Any form of drug conviction in Illinois can have a serious impact on your life and your future. For example, if you are a student who gets convicted of selling drugs, you cannot receive any student loans, grants or other aid for two years. If it happens a second time, the ban becomes permanent. Even simply having illegal drugs in your possession can have severe consequences, ranging from fines up to lengthy prison sentences.
No matter how small the quantity, it can still get you into trouble. For example, having under 2.5 grams of cannabis in your possession can warrant a jail sentence of up to 30 days and fines of as much as $1,500. These numbers climb quickly and 10 grams could result in a full year in jail with fines of $2,500. According to the Illinois Wesleyan University, a second offense at that quantity increases those fines to up to $25,000 and can earn you between one and three years in prison.
Many other drugs carry even harsher penalties. Possession of 16 grams of heroin or cocaine is punished with between four and 15 years in prison, along with fines of up to $200,000. Even possessing drug paraphernalia can be trouble, with fines starting at $750. If a firearm is involved, this can add to your charges and potential penalties even more, particularly if anyone is harmed by the weapon.
If you are faced with drug charges, effective representation can be invaluable. An attorney can explain the charges against you and the possible penalties you might face. He or she may also be able to support you during your trial to assist you in avoiding conviction and protecting your future.