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Illinois Man Charged With Concealing Roommate’s Body and Obstruction of Justice

Joliet Illinois Obstruction of JusticeA young man appeared in Cook County Bond Court this past weekend, charged with obstruction of justice and the concealment of a death. The allegations against the 23-year-old Midlothian man are connected to the death of his 25-year-old roommate, which the man claims occurred more than two weeks ago. The court decided to hold the man without bail until an autopsy could be completed on the roommate’s body.

Trying to Avoid Eviction

According to reports from the Chicago Tribune and other news outlets, the man claimed that his roommate died of drug overdose on November 13. He allegedly panicked and, fearing that he would be evicted from their shared apartment, attempted to hide the death. He is thought to have put the roommate’s body in a suitcase, dragged it to a basement storage area, and left it there. Another resident of the building eventually notified police when the foul odor of decomposition became apparent. Police traced the smell and discovered the suitcase containing the roommate’s remains.

Multiple Charges
Under Illinois law, knowingly concealing the death of another person is a Class 4 felony. The charges can be upgraded to a Class 3 felony if the concealed death was caused by a homicide. Neither charge assumes or precludes additional charges related to the death.

In this particular case, the young man was also charged with obstruction of justice. Prosecutors allege that the man not only attempted to mislead police about his roommate’s death, but also that he destroyed evidence including drug paraphernalia and many of his roommate’s personal belongings. Obstructing justice is a Class 4 felony, and a defendant facing such a charge may be subject to imprisonment of one to three years and fines of up to $25,000.

Obstructing Justice

To be considered obstructing justice, a person must knowingly:
• Destroy, alter, hide, or disguise physical evidence or plant false evidence;
• Provide false information to law enforcement;
• Force a material witness to hide or leave the state;
• Possess material knowledge regarding an investigation and hide or leave the state; or
• Make false or misleading reports to any government agency regarding an investigation concerning the disappearance or death of a child.

If you have been charged with obstructing justice, you need an attorney who will fight to protect your rights and your future. Contact an experienced Joliet criminal defense lawyer at the Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba today. We will review your case and help you understand your available options. Call 815-740-4025 to schedule your free consultation today and get the high-quality representation you deserve.

Woman Charged for Scamming Police So She Could Drive Drunk

Joliet DUIIt is not uncommon for individuals to find themselves in a situation where it is very tempting to drive home, despite knowing they are too drunk to legally do so. In many such cases, a phone call could solve the dilemma, reaching out to a friend, family member, or taxi cab for a ride home. Apparently, in other cases, a phone call can make the situation even worse, especially if that call forces the police to respond to a non-existent crime in progress.

“Silly Piggies”

According to police officials in northern New Jersey, instead of calling a cab, a drunk woman called 911 to report a phony assault so that she could drive home without being arrested for driving under the influence. The Parsippany woman was allegedly drunk in a bar when she decided it was time to leave, but she knew that she was intoxicated. Reports indicate that the woman called the emergency line to report “a female being attacked in the parking lot” of a different establishment. Police indicate that they responded with “lights and siren” but found nothing to suggest that the assault had taken place, including footage taken from security cameras.

As the police responded to the call, the woman and a companion allegedly drove home. She would later post about her plan on social media, laughing about the incident and claiming, “Silly piggies tricks r for u” which police officials say was a major clue in their investigation. The woman now faces charges for filing false police reports and creating a false public alarm.

False Alarms in Illinois

While the alleged crimes took place in New Jersey, it is also, as you might expect, against the law in Illinois to file a false police report and to call 911 under false pretenses. Both actions are considered violations of the state’s criminal code covering disorderly conduct. Filing a report known to be false is a Class A misdemeanor, while calling 911 with no reasonable grounds to do so is a Class 4 felony. Penalties for such offenses may include probation, substantial fines, and, in some cases, prison sentences.

If you have been accused of filing a false police report or making a false complaint on a 911 call, an experienced Joliet criminal defense lawyer can help you protect your future. Attorney Jack L. Zaremba will fully investigate the circumstances surrounding your charges and will assist you in achieving a positive outcome. Call 815-740-4025 to schedule your free consultation today.

Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Rake in More than $200,000 in First Week of Sales

Joliet Illinois Medical Marijuana POTIt has taken more than two years of political wrangling, red tape, and bureaucratic delays, but legalized, medical marijuana is now a reality in Illinois. The state’s first seven dispensaries officially opened for business last week, and initial sales have been brisk, as some 3300 registered patients have been waiting for the opportunity to purchase marijuana legally. According to reports, sales of medical marijuana topped $200,000, with more than 800 individuals buying about 13,000 grams of the drug, an average of about $16 per gram or $450. There is some indication that this average is a bit above the black market price, which many expected, but the higher prices reflect more stringent testing and quality control, and officials believe the price will go down as competition picks up.

Compassionate Use Pilot Program

The state’s medical marijuana experiment is the result of legislation passed in the fall of 2013, and signed by then-Governor Pat Quinn. The measure, officially called the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act, allowed for a four-year, full-scale trial to determine the impact, if any, that the controlled legalization of marijuana for medical purposes would have on the state of Illinois. The law approved approximately three dozen conditions for which a patient, upon the recommendation of a doctor, could qualify to participate in the program. The most notable include cancer, glaucoma, HIV, AIDS, hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease), Parkinson’s, and Multiple Sclerosis.

Disputes over licensing and regulatory procedures, however, have long-delayed the trial’s actual start, which is why the news of sales taking place was so readily received last week. During the delays, a number of additions were proposed to the qualifying conditions list, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but were rejected by current Governor Bruce Rauner. Rauner has been very hesitant to make any changes to the program until it actually got underway and began providing observable results.

Not Available in the City of Chicago Yet

All of the dispensaries that began selling products last week were located outside of the Chicago city limits, including locations in Addison and Mundelein. One within the city did officially open its doors this week, but is not expected to have product available for sale until sometime next month. Due to the high concentration of medical marijuana patients in and around greater Chicago, officials expect that the city’s first dispensary will be crowded when the licensing is complete and the products arrive.

Potential DUI Issues

As the program finally gets off the ground, there are a number of concerns over the impact of the socially acceptable use of marijuana, including its effects on safe driving. As of yet, the state has not determined a legally-accepted standard for establishing impairment, leaving such decisions, for the moment in the hands of on-the-scene law enforcement officers. With the Pilot Program Act does contain a provision that offers medical marijuana patient an exception to the existing zero-tolerance law, a non-registered marijuana user—who may have used the drug legally in another state—found to have any trace of cannabis in his or her system can be prosecuted for driving under the influence. Aside from the fact that traces of marijuana can remain in the body for weeks, many see this blatant double standard as unfair and possibly unconstitutional.

If you have been arrested on charges of driving under the influence of marijuana, you need an attorney who is committed to protecting your rights. Contact an experienced Joliet criminal defense lawyer today at the Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba. We will evaluate your case and help you determine how best to proceed with your defense, no matter how desperate your situation may seem. Call 815-740-4025 to schedule your free confidential consultation.

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