Joliet Criminal Law Blog

Short answer: yes. The consequences for drug possession in Illinois are wide-ranging, but the act is more severely sentenced here than in many other states, with most possession offenses charged at the felony level.

If convicted, you will likely face a lengthy prison and/or probation sentence, and hefty criminal fines. For felony-level offenses, you will also bear the lifelong consequences associated with being a convicted felon. The criminal record that follows you will tarnish your applications for housing, employment, and loans, and could even compromise child custody cases.

Because of this, if you are facing drug possession charges, it is imperative to take them seriously and be aware of what penalties you may face if convicted. Below you’ll find a breakdown of the consequences for possession of common controlled substances in our state.

Criminal Penalties for Drug Possession in Illinois

The penalties for drug possession depend on the type and amount of substance you are found to be in possession of.

Heroin

Our nation is currently in the midst of an opioid epidemic. Opiate overdoses are now the leading cause of death for adults under 50. Law enforcement has therefore cracked down on heroin possession everywhere.

Illinois is no different. Possession of any amount of heroin is a felony-level offense. The prison sentences for heroin possession are as follows:

  • Under 15 grams: 1-3 years
  • 15-99 grams: 4-15 years
  • 100-399 grams: 6-30 years
  • 400-899 grams: 8-40 years
  • 900+ grams: C10-50 years

Even for amounts less than 15 grams, you could face fines of up to $25,000. For amounts of 15 grams or more, you could face up to $200,000 in fines.

Cocaine

Cocaine is a commonly abused stimulant that is highly addictive, and overdoses or adverse reactions can be fatal. Possession of cocaine is therefore harshly penalized, with any amount considered to be a felony-level offense.

The prison sentences for cocaine possession are as follows:

  • Under 15 grams: 1-3 years
  • 15-99 grams: 4-15 years
  • 100-399 grams: 6-30 years
  • 400-899 grams: 8-40 years
  • 900+ grams: 10-50 years

For amounts under 15 grams, you can be assessed fines of up to $25,000. For larger amounts you could face fines of up to $200,000.

Morphine

Morphine is an opiate-class drug, and as such its possession is severely penalized. Possession of any amount is a felony-level offense.

The prison sentences for morphine possession are as follows:

  • Under 15 grams: 1-3 years
  • 15-99 grams: 4-15 years
  • 100-399 grams: 6-30 years
  • 400-899 grams: 8-40 years
  • 900+ grams: 10-50 years

For amounts under 15 grams, you can be assessed fines of up to $25,000. For larger amounts you could face fines of up to $200,000.

Amphetamines

Amphetamines are stimulants that are popular for their euphoric high, relatively low cost, and wide availability. They are highly addictive, and overdoses and adverse reactions can be fatal. Possession of any amount of amphetamines is a felony-level offense.

The charges and penalties for amphetamine possession are as follows:

  • Under 5 grams: 2-5 years
  • 5-14 grams: 3-7 years
  • 15-100 grams: 4-15 years
  • 400-900 grams: 9-50 years
  • 900+ grams: 10-50 years

For amounts under 100 grams, you could face a fine of up to $25,000. For larger amounts, you could face a fine of up to $200,000.

Cannabis

Although medicinal cannabis has been legalized in Illinois, recreational use is still illegal. However, cannabis possession is not as harshly penalized as the other substances we’ve discussed.

The sentences and penalties for cannabis possession are as follows:

  • 5 grams or less: Class C misdemeanor; up to 30 days incarceration, and/or fines up to $1,500
  • 5-10 grams: Class B misdemeanor; up to six months incarceration, and/or fines up to $1,500
  • 10-29 grams: Class A misdemeanor; up to one year of incarceration, and/or fines up to $2,500
  • 30-499 grams: Class 4 felony; 1-3 years imprisonment, and/or fines up to $25,000
  • 500-1999 grams: Class 3 felony; 2-5 years imprisonment, and/or fines up to $25,000
  • 2000-4999 grams: Class 2 felony; 7-14 years imprisonment, and/or fines up to $25,000
  • 5000+ grams: Class 1 felony; 4-15 years imprisonment, and/or fines up to $25,000

Serious Charges in Illinois Demand a Serious Defense

Criminal Penalties for Drug Possession in Illinois

For serious charges such as these, you need a skilled Joliet criminal defense attorney in order to protect your freedom and your rights. An experienced lawyer with a proven track record of success in drug crime cases can maximize your chance at getting a favorable outcome.

 

About the Author:

 

Neil J. Adams has been fighting for people in and around Joliet since he started practicing law in 1993, but his history here starts even earlier. An attendee of both Joliet Catholic High School and Joliet Junior College, he decided to return to the area he knew so well to make a difference as a lawyer. For years he did this by serving as a prosecutor for Will County, working to secure convictions in criminal cases. Now he uses that knowledge to protect the rights of people who have been charged, working to get them the best possible outcome. His work has not only earned recognition from prestigious legal organizations such as Martindale-Hubbard, but also led to Mr. Adams being featured in the Chicago Sun-Times, on Fox Chicago News, and as an HLN legal analyst for “In Session”.