Possession of a Controlled Substance

Illinois recognizes the danger of drug abuse, and as a result created the Illinois Controlled Substances Act which regulates the sale, possession and use of many drugs. Lawmakers understand the difference between types of drug use and the difference between unlawful users and those trafficking illegal drugs. Penalties for illegal drug sales, possession and use vary depending on the type of drug, the amount in possession and how it is sold. The Controlled Substances Act created 5 schedules of drugs. Each schedule lists drugs that are to be regulated in different ways. Some drugs are available only through a prescription from a medical doctor and others like heroin and LSD are illegal.

Schedule I Drugs

The sale and possession of drugs listed on Schedule I are illegal. These are drugs that:

  1. have a high potential for abuse
  2. have no medical use and lack accepted safety for use in treatment under medical supervision

Drugs on this schedule include:

  • Heroine
  • LSD
  • Ecstasy

Schedule II Drugs

The sale and possession of drugs listed on Schedule II are highly regulated. They are only available by prescription from a medical doctor, and there are several restrictions regarding the amount that can be prescribed, how often they can be prescribed and how the prescription is given. These are drugs that:

  1. have a high potential for abuse
  2. have a currently acceptable medical use, with severe restrictions
  3. the abuse of the drug may lead to severe psychological and physiological dependence

Drugs on this schedule include:

  • Cocaine
  • Methamphetamine
  • Morphine
  • Oxycodone

Schedule III Drugs

The sale and possession of drugs on Schedule III are regulated. They are only available through prescription by a medical doctor and the prescriptions are regulated. These include drugs that:

  1. have the potential for abuse
  2. have a medical use
  3. abuse may lead to moderate to low physiological dependence and high psychological dependence

Drugs on this schedule include:

  • steroids
  • vicodin

Schedule IV and V Drugs

Drugs on schedule IV and V have less potential for abuse, have a medical use and abuse has low levels of dependence. Schedule IV drugs still need a prescription and both schedule IV and V drugs should only be used for medical purposes.

Penalties for Possession of Illegal Substances

It is a criminal act to possess or sell illegal drugs. Drugs on schedules II through V have valid medical uses and can be properly obtained through legal means for necessary medical reasons; however, misusing or fraudulently obtaining drugs on these schedules is also a criminal act. For example, lying to obtain prescription medications that are medically unnecessary, forging prescriptions for medications or using prescriptions meant for someone else are all illegal actions. Penalties for possessing or selling controlled substances vary depending on the amount of drugs in possession. Possessing or selling heroin, cocaine, morphine, methamphetamine and LSD are felonies. The class of felony increases in severity with the amount of the drug possessed. If the possession or sale of these drugs are within 1500 feet of a school, church, public park, movie theater or court, the penalty may double. This also may happen if a firearm is in possession at the time of the drug arrest.

Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney for Possession of a Controlled Substance

Possession of a controlled substance is a criminal act that has severe penalties including long prison sentences and fines of up to $25,000. In addition to criminal consequences, drug convictions prevent students from obtaining federal student aid, and can affect employment opportunities. Always hire an accomplished criminal defense attorney to vigorously defend your rights. Dennis F. Dwyer is a seasoned criminal defense attorney with the expertise to fight your controlled substance charges.

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