Drug crimes are perhaps the most common type of felony we see in our central Illinois practice. This is in part because so many of our clients are struggling with drug addiction and are consequently being charged with crimes relating to that addiction. As criminal defense lawyers, we know the importance of seeking alternative sentences in these cases whenever possible. However, we also understand that these cases lend themselves to litigation. There are a few reasons that we find so many issues with the charges brought against our clients in these cases, but the most common is officer error. Frequently, these cases involve a search warrant or a controlled buy. When that is the case, the credibility of the cooperating suspect (CS) comes into play as well as the legwork the officers actually did to obtain the search warrant. If the officers did not do enough and a search warrant was issued in error, or if the officers misrepresented what they did and the search warrant was issued based on misinformation, then a motion to suppress the evidence obtained as a result of that search is well-made. Errors also occur during traffic stops when an officer did not have probable cause to pull over a vehicle. More information about traffic stops can be found on our webpage called The Traffic Stop and at our blog.
Drug crimes can involve any substance from prescription pills, marijuana, crack/cocaine, heroin, to methamphetamines. Frequently when our clients have been charged with methamphetamines they have been charged with the production of those substances and are often charged in federal court. Marijuana is becoming an interesting topic because in Illinois, it is not a criminal violation of the law to have less than 10 grams on your person, however, the current United States attorney general has indicated that federal officials will not turn a blind eye to marijuana possession even in states where it has been legalized (Note: recreational use is not yet legal in Illinois, it is just not a criminal violation under 10 grams). Accordingly, clients are usually only charged with large amounts of cannabis and it is yet to be seen whether Illinois will follow California, Colorado, and Washington, and whether the Federal government will follow the lead of its new attorney general or whether it will maintain its hands-off approach to states with legalized marijuana.
Drug crimes in central Illinois almost always involve someone who has a substance abuse issue and started selling drugs to support his/her own habit. The good news is that lawmakers have started to provide for alternative sentencing for those individuals who get caught up in this cycle of selling to use and more and more we are seeing treatment options available for our clients. If you or someone you love has been charged with the crime of possession, possession with intent to deliver, or manufacture/delivery of a controlled substance, please do not try to represent yourself. An experienced criminal defense attorney will be vital to your success in court and obtaining a favorable outcome on your charges. Please contact our office today and schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced criminal defense lawyers.