Law Offices of Mitch Furman Articles Chicago Removes Marijuana Criminal Penalties

Chicago Removes Marijuana Criminal Penalties

By Law Offices of Mitch Furman  Sep. 12, 2012 2:44p

Low quantities of marijuana possession in Chicago will no longer automatically result in criminal penalties. The Chicago City Counsel, in a 43 to 2 vote in June 2012, amended the city's code to issue those found with 15 grams or less of marijuana a citation rather than an arrest. The new amendment, supported by Chicago's mayor, may still allow law enforcement to arrest individuals in marijuana cases who do not have legal identification or who may pose a threat to the safety of the public; others, however, who are not arrested will only face citation fines of $200 to $500 and community service requirements of up to 10 hours.

The new amendment comes as good news to those who otherwise would face criminal convictions for simple possession of marijuana for personal use. A criminal conviction of even small amounts of the drug can be accessed on a routine background check, negatively affecting one's ability to get a job, housing, professional licenses, and student loans. Legal analysts indicate that the new amendment also allows law enforcement to concentrate on more serious crimes which create real threats to the city's inhabitants, such as violent crimes. More than 90 other Illinois municipalities and 15 other states in the country have taken similar actions to decriminalize low-level marijuana possession.

Drug Crime Arrest Cases in Chicago

Being arrested for a drug crime in the Chicago area may result in misdemeanor or felony charges, depending on the type of drugs involved, the quantity, and other pertinent facts, such as if the drugs were found within 1500 feet of a school or park, whether minors were part of the scene, whether weapons were used, and whether a prior criminal history exists. Every case is unique with its own individual set of circumstances which is why you need to consult with an experienced attorney about where you stand and how best to proceed.

At the Law Offices of Mitch Furman, you can rely on an aggressive and skilled legal approach from a Chicago criminal defense attorney who is an experienced trial lawyer. The firm offers a free consultation so that you can get an evaluation of your case, learn your rights, and get the capable legal guidance you need. By contacting the firm, you can get started now.

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