Champaign Marijuana Possession Attorney
The laws regarding the use and possession of marijuana have been changing rapidly across the United States, and penalties for possession of marijuana can also vary significantly from state to state. In the state of Illinois, marijuana possession is taken very seriously, and anyone found in possession of this substance can face serious legal penalties. Although there are serious consequences associated with marijuana possession charges and convictions, an experienced criminal defense attorney may be able to have the charges against you reduced or possibly get them dropped altogether.
Founded by Thomas Bruno in 1980, the Champaign criminal defense attorneys have provided outstanding service to our clients, and we are one of the most trusted names in Illinois. Mr. Bruno is now joined by his two sons Anthony and Evan Bruno. Together, the dedicated firm at Bruno Law Offices has earned the reputation as the gold standard in criminal defense in downstate Illinois. The Bruno Law Offices serve the people of Illinois in Champaign, Ford, Douglas, Piatt, Vermilion, Macon, McLean and Coles counties with marijuana possession charges. Through our four-decades-long service to the Illinois community, our firm has a well-earned reputation for excellence, and we can help you. We have the experience in and out of the courtroom that you need on your side if you are facing any criminal charges.
The aggressive Champaign marijuana possession lawyers at the Bruno Law Offices have consistently been handling drug crimes cases, and we know what it takes to help those facing these serious charges. We will review the facts, discuss your concerns, and will formulate your best defense strategy. Contact our Champaign office at (217) 328-6000, complete our email form, or chat live online today to discuss your legal needs.
Do I Need An Attorney?
If you have been arrested and charged, you likely have questions about whether you need an attorney for a marijuana charge. Do I really need a criminal defense attorney? Will I get any fines or jail time for this charge? Will this charge go on my permanent record? Whether it is a misdemeanor or a felony, you need an attorney to assist you in navigating the legal process. It is not advisable to trust just any attorney to handle your case. While an assigned public defender is qualified and may have good intentions when taking your case, he or she may be overloaded with cases and may not be able to give your case the full attention that it deserves. You need an attorney who has handled these types of cases before and knows how to present the best possible defense on your behalf.
A knowledgeable marijuana possession attorney understands the fear and uncertainty that follow legal charges or an arrest. You may be fearful about your future, your job, and how you will take care of your family with these pending charges. A skilled criminal defense attorney will handle the paperwork, will make the required court appearances, and will guide you through the process of preserving your freedom and clearing your name. The lawyers at Bruno Law Offices have long fought to protect the people of Champaign and surrounding counties that are facing prosecution, and we are ready to go to bat for you.
Why Choose Bruno Law Offices?
As one of the most prominent criminal defense firms in Central Illinois, the attorneys at Bruno Law Offices have defended our clients from serious charges for almost forty years now. We are more than an ordinary criminal defense firm, and every person’s case is unique and needs to be approached from a unique perspective. Our service and professional legal representation are the founding pillars of our firm. We take pride that our firm has a well-earned reputation for excellence when it comes to defending people just like you against criminal allegations.
Any criminal charges can have a lasting impact on your life, from misdemeanor allegations to more serious felony charges. That’s why our knowledgeable legal team has spent nearly 40 years defending people accused of crimes in Champaign-Urbana, and why we won’t stop defending those who need our help the most. We treat our clients the way that we would want a member of our own family to be treated – with honesty, compassion, and a commitment to excellence in our work.
The team at Bruno Law Offices will diligently investigate the facts of your case and will aggressively prepare for trial if necessary on your behalf. We have won the trust of juries and have successfully helped our clients get the charges against them reduced or dismissed so that they can move on with their lives. Having the guidance and support of an experienced attorney can be invaluable to you in your time of need. Contact us today to discuss the details of your case.
More About Marijuana Charges in Central Illinois
Our Champaign marijuana possession attorneys at the Bruno Law Offices are fully prepared to help clients resolve their criminal charges in our city and the surrounding counties.
Marijuana possession charges in Illinois are largely based on the amount of cannabis that a person allegedly had on them at the time of their arrest. In Illinois, charges are broken down into the following categories:
- Class 1 Felony: Anyone found with 5,000 grams or more
- Class 2 Felony: Anyone found with less than 5,000 grams, but more than 2,000
- Class 3 Felony: Anyone found with less than 2,000 grams, but more than 500
- Class 4 Felony: Anyone found with less than 500 grams, but more than 30
- Class A Misdemeanor: Anyone found with less than 30 grams, but more than 10
- Class B Misdemeanor: Anyone found with less than 10 grams, but more than 2.5
- Class C Misdemeanor: Anyone found with less than 2.5 grams
If you have been charged with an offense, do not hesitate to get in touch with our experienced legal team. The legal team at Bruno Law Offices will use our skills and experience to protect your rights and will work to minimize the extent of the penalties you may be facing.
Penalties for misdemeanor and felony crimes can include jail time and fines, and penalties will be based on the severity of the charge issued. Since possession charges have the potential to affect your personal and professional life dramatically, it is crucial that you take a firm stand against drug crimes charges. Seeking a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible is your best first step in building your defense. Don’t wait—complete our online form, chat live, or call our offices today at (217) 328-6000.
Frequently Asked Questions
Being accused of possession of marijuana can affect your record, employment, and educational opportunities, and can result in a long battle with the law. Even if someone has been prescribed marijuana to treat any illness or ailment, he or she is not acting in accordance with Illinois law. We have compiled the following frequently asked questions, along with relevant answers, to help clients get the information that they need.
What are the fines or jail time for a marijuana misdemeanor charge?
Possession of less than 30 grams of marijuana is a misdemeanor charge and can result in up to one year of jail time. The judge handling the case may issue a probation period lasting 24 months as a substitute for jail time. Like most other states, first offenses are treated less severely than repeated charges. Delivery of marijuana is also considered possession.
What are the fines or jail time if there is a marijuana felony charge?
When convicted of possession of more than 30 grams of marijuana the accused will be charged with a felony. A first-time marijuana felony charge can result in 1-3 years of jail time. Other punishments include:
- 2 – 5 years in jail: Possession of 500 – 2,000 grams of marijuana
- 2 – 5 years in jail: Second offense of 30 – 500 grams of marijuana
- 3 – 7 years in jail: Possession of 2,000 – 5,000 grams of marijuana
- 4 – 15 years in jail: Possession of 5,000 or more grams of marijuana
These felony charges also automatically constitute a $25,000 fine.
Why do I need a marijuana possession attorney?
Criminal laws are involved, and without experienced legal representation, you may quickly find yourself in trouble when trying to fight the charges against you. To protect your rights and interests, you may benefit from having a criminal defense attorney in the following ways:
- To avoid saying or doing something that will negatively affect your case
- To avoid misinterpretation of Illinois marijuana possession laws and penalties
- To help you avoid unknowingly or unintentionally waiving some of your guaranteed rights
- To illuminate defense strategies that may result in the dismissal or reduction of charges
- To help you identify flaws in the case against you
Illinois Marijuana Possession Facts
In 2012, Chicago City Council voted to move to civil instead of criminal penalties for the possession of small amounts of marijuana. Nearly four years later, the rest of the state has followed suit. According to an Illinois Policy.org article in May 2016, the Illinois House voted to impose civil fines rather than criminal penalties for only low-level marijuana possession. On May 18, 2016, the Illinois House voted to move Illinois to ticket-based penalties for possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana.
“Effective immediately, the new law makes possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana a civil offense punishable by a fine of between $100 and $200. The bill also provides that law enforcement will automatically expunge the civil citation from the record of anyone charged with possessing 10 or fewer grams of marijuana. This would occur within six months after the resolution of the offense and would reduce the chance that possession of small amounts of marijuana will keep a person from finding employment and supporting himself.
Before the signing of SB 2228, the Cannabis Control Act made possession of up to 2.5 grams of marijuana a Class C misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in jail. Possession of 2.5 to 10 grams was a Class B misdemeanor under the act, and punishable by up to six months in jail.”
Also according to IllinoisPolicy.org.:
“abolishing jail time for low-level marijuana possession can prevent family hardship that results when a person is incarcerated, as well as job loss, thereby preserving an offender’s long-term prospects for legal employment.”
Further, a criminal record becomes a red flag because employers and landlords conduct background checks before making hires and bringing on new tenants. For someone who has committed a nonviolent, low-level drug offense, a criminal record can prevent him from getting a job or finding a place to live. This can have a substantial impact by keeping them from being productive, independent citizens.
However, the report states that ]criminal-justice system in the state should make sure that the public is always safe, while also remaining fair and effective. Punishing individuals harshly for “low-level” offenses is not the most effective form of punishment and it is costly to the cities and the state. By removing the focus on these small offenses, the theory is that law enforcement can turn their attention to more serious criminal offenses.
Furthermore, the American Civil Liberties Union reported that 52% of all drug arrests in the U.S. in 2010 were for marijuana. Additionally, the ACLU reported some interesting U.S. facts as follows:
- Marijuana arrests now account for over half of all drug arrests in the United States.
- Of the 8.2 million marijuana arrests between 2001 and 2010, 88% were for having marijuana in their possession.
- Nationwide, the arrest data revealed one consistent trend: significant racial bias. Despite roughly equal usage rates, blacks are nearly four times more likely than whites to be arrested for marijuana.
- Over 7 million people were busted for marijuana possession from 2001 – 2010.
- In the specific states of Iowa, D.C., Minnesota, and Illinois, blacks were 7.5 to 8.5 times more likely than whites to be arrested for marijuana possession.
Contact Us Today
If you have been charged with marijuana possession, it is highly recommended that you hire a Champaign marijuana possession attorney who knows the best course of action. A trusted attorney at the Bruno Law Offices can guide you through the complexities of the legal system and help you resolve your criminal charges. You don’t have to handle it on your own – we are here to help you all the way through your crisis. At a moment’s notice, we are ready to mobilize our resources on your behalf – any day and at any time.
Our Champaign law office provides only the highest quality of service and professionalism as we manage the details of your case. Complete our email form, chat live, or call us today at (217) 328-6000 to schedule your free initial consultation. We understand how urgent your legal issues are and the impact they can have on your life, so let’s get started on building a strong defense against the charges you are facing.