What Tactics Lead To A Favorable Result In A Drug Case?
The most common tactic, as is the case with most criminal law, honestly, is negotiation, since most of the time the facts are pretty clear. It’s very different with criminal drug conspiracy cases where there is no evidence and they are all talking about people’s squeezed testimony, but if a guy is caught with four pounds of pot in his car trunk, you can’t say it’s for personal use, so you’re not going to get him a “not guilty” verdict.
That means the ability to negotiate the case and mitigate on your client’s behalf may consist of pointing out that the defendant is a college kid who’s never been in trouble before and was trying to make money to get through school of help his parents out. Many people turn to selling drugs in small amounts to keep up with their bills when they are struggling to get a job.
What is a Possession With Intent to Deliver Charge and How Does That Work?
The term “intent to deliver” is paired in the statute with “/manufacture,”, so in marijuana cases they can charge you with possession of a certain amount with intent to deliver even if it was never delivered. They can charge you with the manufacturing of it if you have many plants, and the more pot plants you have, the greater the level of felony. Having more than 20 plants or less than 20 plants are both much more serious than just simple possession.
I had a case recently in Wisconsin, in which there were five little seedlings, so small that all five wouldn’t have made an ounce, but the guy was stupid enough to say, “Yes, we’re going to grow it to sell it.” That turned a small case into a possession of more than four plants with intent to deliver, which is a much higher class felony. If it wasn’t more than four plants, it would have to be more than 200 grams, but because there were more than four plants, it fell into the same category and carried the same statutory penalties.
What Are Other Common Drugs That People Get Arrested For?
Other controlled substances are divided into different classifications, but the most common are cocaine, heroin (which is making a huge comeback; don’t ask me why), crack cocaine and crystal meth. Occasionally, you’ll get some psilocybin mushrooms, or LSD or ecstasy. For simple possessions, they are class 4 felonies that carry a $25,000 fine and up to one to three years in a penitentiary.
However, all class 4 possessions can get a 550/10 probation if the case is handled right and you can talk to the state’s attorney or a judge. That gives you the opportunity to complete a probation period, do a small amount of public service, pay a mandatory fine and court costs, do some testing to make sure you’re clean. At the end of that, you’ll have no conviction on your record and it’s expungeable.
If you have over a certain amount, the situation can be different. For example, if you have under 15 grams of cocaine, it’s a simple possession charge, but if it’s more than 15 grams, it becomes a much more serious possession charge. If you deliver half a gram of cocaine and sell your buddy half a gram of cocaine for $50, that becomes a class 2 felony in Illinois, which means you could get up to a $50,000 fine and 3-7 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections and you can’t get that 550/10 probation for that, although a good attorney might be able to negotiate it down to a possession charge from a possession with the intent to deliver and get that for you.
If you have more than 1 gram of cocaine, it becomes a probationable class 1 felony, but if you sell, that becomes a class 1 felony eligible for probation, with 4 to 15 years potential prison time and between $50-100,000 in fines. If you have between 5 g and 15 g, it’s now a non-probationable class 1 felony, while more than 15 g, which is still barely over half an ounce, becomes a class X felony, which is 6 to 30 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections, no probation possible.
It doesn’t take much to get to that class X amount, and those are the same amounts, basically, for heroin or meth, while mushrooms, LSD and ecstasy, can go by weight or the number of hits. Back in the day, LSD was sold on pieces of paper, called blotter, which meant you could have three sheets of blotter with 60 hits on them and it may only weigh a gram and a half, so they changed the statute to say more than 15 hits.
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