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Can you afford to get a DUI in Illinois?

 Posted on January 31, 2023 in DUI Law

Have you been here before? You had one drink, or maybe a few. Some time has gone by and perhaps you had something to eat, so you feel okay to drive. Suddenly lights are flashing behind you and now you’re not okay. How did you get here? Maybe you rolled through a stop sign or ended up at one of Chicago’s DUI checkpoints. Whatever caused the officer to pull you over, he tells you to blow into a Breathalyzer and the next thing you know, you’re accused of driving drunk.

But you hadn’t had much to drink and you didn’t hurt anyone, so what are the costs of a first-time DUI arrest?

About $16,500 if you get convicted, according to the Illinois Secretary of State.

Does this figure seem high to you? There are a lot of expenses that come out of DUI arrests, including court fines and fees; the cost to reinstate your driver’s license; fees to install a breath alcohol ignition interlock device; increased insurance rates and lost wages due to court dates.

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Pushing treatment, not time, for drug users

 Posted on January 31, 2023 in Drug Offenses

Many people who are arrested for drug crimes end up doing jail time. This typically isn’t what they, or society, needs. At the heart of drug crimes is addiction, and this is the true problem that needs to be addressed.

If you have been arrested for a drug crime in DuPage County or the surrounding areas, drug court might produce the best resolution for you. This can help you kick your addiction and avoid prison time. When is drug court an option?

Drug court may be available to you if you are up against a nonviolent criminal charge related to drug or alcohol addiction. An experienced criminal defense attorney can work to help you get into drug court or an alternative program. These programs offer people the tools to get their lives back on track, including:

Medical marijuana dispensary opens in Naperville, prompting DUI questions

 Posted on January 31, 2023 in Drug Offenses

Dupage County’s first medical marijuana dispensary recently opened for business on Naperville’s far west side. The Naperville 3C Dispensary (with the Cs standing for Compassionate Care Center) opened Feb. 4, joining other dispensaries that are already in operation in Illinois.

In November, Illinois began allowing allowing the sale of marijuana for medicinal purposes only, including treating illnesses such as glaucoma and multiple sclerosis. As more people begin to use medical marijuana in the state, questions are being asked about the use of the drug while driving.

As it stands, driving while under the influence of marijuana is a gray area. Whether you are using the drug recreationally or medicinally, there is no clear threshold under the law that says how much is too much as there is with alcohol (.08 blood alcohol concentration).

Police tend to operate under a zero-tolerance policy, so you can face a DUI charge no matter how small the amount of marijuana in your system. This is problematic because it can take weeks to flush marijuana from your body. You could face a DUI even if you are not actually impaired by the drug and have not been for some time.

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Dangerous drug fentanyl gaining hold in Chicago area

 Posted on January 31, 2023 in Drug Offenses

Addiction is at the heart of many drug crimes. People who are in the grip of addiction could find that they are engaging in activities they otherwise would never consider, in an effort to secure more of the substance to which they are addicted. This cycle can continue indefinitely or until something-such as an arrest-brings it to an end. While many different drugs could be behind this cycle, over the course of last few years, in the Chicago metro area, heroin has become one of the biggest culprits.

According to a recent report, there is another, even stronger drug, which is gaining favor with area residents. The synthetic drug fentanyl is being combined with heroin leading to a disastrous outcome. With a potency that is 80 to 200 times greater than heroin, overdoses in the area are rampant.

If the name fentanyl sounds familiar it may be because it is available as a prescription pain killer. Because of how powerful it is, the individuals who receive it are generally those who are in great pain, such as those who have cancer.

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50 years of the Miranda Warning

 Posted on January 31, 2023 in Criminal Defense

The Miranda warning, which is 50 years old this month, arose out of the case of Ernesto Miranda v. the State of Arizona, in which Miranda was arrested for a crime and not informed that he could be silent or contact an attorney. His confession to the crime was thrown out and he was released, and the Miranda warning was born. Today, law enforcement officers all over the United States use it when they arrest someone. Each state can decide how to word their warning, and there isn’t one particular version that must be used all across the country.

Miranda Warning Basics

While the version used in the state of Illinois may not be the same as in neighboring states, there are specific parts of the Miranda warning that must be used in any version of it to comply with this law. These include the statement that the suspect has the right to remain silent, that anything they say can be used against them in court, that they have the right to an attorney, and that they can waive those rights if they choose to. Even if they waive their rights, though, they can change their mind at any time and decide that they want to contact an attorney.

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Avoid a DUI over holidays and throughout the year

 Posted on January 31, 2023 in DUI Law

Holiday weekends are often filled with a lot of fun, but could also be filled with problems if there’s too much alcohol involved. A large number of people are arrested each year for DUI over long holiday weekends, partially due to parties going on and partially due to additional law enforcement on the roads. Those between the ages of 18 and 34 are most commonly arrested when it comes to driving under the influence, but no one who drinks and gets behind the wheel is immune.

Don’t Be a Statistic

Making sure you or a loved one doesn’t become a statistic is important, but so is knowing what to do if you are arrested for DUI. Being arrested can be upsetting and frightening. The more you remain calm and know what steps to take next, the easier things can be for you and the better chance you’ll have of doing the right thing.

How to Avoid a DUI

There are some great ways to avoid a DUI year-round. Not drinking is one way, but that’s not realistic for everyone. They want to have a drink and enjoy themselves, and sometimes that one drink turns into several drinks. If that’s the case, they may end up accidentally consuming more alcohol than they intended. Many people who drink too much think they are still okay to drive, which can get them into trouble. Don’t risk it. Instead, hand your keys over to a designated driver, arrange for a cab, or make sure you get a friend or family member to pick you up at a specific time. That way you won’t be on the road after one too many drinks.

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When heroin is mixed with fentanyl: a deadly combination

 Posted on January 31, 2023 in Drug Offenses

Last week, Huntington, W. V. had an unprecedented 26 heroin overdoses in only three and a half hours. While none of the overdoses were fatal–due largely to the availability of nalaxone, a heroin antidote–authorities believe the extraordinary number was linked to a new batch of heroin mixed with highly lethal fentanyl.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid similar to morphine but 80 to 100 times more potent. It has recently been added to “cut” heroin, meaning that it is added to the more expensive heroin to dilute it. Drug users are often unaware of its presence and, as such, are not able to adapt their use to it. The result is often death.

A powerful drug with a powerful pull

The heroin epidemic is not limited to poor counties in Appalachia. It is widespread and insidious. It lives here in DuPage County, and its users come from every socio-economic and educational background. It does not discriminate: It targets all races, ages and gender.

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Self-medicating with Ecstasy: Is it worth the risk?

 Posted on January 31, 2023 in Drug Offenses

Ecstasy–MDMA–is a drug that first gained popularity in the 1980’s. The drug, said to make you more empathic, loving and open to self-reflection, was often found at “Raves” or all-night parties. Fearing for the safety of the community, the Drug Enforcement Agency moved quickly to have the drug classified as a Schedule I drug–meaning that it was classified as a controlled substance that had no medical benefit and a high risk for abuse.

Ironically, prior to the drug being fast-tracked to illegal status, it had been used by psychotherapists in conjunction with therapy. These psychiatrists attempted to keep the DEA from completely outlawing the drug, but by the late-eighties, the drug had been banned not just in the U.S., but worldwide.

Who is self-medicating?

Prior to its illegal use, MDMA had been used in small amounts during therapy to help an individual break down barriers of trust and fear, and according to the therapists, facilitate deeper, quicker and more meaningful counseling.

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Medical vs. recreational marijuana: what’s allowed?

 Posted on January 31, 2023 in Drug Offenses

Laws on the use of medical marijuana vary greatly from state to state, but Illinois is one state that allows medical marijuana under certain circumstances. However, the line between medical and recreational use can easily become muddled if laws are misunderstood.

What are the consequences for marijuana use? What are the differences between using medical and recreational marijuana in Illinois?

Recreational marijuana use

In Illinois, any use of marijuana outside of prescribed medical purposes is illegal. This includes possessing, using, selling, or cultivating it. The penalties for marijuana use in Illinois include fines and jail time, and the severity of each of these increases based on how much marijuana someone possesses. Even small amounts of marijuana can lead to at least a year in jail and very significant fines. Offenses can also have large consequences in a person’s future.

Medical marijuana use

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Could your teen be using drugs?

 Posted on January 31, 2023 in Drug Offenses

A scary time in the lives of many parents occurs when they begin to suspect their teens are using drugs. Whatever the causes for suspicion, it is important for parents to remain relatively calm and to take action as soon as possible. Below are a few ideas of what you can do if you think your teen is using.


Chat with your teen, and try to do so in the most comfortable and welcoming situation. For instance, have the discussion while playing basketball, watching TV or knitting. Making a big deal out of, “I want to talk to you,” could make the teen defensive.

You know your teen well, so use your judgment when opening the conversation and asking relevant questions. Saying something such as, “Do you feel like you’re angrier lately?” is better than, “Why are you so emotional lately? Is it drugs?” Frame your concerns in terms of the teen’s behavior rather than any firm conclusions you may seem to have.

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