Chicago Methamphetamine Defense Attorney

Methamphetamine charges are relatively uncommon in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs. In Illinois, methamphetamine 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 methamphetamine without evidence of selling it is known as "simple possession." You likely will be charged with simple possession of methamphetamine 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 methamphetamine if you have a large amount, have multiple bags or containers, or a scale is nearby. Obviously, if you deliver methamphetamine to an undercover officer or an informant, you will be charged with delivery.

Regardless of whether you are charged with simple possession or something more, the government has the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that you knowingly possessed the drug. As with all drug charges, you cannot be convicted of possessing something you were unaware of. Additionally, even if you knowingly possessed the drug, the evidence may be suppressed if law enforcement disregarded the Constitution in order to arrest you.

Illinois Penalties for Possession of Methamphetamine

  • Possession of 0-5 grams of methamphetamine is a Class 3 felony, punishable by 2-5 years in prison under 720 ILCS 646/60(b)(1)
  • Possession of 5-15 grams of methamphetamine is a Class 2 felony, punishable by 3-7 years in prison under 720 ILCS 646/60(b)(2)
  • Possession of 15-100 grams of methamphetamine is a Class 1 felony, punishable by 4-15 years in prison under 720 ILCS 646/60(b)(3)
  • Possession of 100-400 grams of methamphetamine is a Class X felony, punishable by 6-30 years prison under 720 ILCS 646/60(b)(4)
  • Possession of 400-900 grams of methamphetamine is a Class X felony, punishable by 8-40 years in prison under 720 ILCS 646/60(b)(5)
  • Possession of 900+ grams of methamphetamine is a Class X felony, punishable by 10-50 years in prison

Illinois Penalties for Delivering/Possessing
with Intent to Deliver Methamphetamine*

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

  • 0-5 grams is a Class 2 felony, punishable by 3-7 years in prison under 720 ILCS 646/55(a)(2)(A)
  • 5-15 grams is a Class 1 felony, punishable by 4-15 years in prison under 720 ILCS 646/55(a)(2)(B)
  • 15-100 grams is a Class X felony, punishable by 6-30 years in prison under 720 ILCS 646/55(a)(2)(C)
  • 100-400 grams is a Class X felony, punishable by 9-40 years in prison under 720 ILCS 646/55(a)(2)(D)
  • 400-900 grams is a Class X felony, punishable by 12-50 years in prison under 720 ILCS 646/55(a)(2)(E)
  • 900+ grams is a Class X felony, punishable by 15-60 years in prison under 720 ILCS 646/55(a)(2)(F)

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.

*"Manufacturing" methamphetamine covers a wide range of conduct and is punished separately under 720 ILCS 646/15.

Contact Thomas C. Hallock if you need a skilled and committed methamphetamine defense attorney in Chicago.
Call Hallock Law at (888) 412-3741 to begin.

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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