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Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney
Former Cook County Felony Prosecutor

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IL Drug Crimes: When Are They a Class X Felony?

There are federal laws against drugs, but these cases are handled at the state level most of the time. Due to this division, you can find varying laws between states when it comes to drugs – and some states are harsher than others.

Illinois has drug laws that run the gamut, from misdemeanor crimes to the most serious of felonies, known as Class X felonies. A Class X felony conviction can have a serious and lasting impact on your life, so it’s vital to understand what it means if you are facing this type of charge.

Here’s what you need to know about Class X drug felonies in Illinois.

What Is an Illinois Class X Felony

In the state of Illinois, Class X felonies are the most serious crimes that can be committed short of first-degree murder. If you are found guilty of a Class X crime, probation is not an option – you will be required to serve prison time.

If a person doesn’t have a criminal record, they can still face a prison sentence under the law in the state if they are charged with a Class X felony. The most common drug-related Class X felony is possession of a controlled substance with the intent to distribute, but the following crimes also fall under this category:

In terms of Class X felonies related to drugs, certain controlled substances that you are accused of possessing with the intent to deliver include:

  • Fentanyl
  • LSD
  • Heroin
  • Morphine
  • Cocaine

How you’re penalized if found guilty depends on which substance and the amount of the substance in your possession at the time of the arrest.

You can also face charges for possession of additional substances, such as peyote, amphetamine, barbituric acid, PCP, oxycodone, and ketamine, as well as other Schedule  I or II drugs.

Penalties for Class X Drug Crimes

As mentioned, the specific type of drug in your possession with the intent to deliver will inform what a sentence for a Class X felony will be. They include:

  • Possession of up to 99 grams – As much as 30 years in prison
  • Possession of between 100 and 399 grams – As much as 40 years in prison
  • Possession of between 400 and 899 grams – As much as 50 years in prison
  • Possession of over 900 grams – As much as 60 years in prison

If a hallucinogenic drug is involved, like LSD, then the penalty reflects how much of the drug in object form, such as on blotter paper or in capsules, you were found with:

  • Possession of up to 199 objects – As much as 30 years in prison
  • Possession of between 200 and 599 objects – As much as 40 years in prison
  • Possession of between 600 and 1499 objects – As much as 50 years in prison
  • Possession of over 1500 objects – As much as 60 years in prison

, IL Drug Crimes: When Are They a Class X Felony?

On top of these prison sentences, you may be asked to pay fines of as much as $500,000 – or the street value of the controlled substance in question, whichever is more money.

A Class X felony has a serious impact on a person’s life, so it’s vital to understand what the charges mean if you are charged with one and what your rights are to fight back.

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 in 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.

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