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In the interest of public health and safety, the State of Illinois prohibits most people from possessing controlled substances, such as heroin, cocaine, and other illegal drugs. Under the Illinois Controlled Substances Act (the Act), which is codified as 720 ILCS 570/1 et seq., any person who possesses a controlled substance without authorization is subject to criminal charges and penalties. A conviction for unlawful possession of a controlled substance can result in costly fines and…
Criminal sexual assault is a type of sex crime punishable by prison time under Illinois law. This criminal offense occurs when a perpetrator commits an act of sexual penetration against a victim under specific circumstances. In certain cases, the perpetrator may use force or threats to complete the act. In other situations, the perpetrator may be related to the victim, whether through familial ties or a position of authority.  In just about any circumstance, a…
In the last few days, the investigation surrounding the alleged attack of Empire actor Jussie Smollett has twisted its way into a pretzel. The potential criminal liability continues to build as conflicting facts, false police tips, and new facts that are seeping their way into the press, emerge. Smollett alleged that while he was walking in the Streeterville neighborhood of Chicago, he was attacked by two men who hurled racist and homophobic slurs at him.…
There is a developing area of case law surrounding child pornography cases. In the past few years, several possession of child pornography cases have turned on the “unallocated space” of computer hard drives, making this an important area of evidentiary concern. The following sections will provide an overview of the relationship between child pornography and unallocated space on computer hard drives. How Does Illinois Define Possession of Child Pornography? As provided in 720 ILCS 5/11-20.1(a)(6)
The crime of possession of child pornography is a serious offense in Illinois. Given the public policy of protecting children and other vulnerable individuals, Illinois has developed a robust mechanism for addressing child pornography crimes. While there are many variations of this crime, such as this blog post will focus on possession of child pornography. What Qualifies as Possession of Child Pornography in Illinois? As established in 720 ILCS 5/11-20.1(a)(6), it is a crime…
The Illinois approach to child pornography appears in 720 ILCS 5/11-20.1. According to the statute, child pornography is a sexually explicit “visual reproduction or depiction” involving children under 18 years old or the mentally disabled. It is illegal to knowingly create, possess, or disseminate child pornography in Illinois. If the alleged offender knows or has reason to know that the materials involve a minor or mentally disabled individual, then child pornography charges can apply.…
Illinois imposes strict penalties for child pornography crimes. The penalties range from probationable felonies to non-probationable Class X felonies with consecutive sentencing. Illinois employs a broad definition of child pornography, including traditional and electronic media. Specifically, the law mentions film, tape, and photograph as well as other visual depictions in electronic format. In order to qualify as child pornography, the visual depiction must be sexually explicit in nature as well as feature a child under…
Criminal drug trafficking in Illinois is a serious offense. There are a few types of criminal drug trafficking. 720 ILCS 550/5.1 outlines Cannabis Trafficking pursuant to the Cannabis Control Act while 720 ILCS 570/401.1 focuses on criminal drug trafficking pursuant to the Controlled Substances Act. Drug trafficking also applies to possession of a controlled substance or chemical substitute with the intent to manufacture, deliver, or sell. In this context, the term controlled substance includes illegal…
In popular culture, there are countless representations of police dogs sniffs that lead to the discovery of illegal drugs, bombs, or other contraband. The police dogs are almost always portrayed as heroes in these storylines, helping the good buys fight back against the bad guys. There is rarely any exploration of rights and duties involved with police dog sniffs. In practice, there are guidelines in place concerning the legality of and restrictions on dog sniffs.…
720 ILCS 5/11-1.40 defines predatory criminal sexual assault and the corresponding penalties. Pursuant to 720 ILCS 5/11-1.40, predatory criminal sexual assault occurs under specific conditions. First, the perpetrator must be at least 17 years old. Second, the victim must be less than 13 years old. If such a perpetrator makes any sexual contact with such a victim for the purpose of sexual gratification or arousal of either the victim or the defendant, it is…