Charges for drug possession and trafficking in Illinois depending on the amount of the substance in question and other circumstances of the case. Understanding these laws can inform the next steps for those facing prosecution for drug crimes in the state.
Review the facts about Illinois drug possession and trafficking laws before a court date for these offenses.
Felony drug possession
Possession of more than 15 grams of LSD, methamphetamine, morphine, cocaine or heroin constitutes felony possession in Illinois. A first offense can result in four to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $200,000.
In April 2021, the Illinois House passed a bill to reclassify possession of small amounts of controlled substances as a misdemeanor offense. The lesser charges apply to up to:
- 3 g heroin
- 5 g cocaine
- 40 prescription pain pills
- 5 Schedule III prescription pills (Xanax and Valium, for example)
Lawmakers cited the importance of drug treatment for individuals in the criminal justice system struggling with substance use disorder.
Drug trafficking and manufacture
Charges of drug trafficking result from bringing drugs into Illinois for manufacture, delivery or distribution. Conviction requires proof that the defendant knew that he or she was transporting illegal controlled substances for delivery within the state or to other states or countries.
Manufacturing a controlled substance such as methamphetamine can result in Class 4 felony charges. A convicted individual could receive a fine of up to $25,000 and one to three years in prison.
Individuals facing drug charges in Illinois have the right to legal defense. They may qualify for diversion programs designed for those struggling with substance use disorder.