Under Illinois law, Possession of a Controlled Substance is a felony crime. Such a felony can bring with it penalties exceeding one year in jail or prison. This contrasts from Possession of Cannabis, which is usually always a misdemeanor carrying minimal jail time. The difference in the type of drug you are caught possessing weighs heavily into the possible sentence and other punishment you could receive.
One may be convicted of possessing a controlled substance if the State can prove three things: (1) The identity of the illegal substance in question; (2) that the defendant knowingly possessed the illegal substance; and (3) that the illegal substance was in her immediate or exclusive control.
Controlled Substances are classified five different ways based on their potential for addiction and their medicinal uses.
These substances have a high potential for abuse and no currently accepted medical use in the United States. These are your common “street drugs.”
These substances have a high potential for abuse and currently have an accepted medical use in treatment, or have a currently accepted medical use with severe restrictions.
These substances have a potential for abuse that is less than a Schedule I or II narcotic. They currently have an accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, but abuse of these narcotics may lead to a moderate dependence.
These substances have a low potential for abuse in comparison to those listed in Schedule III and currently have an accepted medical use. Abuse of these narcotics may lead to limited dependence.
These substances have a low potential for abuse in comparison to Schedule IV narcotics. They currently have an accepted medical use, and abuse may lead to limited dependence in comparison to those in Schedule IV.
The penalties for possessing a controlled substance vary as well. A first-time offender could be sentenced to probation and substance abuse treatment. However, a multiple offender could face prison time ranging from 4-50 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. Many factors influence the sentence an offender receives, such as whether or not the offender is on probation or parole, whether they have been convicted of a similar prior offense, the amount of the controlled substance on their person, their intent (deliver, manufacture, traffic) for the controlled substance, etc.
If you have been arrested for possession of a controlled substance, there are many ways to critique the State’s case. Remember, the government has to prove those three important elements of the crime described earlier. We are well aware of those elements and will analyze the evidence against you thoroughly and skillfully.
If you are charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance in Illinois or Iowa, you need an experienced and effective attorney as your advocate. You can call us at (309) 734-1001 or fill out the contact submission on the Home page, and we will discuss the facts of your case and your options. This consultation is free, and there is no obligation to hire us after the consultation.