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Kane County Drug Lawyer

Drug-related charges are some of the most frequent charges brought in Kane County. We represent clients accused of all type of drug crimes, including possession of a controlled substance and drug trafficking. We offer free in-office consultations to individuals charged with drug-related crimes in Kane County. Call our firm at (312) 466-9466 to schedule a meeting with our Kane County drug crime attorneys.

The number of drug cases prosecuted annually has risen exponentially in recent decades across the country. Kane County is no exception.

In 2015, Illinois State Police logged nearly 2,500 drug arrests in Kane County. This figure does not include arrests made by municipal police offices, and so the actual number of Kane County drug arrests is actually much greater than that.

Sadly, the outcomes in these case often depend on whether a good Kane County drug lawyer is helping the defendant.

If you or a loved one have been arrested for a drug crime in Kane County, please let us help. Getting started is easier than you think. Simply call our criminal defense lawyers at (312) 466-9466.


Kane County Drug Cases We Handle

If you are facing any of the following charges, or any drug-related charge, we will represent you:

  • Delivery or sale of a controlled substance
  • Possession of cocaine, marijuana, cannabis, heroin, crack, methamphetamine or other illegal drugs
  • Possession of legal drugs without a prescription
  • Possession with Intent to Deliver

In some cases, we are hired by the defendant. In many other cases, the first person to call us is a mother or father worried about their child. The only people we can't help are the people who never make that first call to find a good attorney.


Kane County Drug Crime Laws and Sentences

According to Illinois State Police, the majority of offenders in Kane County drug cases have been prosecuted under either the Cannabis Control Act or the Drug Paraphernalia Act.

These two acts are parts of the Illinois Criminal Code. The former makes illegal possession of cannabis with the intent to deliver a crime. The latter criminalizes knowingly possessing drug paraphernalia, such as a pipe to smoke marijuana or a needle to shoot heroin.

Like other states, the Illinois Criminal Code includes mandatory minimum sentences. A mandatory minimum requires a base-level prison sentence for certain criminal convictions, no matter what the circumstances of the crime were. One of the most infamous mandatory minimum laws in the United States was California's "three strikes" law, which sent defendants to prison for life after a third felony conviction.

Although Illinois drug sentencing law has never been as strong as that, some serious felony drug crimes do carry mandatory prison terms. Not all drug crimes are felonies -- a good portion are classified as misdemeanors, and it depends on where the defendant has been convicted for similar offenses before. However, a misdemeanor drug conviction can still carry heavy fines and the possibility of incarceration in the most extreme cases.

With mandatory minimums, it is important to remember that the power is in the prosecutors' hands. Mandatory minimums only kick in when the prosecutor has chosen to charge you with a certain classification of a crime. As criminal defense lawyers, we often work during pretrial proceedings to bargain the charges down in order to help our clients avoid extreme prison sentences.

Minor drug offenses are often classified as misdemeanors but can still carry heavy fines and the possibility of jail time in the worst case. However, for lower level offenses, judges have several sentencing options, including treatment or diversion programs that focus on rehabilitation rather than punishment.


Kane County Drug Arrest Types

The terminology used for drug charges can be confusing, especially for a first offense defendant. Let's take a look at the differences between each charge, as well as the potential consequences if the court finds you guilty.

Drug Possession Charges

Drug possession is the most basic drug charge in Illinois. Just like it sounds, this charge means that you are accused of having illegal drugs. This charge will also usually include a second clause which specifies the type of drug. Usually, the type of drug will affect the length or severity of a sentence.

You can think about drug possession in two ways: actual possession and constructive possession.

The former, actual possession, is straightforward: if you were arrested after the police found drugs on your person, the State will bring a charge of actual possession against you. These cases are harder to defend against. To earn a conviction, the State must prove that the defendant knowingly possessed drugs. If the police recovered drugs from your pockets or purse, it seems very unlikely that you did not know that the drugs were there.

In these cases, if the facts support the defense, our Kane County drug lawyers often makes a case of unreasonable search and seizure. Under the Bill of Rights, United States citizens are protected from being unlawfully searched by law enforcement. Over the years, courts have ruled on a variety of "search and seizure" cases, establishing a set of understood rules about when law enforcement is allowed to search you.

In drug cases, our Kane County criminal defense lawyers often make the case in court that the police did not have probable cause to search a defendant, and therefore the search was invalid. In that case, the charges are dropped.

Now let's talk about constructive possession.

Constructive possession is slightly different. If the police discover drugs in your car, home, or a space you frequent, you could be accused of constructive possession of drugs. The drugs are not found on you, but the police believe you are involved. Even if they found these drugs, however, the State will have to prove that you were aware and had control over the illegal drugs in question.

Intent to Deliver Charges

Frequently, the State attaches the charge of Intent to Deliver to a possession charge. Just like it sounds, this charge alleges that the defendant did not solely plan to use the drugs himself, but also intended to sell them or trade them with another person. It's important to note that a defendant doesn't actually have to sell drugs to be convicted of this charge. Even if no money changed hands and no drugs were actually sold, the State can still prove that a defendant was planning to deliver the illegal drugs.

To prove this charge, prosecutors usually present circumstantial evidence. Circumstantial evidence relies on an inference to bring the judge or jury to a conclusion of fact. The classic example is that if one notices that a wet umbrella has been discarded by the door, one can conclude that it is raining outside.

Using circumstantial evidence, the prosecution may attempt to demonstrate Intent to Deliver if there by arguing that the defendant also possessed suggestive drug paraphernalia, such as baggies, postal scales, or balloons.

It is always more difficult to prove what someone intended to do versus what they did do. For this reason, there are often opportunities in these sorts of constructive possession cases for a criminal defense attorney to get the charges dropped or obtain a Not Guilty verdict.

Depending on the amount and type of illegal drugs, the charge of Possession with Intent to Deliver can carry a variety of penalties. In the most serious cases, the State can classify it as a Class X felony, which can carry a prison term of 6-30 years. In these cases, usually the amount of drugs is very large or the defendant has been convicted of similar crimes in the past. Convictions for these more severe types of drug crimes are non-probationable, which means that prison time is unavoidable.

Cocaine, whether in crack or powder form, is the most common drug involved in possession with intent to deliver cases, with methamphetamines and heroin coming in next.

Drug Delivery Charges

The next level of charge is Delivery of Illegal or Illicit Drugs, which is brought when the State attempts to prove that a defendant did in fact sell illegal drugs. More serious than simple possession, this charge results in a longer prison sentence for defendants if they are convicted.


Fighting a Kane County Drug Case

Winning a drug case is a complicated process. Every case is unique and thus warrants its own unique legal strategy. However, there are some common defenses used in drug cases. At the Law Offices of Steven R. Hunter, we often employ the strategies listed below in cases of drug possession, delivery, or intent to deliver.

  • Illegal search and seizure. As mentioned above, this defense is often a good fit if your case falls into the category of actual possession, in which case drugs were found on your person after the police searched you. Under the 4th Amendment, the police cannot unfairly search or seize your property. Through many cases over the years, the court has determined what exactly it means for a search to be unwarranted. If the police did not have proper justification to search you, your criminal defense attorney can make the case that the State subjected you to an illegal seizure that did not meet the requirements of 4th Amendment law. If the argument is successful, the charges will be dropped on the basis of illegal search and seizure -- it does not matter if the police ultimately did recover illegal drugs, the court cannot convict you.
  • Lack of knowledge. This defense might be the best fit for you if drugs were not found on your person, but rather in a common space such as a house. For example, the police may recover drugs from the living room of the house and accuse the homeowner of drug possession, but the drugs were not his and rather belonged to a family member. To earn a conviction, the prosecution must prove that the defendant knew about the drugs -- and if this wasn't the case, a criminal defense attorney can make the case that the defendant had no idea. At the Law Offices of Steven R. Hunter, we have had success in court using this rationale. In a recent case, we obtained a not guilty verdict in a cocaine case on the basis of lack of knowledge, arguing that the defendant was not aware that 20 kilos of cocaine were in the truck he was driving.

When the State charges a defendant with a drug-related offense, either a Grand Jury hearing or a Preliminary Hearing will occur. In these hearing, the defendant is formally indicted or charged with the crime.

As defense attorneys, we prefer preliminary hearings. At a preliminary hearing, the court will decide whether or not there was probable cause to charge the defendant with the crime.

A smart Kane County criminal defense attorney will use this opportunity to argue that there were no grounds to arrest the defendant in the first place. If the defense successfully demonstrates that the prosecution lacked probable cause, the complaint is dismissed and the case usually ends there. In this way, the case stops before it can even start.

These aren't the only legal defense strategies that can be used to fight a drug case. When you sit down with a Kane County criminal defense lawyer, he will ask various questions about the facts of your case in order to get a full picture. Then, based on the circumstances, you and your lawyer will decide which defense strategy will be most effective for you when your day in court arrives.

The most important step you can take as a criminal defendant is contact an aggressive Kane County drug attorney immediately. Drug cases are complex and intimidating, but there is always the opportunity to fight your case or plead the sentence down. It is your right as a criminal defendant in the United States.

By hiring an experienced Kane County criminal defense attorney who has the knowledge to expertly fight your case, you will have the best chance at walking away with the least harsh outcome.


Kane County Drug Court

In recent years, many circuit courts across the state of Illinois have established separate courts specifically for hearing drug cases. Kane County is no exception. Whether you are an adult or juvenile, you have the opportunity to transfer your case to Kane County Drug Court.

Cases decided in drug courts result in rehabilitative programming instead of prison time. They are part of a larger project to create alternatives to incarceration and ameliorate the growing issue of drug addiction in Illinois.

For more information about Kane County Drug Court, and to find out whether you may be eligible to transfer your case, visit our Kane County Drug Court page.


Our Kane County Drug Attorneys

Kane County drug arrests can be complicated. To fight your case effectively, you need a lawyer who understands the ins and outs of Illinois drug law, as well as the specifics of sentencing options in Kane County.

The stakes of drug convictions can be high in Kane County. But with an effective legal defense, it is possible to avoid jailtime or even have charges dropped against you. A criminal defense attorney will help you pursue a legal strategy that is most likely to result in a favorable outcome.

From simple marijuana possession to complex trafficking charges, we have years of experience fighting all types of Illinois drug cases. Give our offices a call at (312) 466-9466 today to schedule a free legal consultation and learn about how we can advocate for you in your Kane County criminal case.

 

Chicago Criminal Defense Lawyer - (312) 466-9466 

Chicago Office

900 W. Jackson Blvd.

Suite 5W

Chicago, IL 60607

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