Busted With Cocaine in IL? Here’s What to Expect
Over the past several years, the war on drugs in Illinois has taken a bit of a turn. Marijuana is now medically and recreationally legal. Additionally, some small amounts of other controlled substances have been decriminalized.
However, there are still some controlled substances the state of Illinois takes very seriously – cocaine is one of those substances. Cocaine is considered addictive, with a high potential for abuse.
If you have gotten arrested in Illinois for possession of cocaine, then it’s vital to understand what you’re up against and how an experienced attorney can help you.
The Classification of Cocaine in Illinois
Under Illinois law, cocaine is a Schedule I substance. This means it has a high potential for abuse and dependency, but doesn’t have an acceptable medical use. Other drugs, such as heroin, are also Schedule I drugs and are the most harshly penalized in the state when you are found with certain amounts in your possession.
Illinois Possession of Cocaine Penalties
If you are found guilty of possessing cocaine, the penalties you face depend heavily on the amount of cocaine in your possession at the time of your arrest.
Here is a breakdown of the amounts and the level of crime you can get charged with for each:
Less Than 15 Grams of Cocaine
A Class 4 felony, possession of 15 grams or less of cocaine can send you to prison for up to three years. You may also get fined up to $25,000.
Between 15 and 100 Grams of Cocaine
A Class 1 felony, having between 15 and 100 grams of cocaine in your possession can send you to prison for as many as 15 years. The judge may also order you to pay fines of as much as $25,000.
Between 100 and 400 Grams of Cocaine
Having between 100 and 400 grams of cocaine in your possession is also a Class 1 felony. However, it can send you to prison for up to 30 years, depending on the exact amount. You can also get fined as much as $200,000, though the judge can ask you to pay an amount equivalent to the drug’s street value.
Between 400 and 900 Grams of Cocaine
Another Class 1 felony, possessing cocaine in this amount can send you to prison for as many as 40 years. You also can be ordered to pay fines in the amount of the street value of the drug or $200,000.
900 Grams or More of Cocaine
Yet another Class 1 felony, having cocaine in this amount is the most serious. Penalties include a prison sentence up to 50 years and fines for up to either the drug’s street value or $200,000.
Defending Yourself Against Possession Charges
If you’ve been charged with possession of cocaine in Illinois, don’t give up. An experienced attorney can help you to navigate the court system and help you to formulate the best defense for your case. How you and your lawyer choose to defend your case depends on the circumstances surrounding it, but rest assured that many people have faced these types of charges and had successful outcomes.
About the Author:
Andrew M. Weisberg is a former felony prosecutor who now serves as a defense attorney in the greater Chicago area. He has extensive experience handling all types of criminal cases, from sex offenses and domestic violence to retail theft-related crimes, murder, and drug crimes. His work has been recognized by Avvo, Expertise, National Trial Lawyers, and others, and he has been featured on countless news outlets for his experience and knowledge in criminal law.