Understanding the Illinois Juvenile Drug Court Treatment Program

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According to the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) , an estimated 1.3 million adolescents ages 12-17 had a substance use disorder in 2014. Many of these youths who have substance abuse issues end up making contact with the juvenile justice system at some point. Rather than punishing them and leaving their substance abuse issues untreated, Illinois has a juvenile drug court treatment program in place that aims to reduce recidivism and guide the youth to a substance-use- and crime-free life.

Eligibility for the ProgramM

When a juvenile defendant is referred to the drug court treatment program , they will be first screened to determine whether or not they are eligible to participate. To be admitted into the program, the prosecutor, the minor, and the court must all be in agreeance. A minor will not be admitted into the program if:

• The crime they committed was a crime of violence;

• He or she denies their use and/or addiction to drugs;

• He or she does not demonstrate a willingness to participate in the program; or

• He or she has been adjudicated delinquent for a violent crime within the past 10 years.

Program Procedures

Once the minor is admitted into the program, a comprehensive assessment will be done to determine the needs of that particular minor and develop a treatment plan. The length of the program is 12 to 18 months, during which the minor must make monthly appearances in court and attend or complete high school or earn a GED.

The juvenile drug court treatment program is a comprehensive program that not only addresses substance abuse issues, but also the issues that the abuse may stem from, such as psychological issues or the minor’s home life. Program participants are required to attend a type of group meeting each month to help them deal with everyday problems, such as how to deal with anger issues, their interaction with the people of their household and communities, how to avoid trouble situations, and others.

Once the minor has been in the program for at least 12 months and they have been clean for at least six months, they are eligible to graduate. The original charges against the minor are dropped and they receive a diploma symbolizing the work they put into the program.

A Joliet, IL Juvenile Crimes Defense Lawyer Will Advocate for Your Best Interests

Drug court is the preferred treatment for many criminal offenders, but it can be especially useful and meaningful for juvenile offenders. At the Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba, P.C., we can help you or your child fight to have the drug court treatment program as an option for your case. Our skilled Will County juvenile crimes defense attorney will do everything in his power to get you a favorable outcome. Call our office today at 815-740-4025 to schedule a free consultation.

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.


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