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Possession with Intent to Distribute

Chicago Criminal Defense AttorneyDefending against Possession with Intent to Distribute – Illinois Criminal Defense Counsel

A person who is in possession of drugs with the intent to distribute them will face the same penalties as someone who actually did deliver the drugs under Illinois law. The severity of the charges and penalties depends on a number of things, including the type of illegal substance in the individual’s possession and the amount of the drug that was intended for distribution. In addition, there are circumstances where a person may face far more severe charges, especially if the defendant was in possession of a firearm at the time of the drug possession or was arrested in the vicinity of a school, public park, church, or movie theater. If a person has been arrested and charged with this offense, it is critical to contact a skilled and dedicated Illinois criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.

David L. Freidberg has dedicated his legal practice to the defense of individuals’ rights and freedoms for almost 20 years. In that time, he has witnessed many over-zealous prosecutors attempt to coerce people into taking a deal that lands them in prison for many years when this was an unjust result based on the circumstances. He is prepared to fight on behalf of his clients in order to prevent this from happening, especially when the penalties for someone charged with a crime can include decades in prison. At the Law Offices of David L. Freidberg, we are committed to doing everything possible to get charges reduced or dismissed completely.

Possession with Intent to Distribute

Although a person faces the same penalties regardless of whether he had the intent to distribute a controlled substance or actually delivered the controlled substances, the facts that make up the two types of cases are very different. A person who is being prosecuted for possession with the intent to distribute was arrested with an amount of drugs in his possession that supports an assumption that the drugs were intended for sale or distribution. The facts that are going to be considered in the prosecution of the case include whether or not there was drug paraphernalia present that provides evidence of an intent to distribute, including scales for weighing the drugs or the division of the controlled substances into small bags for personal use. In many cases, the prosecutor will rely on officer testimony in order to establish intent to distribute. The statute can be found at 720 ILCS 570.

If the individual had completed the act of distributing the drugs, then he would be charged with delivery of a controlled substance.

Penalties for Possession with Intent to Distribute

The penalties for this crime vary depending on a number of factors, which include:

  • The nature of the controlled substances – possession of a highly addictive and dangerous drug such as heroin will result in harsher penalties than possession of marijuana;
  • The amount of the drug in the possession of the person who was arrested;
  • The criminal background of the defendant, including whether he was previously convicted of a felony and the nature of the felony;
  • The possession of a firearm at the time the individual was arrested for possession of the drugs;
  • The intent of the defendant to distribute the drugs to a person under the age of 18 years; and
  • The possession of drugs with the intent to distribute within 1,500 feet of a school, public park, or church.

In Illinois, there are many controlled substances that are regularly distributed for sale, but the common drugs that are found in the possession of an individual who has the intent to distribute them include:

  • Marijuana;
  • Cocaine;
  • Heroin;
  • Methamphetamines;
  • LSD; and
  • Morphine.

Penalties for possession with intent to distribute marijuana are less severe than the drugs that are considered to be more dangerous. Some of the penalties that a person might face if he were convicted of this crime include:

  • A prison term of three or seven years and a fine of up to $200,000.00 for possession with the intent to distribute less than one gram of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines, cocaine, LSD, or morphine – this is a Class 2 felony;
  • A prison term of four to 15 years and a fine of up to $250,000.00 for possession with intent to distribute between one and 15 grams of these controlled substances – this is a Class 1 felony;
  • A prison term of between six and 30 years and a fine of up to $500,000.00 for possession with intent to distribute between 15 and 100 grams of these controlled substances – this is a Class X felony; and
  • A prison term of nine to 30 years and a fine of up to $500,000.00 for the possession with intent to distribute between 100 and 400 grams of these controlled substances – this is considered an enhanced Class X felony known as a “Super X.”

If a person were arrested in possession of more than 400 grams, the penalties continue to increase. For crimes that involve 100 grams or more of a controlled substance, the defendant will have to serve 75 percent of the imposed sentence in many cases. When there are other enhancing factors, such as the possession of a firearm, the penalties could be doubled, which is why it is crucial to retain the right attorney.

Defending against Possession with Intent to Distribute

As with many different types of drug cases, the defense is based on the specific facts of the situation. Prosecutors rely on defendants accepting deals in these cases for reduced charges in order to avoid or minimize lengthy prison terms. However, there are many ways to challenge the elements of these offenses, especially since it is necessary for the prosecution to establish intent in order to succeed at trial. When there is limited evidence, the testimony of the arresting officer will be critical to the case and it may be possible to attack the credibility of the witness and demonstrate weaknesses in the case. In addition, law enforcement officers often act quickly in drug cases in order to round up as many people as possible. These hasty actions may lead to violations of the constitutional rights of the accused. A motion to quash the evidence that was collected could lead to a suppression of evidence and a dismissal of the case, or at least a reduction in the charges. There are many different ways to attack a prosecutor’s case. A skilled Illinois criminal defense attorney understands the nuances of building a strong challenge.

David L. Freidberg Fights for the Rights and Freedoms of His Clients

Drug charges have an immediate impact on a person’s life. A conviction on these charges can lead to many years in prison, large fines that create economic hardship for the defendant and his family long after the sentence has been served, and the negative consequences of a felony record on nearly every aspect of an individual’s career and personal life. David L. Freidberg understands how important it is to do everything possible to avoid a conviction on these charges and relies on nearly two decades of experience in order to defend his clients. The Law Offices of David L. Freidberg draw upon numerous resources to examine every facet of the prosecutor’s case in order to develop the right defense for each client. During a free initial consultation, Mr. Freidberg learns about what happened in order to strategize with his clients. Contact the office at (312) 560-7100 or (800) 803-1442 or send an email to dfreidberg@freidberglaw.com in order to schedule an initial appointment. We will respond to your inquiry quickly. We are available 24/7 for your convenience.