Drug Defense Lawyer

A Woodridge Drug Charge Lawyer Can Help

If you have been charged with a drug crime in Illinois, you face major penalties that can change your life forever. If you are convicted, in addition to facing jail time and fines, you will have a criminal record that can affect your employment and educational opportunities, limit your ability to get decent housing, ruin your relationships, and rob you of self-esteem.

Drug charges are difficult to fight and even fully comprehend without help from a drug charge lawyer 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.

Federal drug laws apply to all U.S. citizens regardless of their state of residency and are prosecuted by either the Department of Justice or the U.S. Attorney’s Office in federal district court. Illinois state drug laws apply to all drug-related crimes that occur in Illinois and are prosecuted by the State’s Attorney’s Office for the county that the crime was committed in; they are tried before Circuit Court judges.

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 drug charge defense lawyers will work with you to mount the most effective defense possible.

We offer a free consultation, so if you have been accused of any criminal drug charges, call us today.

Call 630-305-0222

How a DuPage County Drug Defense Lawyer Works for You

Why Choose Wolfe & Stec?

Drug arrests are serious. Prosecutors and juries have little sympathy for drug users and sellers, and law enforcement is tough on drug cases. It is difficult to fight the system without an experienced and aggressive defense attorney. At Wolfe & Stec, we believe that every accused person is innocent until proven guilty. We have years of experience fighting drug charges and are well versed in the laws, the courts, the prosecutors, and how the system operates. We are fully prepared to do everything possible to have your drug charges reduced or dismissed and fight for your rights and your freedom.

When you have our DuPage County drug defense lawyers on your side, we will:

  • Meet with you to listen to your version of what happed and discuss your options, answer your questions, and explain what will happen in the legal system.
  • Investigate the circumstances of your drug charge, review the evidence, and examine lab reports to determine the best way to build a solid defense.
  • Examine how your case was handled by law enforcement to determine if your rights were violated and if the laws pertaining to search and seizure and arrests were fully met. If evidence is found to be inadmissible due to its being unlawfully obtained, it can greatly increase chances that you will be found not guilty.
  • Examine other circumstances surrounding the case to determine if other mistakes were made.
  • Negotiate with prosecutors to find ways to have your charges dismissed or lessened.
  • Take your case to trial if necessary to defend you.

We know your future is on the line. Whether you choose to plea bargain or go to trial, our drug charges defense attorneys will negotiate and argue aggressively on your behalf to pursue the best possible outcome in your case.

Drug Charges Lawyer in Woodridge Handles all Charges

Types of drug charges we defend against

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:

  • Possession of marijuana, cocaine, LSD, heroin, methamphetamine, prescription drugs, and others. You may be charged with possession if illegal drugs are in your custody and under your control.
  • Trafficking, sales and distribution of controlled substances. This involves the selling, furnishing, or delivering of an illegal drug. If you are found in possession of drugs, you can be accused of distribution if the police believe you intended to sell them.
    • Drug distribution refers to the sale, delivery, or exchange of controlled substances (720 ILCS 570/401). You may be found guilty of distribution if you transfer, attempt to transfer, or intend to transfer an illegal drug to someone. Prosecutors can prove distribution if an actual transfer occurs and the police witness the exchange of drugs. If no actual exchange is witnessed, the prosecutor will try to prove attempted transfer.
    • Drug trafficking refers to the importation of controlled substances into the state of Illinois, whether on foot, by car, by plane, by shipment, or by any other methods (720 ILCS 570/401.1).
  • Manufacture of drugs or a controlled substance in Illinois is prohibited (720 ILCS 570/401). You could be charged if you are caught in the process of manufacturing, if you are found to be operating a meth or drug lab in your home or business, found with chemicals or cultivating plants commonly used to make a controlled substance, or if police have a search warrant and find evidence of manufacturing. Because many chemicals used to make illegal drugs are common household cleaners, a manufacturing charge requires both possession and intent.
  • Driving while under the influence of drugs – Illinois has drugged driving laws that forbid operation of a motor vehicle with a detectable level of an illicit drug or drug metabolite present in bodily fluids above a state-imposed threshold.
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia is illegal under the Illinois Drug Paraphernalia Control Act (720 ILCS 600/). This paraphernalia includes pipes and water bongs, in addition to common household items that may be used in association with drug use or distribution, such as scales, Ziploc baggies, and syringes.
  • Possession with Intent to Deliver involves possession of an illegal substance with the intent to sell it ( 720 ILCS 570/401 ). You may be charged with possession with intent if the quantity of drugs involved is too much for personal use.
  • Dog sniff/detection cases

Common types of drugs involved in drug charge cases

Substances that are classified as “controlled,” have their use and distribution governed by law, and violators are subject to arrest and punishment. Controlled substances are often classified under “schedules” under federal and state statutes, and this classification may be different in each case.

Illinois has a Controlled Substances Act (720 ILCS 570/) that classifies drugs from Schedule I to Schedule V according to factors such as the potential for abuse and whether the drug has any medical or beneficial 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.

The following is a list of the most common drugs that lead to drug arrests:

  • Cocaine is a popular recreational drug that is illegal under both federal and state laws. The penalties for conviction of possessing or trafficking either powder cocaine or crack cocaine can be severe.
  • Heroin is a highly addictive opioid that is popular because it is often cheaper than pain pills and easier to find. It is easily abused, results in a large number of fatal overdoses, and carries stiff penalties for possession, manufacture, and sale. Other opioid drugs subject to abuse include morphine and fentanyl.
  • Methamphetamine, Crystal Meth also has a high potential for abuse. It has some limited medical benefit and may be used legally if you have a prescription.
  • Prescription drugs are legal when prescribed and used correctly but are subject to abuse. Charges that can lead to arrest include lying to your doctor in order to get a controlled substance, giving a pharmacist a forged prescription form, sharing prescribed drugs with someone else, and falsely claiming to have lost drugs from an authentic prescription.

See http://www.ilga.gov/ for a complete list of drugs and their classifications in Illinois.

Drug Defense Attorney Deals With Marijuana Charges

Marijuana Laws Continue to Drive Conversation in IllinoisMarijuana is a special case, as it 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. Cannabis is still illegal to possess in commercial motor vehicles, school property, and jails.

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.

When 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.

Punishments for Drug Crimes

Drug defense lawyer fights to lessen penalties.

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.

Penalties for distribution or trafficking drugs

When 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. Distribution and trafficking are vigorously prosecuted and harshly punished. Distribution is a Class X felony that incurs a maximum penalty ranging from 6 to 60 years in prison. Trafficking incurs a minimum penalty of at least two times the penalty assigned for that particular drug and amount.

Penalties for manufacturing drugs

Illinois law also prohibits the manufacturing, delivering or possessing with the intent to manufacture or deliver a controlled substance. Manufacturing is a Class X felony and, depending upon the substance manufactured and amount found, you face anywhere from 6 years to 60 years in prison.

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.

Penalties for possession of drug paraphernalia

Possession of drug paraphernalia is a Class A misdemeanor with penalties of up to 1 year in jail. If the prosecutor proves you intended to sell this paraphernalia, penalties may be increased.

Penalties for possession with intent to deliver

A charge for possession or intent to deliver can be a misdemeanor or a felony. Depending on circumstances, such as the type and amount of controlled substance involved, you may receive a maximum penalty ranging from 180 days in jail to 60 years in prison.

Penalties for using firearms during a drug crime

If firearms are used during commission of a drug crime, penalties are increased as follows:

  1. Use of firearm during commission of offense: 15 years added to sentence
  2. Discharge of firearm during commission: 20 years added to sentence
  3. Discharge of firearm causing death or injury: 25 years or up to natural life added to sentence imposed.

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.

A complete list of Illinois drug penalties can be found in the Illinois Controlled Substance Act (720 ILCS 570/Art. IV).

Federal Drug Crime Penalties

Possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs is also prohibited by federal law, and there are severe penalties for drug convictions, including mandatory prison terms for many offenses. Federal drug laws and punishments also depend on amount of drugs involved, and penalties increase significantly if use of the illicit drug results in death or serious bodily injury.

Federal Drug Possession Penalties

(21 USC §844)

Anyone convicted of illegally possessing any controlled substance faces penalties of up to 1 year in prison and a minimum fine of $1,000, or both. Second convictions include 15 days to 2 years in prison and a minimum fine of $2,500. Subsequent convictions carry heavier penalties of 90 days to 3 years in prison and a minimum fine of $5,000.

Civil penalties of up to $10,000 may also be imposed for possession of controlled substances, regardless of whether or not criminal charges are made. If convicted, you can be fined for the costs of the investigation and prosecution resulting from an arrest. Penalties for possession with intent to distribute can be greater.

Federal Drug Paraphernalia penalties

(21 USC §863)

If convicted of the sale, export, import, or shipping of drug paraphernalia, you can face penalties of up to 3 years in prison and a fine.

Federal Drug Trafficking Penalties

(21 USC §841)

Penalties for federal drug trafficking vary based on the quantity of the controlled substances sold. Violating federal drug trafficking laws within 1,000 feet of a university may face penalties up to twice as high as the regular penalties for the offense, with a mandatory prison sentence of at least one year (21 USC §860).

Forfeiture of Personal Property, Real Estate

(21 USC §853)

Someone convicted of a federal drug offense punishable by more than one year in prison will forfeit to the United States any personal or real property related to the violation, including houses, cars, and other personal belongings.

Denial of Federal Benefits

(21 USC §862)

A federal drug conviction can result in the loss of federal benefits, including grants, contracts, school loans and licenses. Federal drug trafficking convictions can result in denial of federal benefits for up to 5 years for a first conviction, 10 years for a second conviction, and permanent denial of federal benefits for a third conviction.

Our drug charge lawyers in DuPage County know how to fight to lessen penalties. Don’t delay.

Get help now 630-305-0222

Woodridge Drug Defense Lawyer Answers Questions and Concerns

When you are facing a serious drug charge, it’s natural to have major concerns. Here are some answers to questions our drug charges lawyers are often asked:

  • Will I be able to post bail?
    In many cases, you will be able to get out on bail, especially if this is your first offense, amounts of drugs are not large, there were no minors involved, and you are charged with only possession. Our attorneys will do everything possible to get you out on bail, but it may be denied in situations such as if you are a repeat offender or a flight risk, or if the crime involved an altercation with police officers or caused serious injury or death of another person.
  • Will an employer find out about my drug arrest?
    If you are not convicted and sentenced to jail time, your employer should not find out about your arrest. If you are seeking employment, Illinois allows employers to perform background checks on their potential employees during the course of their hiring process, and a criminal record will show up. However, it is a civil rights violation for a potential employer to inquire about any arrest records that did not lead to a conviction, or any conviction that has been dismissed, sealed, or expunged, or if an employee was found guilty of a crime, but complied with the supervision requirements and received a judgment dismissing their charges. Employers may be able to view the details of an arrest after performing a background check, but they are not allowed to inquire about any criminal history that did not lead to a conviction at any time.
  • Should I Use a Public Defender?
    Public defenders have large caseloads and are notoriously overworked. If your case is complicated and requires much research and many court appearances, chances are they cannot give it the attention you deserve, so you may not receive the best outcome.
  • Does it cost a lot of money to hire a drug defense lawyer?
    Each case is different, depending on the complexity of the charges and the number of hours involved. Simple cases that are resolved by plea bargains require fewer attorney hours than do complicated cases that go to trial. In any case, it is your life and your freedom that is at stake, so you should hire the best drug defense attorney possible.

Put Your Trust In Us — Call a Drug Charge Defense Lawyer in DuPage County for a Free Consultation

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 be there for you throughout the entire criminal process, answering all your questions and making sure you fully understand the facts surrounding your case. We represent clients in DuPage County and the greater Chicago area.

Delaying can only make your situation worse, so call 630-305-0222 today to schedule your free initial consultation.

Attorney Marc Wolfe

Marc Wolfe has been representing clients in criminal matters in Chicago and the entire State of Illinois for over 30 years. Mr. Wolfe has tried over 300 cases to verdict and represents clients facing investigation or prosecution for a broad range of state and federal criminal offenses, including murder, embezzlement, sexual abuse, drugs, marijuana and white collar crimes. [ Attorney Bio ]

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3321 Hobson Road, Suite B
Woodridge, IL 60517
Phone: 630-305-0222

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Chicago, IL 60602
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