While all Illinois drug charges carry potentially serious penalties, crimes involving allegations of drug dealing and sales are treated especially harshly. These crimes are similar to but much more limited in scope than drug trafficking charges, but they may still lead to long terms of incarceration.
Depending on the particular facts of an individual’s case, he or she may also be charged under federal law and face punishment under both that system as well as the state’s. Federal convictions may carry substantially longer sentences than state convictions. Under state law, the potential consequence may depend on what type of drug is involved as well as the amount that was possessed or sold.
When sales of drugs are involved, the convictions are felonies and can have long-ranging consequences on the lives of the defendants. If the defendants have prior convictions for drug crimes, their sentences may be longer. Being in possession of or using a firearm during the commission of a drug crime may also subject a defendant to an aggravated sentence. The federal system may become involved in the case if it involves the importation of drugs across state lines.
Drug charges may carry long sentences of imprisonment, and people may have altered lives for much longer. In addition to incarceration, fines, mandatory treatment or probation, people who have drug convictions may have numerous collateral consequences. They may have trouble with securing housing or employment, and they may be unable to secure federal financial assistance to attend college. People who are charged with drug sales might want to schedule consultations with experienced criminal defense lawyers. The attorneys may identify defenses that may be available to their clients and use them to build a strong defense case. They may negotiate favorable pleas or litigate on behalf of their clients through jury trials.