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Archive for the ‘drug laws’ tag

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

Understanding the Penalties of an Illinois Drug Possession Charge

August 10th, 2016 at 3:33 pm

Understanding the Penalties of an Illinois Drug Possession Charge, 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.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=1941&ChapterID=53&SeqStart=600000&SeqEnd=2600000

The Difference Between Actual and Constructive Possession of Drugs

July 20th, 2016 at 6:00 am

Rolling Meadows Drug Crimes AttorneyDrug 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.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=1941&ChapterID=53&SeqStart=5200000&SeqEnd=7900000

Illinois Medical Marijuana Pilot Program Conditions

November 12th, 2015 at 2:34 pm

Illinois defense attorney, Illinois drug laws, Illinois criminal lawyer,Illinois Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program, codified as 410 ILCS 130 et seq., is a temporary test program that will run until the end of 2017, which allows Illinois residents with qualifying medical conditions and diseases to have access to medical marijuana as part of their treatment or pain management regimen. Patients who are eligible under the Act must have a debilitating medical condition as defined in the Act, which includes 39 different conditions, including:

  • Cancer;
  • Glaucoma;
  • Hepatitis C;
  • Spinal cord disease or a spinal cord injury;
  • Parkinson’s disease;
  • Muscular dystrophy;
  • Traumatic brain injuries or post-concussion syndrome;
  • Rheumatoid arthritis;
  • Fibrous dysplasia;
  • Wasting syndrome;
  • Lupus;
  • Seizures; or
  • A handful of other rare and painful conditions.

Eight New Conditions for Inclusion in the Medical Cannabis Pilot Program

At the beginning of October, the Medical Cannabis Advisory Board provided a recommendation that an additional eight health conditions be added to the list of health conditions that are eligible for access to medical marijuana, including:

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder;
  • Chronic pain syndrome;
  • Autism;
  • Osteoarthritis;
  • Pain due to trauma;
  • Chronic postoperative pain;
  • Intractable pain; and
  • Irritable bowel syndrome.

These eight health conditions are not yet officially included as part of the Illinois Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program. The Illinois Department of Public Health must first approve these eight conditions, and then develop administrative rules concerning medical marijuana use for these conditions, before they can officially be included as eligible.

The Basics of the Compassionate Use Act

Under the Act, a qualified and registered patient may use and possess a quantity of marijuana within the confines of the Act. Similarly, the qualified and registered patient’s registered and designated caregiver may also possess a quantity of medical marijuana on behalf of the patient.

However, there are restrictions on the use and possession of medical marijuana under the Act. For instance, it is still illegal to have or use medical marijuana in a school bus, on the grounds of a school, or at any home that also serves as a child care facility. Medical marijuana can only be transported in a vehicle so long as it is in closed and sealed packaging and can never be used while operating a motor vehicle. Medical marijuana cannot be used in a public place, or in the presence of anyone under the age of 18 years old.

So even if you are someone who is eligible to participate in the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program, and even if you have registered for the program and have obtained the appropriate identification card, the Compassionate Use Act is not a free pass to do whatever you like when it comes to your medical marijuana. The laws regulating the use of medical marijuana are strict, and if you violate them, you will be prosecuted.

Medical marijuana is still relatively new in Illinois, and people who are authorized under the Compassionate Use Act may inadvertently end up in trouble with the law: either for improper possession, transportation or use of the drug. If this happens to you, you will need the assistance of a skilled criminal defense lawyer.

Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

If you are permitted to possess and use marijuana for medical purposes, but have been charge with a drug offense, please contact an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney immediately. Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at (847) 394-3200 for immediate assistance.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=3503&ChapterID=35

http://www2.illinois.gov/gov/mcpp/Pages/default.aspx

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