Outside of extremely narrow exceptions, it is a criminal offense to possess cocaine in the State of Illinois. Referred to legally as a controlled substance, cocaine is classified under Schedule II based on its limited medical use and abusive potential. Any person who possesses cocaine — or an imitation substance that is substantially similar — can face severe criminal penalties under Illinois, including prison time and fines.
What are the Laws Against Possession of Cocaine?
From a general standpoint, 720 ILCS 570/402 makes it a crime to knowingly possess a controlled substance like cocaine. Section 402 also prohibits the possession of counterfeit cocaine or an analog of cocaine, both of which are intended to mimic and substantially similar to actual cocaine.
In this context, the knowledge requirement is extremely important. A person must know — or have a reason to know — that they are in possession of cocaine. Otherwise, it does not qualify as a violation of Section 402 or trigger the criminal penalties described in the following section.
What is the Punishment for Possession of Cocaine?
Section 402 also establishes the punishment for unlawful possession of cocaine. Though the corresponding prison sentence and criminal fines can fluctuate based on the amount of cocaine in question. Unlawful possession of cocaine in the amount of:
- Less than 15 grams — Is a Class 4 felony punishable by one to three years in prison and fines up to $25,000;
- Between 15 and 100 grams — Is a Class 1 felony punishable by four to 15 years in prison and fines up to $200,000;
- Between 100 and 400 grams — Is a Class 1 felony punishable by six to 30 years in prison and fines up to $250,000 or the street value of the cocaine, whichever is greater;
- Between 400 and 900 grams — Is a Class 1 felony punishable by eight to 40 years in prison and fines up to $250,000 or the street value of the cocaine, whichever is greater; or
- More than 15 grams — Is a Class 1 felony punishable by 10 to 50 years in prison and fines up to $250,000 or the street value of the cocaine, whichever is greater.
The punishment for possession of counterfeit cocaine or an analog of cocaine occurs in the exact same manner detailed above. Illinois law does not differentiate between controlled substances, counterfeit controlled substances, or controlled substance analogs.
Do You Need Legal Help?
No matter what the criminal offense, all charges are serious. A sound strategy and an aggressive defense are essential for a positive outcome. To protect your rights in such situations, it is highly advisable to retain legal counsel from an experienced criminal defense attorney.
The Prior Law Firm in Bloomington, Illinois, has proven experience in matters of criminal defense. If you need legal help with criminal defense, contact us today for a free consultation. You can reach The Prior Law Firm by phone at (309) 827-4300, email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by completing an online form.