In Illinois, the Controlled Substances Act makes it against the law to knowingly possess drugs (720 ILCS 570/402). Illinois makes use of a schedule system to classify drugs, parallel to that used by the federal government. Schedule I drugs are those that have no accepted medical use, while schedule II, III, IV, and V can be prescribed by doctors. However, possession of a prescription drug is still considered a crime, if you do not have a valid prescription. Counterfeit substances or controlled substance analogs, designed to have the same effects, are also covered by the law.
If you or someone you care about have been charged with possession of a controlled substance, you should seek the guidance of an experienced criminal defense lawyer.
Penalties for Drug Possession
Convictions for possessing common controlled substances (including heroin, cocaine, morphine, methamphetamine, and LSD) carry the following punishments, depending on the alleged amount:
- Less than 15 grams (Class 4 felony): 1 to 3 years in prison, a fine of up to $25,000, or both.
- 15 to 100 grams (Class 1 felony): 4 to 15 years in prison, a fine of up to $200,000, or both.
- 100 to 400 grams (Class 1 felony): 6 to 30 years in prison, a fine of up to $200,000 or street value of the drugs, or both.
- 400 to 900 grams (Class 1 felony): 8 to 40 years in prison, a fine of up to $200,000 or street value of the drugs, or both.
- 900 or more grams (Class 1 felony): 10 to 50 years in prison, a fine of up to $200,000 or street value of the drugs, or both.
Because of the severity of these potential penalties, the advice of a local criminal defense lawyer with knowledge of the way that prosecutors and judges might handle your case is invaluable.
Associated Charges of Paraphernalia Possession
Often, people charged with drug possession will also find themselves charged with paraphernalia possession. Under the Illinois Drug Paraphernalia Control Act, the definition of drug paraphernalia includes all equipment and materials intended to be used in ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing controlled substances into the body (720 ILCS 600/3.5). Paraphernalia possession is considered a Class A misdemeanor. A conviction carries a penalty of up to one year of jail time, a fine of up to $2500, or both. In addition, a fine of $750 will be imposed, on top of the usual penalties.
Get Help From a Chicago Defense Attorney
If you are facing drug possession charges in Illinois, you need an experienced drug crimes defense attorney to advocate for you. Contact Chicago defense attorney Steven Goldman for a consultation today.