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How Is Drug Trafficking Punished in Illinois?

 Posted on November 22, 2019 in Drug Crimes

Plainfield, IL drug trafficking defense attorney

There is still over one month until recreational marijuana becomes legal in the state of Illinois. Even when the new year comes around, "hard drugs" including cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamines will still be illegal. It is unlawful for a person to possess, manufacture, sell, and traffic drugs in the state of Illinois, and offenders can face serious criminal charges if they are caught. That is why it is important to understand the new legislation for cannabis and how it could affect you. 

What Is Drug Trafficking?

The act of bringing any illegal substance across Illinois borders is considered “trafficking.” Whether it is marijuana or a more harmful drug, traffickers can face felony charges, which can result in jail time and hefty fines.

Under current laws, possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana is not considered a felony, but offenders can still expect to face misdemeanor punishments of up to one year in prison and up to $2,500 in fines. Illinois law sentences offenders to more severe penalties depending on the amount of drugs found in a legal search and seizure:

  • 10-30 grams of marijuana can result in 1-3 years in jail and fines of up to $25,000

  • 30-500 grams of marijuana can result in 2-5 years in jail and fines of up to $50,000

  • 500-2,000 grams of marijuana can result in 3-7 years in jail and fines of up to $100,000

  • 2,000-5,000 grams of marijuana can result in 4-15 years in jail and fines of up to $150,000

  • Over 5,000 grams of marijuana can result in 6-30 years in jail and fines of up to $200,000

Penalties for possessing stronger drugs such as cocaine, methamphetamines, LSD, or heroin will face even harsher punishments than for possession of marijuana:

  • Less than 15 grams can result in 4-15 years in jail and fines of up to $250,000

  • 15-100 grams can result in 6-30 years in jail and fines of up to $500,000

  • 100-400 grams can result in 9-40 years in jail and fines of up to $500,000

  • 400-900 grams can result in 12-50 years in jail and fines of up to $500,000

  • Over 900 grams can result in 15-60 years in jail and fines of up to $500,000

In regards to marijuana, if a trafficker is caught bringing more than 2,500 grams of the drug across Illinois state lines, he or she can face a mandatory double sentence of the minimum penalty for possessing the drug.

What About After the First of the Year?

In 2020, hard drugs will still be illegal, and the law will still make possessing large amounts of marijuana illegal. Those who wish to use marijuana after it becomes legal may only legally purchase it at one of the licensed dispensaries and may not possess more than 30 grams of the cannabis flower, five grams of cannabis concentrate, or 500 milligrams of cannabis-infused edibles.

The state of Illinois will also give licenses to employees who will transport the drugs to and from the dispensaries. It will still be against the law to traffic marijuana into Illinois with the intent to sell it outside of a licensed dispensary.

Contact a Joliet, IL Criminal Defense Attorney

Being caught with any amount of drugs while crossing into a state that has strict drug rules can change a person’s life forever. A large amount of drugs can lead to a trafficker being sent to prison for a long time. The lawyers of Tedone & Morton, P.C. can help build a solid defense strategy based on the legality of the search and seizure performed, violations of your rights, or other circumstances surrounding your case. If your rights were compromised by the authorities, our Will County drug crimes lawyers will find out. To schedule your free consultation, call our office today at 815-666-1285.




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