Finding yourself in police custody facing drug possession or distribution charges is a serious matter. Both charges may result in serious consequences and penalties, but the severity of the punishment as well as opportunities for relief depend on the type of illegal substance and the amount or weight of the material in your possession at the time of arrest.
Possession or Distribution
Possession of a controlled substance is generally defined as having illegal drugs on your person or on or around your personal property such as an automobile. Under Illinois law, the following may apply when facing a possession charge:
- Those found in possession of up to 15 grams may be granted probation.
- Prior felony or drug convictions make probation more difficult to obtain.
Distribution, which is included under the broader term of “drug trafficking” is viewed as a more serious matter because it involves the production and sale of illegal substances to others. The Illinois Controlled Substances Act thoroughly defines various illegal substances and the penalties for distributing those substances. It is important to know that:
- Aggressive prosecution of drug traffickers is considered the main weapon in combating drug distribution.
- The amount or weight of an illegal substance in your possession at the time of arrest often impacts the charges and penalties one may face.
Decriminalization of Marijuana in Illinois
About one year ago, the state of Illinois enacted new legislation decriminalizing possession of smaller amounts of marijuana. The new law changed the offense from a class B misdemeanor, that could have resulted in up to six months in jail and a fine costing as much as $1,500, to a ticketed offense similar to that of a traffic violation. Provisions of the new law include:
- Possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana results in a citation.
- Fines may range from $100 to $200.
- Individual municipalities may implement other fines or penalties, including requiring an individual to attend a drug treatment program.
- Citations would be automatically expunged on January 1st and July 1st of each year.
Retain an Experienced Illinois Drug Crimes Lawyer to Protect Your Rights
Secure professional and knowledgeable legal help from a Will County Criminal Drug Defense attorney to ensure you receive fair and equitable treatment by prosecutors and criminal courts. The Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba will pursue all legal avenues available in providing an aggressive defense on your behalf while seeking the best possible results available under the law.