What Are The Differences In The Different Levels Of Drug Cases?
The only misdemeanor drug crimes in Illinois are for cannabis; even crimes involving something like Xanax or Viagra are felony cases, and then, there are the delineations between possession and possession with intent to deliver and/or manufacture, which are more serious offenses.
Although I work pretty much exclusively with state cases, a case that deals with larger quantities of drugs, such as marijuana cases over 100 pounds or cocaine over 20 kilograms (44 pounds) will often be handled in federal court. There are so many cases overall, they just won’t deal with any but the biggest cases.
Usually, the only way a federal case can get knocked down to the state level is if it is a conspiracy case, such as when they discovered a criminal drug conspiracy, but they fell flat on their face and didn’t get the drugs. That’s when they try to nail everyone on a state statute; the federal laws are much more serious; you usually won’t see those unless you are way up the drug delivery hierarchy.
Examples of Lower Level Drug Offenses
At the bottom of the ladder is possession of drug paraphernalia, which means having a pipe, a bowl or anything used to smoke or do drugs from and which constitutes a class A misdemeanor, which means facing up to a year in jail and a fine between $750 and $2,500 fine.
The next step up is possession of marijuana, which are different types of misdemeanors, depending on the amount; 2.5 grams is a class C misdemeanor, which carries up to 30 days in jail, while more than 2.5 up to 10 grams is a class B misdemeanor, carrying up to six months in jail, while more than 10 grams up to 30 is a class A, which carries up to one year in jail. Marijuana possession becomes a felony if the person has more than 30 grams in their possession, or if they have between 10-30 grams with intent to deliver to anyone, even a friend.
I actually get all sorts of cases; right now, I have a case involving 20 pounds, and I’ve had a case involving up to 100 pounds, but I’ve handled quite a few cases in the 3-5 pound range, in which someone, usually local kids, is trying to make some money selling pot on the side. Pot is very expensive these days; ounces used to go for $30-40, but these days, good quality marijuana can go for $300-400 and up per ounce, which makes it a more profitable trade.
Illinois now allows for medical marijuana, but it was just approved so they haven’t even started dispensing it yet. When they do, if you have a medical marijuana license or card, you’ll be able to have up to two ounces every two weeks, although to get a card, you’ll have to have a debilitating illness. It won’t be like Arizona or California, where they’ll give you one for almost anything; in Illinois, you’ll need something like rheumatoid arthritis or residual limb pain or cancer.
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