Drug crimes are associated with harsh penalties in Illinois.
Being charged with drug possession can result in lengthy jail sentences and expensive fines. However, being charged with drug possession with intent to distribute or sell can lead to even more severe consequences.
So how does law enforcement determine whether to charge a suspect with ordinary possession or possession with intent?
Drug possession is a charge a person will receive if he or she is arrested possessing a small amount of an illegal drug or controlled substance that is meant for personal use only. The penalties for simple possession depend on the type of drug in question. In order to be convicted of possession, an individual must knowingly have the drug in their exclusive and immediate control, such as keeping it in your pocket or vehicle.
Drug Possession with Intent
Drug possession with intent to distribute is often charged to those who possess a large amount of any illegal drug or controlled substance. Law enforcement typically determines if a suspect has intent to sell based on the packaging, such as the presence of small baggies or possessing the drug in the form of a large brick, as well as the presence of a weight scale.
Penalties for Possession with Intent
The most serious possession with intent to distribute charge is a Class X felony, which is punishable by a maxim prison sentence of 15 to 60 years. Again, the severity of the crime depends on the type of drug and amount in possession.
If you were recently arrested for a drug crime in Illinois, request a free consultation with our Chicago criminal defense lawyer at Ahmad Law Firm today.