An Overview Of Drug Laws In Illinois
Being arrested on a drug charge in Illinois can have serious, even life-altering, consequences. If you are convicted, you may have to endure the following:
- A lengthy prison term
- Huge fines, sometimes climbing into the six-figure range
- Loss of child custody or visitation rights
- The crime remaining permanently on background checks, which can impact your ability to find housing or a job
The Law Office of Frank A. Tedesso frequently works with clients from the Chicago metro area facing drug possession or distribution charges. We have represented clients who have been charged with possession of cocaine, heroin, meth and prescription drugs, or who have run afoul of the state’s cannabis laws. We also work with out-of-state clients arrested in Illinois and clients charged with drug trafficking charges.
Illinois Drug Laws: What You Need To Know
The state divides drug offenses into two main categories: possession of a controlled substance, and possession with intent to manufacture or deliver (distribute), which is punished more severely.
Sentences for felony drug possession convictions in the state vary to some degree depending upon the controlled substance and the amount possessed, but overall, prison time can range from one to 30 years, and fines assessed can reach as high as $200,000.
In order to prosecute a defendant on a drug charge, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:
- The substance found in the defendant’s possession was the drug he or she was charged with possessing
- The defendant knowingly had the drug in his or her possession
- The substance was under the defendant’s immediate and exclusive possession
Defenses And Options In Drug Crime Cases
Our firm’s lawyer will examine the evidence against you and determine if there have been errors in the law enforcement investigation, credibility issues with persons providing evidence for the prosecution, or extenuating circumstances that may have influenced your situation.
Another option, if you do not have prior felony convictions on drug charges, may be participation in the state’s Deferred Prosecution Program, a year-long intensive program that aims to deter future criminal behavior. If you are successful in completing this program, the prosecution will dismiss your felony charge.