Chicago Controlled Substances Defense Attorneys
Have you recently been arrested for possessing a controlled substance? Did this happen in or around the greater Chicago metropolitan area? The Chicago drug crime lawyers at Mitchell S. Sexner & Associates LLC highly recommend that you don't waste another minute and contact our office now to schedule a free consultation.
Our Toll-Free Number Is (800) 996-4824
Whether this is your first offense or just your most recent brush with the law, you're probably concerned about the possible implications of your arrest. Illinois is known for its tough stance on drug crimes and state prosecutors will do everything they can to aggressively prosecute your case. Drug arrests may land you in a state penitentiary or subject you to thousands of dollars in fines. But by exercising your rights and retaining strong legal counsel, you may be able to avoid a negative outcome.
Why Should I Contact Your Chicago Controlled Substance Lawyers?
For over 25 years, Mitchell S. Sexner & Associates LLC has represented people arrested for drug possession and sale throughout the Chicago area. We know how to navigate the various courthouses, whether in Cook, Lake, Kane, McHenry, Will, DuPage, Kendall or Dekalb counties. We understand the legal angles and we're fully prepared to use whatever resources we have to secure your freedom. So, give us a call at (800) 996-4824 and let us show you exactly how we can help in a free and confidential consultation.
Types of Controlled Substances in Illinois
In Illinois, like every other State, and under our Federal system, there are laws on the books that make it a crime to possess, deliver, distribute, manufacture, etc. any Controlled Substance. Illinois has adopted a "Schedule " (list) of Controlled Substances that mirrors the Federal Schedules. The purpose behind the schedules is to identify dangerous substances, rank them according to their level of danger, and fashion penalties that meet the needs of law enforcement and society. There are five separate schedules presently in Illinois which include:
- Schedule I: These are substances that have a high potential for abuse and have no currently accepted medical use for treatment in the United States, or are unsafe for use in treatment.
- Examples of substances listed under Schedule I are Heroin, MDA, MDMA, LSD, Peyote, Psilocybin, and Methaqualone.
- Schedule II: These are substances that carry a high potential for abuse, but do have currently accepted medical use in treatment with severe restrictions, and the abuse of the substance may lead to severe physical or psychological dependence.
- Examples of the numerous drugs listed under Schedule II are Opium, Hydrocodone, Codeine, and Cocaine.
- Schedule III: These have a lower potential for abuse than the substances under I or II, are currently accepted for medicinal treatments, and the abuse of the drug may lead to moderate or low physical or psychological dependence.
- Examples of the numerous drugs listed under Schedule III are certain depressants, anabolic steroids, and even some hallucinogens.
- Schedule IV: These have a low potential for abuse as compared to schedule III, have accepted medical uses for treatment, and abuse may lead to limited physical or psychological dependence compared to Schedule III.
- Examples of the numerous drugs listed under Schedule IV are mostly prescription drugs, such as Phenobarbital.
- Schedule V: These have an even lower possibility of abuse than schedule IV drugs, are currently accepted for use in treatment, and abuse may lead to limited mental or physical dependence compared to schedule IV, or the substance is a targeted methamphetamine precursor.
Not all controlled substances are as serious a threat to public safety and to public health as others, as reflected by the above drug schedules. In order to effectively deal with the threat that controlled substances have with respect to the health, safety and welfare of Illinois residents, our legislators enacted The Cannabis Control Act, The Illinois Controlled Substances Act, and in 2005, the Methamphetamine Control and Community Protection Act.
Each of these Acts contains a series of laws that address the penalties for certain violations. For example, Cannabis is treated less seriously than controlled substances, and possession of any controlled substance is considered less severe than the manufacturing of, delivery of, or possession with intent to deliver or distribute any controlled substance.
Sale, Delivery & Manufacture of Controlled Substances
As for controlled substances such as heroin, cocaine, LSD, and numerous other drugs described in the five schedules discussed above, Illinois law intends to punish the distributors and traffickers more harshly than the users and those addicted to the drugs. Various drugs and the quantities are listed, along with their corresponding penalties. There are simply too many to list here, but by way of example, here are the penalties for the manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver, heroin, fentanyl or cocaine. The following quantities are Class X felonies, and are what lawyers and judges refer to as "Super X felonies " because of the enhanced mandatory sentencing ranges:
- 15 grams or more, but less than 100 grams - 6-30 years;
- 100 grams or more, but less than 400 grams - 9-40 years;
- 400 grams or more, but less than 900 grams - 12-50 years;
- 900 gram or more - 15-60 years.
Smaller Sales of Controlled Substances
As for the "small time street dealer", the law imposes penalties for dealing in lesser quantities. For example, the drugs mentioned above in the following quantities are punished as Class 1 felonies, for which a fine shall not exceed $250,000:
- 1 or more, but not more than 15 grams - Class 1 felony (Note: 3 or more grams of heroin, or 5 or more grams of cocaine or fentanyl, carry mandatory prison terms of 4-15 years in addition to the fines and other penalties)
- Any amount less than 1 gram - Class 2 felony with a fine up to $200,000.
Controlled Substances Trafficking
As with cannabis, there is also a controlled substances trafficking statute. It works the same way, by punishing more severely those that import the drugs by doubling up the range of sentences for imprisonment and fines. Also, the law punishes as a separate penalty, in addition to any other penalties imposed by law, the knowing use of a cell phone in furtherance of the trafficking.
Additional Enhanced Penalties
In addition to school grounds, the Act also protects truck stops, churches, parks and public housing with enhanced penalties for violations based upon the quantities involved. It also doubles up the penalties for those over 18 that deal to those under 18, or those that deal to pregnant women. For those over 18 that would use kids under 18 to deliver their drugs, the penalty is triple the range for the actual violation. Be reminded, these penalties apply to the drugs, their salts, isomers, derivatives, as well as look-alike substances.
Controlled Substance Conspiracy
The Act also punishes those that conspire to manufacture, deliver, or possess with intent to manufacture of deliver, or even merely possess controlled substances. Controlled Substance Conspiracy occurs when two or more individuals agree to commit a violation or violations of the Act, and they take a substantial step towards that end. Even if the end is not accomplished, one can still be convicted, and if convicted, the sentence is exactly the same based upon the quantities involved.
Special Drug Sentences and Probations to Help Stay out of Jail
As stated before, whether the charge involves cannabis, other controlled substances, or meth, the law punishes the mere possession less severely than manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to deliver. Of course, the larger the quantities being possessed, the penalties increase, and when it comes to controlled substances and meth, it is possible to possess a quantity large enough to face sentencing as a Class X offender.
Not every case leads to the penitentiary however. Unless a statute specifically prohibits probation (such as a Class X felony, or a non-probationable Class 1 felony), probation is an option in many cases. Also, whether the drug is cannabis, a controlled substance, or meth, there are provisions in each Act for a special type of first offender probation, which if completed satisfactorily, is eligible to be expunged completely from one’s records.
These forms of probation are for up to 24 months, they require random blood or urine testing for the presence of controlled substances, participation in substance abuse counseling, and other related conditions. Once expunged from one’s record, in most cases, one legally does not need to disclose the arrest or probation to anyone, including job applications, when they ask for records of convictions.
This form of first offender probation is deemed to not be a conviction, and successful completion is legally the same as having been discharged without a finding of guilt, and it cannot be used as the basis to deny one what they might otherwise be entitled to by law.
Speak to an Experienced Drug Defense Attorney
Whether you, or someone close to you, are charged with any type of drug offense, you need the help of experienced Chicago criminal defense attorneys that know the law and have the experience and the knowledge to fight for your rights, your freedom and your good name. You cannot expect to successfully fight serious charges like these in court on your own; you need the lawyers such as those at Mitchell S. Sexner and Associates LLC at your side. Call us today at (800) 996-4824 to schedule an appointment for an absolutely free, no obligation, confidential, consultation. With offices in Chicago, Arlington Heights, and appointments elsewhere, we are conveniently located and ready to assist you. Call today.