YES, ANY AMOUNT OF DRUGS CAN GET YOU ARRESTED

Under Illinois law, controlled substances include cocaine, opium, heroin, marijuana, and methamphetamine. If you are charged with possessing or dealing any of those, there is a risk that you will go to jail, particularly if this is not your first offense.

Under the Illinois Controlled Substance Act, the minimum prison sentence for possessing a controlled substance is 1 year. However, the level of your offense may differ with the type of drug and the amount in your possession. For example, if you are caught with 15-100 grams of heroin, you will be charged with a Class X Felony, punishable by 6-30 years in jail and $25,000-$50,000 in fines.

Even scarier, if you have a prior Class 2 Felony, your charges on the new offense can be bumped up to a Class X, even though it would otherwise have been a Class 1 as a first offense. A Class 1 Felony is punishable by 4-15 years in jail and $25,000-$50,000. Therefore, prosecutors can push for a higher jail sentence because of your criminal background, and you could end up serving double the time.

For further information on the different drug offenses and their penalties, please see the Illinois Controlled Substance Act.

So what can an attorney do? An attorney can demand to see the evidence against you, issue subpoenas to gather further information from the police and key witnesses, file motions to quash an arrest and/or suppress evidence, determine whether it’s best to demand a trial before a jury or a judge, present evidence and examine witnesses at trial. AN ATTORNEY CAN WORK TO PERSUADE THE COURT THAT THE STATE HAS NOT PROVEN THEIR CASE BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT.

Ryan M. Schur is a licensed attorney in the state of Illinois with an office in Arlington Heights near the Rolling Meadows Courthouse. Attorney Schur has experience working in the area courts of Cook County and has prior experience with the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office. If you have any questions regarding criminal or traffic matters, please call Ryan M. Schur at 847-609-2201 or email ryan@ryanschurlaw.com.

SO YOU HAVE A ROLLING MEADOWS RETAIL THEFT

Retail Theft is a serious crime. Insurance companies pressure retailers to limit their theft losses and this has led to the creation of an enormous loss prevention industry.

Whether shoppers know it or not, they are under surveillance the moment they enter a store. In fact, some store chains have multiple camera systems that even allow lost prevention analysts to zero in for close up shots of suspect shoppers.

A charge of retail theft can be scheduled as a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the value amount of the items stolen. According to the Illinois Statute on theft, if the value of the items stolen does not exceed $300, then it is a Class A Misdemeanor, punishable by up to 364 days in jail, or a fine of $2,500, or both. However, if the value of the items exceeds $300, then it becomes a Class 3 Felony. A Class 3 Felony is punishable by 2-5 years in jail, or $25,000-50,000 in fines, or both! For further information on the Illinois Statute for theft please click here.

It is possible to fight these cases at trial, but a capable attorney may be able to get your case dismissed under some circumstances, even if you were guilty. Cook County does have a diversion program that allows some first time offenders with clean background records to get their case dismissed if they complete a theft school program.

Ryan M. Schur is a licensed attorney in the state of Illinois with an office in Arlington Heights, Illinois, near the Rolling Meadows Courthouse. Attorney Schur has experience working in the area courts of Cook County and has prior experience working with the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office. If you have any questions regarding criminal or traffic matters, please call Ryan M. Schur at 847-609-2201 or email ryan@ryanschurlaw.com.

A CRIMINAL RECORD MEANS TROUBLE

If you have a record of arrest, even if you have never been convicted of a traffic or criminal offense, you should seek to expunge or seal your record as soon as possible.

Clients frequently say that their old cases have been dismissed and taken off their record. However, the clerks’ offices throughout Illinois do not automatically remove cases from the docket.

There is good news! If you file a petition to expunge or seal, many cases can be removed entirely or sealed from the public domain. An expungement clears a criminal record from the public domain entirely as if it were never there. Public domain means that your record is viewable to the public. For example, an employer who does a background check would be able to view your criminal record, but not be able to see anything on your record if you had it expunged or sealed.

However, if your record is sealed, any state or government agencies, prosecutors, and police departments will still be aware of your criminal record. Even so, it should not stop you from getting a non-state or non-government job because many employers cannot see it.

The rules for expunging and sealing records can be complicated. Not all cases qualify for expungement. Some types of crimes are not expugnable or sealable. You should strongly consider retaining an attorney to help you through this process and help you determine whether you qualify for these types of relief. The expungement or sealing process can take months before you see any results.

Even if you do not qualify for expungement or seal, you may be able to seek a pardon from the governor. A petition for a pardon from the governor can be a difficult and time-consuming process. Depending on your offense, you may have to wait 2-5 years from completion of your sentence before you are eligible for a petition to pardon.

A qualified attorney can help you in determining whether your case or record is subject to this type of relief. It is important to hire an attorney who will work hard and is persistent in fighting for your defense. This type of attorney can offer you the personal attention you need and help you obtain the best possible outcome.

Ryan M. Schur is a licensed attorney in the state of Illinois with an office in Arlington Heights, Illinois, near the Rolling Meadows Courthouse. Attorney Schur has experience working in the area courts of Cook County. If you have any questions regarding criminal or traffic matters, please call Ryan M. Schur at 847-609-2201 or email ryan@ryanschurlaw.com.

RESISTING ARREST IS A VERY SERIOUS CRIME!

You may not hear about it on TV, but resisting arrest is one of the most serious misdemeanors with which you can be charged. You do not have to punch an officer to get a resisting arrest. In fact, almost any act of physical resistance will do.

Why is resisting arrest such a big deal? First, it is a Class A Misdemeanor, punishable by up to 364 days in jail or up to $2,500 fine, or both. Even if you avoid a jail sentence, you will not be eligible for supervision. (Supervision means you have not been technically convicted of a crime). Plus resisting arrest cannot be expunged, or cleared, off your criminal record. You might have to petition for a pardon from the governor, a difficult and time consuming process. Therefore, a case of resisting arrest can hang on your shoulders like a ton of bricks for the rest of your life. (To see the full statute regarding this violation please visit: Illinois Resisting Arrest Statute.)

If you are charged with resisting arrest, you should strongly consider hiring an attorney prior to your court date. It is important to choose an attorney who works hard and is persistent in fighting for your defense. This type of attorney can provide the best possible outcome for your case.

An attorney can help prepare evidence to show why you deserve to have your case dismissed or at least a lighter sentence. An attorney can negotiate with prosecutors in ways that you may not be able to do yourself. For example, an attorney can request a conference, known as a 402 conference, where your attorney, the judge, and prosecutor can work out an agreement.

Ryan M. Schur is a licensed attorney in the state of Illinois with an office in Arlington Heights, Illinois, near the Rolling Meadows Courthouse. Attorney Schur has experience working in the area courts of Cook County and has prior experience working with the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office. If you have any questions regarding criminal or traffic matters, please call Ryan M. Schur at 847-609-2201 or email ryan@ryanschurlaw.com.

YES YOU CAN GO TO JAIL FOR DRIVING ON A SUSPENDED LICENSE!

Getting charged with driving on a suspended license is a serious offense. You can be stopped for an array of reasons, such as failure to signal, improper lane usage, or any simple traffic violation.

Under Illinois law, driving on a suspended license is a Class A Misdemeanor, even if you did not know your license was suspended. This means you can be sent to jail for up to 364 days or fined up to $2,500, or both. Depending on your prior background, this may be upgraded to a felony! Even if you are able to avoid jail time, you might be compelled to do a great deal of community service. (To see the full statute regarding this violation please visit: Illinois Driving on a Suspended License Statute.)

These cases are not unwinnable. If the police did not have sufficient reason to stop you, then your attorney could file a motion asking that the charge be dismissed. An attorney can help you clean up your driving record before your court date, which may help your chances of getting a better outcome in your case. The state may agree to dismiss the charge if you are able to get the license reinstated before your upcoming hearing.

If you are arrested for this offense, you must come to court. You should strongly consider hiring an attorney prior to your court date. It is important to hire an attorney who will work hard and is persistent in fighting for your defense. This type of attorney can help you obtain the best possible outcome in your case. For example, an attorney can speak with prosecutors to help your case in ways you might not be able to do yourself.

Additionally, an attorney may request a conference, known as a 402 conference. In a 402 conference, your attorney, the judge and the prosecutor are able to discuss your case in a more conversational setting to work out an agreement.

Ryan M. Schur is a licensed attorney in the state of Illinois with an office in Arlington Heights, Illinois, near the Rolling Meadows Courthouse. Attorney Schur has experience working in the area courts of Cook County. If you have any questions regarding criminal or traffic matters, please call Ryan M. Schur at 847-609-2201 or email ryan@ryanschurlaw.com.