In the state of Illinois, drug crimes tend to be handled particularly aggressively and are harshly punished. That means that any kind of drug charge is potentially a serious one, and is not one to be taken lightly. This is true even of prescription drugs, which might be a bit surprising to those without a background in Illinois criminal law. In fact, the number of arrests made for the possession of legal medication without a prescription that is up to date and valid is rising. It’s worth noting that the number of individuals arrested for possession of legal medication with a valid prescription is also on the rise.
There tends to be this persistent image that many people think of when the term “drug abuse” or “drug abuser” comes into play. It is important to understand that drug abuse can happen to anyone, from any walk of life. If you have been arrested for this issue, do not ignore it or become too ashamed to seek help. You deserve a passionate defense that can help obtain the best outcome possible in your specific case. Reach out to an experienced criminal defense lawyer like Brian G. Hiatt, attorney at law. Hiatt can help take a look at your case in a judgment-free zone and will outline your best options as simply as possible while working to ensure that your rights are being upheld throughout the legal process.
Prescription Drug Possession & Addiction to Legally Prescribed Medication
One of the biggest issues facing many individuals right now is lingering addiction to the use of narcotic medication that is often prescribed for pain. If you have multiple teeth pulled at the dentist, for example, and are prescribed a narcotic to help deal with the pain, it is distressingly easy to become dependent on the drug. This can happen in a relatively short time frame, too, and leave you in need of help once your prescription runs out. All too often, however, individuals are unable to find that help and end up seeking out more of the drug to help with that lingering addiction. Depending upon the drug in question and the amount you are caught in possession of, however, you could still face prison time for your actions.
Prescription Drugs & Criminal Offenses in Illinois
In the state of Illinois, the possession of even one Xanax, Vicodin, or OxyContin pill without a prescription can lead to arrest and felony charges. This is true even if the medicine was given to you by a family member or a friend to help you deal with injury or pain.
You should know that there are four different categories to which drugs are ascribed in Illinois. These are Schedule I, Schedule II, Schedule III, and Schedule IV drugs. In general, the drugs that net you the harshest punishments and penalties are Schedule I drugs while those that carry the least harsh penalties are Schedule IV drugs. Schedule I drugs include drugs that are highly addictive and for which there exists no accepted medical use. By contrast, Schedule IV drugs are drugs that are rarely addictive and for which there exists an acceptable medical use.
Prescription drugs are usually subject to schedules II through IV. Depending upon the drug in question and the quantity in your possession, you could be charged with anything from a Class 4 felony to a Class X felony, the most serious criminal charge in Illinois. The likelihood of spending significant time in prison and paying expensive fees increases with the severity of the felony in question. A Class 4 felony, for example, is less likely to land you with more than one to three years in prison. A Class X felony, on the other hand, has a mandatory prison time of six to 30 years in prison.
If you are facing drug charges for the possession of prescription drugs, it is time to reach out to an experienced attorney. Brian G. Hiatt, attorney at law, can help you with these cases. Contact him today at 800.680.1657 for a consultation.