ARRESTED FOR A DRUG OFFENSE? CALL (630) 474-8000.
DuPage County · Kane County · Cook County
If you were arrested for a drug-related criminal charge, contact our drug defense lawyers as soon possible. Our aggressive team gets results in some of the most complex cases. We are wholly invested in the success of our clients and make ourselves available 24/7 to aid in tough situations.
We are able to assist in many cases, including those involving possession of the following controlled substances:
- Synthetic cannabis
- Drug paraphernalia
- Narcotic prescription drugs
VARIOUS CHARGES RELATED TO SERIOUS DRUG CRIMES
Under Illinois law, depending on the facts of your case, there are numerous types of drug crimes that you can be charged with. If these offenses cross state lines you can also be charged with federal crimes. Charges may include the following categories:
- Possession: Possession is the drug charge that most people face. A possession charge may vary depending on the quantity and type of substance that authorities accuse you of possessing.
- Dealing/distribution: If you are accused of selling drugs to another, authorities may charge you with dealing drugs. If you have not actually completed the transaction, police can charge you with intent to sell or distribute drugs.
- Manufacturing: Illinois has passed tough laws against the production and manufacturing of drugs. It is illegal to create another substance from a controlled substance, possess illegal substances with any intent to manufacture other illegal substances, or knowingly let anyone use your premises for the manufacturing of drugs.
- Trafficking: Dealing drugs becomes a trafficking charge when you move illegal drugs across state lines, regardless of intent.
WHAT THE STATE MUST PROVE FOR A POSSESSION CONVICTION
Possession is the most common drug-related charge faced by most accused. The prosecutor must prove three components beyond a reasonable doubt:
- The actual identity of the controlled substance is part of an illegal drug
- You knowingly possessed the drug
- The controlled substance was in your control or possession. Possession can mean either actual possession or constructive possession. Actual possession means you had some physical control over the substance, but you do not have to actually have it on your person. Constructive possession means you do not physically have the drug, but it is in a place you control—for example, in your car.
WHAT THE STATE MUST PROVE FOR AN INTENT TO DEAL OR DISTRIBUTE CONVICTION
People with large quantities of drugs in their possession may face intent to distribute charges. This does not mean you actually intended to distribute, or that the court will convict you of this charge. To prove an intent to distribute, the prosecutor must show (1) you possessed the illegal substance, and (2) you had a clear intent to distribute the substance. Intent is the heart of the case that a prosecutor needs to prove. The prosecutor will try to use evidence such as the quantity of drugs, whether drug paraphernalia was present, materials for distribution (for example, multiple containers, scales, labels, bookkeeping records, etc.) to prove its case.
PENALTIES RELATED TO SERIOUS DRUG CRIMES
Illinois law sets out severe penalties for drug offenses. If convicted, an individual could face:
- Significant time in jail or prison
- Serious fines and court fees
- Drug education
Immigrants to the United States me face deportation.
These penalties, however, will entirely depend on the factors of the case—namely, the type of drug involved, the amount of the drug involved, and the action involved (for example, possession, delivery, etc.). The specific amount of time in jail or prison and fine amounts will vary depending on the classification of substance, its amount, and any prior offenses.
In general, more potent drugs result in more severe jail time and fines. For example, possession and an intent to distribute 150 grams of cocaine can carry a felony sentence of nine to 40 years in prison and fines in excess of $500,000.
Possession of fewer than 10 grams of marijuana may result in civil offenses, which carry maximum fines of $200, with automatic expungement upon payment.
Illinois classifies drugs as Schedule I, II, III, IV and V drugs. Schedule I and Schedule II drugs carry the longest sentences and most severe penalties. Examples of Schedule I drugs include heroin, LSD, MDMA, PCP, and DMT. Schedule II drugs include codeine, methadone, oxycodone, fentanyl, morphine, and opium.
DEFENSES TO DRUG CRIMES
Under certain circumstances, you may assert a defense to the drug crimes charges you face. Although no attorney can guarantee the success of any defense, if the everything lines up, you may get the charges against you dropped or lessened. Our experienced attorneys will fight for any available defenses, including:
Entrapment. If you have evidence that proves you were set up, you may assert an entrapment defense. To succeed on an entrapment defense, you must generally prove three elements:
- The officers approached you or introduced you to the idea of intentionally committing the drug crime
- Such an introduction to the idea of committing the crime involved actual persuasion or coercion
- You were not ready to actually carry through with the crime
Improper investigation. When police conduct an investigation related to your arrest and charges, they must follow proper procedures and not violate your constitutional rights. An experienced criminal defense attorney can review your case and determine if police were prosecutors violated your rights or broke any laws in obtaining evidence and conducting the investigation.
Search and seizure violations. Clear laws govern the circumstances under which law enforcement officers can stop you or your vehicle and search for and seize drugs. The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution grants you a right to lawful searches and seizures. If the officer lacks a valid reason to stop you or fails to provide the proper notices, you can claim this as a defense.
Legal possession. You can legally possess some heavily controlled substances if a doctor prescribed them. Examples of these drugs might include codeine, methadone, and morphine. If you hold a legal prescription for the substance to which you face charges and can prove the substance is directly linked to that prescription, this can constitute a viable defense.
Lack of knowledge. One of the three elements that the prosecutor must prove to win a possession charge is actual knowledge. If you did not know you had the drugs in your possession, and you can prove this, you may use this defense to the possession charge.
CONTACT A HARD-HITTING ATTORNEY IN DUPAGE COUNTY
With 40-plus years of combined legal experience, Martin & Kent, L.L.C., is committed to helping clients preserve their legal rights when facing serious criminal charges—including those related to illegal drugs and controlled substances. Throughout the years, our legal team has handled more than 10,000 criminal cases, which has afforded us a thorough and in-depth understanding of the law that few other firms can provide.
Should you hire us, you can rest assured that you are working with proven defense lawyers. We are two former felony prosecutors who are 100 percent focused on handling criminal cases and have earned statewide recognition for excellence as criminal trial lawyers. In fact, we are often recommended by courthouse personnel, police officers, and even judges when family or friends need criminal defense.
To learn more about how our drug crime lawyers in DuPage, Kane, and Cook Counties can protect your legal rights, contact us today online or call (630) 474-8000.
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