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Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney marijuana DUI

Few substances have been the subject of as much confusion and controversy as cannabis. Some tout the drug as a useful medication while others see cannabis as a dangerous “gateway drug.” Adding to the general confusion about marijuana is the fact that, despite being fully legalized in 15 U.S. states, the drug is still classified as an illicit controlled substance under federal law. The recreational use of marijuana in Illinois became legal on January 1, 2020. However, the possession, sale, cultivation, and consumption of cannabis are still regulated by Illinois law. It is therefore possible to face serious criminal charges related to marijuana in Illinois.

Important Restrictions on Cannabis Use in Illinois

For a little over a year now, the recreational use of marijuana has been legal in Illinois. Individuals 21 years or older may purchase up to 30 grams of cannabis flower or 5 grams of cannabis concentrate. However, it is unlawful to consume cannabis on school property or in government buildings, parks, public transportation, and where smoking is already banned under the Smoke Free Illinois Act.

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Oakbrook Terrace criminal defense attorney armed robbery

Taking someone’s property unlawfully can result in criminal charges under a variety of circumstances in Illinois, but armed robbery is the most serious form. If you or someone you know has been charged with this crime, the penalties can be severe, and they may catch you off guard if you are not familiar with Illinois law. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you understand the charges you are facing and your best options for a successful defense.

The Facts About Illinois Armed Robbery

Illinois laws regarding property crimes can be complicated, and it is important to know how they may affect your case. Some aspects of armed robbery law may be different from what you would expect. For example:

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How Can a Juvenile Record Affect Me as an Adult in Illinois?Making mistakes is part of growing up, and unfortunately, some of those mistakes can result in run-ins with the law. Judgments of juvenile delinquency, while typically not considered criminal convictions in Illinois, can still have consequences that last into your adult life. If you have a juvenile record, it is important to understand how those consequences can affect you, as well as what you may be able to do to avoid them through expungement.

Possible Consequences of an Illinois Juvenile Record

There is a wide range of potential consequences that come with a record of juvenile delinquency, including:

  • Public Access to Records: If your juvenile offense involves first-degree murder, sexual assault, gang-related activity, or certain drug and firearm charges, your record may be accessible to the public.
  • College Enrollment and Military Enlistment: You may be required to disclose judgments of delinquency when applying for college or enlisting in the military, which can affect your acceptance or eligibility.
  • Employment Opportunities: Law enforcement agencies, correctional facilities, prosecutor’s offices, and fire departments may consider a juvenile record in the decision to hire an employee.
  • Registration as a Sex Offender: For actions that would be considered a criminal sex offense for an adult, juveniles must register as sex offenders in Illinois.
  • Collection of DNA: If your judgment of juvenile delinquency was for a sex offense or the equivalent of a felony, you will be required to submit a DNA sample, which is stored in a database along with DNA from adult offenders.
  • License to Carry a Firearm: You may be denied a Firearm Owner’s Identification Card or have yours revoked if you have a judgment of delinquency for an offense that would be considered a felony for an adult.
  • Admission in Adult Criminal Proceedings: Judgments of juvenile delinquency can be admitted in criminal court if you face charges as an adult, and they may affect the severity of your sentence or your eligibility for certain second-chance programs.

Having Your Juvenile Record Expunged in Illinois

The good news is that is possible to petition for the expungement of many juvenile records. Upon your 18th birthday or the end of any juvenile court proceedings against you, you may be eligible to expunge records of arrests and charges if:

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What Happens If I Am Subject to an Illinois Order of Protection or No Contact Order?Domestic and sexual abuse are far too prevalent in the U.S. According to data from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, one in three women and one in four men are victims of physical violence by an intimate partner. These eye-opening numbers reveal that domestic violence or stalking victims are often targeted by loved ones. The state of Illinois has taken it upon itself to protect these victims, allowing them to take action against their stalkers or abusers. If you are facing such charges, whether they have substance or not, it is imperative that you are aware of the terms of any legal protections being taken against you. Failure to follow these terms could leave you with serious legal consequences in addition to current charges.

Stalking No Contact Order

Stalking is defined as conduct that causes a person to fear for his or her safety or to suffer emotional distress. This can occur through physical or digital means. A violation of a no contact order is a Class A misdemeanor, with additional violations elevating the charge to a Class 4 felony. The following terms can be included in this order:

  • Forbidding further stalking or threats of stalking
  • Forbidding contact with the victim and labeling certain locations as off-limits to the stalker
  • Prohibiting the stalker from having a valid FOID card and owning a gun

Civil No Contact Order

Victims of nonconsensual sexual conduct or penetration can file for a civil no contact order to protect themselves, their friends and family members, and any rape crisis center employees. Violating this order is a Class A misdemeanor or Class 4 felony for subsequent violations. A judge can include the following terms in a sexual assault civil no contact order:

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What Are My Options to Clear My Criminal Record in Illinois?No one wants to have a stain on their personal record, no matter how minor or serious the charge is. It is fairly common to have a minor offense on your record from earlier in life that was likely the result of a lapse in judgment. However, a bad choice you made in your 20s should not determine who you are now. All arrests and charges, even those that end with a finding of not guilty, are included in your criminal record. Illinois recognizes one’s ability to change and offers citizens a second chance by allowing them to clear their record. While not an option for all offenders, there are three ways to clear a criminal record, each of which has its own requirements and benefits.

Expungement

If you would like your criminal record cleared, expunging the charges is the best way to accomplish this. If you meet all the qualifications and are approved by the court, the expungement will erase all arrests and court supervisions from your record, as if none of them ever happened. Anyone whose charges did not end in conviction, including orders of court supervision and special probation, can apply to have their records expunged but may have to wait years after the end of their supervision or probation before they are eligible. Illinois is unable to erase your record from federal and out-of-state charges.

Sealing

Most criminal convictions in Illinois are ineligible for expungement but can be sealed. While expunging your record completely erases the charges and arrests, sealing your records keeps them from the public eye. Because all criminal records are accessible to the public, sealing them can provide you with more privacy. Having your records sealed does not keep them a secret from everyone — law enforcement agencies and employers will still have access to these records. However, sealed misdemeanor convictions will not be visible to employers unless they are a law enforcement agency.

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