Unlawful Possession of Cannabis
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Unlawful possession of cannabis is the single most common type of drug offense committed in Illinois. Penalties and consequences range from simple ordinance violations to serious felonies depending on the amount or weight of cannabis you have in your possession. If you are charged with unlawful possession of cannabis, it is very important that you hire a skilled Aurora criminal defense attorney who understands the nature of your offense and will provide you with a plan to protect your freedom and your criminal record. At The Law Offices of David Lee, we have more than 15 years of combined experience and have helped numerous individuals in situations similar to yours.
Call our firm today at (630) 901-8700 for a free phone consultation with one of our Aurora criminal defense lawyers.
Illinois Penalties for Unlawful Possession of Cannabis.
Cannabis is not considered a "controlled substance" and has its own separate classification under the Cannabis Control Act. There are severe penalties for possession of cannabis, possession of cannabis with the intent to distribute, or actual delivery and/or manufacture of cannabis.
Common penalties of unlawful possession of cannabis include:
- Possession of less than 2.5 grams of cannabis is normally charged as a class C misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to a $1,500.00 fine and/or 30 days in jail.
- Possession of between 2.5 and 10 grams of cannabis is normally charged as a class B misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to a $1,500.00 fine and/or 180 days in jail.
- Possession of between 10 and 30 grams of cannabis is normally charged as a class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to a $2,500.00 fine and/or 364 days in jail.
- Possession of between 500 and 2000 grams of cannabis is normally charged as a class 3 felony, which is punishable by up to a $25,000.00 fine and/or 2 – 5 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.
- Possession of between 2000 and 5000 grams of cannabis is normally charged as a class 2 felony, which is punishable by up to a $25,000.00 fine and/or 3 – 7 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.
- Possession of over 5000 grams of cannabis is normally charged as a class 1 felony, which is punishable by up to a $25,000.00 fine and/or 4 – 15 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.
In addition, if you are convicted of unlawful possession of cannabis, you may also be subject to the following penalties:
- Period of incarceration
- Probation or conditional discharge
- Fines, fees and court costs
- Mandatory drug counseling
- Community service
- Felony conviction
At The Law Offices of David Lee, our Aurora criminal defense attorney has nearly ten years of experience handling unlawful possession of cannabis cases, both as a former prosecutor and as a criminal defense attorney. We understand the nuances of Illinois cannabis laws and the criminal justice system. You need a criminal defense attorney that will prioritize your goals and is driven by performance and results. Our firm has successfully defended hundreds of individuals charged with unlawful possession of cannabis and we’d like to use our knowledge and experience to work towards a successful outcome in your criminal case.
Defenses to Unlawful Possession of Cannabis
An experienced criminal defense attorney will be able to analyze your case and look for weaknesses in the State's case. Citizen and police encounters are very fact-specific in regards to illegal "search and seizure." The police need probable cause to stop you and "mere suspicion" is not enough to detain you. If you were searched without probable cause, there are several pre-trial motions that can be filed to suppress evidence seized or to quash the actual arrest.
Legal possession of cannabis may differ from your understanding of what possession means. Where the cannabis is found and the circumstances leading up to its discovery by law enforcement may open opportunities for you to challenge the arrest. You must "knowingly" possess the cannabis—and the State Prosecutor must be able to prove this element—before you can be found guilty of unlawful possession.
Contact an Unlawful Possession of Cannabis Defense Attorney Today
Though unlawful possession of cannabis is considered a common drug offense, it still carries serious implications. A conviction for unlawful possession of cannabis can land you in jail, and irreparably damage your reputation and future employment opportunities. Furthermore, if you are convicted, you may lose your job, be expelled from school, and it may disqualify you from certain types of financial aid.
Our firm can provide you with sound advice on how to address your pending unlawful possession of cannabis case. We know the ins and outs of the legal system and are prepared to guide you every step of the way.
Arrested for unlawful possession of cannabis? Call our firm today at (630) 901-8700 for your free phone consultation.