Drug crime charges are incredibly serious offenses, and can result in major fines, lengthy prison terms, and life-changing consequences for anyone who is convicted. Worse, the laws are so extensive and complicated and there are so many that you may not even understand what you did to get charged.
That’s why it’s so important to get in touch with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible if you have recently been charged with a drug crime in our state. When you sit down for your free initial consultation, your defense lawyer can explain your charges to you, make sure you understand the potential consequences that you are up against, and offer advice on how to proceed with your case.
Our state has so many statutes on the books that deal with drug-related crimes that it is impossible to fit all of them into a simple post. Most of these are pretty “straightforward” drug crimes that just about everyone knows about. Things such as selling drugs, growing/manufacturing drugs, or providing illegal drugs to people. However, in Illinois, there are also a number of ways to commit a drug crime that you may not have been aware of, such as:
- Possession of drug paraphernalia. You know that you are not allowed to have any illegal drugs in your possession, but did you know that you can also be charged with a drug crime for owning, say, a bong? Even if you just bought it because you thought it looked cool and you’ve never used drugs before. The simple act of possessing paraphernalia associated with drugs is a crime in and of itself.
- Providing a minor with Kratom. Also as of 2014, Illinois made it illegal for anyone under 18 to purchase or consume Kratom, an herbal “supplement” believed to stimulate a heroin-like high. It is also a crime punishable by law if you provide a minor with any drug, from alcohol to marijuana to other illicit drugs.
- Intent to sell or deliver. Many people are surprised to be charged with possession with intent to deliver when they expected a simple possession charge. “Intent to deliver” can be incredibly serious depending on the type of drug and the amount you have. Why might you get slapped with this charge? Often, if you have a high amount of a drug, it’s often assumed that you have an “intent to sell,” even if you claim medical use. Other things that can be used as evidence of your intent include carrying a lot of cash and having people frequently pop in and out of your home.
- Borrowing (or loaning) prescription pain medication. Unless the person using it has a valid script from a doctor, prescription medication is considered a controlled substance and is illegal. This means that if you’re suffering from pain and your buddy gives you some of his Vicodin (or vice versa), both of you can be charged with a drug crime.
How to Fight Drug Crime Charges
If you’ve been charged with a drug crime of any kind, you owe it to yourself to fight back. And the best way to do this is to seek out a criminal defense attorney who understands how these types of cases work. Often, there have been liberties taken by the police and investigators that need to be evaluated. Or evidence that has been overlooked. A successful defense lawyer will know how to craft the best possible defense strategy for you to help get your charges reduced, dropped, or dismissed.
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.