Chicago Heroin Defense Attorney

Those suffering from addiction to heroin know how difficult it is to end the addiction cycle. Numerous medical professionals agree that addiction is a disease and that those who are enveloped in addiction need resources to help them overcome the disease. When a person is dependent on heroin or any other opioid, the constant use of the substance actually alters the way their brain functions and leads to the addict having uncontrollable cravings in addition to diminished judgement and reasoning abilities. When a heroin addict tries to get clean without the support of professional rehabilitation interventions, he or she has to endure extremely painful and agonizing withdrawal symptoms that make the process almost impossible.

If you have been arrested in Chicago for heroin possession, you may be an addict who has little control over your choices because your addiction runs so deep. You need effective rehabilitation, not fines and prison time. However, if you are arrested for delivering heroin or possessing heroin with intent to distribute, you face significant legal penalties. If you have been placed under arrest for a heroin charge, call Thomas C. Hallock, a Chicago heroin criminal defense attorney, immediately. Anyone who is caught by law enforcement for possessing, selling, manufacturing, or trafficking heroin will need to have the most experienced and effective criminal defense attorney in Chicago fighting on their behalf so they can see their best possible outcome.

Do Not Fight Your Chicago Heroin Charges Without an Experienced Attorney

Heroin charges are relatively common in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs. In Illinois, heroin charges usually occur in two broad categories: possession under 720 ILCS 570/402 or manufacturing/delivering/possessing with intent to deliver under 720 ILCS 570/401. Both categories are felonies.

Possessing heroin without evidence of selling it is known as "simple possession." You likely will be charged with simple possession of heroin if you have a small amount, in one bag or container, and no scale is nearby.

On the other hand, you likely will be charged with manufacturing/delivering/possessing with intent to deliver heroin if you have a large amount, have multiple bags or containers, or a scale is nearby. Obviously, if you deliver heroin to an undercover officer or an informant, you will be charged with delivery.

Illinois Penalties for Possession of Heroin

  • Possession of 0-15 grams of heroin is a Class 4 felony, punishable by 1-3 years in prison under 720 ILCS 570/402(c)
  • Possession of 15-100 grams of heroin is a Class 1 felony, punishable by 4-15 years in prison under 720 ILCS 570/402(a)(1)(A)
  • Possession of 100-400 grams of heroin is a Class 1 felony, punishable by 6-30 years in prison under 720 ILCS 570/402(a)(1)(B)
  • Possession of 400-900 grams of heroin is a Class 1 felony, punishable by 8-40 years in prison under 720 ILCS 570/402(a)(1)(C)
  • Possession of 900+ grams of heroin is a Class 1 felony, punishable by 10-50 years in prison under 720 ILCS 570/402(a)(1)(D)

Illinois Penalties for Manufacturing/Delivering/Possessing
with Intent to Deliver Heroin

The penalties for manufacturing, delivering, or possessing with intent to deliver heroin vary depending on the amount but are more severe than simple possession:

  • 0-1 gram is a Class 2 felony, punishable by 3-7 years in prison under 720 ILCS 570/401(d)(i)
  • 1-15 grams is a Class 1 felony, punishable by 4-15 years in prison under 720 ILCS 570/401(c)(1)
  • 15-100 grams is a Class X felony, punishable by 6-30 years in prison under 720 ILCS 570/401(a)(1)(A)
  • 100-400 grams is a Class X felony, punishable by 9-40 years in prison under 720 ILCS 570/401(a)(1)(B)
  • 400-900 grams is a Class X felony, punishable by 12-50 years in prison under 720 ILCS 570/401(a)(1)(C)
  • 900+ grams is a Class X felony, punishable by 15-60 years in prison under 720 ILCS 570/401(a)(1)(D)

Alternatives to a Prison Sentence

Attorney Thomas Hallock's primary goal is always to obtain a complete dismissal of your charges or a not guilty verdict at trial. If this is not an option, his fallback position is to obtain court supervision or placement in a deferred-prosecution program. Both options give you the opportunity to avoid incarceration and dispose of the charges without a conviction. Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to remove the arrest from your criminal record.

Some examples of deferred-prosecution programs include:

  • Drug School: Drug school is a program in Cook County that allows clients charged with simple possession to avoid a conviction. To qualify, the client must have no felony convictions, and no misdemeanor convictions for selling drugs or for a violent crime. The client attends 4 drug-education classes, which take place weekly and are 2.5 hours each. After completing the classes, the client becomes eligible to have his or her case dismissed.
  • 2nd-Chance Probation: 2nd-Chance Probation is for clients charged with non-violent felonies. To qualify, the client must have no felony convictions, no convictions for a violent crime, and no previous placement in a deferred-prosecution program. Treatment for substance abuse is often part of the program. Successful completion of the program allows the client to avoid incarceration and dispose of the felony charge without a conviction.
  • TASC Probation (Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities): TASC probation is a program designed to encourage clients to address the causes of their behavior. TASC case-managers prepare individualized plans to help participants overcome their personal challenges and make better choices. Treatment for substance abuse is often a central focus. Under TASC probation, the judge enters a conviction against the client when they enter TASC but vacates the conviction upon successful completion of the program. Acceptance into TASC is often denied, but a skillful defense attorney can improve your chances of being admitted into the program.
  • Drug Court: Drug court is a program for clients charged with non-violent felonies that have addiction issues. Drug court provides clients with counseling, drug screening, and drug treatment. Regular court monitoring helps clients stay on track. Successful completion of the program results in a reduction of the sentence or even a dismissal of the charges. More important, however, is that clients leave the program with the skills needed to live a life free from addiction.

Why Do You Need an Attorney if You Have Been Arrested for Heroin in Chicago?

The war on drugs has taken a specific aim at heroin and the use of other opioids. In Chicago, there has been significant attention and crack-downs on the heroin market. Operation Monticello’s Revenge is the name of just one of the numerous undercover campaigns the city has engaged in, aimed at reducing narcotics-related incidents.

Without a doubt, if you do not have professional and knowledgeable legal assistance on your side fighting on your behalf to combat your charges, you are taking a huge risk. Depending on the details of your case, you may be facing not only state charges but federal charges and you could be looking at as many as 60 years in prison and upward of $500,000 in fines for your heroin-related charges.

Any defendant who decides to forgo the use of an Illinois heroin criminal defense attorney should make sure to be well-versed in both state criminal law and federal criminal law, knowledgeable of procedural requirements and deadlines, understanding of the viable legal options available and which are the best for a resolution to their situation, and also skilled in litigation. Without these qualities, a positive outcome in a Chicago heroin case is unlikely. Working with a seasoned Chicago criminal drug defense attorney can give you peace of mind that your case will be handled properly while reducing the possibility of a horrible outcome.

Do You Need to Speak with an Aggressive Chicago Drug Crime Defense Attorney?

Thomas C. Hallock is a Chicago drug crime defense attorney who will have your back and not give up when it comes to fighting criminal charges against you. Call Thomas C. Hallock today at (312) 487-2441 for local residents or toll-free at (888) 412-3741.

HELPFUL TIPS FROM ME TO YOU

HOW TO PROPERLY EXERCISE YOUR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS

What You Should Do

  • Be respectful at all times.
  • Calmly record the interaction.
  • Ask if you are free to leave. If you do not ask, the officer may think—and the judge may agree—that the interaction was consensual.
  • If you are free to leave, go! If you are not free to leave, respectfully but firmly ask to speak with your lawyer.

What You Should Not Do

  • Do not physically resist arrest.
  • Do not become aggressive or confrontational.
  • Do not consent to a search. The Constitution does not apply if you consent.
  • Do not answer questions without first speaking with your attorney. Police are allowed to hold you for 48 hours and they may lie to you the entire time.

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