Drug crimes are one of the most prevalent crimes committed in Chicagoland and across the world. You should be informed of the laws that dictate the ones in your own hometown. More often than not, the line between a misdemeanor charge and a felony is very thin. When it comes to drugs, even if you have access to Illinois drug statutes, it can all be confusing. There are cases in which the lines are quite blurred and you may not be sure of what consequences you will be facing in your near future.
Within the plentiful variety of possession charges one can face, it is obviously highly dependent on what substance it is that has been found. Whether or not if you are a first or repeat offender is also a major factor in the eyes of the court.
Rather than cannabis trafficking, cannabis possession is an example of when the lines can become blurred as to whether or not you will be facing a misdemeanor or felony charge. For example, if you are caught with 10 to 30 grams and it is your first offense, then you will not be facing a felony and will face a maximum fine of $2,500. Now if you take that exact same scenario, but it is your second offense or beyond, then you could very possibly be facing a felony charge, one to six years of incarceration, and a maximum fine of $25,000.
Once you go beyond that possession amount, the lines become quite thin. You can be most assured a felony charge will be placed. For example, if caught with possession of 30 to 500 grams on your person, it will make no impact on the decision of whether or not a felony or misdemeanor is charged.
Unlike cannabis, cocaine and heroin offenses are much more serious in all cases. Whether or not you are a repeat offender still plays a role in how severe the ultimate consequences will be. However, it will have no impact on if it will be a misdemeanor or felony. It is a mandatory felony in all cocaine/heroin-related circumstances. Possession of less than one gram of either substance is a mandatory class 4 felony and a one to three year prison sentence. In regards to possession of a quantity between 15 to 100 grams, the sentence is likely going to be between three and 15 years.
In cases in which one is charged with a manufacturing and/or distribution offense, you can almost guarantee a large amount of the controlled substance being seized (unless further evidence shows intent on distribution and/or tools of manufacturing). This year, many large busts have already been occurring across the country. The most recent was in New York or just weeks beforehand right here in Chicago.
For consequences on the low end of a manufacturing/distribution offense, it would be a mandatory class 3 felony which brings a minimum two-to-five-year prison sentence. On the other side of that spectrum, it would be the most critical felony of class X. Class X felonies bring a minimum term of imprisonment of six to 30 years. Depending on the type and weight of the substance(s) in question, you could be facing a critically higher term of 15 to 60 years of imprisonment.
According to Illinois law, further punishment of up to a $100,000 fine will be handed down in situations in which the person(s) has knowingly used a “cellular radio telecommunication device in furtherance of controlled substance trafficking.”
If in any worst case scenario, if you or a loved one are seeking legal counsel, you should seek a trusted expert. Contact David Freidberg Attorney at law at (312) 560-7100 for further information and guidance.
(image courtesy of Esteban Lopez)