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Archive for the ‘Class X felony’ tag

Drug Trafficking at the State and Federal Level

November 24th, 2017 at 3:47 pm

drug trafficking, illegally trafficking drugs, trafficking heroin, Class X felony, Rolling Meadows drug crime lawyerDrug trafficking (i.e. distributing or selling a controlled substance) is illegal under both state and federal law and while the legal ramifications of federal drug convictions tend to be considered much steeper than state level drug convictions, it is important to note that this is not always the case.

If you or a loved one has been accused of illegally trafficking drugs at either the state or federal level, it is important to understand that this is a serious accusation for which your or your loved one may face significant jail time. 

Federal Law

Per 21 U.S. Code § 841, it is illegal under federal law, in most circumstances, to manufacture, dispense, or distribute a qualifying controlled substance, or possess such a substance with the intent to distribute, manufacture, or dispense it. Also, take note that the legal ramifications of drug trafficking under federal law vary significantly depending on which schedule the trafficked substance is classified under.

To get a feel for the types of prison sentences that a convicted drug trafficker could face under federal law, let us consider a penalty commonly associated with trafficking heroin. Under federal law, an offender who is caught with 100 grams or more of heroin can be sentenced to serve 5 to 40 years in prison for an ordinary offense. However, a more serious penalty can be levied if the offender has one or more prior felony convictions.

Illinois State Law

Illinois’ main anti-drug trafficking law is contained in code section 720 ILCS 570/401 which, in a nutshell, makes it illegal for any person to knowingly deliver or manufacturer a qualifying controlled substance, or possess such a substance with the intent to deliver it or manufacture more of it. The penalty for violating this code section vary from case to case as an offender’s sentence is primarily determined based upon which controlled substance the offender was convicted of trafficking and on how much of the drug the offender was caught with.

For example, if an offender is convicted of trafficking heroin in Illinois and he or she was caught with 15 to 99 grams of the drug, then he or she is guilty of a Class X felony and can be sentenced to serve six to 30 years in prison. However, if the same offender was caught with 100 grams or more of heroin, then he or she can be ordered to serve 9 to 40 years in prison.

Let Us Assist You Today

As you can see, the legal ramifications of trafficking drugs can be quite steep at both the state and federal level and varies significantly depending on the type and quantity of the substance trafficked. This area of the law can be quite complex, but an experienced Rolling Meadows drug crime lawyer will be able to evaluate any trafficking charges pending against you and explain in detail the legal ramifications that an ensuing conviction may carry. However, it is important to remember that just because you have been charged with a drug crime does not mean that you will necessarily be convicted. No matter how bleak your case may appear, be sure to consult with a local criminal defense attorney without delay in order to best protect your legal rights. If you are facing a drug charge in Illinois, contact The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley today for help.

Source:

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/21/841

What You Need to Know About Vehicular Hijacking in Illinois

February 19th, 2015 at 10:22 am

Illinois criminal defense attorney, Illinois defense lawyer, felony, violent crime,To many people, hijacking sounds like something that happens on an airplane in an action movie from the late twentieth century. While it is that, hijacking is also a type of crime that happens right in in Illinois. Specifically, Illinois law prohibits what it calls “vehicular hijacking.” If you find yourself charged with this crime, you will need the help of a felony criminal defense attorney.

What is Vehicular Hijacking?

Illinois statute defines vehicular hijacking as  a person knowingly taking a motor vehicle from another person by either using force or by threatening the imminent use of force. It is basically the same as robbery, except instead of taking some other type of property, the hijacker takes the victim’s car. It is important to note that the car has to be taken directly from the person or from the person’s presence. Thus, stealing a car from an empty garage would not count as vehicular hijacking. Vehicular hijacking is a slightly more serious offense than robbery, in that even in its most benign forms it is a Class 1 felony.

What is Aggravated Vehicular Hijacking?

There are six ways a regular vehicular hijacking can become aggravated vehicular hijacking under Illinois law. The first two of these are punishable as Class X felonies. These two types are:

  • Vehicular hijacking where the vehicle is taken from someone over age 60 or someone who is physically handicapped; and
  • Vehicular hijacking where a person under the age of 16 is a passenger in the vehicle when the hijacking occurs.

The other four types of this offense are as follows:

  • The third type of aggravated vehicular hijacking is a Class X felony for which the court must sentence an offender to at least seven years in prison. These are vehicular hijackings where the hijacker has a dangerous weapon other than a firearm.
  • The fourth type involves a hijacker who is armed with a gun. This is a Class X felony but it comes with a 15-year firearm add-on to the sentence.
  • The fifth type occurs when the hijacker personally discharges the firearm during the hijacking. This is a Class X felony, but it comes with a 20-year mandatory firearm add-on.
  • The final type involves the hijacker firing a firearm and someone getting seriously hurt because of it. This is a Class X felony that carries with it a firearm add-on of 25 years to natural life.

Vehicular Invasion

Vehicular invasion is a related crime. This Class 1 felony is committed when a person knowingly, by force and without legal justification, enters a motor vehicle or reaches into one when the following two conditions are met:

  • There is at least one person in the vehicle; and
  • The person reaching into the car or entering the car is doing so in order to commit a theft or a felony.

Call an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney Today

If you are charged with vehicular hijacking or any other criminal offense, you will need the help of an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney. Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at (847)394-3200 to schedule a case consultation to discuss your situation and determine how we can best be of help.

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