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What Are the Criminal Penalties for Drug Trafficking in Illinois?

 Posted on February 23, 2020 in Criminal Defense

Joliet criminal defense attorneysAlthough recreational marijuana was legalized in Illinois as of January 1, 2020, there are still many other drugs that citizens cannot possess or distribute in the state. Under Illinois law, it is unlawful to manufacture, own, sell, or traffic controlled substances such as heroin, cocaine, methamphetamines. Drug trafficking is a serious crime in which a person knowingly brings a controlled substance for the purpose of delivery or with the intent to deliver it elsewhere. 

Offenders are subject to serious criminal consequences, including prison and steep fines. These penalties are often doubled compared to drug possession charges. However, to be convicted of drug trafficking, the prosecution must prove the defendant knew he or she was bringing the controlled substance across state lines in addition to the ultimate goal of its delivery within or outside of the state. 

Punishments for Selling Drugs

Per the Illinois Controlled Substances Act, drug trafficking can carry a range of felony charges, from a Class 3 to a Class X. A convicted drug trafficker could be sentenced to serve a maximum sentence of 30 to 120 years in prison, or twice the maximum term applicable for a possession conviction. People found guilty of trafficking may be required to pay a fine of $75,000 up to $1 million, which is twice the amount of a maximum fine for a Class X controlled-substance possession-related felony.

The consequences of these felonies depend on the amount trafficked, as shown below:

  • 15 to 100 grams: 12 to 60 years in prison
  • 100 to 400 grams: 18 to 80 years in prison
  • 400 to 900 grams: 24 to 100 years in prison
  • 900 grams or more: 30 to 120 years in prison

Possible Defenses

There are several potential defenses for drug-related crimes. For example, a person may have been coerced into transporting a controlled substance with the threat of harm or violence. He or she may not even realize an illegal drug is in his or her possession if someone else placed it in his or her vehicle without knowledge. Additionally, an individual may be too young to realize his or her act is criminal. Below are a few of the main defense strategies for drug trafficking: 

  • Lack of knowledge
  • Infancy (offenders under the age of 13)
  • Insanity
  • Duress or compulsion
  • Entrapment

Contact a Joliet Criminal Defense Attorney

With the changes to Illinois marijuana laws, you may be wondering what constitutes drug trafficking. If you or someone you know is facing any type of drug charge, it is imperative that you have experienced legal counsel on your side. A tenacious Will County drug crimes defense lawyer will review the circumstances of your arrest and form a solid defense to reduce your charges or eliminate a conviction altogether. The skilled legal team at McNamara Phelan McSteen, LLC is prepared to fight on your behalf and protect your rights. To schedule your free and confidential consultation, call our office today at 815-727-0100.





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