Hidden Penalties for Convictions in Illinois

In Illinois, there are several hidden penalties that can accompany a criminal conviction. Some of the most significant include:
Loss of voting rights: If you are convicted of a felony in Illinois, you will lose your right to vote until you complete your sentence and any related probation or parole.
Difficulty finding housing: Many landlords and property management companies conduct background checks on prospective tenants. If you have a criminal record, it may be more difficult to find housing, particularly if you have been convicted of a serious crime.
Difficulty finding employment: Similarly, many employers conduct background checks on job applicants. If you have a criminal record, it may be more difficult to find employment, particularly in certain industries.
Loss of professional licenses: Depending on the nature of the crime, a conviction may result in the loss of a professional license, making it difficult to continue working in certain fields.
Immigration consequences: If you are not a U.S. citizen, a criminal conviction can have serious immigration consequences, including deportation or denial of citizenship.
Loss of gun ownership rights: Depending on the nature of the crime, a conviction can result in the loss of your right to own or possess a firearm.
It is important to note that these consequences can have a significant impact on your life even after you have completed your sentence. If you are facing criminal charges in Illinois, it is important to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney to understand the potential consequences of a conviction and to explore your legal options.

Defending Drug Possession Cases in Illinois

Defending Drug Possession Cases in Illinois

Drug possession is a serious crime in Illinois, and those convicted of it can face significant penalties, including jail time, fines, and a criminal record. If you have been charged with drug possession, it is important to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can help you understand the charges against you and build a strong defense.

There are a number of different defenses that can be used in drug possession cases. Some of the most common defenses include:

  • The drugs were not in my possession. This is a common defense, and it can be successful if the prosecution cannot prove that you had actual or constructive possession of the drugs. Actual possession means that you had the drugs on your person or in your immediate control. Constructive possession means that you had the ability to control the drugs, even if they were not on your person. For example, if you were driving a car and the police found drugs in the glove compartment, you could argue that you did not have constructive possession of the drugs because you did not know they were there.
  • The drugs were prescribed to me by a doctor. If you have a valid prescription for the drugs that you were found in possession of, this defense can be very effective. The prosecution will have to prove that you did not have a valid prescription for the drugs, or that you were not in possession of the drugs for a legitimate medical purpose.
  • The police violated my constitutional rights. If the police violated your constitutional rights during the arrest, any evidence that they obtained as a result of the violation may be inadmissible in court. This could include the drugs that were found in your possession.

If you have been charged with drug possession, it is important to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can help you understand the charges against you and build a strong defense.

Here are some additional tips for defending drug possession cases in Illinois:

  • Be honest with your attorney. Your attorney needs to know all of the facts of your case in order to build a strong defense. If you are not honest with your attorney, it could hurt your case.
  • Do not talk to the police without an attorney present. Anything you say to the police can and will be used against you in court. It is important to have an attorney present when you speak to the police, even if you think you are innocent.
  • Gather evidence. If you have any evidence that could help your case, such as witnesses or video footage, be sure to gather it and provide it to your attorney.
  • Be prepared for trial. If your case goes to trial, be prepared to testify on your own behalf. Your attorney will help you prepare for trial and answer any questions you may have.

Drug possession is a serious crime, but with the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney, you can build a strong defense and fight the charges against you.

Criminal Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance in Illinois and defenses.

Criminal Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance in Illinois and defenses.
The unlawful possession of a controlled substance in Illinois is a serious crime that can result in significant penalties, including jail time, fines, and a criminal record. The penalties for unlawful possession of a controlled substance vary depending on the type of drug, the amount of the drug possessed, and the person’s criminal history.
What is a controlled substance?
A controlled substance is a drug that is regulated by the government. The Controlled Substances Act (CSA) is a federal law that classifies drugs into five categories, or “schedules,” based on their potential for abuse and addiction. The CSA also sets forth the penalties for possessing, manufacturing, distributing, or selling controlled substances.
What is the law in Illinois regarding the possession of a controlled substance?
The Illinois Controlled Substances Act (720 ILCS 570/) prohibits the possession of controlled substances without a valid prescription. The law defines “possession” as “actual physical possession or constructive possession.” Actual physical possession means that the person has the drug on their person or in their immediate control. Constructive possession means that the person has the drug under their dominion and control, even if it is not on their person or in their immediate control.
What are the penalties for unlawful possession of a controlled substance in Illinois?
The penalties for unlawful possession of a controlled substance in Illinois vary depending Depending on on the type of drug, the amount of the drug possessed, and the person’s criminal history. The following are the general penalties for unlawful possession of a controlled substance in Illinois:
Schedule I and II drugs: Possession of a small amount of a Schedule I or II drug is a Class 4 felony. A Class 4 felony is punishable by up to three years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000.
Schedule III, IV, and V drugs: Possession of a small amount of a Schedule III, IV, or V drug is a Class A misdemeanor. A Class A misdemeanor is punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500.
Anabolic steroids: Possession of anabolic steroids is a Class C misdemeanor. A Class C misdemeanor is punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,500.
What are the defenses to a charge of unlawful possession of a controlled substance in Illinois?
There are a number of defenses that may be available to a person charged with unlawful possession of a controlled substance in Illinois. Some of the most common defenses include:
The person had a valid prescription for the drug.
The person was not aware that they were in possession of the drug.
The drug was found in a public place and the person did not have control over it.
The person was acting in self-defense when they possessed the drug.
What should I do if I am charged with unlawful possession of a controlled substance in Illinois?
If you are charged with unlawful possession of a controlled substance in Illinois, it is important to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can help you understand the charges against you, develop a defense strategy, and represent you in court.

The law of search and seizure in Illinois

The law of search and seizure in Illinois is governed by the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article I, Section 11 of the Illinois Constitution. The Fourth Amendment protects people from unreasonable searches and seizures. This means that the police cannot search a person or their property without a warrant, unless there is an exception to the warrant requirement.
There are a few exceptions to the warrant requirement. For example, the police can search a person or their property without a warrant if they have probable cause to believe that the person is involved in a crime and that evidence of the crime will be found in the place to be searched. The police can also search a person or their property without a warrant if they are in hot pursuit of a suspect or if they have exigent circumstances, such as a belief that evidence is about to be destroyed.
If the police conduct an illegal search, the evidence obtained in the search may not be admissible in court. This means that the prosecution cannot use the evidence to prove its case against the defendant. In addition, the defendant may be able to file a civil lawsuit against the police for damages.
Here are some of the key provisions of the law of search and seizure in Illinois:
The Fourth Amendment protects people from unreasonable searches and seizures.
The police cannot search a person or their property without a warrant, unless there is an exception to the warrant requirement.
There are a few exceptions to the warrant requirement, such as probable cause, hot pursuit, and exigent circumstances.
If the police conduct an illegal search, the evidence obtained in the search may not be admissible in court.
The defendant may be able to file a civil lawsuit against the police for damages.

One of the most important documents in legal history.

One of the most important documents in history.
The Magna Carta, also known as the Great Charter, is a historic document that was signed in 1215 by King John of England. The Magna Carta is one of the most significant legal documents in history, and it has been a source of inspiration for democracy, human rights, and the rule of law around the world.
At the time of its signing, the Magna Carta was primarily a document that established limits on the powers of the King. It was written by a group of powerful barons who were frustrated with the King’s authoritarian rule and sought to protect their rights and privileges. The Magna Carta contained provisions that addressed various issues, including the rights of free men, the limits on the power of the King, and the administration of justice.
One of the most significant provisions in the Magna Carta was the right to due process. This provision ensured that no one could be deprived of their life, liberty, or property without being given a fair trial. The Magna Carta also established the principle that the law applies to everyone, including the King, and that no one is above the law.
The Magna Carta also established the principle of taxation with representation. This meant that the King could not levy taxes without the consent of the barons, which was an important step towards establishing a representative government.
While the Magna Carta was primarily a document that addressed the rights of the barons, its impact went far beyond this group. Over time, the Magna Carta became a symbol of freedom and justice, and it inspired many people to fight for their rights and freedoms.
One of the most significant examples of the influence of the Magna Carta was in the development of the United States Constitution. Many of the principles and provisions in the Magna Carta, such as the right to due process, the rule of law, and the principle of taxation with representation, were incorporated into the US Constitution.
The Magna Carta also influenced the development of human rights law around the world. It inspired the creation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was adopted by the United Nations in 1948. The principles of the Magna Carta continue to be relevant today, and they are a reminder of the importance of protecting human rights, the rule of law, and democratic values.
In conclusion, the Magna Carta is a historic document that played a significant role in the development of democracy, human rights, and the rule of law. Its provisions addressed issues that were relevant at the time of its signing, and its influence has continued to shape legal and political systems around the world. The Magna Carta serves as a reminder of the importance of protecting individual rights and freedoms and the rule of law, and its principles continue to be relevant today.

Couple seek to have convictions thrown out, cite corrupt Chicago cop

Couple seek to have convictions thrown out, cite corrupt Chicago cop

Ben Baker had long been a thorn in the side of corrupt Chicago police Sgt. Ronald Watts, who framed the part-time drug dealer on a narcotics charge in retaliation for refusing to pay a protection payoff of $1,000, court records show.

While Baker was on bond awaiting trial in December 2005, he and his wife, Clarissa Glenn, were stopped by Watts and one of his team members. Once again, the officers claimed they found a bag of heroin in Baker’s car and tagged the couple with major felony drug charges, according to the court records.

Faced with up to 15 years in prison and frightened that their young children would be left without parents, the couple copped deals with prosecutors in order to spare Glenn from prison. Baker, though, had an additional two years tacked on to his sentence for the other drug case — a total of 14 years behind bars.

Now Baker and Glenn are seeking to have those guilty pleas thrown out, claiming in a court filing last week that Watts had planted the heroin — this time as retribution for blowing the whistle on him. Watts had been tipped off that Baker had gone to the Chicago police internal affairs division about his earlier shakedown, records show.

To buttress their claim, the couple has produced court records that show the judge who took their guilty pleas in September 2006 was already aware that Watts’ crew was under investigation, according to the petition filed in Cook County Criminal Court.

In fact, Judge Michael Toomin told the couple that if the allegations were ever proved, they could come back to court and he would gladly throw out their cases.

The court filing marks the latest fallout over the corrupt squad led by Watts, who in 2012 was charged along with one of his underlings, Officer Kallatt Mohammed, with shaking down a drug courier who turned out to be an FBI informant. Both were convicted and sentenced to federal prison.

Baker was freed in January after serving more than a decade of his 14-year sentence. Cook County prosecutors agreed to drop the original drug charge against him after his lawyer, Joshua Tepfer, revealed dozens of pages of court and law enforcement records showing that police internal affairs had been aware as far back as the late 1990s of corruption allegations involving Watts’ team — yet failed to take them off the street.

At the time of Baker’s arrest, Watts and his entire crew also were the target of an ongoing FBI investigation, according to records uncovered by Tepfer, of the Exoneration Project at the University of Chicago Law School. One FBI report from September 2004 showed that an informant had told federal agents that Watts and other officers were routinely shaking down drug dealers for thousands of dollars in cash in exchange for police protection at the Ida B. Wells public housing complex.

But it wasn’t until five years later that agents were able to build a criminal case against Watts and Mohammed, based in part on the undercover work of two whistleblower officers, Shannon Spalding and Daniel Echeverria.

Tepfer told the Tribune on Friday that the latest filing shows how Watts and his crew were able to terrorize a community for years with their illegal schemes, using their police powers to keep the largely poor and vulnerable people who lived in Ida B. Wells in line.

“These cases were brought by vindictive and corrupt police officers who were framing individuals for things that they did not do,” Tepfer said. “(Baker and Glenn) are likely just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to victims of the decadelong criminal enterprise headed by Sgt. Watts.”

The experience was particularly rough on Glenn, a churchgoing mother of three who had never been arrested before and has not been since, according to her lawyer, Jonathan Brayman.

“Every step of the way, Clarissa has told anyone who would listen that she and Ben were innocent,” he said.

According to the petition, Baker and Glenn were stopped by Watts and Officer Alvin Jones on Dec. 11, 2005. Jones claimed in police reports that as he walked up to the car he saw Glenn hand a clear plastic bag filled with heroin to Baker, who put it in the driver’s-side console.

But Baker and Glenn claimed Watts had pulled the bag out of his sleeve and placed it in the car after a search had turned up no drugs. Back at the Wentworth District police station, Jones and several other members of Watts’ team typed up a false report, adding officers as witnesses who weren’t even at the scene, the couple alleged.

Before the couple pleaded guilty, Judge Toomin acknowledged in court that he had been shown reports that indicated Watts’ crew had been under investigation by internal affairs and that a prosecutor with the state’s attorney’s office’s public integrity unit was involved. But there had been no concrete evidence of wrongdoing and no move by prosecutors to drop the charges, so the judge said he couldn’t do anything with the information, according to a transcript.

“Let me say this to both of you,” Toomin told Baker and Glenn, according to a transcript. “There has not been sufficient showing to me that these are renegade police officers, that they are bad police, that they are outlaws.”

But, Toomin said, “police officers do get charged with doing things that are wrong, breaking the law.”

“If that should happen here in this case, I would have no hesitation,” the judge said. “I would toss out these convictions.”