All fifty states have passed laws increasing penalties for drug-related crimes committed with so-called "drug free zones" around schools and other institutions. In Illinois, the drug free zone for schools and churches is 1,000 feet. Drug-related crimes committed within these zones usually entail additional penalties upon conviction.
This blog has noted on several occasions how a seemingly routine traffic stop can quickly become a cascade of more serious criminal charges. A woman stopped by police in nearby Marine, Illinois is now facing such allegations of various drug crimes relating to the transportation and sale of methamphetamine because of evidence discovered during that routine traffic stop.
Southern Illinois is becoming a destination market for what most people consider a very dangerous and unpopular product. According to the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, southern Illinois has become a popular destination for shipments of methamphetamine manufactured in Mexico. The DEA says that it has detected an increase in the sale and use of the illicit drug over the past 10 years. Local police officials note that drug crimes related to methamphetamine have likewise increased over the same period.
Being accused of a drug crime could mean that your freedom, personal and professional reputations, and financial future are at risk. Criminal allegations mean that the accused is facing serious penalties. A serious situation, such as criminal charges, should be treated as such. This means that defendants in Illinois should take an aggressive approach in order to protect their rights and future.
Helicopters ordinarily do not land in parking lots. When they do, local police and aviation authorities usually take notice. The unplanned landing of a helicopter in a parking lot in Swansea was only the beginning of a bizarre chain of events that ended with the investigation of the former CEO of the Anheuser-Busch Brewing Co. for possible drug crimes.
The laws of Illinois criminalize the possession, distribution and manufacturing of controlled substances. Depending upon the type of drug that a person is accused of possessing and the quantity of the drug under their alleged control, the punishment for their alleged crime can result in hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines and decades in prison, if the person is convicted. However, a person facing drug crimes in the state can avail themselves to certain defenses that can reduce or even eliminate their pending criminal charges.
Illinois residents can suffer from illnesses and injuries that require them to see their doctors and get treatment that will alleviate their symptoms while they heal. Although in some cases a person's treatment plan may include physical therapy and rest, in others it may require the person to receive a prescription drug. Prescription medications and drugs are substances that are not generally permitted to be held by individuals without legitimate medical causes.
An arrest and conviction for a possession-based drug crime can change the course of an Illinois resident's life. They may see their educational or career aspirations disappear before their eyes or they may be forced to endure stresses and strain on their family and personal relationships as they suffer the weight of their criminal legal dilemmas. However, in some cases, a criminal defendant facing possession-based drug crimes may be able to present certain defenses at trial that can force prosecutors to reduce or drop the charges.
When an Illinois resident is facing drug charges that carry long-term penalties, it is easy to get overwhelmed and forget that they have constitutional guarantees that cannot be violated. As mentioned last week, the rights under the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution protect against unreasonable search and seizures. In addition to this, everyone has the right to defend themselves and have their day in court-after all, people are innocent until proven guilty.
A previous post on this space talked about the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution as it relates to evidence obtained when someone is stopped and frisked during a traffic violation. Many Illinois residents may not know that the Fourth Amendment to the constitution also protects their right to privacy within their homes. This means that if a search is to be conducted, there must be probable cause to conduct it.