Penalties for Federal Drug Crimes in Illinois

 Posted on March 28, 2024 in Drug Crimes

IL defense lawyerDrug crime charges come with prison time, hefty fines, and a criminal record. With sentences determined by the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, drug crimes prosecuted in federal court generally come with harsher penalties than state-level charges.

Federal drug crimes are complex cases investigated by federal agencies and governed by federal law. If you have been accused of committing a federal drug crime, you need a Chicago drug crime attorney with experience representing defendants against federal charges. 

Common Drug Crime Charges & Penalties

Federal drug crimes encompass a wide range of offenses. The most common drug crimes include:

Simple Possession

Simple possession is the crime of knowingly possessing or using an illegal substance for personal use. This does not include controlled substances that have a valid prescription. A conviction for a misdemeanor offense entails a maximum one-year prison sentence and a minimum fine of $1,000.

If a police officer charged you for simple possession based on evidence obtained through an illegal search and seizure, that evidence is inadmissible in court. Our Chicago drug crime attorney will file a motion to suppress evidence, preventing this information from being admitted into the court record. 

Possession with Intent to Distribute

If a person is found in possession of massive quantities of a controlled substance, the individual may be charged with possession with intent to distribute. 

Your sentence will depend on the drug and volume in your possession. For instance, for 10 grams or more of LSD, the statutory minimum for a conviction under 18 U.S.C. §841(a) is ten years. However, if someone dies or suffers serious bodily injury as a result of using the controlled substance, you will serve at least 20 years in prison. 

If the defendant is an individual, he or she will be fined $4 million. If the defendant is other than an individual, the fine will be $10 million.

Attempt & Conspiracy

A conspiracy charge is usually made in connection with drug trafficking and other drug-related crimes designed to support the transportation and distribution of illegal substances. Conspiracy penalties will be the same as drug distribution penalties.

Continuing Criminal Enterprise

This offense involves a large-scale drug operation, usually a drug cartel. If found guilty, you could be sentenced to 20 years to life in prison, with a potential fine of $2 million for individuals and $5 million for other than an individual. You will also be required to forfeit any property in connection with the criminal enterprise.

Distribution and Trafficking

Drug trafficking is selling or transporting illicit drugs. Depending on the type of drug, the quantity, and if you have prior offenses, you could be serving anywhere between five years to life in prison. For example, 500-5,000 grams of cocaine carries a minimum prison sentence of five years, with a maximum sentence of 40 years. 

If the defendant is an individual, a $5 million fine will be imposed, and if he or she is not an individual, a $25 million fine. 

Speak with Our Chicago, IL, Drug Crime Attorney Today

Any charge regarding a drug-related offense should be dealt with immediately. If you are facing allegations of a drug crime, you need to consult a Chicago, IL, drug crime attorney as soon as possible. To schedule your free consultation, contact Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel LLC, Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney online or by calling 312-629-0669.

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