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cell phone and drivingIn August of this year, Governor Quinn passed a law to strengthen the ban against using cell phones while driving.  The hope was that a updated law would help curb the commonplace occurrence of people talking while driving.  Before this law was strengthened, it was already a law in downtown Chicago and 70 other communities in Illinois.

The update made a first time offense cost $75 if you are caught driving with a cell phone on your ear.  Each additional offense would result in an increased fine of as much as $150.  But the upgraded law makes using a cell phone a moving violation.  If you receive more than three in a year, you could lose your license.

Distracted driving also includes texting while driving. This practice has been illegal for many years. The penalty is higher than driving while on the phone.  The fine is $120. Now the new law also strengthens the definition of distracted driving.  Even if you are holding the phone in your hand, you could be charged with distracted driving.

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A recent study at Roosevelt University concluded that Chicago has the worst heroin problem in the country. The study revealed that heroin use among those 20-years-old and younger is increasing and spreading from the inner city into Chicago’s neighborhoods and suburbs. According to Chicago Police records from January to August, 3,469 people have been arrested for heroin possession.

 KerryStatistics show that although heroin-related deaths have decreased in Chicago, there has been a 200 percent spike in deaths in the suburbs. In DuPage County alone, since 2008, there has been a 48 percent increase. Cook County reports one to two heroin deaths per day.

Experts from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) say that this increase in use among young people is alarming and indicates a trend of using heroin as a recreational drug – an extremely dangerous behavior given heroin’s highly addictive qualities. The typical mode of introduction to the drug is either by snorting or smoking it.

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Posted on in Criminal Law

According to CBS Local Chicago, Molly, or MDMA, has recently been gaining traction in the party scene across the country, and has recently seen a surge in popularity in major U.S. cities. Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Jack Riley told CBS Local that Molly, a derivative of MDMA, is the old date rape drug that was extremely popular during the 1990s. "The resurgence of Molly is a much more pure form of MDMA," Riley told CBS, "and it’s really gained a foothold in the younger crowd based off the electrical tech music," he said. The drug is seeing an uptick in usage not just in Chicago and major U.S. cities, but all across the Midwest as well.  Popularity of Molly Leads to Crackdown IMAGE

According to CBS Local, "reports of MDMA related ER visits have doubled since 2004." This could be because of the popularity of MDMA references in music—CBS reports that, "Riley blames its resurgence in part on musicians who’ve promoted Molly in their lyrics." It’s upsetting to Riley because he doesn’t consider the drug recreational: CBS reports that Molly "is a combination of a stimulant and psychedelic drug." It’s cheap, however; one reason it’s been very popular with teenagers. And authorities are having a hard time identifying the shipment routes and pinpointing the non-traditional network of dealers.

Two men in Boston, according to NBC News, were busted in mid-September on "charges that they sold the designer drug." According to NBC, "undercover officers arranged to buy Molly from the men, then arrested them." Crackdowns have been coordinated in connection with the deaths of two partiers in New York and a college student in New Hampshire. According to NPR News, the recent deaths in the Northeast may be due to a bad batch of Molly that was circulating the Eastern seaboard.

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Expunging your record means the physical records of your criminal history will be destroyed or returned to you and that your name will be removed from any official index or database.

Sealing your record means records will be physically and electronically maintained, but they will be unavailable to the public without a court order.  Your name will be removed from any official index or public record; however, law enforcement agencies and the courts will still have access to the records, as will a few employers and other entities allowed by law.

Charlie expunge

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A recent article in the Chicago Tribune reported that a Palatine man allegedly hit another man with a baseball bat during an argument. Albino Damian-Lopez, 24, turned himself in to Cook County police regarding the incident just one day after fleeing the scene. Lopez has been charged with aggravated battery.

Robyn assault and batteryPeople are sometimes confused about the lines between assault and battery. In addition, some are not sure what makes an assault or battery aggravated. In general, assault is the threat of harm and battery is the action that carries out the threat. For example, if a person lunges at you in a threatening manner and you perceive that they intended to harm you physically, that would be considered assault. Notice in the scenario, that no physical contact was made. If the person struck you after assaulting you, that would be considered battery.

How Does Assault or Battery Become Aggravated?

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