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Archive for the ‘drug charges’ Category

What Are the Penalties for Heroin Possession in Illinois?

May 16th, 2019 at 4:49 pm

Illinois defense attorneyA Du Quoin man was found in possession of a small amount of heroin in early April. That was a violation of his parole and he was sent back to the Illinois Department of Corrections to serve out the rest of his sentence on previous charges.

Heroin possession is considered one of the most serious drug crimes in Illinois. Those convicted will have a criminal record for the rest of their life and could face several years in prison, as well as extremely high fines. While the penalties for heroin possession are extremely harsh within the state, a criminal defense lawyer can help those charged and give them the best chance of a successful outcome in court.

Illinois Law on Heroin

Heroin is classified as a Schedule 1 drug on the Illinois Controlled Substances Act and is illegal for anyone to possess, manufacture, or distribute. The specific classification of being on Schedule 1 means that heroin is considered a “hard” drug. In the eyes of the law, this is the most serious designation and as such, law enforcement and the prosecution pursue these cases aggressively.

Narcotics listed within the Schedule I are believed to have a high potential for abuse. They have no accepted medical benefits or uses, and there is no protocol that allows someone to use the drug safely, even under medical supervision. Due to this very strict classification, those charged with heroin possession face very serious penalties.

Penalties for Heroin Possession

All heroin possession charges in Illinois are considered felonies. This means they have some of the harshest penalties for those convicted. However, the actual sentence will depend on the amount of heroin a person had at the time of arrest. The amounts and associated penalties for heroin possession are:

  • 15 to 100 grams: 4 to 15 years in state prison, or a maximum fine of $200,000, or both.
  • 100 to 400 grams: 6 to 30 years in state prison, and/or a maximum fine of $200,000 or the street value of the drug.
  • 400 to 900 grams: 8 to 40 years in state prison, and/or a maximum fine of $200,000 or the street value of the drug.
  • 900 grams and over: 10 to 50 years in state prison, and/or a maximum fine of $200,000 or the street value of the drug.

In certain circumstances, these penalties are increased. For example, those caught in possession of heroin with 1,000 feet of a school, park, movie theater, or church can have their sentences doubled. This is also true for those found in possession of heroin and a firearm.

The penalties for heroin possession are certainly some of the harshest of all Illinois drug crimes. Those facing charges need the help of an attorney that can build a solid defense for their case.

Call Our Rolling Meadows Drug Crime Attorney Today

If you are facing heroin possession charges, or have been accused of any other drug crime, call a skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney at the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at 847-394-3200. We can represent you if you are questioned by the police and challenge searches of your vehicle or home, all to create a strong defense for your case. Learn more about how we can help by calling or filling out our online form for your free case evaluation today.

 

Source:

https://thesouthern.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/du-quoin-man-gets-prison-time-for-possessing-heroin/article_4f926a6e-312c-5974-992d-8407edb1d927.html

When Is Meth Possession a Felony in Illinois?

April 11th, 2019 at 8:27 pm

Illinois drug crimes lawyer, Illinois defense lawyerThe drug laws in Rolling Meadows and throughout Illinois are often confusing, and the line between a misdemeanor drug charge and a felony charge can become blurred. Most of the time, the charge that is laid depends on the scenario surrounding the alleged crime.

There are instances though, in which a drug crime is automatically a felony. Typically a harsher charge is laid when there are large volumes of a controlled substance involved, or when the crime includes certain substances. LSD, cocaine, and heroin are a few drugs that automatically make a crime a felony. Methamphetamine, or meth, is another.

Methamphetamine Laws in Rolling Meadows

According to 720 ILCS 646/60 of the Illinois statutes, meth crimes are always charged as a felony. This means that even when a person is caught with the smallest amount on them, and they did not intend to distribute the drug, they will face felony charges.

The law imposes such strict charges and penalties on those caught with meth because it is a very dangerous drug. It is incredibly addictive and exposes those that use it to toxic chemicals. Manufacturing the drug is also particularly dangerous, which is why the law also outlines severe penalties for anyone that does.

Methamphetamine Possession Felony Charges

The crime of meth possession is the most minor meth crime of all in Illinois. These are still treated as felonies. Individuals charged with meth possession face a number of possible charges, depending on the amount they were carrying at the time of arrest.

  • Class 3 felony for any amount under five grams;
  • Class 2 felony for any amount of at least 5 grams, but under 15 grams;
  • Class 1 felony for any amount of at least 15 grams, but under 100 grams; and
  • Class X felony for any amount over 100 grams.

When charged with a Class X felony, the penalties will increase even more if the amount was over 400 grams, and then again on any amount over 900 grams.

Penalties for Methamphetamine Possession in Rolling Meadows

With meth possession being the most minor of all meth crimes, it makes sense that these also carry the lightest sentences. However, anyone charged with a meth crime in Rolling Meadows must understand these sentences are still very severe.

A Class 3 felony offense, the least severe of them all, still has a potential sentence of two to five years in jail. A Class 1 felony offense carries a much longer prison sentence of 15 to 30 years in jail. Class X felonies, although rarely charged in meth crime cases, can send someone to prison for several decades if they are convicted.

Been Charged with Meth Possession? Call a Rolling Meadows Drug Crime Lawyer

Being charged with meth possession, or any other meth crime, is very scary. Those accused begin to worry about their future and what it may hold for them. A skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer can help ensure that future is a little brighter. If you have been charged with a meth crime, contact the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at 847-394-3200. We know how serious the charges are that you are up against, and we will build a strong defense against them. Do not wait for representation when you can call and get a free consultation right now.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072006460K60

https://www.iwu.edu/counseling/Illinois_Drug_Laws.htm

Common Defenses to Drug Charges in Rolling Meadows

January 29th, 2019 at 7:02 pm

IL defense lawyerBeing charged with a drug crime, whether it is a simple possession charge or the more serious charge of drug trafficking, can have serious consequences. If convicted, a person may face high fines, jail time, loss of child custody, and loss of immigration rights. After a conviction, individuals also have a permanent criminal record that will follow them for the rest of their life.

While the situation may seem hopeless, it is not. There are several common defenses to drug charges, and a qualified attorney will use them to help anyone accused of committing a drug crime.

Entrapment

Due to numerous television shows and movies that have focused on entrapment, people are often unsure whether or not this can actually be used as a defense. In Illinois, it can. Entrapment occurs whenever a law enforcement officer, or other authority, incites or induces a person to commit a crime. However, if it can be proven that the person was going to commit the crime without any interference from the officer, this defense cannot be used.

For example, if a person sells drugs to an undercover police officer, that would not be considered entrapment. The person was likely to sell the drugs anyway and just happened to sell them to a police officer. That same person, however, may have prescription drugs in their possession that were prescribed to them. If an undercover officer repeatedly asked to buy the drugs and the person declined numerous times before finally giving them the drugs, that may be considered entrapment.

Informant Credibility

Police officers often rely on the public to solve crimes. They rely on eyewitness testimony and informants to provide them with the information they would to otherwise have. In some instances though, these informants are not always credible. An informant may have reason to turn over an innocent person to the authorities, such as in divorce proceedings or if the informant is simply acting out of revenge. When an informant is not credible, the information they are giving to the authorities is not considered credible either, and this can help build a solid defense.

Violation of Legal Rights

When someone is arrested for committing a crime, they have several legal rights. One of these is the right to a lawful search and seizure, as protected by the Fourth Amendment. When officers or other authorities violate this right, any evidence obtained through that search and seizure can be thrown out of court. The same is true for Miranda warnings, and many other rights those accused of committing a crime are entitled to.

Presence of Drugs

When an individual is arrested and charged with a drug crime, law enforcement officials must seize the drugs in question. If the prosecution cannot produce these drugs as evidence during trial, the charge will likely be dropped. In a case involving drug crimes, the presence of the actual drugs in question is one of the main pieces of evidence the prosecution has. Without it, there is often no case.

Addiction and Mental Health Issues

Substance abuse addictions and mental health issues are serious problems and are also often a part of many drug crimes case. When these issues are present, often those accused may be eligible for treatment rather than harsher penalties, such as being sentenced to jail. Some of these programs, such as court supervision, allow the accused to complete a program. Upon successful completion, the case is dismissed and a criminal conviction is avoided. That allows individuals to move on with their life without a criminal record following them throughout it.

A Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Provide a Proper Defense

It is one thing to know the possible defenses available in drug crime cases. It is another thing altogether though, to argue those defenses in court in order to get charges dropped or reduced. A passionate Rolling Meadows drug crimes lawyer though, can help those accused build and argue a strong defense. If you have been charged with a drug crime, call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at 847-394-3200. Many people have addictions, were in the wrong place at the wrong time, or are completely innocent of a crime and have still been charged. A proper defense will show this, so you can move on with your life. Contact us today for your free consultation and we will start reviewing your case.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/072000050K7-12.htm

https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/fourth_amendment

Possession or Sale of Hypodermic Needles

October 12th, 2018 at 7:02 pm

Illinios defense lawyerHaving a hypodermic needle in your possession can land you in cuffs. This is due to Illinois’ Hypodermic Syringes and Needles Act, which makes it illegal for minors to be in possession of any hypodermic needles or syringes, and illegal for adults to possess hypodermic needles for the injection of controlled substances. Studies have shown that Needle and Syringe Exchange Policies (NSEPs) drive down HIV and other needle-transmitted-diseases, so why is possessing needles a crime, even if used for injecting drugs? Unfortunately, the logic of this law is as unjust as it is flawed, and is simply another criminal charge in the name of the war on drugs, tacked on increase overall prison time and incentivize defendants to take a quick plea deal.

What the Law Says About Needle Possession

Under Illinois statute 720 ILCS 635, it is illegal for anyone to possess a “hypodermic syringe, needle or “other instrument adapted for the use of controlled substances or cannabis by subcutaneous injection.” Adults are legally allowed to purchase dozens of syringes from pharmacies and possess up to 100 at any given time, so the mere possession of such a needle is not a crime. What makes the needle illegal is when it is used or intended to be used for injecting controlled substances, unless of course, you are a physician, nurse, or hospital worker performing your professional duties. A defense to this criminal offense is proving that the needle was used for another purpose other than delivering a controlled substance. Common reasons and medical conditions for using hypodermic needles and syringes include:

  • Dozens of types of cancer;
  • Deep vein thrombosis;
  • Type I and Type II diabetes;
  • Hormone treatment including testosterone therapy;
  • Allergy treatment;
  • Fertility purposes;
  • Injection of vitamins and minerals for general health or to compensate for a deficiency; and
  • Hundreds of other types of diseases and disorders.

Sale of Hypodermic Needles

Unless you are authorized to sell hypodermic needles (such as a doctor, pharmacist, or drug manufacturer), selling any needles could result in a felony offense. The sale of hypodermic needles is a Class 4 felony in Illinois.

A Rolling Meadows Attorney Is Available to Talk Today

Possession of a hypodermic needle used for administering a controlled substance, which is a Class A misdemeanor, carries a penalty of up to one year in jail and a fine of $2,500. Each subsequent offense is a Class B misdemeanor, which is a Class 4 felony punished by one to three years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000. This means that if you were found with four hypodermic needles allegedly used for the purpose of administering controlled substances, you could face one Class A misdemeanor and four Class 4 felony charges. As such, if you are facing any hypodermic needle charges, whether for possession or sale, you need to contact the dedicated Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorneys at the office of Christopher M. Cosley today at 847-394-3200.

 

Sources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4496270/

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=1954&ChapterID=53

 

Understanding the Consequences of Prescription Forgery in Illinois

September 25th, 2018 at 1:21 pm

Cook County drug charges defense lawyerPrescription drug abuse is on the rise, and police and prosecutors are becoming increasingly vigilant about cracking down on those who they believe are breaking the law by using falsified prescriptions to obtain controlled substances. Because of the opioid epidemic, which has resulted from over-prescribed pain medications pushed by pharmaceutical companies and physicians, hundreds of thousands of Americans are looking for any means to get their hands on narcotics. Obtaining opioids by falsifying a prescription may seem safer than buying drugs on the street, but make no mistake—prescription forgery is a serious crime in Illinois.

What Illinois Law States About Prescription Forgery

According to 720 ILCS 570/406.2, a person commits prescription forgery (known as “unauthorized possession of prescription form”) if they have altered a prescription, possessed a form not issued by a licensed practitioner, possessed a blank prescription form without authorization, or possessed a counterfeit prescription form. Examples of prescription drug forgery include the following:

  • Changing the dose amount on a prescription written by a doctor.
    Stealing a prescription pad off a doctor’s desk.
    Writing a prescription for yourself.
    Using a computer to create a fraudulent prescription form.

The Consequences of Prescription Forgery

Shockingly, even a first time prescription forgery offender can be fined up to $100,000, and they may be sentenced to between one and three years in prison. If a person is charged with their second prescription forgery offense, they may be fined up to $200,000 and sentenced to between two and five years in prison.

It is common for a person who is charged with prescription forgery to be facing other drug charges at the same time, such as burglary, possession of an illegal drug, or an intent to traffic drugs. All of these offenses can add up to considerable time behind bars and fines that would be impossible to pay back in a lifetime of full-time work—something that would become extremely difficult to accomplish with a felony record.

Defending Medical Professionals

Medical professionals are not immune to prescription forgery charges. Doctors have been known to use their license as an opportunity to write friends or family members a prescription without reason, or to prescribe opioids to addicted patients who pay them cash under the table. If you are a physician or pharmacist, you will lose your professional license in a heartbeat if you are found guilty of prescription forgery.

A Cook County Drug Crimes Defense Attorney Can Help

More than 115 Americans die every day from overdosing on opioids, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Instead of taking steps to combat addiction and help self-medicated individuals overcome or manage their mental or physical ailments, our criminal justice system sends its best prosecutors to lock up victims of opioid addiction. If you have been charged with prescription forgery, you need a strong defense that will help you avoid the consequences of a conviction. Contact dedicated Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer Christopher M. Cosley today at 847-394-3200 to schedule a free consultation.

Sources:
https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/opioids/opioid-overdose-crisis
http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072005700K406.2

Could Prescription Drugs Result in Drug Charges?

August 27th, 2018 at 7:00 am

criminal drug charges, prescription drugs, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney, prescription drug charges, prescription drug useStudies show that an estimated 54 million people have used prescription drugs for non-medical reasons. Additionally, 2.1 million people in the United States have used prescription drugs for non-medical reasons just within the last year. Because of this high abuse and potential for dependency, the state of Illinois is strict when it comes to drug laws and charges.

When most think of drug charges, they might think of illegal drugs, including cocaine, heroin, etc. While those drugs also can result in criminal charges, they are not the only type. Prescription drugs can result in criminal drug charges, as well.

Prescription Drugs and Drug Charges

There are more arrests occurring in Illinois for the use of prescription drugs without a valid prescription than there have been in the past. This is due in part to the addictive nature of some prescription drugs.

Prescription drug abusers often start off as legitimate prescription holders. They are injured, or otherwise prescribed pain medication or other narcotics. Through continuous use of the prescription, they become addicted and are unable to stop using, even when their prescription is no longer valid. As such, an individual might turn to illegal means to obtain the drug.

A person can be arrested and face drug charges for the possession of even one pill without a prescription. Common types of prescription drugs that are abused include Xanax, Ketamine, OxyContin, and Vicodin. The severity of the drug charge depends on the type of drug and the amount in possession.

Illinois classifies drugs into schedules. Prescription drugs fall into the range of Schedule II, Schedule III, and Schedule IV drugs. Schedule IV drugs are considered the lesser in severity of the charges.

The following are examples of prescription drugs in each schedule:

  • Schedule II: morphine, opium, amphetamines. These drugs are considered the most serious prescription drugs. While they have medical benefits and uses, they are highly addictive.
  • Schedule III: ketamine, anabolic steroids, codeine, and hydrocodone combinations.
  • Schedule IV: methadone, PCP, Ritalin.

Reach Out to Us Today for Help

A drug charge can be either a felony or a misdemeanor in Illinois. The amount of prescription drug at issue, and the type of prescription drug, all play a role in determining what charge will be brought. Both felonies and misdemeanors can bring about devastating results. As such, you need a dedicated defense attorney on your side.

Experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney Christopher M. Cosley is here for you. Attorney Cosley does not want your life derailed because of one prescription drug charge and he will work diligently to provide you the best defense given the circumstances of the case. Contact us today for a consultation.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs5.asp?ActID=1941&ChapterID=53

https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/misuse-prescription-drugs/what-scope-prescription-drug-misuse

Man Charged After Being Found With 75 Pounds of Marijuana

August 20th, 2018 at 3:31 pm

marijuana, criminal drug charges, drug charges, drug crimes, felony drug charges, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorneyA man in Cook County is facing felony drug charges after being found with more than 75 pounds of marijuana, according to NBC Chicago. The Chicago Police department was responding to reports that there was a burglary in progress.

While investigating the premises of the alleged burglary, the police found a basement door that bore signs of forced entry. The officers proceeded inside the door and found 34,000 grams of marijuana. More than 120 grams of cannabis oil was also discovered.

The man who was renting the building where the marijuana and cannabis oil was found is now facing two felony charges. He has been charged with two felony counts of manufacturing or delivering over 5,000 grams of marijuana, or cannabis. In addition to these two felony charges, he also faces a misdemeanor charge as a result of being found to be allegedly violating the concealed carry act.

Felony Drug Charges in Illinois

The words felony and misdemeanor are often thrown around, but not everyone always knows the difference between these two types of charges. A felony charge is a more serious charge that carries harsher and stricter penalties. The classification of a drug charge in Illinois is based on the amount of drugs in possession and the specific intent of the person in possession of the drugs.

There are several different types of drug charges that an individual can be charged with, both felony and misdemeanor. The different types of drug charges in Illinois include:

  • Drug possession;
  • Possession of drugs with the intent to distribute;
  • Drug manufacturing;
  • Drug trafficking; and
  • Drug conspiracy.

The above list of drug crimes encompasses most, if not all, of the various types of crimes an individual might find themselves facing. These crimes, depending on the amount of drugs in a person’s possession or the circumstances surrounding the offense can lead to harsh punishments. Typically, there are fines, court costs, jail time, prison time, probation, or parole assigned to those who have been convicted of a drug crime.

Contact Us Today for Help

The charge and potential conviction of a crime can have a major impact on your life. You could lose your job, home, be unable to rent an apartment, or even be unable to find another job all because of a criminal conviction. Do not let one charge derail your entire life.

Dedicated Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney Christopher M. Cosley is ready to defend you in criminal drug charges. Attorney Cosley knows that a conviction can drastically alter one’s life and will work diligently to get the best outcome under the circumstances. Contact us today for a consultation.

Source:

https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/man-charged-after-cops-find-over-75-pounds-of-pot-488882181.html

When Do Drug Charges Become a Federal Offense?

August 3rd, 2018 at 3:50 pm

drug charges, federal drug charge, federal offense, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorneys, state drug chargeBoth federal and state laws and regulations govern the use, possession, distributing, and manufacturing of drugs. Illinois has a set of drug laws, but so does the federal government. There is a big difference between being charged with a state drug charge and a federal drug charge. Therefore, it is important to know when a drug charge could become a federal charge. Each case is unique and has its own circumstances and issues, but there are different factors at play that could elevate a state drug charge to a federal one.

Factors to Consider

The following describes a number of factors to consider that may affect a drug charge:

  • The arresting officer – One of the biggest clues involves who is making the arrest. Being arrested by a federal agent is a huge sign that you will be charged with a federal crime. Sometimes local law enforcement, or state police, will ask federal agents to aid in their case. Often, state and federal officers will work together to conduct a sting to catch criminals.
  • Where the crime occurred – Crimes that occur on federal land could result in a federal drug charge. One such example is a crime occurring in a national park.
  • Statements offered by informants – In some drug cases, there is someone who is already being investigated by the federal government. These individuals often become informants for the government and will trade names and information about crimes of others for a reduced sentence or immunity. An informant working on behalf of the federal government will likely result in a federal drug charge.
  • Severity of the drug charge or offense – States often prosecute the smaller drug crimes, while the federal government prosecutes drug crimes that happen on a larger scale.

Why This Matters

One of the biggest differences between federal and state drug crimes are the penalties associated with them. Federal charges that result in a conviction carry longer sentences than state crimes. There are longer federal mandatory sentencing guidelines than the sentencing guidelines at the state level. Additionally, federal drug crimes do not have a parole program and probation is rarely granted.

If there is any doubt as to what type of drug charge is at issue, state and local authorities will discuss the issue and come to a determination as to who is better suited to prosecute the case.

We Can Help You Today

If you have been charged with a drug crime, either state or federal, you need a dedicated and knowledgeable attorney. The skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorneys at The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley are here to help you. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us today for assistance.

Source:

https://www.ussc.gov/research/research-reports/mandatory-minimum-penalties-drug-offenses-federal-system

What is Possession of a Controlled Substance in Illinois?

May 30th, 2018 at 5:10 pm

controlled substance, drug crimes, drug possession, possession of a controlled substance, Rolling Meadows defense attorneysPossession of a controlled substance is a serious drug crime in Illinois. The punishment for such a crime depends on the controlled substance in question and the amount of the substance that is found. Generally, the more of a substance a defendant has, the harsher the punishment can potentially be.

Most possession of a controlled substance crimes carry fines, probation, and jail or prison time. Ultimately, if you have been charged with this crime, it is imperative that you reach out to a skilled attorney for help immediately.

Controlled Substance

The first step in understanding possession of a controlled substance is being able to identify a controlled substance. Per 720 ILCS 570/102(f), a controlled substance is defined as a “drug, substance, immediate precursor, or synthetic drug.” The drugs included in this definition include heroin, cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamines, LSD, oxycodone, ketamine, ecstasy, and other controlled substances listed in Article II of 720 ILCS 570.

The controlled substances are broken into five different schedules. Schedule I drugs are those that are most likely to be abused. These include opiates, derivatives of opiates, and substances that are likely to induce hallucinations. Schedule V includes the least dangerous drugs. Contrary to Schedule I drugs, Schedule V drugs are those least likely to be abused.

Possession

The next step in understanding possession of a controlled substance is knowing what possession means. According to the Illinois Controlled Substances Act, it is unlawful for “any person to knowingly possess a controlled or counterfeit substance or controlled substance analog.” In general, to knowingly possess something requires that an individual must have knowledge of the controlled substance.

Circumstantial evidence can be enough to find that an individual knowingly possessed a controlled substance. For example, if a controlled substance is in a vehicle owned by the defendant, it is likely that he or she will be found to have knowingly possessed the controlled substance.

That being said, simply having a controlled substance in your possession is not enough to be convicted of a crime. In reality, you may not have been aware of the substance if it appeared in your car or your home; instead, it may have belonged to another party. Overall, if you are facing charges of drug possession, an experienced attorney can help mount an aggressive defense and ensure your rights are protected throughout each step of your case.

Contact an Attorney for Professional Help with Your Case

If you have been charged with possession of a controlled substance, you need an attorney with all of the tools to best represent you. At the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley, we combine years of experience with a passion for advocating for your rights. Our talented Rolling Meadows defense attorneys possess the requisite knowledge and skill to properly defend you. Contact us today to give you the best possible defense available to you.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs5.asp?ActID=1941&ChapterID=53

Drugged Driving in Illinois

February 5th, 2018 at 8:40 am

Class 4 felony, drugged driving, DUI charges, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney, drug convictionMuch focus is on drunk driving. Even though motorists know they should not drive after drinking, many do anyway. This often leads to serious accidents.

Now that recreational marijuana use is legal in many states—including Illinois—it is important for motorists to understand that drugged driving is against the law as well. If a person is pulled over for driving recklessly and is found to have drugs in his or her system, he or she could face DUI charges, regardless of whether or not he or she is at the legal limit.

However, measuring the amount of drugs in one’s blood is easier said than done. There is no 0.08 percent blood alcohol content (BAC) equivalent for marijuana and other drugs. Plus, unlike alcohol, drugs can stay in a person’s body for weeks after use.

Illinois does have laws in place regarding drugged driving. Therefore, if you do use marijuana—whether for recreational or medicinal purposes—and drive later, you could face DUI charges. 

What is Considered Drugged Driving?

Illinois law allows five nanograms of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) per milliliter of blood or 10 nanograms or more per milliliter of urine or other bodily substance. However, it is also illegal for a person to drive in an unsafe manner and have even the smallest amount of drugs in his or her system. A police officer may perform a blood, breath or urine test, or require the driver to submit to field sobriety testing.

Drugged Driving Penalties

A first offense can result in a $2,500 fine, one year in prison and license suspension for one year. If a person is convicted of a second offense, the penalties increase. They include license suspension for five years, a $2,500 fine, one year of imprisonment, 30 days of community service and completion of a substance treatment program.

Once a person is convicted of three or more DUI charges, the charges become Class 4 felonies. A person will lose his or her driving privileges for six years and be subject to penalties such as drug treatment, a $10,000 fine, and three years in prison.

The penalties are enhanced when the driver is in a school zone or has a passenger under the age of 16 in the car at the time. Enhanced penalties also apply if the driver is under the influence of drugs and causes an accident that results in serious injury, disfigurement, disability, or death.

Contact Us Today for Help

It is illegal to drive while intoxicated, and that means being under the influence of not only alcohol, but drugs as well. Even marijuana use can impair one’s judgment and lead to accidents.

If you are facing DUI charges for having high levels of marijuana or other drugs in your system, you need legal help right away. The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley can defend your case. Passionate Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney Christopher Cosley can work to reduce your penalties. Let us help you today.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-501.2

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