IL defense lawyerLike most other states, Illinois has stiff penalties for drug crimes, such as possessing a controlled substance. Illinois recognizes cocaine as a Schedule I drug, meaning that there is a very high risk of abusing the substance, and there is no accepted medical use for the drug. While the ultimate sentence that an individual may face is based on the charges, circumstances of the case, and the individual’s criminal history, jail time is certainly a possibility. Today, we will discuss what you need to know about being charged with cocaine possession in Illinois. As always, if you have found yourself in this situation, contact a criminal defense attorney right away.

Here is What You Need to Know About Cocaine Possession

In Illinois, possession of a small amount of cocaine, like less than 15 grams, is considered to be a Class 4 felony offense, which, if you are convicted, may land you in prison for up to one year and paying fines of up to $25,000. Assuming this is a first-time offense, it is not overly probable that you will serve prison time on a first-time offense of possessing a small amount of cocaine. However, an experienced criminal defense lawyer will still be crucial in defending your rights and interests against the charges.

Furthermore, if you are charged with possessing an amount of cocaine between 15 and 100 grams, this is a Class 1 Felony, which can result in a sentence between 4 and 15 years in prison and fines up to $200,000. If arrested for possessing between 100 and 400 grams of cocaine, this too is a Class 1 Felony, punishable by between six and 30 years in prison and fines up to $200,000.


IL defense lawyerYou are probably aware that in Illinois it is against the law to possess illegal drugs such as cocaine or heroin. But did you know that even without the presence of uncontrolled substances, you could find yourself facing drug charges? If you are arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia you could have a legal battle ahead. At Scott F. Anderson, Attorney at Law, we have worked with many people in similar situations and are here to help you navigate through this stressful situation.

What Items Could be Labeled Drug Paraphernalia?

Under the Drug Paraphernalia Control Act, drug paraphernalia includes items that are designed to among other things, consume, package, or store illegal drugs. Here are some examples of drug paraphernalia:

  • Bongs or water pipes
  • Syringes
  • Scales to weigh drug amounts
  • Small plastic bags
  • Sifters used to prepare the drugs

These are items that could be utilized in daily life. You need a skilled attorney who will work to obtain favorable results by investigating the arrest and the details of your case. Right now, a proposed bill is being considered to give pharmacists and stores the green light to sell fentanyl test strips over the counter. Currently, these strips are also considered drug paraphernalia. County health departments would distribute the strips for free in the fight against drugs laced with fentanyl.


Arlington heights drug crime lawyerA drug charge may interfere with gainful employment and landlords can frown upon a conviction when they run a background check. A conviction for drug crimes in Illinois can also have serious criminal consequences, including jail time. But what if you were riding in a car with your buddies and the drugs were in the trunk? If you are facing charges for drug possession, drug manufacturing or distribution, or another drug crime, make sure to contact a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. 

Elements and Defense

If you are arrested for drug possession do not resist arrest and stay calm. Also, remember that anything you say can be used against you. So be polite and decline to answer questions until your lawyer is present.

The penalties depend on the type of substance and the amount. Under Illinois law, a person must know or have a reason to know if they are in possession of a controlled substance.  Charges depend on your type of knowledge. So for you to be charged the prosecution must prove the following three things beyond a reasonable doubt:


IL defense lawyerDrug crimes - even simple possession - are very serious in Illinois. If you were caught with drugs other than cannabis, you are most likely looking at a felony charge. Even if you have never been in trouble with the law before, you could be convicted of a felony and sent to prison for drug possession. Most individuals who are caught with small amounts of illicit substances for personal use are not big-time dealers or traffickers - they are average people. Illinois courts recognize that people make mistakes and that not everyone caught with drugs is a serious or routine offender. To help prevent small-time occasional drug users from becoming felons, Illinois does have a type of diversion program. Our lawyers can tell you more about how this program can help you avoid a conviction.

Section 410 Probation for Certain Drug Crimes

First-time drug offenders may be eligible for Section 410 probation. First, you must plead guilty to the drug possession - however, the court will not enter a guilty verdict at this time. Instead, you will be ordered to complete Section 410 probation. If you fulfill all the requirements of Section 410 probation, then the charge will be dismissed entirely and your record will be clean.

To be eligible for Section 410 probation, you will need to complete a substance abuse evaluation. People who are found to have serious substance abuse problems are not eligible for this program. The drug testing requirements are very strict, and addicts are unlikely to successfully complete the program. If you do not have an addiction, you are likely to be accepted to the program.


Arlington Heights Criminal Defense LawyerDrug crimes vary more than any other type of criminal offense In terms of jail sentences and other criminal penalties. The amount of jail time a person faces for a drug-related crime depends on the type of drug, the amount of the substance, and whether the person was accused of manufacturing or selling the drug as opposed to merely possessing the drug. Most people accused of a drug offense are overwhelmed and confused. They are unsure of what their rights are and what penalties they may face.

Manufacturing methamphetamine or “meth” is a felony offense in Illinois.

If you or a loved one were accused of operating a “meth lab” or otherwise manufacturing methamphetamine, the first step is to seek personalized advice from a criminal defense lawyer. Your attorney can answer all of your questions and provide legal guidance specific to your situation.