Aurora, Naperville, Wheaton, Joliet, Elgin, Illinois – Drug Crime Defense Attorneys
Expreinced Criminal Defense Attorneys
The Law Offices of David Guy Stevens, LLC provides criminal defense throughout Northern Illinois and defends clients against charges such as:
- Drug possession
- Cultivation of marijuana
- Possession with intent
- Drug manufacturing
- Drug trafficking
- Trafficking or possession of illegal prescription drugs
Northern Illinois Lawyers – Drug Possession Cases
Drug offense spand the entire range of seriousness, from a class C misdemeanor the lowest class of misdemeanor (possession of a small amount of cannabis) all the way to class X felonies punishable up to and over 20 years in prison. At the Law Offices of David Guy Stevens, LLC we know the state laws relating to possession and sale of controlled substances such as cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, ecstasy, and marijuana. The consequences for violating Illinois drug laws continue to get worse, with increasingly severe penalties if convicted of possession, trafficking, sale, delivery, distribution, or manufacture of controlled substances or marijuana. We use our knowledge of Illinois drug offenses and their penalties to provide a strong defense against any drug charge. If you have been arrested or are charged with a drug case of any kind, contact the Law Offices of David G. Stevens, LLC right away.
When facing drug charges, the best kind of criminal attorney to have on your side is a lawyer who knows the law and who knows the court systems in DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Cook, Will, and other counties. The Law Offices of David G. Stevens, LLC has 5 attorneys with a combined 90 years of experience defending clients charged with drug related offenses.
Illinois Drug Crime Overview
Drug crimes can include everything from simple possession to allegations of manufacture, sale or delivery of illegal substances. Defendant’s charged with drug offenses can be charged under state or federal laws. Depending on the severity of the offenses a defendant convicted of a drug crime can be sentenced to prison, jail, or probation and ordered to pay restitution, drug fines and assessments, or face forfeiture of property including cash and vehicles.
Usually larger quantities of drugs result in harsher penalties than smaller quantities but even possession of a small amount can result in significant sentences if the perpetrator also possesses a weapon or is within a protected zone such as a school, park or public housing complex. It is important to consult an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to help protect your rights and maximize your chances for a favorable outcome in the case.
If You Have Been Charged With a Drug Crime.
Do not underestimate the seriousness with which the court system treats drug offenses. If you have been arrested for a drug crime, the time to consult an experienced attorney is TODAY. David Guy Stevens, former criminal prosecutor, has experienced attorneys ready to answer your questions in Aurora, Joliet, Naperville, and Chicago Illinois.
Alcohol Offenses – Illinois Zero Tolerance Law
If you are under the age of 21 and you have been charged with a drinking offense you may lose your priviledge to drive.
There is a Zero Tolerance law in the State of Illinois. Which means that any amount of alcohol consumed by a person under the legal drinking age of 21 years old, along with a potential conviction and jail time, may also be subject to a 3 to 12 month suspension of their driver’s license. This may happen even if a vehicle was in no way involved in the offense.
If you have been charged with a drinking offense, you need a good attorney. Call the Law Offices of David Guy Stevens, LLC today for a free consultation. Our experienced lawyers will look for the best possible outcome for our clients, whether that means taking the case to trial, we have experienced trial lawyers, or negotiating an outcome which avoids jail and/or the loss of your driver’s license.
Recent Case Law and News:
U.S. v. Stacy,No. 13-3551 (October 20, 2014) S.D. Ill. Affirmed
In prosecution on charge of conspiracy to manufacture of methamphetamine and unlawful possession of pseudoephedrine pills, Dist. Ct. erred in admitting evidence of defendant’s prior and uncharged possession of methamphetamine. While govt. argued that admission of such “bad acts” evidence was permissible on issue of defendant’s intent to use pseudoephedrine to make methamphetamine as well as his knowledge of process for making methamphetamine involved in current charge, Ct. of Appeals found that such evidence was improper under Rule 404(b)(1) because govt.’s argument relied on propensity inference that defendant’s history of involvement with uncharged methamphetamine manufacturing made it more likely that he intended to use pseudoephedrine pills alleged in current charge to make methamphetamine. Error, though, was harmless, where other witnesses testified that they supplied pseudoephedrine pills to defendant for purposes of making methamphetamine during relevant time frame.
Search & Seizure 1st Dist.
People v. Yanez, 2014 IL App (1st) 123364 (June 30, 2014) Cook Co.,1st Div. (CONNORS) Reversed and remanded.
Defendant was convicted of burglary, retail theft, and criminal damage to property. Officer observed two persons, in a residential neighborhood matching descriptions of suspects in burglary of smoke shop a block away, and ordered them to stop. As no specific information existed at time of stop that Defendant was then armed and dangerous, search violated Defendant’s Fourth Amendment rights. Although risk of flight must further justify the initial stop, it does not justify the search, as no relationship exists between flight and possibility of being armed. Court erred in admitting evidence obtained from improper search. (ZENOFF and JORGENSEN, concurring.)
Search and Seizure
U.S. v. Walton, No. 14-1177 (August 13, 2014) S.D. Ill. Reversed and remanded.
In prosecution on drug distribution charge, Dist. Ct. erred in denying defendant-parolee’s motion to suppress drugs seized from rental vehicle in which defendant was passenger at time of traffic stop, where Dist. Ct. improperly found that defendant lacked standing to file instant suppression motion. Although defendant was parolee, who was not supposed to be in Illinois at time of traffic stop pursuant to terms of his parole, he still had some cognizable privacy interests in contents of rental vehicle, where he was sole authorized driver of said vehicle, so as to give him standing to file instant suppression motion. Fact that defendant had violated terms of his parole, or that he might not have had valid driver’s license at time of traffic stop did not support govt. claim that defendant did not otherwise have subjective or objective expectation of privacy in rental vehicle. Accordingly, remand was required for Dist. Ct. to determine merits of suppression motion.
Search & Seizure 1st Dist.
In re Rafeal E., In re Rafeal E., 2014 IL App (1st) 133027 (May 16, 2014) Cook Co., 5th Div. (GORDON) Reversed.
Minor was adjudicated delinquent for possession of heroin and cocaine. Minor’s encounter with police in alley was a Terry stop, not a consensual encounter. Two officers in marked squad car pulled up alongside minor, who was walking briskly, and ordered him to stop walking and made two consecutive orders for him to take his hands out of his pockets. A reasonable person would have believed that compliance might be compelled, and officer’s orders were a show of authority. No evidence was presented that police suspected minor of committing any narcotics transactions. As police did not have valid justification for seizing minor, court erred in denying minor’s motion to quash arrest and suppress evidence (plastic bag with drugs found in minor’s waistband). (McBRIDE and TAYLOR, concurring.)
Search & Seizure 4th Dist.
People v. Ferris, 2014 IL App (4th) 130657 (April 21, 2014) Moultrie Co. (APPLETON) Affirmed.
Court properly granted motion to suppress evidence against Defendant, who was charged with unlawful possession of methamphetamine. Defendant was more than a mere passenger; his friend, who did not have a valid driver’s license, had given him permission to take her car on a long trip, and Defendant thus had a legitimate expectation of privacy as to that car, and thus has standing to object to an unreasonably prolonged seizure of the car. No evidence of a standard police procedure authorizing a police tow, as opposed to moving vehicle out of lane of traffic, and thus police towing car, and then walking a dog around it, was unreasonable seizure, and thus search warrant was tainted and evidence found per warrant was properly suppressed. KNECHT, concurring; POPE, dissenting.)
Search & Seizure 1st Dist.
People v. Fort,2014 IL App (1st) 120037 (April 30, 2014) Cook Co., 3d Div. (NEVILLE) Reversed and remanded.
Defendant was convicted, after bench trial, of possession of cocaine. Police, who entered Defendant’s home forcibly and with guns drawn, questioned Defendant at her bedroom door when she had just asked officer permission to retrieve her baby. Officer had deprived Defendant of freedom of action in a very significant way by restricting her ability to attend to her baby by asking her, without Miranda warnings, whether there was anything in room they should know about as room would eventually be searched. Thus, cocaine found in pillowcase should be suppressed as pursuant to custodial interrogation. (HYMAN, concurring; MASON, dissenting.)
Search and Seizure
U.S. v.SuttonNo. 13-1298 (February 10, 2014) C.D. Ill. Affirmed.
In prosecution on drug distribution charges, Dist. Ct. did not err in denying defendant’s motion to suppress certain evidence that had been seized from apartment of defendant’s cousin pursuant to search warrant, where defendant argued that warrant was not supported by probable cause. Warrant was supported by probable cause where confidential informant, who had previously supplied police with information that had led to prior seizure of drugs, told police that: (1) he had seen individual named “Cap” in possession of ounce of cocaine; and (2) he was familiar with cocaine due to his prior involvement in sales of drugs. Moreover, defendant was listed as “Cap” in police data base, and informant confirmed that “Cap” was defendant when shown his picture. Informant also confirmed address of apartment that police later determined belonged to defendant’s cousin. Fact that informant had initially told police that cousin was defendant’s girlfriend, and/or that confidential informant had seen defendant with possession of cocaine “within past 10 days” of warrant application did not require different result.
Delivery of a Controlled Substance 4th Dist.
People v. Patel2013 IL App (4th) 121111 (September 11, 2013) McLean Co. (POPE) Reversed.
Defendant was convicted, after bench trial, of unlawful delivery of a controlled substance containing synthetic cannabis. Defendant was a clerk at gas station-convenience store selling thousands of legal products . State failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the knowledge element of the offense. Defendant asked store owner whether product could be legally sold, and store owner told him yes. Mere suspicion that Defendant knew product was illegal is not sufficient to establish knowledge. (TURNER and HOLDER WHITE, concurring.)
Motion to Supress 4th Dist.
People v. Wachholtz, 2013 IL App (4th) 110486 (April 30, 2013) Livingston Co. (POPE) Affirmed.
Officer stopped Defendant for not having a working rear license plate light, then discovered his license was revoked and arrested. Officer found glass pipe containing drug residue during inventory search. Criminal Code requires that police keep recordings made as part of an arrest and destroyed only upon a final disposition and court order. Violation of Code does not require suppression as a remedy (APPLETON and HOLDER WHITE, concurring.)
U.S. v. Jones No. 12-1497 (April 9, 2013) N.D. Ill., E. Div. Affirmed
Dist. Ct. did not err in granting defendant’s motion for judgment of acquittal after jury found defendant guilty of drug distribution charges arising out of claim that defendant actually manufactured crack cocaine. No witness testified that defendant either possessed or cooked cocaine that formed basis of charged offense, and govt. was unable to establish through its extensive surveillance of residence either how long defendant was inside residence where police claimed crack had been manufactured, or whether defendant was inside residence for sufficient amount of time to manufacture crack. Moreover, remaining circumstantial evidence was insufficient to support instant guilty verdict where contents of telephone recordings contained evidentiary gaps that precluded identification of defendant as individual responsible for making crack, and where any necessary inference to defendant being individual responsible for making crack was based on speculation.
Accountability Theory 4th Dist
People v. Johnson, 2013 IL App (4th) 120162 (April 5, 2013) McLean Co. (STEIGMANN) Affirmed in part as modified and vacated in part; remanded with directions.
Defendant was convicted, after jury trial, of unlawful possession with intent to deliver heroin. State failed to present evidence that Defendant intended to deliver heroin under the theory State presented to jury. State presented sufficient evidence that Defendant had constructive possession of heroin as a principal, in that he exercised dominion over the heroin. State’s evidence did not support its theory that Defendant shared his passenger’s intent to deliver. Intent to deliver as a mental state can be imputed only where State’s theory of case is accountability. (KNECHT, concurring; APPLETON, concurring in part and dissenting in part.)
- U.S. v. Uribe, No. 11-3590 (February 13, 2013) S.D. Ind., Terre Haute Div. AffirmedIn prosecution on drug charge, Dist. Ct. did not err in granting defendant’s motion to suppress drugs seized from his vehicle after defendant was stopped when officer observed that there was color discrepancy between defendant’s vehicle and color noted on vehicle registration. Driving car of one color that did not match color noted on car’s registration did not give rise to reasonable suspicion that defendant was engaged in criminal activity where color discrepancy itself was not unlawful under relevant state law, and where relevant state law did not require that defendant update car’s color on its registration. Moreover, govt. failed to provide any evidence to support its claim that instant stop was justified by suspicion that defendant was driving stolen vehicle.
Probable Cause 1st Dist.
People v. Grant, 2013 IL 112734 (February 7, 2013) Cook Co. (FREEMAN) Appellate court reversed; circuit court affirmed.
Officer in unmarked car heard Defendant yelling “dro, dro” to a passing vehicle in front of Chicago Housing Authority building. Officer testified that based on his experience, “dro, dro” is slang for sale of cannabis. Facts known by police at time of arrest were sufficient to constitute probable cause, as police observed Defendant committing offense of solicitation of unlawful business, and location at known narcotics sales spot was one factor contributing to probable cause. (KILBRIDE, THOMAS, GARMAN, KARMEIER, BURKE, and THEIS, concurring.)
- People v. Turner, No. 08-3109 (March 4, 2013) W.D. Wisc. AffirmedOn remand from U.S. Supreme Court, Ct. of Appeals found that Dist. Ct. violated defendant’s rights under Confrontation Clause by admitting testimony from supervisor that subordinate had followed standard testing procedures in reaching conclusion that substance that defendant had distributed to police contained cocaine base since supervisor’s testimony concerned matters that were solely within subordinate’s knowledge. However, any error was harmless given other evidence such as cost and description of substance that indicated that substance was cocaine base. Moreover, supervisor could properly give expert opinion that said substance was cocaine base based upon data produced by subordinate’s testing of substance.
Search and Seizure
U.S. v. McMurtrey, No. 11-3352 (January 10, 2013) C.D. Ill. Vacated and remanded.
In prosecution on drug possession and related firearms charges, Dist. Ct. erred in denying defendant’s motion to suppress drugs seized from his home pursuant to search warrant after conducting “pre-Franks” hearing used by Dist. Ct. to evaluate defendant’s claim that officers obtained search warrant through use of false information that had been either deliberately or recklessly supplied to court that issued said warrant. Defendant is entitled to full Franks hearing since he presented sufficient evidence at pre-Franks hearing to show that information contained in application for instant warrant was false where: (1) officers sought similar warrant that described defendant’s alleged drug activities but contained wrong address for defendant’s home just hours before seeking instant warrant that contained same information about defendant’s drug activities but correct address; and (2) officers failed to inform judge about statements made in prior search warrant application. Moreover, Dist. Ct. improperly allowed govt. to explain said discrepancies in warrant applications at pre-Franks hearing without defendant having opportunity to fully cross-examine govt. witnesses.
Search & Seizure 1st Dist.
People v. Krinitsky, 2012 IL App (1st) 120016 (December 11, 2012) Cook Co., 2d Div. (HARRIS) Affirmed.
Defendant was charged with drug possession and intent to deliver offenses. Court properly granted Defendant’s motion to dismiss, quash arrest, and suppress evidence. State did not meet its burden of proving that exigent circumstances existed to justify entry into Defendant’s apartment for warrantless search. It was unreasonable for police to not even attempt to get a warrant when they knew the time, place, quantity, and price of the arranged transaction and had at least 11 hours to secure a warrant. (CONNORS and SIMON, concurring.)
Probable Cause 4th Dist.
People v. Canizalez-Cardena, (November 28, 2012) Champaign Co. (COOK) Affirmed
Defendant’s nervousness, along with presence of multiple air fresheners in the passenger section of the car, together with Defendant’s implausible explanation that he helped drive a car across the U.S. for delivery to an unidentified person, was sufficient to establish reasonable suspicion that Defendant had actual or constructive possession of the drugs found in his vehicle. Drug detection dog had already alerted on the outside of the vehicle before jumping into the car, and the police thus had the requisite probable cause to search of the vehicle at the instant of the dog’s alert outside. (TURNER and POPE, concurring.)
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