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shutterstock_1848965575.jpgOn January 1, 2020, marijuana became legal for recreational use in Illinois. While the state had previously allowed marijuana to be used for medical purposes by people who had received a state-issued medical registration card, all adult residents of the state and visitors from other states are now allowed to possess and use marijuana. However, there are certain limits that apply to recreational use of marijuana, and people may still face drug charges if they violate the state’s marijuana laws.

Drug Charges for Possession or Distribution of Marijuana

The Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act made it legal for adults over the age of 21 to possess a certain amount of marijuana for recreational use. A person may possess up to:

chicago defense lawyerGas prices have skyrocketed over the decades and paying for fuel is one of the most onerous aspects of car ownership. However, the State of Illinois gives no free passes for gas theft. The crime is punished harshly, with serious consequences that can upend your life. Gas theft takes many different forms. The offender may drive to the gas station and siphon gas directly into his vehicle or walk to the pump and fill a jerry can or barrel.

If you are charged with the crime of gas theft, you have the right to legal representation. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can provide you with options and chart a path forward based on your needs.

Misdemeanor v. Felony Gas Theft

Per Illinois law, theft occurs when a party knowingly steals property belonging to someone else. You can also face theft charges for buying or receiving stolen goods. The element of intent is important in a fuel theft case. The offender must knowingly take fuel without paying for it and without any available pretense that would justify his actions (e.g., being told by the station owner not to pay for the gas).

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chicago criminal defense lawyerIf you are accused of domestic violence, you may also be the subject of a protective order. Courts issue protective orders to preserve the safety and well-being of domestic violence victims. They may be imposed if the offender allegedly abused, harassed, or intimated the victim. An order is also warranted if the personal liberty of the victim was allegedly violated, or they were willfully deprived of basic necessities so as to put them at risk of physical, mental or emotional harm.

Protective orders are issued when an alleged victim is threatened or harmed by a former or current household or family member, including: 

  • People related to the offender by blood
  • Those who reside in the same home as the offender
  • People who have a child with the offender
  • A person who is married to or dating the offender
  • People with a disability or other high-risk adults at risk of abuse.

The State of Illinois takes domestic violence very seriously and imposes harsh penalties for violating a protective order.

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IL defense lawyerUnfortunately, a surprising number of people find themselves the victims of assault, battery, and other violent offenses every year in Illinois. Even more shocking, many of these people end up being the person who is charged with a violent criminal offense. If you were charged with a violent offense after defending yourself in a robbery, fight, or attack, you may be bewildered and unsure of what to do. The first step is to assert your right to remain silent and contact a lawyer for help. You could be facing life-altering consequences, including considerable jail time.

Can I Face Charges if I Acted in Self Defense?

When police are called to the scene of a physical altercation, they do not know the events that preceded their arrival. In many cases, it is nearly impossible to tell how a fight started or who is the true culprit. This can lead to victims being treated like criminals. You may have been arrested and charged for assault, battery, or even homicide even though you were only acting in self-defense. Do not take these charges lightly. Speak to a lawyer as soon as possible.

What Does Illinois Define as Self Defense?

In order to prove that your actions were not malicious but instead an act of self-preservation, your lawyer will need to demonstrate that you used reasonable force to defend yourself, another person, or your property.

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IL defense lawyerFatal car accidents are a sad reality in Illinois, with around 1,000 people losing their lives each year. These crashes are an undeniable tragedy for the victims and their families, and they can also be incredibly difficult for the other drivers involved, who are left to cope with the mental impact and the legal consequences they may face in civil and criminal court. If you have been involved in a fatal car crash, you could face homicide and other felony charges, and it is important to work with an attorney who can help you protect your rights.

Understanding Reckless Homicide Charges in Illinois

It is important to note that not all fatal accidents will result in criminal charges against one of the drivers involved. However, if there is evidence that a driver was acting recklessly at the time of the crash, they may be charged with the criminal offense of reckless homicide. The standards for determining recklessness are similar to those for a regular reckless driving charge.

This means that in most cases, the driver must have been acting with “willful or wanton disregard” for other people’s safety, or have intentionally used an incline to make their vehicle airborne. However, certain other actions can also be considered recklessness for the purposes of a reckless homicide charge, including driving at least 20 miles per hour above the posted speed limit in a school or maintenance zone or failing to yield to an emergency vehicle.

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