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What Types Of Drug Offenses Do You Typically Handle In Illinois?


We have extensive experience handling all types of drugs offenses. This includes cases involving narcotics, prescription drugs, and marijuana (also referred to as cannabis) among other drugs. Representation of individuals charged with drug offenses comprises a large part of my criminal defense practice. Our firm has successfully defended persons charged with a number of different drug offenses, from amounts less than a gram, to several hundred pounds. Drug offenses can be charged in a variety of different ways, which can be a simple possession of a controlled substance, possession with intent to deliver, delivery of a controlled substance, conspiracy to deliver, and trafficking of a controlled substance, to name a few.

How Is A Drug Charge Determined To Be Either A Felony Or A Misdemeanor?

When it comes to drugs in Illinois, only cannabis, or marijuana offenses are eligible for misdemeanor charges. Every other type of drug or controlled substance must be charged as a felony. Some carry mandatory prison time. This is why it is so important to have high quality legal representation, which we provide here at The MacNeil Firm.

How Are Possession, Sale, And Intent To Sell Or Distribute Unlawful Drug Charges Defined In Illinois?

When you are talking about the differences between possession, sale, and distribution, simple possession is considered when a person holds physical control over drugs. For example, a drug that was found in a person’s pocket, purse, or in their backpack, that would be possession, actual physical possession. Another type of possession is not as clear-cut. It is called constructive possession. Constructive possession is when a person has control over the drugs, or the area in which the drugs are found, without actually physically possessing them. For example, if drugs were found in someone’s house, or perhaps they were found in a particular room that could be considered constructive possession. If the state’s attorney could prove that the person lived in that place, had control over that room, or had keys to the house, then they might be able to prove constructive possession.

Obviously constructive possession is not as cut-and-dry as when they find the drugs in your pocket. It is more difficult for the state to prove constructive possession, particularly if multiple people have had similar access, or control over that area where the drugs were found. The sale of drugs, which is commonly referred to as delivery, is a type of charge where the state has evidence to prove that a transaction was conducted from a seller to a buyer. Often these types of cases involve a confidential informant, or an undercover officer making a controlled buy. A controlled buy of drugs means that one of the parties involved in the transaction is working for law enforcement. Many times, these buys are under surveillance. Possession with intent to deliver will be charged, when there is a larger quantity of drugs that would normally be used for personal use. In other words, a charge for possession with intent to deliver is usually dependent on a larger amount of drugs. Possession with intent to deliver can also be charged just based on packaging. For example, if an amount is broken up into very small quantities, it can be interpreted to mean that they were in a position to sell those smaller quantities.

Does Illinois Have Separate Statutes Of Law Regarding Drug Trafficking?

Yes, in Federal law, the terms distribution, and trafficking are used interchangeably. But in Illinois, when someone is charged with trafficking, it primarily refers to someone charged with importing drugs into this state from another state, or another country. It generally involves a large quantity of narcotics or drugs.

When Can Police Search A Home Or A Vehicle For Drugs In Illinois?

This is a common question when can law enforcement search your home, or vehicle. When people are charged with a case involving drugs, frequently it will be based on some type of search. Under the Fourth amendment of the United States constitution, everyone shall be secure in their homes, in their person, and in their vehicles against unreasonable search and seizures. The general rule is that a warrant is required to search someone’s home, vehicle, or person. However, there are many exceptions to this rule. One common exception is that a search may be conducted if the officer believes he has probable cause that a crime has been, or is about to be committed. This exception is also subject to interpretation and the particular facts of the case. Search and seizure law is a very complicated area of law, and there are all sorts of rules, and exceptions to those rules. Because of the complexity, it is critical to have an attorney experienced with litigating these issues.

I have won many cases where a search or seizure was found to be unconstitutional, or unreasonable. Feel free to visit my website, and look at my courtroom victories to see examples of these types of cases. If I think that there has been an illegal search and seizure, I would file a motion to suppress that evidence, and then have a hearing in front of a judge. The judge would decide after hearing the evidence, whether it was a constitutional search and seizure. If the judge grants that motion, then that evidence is excluded. The state cannot use that in their prosecution. If they do not have any drug evidence, it usually means that is the end of their case, because they do not have any evidence. The state is forced to dismiss the case.

For more information on Handling Drug Offenses In Illinois, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (815) 290-9170 today.

Donald N. Macneil, Esq.

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