Each state sets out its own charges and penalties for drug possession. For example, in Missouri, the following are the potential consequences of a simple possession charge:
- Less than 35 grams of marijuana = Class A misdemeanor charge with a possible fine of $1,000 and one year in jail;
- Any other substance or more than 35 grams of marijuana = Class C felony charge with a possible fine of $5,000 and up to seven years in prison.
Under Illinois drug laws, however, the penalties for drug possession can vary significantly based on the type of drug and the amount that was allegedly possessed. The following are only some examples of penalties for different drug possession allegations in Illinois:
- Less than 2.5 grams of marijuana = Class C misdemeanor charge with a possible fine of $2,500 and 30 days in jail.
- More than 30 grams of marijuana = Class 4 felony charge with a possible fine of $25,000 and up to three years in prison.
- 15 – 99 grams of heroin, cocaine, or amphetamines = Class 1 felony charge with a possible fine of $200,000 and up to 15 years in prison.
The potential penalties for specific allegations will be determined on an individual basis depending on the circumstances of your case. In any event, having even a relatively minor drug possession conviction on your record can affect your life in many ways, including limiting your job and educational opportunities. For these reasons, it is critical to mount an effective defense against your charges.