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How Is Selling Drugs Treated Differently From Possessing Drugs?

Posted on in Drug Crimes

How Is Selling Drugs Treated Differently From Possessing Drugs?A conviction for possessing a controlled substance is a serious offense in Illinois. Depending on the drug involved and the amount in your possession, you could face years in prison and up to $200,000 in fines. A conviction for selling or delivering a controlled substance is more costly. Both the prison time and fine can be twice as long, and prosecutors are more likely to bring additional charges that are related to the offense. Though you want to avoid a drug possession conviction, it may be the preferable option if the alternative is a conviction for possessing drugs with the intent to deliver.

Proving Intent

Catching someone in the act of selling or attempting to sell a controlled substance shows intent by the person in possession of the substance. However, police can also accuse someone of intending to sell or deliver a controlled substance without witnessing a transaction. They will often cite circumstantial evidence as proof of intent. For instance, the police may deduce that someone intended to sell drugs if they possessed a quantity that is greater than what someone would have for personal use. Equipment used for manufacturing or distributing drugs and electronic conversations that suggest an intended transaction may also be evidence.

Level of Penalties

Just as with possession, the type and quantity of the controlled substance someone is accused of distributing will change the severity of the charge. Illinois categorizes controlled substances into five schedules, based on their potential for addiction and recognized medical benefits. Schedule I and II drugs are considered to be the most addictive and to have the fewest medical benefits. They include drugs such as cocaine, heroin, LSD, and methamphetamines. A conviction for delivering or intending to deliver these substances is severe. It is a Class X felony to sell 15 grams or more of these substances, which includes a fine of as much as $500,000 or equal to the street value of the drug. The possible prison sentence depends on how much someone possessed. You could face:

  • Six to 30 years in prison for possessing 15 to 99 grams
  • Nine to 40 years in prison for possessing 100 to 399 grams
  • 12 to 50 years in prison for possessing 400 to 899 grams
  • 15 to 60 years in prison for possessing 900 or more grams

Contact a Crystal Lake, Illinois, Criminal Defense Lawyer

There are several defense strategies for if you are charged with selling drugs, such as disputing your alleged intent to sell or claiming that police conducted an unlawful search. A McHenry County criminal defense lawyer at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, can identify the best strategy for your case. To schedule a free consultation, call 815-338-3838.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072005700K401

Illinois State Bar Association State Bar of Wisconsin Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce Illinois Trial Lawyers Association McHenry County Bar Association
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