The Difference Between Possession and Distribution Under Illinois Drug Laws
The state of drug crimes is in flux throughout much of the United States. Yet while many states are moving away from harsh penalties for individual drug users, criminal penalties for the sale and manufacture of controlled substances continue to be among the harshest penalties in the criminal justice system. Any drug charge is a serious issue. However, a conviction for distribution can put you in prison for thirty years or more in some instances.
The Difference Between Possession, Distribution, and Manufacture Crimes
There are four major types of drug crimes under Illinois law:
- Possession of a controlled substance;
- Possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance;
- Delivery of a controlled substance; and
- Manufacture of a controlled substance.
Possession simply means that you have a controlled substance under your personal control—in your car, in your home, or in your pocket. The amount must be consistent with personal use. If the amount is more than is reasonable for personal use you may be charged with intent to deliver a controlled substance. You can even be charged with intent to deliver for personal amounts of drugs that are wrapped and ready for sale.
Before you can be charged with delivery of a controlled substance there needs to be a completed sale. The sale could be to an actual customer or to an undercover officer or informant.
To be convicted of the manufacturing of a controlled substance you need to involved in any step of preparing a controlled substance for sale. This could be something as basic as wrapping the drugs into individual units to growing marijuana or cooking methamphetamines.
Drug Crime Penalties
The penalties for drug crimes will vary according to what controlled substances and in what quantities is at issue. Most initial possession crimes are misdemeanors, or will result in misdemeanor treatment. This means a maximum of one year in jail.
However, intent to deliver, delivery, and manufacturing are almost always felonies. For many drugs the minimum sentence is a minimum of six to 30 years in prison with a maximum of 15 to 60 years in prison. Many of these crimes are Class X felonies.
If you find yourself charged with a drug crime, you need to speak with a tough and skilled Wheaton criminal defense attorney. Do not talk to anyone about your case until you speak to a lawyer. You have the right to a vigorous defense. Call Davi Law Group, LLC today to schedule a consultation at 630-580-6373.