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illinois marijuana law changesAround the United States, there has been a concerted movement toward decriminalizing and legalizing marijuana. In Illinois, a bill was passed in which decriminalizes small amounts of the drug, meaning that any offense resulting from getting caught with marijuana will be civil in nature. However, there are many different aspects of the change that can come across as unclear to the average person.

The Facts

SB 2228 eliminates the criminal penalties for anyone caught with 10 grams or less of marijuana and imposes a fine of between $100 and $200, in most cases. It also establishes a precedent for any charges to be expunged after six months, if the offender does not get in any other legal trouble. This law also includes language that regulates the threshold over which a driver is ruled to be impaired. Previously, this was one of the main roadblocks that prevented the passage of a similar bill in 2015 that Governor Rauner pushed to include such a qualifier.

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Posted on in Juvenile Law

underage drinking and driving in IllinoisMany minors fail to realize the devastating legal consequences associated with underage drinking in the state. Indeed, Illinois is one of the states that has zero tolerance for underage drinkers as well, which means that getting caught indulging can lead to serious, long-term repercussions.

Obtaining and Drinking Alcohol

One of the most common alcohol-related acts that result in criminal charges for minors in Illinois involves using fake IDs to purchase alcohol. In Illinois, it is illegal for a minor to buy, consume, possess, or receive alcohol, and being found to have done any of these is an automatic three-month suspension of one’s driving privileges. Transporting alcohol is also illegal, and anyone in the vehicle may incur a fine, with the driver being on the proverbial hook for at least one-year mandatory suspension.

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Illinois felony charges, Wheaton criminal defense lawyerEmployment is needed to maintain a fulfilling and consistent lifestyle, yet earning a living from the employment available to you is not always possible. Those who have been convicted of a felony often struggle to find gainful employment. Thankfully, there have been some improvements made in recent years. However, a national analysis of the programs and protections that enable employment for felony offenders recently revealed that Illinois still has a long way to go in reducing recidivism rates throughout the state.

Where Recidivism and Employability Intersect

One might assume that recidivism and employability are not connected. After all, if an offender wishes not to reoffend, then they will simply avoid doing so, right? Not exactly. Those who struggle to obtain gainful employment after they have already paid their debt to society may return to criminal activity to support their family. It is not that reoffenders are immoral or simply do not care (at least not in all cases or circumstances). The reasoning may be is that it is difficult to stand by and watch your children or spouse go without food and basic necessities because you are unable to obtain employment.

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probable cause, reasonable doubt, illinois criminal lawyerWhen it comes to criminal cases, there are three basic phrases that are often confused: reasonable suspicions, probable cause, and beyond a reasonable doubt. The following provides an overview of what these terms really mean and how they may affect your case. Any or all may be used, and the legal requirements for each are different, so be sure to consult with our criminal defense lawyers for a more in-depth understanding of how each term may or may not apply in your situation.

Reasonable Suspicion

Of all the terms used to describe the events that may lead up to an arrest, reasonable suspicion is the least demanding in terms of evidence and the reliability of that evidence. It is also where a lot of cases start. Essentially, it requires only that the officer has reason to believe that someone has (or is in the process of) committing a crime. Examples that may be considered valid reasonable cause could include stopping an erratic driver on suspicion of intoxicated driving and weapons frisks if the officer has reason to believe that the person being detained could be armed and dangerous.

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