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Rolling Meadows Drug Crimes Lawyer

Rolling Meadows Drug Crimes Defense Lawyer

Drug Arrest Defense Attorney with Offices in Oakbrook Terrace, Rolling Meadows, and Chicago

When faced with a drug crime, you may be unsure about how serious this is. For example, maybe your high school or college student has been accused of selling ADHD drugs like Ritalin or Adderall as a study aid. Or perhaps, during a traffic stop for driving under the influence, a family member was caught in possession of marijuana, which is treated very differently under federal versus Illinois state law. The charges might even involve one of today's scariest drugs, such as heroin or fentanyl, the opioids and synthetic opioids known for causing many overdose deaths.

At Hartsfield Law, we understand how stressful it can be when you or a family member is facing drug charges. A drug conviction can have far-reaching effects, impacting eligibility for student financial aid, military service, firearms ownership, some types of employment, and some housing opportunities. In addition, most felony convictions remain permanently on your record, with no option for record sealing or expungement.

Understanding the Seriousness of Drugs Charges

The federal Controlled Substances Act, which is implemented and enforced by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, classifies drugs into several levels of seriousness, based on their acceptability for medical use, the potential for abuse, and risk of addiction. When someone is charged with a violation of federal drug law, the penalties vary based on the drug's classification. Schedule 1 drugs are considered the most dangerous and therefore receive the harshest penalties.

The state of Illinois also has its own set of drug laws, including the Illinois Controlled Substances Act (720 ILCS 570), the Cannabis Control Act (720 ILCS 550), and the Methamphetamine Control and Community Protection Act (720 ILCS 646). Illinois generally follows the federal law with regard to drug classifications. The treatment of marijuana is the most notable difference; Illinois has legalized cannabis for medical use, and the state has decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana. In general, when someone is charged with a violation of state drug laws, the penalties are not as harsh as the federal penalties.

Here are some examples of the more commonly-known drugs that fall into each classification:

  • Schedule I: Illegal fentanyl compounds, heroin, LSD, MDMA (Ecstasy), methamphetamine (meth, speed), methaqualone (Quaaludes), peyote.
  • Schedule II: Amphetamines (Dexedrine, Adderall), cocaine, full-strength codeine, prescription fentanyl, hydrocodone (Vicodin), hydromorphone (Dilaudid), morphine, opium in raw form, meperidine (Demerol), oxycodone (OxyContin), methylphenidate (Ritalin).
  • Schedule III: Anabolic steroids, some codeine combinations (Tylenol with Codeine); ketamine (Special K).
  • Schedule IV: Alprazolam (Xanax), diazepam (Valium), flunitrazepam (rohypnol/roofies).

Felony Drug Crimes and Penalties Under Illinois Law

The federal and state drug laws are extremely complex with regard to the penalties for drug crimes, taking into account the type of drug, the weight involved, the location of a sale (near a school, for instance), and the recipient (e.g., sales to minors).

Under Illinois law (720 ILCS 570/401), it is, at the very least, a Class 4 felony to be in possession of any amount of illegal drugs or in possession of legal medications without a valid prescription (with a few exceptions, such as cannabis and anabolic steroids). A Class 4 felony is punishable by one to three years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000. The felony class, jail time, and fines rise significantly for higher quantities of drugs.

Possession of large quantities of the most dangerous drugs rises to the most serious Class X felony, punishable by prison sentences as long as 60 years, with fines in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Even more serious are the crimes of drug trafficking across state lines (720 ILCS 570/401.1) and engaging in a calculated criminal drug conspiracy (720 ILCS 570/405).

Penalties for Anabolic Steroid Possession in Illinois

Possession of any quantity of anabolic steroid is a Class C misdemeanor for the first offense, punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,500.

Penalties for Marijuana (Cannabis) Possession in Illinois

Under Illinois law, possession of marijuana (cannabis) is a civil offense for a quantity under 10 grams, punishable by a fine of $100 to $200. Possession is a Class B misdemeanor for 10-30 grams, a Class A misdemeanor for 30-100 grams, and a Class 4 felony for 100-500 grams.

A Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help

When drug crimes are involved, you need the assistance of an experienced Rolling Meadows defense lawyer. Hartsfield Law has the depth of experience you need to achieve the best possible outcome. For a free initial consultation, call 312-345-1700. We serve clients throughout the Chicago area, with an emphasis on Cook County and DuPage County from our offices in Oakbrook Terrace, Rolling Meadows, and Chicago.

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