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What Drug Crimes Are Most Common in Will County

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If you live in Will County, your biggest concern with the police may be losing your driver’s license for driving under the influence (DUI) . However, your chance of being arrested for a drug crime is actually higher than your chance of being arrested for DUI. Each year in Will County, around 1,200 people are arrested for DUI while about 2,900 are arrested for a drug crime . That is more than twice as many arrests for drugs than for DUI.

How Will County Drug Crimes Compare to Other Counties

Of all Will County drug arrests in 2016, 43 percent were for cannabis , 32 percent for drug paraphernalia, and 25 percent involved controlled substances such as heroin or cocaine .
Relative to the rest of the state, Will County has a lower proportion of the more serious controlled substance violations. Statewide, 42 percent of drug arrests were for cannabis, 29 percent for drug paraphernalia, and 29 percent involved controlled substances such as heroin.

The counties with the highest rate of controlled substance arrests were Cook and Kankakee. Controlled substances made up 41 percent of drug arrests in Cook County and 38 percent in Kankakee County.
Illinois Drug Crimes and Penalties

Drug paraphernalia (720 ILCS 600/) includes objects used to consume drugs, such as pipes and syringes, as well as objects used to grow, manufacture, or package drugs. Unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia is a Class A misdemeanor in Illinois, punishable usually by probation, although a sentence of up to one year in jail is possible. There is also a mandatory $750 fine on top of court costs, with a maximum possible fine of $2,500, and the objects will be confiscated without compensation or the possibility of return.

Possession of more than 100 grams of cannabis or any quantity of Schedule I or II controlled substances such as heroin or cocaine is a felony crime punishable by probation, one year or more in state prison and/or fines as high as $25,000 or more (720 ILCS 570/402).

A Will County Drug Possession Defense Attorney

If you have been charged with a drug possession crime in Will County, contact an experienced Joliet drug possession defense lawyer as soon as possible and well before your first court appearance. Call attorney Jack L. Zaremba at 815-740-4025 for a free consultation. We respond to calls around the clock. The sooner you call, the sooner we can begin working on your defense.

Evidence Obtained in an Unlawful Police Vehicle Search Is Not Admissible in Court

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Most people know that police must sometimes obtain a search warrant before searching an individual’s property. However, many are unsure as to what their rights are regarding vehicle searches. They have questions such as, “Does a police officer need a search warrant to search my car in Illinois?” and “What happens if drugs, weapons, or other evidence is obtained during a vehicle search that was unlawful?” It is critical for Illinois residents to understand their rights when it comes to searches of their personal property. If evidence used against you in a criminal proceeding was acquired by police during an illegal search, it is possible that the evidence will be thrown out and unusable in court.

The Constitution Gives You the Right to be Free from Unreasonable Searches

The Fourth Amendment to the U.S Constitution guarantees citizens the right to be free from “unreasonable searches and seizures.” This means that government or law enforcement agents cannot simply search anyone’s property for any reason. In many situations, police must obtain a search warrant from a judge before they can enter someone’s property and search for evidence of criminal activity. The Fourth Amendment also requires the person seeking a search warrant to show “probable cause” to justify the search. Probable cause means that there is a logical belief that criminal activity has taken place or is taking place.

Police Do Not Need a Search Warrant to Search Your Car, Truck, or other Vehicle

Unlike searches of residences, police do not usually need to get a search warrant from a judge in order to search a person’s vehicle. The Supreme Court has ruled that a motor vehicle does not have the same legal privacy protections as a residence and therefore a search warrant is not needed to justify a vehicle search. However, this does not mean that there are no rules describing how and when police can search your vehicle. Generally, police can only search your car, truck, SUV, or other vehicle if one of the following circumstances is present:

• The vehicle search is being conducted after you were arrested;

• The police officer has reason to believe a vehicle search is necessary to protect his or her safety;

• The police officer has probable cause to believe that there is evidence of criminal activity in the vehicle; or

• You give police your consent or permission to search the vehicle.

Many criminal cases are dismissed after it is shown that police did not have probable cause or other justification to conduct a vehicle search. In some situations, an unlawfully conducted search can even result in the entire criminal case being dismissed.

Contact a Will County Illegal Search and Seizure Lawyer

If you are facing criminal charges after police searched your vehicle, speak with a Joliet criminal defense attorney to get the legal support you need to fight these charges. Schedule your free, confidential consultation at the Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba by calling 815-740-4025 today.

What You Should Know About Illinois New Recreational Marijuana Laws

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Illinois will become the 11th state to legalize the use and possession of recreational marijuana. The bill, which was passed entirely through legislation rather than voter referendum, would allow marijuana sales, possession and use throughout the state beginning next year. The bill specifically outlines the new rules concerning marijuana , which will be treated and regulated much like alcohol is treated and regulated now.

There Will Be Limits on How Much Cannabis You Can Possess and Where You Can Buy It

Presuming the bill is signed as promised, starting January 1, 2020, Illinois citizens who are at least 21 years old will be able to purchase and possess up to 30 grams -- which is around one ounce -- of dry marijuana, which is also called flower. Citizens are also permitted to possess up to five grams of cannabis concentrate and up to 500 milligrams of THC contained in cannabis products such as edibles, tinctures, or even lotions.

In the beginning of 2020, the state’s 20 licensed medical marijuana dispensaries will be the only places where you can legally purchase cannabis. The state hopes to have more licenses available by mid-2020 to allow other growers and cultivators to open stores.

You Cannot Consume Marijuana in Certain Places

Though it will be legal for any person over the age of 21 to consume cannabis, there are still certain restrictions that are placed on its usage. You will be permitted to consume cannabis within your own home and in certain cannabis-related businesses. It will still be against the law to consume marijuana in the following places:

• Public places, including streets and parks;

• In any motor vehicle;

• On school grounds (with the exception of medical marijuana users);

• Any place where you are near a person who is under the age of 21; and

• Any place near an on-duty school bus driver, police officer, firefighter or corrections officer.

In addition, certain entities are still permitted to ban marijuana use at their discretion, including businesses, landlords, and Illinois schools and universities.

You May Be Able to Have Past Marijuana-Related Convictions Erased

Fortunately, with the legalization of recreational marijuana, the bill also provides ways in which those convicted of previous marijuana-related crimes may be able to have their convictions expunged. Only marijuana-related convictions that did not involve violence will be eligible for expungement. Those who were convicted of possessing less than 30 grams of marijuana can have their records referred to the state’s Prisoner Review Board, which would then send them to the governor for a pardon. Those convicted of possessing 30-500 grams of marijuana are permitted to petition to expunge their records themselves.

Contact a Joliet, IL Drug Crimes Defense Lawyer for More Information

For years, marijuana possession has been a rather serious crime in Illinois. Before the bill was passed, possessing small amounts of marijuana resulted in a fine, but charges could escalate to misdemeanor or even felony charges, depending on the amount. If you have been convicted of a marijuana-related charge, a knowledgeable Will County drug crimes defense attorney can help you petition to have your records expunged. The team at the Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba, P.C. can help you get the answers to all of your questions concerning the new laws about marijuana. Call our office today at 815-740-4025 to schedule a free consultation.

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