If you have been charged with a drug crime in Illinois, you face major penalties that can be difficult to fully comprehend due to the multitude of criminal statutes related to the possession and/or distribution of drugs. In addition to Illinois statutes, federal law may come into play, and sometimes federal and state laws are contradictory. For example, while Illinois has legalized medical marijuana, it is still technically illegal under federal law.
Due to the seriousness and complexity of the laws, it is essential to get top-notch legal assistance when charged with any drug crimes. The experienced Illinois criminal drug defense lawyers at Wolfe & Stec, Ltd. are skilled trial lawyers who believe each case is unique, with its own set of circumstances and requirements. Whether you have been accused of drug possession, trafficking, or sale, our criminal defense lawyers will work with you to mount the most effective defense possible. We offer a free consultation, so contact us for help today at 630-305-0222 if you have been accused of any criminal drug charges.
Drug laws apply to substances classified as “controlled,” meaning that the use and distribution of the substance is governed by law. Controlled substances are often classified under “schedules” under federal and state statutes, and this classification may be different in each case.
Illinois law classifies drugs from Schedule I to Schedule V according to factors such as the potential for abuse and whether the drug has any medical uses. Schedule V controlled substances are considered the least dangerous, while Schedule I drugs are considered most dangerous.
Illegal controlled substances listed in Schedules I and II include: those which contain opiates, opium derivatives (such as heroin), hallucinogenic substances (such as lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD)), and substances having a depressant or stimulant effect on the central nervous system.
See http://www.ilga.gov/ for a complete list of drugs and their classifications.
At Wolfe & Stec, Ltd., our drug court lawyers can defend you if you have been accused of any Illinois drug crime. The most common categories of charges include:
Illinois drug laws address controlled substances that include heroin, cocaine and morphine and additional controlled substances such as methamphetamine, fentanyl, LSD and even peyote. Because of the potential of harm to others, drug trafficking is punished more severely than mere possession, and the larger the amount of the drug involved, the greater the punishment.
For example, in Illinois, possession of less than 1 gram of cocaine or heroin or morphine is a Class 4 felony, with a sentence of probation or 1 to 3 years in jail. Possession of 15 grams or more of heroin, cocaine or morphine, but less than 100 grams, may carry a sentence of 4 to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $200,000. Anyone found in possession of 900 grams or more of heroin, cocaine or morphine may be sentenced to 10 to 50 years in prison and fined up to $200,000 or the full street value of the drug, whichever is greater.
Once drug sale or trafficking is involved, penalties increase. A delivery of less than one gram of cocaine or heroin is a Class 2 felony, with a possible sentence of 4 to 15 years in prison, with possibility of probation. If the amount of drugs is 900 grams, imprisonment ranges from 15 to 60 years.
Illinois law also prohibits the manufacturing, delivering or possessing with the intent to manufacture or deliver a controlled substance. Penalties include a prison sentence of 6 to 30 years, and a fine of up to $500,000, if the alleged crime involves 15 to 99 grams of heroin, cocaine or morphine. Punishments increase proportionally with amount, and if the alleged crime involves more than 900 grams of heroin, cocaine or morphine, a prison sentence will be 15 to 60 years, and a fine could be up to $500,000 or the street value of the drug.
While sentences and fines for all drug crimes are determined primarily by the weight or amount of drugs involved, there are other factors, such as delivery within 1,000 feet of a school, park, or church, or involvement of minors, that can enhance and even double penalties.
If firearms are used during commission of a drug crime, penalties are increased as follows:
Penalties for controlled-substance possession, manufacturing, and delivery offenses range in seriousness from a low of a Class 3 felony (4 to 10 years in prison) to a high of a Class X felony (30 to 120 years in prison). Fines for trafficking for Class X could range from $75,000 to $1,000,000.
See https://www.iwu.edu/ for a complete list of Illinois drug penalties.
Federal drug laws and punishments are also weight- and amount-driven. For example, a delivery of 100 grams of heroin has a sentencing range of 5 to 40 years, while a kilogram of heroin has a range of 10 years to Life.
Marijuana has been somewhat decriminalized in Illinois. There are medical marijuana laws allowing use of cannabis in the treatment of conditions that include pain relief, nausea, spasticity, glaucoma, and movement disorders.
Possession for personal use of 10 grams of marijuana or less is a Civil Violation, punishable by a fine of $100-$200 and no jail time. Penalties increase so that possession of over 10 grams and under 30 grams is a Class A misdemeanor for a first offense, with possibility of 1 year in prison and a fine of $2,500. Possession of over 5,000 grams of marijuana is a Class 1 felony, punishable by imprisonment of a minimum of 4 years and a maximum of 30 years, as well as a fine of $25,000.
Once selling or possessing with the intent to sell is involved and amounts of the substance increase, so do penalties. For example, selling 2.5 grams or less of marijuana is a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to 6 months imprisonment and a maximum fine of $1,500. Selling, manufacturing, or possessing with the intent to sell more than 5,000 grams of marijuana is a Class X felony, punishable by a minimum sentence of 6 years and a maximum sentence of 60 years, and a maximum fine of $200,000.
Delivery to a minor or delivery on school grounds also increases penalties.
If you have been charged with any drug crime in Illinois, you need to hire the best criminal defense attorney that you can find. The experienced and seasoned Illinois drug crime defense attorneys at Wolfe & Stec, Ltd. will examine the facts, the individuals involved, and the evidence available in every situation. We work with our clients throughout the criminal process to develop an effective defense strategy and determine whether to take a case to trial. Our goal is always to minimize the negative impact of the situation and to focus on protecting your freedoms, liberties and rights.
We are aggressive litigators and will answer all your questions and make sure you fully understand the facts surrounding your case. We represent clients in DuPage County, Cook County, Will County Naperville, Aurora, Wheaton, Downers Grove and Bolingbrook, and the greater Chicagoland area.
Delaying can only make your situation worse, so contact us and call 630-305-0222 today to schedule your free initial consultation.