by chipping away at the prosecution’s case against you. Your lawyer will determine whether you are accused of having actual or constructive possession of the drugs, and will identify any and all possible defenses that you could raise. Please do not hesitate to contact a Rolling Meadows drug crimes attorney immediately.
Illinois May Have a Good Samaritan Law for Reporting Overdoses, Yet You Could Still be Charged with Drug Crimes
April 14th, 2016 at 7:00 am
In an effort to help combat the heroin epidemic that has been plaguing the United States in the past few years, in 2012 the Illinois Controlled Substances Act and the Methamphetamine Control and Community Protection Act was amended to include a provision that provides limited immunity from prosecution for those who witness an overdose and call for help. In other words, those who report an overdose can avoid at least some drug charges. The provision is codified in 720 ILCS 570/414, and is sometimes referred to as the Illinois Good Samaritan Overdose Law.
Good Samaritan Overdose Law Limited to Possession of Drugs That Can Cause Overdoses
The overdose law offers protection to those who report an overdose. However, the protection offered by the law is strictly limited to possession and is limited to small quantities of drugs that are capable of causing an overdose. Those who seek medical attention for someone who is overdosing will not be charged with a Class 4 felony for possession of a controlled, counterfeit, or look-alike substance or a controlled substance analog if evidence for a Class 4 charge was acquired as a result of seeking help for the person who is overdosing.
The law is only applicable if a small quantity of drugs are found at the scene of the overdose, such as:
- Less than three grams of heroin, cocaine, morphine or LSD;
- Less than six grams of pentazocine (an opioid), quaaludes, PCP or ketamine; or
- Less than 40 grams of peyote, barbiturates, amphetamines, or any Schedule I or II narcotics.
But the Law Does Not Protect Against a Lot of Other Potential Charges
The law does not protect against drug charges for other drugs, such as cannabis, methamphetamines or other controlled substances. Nor does the law protect those who report overdose victims from other drug charges, such as possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of cannabis, possession of methamphetamines, and drug delivery.
Those who report the overdose could also face other criminal charges if the circumstances warrant such charges, such as driving with a revoked or suspended license, DUI, or aggravated battery (if the person who reported the overdose is suspected of assisting the victim in injecting him or herself with the drug that caused the overdose).
So while you might be doing the “right thing” by calling for medical assistance if you witness someone overdosing on drugs, you should be aware that the overdose law only offers you limited protection from criminal prosecution. It is very easy in an overdose situation to find evidence of other crimes that you would not be immune to under the overdose law.
Contact Us for Help with Your Case
Just because there is a good samaritan overdose reporting law, it does not mean that you are protected against all criminal charges you might face if the cops show up. There are a number of other drug charges you could face. Please contact a Rolling Meadows drug crimes attorney immediately if you have been arrested after reporting an overdose. Our attorneys are prepared to assist you today.
March 2nd, 2016 at 10:59 am
If you are facing drug charges, you are in a difficult spot. However, if your alleged crimes were committed in the wrong place or involved the wrong person, you could be in even worse shape.
Illinois law provides for aggravating factors when it comes to drug crimes, which can make criminal drug charges considerably more serious. When aggravating factors are present in a drug case, penalties become increasingly severe, and sentences can become substantially hefty.
What Are the Worst Aggravating Factors in Illinois?
The aggravating factors for drug charges in Illinois can be broken down into three main groups: to whom you sold drugs, where the drugs were sold, and repeat offenses. Illinois law is very specific regarding what constitutes an aggravating factor in a drug crime.
Who is Involved: Selling drugs to minors is the most common aggravating factor in drug crimes. Selling drugs to a person who is under the age of 18 can lead to double the maximum sentence under 720 ILCS 570/407. Similarly, having minors sell drugs for you is another aggravating factor under 720 ILCS 570/407.01 and can lead to triple the maximum sentence. Also, knowingly selling drugs to pregnant women is an aggravating factor in drug cases, under 720 ILCS 570/407.02, which can lead to double the maximum sentence.
Where the Sale Took Place: Where the sale of drugs took place can matter when it comes to sentencing for drug crimes. For example, under 720 ILCS 570/407 it is an aggravating factor to sell drugs at or near public schools, public parks, property owned by a public housing agency, places of worship, and places where senior citizens can be found—nursing homes, assisted living facilities and senior centers. This results in a Class X felony, increased jail time, and increased fines. Similarly, under 720 ILCS 570/407 it is an aggravating factor to sell drugs at or near a truck stop or safety rest area.
Repeat Offenses: When you are busted for selling drugs a second, third, or any other subsequent time, the fact that you are a repeat offender is an aggravating factor under 720 ILCS 570/408. Repeat offenders face up to double the maximum sentence for their subsequent drug offenses.
Aggravating factors mean that you, as the criminal defendant, are likely to face harsher punishment for your alleged crimes—longer jail times, steeper fines, and more severe penalties. You will need an experienced criminal defense attorney by your side fighting to get your charges reduced or dropped.
Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley
Drug charges are serious, and drug charges that involve aggravating factors are considerably more serious. If you are facing drug charges with aggravating factors, then you need to speak with a skilled criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Please contact a Rolling Meadows drug crimes attorney immediately. Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at 847-394-3200 for assistance with your case.
February 18th, 2016 at 7:00 am
Surprising as it may seem, if you are busted for selling fake drugs, you can be charged with a felony. While the substance that you are peddling may not in fact be the illegal substance you are advertising it to be, if it looks like the drug you allege it to be, and you are trying to sell it as the real stuff, that is a crime. Illinois law enforcement is just as serious about look-alike drugs as they are about real drugs. Police will arrest you, and you will be charged, just like you would if you had committed a crime with real drugs.
What is a Look-Alike Drug?
Just as the name implies, a look-alike drug is a substance that looks like the real thing. The alleged drug could be marijuana, crack, heroin, pills, etc. that is designed to look legitimate. The substance could have the correct coloring, appearance, smell, consistency, size, branding, packaging, and flavor as the real stuff and yet be counterfeit. If the fake drug could deceive a reasonable person into thinking the fake is the real drug, it is a look-alike drug.
How Do People Get Caught Selling Look-Alikes?
Under 720 ILCS 570/404, it is illegal to manufacture, distribute, advertise, or possess look-alike drugs or controlled substances in Illinois. Most often when criminal defendants get caught with fake drugs it is because the defendant is trying to sell them. The defendant might be advertising that what he or she is selling are legitimate, real drugs. The defendant might even offer “samples” of real drugs, only to swap out fake drugs after a sale has been made. Defendants often get caught selling fake drugs to undercover law enforcement officers, or are reported to police by anonymous tips left by jilted customers.
When facing drug charges, it is important to evaluate every possible defense available to the criminal defendant. While it may not be much of a consolation, the defendant must have knowledge that the drug is fake in order to be convicted on look-alike charges.
Another potential defense lies in how the look-alike drugs were found. If the look-alikes were found as part of a search, was the search properly conducted by law enforcement? Was there reasonable suspicion? Was there probable cause? Was a warrant necessary? Did the police have the warrant they needed to conduct a legal search? Your criminal defense lawyer should consider every possible angle of your criminal defense.
Let Us Assist You With Your Case
Selling imitation drugs can get you into just as much trouble as selling the real stuff. If you are facing criminal charges for selling real or fake drugs, please contact a skilled Rolling Meadows drug crimes attorney immediately. The attorneys at our office are happy to help you.