Can I Face Criminal Charges for Possession of Marijuana in Illinois?
Since 2020, people in Illinois have been able to legally use marijuana for both medical and recreational purposes. The state’s laws allow adults (21 years old and up) to possess a certain amount of marijuana, and cannabis and cannabis products can be legally purchased at licensed dispensaries. However, there are still some situations where people may face criminal charges for marijuana possession. By understanding the applicable laws, people charged with marijuana-related offenses can determine their rights and their options for defense.
Unlawful Cannabis Possession in Illinois
Residents of Illinois who are over the age of 21 can possess up to 30 grams of cannabis plants, five grams of concentrated cannabis, or products infused with cannabis containing 500 milligrams of THC (the psychoactive chemical in marijuana). People who do not reside in Illinois may enter the state and purchase and possess marijuana, although they are limited to possessing 15 grams of cannabis plants, 2.5 grams of cannabis concentrates, and 250 milligrams of THC.
Possession of marijuana in excess of the legal limits may result in criminal charges. Possession of over 30 grams of cannabis is a Class A misdemeanor that may result in a prison sentence of up to one year. Possession of over 100 grams is a Class 4 felony that may result in a sentence of between one and three years in prison. Possession of larger amounts may result in more serious felony charges, and in these cases, a person may be charged with possession with intent to deliver, which may result in more severe consequences.
Other potential offenses related to marijuana possession include:
- Possession of cannabis by a minor – A person under 21 years old may face charges for possession of any amount of marijuana. Generally, if a minor possesses an amount of cannabis that would be within the legal limits for an adult, they may face a civil infraction and be required to pay a monetary fine.
- Possession of cannabis in a motor vehicle – When marijuana is transported in a vehicle, it must be in a sealed container that is not accessible to the driver or passengers while the vehicle is in motion. A violation of this law is similar to the charges for having an open container of alcohol in a vehicle, and a driver or passenger may be charged with a Class A misdemeanor.
Contact Our Will County Marijuana Possession Lawyer
While marijuana has been legalized in Illinois, there are still some situations where possession of this substance may lead to criminal charges. Following an arrest involving any offenses related to marijuana, the Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba, P.C. can help you understand your rights and build a successful defense strategy. Contact our Joliet marijuana charges defense attorney at 815-740-4025 to schedule a free consultation.