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Drug Possession

Crystal Lake Drug Possession Defense Lawyers

Attorneys Serving McHenry County & the Surrounding Areas

Drug possession carries serious consequences in Illinois, even if the quantity is small. The exact penalties associated with a conviction for drug possession will depend in part on the type of drug and the amount possessed. However, other factors also impact sentencing for drug possession, including the defendant’s prior criminal history (or lack thereof) and the strength or weakness of the prosecution’s case.

If you’ve been charged with possession of a controlled substance in Illinois, an experienced criminal defense lawyer can be your most powerful resource. For example, we may be able to:

  • Suppress evidence, making it more difficult for the prosecution to prove its case
  • Negotiate for a plea to a reduced charge with less serious penalties
  • Negotiate or argue for alternative sentencing and treatment under the TASC program
  • Win your case at trial

Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities (TASC) Program

The TASC program allows for certain adults with substantive abuse issues who are facing felony charges to be sentenced to probation and treatment in lieu of prison. The goal of the program is to encourage and facilitate completion of treatment and counseling, so as to reduce repeat offenses and related crime.

Possession of Marijuana

Cannabis is not technically a drug and is covered by the Cannabis Control Act rather than the Illinois Controlled Substances Act. Still, possession of marijuana is one of the most common “drug possession” charges in Illinois.

Possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana is a civil violation in Illinois, carrying a fine of $100-200. However, larger quantities can carry serious penalties.

Quantity of Marijuana Possessed Classification of Crime Sentencing Range
10+ to 30 grams Class B Misdemeanor Up to 6 months in jail
30+ to 100 grams Class A Misdemeanor Up to 1 year in jail
100+ to 500 grams Class 4 Felony 1 – 3 years in prison
500+ to 2,000 grams Class 3 Felony 2 – 5 years in prison
2,000+ to 5,000 grams Class 2 Felony 3 – 7 years in prison
5,000+ grams Class 1 Felony 6 – 30 years in prison

The classification and possible penalties for certain marijuana possession crimes may “level up” for a second offense. For example, a second offense possession of more than 30 but not more than 100 grams crime is a Class 4 felony.

Possession of Controlled Substances

Sentencing for possession of controlled substances varies depending on the type of drug and the amount possessed.
While there are a few exceptions, most unlawful possession of a controlled substance charges are felonies. Exceptions include:

  • Possession of ephedrine and certain other dietary supplements
  • Possession of anabolic steroid

Classification and sentencing for other controlled substances are much harsher, and are a bit complicated. For example, possession of any of the following drugs is a Class 1 felony, carrying a possible sentence of 4-15 years:

  • At least one gram, but less than 15 grams of heroin or cocaine
  • At least 10 grams, but less than 15 grams of morphine
  • At least 50 grams, but less than 200 grams of peyote
  • At least five grams, but less than 15 grams of LSD

Possession of 15 grams or more of cocaine or heroin is a Class X felony, with the following possible penalties:

Quantity Possessed Sentencing Range
At least 15 but less than 100 grams of heroin or cocaine 6 – 30 years
At least 100 but less than 400 grams of heroin or cocaine 9 – 40 years
At least 400 but less than 900 grams of heroin or cocaine 12 – 50 years
900 or more grams of heroin or cocaine 15 – 60 years

The crime is charged based on the amount of the substance containing the drug. So, for example, 20 grams of a substance containing 80% cocaine and 20 grams of a substance containing 20% cocaine will both be charged as Class X felonies with a possible sentence of six to 30 years.

Additional Consequences of a Drug Conviction

Drug convictions may carry many additional consequences, some direct and some indirect. Some examples include:

  • Large fines
  • Forfeiture of property
  • Disqualification from certain government benefits
  • Restrictions on eligibility for some housing

Talk to an Experienced McHenry County Drug Possession Attorney

If you’ve been charged with possession of a controlled substance in Illinois, you can’t afford to take a wait-and-see approach. Schedule a consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to learn about your options and possible defenses.