Do First-time Drug Possession Offenders go to Jail in Illinois?

Criminal, Lawyer in McHenry County

According to recent statistics, there is an ever-increasing population of drug possession cases. These cases are mostly related to drug abuse and addiction; hence stricter penalties have been put in place to reduce drug-related crimes.

You could go to jail the first time you get caught with drugs, especially in a state like Illinois, which considers all drug possession a felony except marijuana possession. However, punishments are always given based on the circumstances surrounding the arrest and the possible charges against you.

The punishment varies from probation to jail term and community service in different cases. In this article, you will learn how a drug offense might affect you, even if it’s the first time.

What to Expect If You Get Charged with Possession of Drugs in Illinois

You will likely be arrested and booked into the criminal justice system if caught with illegal drugs in Illinois. The discipline for drug possession depends on the type and amount of drug you have and your criminal history.

Law enforcement and the local prosecutor will first need to decide if there is enough evidence to bring a case and win it. If they choose to pursue charges, you will be formally charged and have to appear in court. The judge will then set a bond, the amount you will have to pay to be released from jail pending your trial.

What happens when you are found guilty?

If you are found guilty of drug possession, you will be sentenced to either probation or prison time. The sentence will depend on the type and amount of drug you possess and your criminal history.

Those with no prior drug convictions can expect to receive a sentence of probation. In contrast, those with prior drug convictions or other aggravating factors can expect to get a prison time sentence.

You will be required to serve your sentence in state prison for those sentenced to jail. The sentence duration will depend on the type and amount of drug you possess and your criminal history. Those with no prior drug convictions can expect to serve a sentence of up six months to 5 years.

However, you can also get sentenced to probation; you will be required to complete a drug treatment program and be subject to random drug tests to ensure you are staying sober. You will also be required to pay fines and court costs. If you breach the terms of your probation, you can be sent to prison.

How a good defense lawyer makes an impact on a drug charge

The state offers options for a public defender to represent you, but they need to give you the best defense because most are stretched thin with many clients. They will likely plead for a bargain rather than carry out an investigation that might increase your winning chance.

Your best bet is going with a reliable defense team like ours here at FKMA Law can positively impact your case by seeking out all the ways to reduce your sentence or even clear your name.