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Illinois Criminal Defense Blog

No headlights leads to drunk driving charges for man in Illinois

When an Illinois driver gets behind the wheel, he or she is obligated to adhere to all traffic and safety regulations for motor vehicle operations. If a driver fails to do so, it can lead to serious legal problems. An operator error, such as forgetting to turn on headlights when driving at night, might alert a police officer in the area, and result in a traffic stop that could possibly lead to drunk driving charges.

In fact, that is basically what happened to a man who was driving on South LaGrange Road about 10 minutes before midnight on a recent Sunday. An off-duty police officer claims to have witnessed the driver traveling without headlights on. The officer also stated that the vehicle in question was swerving.  

Swatting prank can give Illinois residents more than expected

Prank phone calls have been around almost as long as the phone has, but the newly evolving internet age has made it even easier and more sophisticated for people in Illinois and elsewhere to play jokes they think are harmless and won’t get them in trouble. However, as you may be aware, law enforcement considers swatting anything but harmless, and if caught, you could find yourself facing serious criminal consequences.

Swatting usually makes it into the news when something goes horribly wrong with the prank or it impacts multiple people, but it happens more than you might think. Authorities say that the false police reports known as swatting happen at least 400 times a year across the United States. The prank may involve a caller reporting another person for stockpiling weapons or committing violent acts. It could be a fake bomb threat or it could be one person posing as another and admitting to having committed a serious crime. The common factor in swatting is to lure armed law enforcement or SWAT teams to an unsuspecting target’s address.

E-cigarettes: Avoid criminal defense problems by knowing laws

Vaping is a rising trend in Illinois and throughout the United States. The main device used to participate in a vaping experience is an e-cigarette, an electronic device that vaporizes nicotine to simulate smoking a cigarette. There are numerous vaping device manufacturers and merchants throughout the nation that sell these products both in brick and mortar stores and online. Because there has been quite a bit of controversy associated with e-cigarettes, especially regarding teenagers using such products, those who manufacture or play a role in the consumer supply chain must be aware of applicable laws and regulations to avoid legal trouble that might necessitate a criminal defense.

The electronic cigarette smoking laws of most states are similar to those regulating traditional cigarettes. E-cigarettes have been categorized as tobacco products. This means those purchasing such products must show valid picture identification and be age 18 or beyond.

Illinois man facing criminal defense issues re high-speed driving

Facing conviction for a misdemeanor in Illinois or elsewhere can have immediate and long-lasting negative consequences in a person's life. In most states, a class A misdemeanor is the most serious classification of misdemeanor crimes, usually punishable under conviction by up to a full year in jail. Substantial fines are also often included in sentencing. A man who was recently traveling in Cedar Lake is likely preparing his criminal defense regarding a particular incident that resulted in a class A misdemeanor charge.  

A police officer says he was on his way to work when a vehicle allegedly blew past him, traveling at an obviously high rate of speed. The officer claims he was able to target the vehicle with his radar device. He also reported that the device registered a speed that exceeded the posted limit by more than 90 mph.  

Understanding constructive possession

If you face drug possession charges in Illinois, this is a potentially serious crime for which you could face substantial jail time and fines if convicted. In order to convict you, however, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you actually possessed the drugs that law enforcement officers allege you possessed at the time they arrested you.

It may shock you to learn that, under some circumstances, the prosecutor can indeed convince a jury that you possessed the drugs in question even though officers did not find them in your pockets or anywhere else on your person.

Man hauling trailer to Chicago charged with drug offenses

Sometimes Illinois police receive tips that prompt investigations. Such a situation occurred recently when police suspected that a man was trafficking drugs from another state into Illinois. They made an unspecified traffic stop when a pickup pulling a trailer came by, though it is not exactly clear exactly what prompted the police action. Nevertheless, charges for drug offenses soon followed.

One can never predict how a traffic stop will end. Many times, police ask a few questions, issue a warning and send people back on the roads. This is not always what happens, however, as made evident when the pickup truck driver wound up getting arrested. 

Illinois task force operations lead to charges for drug offenses

The U.S. Department of Justice is claiming a supposed victory over illegal drug trafficking in a particular Illinois region. Authorities say they have taken more than 50 people into police custody on the West Side of Chicago. In addition to charges for drug offenses, various charges of kidnapping and illegal possession of firearms have also been filed.  

The arrests come at the tail end of a combined-forces investigation that lasted several months. The undercover operation was known to authorities as "Operation Full Circle," involving various local, state and federal agencies. Officers say they seized approximately 300 pounds of marijuana during the investigation, as well as substantial amounts of heroin and fentanyl.  

Criminal defense may hinge on events prior to arrest

No Illinois motorist wants to think about getting pulled over on the way home from work or after a night out with friends. Many people stop off to have a beer during their travels and that can surely complicate matters if a police officer detects the smell of alcohol on a person's breath. If he or she uses a breath test device to confirm a suspicion, the person driving may wind up needing a strong criminal defense.  

The events leading up to a drunk driving arrest may be critical to avoiding conviction. For instance, following an arrest, investigators often question a defendant. By law, no interrogation may take place if an individual is in police custody and under interrogation unless and until the accused has been informed of his or her Miranda Rights.  

Debate over marijuana legalization in Illinois marches on

As more states vote to legalize marijuana, many other states feel pressured to address the issue – including Illinois. Though the state legalized medical marijuana back in 2015 (until 2020) and decriminalized marijuana possession under 10 grams in 2016, general recreational use remains illegal under both state and federal law.

That could change in the coming months, however.

Can police search my property without a warrant?

The Fourth Amendment protects citizens’ rights to unreasonable search and seizure of private property. In most cases, this means police must have a warrant signed by a judge to search you personally or your property, like your car or your home.

However, certain exceptions exist under the Fourth Amendment. This issue came to a head last week in a landmark ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled such exceptions do not apply to private homes.

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