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When is Drug Possession a Felony in Illinois?

Posted in Criminal Defense, Drug Crimes on Monday, November 29th, 2021

Every state has its own laws on control and regulation of drugs or controlled substances possession, and the specific laws vary in their definition of controlled substances and punishment for possession. In Illinois, for instance, infamous drugs such as cocaine, heroin, and LDS and the compounds used for making them are controlled substances. Likewise, certain drugs, like common painkillers such as codeine, could be possessed lawfully with a valid prescription. 

Classification of Controlled Substances in Illinois

Controlled substances are divided into five schedules according to factors like approval for medical use and potential for abuse. Drugs under Schedule V have been approved for medical use and have the lowest potential for abuse. Drugs under Schedule I have no approved medical use and have the highest abuse potential: 

  • Schedule I – Opiates, hallucinogenic substances, and some opium derivatives
  • Schedule II – Methamphetamine, oxycodone, coca leaves, and codeine
  • Schedule III – Ketamine, buprenorphine, and certain steroids
  • Schedule IV – Tramadol, diazepam, and alprazolam
  • Schedule V – Medications that have tiny amounts of certain narcotics

Felony Drug Possession in Illinois

What you need to remember is that drug possession is almost always a felony under Illinois law, with some exceptions. Drug possession penalties are based on the amount or weight of drugs in a person’s possession:

  • Possession of cocaine, LSD, meth, heroin, and morphine is a Class 1 felony charge.
  • Possessing a controlled substance not more than 15 grams is punishable by up to three years imprisonment and a fine not exceeding $25,000. It’s also a Class 4 felony.
  • Possessing more than 15 grams of a controlled substance is punishable by imprisonment of six to 50 years and a fine up to $200,000. It’s also a Class 1 felony. 
  • Possession of a controlled substance with the intent to deliver or manufacture is punishable by a fine up to $250,000 and four up to 15 years imprisonment and is a Class 1 felony. But the charge becomes a Class X (the highest) felony, which is punishable by six to 60 years imprisonment and up to a fine of $500,000, depending on the controlled substance’s amount. 

Aggravating circumstances, including repeat drug offenses, discharging a firearm, or possessing illegal drugs near schools, parks, movie theaters, or churches, carry enhanced penalties. Depending on the particular circumstances of the case, a first-time offender might qualify for probation. 

An Important Note on Marijuana Possession

Although possessing marijuana within the lawfully established limits is no longer a crime in Illinois, possessing an amount of marijuana that’s higher than the lawfully established limits is still a felony charge. 

Talk to a Skilled Illinois Drug Possession Lawyer Today

Drug possession is punishable by very hefty fines and long periods of imprisonment depending on the specific type of drug and how many drugs were found in your possession. Not to mention the havoc a drug offense conviction could wreak on your career, employment opportunities, and social and personal lives. You also face enhanced penalties if you have previous convictions for drug possession. 

Whatever your situation, our experienced Illinois drug possession can determine how to best fight the charges against you. Get in touch with Sabuco Beck, P.C. online to schedule your appointment today.

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