Illinois Heroin Crimes Lawyer
If you have been accused of a crime involving heroin, contact the criminal defense lawyers of Bruno Law Offices at (217) 328-6000. Heroin is an opioid most commonly used recreationally for its euphoric effects. Though heroin is a dangerous drug that presents a serious risk to those that use it, often wreaking havoc on personal and professional relationships, it is becoming more and more popular in the United States.
Heroin crimes are heavily punished nationwide, and Illinois law is especially tough. If you are convicted, not only will you have to pay hefty fines and spend time in jail, but you will also have the conviction on your criminal record permanently. This means that even after you pay your fines and serve jail time, the effects of your conviction will persist. Having a heroin crime on your criminal record will seriously impair your ability to get a job, earn a decent wage, and provide for your family. A conviction is sure to damage your personal relationships as well.
If you have been accused of a heroin crime, your strongest ally will be an experienced and knowledgeable lawyer, such as those at Bruno Law Offices. Your attorney will walk you through every step of the legal process and keep you organized and in control. They will assemble a strong defense against the charges and work diligently to reduce your punishment. If you are facing charges related to heroin possession, trafficking, or any other heroin crime, contact our team of criminal defense attorneys at (217) 328-6000 today.
Do I Need a Heroin Crimes Lawyer?
The laws surrounding heroin crimes in Illinois are complex. To understand them and determine how best to defend against them, you will need the knowledge and guidance of an experienced professional. Criminal defense attorneys have ample experience in the courtroom. They understand the potential defenses that can be used to your benefit, as well as the strategies the prosecution might take to convict you. A lawyer knows how to collect the facts of your case, including evidence that could reduce your punishment, and can use this evidence to assemble a strong and strategic defense. This defense will expose any weaknesses or misconduct of law enforcement and emphasize conditions that will encourage the judge to be lenient. With a lawyer’s help, you are much more likely to have your charges dropped, receive a not-guilty verdict, or face a lighter sentence.
Why Choose Bruno Law Offices to Handle My Case?
At Bruno Law Offices, we understand the anxiety and fear you are feeling right now. Criminal drug charges have serious, life-altering consequences that are extremely difficult to recover from. Our team knows that as you enter the legal arena, you may already be confused about the charges against you and the punishment you face. One of our goals is to clarify the legal process for you. The attorney assigned to your case will walk you through each step of the legal process and ensure that you understand what is happening and why. Our main goal is to reduce the punishment you face. Each member of our team is experienced and skilled and treats each case with intense attention to detail so that all possible defenses are explored. We will work hard for you to ensure that this accusation disrupts your life as little as possible. We have been serving the Champaign-Urbana community since 1980, and have helped innumerable clients in that time. We are standing by to help you as well.
Types of Cases We Handle
Heroin is a narcotic that can be injected, snorted, or smoked. Heroin is classified as a Schedule I drug, which are those that have no apparent medical benefit, are highly addictive, and are prone to abuse. Schedule II, III, IV, and V drugs are considered less addictive and have a limited or accepted medical use. Because of the danger Schedule I drugs present to an individual, they are the most heavily punished, with the punishment dependent on the amount in possession and the circumstances of the case.
The following is a breakdown of the punishments for the two most common types of heroin drug crimes: possession and trafficking.
Having heroin in your possession, including in your person, your vehicle, or your home, is a crime. The punishment you will face varies depending on the amount of heroin you are found to possess:
- 0-15 grams of heroin (Class IV felony) — One-to-three-year jail sentence and $25,000 in fines
- 15-100 grams of heroin (Class I felony) — Minimum of four to 15 years in prison and up to $200,000 in fines
- 100-400 grams of heroin (Class I felony) — Minimum of six to 30 years in prison and $200,000 in fines (or the equivalent street value of the drug)
- 400-900 grams of heroin (Class I felony) — Minimum of eight to 40 years in prison and $200,000 in fines (or the equivalent street value of the drug)
- 900 or more grams of heroin (Class I felony) — Minimum of ten to 50 years in prison and $200,000 in fines (or the equivalent of street value of the drug)
Drug trafficking refers to selling and distributing illegal drugs. A Class X Felony is the most serious felony you can face, with penalties as follows:
- 15-100 grams of heroin — Six to 30 years in prison
- 100-400 grams — Nine to 40 years in prison
- 400-900 grams — 12 to 50 years in prison
- Over 900 grams —15 to 60 years in prison
In addition to possession and trafficking, there are several other crimes you can be charged with related to heroin, including:
- Possession with intent to sell
- Paraphernalia (owning, selling, or buying)
The punishments for these crimes will vary again depending on the details of your case.
Frequently Asked Questions
The following are questions that clients often ask about heroin crime convictions:
What are common defenses that can be used to reduce my punishment?
There are several ways to defend against accusations of a heroin crime. The following are the most common:
- Violation of Legal Rights — If you are accused of a crime, you have certain legal rights. Too often, however, these rights are ignored by law enforcement. If an unlawful search and seizure occurred or if your other legal rights were violated, you should not be punished to the full extent of the law. A skilled attorney will comb through the facts of your case and how you were accused to determine whether your rights were violated. If so, this can be used to defend you in a court of law.
- Investigation Errors — If officials did not conduct their investigation properly, the evidence they find may be thrown out, helping your chances of facing a lower sentence. Receiving inaccurate information from a confidential informant or otherwise making errors in the investigation can aid in the reduction of your punishment or in the dismissal of the charges against you.
- Leniency — Sometimes, personal circumstances may mitigate the punishment you face. For example, if you struggle with addiction or have a mental illness, the judge may reduce your sentence. Also, first-time offenders may be able to enter a drug rehabilitation center instead.
Your lawyer will investigate the details of your case to determine the best defense for your particular situation.
What is the difference between actual and constructive possession and why does it matter?
Actual possession is defined as having the controlled substance (in this case, heroin) on your person. It could be in your pocket or in your hand, for example. Constructive possession, on the other hand, has a broader definition. Constructive possession is when the controlled substance was not on your person but was under your control, and you could have obtained physical possession of it. An example of constructive possession is having heroin in a bedside table or in a bag in the closet. The distinction between these two types of possession does matter. The prosecution must prove that you were knowingly in possession of the heroin and that it was in your actual or constructive possession. If the drug was in your constructive possession, there is a larger chance that the prosecution will not be able to prove that you had knowledge of it.
Are jail time and fines the only penalties for heroin crimes?
While jail time and fines are the most common penalties for heroin crimes, they are not the only possible penalties. The following is a list of other punishments you may face if convicted:
- The Right to Vote — If convicted of a felony drug offense, you may lose your right to vote.
- Child Custody — Being convicted of a drug offense threatens your ability to visit or have custody of your child. You could even lose custody entirely (which is more likely if your offense was committed in front of your child).
- Loss of License — If you are a professional who requires a license to work, such as a doctor, pharmacist, lawyer, teacher, or architect, you may lose your license to practice.
- Financial Aid — If you are a student pursuing a university education and are convicted of a drug offense, you may lose your ability to collect financial aid.
- Job and Housing — If convicted of a drug offense, the conviction will go on your criminal record. Potential employers and landlords can see this conviction and are less likely to offer you a job and housing as a result.
In addition to these losses, your reputation will also be permanently damaged by a drug conviction. This can damage your interpersonal relationships and follow you for the rest of your life.
If you have been accused of a heroin crime, contact the experienced drug crime lawyers from Bruno Law Offices at (217) 328-6000 today. Having a tough, skilled attorney in your corner is the only way you can ensure that you present the best possible defense.