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Naperville Illinois Criminal Defense Law Blog

Current marijuana laws in place until 2020

Many people may be happy to hear about the impending legalization of marijuana in Illinois. They may not realize, though, that marijuana will not officially be legal until January 2020.

The Illinois legislature has steadily made steps to legalize marijuana. According to the Chicago Tribune, since 2016 people have been subject to a civil fine if they have 10 grams or less of this substance. Additionally, some state attorneys plan to aid people in the expungement of their records. The new bill proposed by legislators allows people to have up to 30 grams of marijuana if they purchase the substance from a licensed store or grower. The bill also permits the commercial sale of cannabis and allows people to remove certain cannabis convictions from their record. 

How can a DUI conviction impact you?

In Illinois, the laws governing how DUI-related crimes are handled can be quite strict. As someone facing charges for a DUI crime, you will want to avoid it becoming a conviction. We at the Law Office of Philip R. Nathe are here to help.

Penalties typically fall into one of two categories: short-term and long-term. Short-term penalties usually last for a smaller duration and generally are a "one-time thing". This includes fines or fees. Jail time can also fall under this category, as some people may receive short sentences. In other cases, however, those convicted of DUI crimes could spend a year or more in jail.

What Illinois parents should know about hazing

After the heat of August comes the start of a new school year. For many Illinois parents, that means sending their kids off to college. Textbooks, dreams, dorms, academic aspirations and-all too often-brutal and demeaning hazing rituals.

Every year, students across the United States throw themselves into unsafe situations to gain the approval of others. And then once they've earned their memberships, they eagerly turn around and lash out at the next crop of freshmen. It's a cycle of violence often dismissed as youthful exuberance, or childish folly, but it's dangerous, illegal and increasingly under the spotlight.

What is a breath alcohol ignition interlock device?

As an Illinois resident who is currently facing DUI-related charges, it is important to understand how the state treats DUI-related crimes. If you are convicted, you could face a number of repercussions outside of fines. Today, we will look into breath alcohol ignition interlock devices, also known as BAIID.

The Office of the Illinois Secretary of State has a web page explaining the purpose of ignition interlock devices. They start by stating that first-time offenders will have a BAIID installed in their vehicle. What is a BAIID, exactly? It's a device that is meant to measure the alcohol on your breath. If it detects alcohol, you will not be able to start your car. More recent models of BAIIDs also have a camera which takes a picture of whoever is using the BAIID. This is to keep people from "cheating" by getting someone else to blow into it for them.

How are first time DUI offenses treated?

As a resident of Illinois who is currently up against DUI-related charges, you likely know just how harsh these potential penalties are if you are convicted. Illinois takes DUI crimes very seriously and because of that, it is important to take your defense just as seriously.

FindLaw takes a look at the DUI penalties for first time offenses in Illinois. A first time conviction alone can end up with your license being suspended for up to a year. Your vehicle may even be confiscated. Additionally, ignition interlock devices may be installed even for a first time offender. They are required for those with multiple offenses or people who have been granted restricted licenses. Finally, you will need to take mandatory alcohol education, assessment, and treatment.

Illinois expands legal use of recreational marijuana

Following a nationwide trend, Illinois will become the 11th state to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. In late June, Governor J.B. Pritzker signed a bill to decriminalize the use of marijuana. The law goes into effect January 1, 2020.

As a result, marijuana will be regulated and taxed similarly to alcohol, with numerous rules applying to how residents can use it.

Driving privileges after a drunk driving conviction

For residents in Illinois who have been convicted of an offense for driving under the influence of alcohol, losing their driving privileges can represent a major hardship. It can impede their ability to get to and from work, to get medical care when needed and to take care of their children or other family members. The state does offer some programs via which people can regain the ability to drive and these involve installing breath alcohol ignition interlock devices.

According to the Office of the Illinois Secretary of State and CyberDriveIllinois.com, an estimated 12,000 people in the state use BAIIDs to be able to legally drive after a drunk driving conviction. For people who have been convicted of a first-time DUI, they may get a Monitoring Device Driving Permit that, along with the installation of the BAIID, allows them to drive any vehicle with the BAIID installed with no further restrictions.

Can a DUI conviction cost you your job?

There is no denying that an Illinois DUI conviction represents a serious threat to your freedom. But have you thought about the fact that it could also represent a serious threat to your ability to earn a living?

It’s true. FindLaw explains that having a DUI conviction on your record could seriously jeopardize your chances of getting the job you want. For instance, if you have spent years going to grad school with the intent of practicing law, medicine, engineering, architecture or in a variety of other professions that require a professional license, a DUI or other conviction could cause the licensing board to refuse to issue you the license you need.

Tainted drugs may be addressed by rarely used Illinois law

Drug and alcohol abuse is a serious problem for many in Illinois, and the problem is compounded when tainted drugs are sold to those who think they understand their tolerance level. To help counter this problem, a local mother is bringing attention to an old law in Illinois that is rarely used.

According to the Chicago Sun Times, the woman’s brother died several years ago of fentanyl toxicity. At the time, she assumed the case would be treated as a homicide but was surprised when she was told cases such as that were not investigated. She mistakenly believed the Illinois Drug Homicide Law would be used because a homicide caused by drugs is a Class X felony in the state.

Understanding how alcohol gets into the lungs

The common perception of a drunk driver is one standing on the side of a road in Naperville blowing into a hand-held breath measurement device to determine the blood-alcohol content. Yet the comparison of the two elements being measured in this scenario (one's breath and their BAC) might prompt many to ask why law enforcement would measure a person's breath to determine the concentration of alcohol in their blood. Understanding how alcohol ends up in one's breath may help those facing DUI charges to challenge the results of breath test measurements being used against them. 

According to The Alcohol Pharmacology Education Partnership, the alcohol used in beverages is ethanol. This is a water-soluble compound, meaning that once ingested, it can pass through the membranes of the organs of the digestive system through a process known as passive diffusion. Thus, much of the ethanol in any drink consumed will eventually end up in the bloodstream. When ethanol gets in the blood, it is eventually carried to the heart by the veins, where it is then pumped into the lungs via the right ventricle. In the lungs, the ethanol comes in contact with oxygen, which will cause some of it to vaporize into a gas. That gas is then expelled from the body when one breathes. 

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