DuPage, Kane, and Cook County Drug Trafficking Attorney
Strong Representation for Major Drug Charges
The stated purpose of Illinois’s drug trafficking statute is to “penalize most heavily the illicit traffickers or profiteers of controlled substances.” In reality, minor participants and innocent friends and family members often get caught up in undercover stings and drug raids. Trafficking charges can be broadly applied to a range of activities from possessing a large quantity of drugs to participation in importing, transporting, packaging or distributing drugs inside Illinois.
The criminal defense lawyers of Martin & Kent, L.L.C., have the experience to take on drug trafficking charges and related felony crimes. Our law partners are former prosecutors who have handled more than 10,000 criminal cases in their 40-plus years of combined experience. They know how to approach the case and navigate the justice system to position clients for the most favorable outcome.
If you are arrested or believe you may be under investigation for drug trafficking, you should not wait to contact our criminal defense firm. We have the experience and resources to defend against serious drug trafficking charges in Illinois, and we can evaluate your situation for free.
Trafficking and Related Drug Crimes
We represent clients in DuPage County, Kane County, and the Cook County suburbs who are facing the possibility of years in prison in connection with serious drug-related offenses:
Drug trafficking under the Illinois Controlled Substances Act – As mentioned, many acts can qualify as “drug trafficking” in Illinois. While crossing state lines or otherwise transporting large quantities of drugs will likely result in trafficking charges, so can many acts that lead up to or support the transport of drugs.
- Delivery of controlled substances or marijuana – You can face charges if authorities believe you actually transferred ownership of a controlled substance to another party. This can be a large transfer or transfers of smaller amounts to individuals.
- Possession with intent to deliver – Authorities do not even have to witness a transfer to accuse you of selling drugs. Under certain circumstances, you can face charges of possessing drugs with the intention of delivering them in the future, even if you did not deliver anything. The consequences of possession with intent can be significantly more serious than simple possession.
- Use of a cellular device to further drug trafficking – Illinois has an additional criminal charge for people who facilitate trafficking schemes using cell phones. This offense is a Class 2 felony and can substantially increase the penalties faced. Since most people use cell phones for communication in modern times, this is a common add-on charge.
- Weapon possession in conjunction with a drug bust – Drug traffickers handle a lot of money and substances that are worth a lot of money. For this reason, they also may possess weapons to protect themselves and their property. However, possessing weapons when police arrest you on suspicion of trafficking can mean additional weapons charges.
- Money laundering – Drug trafficking schemes can result in millions of dollars in proceeds, which traffickers cannot simply deposit in their bank accounts. For this reason, many traffickers also engage in money laundering, which is another serious felony charge when it involves significant sums of money.
- Conspiracy – If generally takes many people to plan and carry out drug trafficking schemes. When two or more people agree to commit a crime, Illinois conspiracy charges can apply. If you possessed a controlled substance and made more than $500 or helped organize the scheme, you can face severe drug conspiracy charges, which can be charged as a Class X felony in some situations, meaning you will face mandatory prison time.
A conviction for low-end drug trafficking (Class 3 felony) is punishable by up to 10 years in prison. The most serious charges (Class X felony) carry a minimum sentence of six years and potentially life in prison. Drug trafficking is also subject to staggering fines of $75,000 up to $1,000,000. The specific charges and penalties depend on the quantity of drugs involved.
These are only the penalties for trafficking, as people may also face charges of conspiracy, weapons offenses, or using a cellular device. The court has the discretion to order you to serve the prison sentence for each charge consecutively, which can increase an incarceration period substantially.
Charges of drug trafficking may be based on transactions (delivery), evidence of large-scale drug dealing, transportation of drugs across the Illinois state line, or possession of a major quantity of a drug. To convict someone, the state must prove that a defendant had knowledge of the drugs and had the intent to deliver the drugs. They must prove each of these elements beyond a reasonable doubt. Our legal team will aggressively challenge the evidence against you, the details of the allegations, and the appropriateness of the charges. The sooner you call Martin & Kent, the sooner we can begin helping you.
Drug Trafficking Investigations
Trafficking operations can be extensive and complex. Often, the people involved do not fully understand the full scope of the scheme or know everyone involved. Police officers and drug task forces want to arrest as many people as possible involved in a single trafficking scheme, which often requires intense investigations for months or years before they make any arrests. If they start making arrests too soon, chances are others will cover up their involvement and will never be caught.
Drug trafficking investigations can be highly complex and authorities have many tools to use to identify participants and gather evidence against them. Investigations or arrests may involve one or more of the following:
- Traffic stops
- Hits by K-9 police dogs
- Undercover drug transactions
- People wearing wires
- Government informants
- Anonymous tips
- Search warrants
- Other law enforcement methods
Police officers can make many errors during drug trafficking investigations that can violate your rights. For example, the government cannot violate your Fourth Amendment rights in investigating and prosecuting drug trafficking crimes. If police officers performed an illegal search and found the drug evidence, our lawyers can work to keep that evidence out of court.
Similarly, if police discover drugs during a traffic stop, we can ensure they did not violate your rights. Police can commit violations if they did not have a valid reason for the traffic stop, or if they illegally searched a vehicle without consent, a warrant, or probable cause. Our defense attorneys have successfully challenged drug arrests by raising issues of unlawful search and seizure.
In addition, entrapment can be a defense to drug trafficking charges if an investigation involved undercover work. Police cannot coerce you into committing a crime that you would not have otherwise committed. We can evaluate the circumstances leading up to your arrest and determine whether an undercover officer entrapped you.
Call a Defense Attorney Immediately After an Arrest
After an arrest, police may continue to try to gather evidence against you by interrogating you about your involvement and who else was involved. Before police officers can ask you questions in custody, they must first inform you of your Miranda rights, which include the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney. Too many people believe that invoking these rights will make them seem guilty, so they choose to answer police questions on their own. This is always a mistake. You should realize that prosecutors cannot use the fact that you exercised your Miranda rights against you in court. In fact, exercising your Miranda rights can only help any subsequent criminal case.
When officers ask you questions, they are never on your side. Instead, their priority is to gather evidence against you and anyone else involved. They may tell you that they can help you if you are open and honest. They cannot, as only prosecutors have the discretion to issue or drop charges. Police will try to trick you, or even coerce you, into talking. Staying silent until you have an attorney present is the best way to protect yourself and your rights.
Avoid Lasting Consequences
In addition to lengthy prison sentences and costly fines, drug trafficking and related convictions can have many long-term consequences, including:
- Losing your job and having difficulty finding a new one
- Ongoing probation or parole costs
- Denial of affordable housing
- Revocation or denial of a security clearance or professional license
- Ineligibility for government aid
In many situations, people will feel the effects of a drug-related conviction for the rest of their lives. It is imperative to avoid a conviction whenever possible. Our lawyers work to get charges dropped or reduced on a regular basis. Do not wait any longer to call us to discuss the options and defenses in your specific situation.
Former Prosecutors · Skilled Defense Lawyers
Our attorneys have extensive courtroom experience and insight into the tactics of police and prosecutors. This background is invaluable when your freedom depends on the quality of your legal counsel. We make sure that your rights are upheld and we exhaust every possible defense and mitigating factor to minimize the impact on your family and your future.
To work directly with one of our highly rated defense attorneys, contact Martin & Kent immediately for a free consultation. We are available 24/7 at (630) 474-8000. We have law offices in Wheaton and serve DuPage, Kane, and Cook Counties.
RELATED PRACTICE TOPIC
A Wheaton client who was arrested for domestic battery got her case dismissed for lack of prosecution. The arrest expungement was immediately filed by M&K lawyers.Case Results