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Retailers Expanding Opioid Disposal Programs

Joliet opiate attorney

The use and abuse of opioids is a subject we have addressed a number of times in this space. From the legal ramifications of drug possession and trafficking to the deadly consequences of an overdose, prescription opioids and illegal narcotics pose serious risks to people across the United States. Recently, some major retailers have announced programs that might help keep dangerous drugs out of the hands of those for whom they were not intended.

New Methods for Safe Disposal of Narcotics

It frequently occurs that opioids and other narcotics found to be in the illegal possession of an individual start as part of a legal prescription for a person who needs pharmaceuticals to treat pain or some other ailment. In an effort to help patients prevent legally prescribed narcotics from falling into the hands of those for whom they were not intended, large pharmacy chains have announced programs and products designed to help patients destroy or dispose of unused drugs.

Walgreens, the nation’s biggest retail pharmacy chain, is expanding the installation and availability of drug disposal kiosks in their stores. These secure boxes allow customers to drop off any unused pharmaceuticals for proper disposal. This program is targeting areas and communities reporting an unusually large problem of opioid abuse.

A newer program involves a procedure that enables patients to destroy unused prescription opioids in their own homes for safe disposal. It involves a product that, when mixed with leftover medications and warm water, becomes a biodegradable form of gel that can be put into the trash. There is no risk to the environment with this new process.

Combating Abuse and Overdose

Pharmacies and insurance companies have begun working together to increase restrictions that would reduce the amount of opioids being prescribed to patients. Pharmacy chains have also begun offering an over-the-counter Narcan spray for use in the event of an opioid overdose. Some Illinois health-care providers are considering issuing prescriptions for Narcan in combination with opioid prescriptions as a method of furthering efforts to fight the overdose epidemic.

Rely On An Experienced Joliet Drug Crimes Defense Lawyer

In the event you find yourself facing drug charges, such as possession of a controlled substance, the Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba is available to provide you with important resources in resolving the case against you. Our legal team will pursue all available defense strategies and diversion programs to help you avoid prison and begin your road to recovery from addiction. Contact an experienced Will County criminal defense attorney today by calling 815-740-4025 to schedule a free consultation.

Prescription Drug Laws in Illinois

Joliet drug attorney

When someone imagines a drug user, they usually imagine a haggard individual addicted to illicit drugs like cocaine, methamphetamine, or heroin. However, the truth is that much of the drug abuse in the United States is committed by everyday people using substances which were prescribed by a doctor. Many people incorrectly assume that consuming, buying, selling, or possessing prescription drugs which they do not have a prescription for is “no big deal.” However, prescription drug laws in Illinois are stiff, and those caught breaking these laws can face significant criminal consequences.

Illinois Lawmakers Respond to Prescription Drug Abuse

In 2013, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that prescription drug overdoses had increased an astounding 400 percent for women and 265 percent for men. Unfortunately, evidence suggests that this trend of increased prescription drug abuse is continuing. As a response to those who misuse prescription medication, the Illinois government implemented the Illinois Prescription Monitoring Program. Beginning January 1 of this year, prescribers such as doctors and nurses are required to access patient information in the Prescription Monitoring program before writing an initial prescription for a Schedule II narcotic. This includes opioids such as oxycodone (OxyContin), hydrocodone (Vicodin), codeine, and morphine.

Criminal Consequences

According to the Illinois Compiled Statutes (720 ILCS 570/5), knowingly manufacturing, distributing, or possessing with intent to manufacture or transport a controlled substance is against the law and can result in punitive consequences. Drugs are classified by the Drug Enforcement Administration as one of five schedules: Schedule 1 drugs are considered the most dangerous and include heroin, LSD, marijuana, and ecstasy. Prescription drugs are usually considered Schedules 2-4 drugs.

Possession of prescription drugs without a prescription is a Class 4 Felony punishable by between 1-3 in prison and up to $25,000 in fines. It is important to note that a person does not have to be using or have consumed the drugs in order to be charged with possession. Even if you are just carrying the prescription medication for another person who does have a prescription, you are still breaking the law. The best way to avoid prescription drug charges is to keep your medications in their original container which has your name and prescriber information on it, never share medication, and never carry others’ prescription drugs.

Fighting Prescription Drug Criminal Charges

If you have been charged with possession, control, or attempted delivery of a controlled substance, you need an attorney who will fight for your freedom. Contact the Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba today by calling (815) 740-4025. Schedule your free consultation with an experienced Will County drug crimes defense lawyer today.

Airports and Firearms: How to Stay Out of Trouble

Joliet firearms attorney

Some firearms laws are complicated and hard to decipher, particularly as you travel from city to city and state to state. But there is one gun law that should be obvious to everyone: you should never try to carry a firearm through a TSA checkpoint, into a secured area of an airport, or onto a plane operated by a commercial airline, even if you have a concealed carry permit.

While this restriction is well-known, it happens surprisingly often at airports around the country.

TSA Finds Hundreds of Guns at U.S. International Airports

The Transportation Security Agency (TSA) says it is finding a rising number of guns at carry-on checkpoints, often in the bags of people who simply forgot they were carrying their handgun. The TSA discovered nearly 4,000 firearms in carry-on bags in 2017, up from about 800 in 2007.

In 2017, the five airports which had the highest numbers of firearms found at checkpoints were Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson, Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston George Bush, Denver, and Phoenix Sky Harbor.

Penalties for Firearm Violations at Illinois Airports

TSA staff at Chicago’s Midway and O’Hare airports find guns every few weeks. For example, in August 2016, a Beecher, IL man on his way to Phoenix was arrested at Chicago Midway International Airport after security officials found a loaded .38 caliber handgun in his backpack. In July 2017, a St. Charles man headed to Kansas City was arrested at Midway after a loaded .380 caliber Sig Sauer was found in his carry-on.

Chicago police made both arrests. Each man was charged with one misdemeanor count of carrying a concealed firearm in an airport and released on bond.

It appears that the TSA is typically turning these “accidental carry-on” incidents over to local law enforcement officers, who then handle the arrest and prosecution on any criminal charges. However, the TSA may also impose civil penalties in the form of fines. For example, the TSA fine for undeclared or improperly packaged firearms discovered in checked luggage is $650 to $1,310. The fine for a loaded handgun found at a security checkpoint is $3,920 to $9,800.

How to Legally Carry Firearms on a Plane

Review the rules: Double-check the firearms laws at your destination, as well as the current rules issued by the TSA and the specific airline you are flying.

Pack luggage to be checked: Unloaded firearms and unloaded magazines must be packed in a locked hard-sided gun case or in a locked hard-sided piece of luggage. Handguns may be packed in a locked hard-sided gun case and placed inside an unlocked soft-sided piece of luggage. Ammunition must be in the original manufacturer packaging. Replica firearms, toy firearms, and firearm parts must also be checked. Rifle scopes are the one exception allowed in carry-on luggage. Remember to place the key or lock combination in your carry-on.

Clean out carry-on luggage: Avoid using range bags and concealed-carry bags as carry-on luggage. Scour your carry-ons for loose ammunition, firearms parts, knives, defense sprays, etc. before leaving home.

Check in at the airport: Go to the airline baggage-check counter and inform the agent that you are checking luggage containing firearms.

Get the Best Defense with a Will County Firearms Charges Lawyer

If you have been arrested for carrying a gun at an airport, you need an attorney experienced in firearms law to defend you. Contact a knowledgeable Joliet firearms lawyer at the Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba to schedule a free and confidential consultation or call our office at 815-740-4025; calls are responded to 24 hours a day.

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