Heroin is one of the most addictive drugs on the market and is a problem in Illinois and the rest of the nation. Easy access to prescription medications coupled with the low price of opiates on the street are facilitating this drug crisis. Some note that heroin is more accessible than marijuana.
If you are struggling with drug dependency, know that you are not alone. There are many people in your community willing to help.
You may have had some run-ins with the law, and that is OK. If so, consider speaking with a local attorney. A professional can not only guide you through the court system, but also help connect you with the local resources that you need. It is not easy dealing with a chemical addiction problem. Moreover, the legal consequences of heroin use can be extensive.
Heroin possession in Illinois
If you are found with up to 15 grams of heroin, you may face a Class 4 Felony. Penalties may include $25,000 and up to three years in prison.
However, if you do not have a criminal record, you have a good chance of suspending your case. Instead of incarceration, you may opt for court-supported treatment programs and probation substitutes. A lawyer can tell you more about relevant alternative programs.
Common defense strategies
If you are considering legal assistance, know that a broad range of defense strategies exist, which can help you deal with possession charges. These approaches can alleviate the potential consequences associated with drug charges in the state. Consider the following examples:
- Challenging your arrest.
- Contesting the stated version of the events leading up to your arrest.
- Challenging the legality of any searches pursuant to your arrest.
- Working with the prosecution to come to a favorable plea agreement.
The outcome of your case will depend on the details surrounding your arrest.
New bills to help address the heroin problem in Illinois
The Illinois General Assembly recognizes the ongoing heroin epidemic that is widespread in the state. As a result, a few bills were recently introduced in the Illinois House this legislative session.
House Bill 5593 is aimed at educating addicts who receive government assistance about the available treatment options, including naloxone, an antidote that quickly reverses the effects of an opiate overdose.
House Bill 5594 seeks to amend the Drug Court Treatment Act by prohibiting judges from denying medication-assisted treatments, such a methadone, for defendants.
To learn more about pending laws in relation to heroin drug charges, speak with a lawyer in your community.