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Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal lawyer, Cook County defense lawyerCyberstalking has been an ongoing issue for many years. With the evolution of the Internet and overall technology, there have been easier ways to target specific social groups using media. In January 2018, cyberstalking has become a hate crime, which may lead to serious consequences if an individual is caught cyberstalking and targeting certain groups.

What Is Cyberstalking?

Cyberstalking is defined as when a person uses electronic communication, such as email, text messages, and social media, to direct a specific person or target group, causing the target to fear for safety or suffer from emotional distress. Cyberstalking could also be defined as when a person uses electronic communication to cause a threat of potential bodily harm, sexual assault, confinement, or restraint of threat. Cyberstalking often causes enough emotional trauma that would allow for the person on the receiving end to fear for his or her safety.

Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal lawyer, drug crimes, Illinios drug laws,Synthetic drugs are dangerous, and they are spreading quickly across the United States. The Centers for Disease Control recently reported that the number of calls to poison centers across the United States due to synthetic drugs escalated over 200 percent from 2014 to 2015. As these unpredictable and dangerous substances grow in popularity, Illinois lawmakers hope keep their constituents safe. Senate Bill 1129, passed just last year and effective as of January 1st, 2016, aims to curb synthetic drug use in the state of Illinois, keep Illinois residents out of harm's way. What Are Synthetic Drugs? Synthetic drugs, often referred to as designer drugs, are defined by Illinois law as any product containing a controlled substance that is not regulated by the FDA. New synthetic drugs are being developed constantly, and between 2009 and 2014, over 200 previously unidentified synthetic drugs were discovered in America alone. The problem is not exclusive to the United States either. Over the past ten years, over 650 different types of synthetic drugs spread across Europe. In America, the most frequently dealt with synthetic drugs are synthetic marijuana, otherwise known as Spice or K2, and synthetic cathinones, often referred to as bath salts. Authorities across the United States face difficulty keeping synthetic drug creation, use, and sales under wraps, due to the fact that variations and new substances are created frequently. For users, synthetic drugs can be extremely dangerous. Synthetic marijuana substances may provide users with a similar high to marijuana, but can also bring about many side effects. “Nobody knows what is in these things and so therefore nobody can predict the effect on the person who uses them,” says one Illinois addiction treatment specialist. From January to May of 2015, fifteen people died due to synthetic marijuana use. Other symptoms, which depend on the drug, can include drowsiness, agitation, vomiting, rapid heartbeat, and worse. Advocates say that young Americans are at the most risk for using synthetic drugs, as they are often unaware of the side effects and believe them to be a smarter choice than actual drugs. Illinois’ New Law In an attempt to curb the growing problem, Illinois lawmakers passed Senate Bill 1129 that classifies synthetic drugs as “Schedule 1” controlled substances. In Illinois, “Schedule 1” substances are considered to have no medical use and are commonly addictive. Lawmakers say the new bill will also prevent drug manufacturers from creating any future synthetic substances. Harsh Consequences for Synthetic Drugs Possessing even a minimal amount of a synthetic drug can still lead to serious legal consequences. Those caught selling the drug may face prison time of up to seven years and fines upwards of $100,000. In addition to the legal consequences of “Schedule 1” drug possession or sales, a conviction of drug charges can be potentially life ruining, and can affect friends, family, your life, and your reputation.

Due to the serious consequences associated with synthetic drugs, if your charges involve distribution, possession, or drug trafficking, you need the help of an experienced Chicago area criminal defense attorney. At the Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel LLC, Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney, our qualified team has years of combined experience protecting clients from drug related charges. Call us today at 312-629-0669 to schedule a free consultation with a hard working, aggressive attorney today.


A number of new criminal and traffic laws in Illinois took effect on January 1, including several that relate to distracted driving. The use of a handheld device while driving was banned statewide, and the penalties for distracted driving have been increased.

According to ABC News, under the new law, drivers may dial a cell phone or other handheld device only while the vehicle is stopped, and only if the vehicle is placed in neutral or park. This includes using the device while stopped at a red light. The law also prohibits motorists from having a video device application that is visible to the driver running on their phone while they are driving.

Drivers who cause accidents which result in injuries and who are found to be using a cell phone while driving can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. This can carry penalties of up to $2,500 and may include jail time. Those drivers whose cell phone habits cause involvement in a fatal accident could be charged with a Class 4 felony, which may carry a fine of up to $25,000 and a sentence of up to three years in jail.

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