Archive for the ‘drug offense’ tag
March 13th, 2017 at 9:40 am
Every so often, a criminal defendant will be charged with the wrong crime after being arrested. For instance, the police may arrest an individual for having what they believe to be cocaine in his or her possession. However, after a sample of the drug is sent to a drug lab for testing, the substance might be identified as something else.
Cocaine, heroin, powdered methamphetamine, powdered ecstasy and ketamine all can have the same appearance as a white powder and it is possible for police to make a mistake and charge someone with a crime that is different than the crime that was committed.
Do Not Incriminate Yourself
It is very unlikely for a criminal defendant to speak up and correct law enforcement about the inaccuracy of the charges. Doing so would be incriminating to oneself. Therefore, since you are not talking, the police will charge you with the crime that they think you committed, and the state prosecutor will be given the charges once your criminal drug case makes it to court.
Prosecutors Can Amend Your Drug Charges
Just because law enforcement charged you with the incorrect crime does not mean that you will not be prosecuted.You might think that the state will never be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the drug crime that you are accused of because the drug was something other than what law enforcement believed it to be. However, this is incorrect.
Once law enforcement and state prosecutors are clear on what drug you had in your possession—there is scientific analysis of the drug compound and the drug has been chemically identified—the prosecution will be able to update the charges that are being levied against you.
Illinois takes drug offenses and all other crimes very seriously. Therefore it is possible for state prosecutors to amend the charges that are pending against you when evidence comes to light that the crime that has been charged is inappropriate for the circumstances.
Does it Make a Difference?
The consequences for possession of many types of controlled substances are often very similar. Hence, you might be wondering: does being charged with the correct crime matter? There are some variations in the law concerning the punishment associated with possession of certain quantities of drugs.
Penalties for drug possession are usually based on the amount of drug that is found by law enforcement and the drug type. As such, it could be possible that you are charged with a drug offense that carries a more serious penalty than if you were charged with the correct crime.
Drug Charges Require the Help of a Criminal Defense Attorney
Being charged with possession of a controlled substance is a big deal and it is important that you hire an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney to help you with your defense strategy. The consequences for a drug conviction can be hefty and can mean years of jail time. Your freedom is in jeopardy, so do not delay in getting a lawyer.
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.
November 25th, 2016 at 3:19 pm
Getting arrested for a drug offense, such as possession or intent to distribute, is a bad situation on its own. If you are convicted for such an offense, you can face jail time and fees. However, getting caught with drugs can also mean that you will lose personal property, such as your car or other assets, if such assets are affiliated with the drug offense. Drug asset forfeiture is a common practice in Illinois, yet many people are unaware of it until it happens to them or someone they know.
If you are charged with a drug crime, you might be subjected to Illinois’ drug asset forfeiture laws. Under these laws, property that is associated with drug activity or a crime can be seized by law enforcement. The point of the seizure is to limit the amount of resources that are available for criminal activity. If your personal property is taken by law enforcement under state asset forfeiture laws, it may take a long time to get your seized assets back, and recovery of your seized property can be at a great cost to you.
What Types of Assets Can Be Seized?
Under the Illinois drug asset forfeiture laws, police do not have to arrest anyone or have a warrant to make a seizure of property involved in criminal drug activity. Instead, law enforcement can simply seize any personal property that is involved in a drug crime. Examples of assets that are commonly seized under civil asset forfeiture include motor vehicles, cash, real estate, home, electronics, equipment, and more.
Recovering Seized Property
Even if your underlying drug charges are dropped or defeated, or if you are only given probation or court supervision, your seized property will not automatically be returned to you. Rather, you will have to enter a claim to obtain your seized property.
Recovering your seized property can be a difficult process. The owner of the property has the burden of proving that the personal property was not involved in the criminal activity and should not have been seized. Property owners must demonstrate that the property was obtained in a legitimate way, was not used for criminal activity, and that the property owner will suffer financial hardship without their seized property.
Call an Experienced Drug Offenses Lawyer
There is no doubt that drug offenses carry serious consequences, and if you have been charged with a drug crime, it is important to get in touch with an experienced criminal defense lawyer quickly. A skilled attorney can begin crafting a defense to your original drug crimes, as well as help you devise a way to recover your seized property. Please feel free to contact a Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney for assistance. We are prepared to help you immediately.
October 25th, 2016 at 7:00 am
Drug crimes are some of the most frequently committed criminal offenses in Illinois. One common drug offense is drug delivery. The possession of a drug with the intent to deliver is another very similar drug offense. These drug charges are often asserted against alleged drug dealers.
Illinois Drug Delivery Offense
When an illegal drug actually changes hands, the offense is referred to as a drug delivery offense. However, when illegal drugs do not change hands, yet the person who is in possession of the drug was likely to have delivered the drugs to another individual without being intercepted by law enforcement, the offense is referred to as possession with the intent to deliver.
Drug delivery and possession with the intent to deliver are criminal offenses, regardless of the type of drug that is caught in your possession. For instance, you may be caught with controlled substances such as heroin, cocaine, stimulants, depressants, hallucinogens or prescription drugs—all illegal under the Illinois Controlled Substances Act. You could also be charged with drug delivery or possession with the intent to deliver marijuana, under 720 ILCS 550/4 of the Cannabis Control Act, or methamphetamines, under 720 ILCS 646/55 of the Methamphetamine Control and Community Protection Act.
Fight Your Drug Charges
When you are charged with a drug delivery or intent to deliver drug offense, it is critical to speak with an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. A knowledgeable attorney can fight tenaciously to preserve your your rights and your freedom. Importantly, your lawyer will carefully examine your case for every possible defense that is available to you.
Your lawyer will examine your arrest and will analyze whether or not law enforcement properly followed protocol when they brought you into custody. If drugs were seized as part of the arrest, your lawyer will make sure that the search and seizure procedure was properly followed and was legal. If the search and seizure was not legal, your lawyer will fight against the admissibility of the seized drug evidence in your case.
Your lawyer will also consider whether you have any other legal defenses that could be asserted. For instance, the prosecution has a burden to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that you committed each and every element required for the crime of which you stand accused. If the prosecution has not met its burden on an element of the crime, your defense lawyer will make sure that the court knows that the prosecution has failed to meet its burden and that you should not be convicted of the crime.
Drug Delivery or Intent to Deliver Charges? Contact a Lawyer
Drug crimes are severely punished and the consequences of a drug conviction can have a lasting impact on your life. Please do not hesitate to contact a skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney today. We are eager to help you.