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Itasca IL drug crime defense attorneyWidespread drug and alcohol addiction is an alarming problem in Northern Illinois and throughout the country.  It is estimated that 20.4 million adults suffered from substance use disorder in 2019 and over 70,000 individuals died from a drug overdose. Drug addiction destroys careers, fractures families, and creates a heavy burden on the U.S. criminal justice system. Criminal penalties for drug possession often include heavy penalties and long prison sentences. Proponents of House Bill 3447 say that individuals who are addicted to illicit drugs need treatment, not jail time.

Criminal Consequences for Drug Possession in Illinois

Most people know at least one person in their life who struggles with drug addiction. Many individuals who are addicted to substances wish to cease using the drug but find themselves unable to do so. Individuals who are caught with certain drugs may face life-changing criminal penalties including years or even decades in jail. Those convicted of drug-related offenses may find it nearly impossible to gain suitable employment and lead a lawful life after getting released.

Currently, possession of any amount of heroin, fentanyl, cocaine, or morphine is a felony offense in Illinois. The greater the amount of the substance in an individual’s possession, the more severe the consequences. For example, possession of less than 15 grams of heroin is a Class 4 felony punishable by up to 3 years in prison. Possession of more than 15 grams of heroin is a Class 1 felony punishable by 4 to 50 years in prison.

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DuPage County criminal defense lawyerLaws are put in place to deter people from committing crimes that could harm others, themselves, or property. Depending on the nature of the offense, the criminal charges and subsequent penalties can be significant. In particular, violent crimes are treated differently than other criminal offenses, often carrying more severe punishments. However, in some cases, people may not even realize that certain actions constitute a crime, thus inadvertently committing them. For instance, “reckless conduct” is considered a violent crime in Illinois, but some may not even understand what actions can result in this type of criminal charge.    

How Is Reckless Conduct Defined?

Violent crimes can refer to a range of criminal offenses such as battery, sexual assault, armed robbery, firearm violations, and more. One such violent crime in Illinois is reckless conduct, which is also known as reckless endangerment. According to Illinois law, reckless conduct is committed when someone recklessly performs an act or acts that cause bodily harm to or endanger the safety of another person, or that cause great bodily harm or permanent disability or disfigurement to another individual. 

It is important to note that several reckless conduct acts warrant their own charge. For instance, the criminal transmission of HIV occurs when a person diagnosed with HIV knowingly participates in unprotected sex or donates blood, thus risking the lives of others. Another example is criminal housing management, which occurs when a building owner or manager fails to maintain safe conditions for his or her tenants. Common carrier recklessness can be prosecuted if an individual endangers the safety of others while operating a mode of transportation such as a bus, train, or taxi cab.

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Itasca criminal defense lawyerYou may have heard the terms manslaughter, homicide, and murder used simultaneously. However, they are actually separate criminal offenses in most states. According to Illinois law, involuntary manslaughter is the unintentional killing of another person. It results when an individual acts recklessly and that conduct leads to someone’s death. This is different than first-degree murder charges, which result from the intentional or knowing act that creates a strong probability of death or great bodily harm. Proving one’s mental state at the time of the crime requires a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney who can help avoid a conviction. 

What Are Considered Reckless Actions?

Various acts can lead to a manslaughter charge. For example, driving a vehicle in a reckless manner may be considered negligence in a car accident case. If the crash causes the death of a passenger or a pedestrian, that may lead to a criminal charge of involuntary manslaughter for the at-fault driver. Criminal negligence can also occur when a defendant fails to perform an act that he or she has a duty to perform. Parents can face manslaughter charges if they accidentally leave their child in a vehicle on a hot day, and the child dies. Another example would be a ziplining or parasailing guide or tour operator who fails to advise patrons on proper safety procedures, which causes a fatal accident. 

Illinois Punishments for Involuntary Manslaughter

The punishments for involuntary manslaughter can vary depending on the circumstances surrounding the death. Although this crime is committed without the intent to kill, it is usually litigated aggressively by the prosecution. Penalties can include fines, imprisonment, or even counseling. In addition, a judge generally considers any aggravating or mitigating factors when determining a defendant’s sentence. In most cases, manslaughter is charged as a Class 3 felony in Illinois, resulting in up to five years in prison and a $25,000 fine.

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DuPage County criminal defense attorney search and seizure

Many different acts constitute criminal offenses in Illinois. In order to convict someone of a crime, however, there must be evidence that proves he or she committed the act. This proof often comes from items, fingerprints, or photographs taken at the scene of the alleged crime. The most common reason why evidence is suppressed, and charges are reduced or dismissed altogether, is due to an illegal search and seizure by police. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you determine if the evidence in your case was obtained through a legal search warrant. 

Different Types of Search Warrants 

The Federal Constitution’s Fourth Amendment gives Americans the right to “reasonable” search and seizures of a person and his or her property. The fundamental purpose of this legislation is to protect citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures by governmental officials. 

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Itasca traffic violations attorneyCoronavirus has affected millions of people all over the world. The global pandemic caused many non-essential businesses to temporarily shut down in states’ efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19. Here in Illinois, Governor J.B. Pritzker issued a stay-at-home order that has been in effect for the past several months. As a result, the typically congested Chicagoland area roads have been much emptier. However, despite fewer people commuting to work or for extracurricular activities, there has been an increase in the number of traffic accidents. Studies show there may be various reasons for these statistics, namely traffic violations.  

Illinois Moving Violations 

According to the National Safety Council (NSC), Illinois saw an 11 percent increase in traffic fatalities compared to the first three months of 2019. This is despite a significant decrease in the number of miles Americans drove as COVID-19 restrictions were put in place across the state. Not all motorists are intentionally committing a violation or driving recklessly, however. In some cases, some people may not have driven at all during the coronavirus crisis. Understandably, they may be a bit rusty behind the wheel while navigating the city streets or highways. With so much uncertainty on everyone’s minds these days, a driver can accidentally forget some of the rules of the road. In addition, something as simple as a burnt-out headlight or taillight can result in a traffic infraction. 

A few of the most common traffic violations Illinois drivers can be charged with include: 

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