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What are the Most Common Drug Crimes in Illinois?

 Posted on June 22, 2023 in Criminal Defense

Chicago Criminal LawyerDrug crimes are serious offenses that can have lasting consequences on those accused. In Illinois, there are a variety of drug crime charges, including possession, trafficking, and conspiracy. As of 2023, the Illinois SAFE-T Act will bring about changes to pretrial detention and bail that may have significant implications for those facing drug charges.

Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

Beyond drug possession, Illinois also criminalizes the possession of drug paraphernalia. Under Illinois drug law 720 ILCS 600/3.5, this offense is generally a Class A misdemeanor, with maximum penalties of one year in prison and a $2,500 fine. However, if a large amount of paraphernalia is involved, felony charges may be applicable​​.

Intent to Distribute

Possession of controlled substances in large quantities can lead to charges of intent to distribute in Illinois, a serious felony offense. Even if the defendant is only found to possess drugs, the prosecution can assume the intention to distribute and pursue charges accordingly, resulting in significant prison time.

Manufacturing of Drugs

The unauthorized manufacturing of drugs is also illegal. Charges related to drug manufacturing are severe, especially in cases involving methamphetamine production. The severity of the penalties largely depends on the volume of the drug produced​​.

Drug Trafficking & Distribution

In Illinois, there are multiple laws related to drug trafficking and distribution. One such law, 720 ILCS 570/401.1, makes it illegal to transport controlled substances. To charge someone with drug trafficking, the prosecution must demonstrate that the person either purchased drugs or arranged for their transportation and had knowledge of the substance being transported. Drug trafficking is a very serious felony offense and can involve allegations of activity across multiple states, potentially leading to attention from federal authorities.

Drug Conspiracy

If someone participates in a conspiracy with at least one other person and earns over $500, they may face drug-related conspiracy charges. This participation can mean possessing, manufacturing, or distributing a controlled substance as part of the broader conspiracy.​

Notable Changes in Illinois Drug Laws

The Illinois SAFE-T Act will bring about significant changes in criminal law in Illinois. Notably, Illinois will become the first state to eliminate cash bail in all circumstances, which may affect the pretrial process for drug offenses​. Changes in the judicial process will also impact how judges handle cases, potentially affecting drug crime cases. If a defendant misses court, judges may give them a notice to appear instead of an arrest warrant, and getting rid of cash bail will have a big impact on the judicial process.

Contact a Cook County Drug Crime Lawyer

Possession of controlled substances is a serious criminal offense in Illinois, and the penalties for drug offenses can be significant. But with changes to bail requirements and other judicial process changes, defendants may have more opportunity to present their case in court. It is important to understand the law when it comes to drug possession and trafficking to avoid being charged with a crime. A knowledgeable Illinois criminal defense attorney can help better understand your rights under the law. Call Law Offices of James F. DiQuattro at 312-627-9482 for a free consultation.



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