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First time perpetrators of a drug offense in Illinois may be able to catch a break under a change to several Illinois drug-related laws, including the Illinois Controlled Substances Act, Methamphetamine Control and Community Protection Act, and the Unified Code of Corrections.

According to Illinois HB 3010, anyone who has no prior felony offenses in Illinois or any other state may be able to receive sentence of probation. This change, which took effect on January 1, 2014, applies to any felony offense of a controlled substance punishable as a Class 4 felony for which probation is a possible consequence. This includes possession of methamphetamine. Several other crimes may also be permitted to fall under this change, including:

  • Theft punishable as a Class 3 felony by property value;
  • Theft punishable as a Class 4 felony if committed at a school, place of worship, or of government property;
  • Retail theft punishable as a Class 3 felony; and
  • Criminal damage of government property punishable as a Class 4 felony.

Defendants to whom the court grants permission are assigned the second-chance probation, and will have all proceedings against them dismissed upon fulfillment of the terms of their probation. They must also obtain or attempt to obtain employment. Additionally, should the terms of their probation be violated, the court may enter a judgment on its original guilty finding and proceed with further sentencing as permitted by law. Defendants who have been found to have committed a violent crime will also be ineligible for a sentence of second-chance probation.

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Posted by on in Hit and Run

I recently represented an individual charged with a Class A misdemeanor Hit and Run.  He was accused  of striking propoerty with his car and then leaving the scene of the accident.

After a full trial, the Judge found him not guilty.  Event though wtinesses testified that he struck the object and drove away, the State prosecutor was unable to show that he KNEW he struck the object and damaged it which is a required element in the criminal charge.

He avoided the suspension of his driver's license a punishment that could have been up to 12 months in jail.

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My client was accused of having inappropriate contact with a fellow gymnastics instructor and former student.    At trial, I successfully argued that the mental state required in the proving the offense of Battery was not present and that the credibility of the witnesses weighed in favor of my client.   After a trial, a judge acquitted my client of the criminal Battery Charges placed against him.    This protected my client from a punishment that ranged up to one year in jail and would have had a devastating effect on his future coaching career.

Criminal defense trial attorneys should always examine the elements of criminal charges carefully to expose weaknesses in the prosecution's case.    Criminal cases involving sexual assault, battery, and other allegations of personal harm will always involve a complaining victim.   Careful consideration must be given to credibility of these alleged victims in evaluating a criminal case.