How Severe are Drug Trafficking Charges in Illinois?

How Severe are Drug Trafficking Charges in Illinois?

Drug Trafficking

How Severe are Drug Trafficking Charges in Illinois?

Drug trafficking carries hefty charges and severe penalties in Illinois, making you land in hot water if you are convicted. The charges can compromise employment opportunities and set you back thousands of dollars depending on the charge.

 

As per the Illinois Controlled Substance Trafficking Act, it is illegal to transport controlled substances in the state. As per federal law, ‘distribution’ and ‘trafficking’ describe the same charge. However, the charges are considered to be separate offenses in Illinois.

 

Illinois Drug Trafficking Penalties

If you bring a controlled or illegal substance across state borders in Illinois, you are involved in drug trafficking. Irrespective of the drug you are transporting, you can face charges resulting in jail time and a costly fine that can set you back thousands of dollars.

 

However, as per existing laws, if you are found in possession of fewer than 10 grams of marijuana, you may not be charged with a felony. You will still face misdemeanor charges which can lead to a year in jail and fines amounting to $1,500 to $2,500.

 

Most drug trafficking crimes in the state are charged at the federal level, so the penalties are severe. Some of them include the following:

  • Less than 50 kg of marijuana or 49 plants – five years in jail and fines amounting to $250,000. The fine can increase to $1 million if someone is involved in drug trafficking with you.
  • Between 50 and 99 kg of marijuana or 50 to 99 plants – 20 years in jail and a $1 million fine. The fine can increase to $5 million if someone is involved in drug trafficking with you.
  • 100 and 999 kg of marijuana or 100 to 999 plants – between five and 40 years in jail and a fine amounting to $5 million. The fine can increase to $25 million if someone is involved in drug trafficking with you.

The penalties can increase significantly if you are charged with a second offense. Penalties that involve drugs other than marijuana (stronger drugs such as LSD, cocaine, or heroin) are harsher.

 

Potential Defenses for Drug Trafficking in Illinois

An experienced Palos Heights drug charges attorney or defense attorney can use several potential legal strategies to get these charges dismissed. For instance, they can argue that:

 

  • You were coerced into trafficking the controlled substance with threats of violence.
  • You were unaware you had the drugs because someone placed them in your vehicle/luggage without your knowledge.
  • You were too young to realize that you were involved in an illegal act.

Contact The Law Office Of Michael D. Ettinger & Associates For A Consultation Today

As one of the leading defense law firms in Illinois, the law firm of Michael D. Ettinger & Associates can assign an experienced and dedicated Palos Heights drug charges attorney to your case.

 

All of our lawyers have several awards and honors in their name for their successes in court. They will ensure you have legal backing that you can count on irrespective of the severity of the crime. Get in touch with us for a consultation today. All meetings are highly confidential.