Drug possession charges vary among states. While the charges are always severe, the sentencing based on drug laws could vary slightly for each country. In Illinois, felony drug offenses are taken quite seriously. Drugs are classified into five different types. Class 1 is for the most severe kind of drugs, which can result in an increased sentence. Among other controlled substances, the charges against cocaine possession should never be taken lightly, no matter how small the amount of the drug is in possession.
The First Step
If you are ever caught in such a situation, your first step should be to hire an attorney. Whether you are at fault or not, cocaine possession can accelerate quickly, giving you no time to defend yourself. At Ktenas law, our criminal defense lawyers believe in providing our clients with the best services to protect their case in complicated situations.
We understand that every case is different, and so, by giving free consultation, we provide our clients with the confidence and strength they need to proceed with their case. Rest assured, once the issue is in our hands, we will ensure that the final verdict is what is best for you.
Types of Charges
For cocaine possession, there are various charges that a prosecutor can file against you. The first being, the possession of cocaine is comparatively less harsh than others. These may include selling, trafficking, or manufacturing it.
However, the final decision will vary, depending on other factors, including the quantity of powder or rock cocaine. Hence, if the officers found a massive amount in your possession, it can be classified as possession with the intent to sell, eventually increasing the overall charges. Repeat offenders with any prior convictions for any controlled substances are subject to harsher sentencing. To understand the charges better, let us first differentiate between actual and constructive possession.
The definition of actual possession is what it literally means; having cocaine on you at the time you are caught by law enforcement. Since actual possession cases are complex, there is less chance of getting you out of it altogether. If you have drugs on you at the time of the search, it won't be easy to collect evidence that proves the opposite.
However, suppression of cocaine and reduced charges is still a possibility if you have an attorney. With the help of your lawyer, you can prepare a case against the officials if they have made any mistake during the procedure or done something that is not legally permitted while searching. This means that even with actual possession, there is a chance for you to get a drug court decision in your favor.
This category includes being informed of the presence of cocaine or having it at a place under your authority. For example, if it is found in your home or your office room to which you have the keys, you will be held responsible for it.
However, since the officials wouldn't have caught you with cocaine on your person, there is a chance to better fight the case. For example, the authority of the place where the substance was found could be shared. Having a third person involved reduces the chances of you being proved guilty when you are not. However, even if you are not at fault, it is best to hire an attorney so that they could prove your innocence without much hassle.
The lowest charges for possession are applicable when less than 15g of cocaine is found. It can cost you around $25,000 and up to 3 years of jail time. While this can be reduced depending on your situation and how the attorney might have to deal with the case, it may not always be possible.
For situations where more than 15g of cocaine is found, the fine could be up to $200,000. The imprisonment period could be anywhere between 4-50 years, depending on the quantity and intent proved in the court. The intensity of the charges can also increase based on several other factors. These factors include whether or not this is a first-time possession charge, the place where they found cocaine, were there kids in the vicinity or not, and more. Due to all these different circumstances, we think it is best to have an attorney from the beginning so that you are well-informed and well-equipped to fight your case.
Why Hire an Attorney?
After taking a brief look at the severity of the case, we are sure you have an idea as to why it is necessary to hire an attorney. However, another consideration to be made is that you should hire a lawyer who is specifically experienced in drug possession cases. They will significantly help your case because an experienced lawyer knows all the possibilities that cocaine charges may present.
If you are not at fault, the attorney will collect all the evidence to prove so and remove any charges whatsoever. If a client is guilty and wants the charges to be reduced, it can also be done by taking a close look at the legal proceedings taken place. This includes everything, from the search warrant to the way police officials conducted the search and your Miranda rights. Hence, no matter the situation, hiring an experienced criminal defense lawyer, such as those at Ktenas Law, will make your case stronger.