If you are accused of committing a drug-related crime, you could face criminal charges in the state of Illinois. Minor drug crimes, such as possessing a small quantity of marijuana, will generally result in misdemeanor charges. However, more serious drug crimes, such as possession of heroin with the intent to distribute, typically result in felony charges.
Under 720 ILCS 570/402, anyone convicted of a drug crime in Illinois can face jail time, as well as serious financial penalties.
Generally, the severity of the charges you face will depend on the quantity of the controlled substance in your possession and the type of controlled substance in your possession. In Illinois, controlled substances are classified into five categories, ranging from Schedule I to Schedule V. Drugs like heroin that have the highest potential for addiction and abuse, and no accepted medical use, are classified as Schedule I. Drugs that people are unlikely to become addicted to, such as cough medicines with codeine, are classified as Schedule V.
For example, possession of a large quantity of cocaine, a Schedule I drug, could result in felony drug possession charges. Felonies are divided into five classes, including Class 1, 2, 3, 4, and X. Possession of less than one gram of cocaine is classified as a Class 4 felony, which could result in a one to three-year prison sentence. However, if you are in possession of a larger amount of cocaine, you could be hit with a drug distribution charge, which is more serious than a possession charge. A drug distribution charge could be classified as a Class 3 felony, or in the most serious cases, a Class X felony. Class X felonies could result in a minimum of six to 30 years in prison, and a maximum of 15 to 60 years in prison.
If you are facing felony drug charges, it may be beneficial for you to contact an Illinois criminal defense attorney with experience in dealing with drug cases. Your attorney can come up with an effective defense strategy and guide you throughout the legal process.