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Illinois drug crimes attorneySometimes, a traffic stop is nothing more than just that, but other times, it can lead to serious trouble. A woman, who was stopped for speeding in Illinois and is now facing drug charges, serves as a prime example. Learn more about how this case (and others) can quickly change into a serious situation, and discover how an experienced criminal defense lawyer can help if you or someone you love ends up in a similar situation.

Drug Dog Caught Scent During Traffic Stop

News sources indicate that the officers had originally stopped the woman for speeding, but a drug dog picked up a scent during the process. Her vehicle was then searched. Officers allegedly found methamphetamines, paraphernalia, and packaging materials. She was arrested and detained and is now facing charges for possession of methamphetamines with the intent to deliver, which is a more severe charge than simple possession.

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Arlington Heights drug crimes defense attorneyAlthough the use of medical marijuana is legal in the state of Illinois, there are numerous rules and regulations that one must follow to avoid the possibility of criminal penalties. This risk remains, even for those with severe or debilitating conditions. Learn more about how to prevent legal trouble as a medical marijuana user, and what you can do if you should find yourself facing drug possession charges.

Understanding the Rules and Regulations

To qualify as a medical marijuana user in the state of Illinois, one must be a resident of the state. Further, you must have a qualifying medical condition and be at least 18 years of age. Individuals must also complete a fingerprint-based criminal background check. Further, you cannot be an active member of law enforcement or a firefighter, and you cannot have a commercial driver’s license (this includes licenses required for operating a school bus). Failure to meet any of these requirements could bar you from receiving your medical marijuana card.

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Arlington Heights criminal defense lawyerAlthough the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not acknowledge marijuana as a prescription drug, there are currently 28 states with medical marijuana laws in place. Illinois is one of those states. Yet users should know legalization does not mean free reign. There are still regulations, stipulations, and limitations that must be followed, and any failure to do so can result in serious consequences. The following explains further.

Approved Conditions

Passed in 2013, and put into effect in 2014, the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Act currently includes 40 chronic diseases and conditions. Though not an exhaustive list, some of the most commonly covered conditions include:

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Arlington Heights criminal defense attorneysEven as other states began legalizing the possession of marijuana, and cities throughout Illinois began to decriminalize it, Illinois held steadfast to the laws that put hundreds of low-level, nonviolent offenders in jail. That has all changed, thanks to the recent passing of Senate Bill 2228. Understand what this bill means for you and your family, and how it may affect you in the future, should you find yourself stopped with marijuana on your person.

Possession Under 10 Grams No Longer a Criminal Offense

Prior to the bill, possession of 2.5 grams of marijuana or less was charged as a Class C misdemeanor, which carried a jail term of up to 30 days. Possession of 2.5 to 10 grams was charged as a Class B misdemeanor, which carried up to a six month jail term. Conviction on either level also resulted in significant fines. Effective immediately, these laws are no longer considered valid. Instead, possession of 10 grams or less is now considered a civil offense, which limits the punishment of being caught with it in your possession to a fine of $200.

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Arlington Heights drug crimes attorneyWhile law enforcement says that the number of methamphetamine lab arrests has decreased over the last few years, the number of actual users – those arrested for possession and other related crimes – seems to be increasing throughout the state of Illinois. Some Illinois residents may view this as a positive, but it actually shows a lack of insight and understanding of addiction. What is more, research is suggesting that the increase of arrests and convictions does not actually improve society. Instead, it creates more problems in the future.

Behind the Addict

Meth is a highly addictive substance that can change even the best of people. Yet law enforcement officials and the criminal justice system seem to overlook the person behind that addiction. They fail to see the family of those affected. Most of all, they do not consider the external and internal factors that can often lead to addiction. For example, those who live in poverty are more likely to suffer from a substance addiction, as are those who suffer from mental illness.

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