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Posted by on in Marijuana

marijuana, Gallup poll, Chicago criminal defense attorneyWith recent efforts to at least decriminalize marijuana, along with the introduction of a pilot program for the medical use of marijuana, Illinois seems to be remaining fairly contemporary regarding popular opinion about the drug. As one of 23 states with legalized medicinal marijuana, Illinois has stayed comfortably in the middle of the pack as it takes steps toward what many believe will be the ultimate legalization of recreational use. According to recent polling numbers, that is just what a majority of American would like to see.

Third Year in a Row

Noted polling organization Gallup reported that, for the third consecutive year, more than half of U.S. adults are in favor of making marijuana legal in this country. Gallup’s most recent numbers show that 58 percent of those polled support legalizing the drug’s use, tying 2013’s high-water mark. Polling numbers dipped 51 percent in 2014, but rebounded this year as the topic has gained momentum among 2016 presidential hopefuls.


Posted by on in DUI

MDDP, drunk driving, Illinois Criminal Defense LawyerBefore you were arrested on charges of driving under the influence, you probably failed or refused a blood alcohol content (BAC) chemical test. Such tests, while not the only criteria for determining your impairment, are administered to establish your BAC, and the penalties for failing or refusing them are administered by the Secretary of State’s Office.  They are applied separately from any sentence or penalties imposed as conditions of court supervision or as the result of a DUI conviction.

Statutory Summary Suspensions

Technically considered an administrative penalty as opposed to a criminal one, a statutory summary suspension applies to any driver who fails or refuses to submit chemical BAC testing. If you fail a breathalyzer, blood, or urine test for the first time, your driving privileges will be suspended for 6 months. A suspension of 12 months will be applied for subsequent failures. What constitutes a failed test depends upon the driver’s age and whether the vehicle is commercial or private. The legal BAC limit for a driver 21 or older operating a private vehicle is 0.08 percent, 0.04 percent for a commercial vehicle, and 0.00 for any driver under 21.


suspect lineup, Illinois law, Cook County Criminal Defense AttorneyYou have probably seen it dozens of times on TV procedural dramas. A crime victim or potential witness stands behind a one-way mirror while a small parade of suspects are lined up for the purposes of identification. While not definitive evidence, the witness’s recognition of a suspect provides a basis for the continuing investigation. In the real world, lineups are also used in criminal cases to help narrow down a suspect list and, sometimes, as a form of testimony. Unfortunately, however, eyewitnesses are not always reliable sources of information and mistakes have led to the conviction of many innocent suspects. That is why the state of Illinois has developed a statutory procedure for lineups which took effect at the beginning of this year.

Photographic Lineups

Unlike the common television trope, most lineups in Illinois utilize photographs, although live lineups are still used in some cases.  However, “cognitive bias” by the lineup’s administrator, including subconscious cues or body language, can unintentionally affect the results of such procedures. To combat such influences, the new law requires law enforcement departments to have an independent administrator conduct the lineup. The administrator must be an individual with no knowledge of the case or the identity of the suspects. In addition, the lineup must be recorded on video whenever possible to ensure compliance with proper protocols.


medical marijuana, Illinois law, Chicago Criminal Defense AttorneyIt has been more than 21 months since the Illinois medical marijuana pilot program officially went into effect. However, the program, which was designed to provide insight into how the state and society would be affected by medicinal use of the drug, has yet to offer any type of usable data since dispensaries have not had any product to make legally available. The wait, it seems, is just about over. At least one grower is reportedly beginning to harvest the first legally-grown crop of marijuana in the state, and officials indicate that dispensaries around the state will soon be able to offer registered participants the opportunity to purchase it.

Licensed Growers Only

The measure officially legalizing the use of medicinal marijuana was signed into law on August 1, 2013, by then-Governor Pat Quinn. The Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act went into effect on January 1, 2014, and those with qualifying conditions began talking to their doctors about participating in the program. To date, more than 3,000 applications have been processed by the Department of Public Health, but due to bureaucratic delays and ongoing legal battles, production did not begin until earlier this spring.


self-defense, Illinois law, Chicago Criminal Defense LawyerIn recent years, the news has been filled with cases about self-defense and so-called "stand your ground" laws. Illinois law makes it legal to protect yourself in self-defense in certain situations. Sometimes when someone has been charged with a crime like assault or even murder, they claim they acted in self-defense. How does self-defense work in the criminal justice system?

What Self-Defense Means in Illinois

Every state has a different definition of what self-defense means. In Illinois you properly act in self-defense when:

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