If you are facing methamphetamine possession charges in Chicago it is important to defend yourself. The criminal defense attorneys at the Kostopoulos Law Group can help you get the best possible outcome in your case. Call us today to schedule a free consultation and learn more. We will review the criminal charges in your case, explain your legal rights, and answer the questions you have.
Methamphetamine has risen in popularity in Illinois over the past decade. In order to combat the growing drug epidemic, police have ramped up efforts to enforce the state’s drug laws. As a result, if you are found in possession of methamphetamine in Chicago your future will be in serious danger. Possessing even a very small quantity of meth is a felony and could land you behind bars for three years and generate a devastating mark on your criminal record.
Methamphetamine Control and Community Protection Act
Illinois takes the possession, distribution, and manufacture of controlled substances incredibly seriously. This is especially true for drug crimes involving methamphetamine, which is commonly referred to as meth, crystal meth, crank, speed, jibb, shards, fire, and glass.
In 2005, state lawmakers, believing that methamphetamine posed a particularly serious threat to the people of Illinois, created the Methamphetamine Control and Community Protection Act. Under this Act, drug crimes involving methamphetamine are policed and prosecuted very aggressively. Anyone who is found to be in possession of methamphetamine and involved in the manufacture of the drug will face serious and life-changing criminal penalties.
Possession of Methamphetamine
In Illinois, it is against the law to knowingly have any amount of methamphetamine, or a substance containing methamphetamine, in your possession.
While possession is always a felony offense, the exact charge you will face will depend on the how much of the drug you have. The sentencing and penalty guidelines for possession of methamphetamine, as defined in 720 ILCS 646/60, is as follows:
- < 5 grams is a Class 3 Felony, punishable by 1-3 years in prison and $25,000 in fines
- 5 – 15 grams is a Class 2 Felony, punishable by 3-7 years in prison and $25,000 in fines
- 15 – 100 grams is a Class 1 Felony, punishable by 4-15 years in prison and $25,000 in fines
- 100 – 400 grams is a Class X Felony, punishable by 6-30 years in prison and $100,000 in fines
- 400 – 900 grams is a Class X Felony, punishable by 8-40 years in prison and $200,000 in fines, and
- > 900 is a Class X Felony, punishable by 10-50 years in prison and $500,000 in fines.
It is important to note that Illinois’ drug laws require a mandatory minimum sentence in some possession cases. If you are found in possession of 100 grams (or more) of methamphetamine you will be required to serve a minimum of six years in prison.
Possession of Methamphetamine with the Intent to Deliver
Illinois drug possession laws presume that the methamphetamine in your possession is for your own personal use. When you have a significant amount of the drug in your possession the presumption is that you have more than you will use on your own. As a result, you can face increased penalties for possession with the intent to deliver.
Delivery means “the actual, constructive, or attempted transfer of possession” through a sale, gift, or transfer. This means that your attempts to sell/give/trade the drugs don’t have to be successful and that you don’t have to receive anything in return for the drug. In many cases, simply having a very large quantity of methamphetamine (or a drug containing methamphetamine) in your possession will be enough to warrant charges for possession with intent to deliver.
Penalties for possession of methamphetamine with the intent to deliver vary depending on the amount of drugs in your possession. The sentencing and penalty guidelines for possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver, as defined in 720 ILCS 646/55, is as follows:
- < 5 grams is a Class 2 Felony, punishable by 3-7 years in prison and $25,000 in fines
- 5 – 15 grams is a Class 1 Felony, punishable by 4-15 years in prison and $25,000 in fines
- 15 – 100 grams is a Class X Felony, punishable by 6-30 years in prison and $100,000 in fines
- 100 – 400 grams is a Class X Felony, punishable by 9-40 years in prison and $200,000 in fines
- 400 – 900 grams is a Class X Felony, punishable by 12-50 years in prison and $300,000 in fines, and
- > 900 is a Class X Felony, punishable by 15-60 years in prison and $400,000 in fines.
The charges for delivery or intent to deliver methamphetamine will be aggravated if:
- The intended recipient of the drug is a minor,
- A minor is used to deliver the drug,
- Firearms or explosives are used to protect the controlled substance,
- The delivery takes place on school grounds, or
- You know that the intended recipient of the drug is a pregnant woman.
Manufacture of Methamphetamine
Manufacturing methamphetamine is one of the most serious crimes in Illinois.
For the purposes of the law, manufacturing means “to produce, prepare, compound, convert, process, synthesize, concentrate, purify, separate, extract, or package” any amount of methamphetamine or methamphetamine precursor.
This is important because this means that the possession of the substances and materials used to create methamphetamine is a crime. If you are arrested in connection with the manufacture of methamphetamine you will face, at the very least, Class 1 Felony charges.
Collateral Consequences of Possession of Methamphetamine
If you are convicted on criminal charges for possession of methamphetamine you will face serious time in an Illinois state prison and be required to pay substantial criminal fines. Your conviction will also generate a criminal record. Having a criminal record will expose you to life-changing collateral consequences.
- Difficulty getting a job that pays a decent wage,
- Difficulty renting an apartment or buying a home,
- Inability to work in certain career fields, including healthcare, education, and government,
- Loss of gun ownership rights,
- Revocation of professional licenses,
- Adverse child custody and/or visitation decisions in family law matters,
- Inability to participate in helpful government welfare programs, and
- Adverse immigration consequences, including the loss of your green card or deportation.
Defenses to Possession of Methamphetamine Charges
When you are arrested and charged with possession of meth in Chicago you have the right to defend yourself. The best defenses will help to clarify, excuse, or justify your behavior. When you cast doubt on your guilt the prosecution will have a more difficult time building a solid case against you. Defenses that may be helpful in defeating drug possession charges include:
- You did not know you possessed the drug,
- You did not intend to deliver the drug,
- You have been falsely accused, and/or
- Evidence has been obtained in violation of your rights.
Police cannot violate your rights in order to obtain evidence. If we determine that you have been the victim of an unlawful search, illegal arrest, or improper questioning we will immediately file a motion to suppress any evidence that is tainted by illegal behavior. If the prosecution does not have sufficient evidence to support their case they will be more likely to offer a plea deal or drop the charges against you.
Chicago Methamphetamine Possession Attorneys
Have you been arrested for possession of meth in Chicago? If so, do not hesitate to contact the Kostopoulos Law Group for immediate legal assistance. You have the right to defend yourself against these charges, and our experienced Chicago drug crime defense attorneys can help.
When you hire us, we will thoroughly investigate the charges against you and fight to achieve the best possible outcome in your criminal matter. We know that your future is at stake and will do everything in our power to protect it. The sooner we can get involved in your case, the better your chances of success, so call us today.