Drug Offenses in Chicago

Drug Offenses in Chicago

The police and prosecutors in Chicago take drug offenses seriously. You need an experienced attorney specializing in drug offenses in Chicago on your side.

He will challenge the evidence and arguments of the prosecutor. He will fight for your rights at the preliminary hearing and try to prove that there is no probable cause for the arrest.

Possession of a Controlled Substance

Possession of drugs such as heroin, cocaine, methamphetamines, ecstasy, LSD, marijuana and prescription drugs such as oxycontin or Xanax is criminalized by the Illinois Controlled Substance Act. This law classifies drugs under a five-schedule system, which reflects the level of risk and potential for abuse and addiction from the drug. Drugs that have no accepted medical use, are dangerous and highly addictive, including heroin and ecstasy, are classified as Schedule I, while drugs like methadone, Demerol and OxyContin, which can be prescribed by doctors, are considered Schedule II.

Many drug offense convictions leave a permanent record, which can make it difficult to find employment, housing or even a bank to finance a mortgage. For this reason it is important to hire a lawyer who can protect your reputation and keep the case off your record with the help of diversion or deferred prosecution programs. An experienced attorney can also negotiate to have charges reduced to misdemeanor possession or a violation.

Delivery of a Controlled Substance

For many people, the idea of being charged with a drug crime is extremely intimidating. Even though public opinion polls have shown a relaxation of attitudes toward the use of certain controlled substances, in Illinois this is not the case and any conviction can have severe consequences including jail or prison time, significant fines, mandatory drug treatment/counseling, property forfeiture and restrictions on employment, educational, housing and financial opportunities.

Chicago prosecutors will often elevate drug charges from Possession of a Controlled Substance to Delivery of a Controlled Substance if the quantity of drugs exceeds that found in possession for personal use. In addition to a large quantity of drugs, the evidence to support this charge may also include drug paraphernalia such as postal scales, common cutting agents and baggies or balloons used for packaging the drugs.

An experienced Chicago drug offense lawyer can help you understand the charges against you and develop a creative and personalized strategy to fight them. James Dimeas is an aggressive, resourceful attorney and a former prosecutor with 29 years of experience handling drug crimes in Chicago. He has an AVVO rating of 10.0 and is committed to fighting for the rights of his clients.

Intent to Deliver a Controlled Substance

Having possession with intent to sell or deliver drugs is a serious offense. Depending on the type of drug and the amount in your possession, it can be a misdemeanor or a felony.

Generally, prosecutors will charge you with intent to deliver if the quantity of illegal drug that you possessed is larger than what would be necessary for personal use. The accused must also have knowledge of the presence of the drugs. However, a person who is riding as a passenger in a vehicle and does not know that the driver has a quantity of drugs may be exempt from this charge.

When prosecutors are confronted by an experienced Delivery of a Controlled Substance lawyer like James Dimeas, they often back down and reduce the charges. This allows our clients to avoid a conviction and get the case dismissed completely. Often, our defense strategies can expose law enforcement procedural errors and other weaknesses in the prosecution’s case.

Constructive Possession

Possession of drugs requires actual physical possession, like holding them in your hand or keeping them in your pocket. Constructive possession is a theory of criminal law that allows the prosecutor to charge you if they can prove that you had the ability to control an illegal drug or substance, even if it was not physically in your immediate possession.

Prosecutors must also prove that you knew the drugs were present in order to establish constructive possession. If you are charged with this offense, our firm can raise several effective defenses that challenge the prosecutor’s case.

You can be charged with constructive possession if you share an apartment with someone who uses drugs and police discover these substances in your shared space. It can also apply if you lend your friend a car and drugs are found in it, provided you have the ability to control that area of the vehicle. Other incriminating facts and circumstances can also be used to support a constructive possession case, such as whether you have sole or joint ownership of the space where the drugs were discovered.