If you are facing Narcotic Drug Possession Offenses in Illinois, you probably already know that you are facing a serious criminal offense that could result in jail time. Illinois drug laws are very tough, and judges are not often sympathetic.
Please contact our defense attorneys now for a free case evaluation to discuss your legal defense options.
(For Marijuana possession charges, please see my marijuana laws and penalties page.)
Drug Possession – Laws & Penalties
It is illegal to possess any amount of Heroin, Cocaine, Morphine, or LSD in Illinois. As the amount increases, so does the severity of the crime and the possible sentence. With the exception of the smallest possession amount, all crimes are Class 1 Felonies. The statute, however, sets out its own sentencing guidelines. See details below.
It is unlawful for any person knowingly to possess narcotics without a prescription under Illinois criminal statute 720 ILCS 570/402. The penalties are as follows:
Possession of Heroin, Cocaine, and Morphine – Penalties
- Less than 15 grams = Class 4 Felony, 1-3 years in prison
- Over 15 grams, but less than 100 grams = not less than 4 years and not more than 15 years, a Class 1 Felony
- Over 100 grams, but less than 400 grams = not less than 6 years and not more than 30 years; a Class 1 Felony
- Over 400 grams, but less than 900 grams = not less than 8 years and not more than 40 years; a Class 1 Felony
- Over 900 grams = not less than 10 years and not more than 50 years.
* In addition, you may be fined for the street value of the drugs found, or up to $200,000.
Possession of LSD – Penalties
- Not less than 15 grams, but less than 100 grams, or between 15 and 199 pieces/tabs of LSD = not less than 4 years and not more than 15 years;
- Not less than 100 grams, but less than 400 grams, or between 200 and 599 pieces/tabs of LSD = not less than 6 years and not more than 30 years;
- Not less than 400 grams, but less than 900 grams, or between 600 and 1499 pieces/tabs of LSD = not less than 8 years and not more than 40 years;
- Not less than 900 grams, or 1500 or more pieces/tabs of LSD = not less than 10 years and not more than 50 years.
Possession of Ecstasy (MDMA, Molly, X) – Penalties
- Under 15 doses = Class 4 Felony, 1-3 years in prison
- Not less than 15 doses, but less than 200 doses = not less than 4 years and not more than 15 years; Class1 Felony
- Not less than 200 doses, but less than 600 doses = not less than 6 years and not more than 30 years; Class1 Felony
- Not less than 600 doses, but less than 1500 doses = less than 8 years and not more than 40 years; Class1 Felony
- Not less than 1500 doses = not less than 10 years and not more than 50 years. Class1 Felony
Possession of Hallucinogenic Mushrooms (Psilocybin) – Penalties
- Possession of 200 grams or less is penalized by 1-3 years in prison, a Class 4 Felony
- Possession of more than 200 grams is penalized by 4-15 years in prison, a Class 1 Felony
Possession of Anabolic Steroids -Penalties
Illinois law is tough on steroid possession which is an increasingly common charge. Use of anabolic steroids has skyrocketed among everyone from high school athletes and fitness buffs, to those who just want to look their best.
If you made a mistake and got involved with steroids, that doesn’t mean you deserve to be punished with a criminal record. A record will show up on common background checks, and affect future school and career opportunities.
Our defense attorneys can fight to get the charges reduced and keep your record clean.
If you are convicted of illegal steroid possession, you are facing a Class C misdemeanor charge on a first offense. That could result in a maximum of 30 days in jail and fines of $1500.
If you are facing a second offense possession of steroids charge within 2 years of prior conviction, the penalty is increased to a Class B misdemeanor.
Illinois Drug Possession Defense Strategies
The best option is to beat the case in court and get a dismissal, or a not guilty verdict if it goes to trial.
A dismissal is the first option when we have a good argument for a motion to suppress the evidence against you, based on an illegal search. Cops screw up all the time and regularly violate Constitutional rights. I will look for every possible reason to file this motion and get the charges dropped.
Plea Deals – Avoid a criminal record.
If we can’t get the charges dropped or the case dismissed, finding a way to avoid a criminal conviction on your record for a drug charge is usually the next best thing.
There are a variety of plea deal options that can minimize and mitigate the tougest penalties. If we can keep your record clean, and have no charge show up on a background check, then we will usually consider that a successful outcome.
Here are a few ways that can happen:
- Second chance probation. If you are facing a non-violent felony like a drug possession charge for the first time, we can often get you a 2nd chance probation. It will typically involve a required drug treatment program completion.
- Drug School. For a simple possession charge, you have to take a few drug education classes, and after completion, you can get your charges dismissed.
There are also other alternative dispositions for people with clear addiction programs, including Drug Court and TASC Probation. Both involve extensive monitoring and counseling but can help you get your life together if that’s what you need.
Whatever the situation, there are almost always options that we can work out to help you get past this and get on with your life.