Illinois enforces severe consequences for drug crimes, and the penalties are among the most extreme in the United States. It is therefore essential that all drug crimes cases are managed with great care and competence. The state imposes particularly costly fines and lengthy prison sentences with the express intention of ridding the streets of offenders. If you or a loved one has been charged with a drug crime, read the information below carefully and contact one of our skilled drug lawyers to ensure an aggressive defense for your possession of methamphetamine case.
Methamphetamines have grown rapidly in recent years in terms of recreational use, in part because of their highly addictive nature. Also known as “Crystal Meth”, the drug has an almost unparalleled ability to take over and ruin the lives of its users, apart from the dire legal consequences upon conviction. Accordingly, it is among the most serious of controlled substance charges. “Possession” simply means under your control, so if someone else temporarily places their meth in the glove box of your car, you become responsible for the substance.
In Illinois, methamphetamine charges usually occur in two broad categories: “simple possession” under 720 ILCS 570/402 or manufacturing/delivering/possessing with intent to deliver under 720 ILCS 570/401. Simple possession charges typically occur when only a small amount has been seized in a single baggy and there is no scale in the vicinity. If the details of your arrest differ from this scenario, you could face more serious charges for possession with intent to deliver.
The charges for possession of meth are extremely serious and have the potential to permanently alter your life. At present, penalties are as follows:
1 to 15 grams: Up to 3 years in prison and $25,000
15 to 99 grams: Up to 15 years in prison and $200,000
100 to 399 grams: Up to 30 years in prison and $200,000 or the street value of the drug
400 to 899 grams: Up to 40 years in prison and $200,000 or the street value of the drug
900+ grams: Up to 50 years in prison and $200,000 or the street value of the drug
There are additional laws which could double your sentence, for example being caught with possession within 1000 feet of a church, school, or public park. Your property, including your car and home, could also be seized if there is adequate reason to believe they were used in the crime.
Despite the severe penalties for these charges, an excellent attorney can assist you in securing the most hopeful future. In cases where there isn’t extensive criminal history, it may be possible to secure a sentence with probation instead of incarceration.
Because police must follow highly rigorous procedures during an arrest and seizure of evidence, there is a possibility that your case may be dismissed or the charges substantially lessened. If a search is completed without a valid warrant, a confidential informer provides biased information, or your rights are violated in any other way, a skilled attorney can use these weaknesses in the case to your advantage.
Ideally your case will be dismissed or you will be issued a “not guilty” verdict. Failing these, it may be possible to avoid a conviction—and the subsequent incarceration and/or fines—by obtaining court-ordered supervision or placement in a deferred-prosecution program. If you qualify for a deferred-prosecution program, you must complete the program successfully in order to have a chance at having your case dismissed. Programs typically consist of treatment for substance abuse, regular drug tests, and drug education classes.
The best course of action will depend on the specific circumstances of your case. One of our drug defense attorneys will be able to analyze your arrest and the evidence against you to help determine the best defense strategy possible.
Michael Schmiege runs a boutique firm of nationally recognized criminal defense lawyers for Will County, including the cities of Joliet, Bolingbrook, Plainfield, Romeoville, Lockport, and New Lenox. Give your future the best chance with our highly skilled defense strategies and understanding of prosecutor tactics. Aggressive, skilled legal counsel is always your best chance for a favorable outcome when your future is in jeopardy. Contact us immediately to ensure you have strong legal representation for drug charges in Will County.
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