Have you been arrested for possession with intent to distribute in Chicago? If so, it is important to speak with an experienced Chicago criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Attorney Gus Kostopoulos is a former Assistant State’s Attorney.
He uses his experience as a prosecutor to get the best possible results for his clients. He knows how the prosecution works and is able to use this to his client’s advantage. Contact Kostopoulos Law Group today to learn more about how he can help you fight charges for possession with intent to distribute.
Possession With Intent to Distribute in Chicago
The Illinois Controlled Substances Act makes it a crime to possess a controlled substance with the intent to deliver it to another person. Specifically, it is a crime to knowingly possess a controlled substance, counterfeit substance, or controlled substance analog with the intent to deliver. In most cases, you will be considered to have the intent to deliver a controlled substance when you have a large quantity in your possession.
Just because you are arrested for possession with intent to deliver does not mean that you will be formally charged or convicted. The prosecutor handling your case will be required to prove each essential element of the crime. If they cannot prove each element of the crime you cannot be convicted. If the prosecution believes that they have a weak case or may have difficulty proving their entire case they may try to get you to agree to a plea bargain. You can only be convicted of possession with intent to distribute if the prosecution can prove:
- You knowingly possessed a controlled substance; and
- You had the intent to distribute that controlled substance.
How can prosecutors prove that you had intent to distribute? In most cases, this will involve gathering evidence that supports this theory. Evidence that may suggest you had an intent to distribute could include:
- Possession of a large quantity of drugs;
- Scales to weigh and divide specific quantities;
- Small bags or containers;
- Labels; and/or
Police and witness testimony will often play a big role in establishing intent to deliver. The more evidence that prosecutors can gather, the easier it will be for them to establish intent.
Establishing the Severity of the Charges for Possession With Intent to Distribute
The specific charges and penalties you face will depend on a variety of factors.
First and foremost, it is important to understand that the type of drug that you have in your possession will be the primary factor in determining what type of penalties you may face. Crimes involving drugs such as heroin and methamphetamine carry a harsher punishment than those involving drugs like marijuana. Once the type of drug has been established other factors will play a role in finalizing the charges you face.
Factors that can influence the severity of the possession with intent to deliver charge you face include:
- The type of controlled substance in your possession;
- The amount of the controlled substance in your possession;
- Your prior criminal history;
- The presence of a firearm or weapon at the time of your arrest;
- The age of the intended recipient of the drugs; and
- The location where you were accused of intending to distribute the drugs.
Penalties for Possession with the Intent to Distribute a Controlled Substance
Possession of a controlled substance with the intent to distribute is a felony offense in Illinois. The severity of the punishment you may face will depend on two primary factors: the type and amount of drugs in your possession. Here is a breakdown of the possible punishments for possession with intent to distribute in Illinois.
Possession of Cannabis with Intent to Distribute [720 ILCS 550/5]
|Amount in Possession||Length of Imprisonment||Maximum Fine|
|< 2.5 grams||6 months in jail||$1,500|
|2.5 grams - 10 grams||12 months in jail||$2,500|
|10 grams - 30 grams||1 to 3 years in prison||$25,000|
|30 grams - 500 grams||2 to 5 years in prison||$50,000|
|500 grams - 2,000 grams||3 to 7 years in prison||$100,000|
|2,000 grams - 5,000 grams||4 to 14 years in prison||$150,000|
|> 5,000 grams||6 to 30 years in prison||$200,000|
Possession of Cocaine, Heroin, Morphine, Meth, or LSD with Intent to Distribute [720 ILCS 570/401]
|Amount in Possession||Length of Imprisonment||Maximum Fine|
|< 15 grams||4 to 15 years in prison||$250,000|
|15 grams - 100 grams||6 to 30 years in prison||$500,000|
|100 grams to 400 grams||9 to 40 years in prison||$500,000 or street value*|
|400 grams to 900 grams||12 to 50 years in prison||$500,000 or street value*|
|> 900 grams||15 to 60 years in prison||$500,000 or street value*|
The fine will be either $500,000 or the street value of the controlled substance, whichever amount is greater. These penalties will increase if you:
- use or discharge a firearm during the offense;
- attempt to distribute a controlled substance within 1,500 feet of a school, church, or public park; or
- Attempt to distribute a controlled substance to a minor.
Defenses to Possession With Intent to Distribute
It is important to remember that just because you are charged with a crime, it does not automatically mean that you will be convicted. There are a number of defenses that can be asserted to limit the negative consequences you face. Defenses to the crime of possession with intent to distribute include:
- You did not know you had the drugs in your possession;
- You lacked the required intent to distribute the controlled substance;
- You were falsely accused of the crime;
- The evidence against you was obtained through an illegal search and seizure; and/or
- You were the victim of an unlawful arrest.
Fighting Charges for Possession With Intent to Distribute
Have you been arrested for possession of a controlled substance with the intent to distribute? If so, it important to invoke your Constitutional rights to (1) remain silent, and (2) be represented by an attorney. Do not say anything that could be used to incriminate you. The only request you should make is to speak with an attorney. These simple steps can make a world of difference in your criminal case.
If you have been charged with possession with intent to distribute in Illinois do not hesitate to contact the Kostopoulos Law Group. Our skilled team of Chicago criminal defense attorneys will fight to get the charges against you reduced or dismissed. Call us today to schedule your free consultation.