What You Should Know About Illinois Drug Laws in 2023
Attitudes toward drugs are changing throughout the country, and many believe that the “war on drugs,” which threw so many non-violent offenders into jail, has created more problems than it solves. Still, anyone charged with a drug crime in Illinois faces major penalties, including fines, a criminal record, and jail time. Unlawful possession of a controlled substance is a felony criminal offense under Illinois law, with strict penalties in the Illinois Controlled Substances Act (720 ILCS 570/1 et seq).
How Drugs Are Classified
The Illinois Controlled Substances Act schedules substances as either Schedule I, Schedule II, Schedule III, or Schedule IV. A Schedule I controlled substance is a substance that (1) has a high potential for abuse and (2) has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States or lacks accepted safety for treatment under medical supervision (720 ILCS 570/203). Schedules II, III, and IV are considered to have medical value but still have a high potential for abuse.
Schedule I Controlled Substances
- Psychedelic mushrooms
Generally, all recreational drugs or “street drugs” are considered Schedule I controlled substances.
What Illinois Drug Laws Take Effect in 2023?
Two important drug laws went into effect in Illinois on January 1, 2023: HB 04392 and HB 04408.
What Is HB 04392?
According to the 102nd General Assembly of Illinois, HB 04392 does the following:
“Allows a person to apply for felony expungement or sealing despite a positive cannabis test within 30 days of the filing of the petition.”
Basically, you can apply to have your record expunged or sealed if you test positive for marijuana. As with any criminal charge, it is vital to work with a drug crimes lawyer in Illinois.
What Is HB 04408?
According to the 102nd General Assembly of Illinois, HB 04408 does the following:
“Prohibits insurers and Medicaid from imposing a copayment for naloxone hydrochloride, an opioid suppressant.”
This law removes all copayments for naloxone hydrochloride so opioid users looking to get clean can afford to do so.
Safe Injection Site Bill Proposed for Illinois
A safe injection site bill has been proposed in Illinois. The purpose of a safe injection site is to prevent as many overdoses as possible. If the bill passes, the safe injection sites would allow people to use illegal drugs with the supervision of doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals to keep the users as safe as possible.
“Overdose Prevention Sites” would be licensed by the Department of Human Services, should the bill become law. Drug users would be free from legal penalties if this bill goes into effect, according to Joe Trotter, a Harm Reduction Program Coordinator.
“A lot of clients will use their drug in locations that are either not safe to them, or simply in places where they’re alone. When you use a drug alone, particularly a drug that has an opiate in it, there’s a high chance that you can overdose. The concept is to be able to give people a place where they can use their drug without harassment. It can be something where health professionals can be nearby to offer support, to offer security, to simply offer someone there that can show care.”
Lawmakers hope that the passing of this bill will not only help to reduce the number of overdose deaths in Illinois, but also help drug users begin their road to recovery.
What Are the Punishments for Drug Crimes in Illinois?
Illinois drug laws address controlled substances, including heroin, cocaine and morphine, methamphetamine, fentanyl, LSD, and peyote. Illinois law prohibits the manufacturing, delivering, or possessing with the intent to manufacture or deliver a controlled substance.
Because of the potential harm to others, drug trafficking is punished more severely than mere possession; the larger the amount of the drug involved, the greater the punishment.
For example, in Illinois, possessing 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 900 grams or more may carry a sentence of 10 to 50 years in prison and a fine of up to $200,000 or the full street value of the drug, whichever is greater.
Once drug sales or trafficking is involved, the penalties increase. 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 the possibility of probation. If the amount of drugs is 900 grams, imprisonment ranges from 15 to 60 years.
Put Your Trust in Us – Contact Wolfe & Stec for a Free Consultation
You must hire the most experienced criminal defense attorney if you have been charged with any drug crime in Illinois. The seasoned Illinois drug crime defense attorneys at Wolfe & Stec, Ltd. will examine the facts, the individuals involved, and the evidence available in every situation and work with you to develop an effective defense strategy and determine whether to take a case to trial.
Our goal is always to minimize the situation’s negative impact and focus on protecting your freedoms, liberties, and rights. We will answer all your questions and ensure you fully understand the facts surrounding your case and how the new Illinois drug laws in 2023 will impact your unique situation.
Delaying can only worsen your situation, so contact us online or call our offices today to schedule your free initial consultation at 630-305-0222.