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Archive for the ‘Rolling Meadows drug crimes lawyer’ tag

What Are the Penalties for Heroin Possession in Illinois?

May 16th, 2019 at 4:49 pm

Illinois defense attorneyA Du Quoin man was found in possession of a small amount of heroin in early April. That was a violation of his parole and he was sent back to the Illinois Department of Corrections to serve out the rest of his sentence on previous charges.

Heroin possession is considered one of the most serious drug crimes in Illinois. Those convicted will have a criminal record for the rest of their life and could face several years in prison, as well as extremely high fines. While the penalties for heroin possession are extremely harsh within the state, a criminal defense lawyer can help those charged and give them the best chance of a successful outcome in court.

Illinois Law on Heroin

Heroin is classified as a Schedule 1 drug on the Illinois Controlled Substances Act and is illegal for anyone to possess, manufacture, or distribute. The specific classification of being on Schedule 1 means that heroin is considered a “hard” drug. In the eyes of the law, this is the most serious designation and as such, law enforcement and the prosecution pursue these cases aggressively.

Narcotics listed within the Schedule I are believed to have a high potential for abuse. They have no accepted medical benefits or uses, and there is no protocol that allows someone to use the drug safely, even under medical supervision. Due to this very strict classification, those charged with heroin possession face very serious penalties.

Penalties for Heroin Possession

All heroin possession charges in Illinois are considered felonies. This means they have some of the harshest penalties for those convicted. However, the actual sentence will depend on the amount of heroin a person had at the time of arrest. The amounts and associated penalties for heroin possession are:

  • 15 to 100 grams: 4 to 15 years in state prison, or a maximum fine of $200,000, or both.
  • 100 to 400 grams: 6 to 30 years in state prison, and/or a maximum fine of $200,000 or the street value of the drug.
  • 400 to 900 grams: 8 to 40 years in state prison, and/or a maximum fine of $200,000 or the street value of the drug.
  • 900 grams and over: 10 to 50 years in state prison, and/or a maximum fine of $200,000 or the street value of the drug.

In certain circumstances, these penalties are increased. For example, those caught in possession of heroin with 1,000 feet of a school, park, movie theater, or church can have their sentences doubled. This is also true for those found in possession of heroin and a firearm.

The penalties for heroin possession are certainly some of the harshest of all Illinois drug crimes. Those facing charges need the help of an attorney that can build a solid defense for their case.

Call Our Rolling Meadows Drug Crime Attorney Today

If you are facing heroin possession charges, or have been accused of any other drug crime, call a skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney at the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at 847-394-3200. We can represent you if you are questioned by the police and challenge searches of your vehicle or home, all to create a strong defense for your case. Learn more about how we can help by calling or filling out our online form for your free case evaluation today.



Law Against Driving While High On Marijuana Changed

September 15th, 2016 at 1:24 pm

Law Against Driving While High On Marijuana ChangedUntil recently, it was illegal to drive while under the influence of marijuana, regardless of how much marijuana was in your system. Illinois law used to employ a zero tolerance approach when it came to driving under the influence of marijuana. Specifically, if any amount of marijuana was detected in the suspected drugged driver’s system, the driver could be charged with a marijuana DUI. But the recent passage of Illinois bill SB2228 changes things and puts a measurable limit on when an Illinois driver is too high to drive.

Under the old law, prosecutors were not required to demonstrate that the driver was actually intoxicated by marijuana at the time of their DUI arrest, according to a recent article in the Pekin Daily Times. Instead, the prosecution only had to show that marijuana, even in trace amounts, was detected in the driver’s system. A blood test could be used to analyze a blood sample for any trace of THC, which is the active psychoactive chemical ingredient in marijuana.

A Zero Tolerance Policy Is Patently Unfair

The old law was strikingly unfair since it failed to require proof that the driver was actually under the influence of marijuana to such a degree that the intoxication impacted the driver’s ability to safely operate a vehicle. The old law could place a person who was merely in contact with marijuana smoke in violation of the state’s marijuana DUI laws, even though the person never actually inhaled more than second-hand marijuana smoke.

New Law Offers Measurable Legal Limit

The new law places a quantifiable measurement on when a person is considered to be under the influence of marijuana to such a degree that their driving ability is affected. Specifically, a person who has five nanograms of THC in their blood, when the blood sample is taken within two hours of a DUI arrest, is considered to be under the influence of marijuana and is not safe to drive a vehicle. With the enactment of the new marijuana DUI law, Illinois joins just four other states – Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington – that have placed a measurable impairment level on marijuana.

Bill SB2228 Also Decriminalizes Possession of Small Quantities of Marijuana

The new law also decriminalizes possession of small quantities of marijuana. Instead of being a criminal offense, possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana is punishable as a civil infraction, meaning that offenders will merely be issued a ticket. The ticket ranges from between a fine of $100 and $200.

Facing A DUI? Contact A Rolling Meadows Drug Offenses Lawyer

Whether you are facing a DUI, a marijuana DUI, or drug charges, you need to speak to an experienced Rolling Meadows drug crimes lawyer as soon as feasible about your situation. These criminal charges are serious, and you need legal representation that can help you fight the charges that are pending against you.


Making Drug Charges Worse: Aggravating Factors

March 2nd, 2016 at 10:59 am

drug charges, Rolling Meadows Drug Crimes LawyerIf you are facing drug charges, you are in a difficult spot. However, if your alleged crimes were committed in the wrong place or involved the wrong person, you could be in even worse shape.

Illinois law provides for aggravating factors when it comes to drug crimes, which can make criminal drug charges considerably more serious. When aggravating factors are present in a drug case, penalties become increasingly severe, and sentences can become substantially hefty.

What Are the Worst Aggravating Factors in Illinois?

The aggravating factors for drug charges in Illinois can be broken down into three main groups: to whom you sold drugs, where the drugs were sold, and repeat offenses. Illinois law is very specific regarding what constitutes an aggravating factor in a drug crime.

  1. Who is Involved: Selling drugs to minors is the most common aggravating factor in drug crimes. Selling drugs to a person who is under the age of 18 can lead to double the maximum sentence under 720 ILCS 570/407. Similarly, having minors sell drugs for you is another aggravating factor under 720 ILCS 570/407.01 and can lead to triple the maximum sentence. Also, knowingly selling drugs to pregnant women is an aggravating factor in drug cases, under 720 ILCS 570/407.02, which can lead to double the maximum sentence.

  2. Where the Sale Took Place: Where the sale of drugs took place can matter when it comes to sentencing for drug crimes. For example, under 720 ILCS 570/407 it is an aggravating factor to sell drugs at or near public schools, public parks, property owned by a public housing agency, places of worship, and places where senior citizens can be found—nursing homes, assisted living facilities and senior centers. This results in a Class X felony, increased jail time, and increased fines. Similarly, under 720 ILCS 570/407 it is an aggravating factor to sell drugs at or near a truck stop or safety rest area.

  3. Repeat Offenses: When you are busted for selling drugs a second, third, or any other subsequent time, the fact that you are a repeat offender is an aggravating factor under  720 ILCS 570/408. Repeat offenders face up to double the maximum sentence for their subsequent drug offenses.

Aggravating factors mean that you, as the criminal defendant, are likely to face harsher punishment for your alleged crimes—longer jail times, steeper fines, and more severe penalties. You will need an experienced criminal defense attorney by your side fighting to get your charges reduced or dropped.

Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

Drug charges are serious, and drug charges that involve aggravating factors are considerably more serious. If you are facing drug charges with aggravating factors, then you need to speak with a skilled criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Please contact a Rolling Meadows drug crimes attorney immediately. Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at 847-394-3200 for assistance with your case.


Federal Drug Offenders May Have Shorter Prison Terms

July 15th, 2014 at 7:00 am

criminal history, drug offenders, fair criminal justice system, federal drug offenders, overcrowded prison, Rolling Meadows drug crimes lawyerStrict sentences for drug offenses have recently been debated, in addition to the problem of overcrowding at prison facilities across the country and the associated cost to house so many inmates. Not only are states struggling with these problems, but the government on the federal level is seeking ways to address the same issues as well.

A recent news article revealed that Attorney General Eric H. Holder supported a proposal to reduce the incarceration time for some of those in prison in an effort to achieve a more fair criminal justice system for minorities as well as lower costs for taxpayers.

The Proposal

Under the proposal, about 20,000 out of 215,000 federal inmates would be eligible for reduced sentences. The potential reduction in sentence would be available to nonviolent low-level drug offenders who do not have strong criminal ties. The new sentences would apply retroactively and the U.S. Sentencing Commission is currently reviewing the proposal. Just a few months ago, the Commission decided to reduce the base offense for possession of specific quantities of controlled substances, which ultimately reduced average sentences by just under a year.

The proposed plan would act to make that guideline retroactive, effectively applying to inmates who were already sentenced and are serving time under the old guidelines. The retroactive sentencing would only be available to those defendants whose crimes were not violent, who did not use a weapon, and who do not possess a long criminal history. Not all inmates could apply for a lowered sentence though, and not all of those eligible would be granted one.

Striking a Balance

The bill’s supporters believe that the proposal strikes a good balance between ensuring the safety of the public while also addressing the pressing issues presented by the criminal justice system. The issues include the problem of overcrowded prison systems, which has been made worse by extremely long incarceration sentences. Mr. Holder has a strong history of advocating for sentencing reform, aiming to more appropriately align penalties with the seriousness of the associated crime and to make the criminal justice system a more fair system for minorities. He is also attempting to speed up clemency requests, especially those coming from low-level offenders.

Criminal Defense Attorney

There are mixed positions on the issue of reduced sentences, and the current proposal by no means has universal support. However, it will be interesting, if the proposal is passed, whether the same changes will translate to the state level regarding drug offenses.

The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley have successful experience representing clients who have been charged with drug crimes. Contact an experienced Rolling Meadows drug crimes lawyer today to schedule a consultation. We serve clients in Chicago and the greater surrounding area.

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