How Do I Beat a Felony Drug Charge?
If you’ve been charged with or are being investigated for felony drug-related crimes, you should ask yourself, how do I beat a felony drug charge? This depends on the facts of your case, applicable laws, the strength of the prosecution’s case, and your defenses. Technical flaws may get the charges dismissed or reduced. As part of a plea bargain agreement, you may plead guilty to a misdemeanor in exchange for the dismissal of the felony charge. What’s right for you depends on the situation you’re facing, your goals, and what you’re willing to do.
What Does a Felony Drug Charge Mean?
Under the Illinois Criminal Code, there are six classes of felonies — 1, 2, 3, 4, X and M. A conviction carries a jail sentence of more than one year, potentially many more. Drug laws are highly technical and always changing. You could face state and federal charges, depending on what happened. No matter the drug-related felony, Wolfe & Stec, Ltd. criminal defense lawyers will work with you to defend you and protect your future.
Types of drug charges include:
Can You Beat a Felony Drug Charge? If Not, You May Be Behind Bars for Decades.
You want to beat a felony drug charge conviction because, in addition to fines, you’ll be in jail for more than a year. What does a felony drug charge mean? Depending on the charges, you could spend the rest of your life in prison. There are many possible felony drug charges, depending on what the police investigation finds. Possession penalties include:
- Less than a gram of cocaine, heroin, or morphine is a Class 4 felony, with a sentence of probation or one to three years in jail.
- 15 to less than 100 grams of heroin, cocaine, or morphine has a sentence of four to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $200,000.
- 900 grams or more of heroin, cocaine, or morphine carries a sentence of 10 to 50 years in prison and fines up to $200,000 or the full street value of the drug, whichever is greater.
If a drug sale or trafficking is alleged, penalties increase. Delivering less than a gram of cocaine or heroin is a Class 2 felony, with four to 15 years in prison. If the amount is 900 grams, you could be imprisoned for 15 to 60 years.
It’s illegal to manufacture, deliver, or possess with the intent to manufacture or deliver drugs. Penalties are:
- A sentence of 6 to 30 years and a fine up to $500,000 if 15 to 99 grams of heroin, cocaine, or morphine are involved
- For more than 900 grams of heroin, cocaine, or morphine, the sentence will be 15 to 60 years, with a fine up to $500,000 or the street value of the drug.
Other factors that impact sentencing are:
- The use and discharge of firearms while committing the crime
- Delivery of drugs within 1,000 feet of a school, park, or church
- Involvement of minors in the crime.
How to Win a Felony Drug Case
The prosecution must carry its burden of proving, beyond a reasonable doubt, that you committed a drug-related crime and you intended to commit that criminal act. How to win a felony drug case can be based on defenses that could result in reduced charges, their dismissal, or your acquittal at trial:
- At the time of the alleged crime you were insane and not responsible for your actions. You didn’t understand what you were doing and couldn’t tell the difference between right and wrong.
- Police or prosecutor misconduct caused your arrest. You were entrapped, evidence was falsified or tampered with, or police knowingly made false claims. You were targeted because of your, color, race, ethnicity, or national origin. Evidence showing you are innocent was withheld from you and your lawyer.
- Your actions were the result of a mistake. You didn’t intend to commit a crime.
- Evidence should be excluded from trial. Police didn’t have sufficient grounds to pull your car over, search you or your vehicle, or their search warrant was improperly issued. You weren’t read your Miranda rights so answers to questions should be excluded from trial. The prosecution may be unable to show the chain of custody of the evidence, which may mean it was tampered with or mishandled. Drug testing wasn’t done with proper protocols and results aren’t trustworthy.
Negotiate Your Way Out of a Felony Drug Charge
Can you beat a felony drug charge by making the right decisions? Through a plea bargain, you plead guilty to a misdemeanor and accept a given set of penalties. In exchange, the prosecutor agrees not to pursue the felony charges. Most criminal charges aren’t resolved at a trial. They may be . . .
- Dismissed on technical grounds early in the process
- Withdrawn because the judge excludes disputed evidence weakening the case
- Dismissed due to a plea bargain agreement.
A plea bargain could be the right choice for both sides. You avoid the risk of being found guilty and facing stiff penalties. The prosecution prevents wasting resources on a trial that may result in an acquittal.
Get the Defense You Need from Attorneys You Can Trust
If you’re accused of or are under investigation for a felony drug crime in Illinois, hire the best criminal defense attorney you can find. The attorneys for drug charges at Wolfe & Stec, Ltd. are skilled trial lawyers who understand that your case is unique.
Wolfe & Stec, Ltd. will:
- Aggressively pursue every avenue for your defense
- Investigate your case
- Test witnesses’ credibility
- Try to exclude evidence
- Work with you throughout the criminal process.
We will explain the law and the criminal justice system. Our attorneys will listen to your side of the story and treat you with respect. Our goal is to reduce the negative impact of the situation and focus on protecting your freedoms, liberties, and rights.
Contact us today at 630-305-0222 if you have been accused of any criminal charges. Our felony attorneys represent clients in Woodville, DuPage County and the greater Chicagoland area.