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Possession of Heroin in Illinois

Possession of any controlled substance is serious business in Illinois, and heroin is no exception. Possession of any amount of heroin, with or without the intent to distribute, is a felony.

A felony conviction can have a significant impact on your life, beyond the obvious risks such as the possible prison sentence and fine. A felony conviction can have a serious impact on employment opportunities and access to financial aid, and will disqualify you from holding a FOID card. Some felony convictions even limit your ability to travel internationally.

If you’ve been charged with possession of heroin, it’s in your best interest to speak with an experienced criminal defense lawyer right away. Just call 630-479-7100 or use the contact form on this website to schedule a free consultation.

Heroin is a Schedule I Controlled Substance

Heroin is a Schedule I controlled substance. A substance is classified as Schedule I when:

  • It has been deemed to have a high potential for abuse; and
  • There is no currently accepted medical use for it in the U.S., or it cannot be used safely under medical supervision.

Schedule I drugs are considered to be the most dangerous, and the penalties associated with their possession, manufacture and distribution are generally the most severe.

Penalties for Possession of Heroin in Illinois

Although possession of heroin is always a felony in the state of Illinois and possession of any amount 15 grams or greater is a Class 1 felony, the sentencing range varies. Depending on the amount of heroin or a substance containing heroin, the possible sentence ranges from one year in prison up to 50 years.

Class 4 Felony Possession of Heroin

Possession of less than 15 grams of heroin or a substance containing heroin is a Class 4 felony in Illinois, and is punishable by one to three years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000 plus a $500 assessment per offense.

Class 1 Felony Possession of Heroin

Possession of 15 grams or more of heroin is a Class 1 felony. The Illinois Controlled Substances Act sets forth specific sentencing ranges based on quantity.

15 to less than 100 grams: four to 15 years in prison

100 to less than 400 grams: six to 30 years in prison

400 to less than 900 grams: eight to 40 years in prison

900 grams or more: 10 to 50 years in prison

In addition to the term of imprisonment, a person convicted of Class 1 felony possession of heroin may be fined up to $200,000, or the full street value of the controlled substance possessed. The possible penalties are enhanced if the charge is possession with intent to distribute rather than simple possession.

Fighting Heroin Possession Charges in Illinois

In my two decades of criminal practice, I have handled thousands of criminal cases, many of them felony drug cases. When the possible consequences are as serious as they are in a heroin possession case, you’ll want an attorney at your side who thoroughly understands both the law and the system and is prepared to hold the prosecution to its high burden of proof.

Some possible lines of defense in heroin possession case include:

  • Conducting independent testing of the substance to determine whether it might be incorrectly classified as heroin or an analog
  • Moving to suppress the substance itself and/or other evidence on the grounds that the search was illegal
  • Creating reasonable doubt as to knowing possession, particularly if the substance was found in a location accessible to others and not under the defendant’s exclusive control

Of course, the best defense depends on the specifics of the case. The only way I can assess what defenses may be available in your case is to talk with you about the arrest, assess the evidence and evaluate the strength or weakness of the prosecution’s case.

It can be difficult to take the next steps when you know that you may be facing serious penalties, but waiting and hoping for the best won’t work. Don’t miss out on possible defenses because you didn’t get the help you needed or waited too long and let opportunities pass you by.

Get Help Now

To schedule a free consultation to discuss your options, the possible defenses available to you and how I can help you in the fight to protect your future, call 630-479-7100 or use the contact form on this site. If you choose to hire me, I will put the knowledge and experience I gained as a DuPage County Felony Prosecutor and as a Special Assistant in the Major Crimes/Narcotics Bureau to work for you.