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Plainfield, IL drug charges defense lawyer

Illegal drug possession and use have climbed rapidly throughout the United States in recent years. The use of opioids has become more prevalent, and these drugs were responsible for 68 percent of fatal overdoses in 2017. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, approximately 47,600 people died in 2017 due to an opioid drug overdose. It is important to understand Illinois laws regarding the possession of illegal drugs in the event you are faced with such charges, even if you were simply a witness to an overdose and called for help. 

Who Is to Blame For Overdose Deaths?

In Illinois, a person who sold the drugs that led to a fatal overdose can be prosecuted for drug-induced homicide. However, Illinois is also one of 40 states in the United States that upholds the Good Samaritan Law, which protects both the victim of the overdose and the person who calls the police for help from facing charges.

The Good Samaritan Law was established to encourage people to call the police for help if they see someone who is overdosing on drugs. In many cases, people hesitate because they do not want to get into trouble, but this law ensures the callers will not be charged unless:

  • They are in possession of more than three grams of heroin.

  • They are in possession of more than three grams of morphine.

  • They are in possession of more than 40 grams of prescription opioids.

  • They are in possession of other illegal drugs of various amounts.

If the above circumstances apply, the person(s) in possession of the drugs will face felony charges.

What Are the Punishments for Drug Possession?

The state of Illinois has specific rules and punishments depending on the type of drug and the amount of the drug that is found in an offender’s possession. Possession of cocaine, heroin, morphine, methamphetamines, and LSD is a felony charge, regardless of the amount of drugs found. The punishments increase in severity when more drugs are found:

  • 15-100 grams: fines of up to $200,000 and a prison term of 4-15 years.

  • 100-400 grams: fines of up to $200,000 and a prison term of 6-30 years.

  • 400-900 grams: fines of up to $200,000 and a prison term of 8-40 years.

  • Over 900 grams: fines of up to $200,000 and a prison term of 10-50 years.

If a person is caught selling these drugs, he or she will face even more fines--up to $500,000-- and a prison term of up to 60 years, depending on the amount sold.

Contact a Joliet, IL Criminal Defense Attorney

Under certain circumstances, the Good Samaritan Law can protect those individuals who may be in possession of drugs, but if a fatality occurs from an overdose, a police investigation could lead to serious criminal charges and penalties. If you are facing drug possession charges, hire a lawyer from the Law Offices of Tedone & Morton P.C. to make sure your rights are not compromised during an investigation. To schedule a free consultation with a Will County drug charge defense lawyer, call 815-666-1285 today.



Plainfield drug crimes attorney

At the end of May, it was announced that Illinois lawmakers passed a bill that would legalize recreational marijuana use in Illinois. However, the law will not change until January 1, 2020. So the short answer is: Yes, recreational marijuana is still illegal in Illinois for now.

Possession of marijuana (as well as using, selling, and trafficking) is still punishable as a drug crime in Illinois for the rest of 2019. If someone is caught with marijuana, the punishment severity increases with the amount of the drug:

  • Possession of 10-30 grams of marijuana is a Class A misdemeanor for first offenses punishable by one year in prison and a fine of up to $2,500. A subsequent charge is considered a Class 4 felony punishable by one to six years in jail and a fine of $25,000.

  • Possession of 30-500 grams of marijuana is a Class 4 felony for first offenses punishable by one to six years in jail and a fine of $25,000. A subsequent charge is considered a Class 2 felony punishable by two to five years in jail and a $25,000 fine.

  • Possession of 500-2,000 grams of marijuana is a Class 3 felony punishable by 2-10 years in prison and a fine of $25,000.

  • Possession of 2,000-5,000 grams of marijuana is a Class 2 felony punishable by 3-14 years in prison and a fine of $25,000.

  • Possession of over 5,000 grams of marijuana is a Class 1 felony punishable by 4-30 years in prison and a fine of $25,000.

Medical marijuana is the only type of weed that is legal in Illinois until 2020, and a doctor’s recommendation must prove that it is medically necessary for the person in possession of it.

What Is the Plan for 2020?

According to a report printed by the Chicago Tribune, Illinois will have 55 recreational marijuana dispensaries across the state for people over the age of 21 to purchase the drug. Additionally, those dispensaries will have the right to open a second location for the sale of marijuana. All told, Illinois could have over 100 locations for people to purchase marijuana.

Another report from Channel 5 in Chicago detailed that Illinois residents would be limited to possessing up to 30 grams of marijuana at a time. The report went on to say that only people who use marijuana for medical purposes may grow the cannabis plants in their home, so long as it is out of the public eye.

The new bill will also benefit anyone who was convicted in the past for possessing less than 30 grams of marijuana. Those persons may be able to have their drug crime history erased through the governor’s clemency process.

Contact a Joliet, IL Drug Crimes Lawyer

While Illinois has passed a law to legalize marijuana, it will not go into effect until January 2020. This means there are still several months left in which recreational marijuana is still illegal in Illinois. If you or someone you know is being charged with possession of marijuana, the attorneys at the Law Office of Tedone & Morton, P.C. can help build a defense strategy and work to avoid any negative outcomes. To schedule a free consultation with a Will County criminal defense lawyer, call 815-666-1285. 


Joliet marijuana charges attorney While Illinois legalized medical marijuana in 2013, the possession and sale of cannabis by non-registered users remains illegal. These drug charges can have a serious impact on your life, including your employability, your ability to secure loans, and child custody arrangements. Felony charges also carry mandatory minimum sentencing and heavy fines.

Cannabis Possession in Illinois

Like many states, the penalties for simple possession of marijuana have lessened in Illinois in recent years. If you are caught by law enforcement with 10 grams (.35 ounces) or less, it is a civil violation with a maximum fine of $200. Possession of 10 to 30 grams as a first offense is a misdemeanor charge, which can be punished by up to a year in jail and $2,500 in fines. Possession of any amount greater than 30 grams (1.06 ounces) constitutes a felony in Illinois. Penalties range from one to six years of incarceration for 30 to 500 grams (1.1 pounds), to four to 30 years for more than 5,000 grams (11 pounds). Felony possession fines cap at $25,000.

Marijuana Trafficking in Illinois

Consequences escalate for the sale of cannabis. Selling up to 10 grams is considered a misdemeanor, punishable up to a year and jail and $2,500 in fines. The sale of any quantity above 10 grams is a felony. Penalties range from one to six years of incarceration and $25,000 in fines for 10 to 30 grams to between 6 and 60 years and $200,000 in fines for more than 5,000 grams. These penalties increase for any sale on school grounds. Also, the transport of 2,500 grams or more into Illinois doubles the established mandatory minimum sentence.

How a Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help

If you face a drug charge in Illinois, it is critical to enlist the help of an experienced defense attorney immediately. Your lawyer can first determine if your rights were violated, including whether police officers violated your rights against unreasonable search and seizure. If police misconduct took place, your attorney will likely ask for a full dismissal of the charges. A skilled lawyer can negotiate favorable terms such as probation or court supervision, especially if you are a first-time offender, or perhaps a plea agreement to drop a felony charge to a misdemeanor. They can give you a full assessment of your options once they review the facts of your case.

Contact a Joliet, IL Marijuana Charges Lawyer

At Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C., we fight for the rights of our clients to achieve the best possible outcome in each case. To speak with a trusted Will County criminal defense attorney, call us at 815-666-1285 and schedule a free consultation. Sources:


medical marijuana, ptsd, Illinois Criminal Defense AttorneyIllinois Governor Bruce Rauner recently rejected a measure that would have added post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD to the list of those which qualify patients to participate in the state's medical marijuana program. The Illinois Department of Public Health, under Rauner's control, separately announced it would not be expanding the program to include ten other conditions, including osteoarthritis, irritable bowel syndrome, and chronic post-surgical pain. The decisions come despite the recommendation of the state's Medical Cannabis Review Board to include the additional ailments.

Pilot Program Barely Underway

According to the governor's written statement, Rauner is hesitant to add anything or expand the medical marijuana program in any way until it actually gets started. Although the law creating the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program went into effect on January 1, 2014, not a single patient has been able to obtain medical marijuana legally in the state. Months of lawsuits, bureaucratic red tape, and licensing delays, have led to nearly two years of waiting as legal production of marijuana finally began earlier this summer. The first crops are expected to be ready for dispensaries sometime this fall or early next year.

The purpose of pilot program is to study the impact on medical marijuana on both qualifying conditions and the state as a whole. “It is therefore premature to expand the pilot program—before any patient has been served and before we have had the chance to evaluate it,” Rauner wrote to lawmakers.

PTSD and Medical Marijuana

Many veterans groups and legalized-marijuana proponents have expressed disappointment with the governor's decision to exclude PTSD. The timing of the veto, which was announced on September 10, the day before the anniversary of the 2001 terror attacks, seemed to add insult to injury for many veterans. “It is because of 9/11 that many of our veterans and civilians are suffering from PTSD,” said Sandy Champion, wife of Illinois veteran and Medical Cannabis Advisory Board member Jim Champion. “Today, our governor, who is the head of our state, let them down.”

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs estimates, as many as 20 percent of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans suffer from PTSD, along with 15 percent of those who served in Vietnam. PTSD has been approved for medical marijuana treatment in 12 states and the District of Columbia. The VA, however, has not taken official stand on the efficacy of marijuana treatment for the disorder.

While the battle over medical marijuana use continues, marijuana possession without proper registration is still against the law. If you are facing possession charges, contact an experienced Joliet criminal defense attorney at the Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C. We will review your case, and help you find a resolution that protects your rights and your future. Call us today to schedule an appointment in one of our two convenient office locations.


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DUI, medical marijuana, Will County DUI Defense LawyerIn January 2014, Illinois became one of 20 states in which the medical use of marijuana or cannabis was decriminalized. Under the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act, signed by then-Governor Pat Quinn in August 2013, registered users are permitted to purchase marijuana from a “dispensing organization” to treat symptoms related to a “debilitating medical condition.”  In addition, however, the act also spells out some very important details over a registered user's operation of a motor vehicle and possible DUI scenarios.

Trace Law

Under previous Illinois law, drivers operating a vehicle with any amount of a controlled substance, including cannabis, in their system were subject to prosecution for DUI. With the passage of the medical marijuana law, the zero-tolerance policy has been eased regarding cannabis for drivers who possess a valid registry card. Law enforcement officer are required to establish the driver's impairment before proceeding to arrest a driver on suspicion of DUI.

Standardized Field Sobriety Tests

Physical performance tests have traditionally been a technique for law enforcement to determine a driver's level of impairment during a suspected DUI stop. While such tests were designed primarily with alcohol-related intoxication in mind, rather than cannabis or other drugs, Illinois laws have never before statutorily recognized their validity. For registered users of medical marijuana, however, the law now explicitly identifies field sobriety tests as a method for detecting impairment related cannabis use. Despite concerns over the tests' efficiency for cannabis cases, the results are admissible during DUI criminal proceedings and any subsequent actions.

Issues for Registered Users

The medical use law provides that a registered user whose blood or urine tests positive for marijuana, but who is not impaired, will not be subject to driver's license suspensions as was previously indicated under law. The act clearly specifies, however, that possession of a legal registration card is not a valid defense for driving under the influence. It also clarifies, however, that a driver's possession of such card is not valid grounds for law enforcement to field test that driver; a separate basis for reasonable suspicion of cannabis-related impairment must exist.

If you possess a valid medical marijuana use registry card and are facing DUI charges related to cannabis-impairment, you need a qualified lawyer who understands the intricacies of the law. Contact an experienced Will County criminal defense attorney for your free consultation today and find out how our team can help with your defense.

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