DuPage County Drug Crimes Attorney
If you or someone you know has been arrested on a drug-related charge, call DuPage County drug crimes attorney Gus Kostopoulos immediately.
Prior to turning to criminal defense law, the Gus Kostopolous gained considerable experience as a prosecutor. He uses this experience when defending clients charged with drug crimes in DuPage County. We understand how prosecutors review, approach, and argue their cases and use this information to give our clients unparalleled legal representation.
Call us today for a free consultation. Don’t give the prosecution time to build a case against you. Our DuPage County criminal lawyers are available 24/7 to take your call.
Illinois Controlled Substances Act
Illinois boasts some of the country’s strongest drug crime laws. The Illinois Controlled Substances Act is complex, sweeping legislation that is used to charge and convict individuals for the possession, use, distribution, or manufacture of illegal substances.
The language used in the Act generally refers to “controlled substances” rather than “drugs.” The term controlled substance is defined in the Act. This helps law enforcement and the courts to understand when the Act should apply, and when it should not. For example, if the Act specifically said that it was “illegal to possess a drug” without any further refinement then, in theory, it could be used to arrest and convict you for buying your morning cup of coffee or lighting up your afternoon cigarette.
Controlled substances are listed in the Act and include any “drugs, substances, immediate precursors, or synthetics” of each. Controlled substances may include:
- Anabolic Steroids;
- Ecstacy; and
- Unprescribed Prescription Drugs.
*Note, Illinois currently allows medicinal marijuana use and is considering the legalization of recreational marijuana in certain amounts.
In Illinois, it is illegal to knowingly possess a controlled substance or controlled substance analog. You can be arrested, charged, and convicted for drug possession even if no drugs are physically found on your body during a search. This is because possession can be actual or constructive.
If you have drugs on your body, in your hand, in your pocket, up your sleeve, or in your shoe you are considered to have actual possession of the controlled substance. If you have drugs in a location that you have (a) knowledge of, (b) have control over, and (c) can access, you are considered to have constructive possession of the controlled substance. For example, if you have a controlled substance in your medicine cabinet, backpack, kitchen drawer, or vehicle’s glove compartment you may be considered to have constructive possession of the drugs. The penalties for actual and constructive possession are identical.
The penalties for possession of a controlled substance in Illinois can vary significantly. The severity of the penalty often depends on:
- the controlled substance itself, and
- the amount of the drug in possession.
Penalties for possession can range from infractions (for possession of small amounts of marijuana) to a Class 1 Felony (for possession of more than 15 grams of heroin, cocaine, or morphine). The greater the amount of drugs in your possession, the longer the possible term of imprisonment.
For example, possession of more 15 grams of heroin is a Class 1 Felony. However, possession of 15-99 grams is punishable by 4-15 years in prison, possession of 400-899 grams is punishable by 8-40 years in prison, and possession of more than 900 grams is punishable by 10-50 years in prison. An experienced drug crime attorney is a great resource for learning about drug possession penalties in DuPage County.
Possession With the Intent To Deliver Drugs
If you are found in possession of a substantial amount of a controlled substance you may be charged with possession with the intent to deliver. The prosecution does not have to prove that you had the intent to sell or deliver the drugs.
Instead, you can be charged and convicted based on the sheer volume of the drugs in your possession. There is a presumption that if you are in possession of a certain amount of drugs you do not intend to consume them all yourself. Whether this presumption is true or not in your case is irrelevant.
Possession with intent to deliver can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony offense in Illinois. The charge generally depends on the type of controlled substance and the amount in your possession. Penalties may range from 6-15 years in prison and fines of $1,500-$25,000.
The state of Illinois takes the crime of manufacturing drugs very seriously. In fact, the offense is charged as the the most serious felony in Illinois. However, law enforcement and the prosecution have a responsibility to prove specific elements of the crime are met. Unlike possession with the intent to deliver, the crime of manufacturing drugs requires intent. You may be charged with manufacturing a controlled substance if police find evidence showing:
- A drug lab in your home or business;
- A collection of chemicals and substances typically used to create a drug; or
- Cultivating or growing plants used to create a drug or used as a drug.
A conviction requires the prosecution to show that (1) you had the possession the ingredients necessary to create the drug, and (2) you had the intent to create the drug.
Penalties: Manufacturing a controlled substance is a Class X Felony. If convicted, you may face 6-30 years in prison and fines of up to $25,000. The severity of the penalty will depend on the type of the controlled substance being manufactured.
Distributing or Trafficking Drugs
In Illinois, the actual or attempted distribution of a controlled substance is illegal. Distribution and trafficking are distinct offenses.
Distribution is, generally, any delivery of a controlled substance. The Act specifically excludes administering or dispensing from the definition of distribution. So, distribution may include selling, trading, bartering, or giving a controlled substance to another person. Distribution does not have to be successful. Instead, you can be charged and convicted for distribution if you attempt to sell, trade, or give a controlled substance to another person. The intent to commit the crime is sufficient.
Trafficking is the most serious drug-related offense in Illinois. In Illinois, it is illegal to knowingly bring (or cause to be brought) a controlled substance into the state for manufacture or distribution. You can be charged and convicted for drug trafficking if you transport the drugs personally or if you arrange to have them transported.
Penalty: Distribution and Trafficking are both Class X Felonies. If convicted, you may face 6-30 years in prison and fines of up to $25,000. Using a cellular radio device to aid in the trafficking of a controlled substance is a separate offense, charged as a Class 2 Felony.
Defenses to Drug-Related Charges in DuPage County
The war on drugs has caused law enforcement to ramp up its efforts to find drugs on the streets of DuPage County and Illinois. Increased police activity opens the door for greater Constitutional infringements. Our attorneys work tirelessly to ensure our clients’ rights are respected by the police. If we feel that Constitutional rights have been infringed we are unafraid to aggressively pursue that line of defense. Law enforcement’s goal may be to reduce drugs and crime, but this goal may not infringe on our rights.
If you believe that your rights were violated during a search, arrest, or interrogation contact an experienced DuPage County drug crime attorney immediately. At Kostopolous Law Group, our experienced attorneys have helped clients fight drug-related charges with defenses including:
- Lack of possession;
- Lack of intent;
- Lack of knowledge;
- Tainted evidence;
- Improper search and seizure; and
- Infringement of a Constitutional right.
Contact a DuPage County Drug Crime Attorney Today
If you have been arrested for or charged with a drug-related crime in DuPage County you should not hesitate to contact an attorney. Just because you are arrested or charged does not mean that you will be convicted. The prosecution may rely on the combination of a lack of specific legal knowledge and fear to pressure you into an unfair plea bargain when, in reality, they have little to no evidence to support their case.
Hiring an experienced DuPage County drug crime attorney can help to level the playing field. The attorneys at Kostopolous Law Group have decades of experience successfully defending clients against drug-related charges. We fight to ensure that your legal rights have been respected throughout the legal process and that the prosecution has the evidence they need to make the charges against you stick.
A conviction for a drug-related offense can have serious, lifelong consequences. Don’t let a minor drug conviction tarnish your criminal record. Contact our DuPage County office today for a free consultation to learn about how our attorney can help.