In the State of Illinois, some of the crimes that are most harshly investigated and charged are drug crimes. Among drug crimes, heroin is at the top of the list when it comes to the harshest penalties received. It is likely to end up with felony charges for possessing as little as 0.05 grams – charges that could leave you with a $25,000 fine and up to three years in prison. Fifteen grams of heroin carries a mandatory prison sentence of no less than four years and no more than 15 years with a fine of as much as $200,000.
As you can imagine, any of the above punishments could negatively impact your life. In fact, you might find living a normal life almost impossible after you have a criminal record, and conviction of drug charges in general can bar your ability to work in a variety of different fields in the future, including certain jobs in the medical and pharmaceutical fields. It is vitally important that you reach out to an experienced attorney who can help you understand the ins and outs of criminal law in order to protect your rights at trial and give you the best chance possible at receiving a lower sentence. Brian G. Hiatt, attorney at law, can help.
Heroin Possession Law in Illinois
Heroin is a Schedule 1 controlled substance. That mans that is a substance that a.) has the potential to be abused, and b.) either has no accepted medical use in the United States or does not have the safety necessary to qualify it to be used in treatments with patients even under medical supervision. Heroin carries among it the harshest of drug crime penalties. Under the Illinois Controlled Substances Act, possessing any substance that contains heroin or the compounds that are present in heroin is against the law.
There are a few different penalties for heroin possession in Illinois, and none of them are good. Take a look at the following breakdown of the possible penalties organized by drug quantity:
- 0-15 grams of heroin: Class 4 felony carrying a 1 to 3-year prison sentence and additional fines of up to $25,000.
- 15-100 grams of heroin: Class 1 felony carrying a 4 to 15-year prison term and additional fines of as much as $200,000.
- 100-400 grams of heroin: Class 1 felony carrying a 6 to 30-year prison term and fines that equal the street value of the drug or as much as $200,000.
- 400-900 grams of heroin: Class 1 felony carrying an 8 to 40-year prison sentence and fines that equal the street value of the drug or as much as $200,000.
- More than 900 grams of heroin: Class 1 felony carrying a prison sentence of 10 to 15-years and fines that equal the street value of the drug or as much as $200,000.
Note that in the prison sentences above, the lower number is not a suggestion. In all but the penalty for 0 to 15 grams of heroin, that number is a mandatory minimum sentence. That means that if you are found in possession of 500 grams of heroin, for example, the minimum amount of time you can expect to spend in prison is eight years. Even beyond the penalties and sentences outlined above, however, is the fact that if you are found to be in possession of a large amount of heroin, you could very well be charged with its distribution. This dramatically raises the stakes. If you are found to be guilty of distributing 15 grams of heroin, for example, you will have committed a Class X felony, the most serious felony under Illinois state law.
If you are facing drug possession or distribution charges for heroin, reach out to an experienced criminal defense lawyer immediately! You need someone who can work on your behalf to ensure that your rights are upheld and that you have the best chance of receiving the lowest penalty possible.
Reach out to Brian G. Hiatt, attorney at law, for help. Contact him today at 800.680.1657 for a consultation.