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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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