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(773) 908-9811



Aggressive. Experienced.

Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney
Former Cook County Felony Prosecutor

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What If You Were Arrested for Drugs in IL on Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving is traditionally a time of year that is about celebration and relaxation. Sometimes, however, celebrating can go too far and involve illegal drugs.

If you were arrested on Thanksgiving or the weekend following for drugs, it could be a complex situation. The holiday shuts down the courts and means you may need to settle into a stay at the local jail before seeing a judge – something no one wants to do.

Beyond this, if you are arrested over any holiday, it’s important to understand the process and your rights to ensure they were not violated.

Read on to find out what you need to know about being arrested in Illinois.

Can Police in Illinois Hold You?

People’s biggest question when arrested over holidays such as Thanksgiving is if they will be held or released after arrest. For some non-violent, minor crimes, the police officer may not even take you to the police station but give you the summons to appear in court and let you go on your way. The summons is to be taken seriously, however and shows you what date you have to appear before a judge to answer for the charges against you.

If you are taken to the police station by the arresting officer, you may not be free anytime soon. Of course, this depends on what crime you’re suspected of committing and when you were arrested over the course of the holiday. Courts are often closed over the entire holiday weekend, so you may be in jail until you can appear before a judge the following business day, which is likely Monday.

The Arrest and Booking Process in Illinois

If the arresting officer takes you to the police station after handcuffing you at the scene and placing you in the cruiser, they will take and catalog your belongings when you arrive. Your picture is taken for your arrest record, also called a mug shot, and you are fingerprinted to confirm your identity and see if any warrants are currently active for you in the system.


The police may release you after you’ve been booked, but chances are you will be placed in a holding cell at the police station or the county jail while you wait for your arraignment. This first appearance in the courtroom typically occurs within 24 hours of your arrest, but not during the holidays.

Those arrested on a holiday or over the holiday weekend will have to wait until the next business day to go to their first hearing. Additionally, the prosecutor can request to hold you for another 72 hours, which doesn’t include holidays or Sundays.

Important to note: even when being detained, you have the right to contact an attorney who may be able to negotiate your release.

First Appearance in Court

Chicago Drug Crimes Defense

Eventually, you will appear in court for your arraignment. The charges against you are read during this appearance, and your rights are explained to you. You will also make your guilty or not guilty plea during this time.

Those who plead guilty or no contest may be sentenced right then and there, but those pleading not guilty will have it decided whether they are detained until trial.

Not sure if proper procedure was followed in your case? Reach out to an experienced criminal attorney. They can protect your rights and help you build the strongest possible defense against your charges.


About the Author:

Andrew M. Weisberg is a former felony prosecutor who now serves as a defense attorney in the greater Chicago area. He has extensive experience handling all types of criminal cases, from sex offenses and domestic violence to retail theft-related crimes, murder, and drug crimes. His work has been recognized by Avvo, Expertise, National Trial Lawyers, and others, and he has been featured on countless news outlets for his experience and knowledge in criminal law.

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