In Illinois, an individual could face up to 50 years in prison for the sale of or being in possession of cocaine. The exact penalty depends on the amount of the substance by weight is sold, where it is sold and if the individual has any prior drug offenses. State law says that penalties may be increased if the drug is sold near a school or truck stop.
Those who are caught trying to sell less than 1 gram of cocaine could spend up to seven years in prison. If that person was caught trying to sell to a minor or close to a truck stop or safety rest could face double that penalty. Anyone who is in possession of less than 1 gram of cocaine could face up to three years in prison in addition to a $25,000 fine.
Anyone who is charged with intent to traffic less than 15 grams of cocaine could face up to 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. In Illinois, possession of cocaine is defined as either holding the drug or having control over an area where the drug is being stored. For instance, if it is found in an apartment with only one tenant, that tenant would be considered in possession of the substance.
Individuals who are facing drug charges might decide to consult an attorney who specializes in criminal defense. An attorney may be able to create a defense to the charge that may be enough to have the charge dropped or to have a plea bargain negotiated to reduce the penalties a defendant may face.