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medical marijuana, Skokie criminal defense lawyerAccording to several reports, political heavyweights in Springfield have hammered out an agreement to extend the Illinois medical marijuana program and to add two new qualifying conditions. The changes must be approved by the full legislature, but many are hopeful that the pact represents a solid step in the right direction.

Off to a Slow Start

When the Illinois legislature passed a measure to create the state’s medical marijuana pilot program back in 2013, proponents of the bill were hopeful that the initiative would get underway quickly. The program was intended to help Illinois residents diagnosed with one of approximately three dozen qualifying conditions, including cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, and many others. Despite being approved by then-Governor Pat Quinn to become effective on January 1, 2014, political infighting and bureaucratic delays continued to push back the program’s implementation. The first legal medical marijuana did not become available until November of 2015, more than 22 months later.

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false conviction, Lake County criminal defense attorneyHow can a jury be convinced beyond reasonable doubt that a person committed a murder with which they actually had nothing to do? In some cases, false assumptions, conclusions, and testimony on the part of law enforcement and government officials can convince a jury, along with, of course, the “evidence” of a false confession obtained under very questionable circumstances. Such seems to have been the case for a man convicted in Lake County more than 15 years ago. Recently exonerated, he has now filed a suit against the police and county officials who built the false case against him.

Confession, Conviction, Identification, Exoneration

In 1999, an unidentified woman’s body was found in forest preserve near Waukegan. According to the State’s forensic pathologist at the time, the woman had been abused and died from blunt force trauma less than 12 hours before her body was found. Following intense questioning, the man confessed to inflicting some of the injuries found on the woman’s body. He was subsequently convicted of murder in 2000 and began serving a 46-year prison sentence.

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record the police, Skokie criminal defense lawyerWith tensions increasing between law enforcement officers and some communities across the United States and in Illinois, the practice of recording police officers performing their duties has grown in popularity. At the same time, it is also increasingly drawing criticism from many police departments. The question is a legitimate one: Is it against the law to record the police?

Previous Eavesdropping Law

Under the old Illinois eavesdropping law, it was illegal to record a conversation, even a public conversation, without the consent of both parties. However, in 2014, both the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals and the Illinois Supreme Court found the law was unconstitutional because it was overbroad and infringed on protected free speech rights.

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marijuana, decriminalization, Lake County drug crime defense lawyerLawmakers in Illinois took a major step toward the decriminalization of low-level marijuana possession this week as the State Senate approved a measure that was drafted to address Governor Bruce Rauner’s concerns from last year. If enacted, Illinois would join 20 other states and the District of Columbia which have already decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana.

Decriminalization, Not Legalization

While many around the state and across the country continue to push for the outright legalization of recreational marijuana, the bill currently before the legislature would do no such thing.  Instead, it would remove the possibility of criminal prosecution for possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana. Low-level possession would still be against the law, but it would be addressed as a civil offense, similar to a traffic violation. Possession of more than 10 grams could still be prosecuted in criminal court, with penalties dependent upon the circumstances of each case.

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Hawthorn Woods, Highland Park, Highwood and Indian Creek Domestic Battery Lawyer Matthew R. Gebhardt examines the offense of Domestic Battery and Domestic Violence and their penalties under the laws of the State of Illinois.

Domestic Battery or Domestic Violence can be charges as a Class A Misdemeanor or Felony in Hawthorn Woods, Highland Park, Highwood and Indian Creek, Illinois.   Supervision is not a possible disposition which means any conviction to theses types of charges will result in a permanent conviction on your record. Convictions can lead to jail time and can negatively impact citizenship status if you are not a citizen of the United States.

Definitions of Domestic Battery / Domestic Violence

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