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Illinois defense attorney, Illinois drug crimes lawyerThe abuse of heroin and opioids has become a major health crisis in the Chicago area; more than 1,000 people died of drug overdoses in Cook County in 2016, which was a significant increase over the 693 drug overdose deaths in 2015. Law enforcement officials are working to combat this epidemic, and some advocates have encouraged them to charge drug dealers with drug-induced homicide in addition to standard drug charges.

Drug-Induced Homicide in Illinois

In Illinois, a person can be charged with drug-induced homicide if they provided illegal drugs to someone and the use of those drugs resulted in that person’s death. Drug-induced homicide is a Class X felony, and it is punishable by 15 to 30 years in prison.

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Chicago criminal defense attorneyIf you have ever watched the reality/documentary show COPS, you have probably heard many of the typical claims a suspect often makes when he or she is found to be in possession of what looks like illegal drugs. “That’s not mine,” “I have no idea where that came from,” or “My friend must have left that in my car.” While such excuses ring extremely hollow, there may be situations in which the driver of a vehicle is not aware that one of his or her passengers has cocaine or ecstasy in his or her possession. (Possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana was recently decriminalized in Illinois, making marijuana a less likely candidate for this type of case.) If you are a driver in such a situation, could you be responsible for the drugs your friend is carrying?

There is not a simple answer to that question. As with most areas of the law, it depends entirely on the circumstances of the situation. Important elements include where the drugs are being carried or hidden and whether you really did know that drugs were present in your car. Over the next few weeks, we will look at the factors that can affect a drug possession charge, helping you get the information you need to protect your rights.

Two Types of Possession

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