Drug Laws Illinois
Regardless of personal preference, drug laws Illinois change based on the prevailing feelings over time. Within the last several decades, Illinois’ prison population has exploded. Many believe this is due to the ”three strikes” rules and the more aggressive “war on drugs”. Between 1984 and 2014, the inmate population in the state has increased by approximately 182 percent. The population of the local area only grew by about 12-percent over the same amount of time. The difference is significant and surprising.
Experienced attorneys from the Law Offices of Andrew Nickel, LLC, are willing to explain the evolving legal details.
Illinois Drug Law Penalties
In most circumstances, drugs are considered harmful. Although many believe that drug use is a personal choice, others consider it a societal menace. Possession is dealt with harshly and possession with intent to sell charges are usually fairly severe. In current times, most Illinois drug charges are felonies in order to prevent future crimes.
Possession of certain quantities of specified classifications of drugs is considered a Class 1 felony that usually results in a prison sentence of 4 to 50 years. Qualified attorneys can assist.
Illinois Controlled Substances Act
Depending on the amount of the substance and surrounding circumstances in question, fines are often also included in sentencing due to the Illinois controlled substances act. The technicalities are even more complicated because the state and federal laws have different sentences. It becomes mostly up to the preference of the judge. This can seem a bit subjective and even perhaps prejudicial based on racial and economic bias. Varying counties in Illinois are more strict than others such as Kendall County.
Illinois Controlled Substance Act
Although the Illinois Controlled Substance Act has been said to put certain demographics at a disadvantage, it also means it is that much more important for them to seek legal counsel. Knowledge is power. Realizing one should “lawyer up” is better than hedging bets and saving a few dimes.
Additionally, Illinois prisons are among some of the most overcrowded in the U.S. This makes the situation a ticking time-bomb that is dangerous for both the staff and those incarcerated there.
Controlled Substances Definition
Unfortunately, the controlled substances definition makes the drug laws of Illinois even more difficult to make a sustainable transformation to the system. Although there is little real evidence that enforcing low-level users to serve long prison sentences results in a positive outcome or reductions in addiction, it has been a long battle.
720 ILCS 570
The intent of 720 ILCS 570 is to improve the health and safety of the general public by reducing drug use and any resulting crime.
“It is the intent of the General Assembly, recognizing the rising incidence in the abuse of drugs and other dangerous substances and its resultant damage to the peace, health, and welfare of the citizens of Illinois, to provide a system of control over the distribution and use of controlled substances which will more effectively.”
Surprisingly, though, many states have lessened their prison populations almost overnight.
Illinois Recreational Marijuana
Although legalized Illinois recreational marijuana is a popular topic and has been introduced as a recent bill, it is not currently a legal option without a medical prescription.
Illinois Medical Marijuana Laws
Those seeking Illinois medical marijuana laws information can find it here. While marijuana has not received clinical backing in the U.S. as a curative treatment, there are numerous medical conditions where the symptoms have been shown to be relieved by medical marijuana. For example these and a selection of others:
- ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease)
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Crohn’s Disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
In Illinois, only those disorders and diseases approved by the state and prescribed for by a doctor are legal.
History of Illinois Drug Laws
The history of Illinois drugs laws is a story that is still being written. Although medical marijuana has been approved for specific illnesses, recreational use is still being sorted out. Other drugs are receiving stiffer penalties at the same time.
Although it is still being discussed by politicians and in the courts, a quick look at the recent past may provide some clues.
Illinois Drug Laws 2018
Illinois drug laws 2018: Cannabis continued to be approved only for medical use. Most other “street drugs” were still considered seriously against the law. In recent years, Illinois has raised drug possession and distribution sentences. Therefore, if you find yourself charged with such a crime, it could result in jail time and a hefty fine upon conviction.
Whether you are looking at a mild, first-time misdemeanor offense or a more serious one, a quick consultation with an Illinois attorney can save big money later on.
Illinois Drug Laws 2017
Illinois drug laws 2017: Fines and penalties for sales or possession of drugs, as well as driving under the influence (DUI) of marijuana drastically increased. At that point, it was raised from 100 to 200-dollars to a potential $1,500 fine.
Illinois Drug Laws 2016
Illinois drug laws 2016: As of 2014, legal use of medical marijuana was approved. In 2016, it became legal to be in possession of fewer than 10 grams of cannabis. In other situations, though, marijuana is still the same drug classification as LSD and heroin. This is especially true at the federal level.
For the most current updates of drug laws in Illinois, contact your local attorney.
Possession of a Controlled Substance Illinois
In addition to marijuana, the possession of a controlled substance Illinois act covers other street drugs and controlled pharmaceuticals like morphine or codeine.
Penalties of Possession
The penalties of possession of drugs in Illinois vary incredibly based on the classification of the substance and the quantity. One of the subjects of discussion is the sentences for low-level possession of small amounts of marijuana. By reducing sentences, the courts would reduce the prison population and decrease escalation to other, more serious offenses.
Class 4 Felony Illinois Possession Controlled Substance
Most Class 4 felony convictions of possession of a controlled substance were sentenced for nonviolent, low-level offenses. Generally, this is due to a follow-up offense caused by having been incarcerated previously. For example, driving with a revoked license or violating parole due to an inability to gain employment.
Those convicted of these types of crimes are one of the contributing factors behind the growth in the Illinois prison population. When possible, it is best to avoid beginning the cycle of incarceration by hiring a knowledgeable and skilled lawyer with a history as a prosecutor – they will know how the other side thinks and will be able to defend you.
Possession of a Controlled Substance Illinois
With the changing scope of the laws, particularly in regards to possession of a controlled substance in Illinois, it is advisable to contact an attorney in your area. The Law Office of Andrew Nickel, LLC can be the difference between a continued life of crime and a second chance.