Possession of Marijuana

In April 2015, the Cook County state's attorney's office announced it would no longer prosecute people for misdemeanor marijuana possession. In May, the Illinois legislature moved toward decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of the drug statewide — but that bill is not yet law.

Until it is, possessing marijuana is still illegal, and it is a class C misdemeanor to have up to two and a half grams. That is less than a tenth of an ounce.

If you have been arrested for possession of marijuana in Lake County, I can help. I have been defending people in criminal, traffic and DUI cases for more than 30 years. Contact me now for a free initial consultation.

You Do Need to Fight Marijuana Charges

While it is true that possessing up to 10 grams (about a third of an ounce) of weed is still a misdemeanor charge, any drug charge can have serious consequences. A class C conviction means up to 30 days in jail and/or a $1,500 fine. For class B, the potential jail time jumps to six months. Merely possessing marijuana paraphernalia is a class A misdemeanor, which puts you at risk of a year in jail and a $2,500 fine.

The charges and penalties get higher the more you possess, especially if you end up charged with possession with intent to sell to minors or in a school zone. If you think you will be fine because Illinois has legalized medical marijuana, don't be so sure. The regulations for legally growing or possessing marijuana for legal purposes are still in development, so it is not clear how effective a defense that will be.

If you don't fight even a misdemeanor marijuana charge, you will have a drug conviction on your criminal record. It will show up on any background checks performed by potential employers. It could interfere with your ability to obtain a professional license. It could affect your ability to rent an apartment. You need to fight.

A Note on DUI Charges Based on Marijuana

Now that marijuana is legal for medical purposes in a large number of states, many people could be pulled over for driving under its influence, even though they are using it legally. Illinois law has changed somewhat to account for that — it is no longer considered DUI per se if you have any trace of marijuana in your system. Now, the prosecutor will have to prove the marijuana affected your driving.

That is good news, but don't get too comfortable. You can still be arrested and charged with DUI for marijuana, and you will need a lawyer who understands the issues.

Contact Me Now for a Free Consultation About Marijuana Defense in Lake County

It is well worth the effort to fight any marijuana charge. To discuss your situation and your options in a free initial consultation, call me toll free at 866-916-0944 or contact me online.

All major credit cards accepted. Flat fees in most cases. Convenient Waukegan office.