Illinois law takes a very hard line on Methamphetamine possession. Meth possession cases in southern Illinois are becoming all too common. Most of the time, the person charged with meth possession was only in possession of a small amount of the substance – even just trace residue. But under Illinois meth laws, residue is enough to convict a person and sent them to prison for a long time. At Crossroad Legal, LLC, all of our attorneys are either former prosecutors or public defenders, which means our attorneys have considerable hands-on experience successfully handling all aspects of drug crimes from start to finish.
Our team of attorneys and staff have successfully gotten defense verdicts and/or favorable plea agreements on countless cases involving meth possession. Never take chances with your life. Hire a team that cares and knows how to minimize your risk of prison.
Facing Meth Charges in Southern Illinois?
First, it is important to understand what Meth really is. The federal government classifies Methamphetamine has a Schedule II stimulant, which means that it is illegal for possession, use or sale. However, it can be prescribed by a licensed physician for certain medical conditions, such as ADHD. Methamphetamine is derived from its legal base substance – amphetamine. Crystal Meth, also known by many names, including “ice,” “crystal” and sometimes by the generic term, “dope,” is a crystalline substance that can dissolve in water easily and be ingested by either smoking it, free-basing, snorting, or even injection.
Meth can cause a high akin to what some describe when using other stimulants, such as “speed” or cocaine; however, meth does not generally kill its user. Meth is cheap and easily acquired, making it a highly accessible drug. In some rural areas, a person can obtain enough meth to get high for days for well under $50. Therefore, the risk of rampant abuse is great, and it is highly addictive. The need to satisfy the addiction often leads users to commit a wide range of petty, yet compounding crimes.
Meth-Related Crimes in Southern Illinois
Because people who are addicted to methamphetamine often only need to get $30-50 cash in order to get high, many users turn to petty crimes, such as:
- Retain Theft
- Meth Delivery (Intent to Deliver)
- Meth Manufacturing
- Fraud or Forgery
- Identity Theft
Once a person gets in the system and becomes addicted to meth, they usually get some form of rehabilitation offer or drug treatment court options. But these quickly go away once the user re-offends. It is important to note that many lawyers are biased against drug crimes clients. They quietly judge and mock the addict. However, it is very important to work with an attorney who knows addiction and understands that you are not a bad person simply because you got addicted to a bad drug. A user is suffering from a health problem that may or may not ever fully resolve. This is why drug crimes are special and require special attention.
Penalties for Meth Crimes in Illinois
There are many types of meth crimes that you can be charged with in Illinois. These start with simple possession and go all the way up to Class X offenses for the manufacturing and delivery of methamphetamine. Here is a brief overview, but keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive or complete list of potential charges you could face, along with the sentences you could potentially face.
Also note that for felonies in Illinois, there are 5 classes, ranging in severity from the least severe being 4 and the most severe being X. Each time you are convicted of a felony, your chances of avoiding prison become slimmer. If you are convicted of two felonies of the same or more severe class within the same 10-year period, you could face something known as “extended term” sentencing, which doubles the range of prison time you could face.
|Offense||Class of Felony||First Time||Extended Term|
|Possession of Meth||Class 3 felony||2-5 years in prison||2-10 years in prison|
|Possession of Meth with intent to deliver||Class 2 felony||3-7 years in prison||3-14 years in prison|
|Manufacturing||Class X felony||6-30 years in prison||30-60 years in prison|
Getting Probation for Meth Charges
Many people make the mistake of listening to the “jailhouse lawyers” while sitting in county jail. In county jail, a first or youthful offender will often hear plenty of stories about things like drug court or probation, but what these so-called ‘experts’ typically fail to mention is that there are no guarantees that a judge will give you probation if you are convicted. Sometimes it is best to take a case to trial; other times it is best to negotiate a deal. Often prison sentences can be as small as a few months with the help of experienced defense counsel.
There are numerous options for probation and diversion programs for meth users and even for some first offense delivery cases. Most meth charges are actually eligible for probation. However, prosecutors rarely jump at the idea of offering this to a meth user, because experience tells us they will almost certainly re-offend, due to their relentless addiction. This presents a real catch-22 for prosecutors and judges: how to give someone another chance without setting them up for failure.
How Crossroad Legal Defends Meth Charges
- First, hiring an attorney is like hiring anyone – there’s an interview. We call this a free consultation. This is generally a 30-minute phone, video, or live meeting with an attorney. This is definitely a 2-way interview. We meet you and decide if you’re a good fit for the firm, and you do the same. On average, our attorneys only accept about a third of all clients who request out our assistance. We are selective and work only with clients who are committed to either defending their innocence or changing their lives for the better. When a client hires us to defend them in court, they also get an entire team of real people with real life stories who understand and appreciate the challenges that a drug addiction can have.
- Once we both decide that we are a good fit, you will need to sign a legal services agreement. This is a simple contract between you and Crossroad Legal that says you understand why you are hiring us, you know what we can and cannot do for you, we agree on a price, and we begin fighting for you.
- Next you will need to make a payment. This is known as a retainer, and it does not always have to be used entirely. Other times, additional funds will be needed in order to continue work. It all depends on far too many factors to list here.
- Once you sign your legal service agreement and pay the initial retainer, our office shifts into full defense mode, filing motions, contacting prosecutors, interviewing witnesses, and reviewing evidence. Our attorneys are committed to our FREEDOM guarantee.
Our Criminal Defense FREEDOM Guarantee
There are very few things we can promise you when defending a drug charge in Illinois. But we can make you this one guarantee:
We will never force you to take a plea agreement you are not 100% comfortable with.
We will never coerce or push a client to take a deal they don’t want. Yes, there are many times where we strongly advise our clients to take a deal, because we firmly believe based on the evidence and our experience that the outcome at trial will be worse. That said, if you ever decide to reject a deal and take your case to trial, so long as you are willing to accept the consequences and you are prepared to make a significant financial investment in your case, our office will work tirelessly to defend you through trial.
How to Fight Your Methamphetamine Charges
It all starts with a free 30-minute consultation. You can schedule your appointment by simply calling the number below anytime day or night to speak with one of our experienced Crossroad Lawyers! If you decide to move forward and hire us, there will be an initial retainer that you can pay via cash, credit card, debit card, check, or e-check online. Please note that our firm does not accept payment plans for criminal defense matters. However, we do accept bond assignments. Please discuss with the attorney during your consultation if you would like to pay by bond assignment.
Please note if you have a loved one in jail, do not discuss the case through “Chirps” or jail video or phone calls. Those calls are recorded and will be used against the defendant. If you speak with your loved one, instruct them NOT TO SPEAK TO THE POLICE UNTIL AN ATTORNEY IS PRESENT!
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