While medical marijuana became legal in Illinois in 2014, and despite the potential for future legalization of recreational cannabis, serious penalties remain in place for possession and irresponsible use of the drug. Here is a look at the various charges and punishments for a marijuana arrest in Illinois:
Any person found to be under the influence of marijuana while driving can be charged with DUI, regardless of whether the individual is an approved medical marijuana card holder. In Illinois, a driver is considered impaired if they register a THC concentration of 5 nanograms per milliliter of blood or 10 ng/ml of another bodily substance. Medicinal marijuana card holders suspected of impairment must submit to field sobriety testing or face driver’s license suspension.
A first-time DUI can result in a six-month license suspension, and that duration increases with any subsequent offense. Some DUI offenders are eligible to keep their driving privileges with a monitoring device driving permit, which can be negotiated with the help of a skilled criminal defense attorney.
Marijuana Possession in Illinois
Penalties for cannabis possession are based on the weight confiscated by law enforcement. Punishments for smaller amounts as a first-time offender include:
- Under 10 grams: Civil law violation, up to $200 fine
- 10 to 30 grams: Class B misdemeanor, up to six months in jail and $1,500 fine
- 30 to 100 grams: Class A misdemeanor, up to one year in jail and $2,500 fine
Anything above 100 grams, which is just over 3 ½ ounces, is charged as a felony in Illinois. Possession between 30 and 100 grams can also be upgraded to a felony if it is a repeat drug offense.
Drug Possession Defense Strategies
A drug conviction can impact your employability and ability to get student loans. An experienced lawyer can investigate the facts surrounding your case to create a course of action to achieve the best results possible. This would likely include the pursuit of dropped charges if police violated your rights due to an unlawful traffic stop or illegal search and seizure. Otherwise, your attorney can negotiate with prosecutors to reach an agreement that may include a diversionary program or probation to keep a conviction off your record.
Contact a Wheaton Drug Charges Lawyer
At Anderson Attorneys & Advisors, we believe one minor mistake should not have a severe impact on the rest of your life. If you face a drug charge, trust an adept DuPage County criminal defense attorney who knows how to get results. Call us at 630-877-5800 for a free consultation.