Drug Crimes in Aurora
Our Experienced Aurora Drug Crime Defense Lawyers Handle the Toughest Cases
If you face accusations of a drug crime, you are likely aware of the serious nature of these charges. Most drug-related offenses lead to high-stakes cases, in which the outcome rests upon precise evidence, and a conviction can impact your life for decades. Under these circumstances, the attorney you choose to represent you can mean the difference between imprisonment and freedom. The criminal defense team at Martin & Kent, L.L.C., is committed to advocating on behalf of those facing drug-related charges in the Aurora area.
Statistics report the following drug-related arrests during a recent year in Illinois:
- Statewide = 78,121 arrests
- DuPage County = 5,199 arrests
- Kane County = 1,982 arrests
- Cook County = 29,752 arrests
- Will County = 2,915 arrests
- Kendall County = 415 arrests
Drug arrests occur will shocking frequency in all parts of Illinois, and you need someone on your side if you are facing drug charges. Our firm defends clients against a variety of drug charges, including:
- Possession of prescription drugs
- Possession of controlled substances and drug paraphernalia
- Possession of heroin, cocaine, ecstasy or marijuana
- Delivery of marijuana and other substances
- Delivery of controlled substances
Our legal team is different, as we take a reasoned approach to all aspects of criminal defense. Both of our lawyers are former felony prosecutors who have handled more than 10,000 criminal cases over several decades. With this experience, we have a firm grasp of the challenges you may face in the criminal courtroom, and we can defend against even the most difficult charges. We are ready to discuss your case at the earliest convenience, so please call us anytime, 24/7, to request a free case evaluation.
Understanding Drug Classifications
The Illinois Controlled Substances Act categorizes unlawful drugs into various schedules based on accepted uses of the drug and the potential for abuse and misuse. Categories range from Schedule V drugs, which includes mostly medical drugs, to Schedule I drugs, which includes “street drugs,” such as heroin and other opiates. Drug schedules also serve as a basis for determining the severity of possible charges and penalties a person could face for drug-related offenses.
Drug schedules are as follows:
- Schedule V: Drugs with medical use and a minimal chance of addiction.
- Schedule IV: Drugs that are abused more readily than Schedule V drugs and are more likely to result in addictive behavior.
- Schedule III: Drugs that are more likely to be abused than previous schedules and carry a small likelihood of addiction.
- Schedule II: Drugs that are likely to result in addiction or dependence but still retain a medical use.
- Schedule I: Drugs that are highly addictive and have no medicinal value.
Because they involve highly addictive and often abused substances, offenses involving Schedule I or II drugs often result in felony charges. More and more drugs are falling into these categories, adding to the risk of severe punishment for a drug-related charge. No matter what type of substance is involved in your case, you should contact our criminal defense lawyers to discuss your options right away.
Drug Possession Charges
In Illinois, you can face an arrest and charges for two different types of unlawful drug possession offenses. First, you can face charges of actual or constructive possession of a drug analog or a controlled substance. Alternatively, you can face charges of possession of a controlled substance with the intent to manufacture or deliver it to someone else.
For the prosecutor to prove that you unlawfully possessed a controlled substance, he or she must be able to demonstrate the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
- The identity of the controlled substance that you allegedly possessed
- That you knowingly and intentionally took possession of the controlled substance at issue
- That you had either actual possession or constructive possession of the controlled substance at the time the authorities discovered the drugs and arrested you
In order to face charges of actual possession of a drug, you must have had the drug physically on your person. For example, if the police confiscated the illegal substance from the pocket of a coat that you were wearing at the time, you were likely in actual possession of the drug.
On the other hand, you may be in constructive possession of an illegal substance if the substance was in your immediate vicinity and in an area over which you had some degree of control. If the police confiscated the drug from a motor vehicle that you were driving just prior to your arrest, then the drug may have been in your constructive possession at that time.
If, on the other hand, you were a back-seat passenger in a motor vehicle and drugs were found in the glove compartment, it is less likely that you constructively possessed the drugs in question. This is because while sitting in the back seat, the drugs were not likely within your immediate reach or vicinity.
The potential penalties for Illinois drug possession offenses can be steep. For example, heroin possession—a Class 1 felony—is punishable by a maximum of $200,000 in monetary fines, along with jail time. The potential jail time imposed upon conviction depends upon the amount of heroin that is found in the offender’s possession.
If the offender is in possession of between 15 grams and 99 grams of heroin, he or she can be sentenced to anywhere from four to 15 years in jail. If the offender has 900 grams or more of heroin in his or her possession, however, the offender could receive up to 50 years in jail. The same is true for possessing equally large amounts of cocaine or morphine.
Fortunately, there are alternatives to these potential sentences, including terms of criminal probation under certain circumstances. If you are facing drug possession charges in Illinois, the Aurora drug crime defense attorneys at Martin & Kent, L.L.C., can review your legal options with you and help you decide on the option that is right for your case and circumstances.
Possession With Intent to Deliver, Drug Delivery, and Drug Manufacturing Offenses in Illinois
If you face criminal charges of possession with intent to deliver, illegal drug delivery, or drug manufacturing in Illinois, you will face much more serious penalties than those associated with a simple drug possession charge.
Possession with intent to deliver means that the accused was in possession of such a high quantity of drugs that he or she presumably intended to sell them (as opposed to consuming them for personal use).
If the drug transaction occurred previously, the accused can face criminal charges for delivering a controlled substance. This is true even in cases where there is no exchange of money between individuals involved in the transaction. All that is necessary for a drug delivery charge is that the controlled substance be illegally transferred from one individual to another.
Illegal drug manufacturing, on the other hand, means using chemicals, other materials, and/or equipment to produce an illegal controlled substance. When it comes to proving any of these drug charges, the prosecutor is allowed to introduce both direct and circumstantial evidence. Both types of evidence carry the same weight at a criminal trial.
If you sustain a conviction for possession with intent to deliver, delivery, or manufacturing of a controlled substance, you can incur the following penalties:
- For possessing less than one gram – Three to seven years of jail time in state prison, along with a maximum fine of $200,000
- For possessing between one and 15 grams – Incarceration from four to 15 years at the Illinois State Department of Corrections, along with up to $250,000 in monetary fines
- For possessing between 15 and 100 grams – A mandatory minimum criminal sentence of six years in jail, up to a maximum of 30 years, along with a maximum monetary fine of $500,000
- For possessing between 100 and 400 grams – Between nine and 30 years in jail
- For possessing between 400 and 900 grams – Between 12 and fifty years in jail, along with significant monetary fines
- For possessing over 900 grams – Between 15 and 60 years in a state prison
Presenting an Effective Defense
The exact sentencing associated with a drug offense depends on the type and amount of a drug found in your possession. We work to defend clients from such penalties, no matter what charges they face. Some common defenses against drug charges include:
- Unlawful search and seizure – If the government violated your Fourth Amendment constitutional rights against unlawful searches and seizures, any evidence obtained as a result should be suppressed. These violations occur when police officers lack probable cause for a home or vehicle search or when they are not in possession of a validly executed search warrant.
- Lack of knowledge – If the accused did not know that he or she was in possession of an illegal substance, then the accused may be able to raise lack of knowledge as a defense to the drug crime.
- Entrapment or compulsion – If a police officer unduly coerced the accused into committing a crime that he or she would not have committed otherwise, then the accused may be able to assert entrapment as a legal defense to the drug charge. Similarly, if someone else threatened the accused with serious bodily harm or death if the accused did not commit the offense, then the accused may be able to allege duress as a legal defense.
Many people go to court on account of false or unlawful charges. We make a point of upholding our clients’ rights against such accusations. When you retain a defense lawyer from our firm, we conduct a thorough investigation of your case. As we analyze the evidence and testimony tied to your charges, our legal team will look for evidence of constitutional violations during the process of a search or arrest, as well as evidence to challenge the prosecutor’s case. Any information indicating your innocence can be used to your advantage at trial.
Call Our DuPage, Kane and Cook County, Illinois, Drug Crime Defense Lawyers
With an Aurora drug crime defense attorney on your side, the prosecutor may reduce or even dismiss your charges. Get in touch with one of our team members at Martin & Kent, L.L.C., to learn how we can help. We make it our goal to ensure we uphold our clients’ rights throughout the criminal process, and use our impressive experience to benefit each of our clients. Call our office today at (630) 474-8000 to learn more about our services and to discuss your case.