POSSESSION OF CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES

DRUG CRIME LAWYERS IN DUPAGE, KANE AND COOK COUNTIES

 

Illinois law sets out potentially harsh penalties for drug crimes, including possession of any controlled substance. A drug conviction can affect both your immediate and long-term future in many different ways. There is too much at stake to risk not having skilled criminal defense representation. After an arrest, please call the Illinois drug possession defense lawyers at Martin & Kent, L.L.C. at (630) 474-8000 as soon as possible.

HOW ARE CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES CATEGORIZED?

Under current federal regulations, the government and related authorities have classified certain chemical substances as unfit for unregulated public use. These substances are more commonly known as “drugs,” and a record of their regulation standards exists in the Federal drug schedule. Authorities deem certain drugs as controlled substances because of factors that make them potentially harmful to a consumer.

These factors include:

  • The potential for abuse
  • The potential for addiction
  • The potential for physical or biological harm

Authorities further categorize controlled substances into five sub-schedules according to the intensity of the potential for abuse. These federal regulations assist the government in discouraging drug addiction throughout the country and consequently, unauthorized possession of these substances is a criminal offense punishable by law in Chicago.

The level of charge levied for possession of controlled substances depends on factors such as:

  • The type of drug
  • The drug’s current Schedule classification
  • The amount possessed by the defendant

Authorities consider Schedule I drugs to be the most serious, while Schedule V drugs have the least consequences. However, you can still face serious criminal charges for possessing any controlled substance, even Schedule V substances.

Drugs most commonly involved in possession charges in DuPage County include:

Prosecutors examine these factors and can charge drug possession as a misdemeanor or felony charge, though you should take every charge seriously, even misdemeanors.

Possible Penalties for Drug Possession Convictions

The following are examples of possible drug charges and the associated maximum penalties upon a conviction.

Heroin, morphine, and cocaine – Possession of these substances can result in Class 1 possession charges, which are the most severe. The following prison sentences are possible:

  • Possession of 15 to 99 grams = four to 15 years
  • Possession of 100 to 399 grams = six to 30 years
  • Possession of 400 to 899 grams = eight to 40 years
  • Possession of 900 grams or more = 10 to 50 years

You can also face fines up to the greater of the street value of the possessed drugs or $200,000.

Amphetamine, peyote, and barbituric acid – Possession of 200 grams or more of any form of these substances can result in Class 1 felony charges, including fines up to $25,000 and four to 15 years in prison.

LSD – Possessing any form of LSD can lead to Class 1 felony charges, with possible sentences depending on the amount possessed:

  • Possession of 200 pieces of LSD or 15 to 99 grams = four to 15 years
  • Possession of 200 to 599 pieces or 100 to 399 grams = six to 30 years
  • Possession of 600 to 1499 pieces or 400 to 899 grams = eight to 40 years
  • Possession of 1,500 pieces or more or 900 grams or more = 10 to 50 years

You can also face fines up to the greater of the street value of the possessed drugs or $200,000.

PCP, ketamine, or methaqualone – You can face Class 1 felony charges for possessing 30 grams or more of any of these substances, and you could face fines up to $25,000 and four to 15 years in prison.

Other narcotics – Possession of other narcotics in Schedule I or II can also result in Class 1 felony charges, four to 15 years in prison, and a $25,000 fine.

Anabolic steroids – The first charge for anabolic steroid possession will likely be a Class C misdemeanor, with a maximum sentence of a $1,500 fine and 30 days in jail. A second offense within a certain period of time can increase to a Class B misdemeanor, with a maximum sentence of a $1,500 fine and six months in jail.

Cannabis – Possession of recreational cannabis in all forms is still against the law in Illinois, with the following possible penalties:

  • 10 grams or less = Civil violation, a maximum fine of $200, and automatic expungement of your record upon payment
  • 10 to 30 grams = Class B misdemeanor (for a first offense)
  • 30 to 100 grams = Class A misdemeanor
  • 100 to 500 grams = Class 4 felony
  • 500 to 2,000 grams = Class 3 felony
  • 2,000 to 5,000 grams = Class 2 felony
  • More than 5,000 grams = Class 1 felony

This is what the state law provides. Home-rule municipalities in Illinois also have the ability to pass ordinances prohibiting marijuana possession, and they can provide for more or less forgiving penalties. Downstate a little bit, in Urbana, the fine for possessing less than 30 grams is $50, while next door, Champaign sets its fine at $350. Some municipalities, like Carbondale, will lower the fine (from the minimum or $250 to $125) if you complete community service, though others may not provide this option—and may not provide for automatic expungement. If you drive for a living, you could lose your job until you can get your record expunged.

Treat a municipal code violation just as seriously as a violation of the state statute—perhaps even more so, because the penalties are potentially worse and the consequences can linger a lot longer than the state law. Call Martin & Kent, L.L.C., to properly expunge a municipal marijuana ordinance violation from your record—and to work to keep it off your record in the first place.

You should realize that the penalties for drug possession escalate significantly if you have any prior drug-related convictions on your record.

In addition to the possible fines, probation, and imprisonment, a drug conviction can also have many collateral consequences that can last years after you finish a court-ordered sentence. Drug convictions can make it difficult to get a job or have a landlord approve you to rent housing. You will be ineligible for federal student aid and other funding and may have difficulty even getting accepted into higher education programs or obtaining a professional license. A drug conviction can follow you for the rest of your life, so it is critical to avoid a conviction whenever you can.

Alternative Sentencing Programs in Illinois

Admitting guilt to a drug crime doesn’t have to result in a conviction on your record. Illinois recognizes the need for treatment and second chances for many drug offenders instead of jail time and a permanent criminal record. Our attorneys can work to keep drug possession convictions off your record with the new state law conviction alternatives. These options can include the following programs:

  • Drug Court Program
  • Diversion Program
  • Erasable Probation
  • TASC Probation

Call our DuPage County drug crime lawyers today for more information on these new programs and to receive your free consultation!

Aggressively Defending Against Drug Charges

At Martin & Kent, L.L.C., we know the drastic effects a drug case can have on your future. We will thoroughly evaluate all the circumstances of your arrest and the specific allegations against you to identify all possible defenses that can fight your charges. Some common defenses in drug cases include:

  • Getting drug evidence suppressed when the police obtained it unlawfully and in violation of your Fourth Amendment rights
  • Challenging circumstantial evidence of constructive possession
  • Challenging allegations that you possessed drugs with the intent to distribute
  • Demonstrating your lack of knowledge of the drugs
  • Demonstrating you were the victims of entrapment

Of course, to know the defenses possible in your case, we will need to review what happened and evaluate your options.

In some cases, our clients agree to plead guilty to drug possession charges because we are able to convince the prosecutor to offer a favorable plea bargain. You should never plead guilty to any drug charges without first discussing your rights and options with an experienced criminal defense attorney, however. Prosecutors may try to convince you that a guilty plea is in your best interest when, in reality, you could likely obtain a more favorable result with the right defense representation.

Overall, when you contact our criminal defense firm after an arrest or drug possession charge, you can trust we provide committed and zealous defense representation without judgment. We can help you navigate the confusing and often frightening criminal justice system in DuPage County, Kane County, or Cook County.

HISTORY OF SUCCESS—CONTACT OUR RESPECTED DRUG DEFENSE FIRM RIGHT AWAY

At Martin & Kent, L.L.C., we are able to offer our clients sound counsel and aggressive defense representation when it comes to charges involving the possession of a controlled substance. Prosecutors can intensify charges for aggravating factors including the use of weapons, the age of the perpetrator, and other facts surrounding the case. If you are facing charges of possession of a controlled substance, your future and your freedom are at stake, and you should not wait to seek help.

Contact our firm by calling (630) 474-8000 to speak with a DuPage County drug crime attorney about your options for your defense today.