ILLINOIS EASES LAW ON DELIVERING DRUGS NEAR SCHOOL GROUNDS

As of January 1, 2018, the Illinois law on delivering cannabis or other controlled substances near school grounds has become just a little less strict.

The old law penalized manufacturing, delivering or possessing with intent to deliver cannabis or other controlled or look-alike substances within 1000 feet of school property, which also applied to school-owned transportation. It did not matter if no students were nearby or the school no longer operated as a school.

Under the new law, the distance has been reduced to 500 feet. Further, the fact a school is or was a school is no longer enough. The amended law requires that persons under 18 are present or are reasonably expected to be present when the offense occurs, or that the offense be committed during school hours, including after-school activities.

The law’s changes also apply to buildings used for religious worship or to senior citizen centers, when people are present or are reasonably expected to be present or the buildings are open for such activities.

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. As with most crimes, the state must prove you guilty of all elements of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. Perhaps you were more than 500 feet from the school or the school was empty. Even if the evidence against you is overwhelming, an attorney who is respected in the court house may be able to negotiate a more favorable plea agreement than you could on your own.

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

For further information, see:

  • Illinois Delivery of Cannabis on School Grounds Statute
  • Manufacture or Delivery, or Possession with Intent to Manufacture or Deliver, a Controlled Substance, a Counterfeit Substance, or Controlled Substance Analog
  • Participation in Methamphetamine Manufacturing.
  • (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.)

    LOOK-ALIKE DRUGS: BIG TROUBLE AT SCHOOL AND BEYOND

    They were just energy mints.

    But the mints were in unmarked packages, and the Pekin, Illinois school officials thought the mints looked like illegal drugs. As a result, four students were suspended.

    In an effort to keep schools safe and drug-free, many districts ban the possession, distribution, purchase or sale of look-alike drugs. For example, New Trier High School may discipline students for serious misconduct involving the sale of look-alike drugs. (New Trier Township High School District 203, Board of Education Policy 7-200.)
    Lincolnshire High School defines a look-alike or counterfeit drug as a substance that the student believes to be or represents to be illegal, or a substance where the student engaged in behavior that would cause a reasonable person to believe the drug was illegal. ( Lincolnshire-Prairie View School District 103 2012-2013 Parent-Student Handbook.)

    Depending on the school district, students caught with look-alike substances can be suspended or even expelled. And in some cases, the offense could lead to criminal charges under Illinois law. See our related criminal law blog at Look-alike Drugs: A Felony in Illinois.

    If the school seeks to discipline you for look-alike drugs, contact an experienced attorney immediately. Do not attempt to resolve the situation with the school district yourself. Time and time again, well-meaning parents or students have provided the ammunition needed for the school to punish their child. An attorney can help determine the best way to present your child’s case at a hearing or can assist in working out an agreement on the discipline.

    If you have questions about this or another related school or criminal 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.)