Possession of Marijuana in Illinois
With very limited exceptions, possession of marijuana is a crime in Illinois. Illinois treats possession of marijuana differently than possession of controlled substances and the penalties are less severe. Still, a marijuana arrest can mean serious consequences.
Penalties for Marijuana Possession
Misdemeanor Possession of Marijuana
Possession of marijuana in the amount of 30 grams or less is a misdemeanor. The possible penalties vary depending on the quantity possessed.
Up to 2.5 grams (Class C misdemeanor): Up to 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,500
2.5+ grams to 10 grams (Class B misdemeanor): Up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,500
10+ grams to 30 grams (Class C misdemeanor): Up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500
In addition, a person convicted of possession of marijuana may be placed on probation, ordered to undergo a substance abuse evaluation or attend a substance abuse course, and may face indirect consequences. For example, a drug-related conviction can impact federal student aid, and any criminal conviction can be a red flag for employers.
Avoiding Conviction for Misdemeanor Possession of Marijuana
For a first offense, misdemeanor possession of marijuana charge, it is sometimes possible to negotiate for a term of probation without entry of a conviction. In such cases, the defendant is placed on probation for a period of two years, during which time he or she must comply with various terms of probation. These typically include refraining from further criminal activity, submitting to drug testing, not possessing firearms, and performing community service. The court may impose additional terms.
If probation is successfully completed, the case will be discharged without conviction.
To learn more about this option and whether you might qualify, schedule a free consultation by calling 630-479-7100 or completing the contact form on this site.
Felony Possession of Marijuana
Possession of more than 30 grams of marijuana is a felony in Illinois. As in misdemeanor cases, the classification of the crime and the sentencing range vary depending on quantity.
30+ grams to 500 grams (Class 4 felony): One to three years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000
500+ grams to 2,000 grams (Class 3 felony): Two to five years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000
2,000+ grams to 5,000 grams (Class 2 felony): Three to seven years in prison and a fine of up to $150,000
More than 5,000 grams (Class 1 felony): Four to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $200,000
In addition to these and the other possible consequences described in the misdemeanor section above, a felony conviction may have a more significant impact on your employment opportunities and will disqualify you from holding a FOID card. The classification of the crime and the possible penalty is elevated for possession of marijuana with intent to deliver.
If You’ve Been Arrested for Marijuana Possession, Get Help Now
If you’ve been charged with possession of marijuana, consult an experienced criminal defense lawyer before you make any decisions.
I have handled thousands of criminal case, both as a prosecuting attorney and a criminal defense lawyer. When I represent you in a marijuana or other drug-related case, you get the full benefit of my experience as a Special Assistant in the Major Crimes/Narcotics Bureau of the DuPage County Prosecutor’s office.
Call my office at 630-479-7100 or fill out the contact form on this site to arrange for a free consultation. Don’t delay—timelines can be critical in criminal cases.
Possession of Marijuana Plants
The Cannabis Control Act also makes it a crime to cultivate or knowingly possess marijuana plants. Possession of five or fewer marijuana plants is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. Possession of more than five marijuana plants is a felony.
Possession of 6-20 marijuana plants (Class 4 felony): One to three years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000
Possession of 21-50 marijuana plants (Class 3 felony): Two to five years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000
Possession of 51-200 marijuana plants (Class 2 felony): Three to seven years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000
Possession of more than 200 marijuana plants (Class 1 felony): Four to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000
In addition to the penalties listed above and the additional consequences associated with any criminal conviction, a person convicted of possession of more than 50 marijuana plants may be liable for the costs associated with the investigation and the eradication of the plants.
Possession of Marijuana Carries Serious Consequences
If you’ve been charged with possession of marijuana or possession of marijuana plants, you can’t afford to take the charges lightly. Although favorable outcomes are possible, either through agreements with the prosecutor’s office or winning an acquittal at trial, it takes knowledge and experience to achieve those outcomes.
Call my office at 630-479-7100 or fill out the contact form on this site to learn more about how I can put my two decades of criminal practice experience to work for you. The initial consultation is free.