It is illegal to possess any amount of Marijuana (Cannabis) in Illinois. As the amount increases, so does the severity of the crime and legal penalties for Marijuana possession under Illinois law.
Our attorneys will vigorously defend you, regardless of the amount of marijuana you are alleged to have possessed. Illinois marijuana laws are strict, and until our possession laws are reformed, we will have to fight and defend every charge in court.
Please contact our Illinois defense attorneys for a free legal consultation and case evaluation on any marijuana possession charge.
How Do We Fight Marijuana Charges?
There are many possible legal defenses, but most cases fall into two categories:
- Challenge the Search: Many people are surprised how often the police are sloppy about proper procedure. Your right to be protected from illegal search and seizure is sacred under the Constitution. You cannot be stopped or searched for no reason, without a warrant.
- Challenge “Possession”: Just because a substance was near you, or even in your car or in your home doesn’t mean it was yours and doesn’t mean knew it was there. If friends were with you, we can argue that it may have belonged to someone else.
There are often other things we can to in court to avoid a criminal conviction. In most cases, the primary goal of a marijuana possession defense is to avoid a permanent criminal record that could follow you for the rest of your life, and impact your career and future opportunities in ways you might never consider.
If we can get criminal marijuana charges dismissed in exchange for drug education or treatment programs, or other creative ideas, that can make sense for many people.
We can discuss all the possible legal defense alternatives in a free case evaluation.
Illinois Marijuana Possession Penalties
Under Illinois marijuana laws (720 ILCS 550/4), it is unlawful for any person knowingly to possess cannabis, in any measurable quantity. The penalties for marijuana possession are as follows:
- Not more than 2.5 grams: Class C misdemeanor (up to 30 days in jail, fines up to $2500)
- More than 2.5 grams but not more than 10 grams = Class B misdemeanor;
- More than 10 grams but not more than 30 grams = Class A misdemeanor; (Subsequent offense = Class 4 Felony)
- More than 30 grams but not more than 500 grams = Class 4 Felony; (Subsequent offense = Class 3 felony)
- More than 500 grams but not more than 2,000 grams = Class 3 Felony;
- More than 2,000 grams but not more than 5,000 grams = Class 2 Felony;
- More than 5,000 grams = Class 1 Felony.
For details on potential penalties for each misdemeanor or felony class, see my Illinois Criminal Penalty & Code page.
Marijuana Distribution / Manufacturing Offenses & Penalties
You can be charged with distribution or intent to distribute any quantity of marijuana. Even if the substance in question was for your personal use, how it is packaged, or the presence of common household items (plastic baggies, ties, a scale) may lead to the more serious charges.
We can challenge any intent to distribute marijuana offense, and argue that the charges should be immediately reduced to simple possession. Any time our defense team can take more serious charges and penalty risks off the table, we will argue that point in court.
Under Illinois criminal statutes (720 ILCS 550/5), it is unlawful for any person knowingly to manufacture, deliver, or possess with intent to deliver marijuana/cannabis. The penalties are as follows:
- Not more than 2.5 grams = Class B Misdemeanor;
- More than 2.5 grams but not more than 10 grams = Class A Misdemeanor;
- More than 10 grams but not more than 30 grams = Class 4 Felony;
- More than 30 grams but not more than 500 grams = Class 3 Felony. A fine of up to $50,000 may be imposed;
- More than 500 grams but not more than 2,000 grams = Class 2 Felony. A fine of up to $100,000 may be imposed;
- More than 2,000 grams but not more than 5,000 grams = Class 1 Felony. A fine of up to $150,000 may be imposed;
- More than 5,000 grams = Class X Felony. A fine of up to exceed $200,000 may be imposed.
For any marijuana or drug charge, contact us for a free consultation. We’ll give you a chance to get some answers to what you can expect, and how we can help.