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Illinois coach sentenced for inappropriate relationship

 Posted on January 17, 2020 in Sex Offenses

A 23-year-old high school coach and former athlete was sentenced to serve 90 days in jail after she entered a guilty plea to engaging in criminal sexual abuse of someone who was more than five years younger than her. The woman will serve a probationary sentence until Dec. 20, 2021.

The coach was arrested and charged with a class 1 felony in August 2019. She worked at Washington Community High School in Tazewell County, Illinois, as a freshman girls' basketball and volleyball coach.

The coach is required to register as a sex offender. During her probation, she will also be required to perform community service hours. News sources do not state how many hours of community service she will have to perform. The coach reportedly played college basketball at Eureka College and Illinois Central College.

People who are charged with sex offenses might want to retain experienced criminal defense lawyers as soon as possible. Sex offense convictions can permanently alter the course of people's lives. After the people have discharged their sentences, they might still have to continue registering as sex offenders. They might also struggle to find jobs and housing, and they may have difficulty obtaining credit and loans. An experienced criminal defense lawyer might identify problems with the state's case against the client and work hard to build the strongest possible defense strategy. In some cases, an attorney might secure a favorable plea agreement if the evidence appears to be strong.

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Removing the statute of limitations for sex crimes against adults

 Posted on January 02, 2020 in Sex Offenses

Illinois residents may be interested in the effect that House Bill 2135, which lawmakers passed over the spring of 2019, will have on the statute of limitations for sexual assault crimes in that state. Removing the statute of limitations may allow prosecutors to prosecute sexual assaults that took place years into the past.

Lawmakers and those involved with crafting the law feel that this sends a clear message showing just how serious the state views sexual assault. Prior to this law, victims had three years to report their attack the law enforcement. Prosecutors had 10 years to file charges against the alleged offender.

House Bill 2135 will remove those limitations, allowing survivors to come forward many years after the attack. This law will apply to aggravated criminal sexual assault and aggravated criminal sexual abuse that has been committed against an adult. Another state law passed years ago that removed the statute of limitation for sexual assault crimes against children.

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Illinois Supreme Court overturns sex offender internet ban

 Posted on December 06, 2019 in Sex Offenses

The Illinois Supreme Court ruled on Nov. 21 that prohibiting convicted sex offenders from accessing social media websites like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn violated the First Amendment right to free speech. The six participating justices voted unanimously to overturn the state law ban. Chief Justice Anne Burke did not take part in the proceedings. The justices heard arguments in a case involving a man who was sentenced to four years of probation in McLean County for the sexual abuse of a minor. The man committed his crime when he was a teenager and did not use the internet to contact his victim.

The justices were unconvinced by prosecutors who argued that the social media ban helped to rehabilitate sex offenders by eliminating a source of temptation. One justice pointed out that the law does not differentiate between offenders who used the internet to orchestrate and commit their crimes and those who did not.

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How can opiate charges impact you?

 Posted on September 27, 2019 in Opiate Offenses

Illinois residents who are charged with opiate or opioid related crimes have a lot at risk if they are convicted. At the Law Office of Philip R. Nathe, we work to provide you with information on the potential impact of convictions you may be facing.

Opioids and opiates are considered illicit drugs. As such, they fall under the jurisdiction of drug-related criminal activity. Illinois cracks down heavily on drug users and drug-related crimes, regardless of how many times you have committed any in the past. Just a few of the impacts you might suffer from if you are convicted of a drug-related crime include:

  • Fines
  • Prison sentences
  • Loss of financial aid or college grants
  • Trouble renting or leasing homes or apartments
  • Trouble getting hired due to charges showing up on your background check

As you can see, drug-related charges don't just affect you in the present time. Though many people focus on the immediate issues like being sentenced to jail or having to pay huge fines and fees, the effects of a conviction can last for years after the initial penalty is over. Drug convictions make it harder for you to find housing or employment, which can make reintegration into society incredibly hard.

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Current marijuana laws in place until 2020

 Posted on August 14, 2019 in Opiate Offenses

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.

However, it is important to remember that this bill will not legalize commercial marijuana sales until the beginning of next year. Until January 2020, the current state law is still in effect. This means that people are breaking the law if they purchase marijuana from a store which is not a licensed dispensary. Buying this substance without a medical marijuana card is also against the current state law. Until the new bill goes into effect, marijuana advocates and members of law enforcement say they want to help the public understand the new law, as well as help them understand the current law. One state attorney says that while law enforcement officers have to enforce the current marijuana laws, prosecutors are more concerned with people who are illegally dealing marijuana.

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Tainted drugs may be addressed by rarely used Illinois law

 Posted on May 24, 2019 in Opiate Offenses

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.

The law states that a death caused by absorption, ingestion or inhalation of a controlled substance delivered unlawfully is considered a homicide but although it has been on the books for three decades, has only been used a handful of times to investigate. The Chicago Police Department addressed the issue in a statement, saying that all overdose deaths were responded to and investigated.

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Common signs of prescription drug use that may lead to abuse

 Posted on April 12, 2019 in Opiate Offenses

Every day, residents of Illinois deal with the fallout of prescription drug abuse. While it may start innocently enough, the National Institute on Drug Abuse states that the overdose deaths involving opioids in Illinois are higher than the national rate. In 2017 alone, over 2,200 people died of a prescription drug overdose. Because these situations can often turn deadly or lead to criminal charges when the abuser gets desperate, it is important that family members and friends know what to watch for when it comes to drug abuse.

According to the Mayo Clinic, the symptoms of drug abuse differ based on the type of medication that is being abused. Those taking stimulants may seem hyper alert, have high blood pressure and body temperature and show noticeable signs of anxiety, agitation and paranoia. They may also have a reduced appetite and struggle to sleep at night.

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How Illinois drug courts work

 Posted on January 04, 2018 in Drug Offenses

Over the years, judicial systems throughout the United States have undergone a growing recognition that normal criminal penalties may not be the best way to address drug crimes stemming from addiction. As a result, many states, including Illinois, have implemented a system of treatment courts.

Drug court can offer benefits to some, but they are not for everyone. An experienced defense attorney can give you more information and advise you as to the best course to take in your individual situation.

Treatment rather than punishment

Typically, an Illinois drug court operates within the structure of a normal criminal court. This program centers on treating the addiction rather than penalizing the specific offense.

Who is eligible?

To participate in drug court, defendants must meet eligibility requirements. In DuPage County, requirements include addiction to alcohol or drugs, no open cases from other jurisdictions, being over 18 years old and having either U.S. citizenship or legal residence.

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Risk factors for drug addiction in young adults

 Posted on November 15, 2017 in Opiate Offenses

When you think of a typical drug addict, does a stereotypical image of a homeless, jobless person come to mind? While there are certainly drug users who fit that description, addiction actually affects a wide range of people.

You may think your teen is safe because of your financially stable lifestyle, but there are more risk factors than just income level and education. In fact, according to one study, high socioeconomic status correlated with higher use of alcohol and marijuana in young adults. Become familiar with these relevant factors from DualDiagnosis.org to help you evaluate the risk of your teen or college-aged child becoming involved with drugs.

Mental health

Those with mental illnesses, such as bipolar disorder or depression, are likelier to abuse drugs. It may serve as self-medication to escape the symptoms of mental illness. Drugs may also have a more rewarding and addictive impact on unhealthy brains. Combined with the normal cognitive development of youth, susceptibility becomes high.

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What to expect from heroin withdrawal

 Posted on October 04, 2017 in Drug Offenses

Deciding to withdraw from heroin use is brave, but for many people, it is far from easy. In fact, because the severity of symptoms varies, some people may think it is easier than it is.

Here is a look at common heroin withdrawal experiences:

Timeline

Physical withdrawal takes about a week, but the timeline can begin well before that as the user considers whether to begin withdrawal. The thought may cause depression or anxiety, and it could be there are many failed plans to withdraw before an actual withdrawal kicks off.

And there can be more breaking away to do long after the physical aspect is over. A large part of it is psychological. For example, if a teenager started using heroin to fit in and make friends, what will he or she do now that heroin is no longer an option? If there is no substitute plan or activity, it can be easy to fall back on the old way of doing things, with legal trouble likely to result.

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