Drug trafficking is one of the most serious drug-related criminal charges you can face in Chicago. Due to the drug abuse epidemic in Chicago, which costs thousands of lives every year, drug-related offenses are vigorously prosecuted in the city. A conviction can have far-reaching and life-altering consequences.
If you are facing drug trafficking charges in Chicago, it is critically important to have an experienced Chicago drug trafficking attorney on your side. Attorney Purav Bhatt has extensive experience in successfully defending individuals accused of state as well as federal drug trafficking charges and can help you fight the charges and take all possible steps to protect your freedom, reputation, and civil liberties.
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Drug Trafficking Laws in Chicago – What You Need to Know
Under Illinois law, the term ‘drug trafficking’ refers to the transportation of drugs or chemicals that can be used to make drugs into the state with the intention of manufacturing and/or distributing drugs within the state as well as in other states or countries.
The Illinois Controlled Substances Act prohibits a wide range of activities drug-related activities including:
- The production, preparation, propagation, compounding, cultivation, growing, or harvesting of controlled substances
- Possession of a controlled substance with the intention of selling, distributing, or delivering to others
- Possession of a controlled substance in quantities that exceed what is considered reasonable for personal use – indicating an intention to sell or distribute to others
- Actual or attempted transfer of a controlled substance from one person to another
- Planning or conspiring with others to engage in drug trafficking activities
- Transporting controlled substances across state lines or international borders with the intention of distributing them
- Participating in organized criminal activities related to drug trafficking
Controlled Substances Covered under Illinois Law
Under the Illinois Controlled Substances Act, controlled substances are categorized under different schedules based on their potential for abuse or dependency and potential for medical use. These include:
- Schedule I: It includes drugs that have a very high potential for abuse or dependency and do not have any accepted medical use. Examples include heroin, LSD, and MDMA.
- Schedule II: It includes drugs that have a high potential for abuse or dependency, but have accepted medical uses under certain circumstances with severe restrictions. Examples include cocaine, methamphetamine, morphine, oxycodone, and fentanyl.
- Schedule III: It includes substances that have a lower potential for abuse or dependency compared to Schedule I or II drugs and have accepted medical uses. Examples include anabolic steroids, ketamine, and certain combinations of codeine.
- Schedule IV: It includes substances that have a lower potential for abuse or dependency compared to Schedule III drugs and have accepted medical uses. Examples include Xanax, Ativan, Valium, and Tramadol.
- Schedule V: It includes substances and chemicals that have a lower potential for abuse or dependency compared to Schedule IV drugs and have accepted medical uses. Examples include Parapectolin, Motofen, and cough preparations containing less than 200mg of codeine per 100 milliliters or per 100 grams.
Penalties for Drug Trafficking in Chicago
Drug trafficking offenses are typically prosecuted as felonies in Chicago. The severity of charges depends on the type and amount of drugs trafficked as well as other aggravating factors like prior criminal record of the parties involved, the use of cell phones while committing the crime, the use of firearms while committing the crime, whether the crime was committed near a designated drug-free zone, and more.
Class X Felony
A Class X felony is the most serious charge you can face for drug trafficking in Chicago. Trafficking of certain Schedule I and II drugs like heroin, fentanyl, and LSD in large quantities can lead to Class X felony charges. The penalties can range from 6 to 30 years in prison for 15 to 100 grams, 9 to 40 years in prison for 100 to 400 grams, 12 to 50 years in prison for 400 to 900 grams, and 15 to 60 years in prison for any amount over 900 grams.
Class 1 Felony
Trafficking of Schedule I and II drugs like heroin, fentanyl, and LSD in lesser quantities (anywhere from 1 to 15 grams) can lead to Class 1 felony charges in Chicago. The penalty can range from 4 to 15 years in prison. Apart from this, trafficking Schedule III, IV, and V drugs in larger quantities can also lead to Class 1 felony charges in Chicago.
Class 2 Felony
Trafficking of amphetamines and LSD analogs in lesser quantities (compared to the quantities spelled out for Class X and Class 1 felony offenses) can lead to Class 2 felony charges. Apart from this, trafficking large quantities of Schedule III, IV, and V substances can also lead to Class 2 felony charges in Chicago. The penalty can range from 3 to 7 years in prison.
Class 3 and 4 Felonies
Trafficking of Schedule III, IV, and V substances in lesser quantities compared to the quantities spelled out for Class X, Class 1, and Class 2 felony counts can lead to Class 3 or 4 felony charges in Chicago. Class 3 felonies are punishable by 2 to 5 years in prison and Class 4 felonies are punishable by 1 to 3 years in prison.
It should be noted that the penalty for drug related criminal offenses in Chicago also includes fines, which can range from tens of thousands of dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars – depending on the type and quantity of drugs trafficked.
Can Drug Trafficking Be Prosecuted as a Federal Crime in Chicago?
Yes, drug trafficking can be prosecuted as a federal crime in Chicago. The federal government – through agencies like the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) – actively investigates and prosecutes drug trafficking offenses across the country.
Federal agencies are typically involved in cases involving large quantities of drugs, organized crime networks, trafficking drugs on federal property, or trafficking activities that span across multiple states or countries.
Individuals facing drug trafficking charges can be prosecuted at the state as well as federal level – depending on the nature and scope of the criminal offense. When an offense violates state as well as federal law, prosecutors have the discretion to pursue federal charges. The penalties for federal drug crimes are considerably harsher compared to penalties at the state level for similar offenses. They can include lengthy prison sentences, significant fines, and asset forfeiture.
How Chicago, IL Drug Trafficking Attorney Purav Bhatt’s Expertise Can Help You
The expertise of an experienced criminal defense attorney can be invaluable in drug trafficking cases. Here is how seasoned Chicago drug trafficking lawyer Purav Bhatt can help you in a drug trafficking case.
Attorney Purav Bhatt is well versed in state as well as federal drug trafficking laws. He can explain the charges against you, the potential defenses possible, and the legal process involved. He can analyze the prosecutions’ case against you and the evidence they have and identify weaknesses, inconsistencies, or constitutional violations that can be used in your defense.
Protection of Rights
Drug trafficking cases often involve complex legal issues related to search and seizure, entrapment, and Miranda rights. Attorney Purav Bhatt can make sure that your constitutional rights are protected throughout the legal proceedings and prevent potential violations like illegal searches or coerced confessions.
Strategic Defense Planning
Attorney Purav Bhatt can construct a personalized defense strategy based on the specific facts of your case. This might involve challenging the legality of searches and seizures, questioning witness credibility, entrapment, and more.
Being a former Cook County State Attorney, Purav Bhatt knows how law enforcement agencies and prosecutors work. This familiarity allows him to anticipate the strategies that the prosecutor might employ and plan the defense strategies accordingly.
Navigating the Legal System
Legal proceedings in Chicago involve extensive paperwork and there are strict deadlines to be met. Attorney Purav Bhatt can ensure all the necessary documents are filed correctly and on time.
Attorney Purav Bhatt is extensively familiar with local courtroom procedures and has an excellent working relationship with state prosecutors and judges. It allows him to present your case effectively to judges and juries.
If a conviction is unavoidable, attorney Purav Bhatt can advocate for the most lenient sentence possible by presenting mitigating factors like lack of prior convictions or participation in rehabilitation programs and by making persuasive arguments. He can also negotiate with the prosecutor for alternative sentencing options and explore avenues for parole or probation, which can significantly reduce your sentence and reduce its impact on your life.
Emotional Support and Guidance
Facing drug trafficking charges can be emotionally overwhelming. Attorney Purav Bhatt can provide you with compassionate legal representation and provide emotional support and guidance, which can significantly reduce the stress and uncertainty associated with the legal process.
Get an Experienced Chicago Drug Trafficking Defense Attorney on Your Side
Drug trafficking charges are taken extremely seriously in Chicago due to the fact that it is a public safety concern and can destabilize communities, lead to increased violence, and other criminal activities. If you are facing drug trafficking charges, the importance of quality legal representation cannot be overstated.
At the Law Office of Purav Bhatt, we have a team of Chicago criminal law attorneys who have decades of collective experience in defending individuals accused of drug trafficking and other drug crimes. We have a success rate that few other criminal law firms in Illinois can boast of.
Our founder, Purav Bhatt, is a former prosecutor and one of the highest-rated criminal defense attorneys in the state today. Over the years, he has successfully defended numerous individuals facing state as well as federal drug possession, distribution, and trafficking charges. His experience as a prosecutor and his in-depth understanding of state and federal drug laws allows him to build a robust defense to protect your rights and freedom.
Call our firm today at 773-673-9936 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with a seasoned Chicago, IL criminal defense attorney.