If you are found to be in possession of an illegal drug or controlled substance, you could be arrested and charged with a misdemeanor or felony offense. The type of offense charged is dependent upon the type of drug and the quantity of that drug found.
Possession of a small amount of marijuana, for example, is much less serious than possession of crack cocaine or unlawful possession of a prescription narcotic.
Penalties are heavily influenced by the drug, amount, and defendant's criminal record, but typically include fines and incarceration. Possible penalties could include:
- Under 2.5 grams: Fines up to $1500 and incarceration in county jail up to 30 days
- 2.5 to 10 grams: Fines up to $1500 and incarceration in county jail up to six months
- 10 to 30 grams (Felony): Fines from $2500 to $25,000 and incarceration from one year in county jail to three years in penitentiary
- 30 to 500 grams (Felony): Fines up to $25,000 and incarceration in penitentiary up to five years
- First offense: Fines up to $1500 and up to 30 days in county jail
- Second offense: Fines up to $1500 and up to 6 months in county jail
Offenses involving cocaine, heroin, morphine, meth, LSD, or lysergic acid (felony)
- 15 to 100 grams: Fines up to $200,000 and 4-15 years in penitentiary
- 100 to 400 grams: Fines up to $200,000 and 6-30 years in penitentiary
- 400 to 900 grams: Fines up to $200,000 or street value of the drug and 8-40 years in penitentiary
- Above 900 grams: Fines up to $200,000 or street value of the drug and 10-50 years in penitentiary
Despite the disparity in potential penalties, it is important to remember that all drug charges should be treated seriously, that all drug charges carry imprisonment as possible consequence of conviction and that all convictions will result having in a permanent criminal record.
Enlist aggressive defense
Our criminal defense team staunchly believes in your rights to effective legal representation, and we will defend your constitutional rights against unlawful search and seizure. Retaining an experienced and highly-trained attorney may be the only chance you have of avoiding a criminal conviction.
In Chicago, first-time offenders may seek alternative sentencing as opposed to jail time, such as treatment programs or probation officer supervision. Drug courts allow people who are charged with drug crimes to keep their records clean and complete a rehabilitation program instead. If you are a first-time offender or if you are facing misdemeanor charges, you may want to discuss this with your Chicago criminal defense attorney at the outset.
At Fagan, Fagan & Davis we are dedicated to providing powerful advocacy for our clients, and if you are facing drug charges of any nature, we can help. Don't risk your future in the hands of a public defender; call our effective team today!