Beat Joliet Illinois Drug Crimes Charges by Understanding Them
The state of Illinois is extremely serious when it comes to cleaning up our streets and prosecuting people who commit drug crimes. How serious? In 2002, our state government spent $280 million dollars just to keep those who had committed drug-related offenses behind bars, and the number of people that have been sent to prison for drug crimes has gone up by an astounding 2000 percent over the last 30 years.
What does that mean for you? It means that if you’re charged with a drug crime in Illinois, you need to start building your defense immediately and make sure that you have someone on your side who understands how the system works and has experience helping people out of similar situations. Douglas DeBoer has been working as a Joliet defense attorney for 20 years, and he knows the drug laws of the state inside and out.
Your best chance at having your charges reduced or even dropped altogether is to work with a knowledgeable lawyer like Neil who can use his experience to seek out weak points in the state’s case against you and can use them for your benefit.
How Drug Charges Work in Illinois
A big part of the reason that it’s so hard to fight drug charges on your own is that the laws defining the crimes are so complicated and specific to each individual type of drug. Someone carrying marijuana, for example, is far more likely to get off with a slap on the wrist when compared to an individual in possession of a similar amount of cocaine. You can also go from being charged with a Class C misdemeanor to facing a Class B misdemeanor simply by carrying 2.6 grams of marijuana instead of 2.4 grams.
Most regular citizens don’t understand the nuances and end up confused, scared, and angry if the charges brought against them are more severe than they were expecting. The worst part is that most law enforcement officials don’t care about explaining your charges and simply won’t do it. You’re left to stew and wonder why this is happening to you and what you need to do to make the nightmare stop.
Douglas DeBoer doesn’t work that way. He’ll always take the time to sit down with you and make sure that you have a clear understanding of why you’re facing the charges that have been brought against you and the various defenses and options that are available to you.
Types of Drug Crimes
Drug crimes in the state of Illinois tend to fall into one of five broad categories, each of which carries with it a specific set of penalties and charges.
- Possession. This one is pretty straight forward. A law enforcement officer caught you with an illegal substance and you were arrested and brought up on charges. The type of charges and the severity of the punishment will depend both on the amount of drugs you were carrying and the type of drugs. Additionally, you will likely face harsher penalties if you are a repeat offender or have a criminal record. You can fight possession charges by trying to argue that the drugs in question didn’t actually belong to you or that the arresting officer didn’t have a right to search you and violated your rights.
- Intent to sell. Not only were you carrying an illegal substance, law enforcement officers believe that you were going to try to sell it based on the amount you had with you or other corroborating evidence. Defenses for these kinds of cases are two-fold: you want to prove both that the arresting officers had no evidence that you were going to sell the drug or drugs you had with you and (ideally) that the drugs weren’t yours or that the police shouldn’t have legally been allowed to search you.
- Trafficking, distribution, or importation. The police are arguing that you are part of an organized system of illegal drug sales on a large scale and that you have violated state laws by bringing your product in from across state lines or even from out of the country. Perhaps you did have drugs on you, and maybe you were even going to sell them, but it was just a small amount, and how are you supposed to know where they came from? Prosecutors have a lot to prove in these kinds of cases.
- Cultivating or manufacturing drugs. If you were caught in a grow house, meth lab, or other area where illegal drugs were being created or grown, the police may try to charge you with cultivating or manufacturing the drugs in question. The job of your defense, then, is to provide evidence showing that you were not involved with growing or manufacturing these drugs (if the property where this was occurring is owned and operated by someone else), or that you had no knowledge of them (if you own or operate the land or facility where the drugs were allegedly being created).
- Drug conspiracies. These charges tend to be related to involvement with large-scale illegal drug operations, but often also include crimes where gangs are present. Sometimes, someone may be charged with this crime simply due to their alleged involvement with a gang, even if they had no idea that such activities were occurring. You need to build a defense that can provide evidence proving that you were not involved or had no knowledge about what was going on.
Obviously, this is just an overview of the types of drug charges that someone can possibly face in Illinois. There are many other ways to get charged. In fact, it’s even possible to face a drug crimes charge without actually having a real, illegal drug – simply carrying a “lookalike” substance in packaging similar to what you would use for the real thing can cause someone to get arrested.
Penalties for Drug Crimes Charges Are Severe – Don’t Take Them Lying Down
It should go without saying that almost all drug crimes charges in Illinois come with the possibility of jail time. Even those who are charged with misdemeanors face up to a year in jail, and felony charges start there and just keep going higher.
But what’s often worse than any jail time or fines is the fact that drug crime convictions in our state are something that will stay with you for your entire life and can negatively impact your ability to get the job that you want or live a normal life. Younger offenders may even hurt their chances at going to college by losing out on their chance to get aid from the government. And those who aren’t U.S. citizens might even be deported.
You shouldn’t have to face the possibility of these outcomes alone. Contact Douglas DeBoer today and he will take a look at your case for free and set up an initial consultation where you can discuss the options available to you and the best way to defend yourself. Don’t wait – the earlier you start planning your defense, the better your chances are at winning your case. Mr. DeBoer prides himself on returning all phone calls promptly. He can be reached at 815-592-9145.