Compared to some states, Illinois has fairly relaxed marijuana laws. While possession of 10 grams or less is still illegal within the state, getting caught is just a civil infraction, not even a misdemeanor. The maximum fine is $200 and you will not go to jail. It’s more like a traffic ticket than anything else.
But what about growing marijuana? What are the penalties for cultivation?
They are also fairly relaxed for a small amount of marijuana, defined as five or fewer plants. That’s a misdemeanor. Your fine could be as much as $2,500, though, and the maximum jail term is 12 months.
For between five and 20 plants, you could face felony charges. This is when things really get serious because a felony stays on your record, even after you do your time. The maximum jail term is one to six years, and the fine could reach $25,000.
If you have between 20 and 50 plants, the fine stays the same, but the jail term jumps up to two to 10 years. The two years are a mandatory minimum sentence.
For between 50 and 200 plants, the fine increases substantially to a maximum of $100,000. The mandatory minimum sentence is three years, and you could face as many as 14 years behind bars.
The fine stays the same for anything over 200 plants. However, the minimum mandatory sentence increases to four years, and you could serve as many as 30 years.
Whether you are facing minor civil infractions or serious felony charges and years behind bars, you need to know all of the legal defense options you have.