Friday, January 26, 2018

MY FRIEND JUST OVERDOSED. WILL I GET ARRESTED IF I CALL FOR HELP?

You are at a party doing some opioids or methamphetamines when one of your friends becomes unresponsive. You are afraid if you will be arrested if you call for help. But if you don’t, your friend may die.

What should you do?

This very dilemma has caused many unnecessary deaths. As of 2012, Illinois law fortunately offers some immunity to those seeking emergency care for themselves or another during an overdose. Under these circumstances, you may not be charged with possessing a controlled, substance if the evidence against you was discovered because you sought emergency help in good faith, and the amount of the substance was within certain limits. (See Overdose; limited immunity from prosecution).

A recent Illinois appellate decision, People v Teper, however, allowed the state to prosecute a woman who received emergency aid during an overdose. The court held that immunity applies to evidence acquired as a result of seeking medical assistance. In this case, the defendant had not called for help but was unconscious when police arrived after reports that a woman was slumped in her car.

If you have been charged with a crime, contact an experienced criminal law attorney immediately. An experienced attorney can review your case for its best possible defense. Maybe the overdose law protects you. If so, an attorney can petition the court in the hope of getting your case dismissed. Even if you don’t qualify for immunity and the evidence against you is overwhelming, an attorney who is respected in the courthouse may be able to obtain a more favorable plea agreement than you could on your own.

If you have questions about this or another related Illinois criminal or traffic matter, please contact Matt Keenan at 847-568-0160 or email matt@mattkeenanlaw.com.

(Besides Skokie, Matt Keenan also serves the communities of Arlington Heights, Chicago, Deerfield, Des Plaines, Evanston, Glenview, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Niles, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Rolling Meadows, Wilmette and Winnetka.)

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

DO YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO KNOW THE LOCATION OF POLICE SURVEILLANCE AGAINST YOU IN ILLINOIS?

Recently, you were charged with selling drugs. The police say you were under surveillance, and they caught you in the act. Something about this doesn’t seem right. Where was this surveillance located? The state doesn’t want to tell.

Do you have a right to know?

The state’s right to withhold information about the officers’ location is known as the surveillance location privilege. Whether you have a right to know can be decided on a case to case basis. Your right to know may also depend on the timing of the proceedings in your case. For example, you may have a greater right to know at trial, than you do at a pretrial hearing.

To determine if the privilege applies, the court must balance your need to prepare your defense against the state’s need to keep the location secret. The state may argue that the location is useful, and its disclosure would compromise other investigations. The court considers the crime charged, the importance of the officer’s testimony and your possible defenses. If the officer is the sole witness, your right to know his or her location becomes critical. On the other hand, if the officer is corroborated by video or other sources, the court may deny your right to know.

If you have been charged with a crime, contact an experienced criminal law attorney immediately. An attorney can review your case for its best possible defense. Most crimes require the state to prove you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. An attorney can look for weaknesses in the state’s case and if necessary, fight their attempts to withhold critical information from your defense.

If you have questions about this or another related Illinois criminal or traffic matter, please contact Matt Keenan at 847-568-0160 or email matt@mattkeenanlaw.com.

Source: People v Flournoy.

(Besides Skokie, Matt Keenan also serves the communities of Arlington Heights, Chicago, Deerfield, Des Plaines, Evanston, Glenview, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Niles, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Rolling Meadows, Wilmette and Winnetka.)