Will County Drug Court Helps Addicted Offenders

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If you are convicted of drug possession or another non-violent crime in Will County, you could be sentenced to spend a year or more in prison. But if your criminal behavior is affected by substance abuse, you may have the option of an alternative program known as drug court.

Statistics show that over 40 percent of people who spend time in prison will be back behind bars within three years of their release. Each prison inmate costs Illinois taxpayers $22,000 per year. The Will County drug court has proven more successful and substantially less expensive. Since it began in 2000, less than 10 percent of drug court graduates have reoffended, and the program costs just $3,000 per person. Drug court programs in Illinois are governed by the Drug Court Treatment Act (730 ILCS 166).

Who Qualifies for Will County Drug Court?

An offender must meet the following minimum criteria to be considered for acceptance into the Will County drug court program:

• A resident of Will County;

• Currently charged with a non-violent crime;

• No pending DUI charges, because the offender must be able to drive to attend weekly sessions;

• No more than two felony convictions in the past ten years, and those must be non-violent crimes; and

• Willing to accept the treatment recommendations of the drug court.

What Happens If I Am Accepted to the Drug Court Program?

The drug court program has three phases. In Phase 1 - Treatment, you sign a written contract that says you plead guilty to the charges against you and you waive certain constitutional and statutory rights. Your contract specifies the length of time you must remain in the program (12 to 18 months). You may be assigned to either inpatient or outpatient treatment for substance abuse. Outpatients must make weekly appearances in court in addition to participating in the assigned treatment sessions. You may also be required to go to school and/or perform community service.

During the second stage, Phase II - Continuing Care, your required court appearances are reduced to every other week. You must submit to random drug testing and continue with the recommended treatment plan. In Phase III - After Care, court appearances drop to once every three weeks, but random drug testing continues and you will participate in more counseling sessions with other drug court participants.
Upon successful completion of the program, the court may dismiss the original charges against you. No criminal conviction will appear on your record.

Call a Knowledgeable Joliet Drug Crimes Defense Attorney

If you have been arrested on illegal drug or controlled substance charges, an experienced Will County drug crimes defense attorney can negotiate with the prosecutor to get you help through the Drug Court program. At the Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba, we have delivered positive outcomes for many clients charged with misdemeanor or felony drug crimes. Contact us at 815-740-4025; we answer calls around the clock.

Your Rights and Responsibilities During a Traffic Stop

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For many people, the only time they come into contact with the police is during a traffic stop . Statistics show that almost half of all face-to-face interactions that U.S. residents had with police occurred due to being pulled over while driving. Of those interactions, about half resulted in the driver being issued a ticket. Only about three percent of all stopped drivers end up being searched by police during a traffic stop.

Being pulled over by the police can be a scary situation. Many drivers are not sure what their rights and responsibilities are during a traffic stop. It is imperative that every citizen understands what to do during a police interaction as well as what not to do.

If You See Flashing Lights, You Must Pull Over As Soon It Is Safe to Do So

Declining to stop for police or eluding a police officer is a criminal act. If a police officer tells you to stop, you are required to do so by law. A police officer may verbally instruct you to stop or he or she may flash his or her lights to signify that you need to pull over. Section 11-204 of the Illinois Vehicle Code states that fleeing a police officer is a Class A misdemeanor offense which carries a penalty of up to one year in jail and a $2,500 fine. However, you could be charged with a felony depending on the facts of your case if you attempt to flee from an officer.

You May Politely Decline to Answer Unnecessary Questions

An officer may ask questions like, “Do you know why I pulled you over?” or “How fast do you think you were going?” It is important to keep in mind that the Fifth Amendment to the U.S Constitution gives citizens the right to politely decline questions which may incriminate them. Furthermore, you have the right to refuse a vehicle search, but police may search the vehicle anyway if they believe there are weapons or other illegal contraband in the vehicle and they have probable cause to search.

Never Escalate the Situation or Become Overly Emotional

Some police encounters start off as a routine traffic stop but then evolve into much more dramatic scenarios. In order to prevent the situation from becoming hostile, it is vital to remain calm when speaking with a police officer. You should stand up for you rights when it is appropriate, but never do so in a provocative or threatening manner. Using words like “sir,” “ma’am,” “please,” and “thank you” can help show the police officer conducting the traffic stop that you are not a threat. Remember to keep your hands visible and remain in the car unless directed to step out.

Facing Charges Related to a Traffic Stop?

Contact a Will County traffic violations attorney for sound legal guidance regarding any criminal charges related to a traffic stop. Call the Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba, P.C. 815-740-4025 to schedule a free consultation today.

You Could Face Criminal Charges if Your Child Gains Access to Your Firearms

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The United States has historically been a gun-toting nation. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics estimates that 1,300 children die each year due to firearm-related reasons and another 5,790 are treated for injuries. In response to this, laws called child access prevention laws have been established in 28 states and the District of Columbia. Violations of child access prevention laws can result in criminal gun charges .

Illinois’ Child Access Prevention Law

The child access prevention law in Illinois can be found in the Criminal Code of 2012 . The law states that it is unlawful for any person to store or leave their firearm in a place that a child under the age of 14 could gain access to it. The law only applies to situations in which the person has reason to believe that the child is likely to gain access to the firearm and the child use the firearm to commit great bodily harm or death to another person or themselves. The law does not apply in a situation in which the firearm is:

• Secured by a device other than the firearm safety mechanism that is designed to render a firearm temporarily inoperable;

• Stored in a securely locked box or container;

• Stored in another location that a reasonable person would think was secured against a minor under the age of 14;

• Used by the minor as an act of self defense or in the defense of another person; or

• Used by the minor as a result of the minor or another person trespassing on the property.

This crime is classified as a Class C misdemeanor for a first offense and a Class A misdemeanor for a second or subsequent offense. Offenders face fines of not less than $1,000 and up to 30 days in prison for a first offense. Anyone who commits a second or subsequent offense faces fines of not less than $1,000 and up to a year in jail.

Are You Facing a Child Access Prevention Law Violation? An Illinois Gun Crimes Defense Attorney Can Help

It can be tragic when a child is injured and it is even more tragic when the parent is the reason the child was able to injure themselves or others. If you have been charged with violating Illinois’ child access prevention law, you need the immediate help of a Joliet gun crimes defense lawyer . The Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba, P.C. can help keep you from receiving a conviction and keep your record clear. Call the office at 815-740-4025 to schedule a consultation and get your defense started.


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