Urbana-Champaign Marijuana Defense Lawyers
In the United States, prosecutors often press for the harshest possible punishments for those charged with drug crimes, so convictions can carry serious consequences. Although medical marijuana is now allowed under Illinois state law through the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act, marijuana possession without the proper allowances from the Department of Health is prohibited.
No matter the charge, being on the receiving end of a criminal accusation can be frightening. A criminal conviction has the power to upend people’s lives by ruining professional relationships, revoking the right to vote, and accruing heavy fines. In the worst case scenario, a conviction could land someone in jail, sometimes for many years.
Due to the seriousness of the potential consequences, an aggressive defense attorney is essential for those facing charges. If you have been charged with a crime related to marijuana possession, consumption, or distribution, an attorney will work to protect you from the harsh penalties that you face under the criminal justice system.
The lawyers at Bruno Law Offices put our experience to work for Illinois people who need an advocate. Our firm has been serving the people of Illinois for almost forty years. In this time we have stood beside people facing a variety of challenges in court.
No matter if you have been charged with minor infractions or multiple serious felony charges, our lawyers believe in your right to quality defense representation. We will take a look at the facts of your situation and make a strong defense to protect you against prosecution. To learn more about how our attorneys can fight for you, call (217) 328-6000 today.
Do I Need a Marijuana Defense Lawyer?
Federal guidelines classify marijuana as a Schedule I drug alongside heroin, LSD, and peyote. Those who are found to be in possession or distribution could face misdemeanor charges, felony charges, and even jail time. If charged with a crime, courts are legally required to appoint an attorney to represent you. However, you can always choose to find your own representation. In many cases, choosing your attorney and hiring a firm that you trust will provide you with confidence and peace of mind as your court date approaches. Public defenders tend to be overworked and underpaid, so they are far less likely to be as dedicated to your case as you need them to be.
As far as drug charges are concerned, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Especially for those who face felony charges, a dedicated criminal defense attorney will be able to guide you through the court process and work to reduce the potential punishment that you face. Though misdemeanor charges carry less harsh punishments than felonies, it is still wise to hire an experienced defense attorney regardless of how serious the charge may seem.
If you are completely overwhelmed by your situation, do not try to handle your case alone. Though the thought of hiring an attorney can be intimidating or seem like another burden, ultimately it could save you from spending time in jail. A skilled attorney can help you obtain an optimal result in the form of a reduced sentence, fine, or having your case dropped altogether. Attorneys who are experienced with drug crimes and marijuana in particular will know what possible defenses there are in your case, what evidence will need to be obtained and how, and how to negotiate for the best possible outcome for you.
Why Hire Bruno Law Offices to Handle My Case?
The lawyers at Bruno Law Offices have been defending our neighbors in the Illinois community since 1980. In this time, we have fought in both state and federal court defending thousands of cases. When people entrust us with their cases, we know that they are trusting us with their lives and futures, and we don’t take the responsibility lightly.
We always keep our clients’ futures in mind because we know the impact that a criminal record can have on a person’s future prospects. Our defense attorneys fight to ensure that a drug charge doesn’t have the power to eradicate our clients’ educational opportunities and professional ambitions down the line.
As dedicated members of our community, we are proud to be able to serve other Illinois natives. Because we’ve seen a variety of cases over the years, we understand the vast resources that local and state prosecutors have when they pursue drug cases. As such, we put the full force of our legal experience and knowledge toward defending our clients.
Cases We Handle
Though states across the United States are pushing to decriminalize, even legalize, marijuana, federal law still classifies it as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act. As a result, the consequences that accompany the possession, manufacturing, and distribution of marijuana can be serious, and depending on the individual factors of each case, the legal punishments will vary. In Illinois, first-time offenders typically face less harsh punishment than people with an established criminal record. No matter if it is your first charge or not, having an experienced lawyer on your side is a valuable way to make sure that you are protected.
There are numerous different kinds of crimes you could be charged with related to marijuana, including:
Possession – If you are found in possession of any amount of marijuana without being part of the Illinois Medical Cannabis Program, then you are subject to the following:
- Class C Misdemeanor: Possession of 2.5 grams (g) or less
- Class B Misdemeanor: Possession of 2.5g – 10g
- Class A Misdemeanor: Possession of 10g – 30g
- Class 4 Felony: Possession of 30g – 500g
- Class 3 Felony: Possession of 500g – 2000g
- Class 2 Felony: Possession of 2000g – 5000g
- Class 1 Felony: Possession of over 5000g
Those with a subsequent marijuana offenses face harsher punishments if they are found in possession of the same amount they were previously charged for:
- Class 4 Felony: Possession of 10g – 30g
- Class 3 Felony: Possession of 30g – 500g
Production– Growing cannabis plants is illegal in Illinois. If you are caught in possession of plants that someone else is caring for, you could still be vulnerable to the following penalties:
- Class A Misdemeanor: Growing 1 to 5 cannabis plants
- Class 4 Felony: Growing 5 – 20 cannabis plants
- Class 3 Felony: Growing 20 – 50 cannabis plants
- Class 2 Felony: Growing over 50 cannabis
Distribution – The sale or distribution of marijuana without permission as an approved member of the Medical Marijuana Pilot Program is prohibited. Distribution charges occur when someone knowingly transports and delivers marijuana. The following charges are associated:
- Class B Misdemeanor: Selling 2.5 grams (g) or less of marijuana
- Class A Misdemeanor: Selling between 2.5g – 10g of marijuana
- Class 4 Felony: Selling between 10g – 30g of marijuana
- Class 3 Felony: Selling from 30g – 500g of marijuana
- Class 2 Felony: Selling between 500g – 2000g of marijuana
- Class 1 Felony: Selling 2000g – 5000 of marijuana
- Class X Felony: Selling over 5000g of marijuana
Whether you face a misdemeanor charge with an accompanying fine or you face a felony charge that carries jail time, you need the help of an experienced defense team. An experienced attorney is your best chance of protecting your future and avoiding the full extent of the potential consequences.
Frequently Asked Questions
Whether this is your first marijuana charge or your fifth, you likely have questions about your case. To help ease your stress, we have listed the answers to some of the questions we hear the most at our firm below.
Can Marijuana Charges Be Expunged?
If you have been charged with a crime related to marijuana possession, a criminal defense attorney may be able to help you get it wiped from your record. Typically, a certain amount of time must pass before an item on a criminal record can be expunged. The specific circumstances of your case will also be important in determining if you can have it removed from your record. Either way, an experienced criminal defense attorney can help you with the specifics.
Can You Get a DUI While Driving High?
Yes. If you drive under the influence of marijuana, you could be subject to a DUI per se or an impairment DUI. A per se DUI is directly related to the amount of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in a driver’s system. In order to verify the quantity of THC in a driver’s system, a prosecutor would need proof in the form of a blood test. If the blood test showed that the driver was under the influence of marijuana, it wouldn’t matter if their driving was impaired or not. An impairment DUI indicates that the driver’s ability to maneuver the vehicle was directly related to their insobriety.
What Are the Legal Penalties for Driving High?
One major penalty associated with a DUI for marijuana is license suspension. A suspension could last from 90 days up to a full calendar year. DUI fines typically range from $500 up to $2000. In some instances, a person can do jail time and be sentenced to probation or the completion of a drug treatment course.
Contact a Champaign Criminal Defense Lawyer Today
The legal proceedings surrounding criminal drug charges can be complicated. If you have been charged with a crime, obtaining the services of a lawyer that knows how to fight for you is the best way to protect yourself. In addition to helping you navigate the details of your case, we will take the facts of your case and plan a strategy to defend your rights against the prosecution. The drug crimes team at Bruno Law Offices is ready to speak with you today. Call our offices at (217) 328-6000 today to learn how we can help you.