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b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_1074069125.jpgWhen faced with drug trafficking charges, the arresting officers will inform you that you have the right to remain silent. Many people will take law enforcement up on this offer. It is often in your best interests to avoid speaking to law enforcement without your lawyer present. The right to an attorney is another one of the Miranda rights. Upon speaking with a criminal defense lawyer, you will become familiar with the process of building a defense for drug trafficking charges.

If you are awaiting a consultation with a lawyer, you may be wondering what you can expect. The following information will provide you with insight into how the process of building a defense for drug trafficking charges in Illinois unfolds. 

What is Drug Trafficking in Illinois? 

In Illinois, drug trafficking is defined as the intentional act of transporting controlled substances across state borders. Having a substantial amount of a controlled substance on your person may result in a drug trafficking charge, as may the alleged intent to supply someone else with the substances.

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rolling meadows drug crime lawyerSince Illinois legalized recreational cannabis on Jan. 1, 2020, the industry has been booming. In fact, the state earned approximately $52 million in tax revenue in the first six months. Since then, more than 50 marijuana recreational and medicinal dispensaries have popped up across the state. The Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act is still a relatively new law that some people may find confusing. If you live in Illinois, it is important to know the laws regarding the purchase, use, and transportation of marijuana. Violating cannabis-related laws can lead to drug charges

Cannabis Laws in Illinois

In some ways, cannabis laws parallel alcohol laws in Illinois. You have to be a certain age to possess and use marijuana. You cannot smoke or consume marijuana while operating a vehicle and driving under the influence of marijuana can lead to DUI charges. With that said, let’s get into specifics. 

If you are an Illinois resident and are 21 years of age or older, you can buy cannabis and cannabis products from a licensed seller. However, there are limitations to how much cannabis you can have. You may possess up to 30 grams of marijuana flower, which is about two handfuls, 5 grams of concentrated cannabis, or edibles infused with 500 milligrams of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). If you are a 21-year-old non-Illinois resident, the numbers for possession change. You can have 15-grams of marijuana flower, 25 milligrams of THC-infused products, or 2.5 grams of cannabis concentrate. 

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IL defense lawyerGetting charged with drug possession in Illinois is bad enough. Depending on the type of drugs that are in your possession, you may face jail time, hefty fines, and a permanent criminal record. However, if your drug possession charges get elevated to possession with intent to deliver, you face even harsher consequences. If you are currently in this situation, it is critical to avoid talking to the police and consult a skilled lawyer promptly.

Drug Possession Charges with an Intent to Deliver

In some cases, the police may decide to raise a regular drug possession charge to possession with intent to deliver charge. Here are a few types of evidence the police can use to prove that you intended to deliver a controlled substance:

  • The drugs are in bags
  • You have items frequently used to sell drugs in your possession, such as scales
  • You have a large amount of drugs in your possession
  • You have large amounts of cash lying around

A criminal lawyer may be able to come up with several defenses to fight your charges. For instance, you may have not known you had the drugs in your possession or the evidence against you was obtained through an illegal search.

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Rolling Meadows, IL criminal defense attorney drug crimes

No matter what your feelings are on the subject, the truth of the matter is that more and more states have been legalizing the use and possession of recreational marijuana for adults. Currently, marijuana is still illegal by the standards of the federal government and classified as a Schedule I drug, meaning it has a high potential for abuse and does not have any medical benefit. However, since states have the ability to create and implement their own laws, there are some states in the country that allow adults to consume and possess marijuana, although there are typically specific laws that must be followed. In Illinois, there are strict laws pertaining to the usage, possession, manufacture, distribution, and transportation of marijuana products in Illinois. Breaking these laws could result in misdemeanor or felony charges, depending on the severity of the criminal offense.

Illinois Marijuana Possession Laws

Recreational marijuana possession only just recently became legal in Illinois. In fact, 2020 was the first year during which adults could legally use cannabis without also possessing a valid medical marijuana ID card. Though it is legal to use, there are limits to how much cannabis or cannabis-based products you may possess at any one time. As long as you are over the age of 21, you are permitted to possess up to:

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Rolling Meadows, IL criminal defense lawyer drug possession

For most people, the thought of drug crimes elicits images of dangerous substances such as cocaine, methamphetamine, and heroin. What many people fail to realize is that “street drugs,” such as cocaine and the like, are not the only type of drugs that you can get into trouble for possessing. Certain drugs that are used to treat medical conditions are technically legal to possess and consume -- but only if you have a valid prescription. If you do not have a current prescription and you are caught in possession of these drugs, you could be charged with prescription drug possession, which is a serious crime in Illinois.

What Substances Are Illegal Without a Prescription?

As a way to classify the different types of drugs, the United States federal government has established a schedule of controlled substances. Some illegal drugs are not as dangerous as others and therefore, crimes involving different substances should not be punished in the same ways. Some of the most notorious illegal drugs include those such as LSD, ecstasy, and fentanyl, but you can also be charged with possessing prescription drugs that are typically prescribed by a medical doctor. Examples of controlled prescription drugs include:

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