Under Illinois law, the severity of penalties for a person charged with possession of marijuana is based on the amount of the drug on your person at the time of the arrest. Penalties can range from less than one year of state prison time and/or a fine of up to $1,500 or up to 15 years in state prison and a fine of up to $25,000. Beyond this, other forms of punishment may be imposed on a person convicted of marijuana possession including community service, attendance of drug classes, probation, and loss of certain constitutional rights for felony convictions (such as gun ownership, voting rights, and jury duty), among others.
Any of these or other consequences stemming from a drug possession conviction can adversely affect all aspects of a person’s life including employment opportunities, denial of student loans, housing opportunities, security clearance access and other issues. For these reasons, it is important to hire an aggressive and knowledgeable Chicago marijuana possession defense attorney immediately if you or someone you know has been charged with possession of marijuana.
Defenses to Marijuana Possession
While each case is as unique as the facts that accompany it, there are generally several defenses a person accused of marijuana possession. These include:
- Challenges to searches and/or seizures: the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects us from unreasonable searches and seizures by the government. Several reasons may deem a search improper including law enforcement searching without a warrant.
- Attacking the “possession” evidence: even if a person is arrested and found with drugs on his or her person, vehicle, bag or close proximity to his or her person, this does not mean evidence can’t be put forth to prove the drugs do not belong to someone else.
- Suppression of incriminating statements: if law enforcement violated your Miranda rights or a confession was obtained under duress, these statements can be excluded from being entered as evidence with the court.
Chicago Drug Possession Attorney
If you or someone you know has been charged with possession of marijuana, or any other type of drug possession charge, you should immediately assert your constitutional right to counsel. After that, contact a knowledgeable and aggressive Chicago marijuana possession defense attorney today. The defense of a drug possession charge can be complicated as a conviction can have long-lasting consequences. Attorney Steven Goldman has decades of experience successfully defending clients in criminal cases. To schedule your initial consultation, contact (773) 484-3131 today.