Over 63,600 Americans died due to drug overdoses in 2016 and approximately 2,400 of those individuals were Illinois residents. Because of the great risk that illegal drugs pose to the community, Illinois takes drug crimes very seriously. The Illinois Controlled Substances Act criminalizes the possession, manufacture and delivery of controlled substances, including heroin, cocaine, morphine, ketamine, and more. In Illinois, there are two separate crimes which can result from the unlawful possession of a controlled substance: Possession of a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance with intent to manufacture or deliver.
Possession with Intent to Deliver is Punished More Severely
A regular possession conviction can lead to significant fines and even jail time. A possession with intent to sell or deliver conviction carrier even harsher penalties. If you were caught with a large quantity of illicit drugs, you may be charged with intent to deliver. Having items like a scale or small bags in your possession along with the drugs can make it appear as if you intend to sell them. Large amounts of cash can also indicate to law enforcement that you have sold the illicit substances. There are several ways an experienced criminal defense attorney can fight possession or intent to deliver charges, including proving that the police search which discovered the substances was an unlawful search or that the drugs were not knowingly in your possession.
Criminal Penalties for Possession with Intent
If you are convicted of possession of a controlled substance with the intent to distribute or sell, you could be convicted of a felony. If the amount of drugs allegedly found in your possession is less than one gram, this is a Class 2 felony offense which carries penalties including up to seven years’ imprisonment. Possession with intent to sell up to 15 grams of an illegal substance is considered a Class 1 felony offense. It is punishable by 4-15 years in the department of corrections and a maximum fine of $250,000. Possession of more than 15 grams of an illegal drug with intent to sell is a class X felony. Class X felonies in Illinois are non-probationable and can carry fines up to $500,000 and sentences of up to 60 years in the most extreme cases.
Contact a Joliet Illinois Drug Crimes Defense Lawyer
If you have been charged with a drug-related crime, you need an aggressive attorney who can fight on your behalf. To speak with a Joliet criminal defense attorney with experience defending against possession and possession with intent to sell charges, contact the Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba. Call 815-740-4025 to schedule your cost-free, completely confidential initial consultation today.