A drug charge may interfere with gainful employment and landlords can frown upon a conviction when they run a background check. A conviction for drug crimes in Illinois can also have serious criminal consequences, including jail time. But what if you were riding in a car with your buddies and the drugs were in the trunk? If you are facing charges for drug possession, drug manufacturing or distribution, or another drug crime, make sure to contact a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.
Elements and Defense
If you are arrested for drug possession do not resist arrest and stay calm. Also, remember that anything you say can be used against you. So be polite and decline to answer questions until your lawyer is present.
The penalties depend on the type of substance and the amount. Under Illinois law, a person must know or have a reason to know if they are in possession of a controlled substance. Charges depend on your type of knowledge. So for you to be charged the prosecution must prove the following three things beyond a reasonable doubt:
Identity of the substance
You knowingly possessed the uncontrolled substance
The substance was in your actual control or possession at the time of the arrest
Drug possession cases are very technical and only a highly-skilled attorney can find flaws in the prosecution’s case.
For misdemeanors, you can spend anywhere from 30 days to two years behind bars. Punishment depends on the type of drug and the amount of controlled substance you had in your possession when you were arrested. Felonies carry longer prison times and larger fines:
Class 4 felonies – possession of small amounts of narcotics with prison time is between 1 – 3 years and fines up to $25,000
Class 1 felonies – possession of larger amounts of narcotics such as cocaine, heroin, or LSD with a hefty maximum fine of $200,000.
Examples of common drugs and the associated prison time if you are convicted:
15 to 100 grams – Leads to four to 15 years in prison
900 grams or more – Leads to 10 to 50 years in prison
15 to 99 grams – leads to four to 15 years in prison
Amphetamine and Ketamin
200 grams – leads to four to 15 years in prison
There are some exceptions to marijuana possession. If you have under 2.5 grams of cannabis it is considered a Class C misdemeanor and in some circumstances, medical marijuana is legal.
Contact a Rolling Meadows Drug Criminal Defense Attorney
To avoid the harsh consequences of a drug possession conviction contact Scott F. Anderson, Attorney at Law. Scott Anderson has more than 23 years of experience working in all aspects of criminal law and he used to be a prosecutor. Call 847-253-3400 for a free initial consultation to discuss your case. Our experienced Arlington Heights drug crimes attorney will fight aggressively to protect your rights.