What You Need to Know About Your Cocaine Possession Charge
Posted on Thursday, September 1st, 2022 at 3:34 pm
This can be a terrifying time if you have been charged with drug possession. You do not have to face it alone. An experienced defense attorney can help you fight for your rights and future.
According to the FBI, there were approximately 712,000 arrests for drug possession offenses nationwide in the year 2020. Possession of controlled substances is a serious crime. Because of this, the consequences of a conviction can include jail time and heavy fines.
Cocaine Is Classified as a Schedule II Drug
The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) classifies controlled substances into five categories based on their accepted medical use and potential for dependency. Cocaine falls under Schedule II, which means the potential for abuse and addiction is high. As a result, the penalties for possession are severe.
There Are Two Different Types of Possession Charges
A possession charge can either be for simple possession or possession with intent to distribute. While both are felony charges, the penalties are harsher for possession with intent to distribute. You don’t necessarily have to be caught selling or distributing the substance to be charged with intent to distribute.
To prove intent to distribute, the prosecution may look for evidence such as large amounts of cash. They may also use witness testimony or evidence of cocaine split into smaller physical bags to make a case for intent to distribute.
Penalties for Cocaine Possession Are Severe
The consequences of a conviction for cocaine possession can include both fines and jail time. These vary based on the amount by weight of the substance. If convicted, you may be facing:
- 1 to 3 years in prison and fines up to $25,000 (less than 15 grams)
- 4 to 15 years in prison and fines up to $200,000 (between 15 and 99 grams)
- 6 to 30 years in prison and fines up to $200,000 or the full street value of the substance (between 100 and 399 grams)
- 8 to 40 years in prison and fines up to $200,000 or the full street value of the substance (between 400 and 899 grams)
- 10 to 50 years in prison and fines up to $200,000 or the full street value of the substance (900 grams or more)
In addition to these penalties, a drug conviction on your criminal record can have other lasting effects on your life. It may impact your prospects for future employment and can also affect child custody.
You Need a Strong Defense
Your reputation and your future are on the line. You need to build a strong defense to fight these charges effectively. Each case is unique and will depend on many factors. One possible defense in your case is that your rights were violated.
For example, you may be the victim of unlawful search and seizure. This may apply if law enforcement did not have a valid warrant or if you did not consent to a search. Any evidence obtained in such a situation is not admissible in court. Another defense may apply if the officer who arrested you did not read your Miranda rights.
It could also be that the drugs were not yours. If this is the case, you may be able to prove that they belonged to someone else. This may apply in a situation when drugs are found in a car with multiple people.
An Experienced Defense Attorney Can Help
The prosecution must prove that the substance was cocaine to convict you. They must also prove that you knowingly had possession of the controlled substance. If they are unable to prove these, you cannot be convicted.
Even if you believe that you have a defense based on your understanding of the case, this can be difficult to prove without a lawyer. An experienced defense attorney will examine all the evidence in your case. They will use their knowledge and experience to take steps toward getting your charges reduced or dropped.
Call Bruno Law Offices Today
If you have been charged with cocaine possession in Illinois, you need to speak with an experienced defense attorney as soon as possible. You may be facing severe consequences that can negatively impact the rest of your life. The Champaign cocaine possession defense attorneys of Bruno Law Offices are ready to fight for you. Contact us today at (217) 328-6000 to discuss your case with one of our lawyers. You can also submit a contact form online.