Drug Trafficking Lawyer in Chicago
A conviction in Illinois for drug trafficking may result in severe penalties. Depending on the amount and type of drugs involved, potential punishments can range from probation to life in prison. People convicted of drug trafficking, individuals may also face high fines and mandatory long jail sentencing requirements. To protect their rights and freedom, individuals accused of this serious crime should seek the help of an experienced Chicago criminal defense drug trafficking lawyer.
State and Federal Drug Trafficking Laws
Under both State and Federal law, it is illegal to transport controlled substances into the state of Illinois. The Controlled Substances Act (CSA) defines “drug distribution” and “drug trafficking” as separate offenses, meaning distribution refers to the sale of drugs between individuals, while trafficking refers to inter-state transportation.
To prevent large multi-state transportation of drugs and international illegal drug rings from entering the state, Illinois has implemented the Controlled Substance Trafficking Act under 720 ILCS 570/401.1, which provides harsh punishments for violating drug laws.
Drug charges for trafficking are a severe crime in Illinois and attract harsh penalties. According to Section 401 of the Act, unlawful drug possession can result in anything from a Class 1 felony (less severe) to a Class X felony (most serious).
The jail sentences range from four years for a Class 1 Felony to 30 years for a Class X felony. In addition, the fines associated with such charges are doubled: twice what the regular fines would be for that type and amount of drug.
Challenging Arrest in Drug Trafficking Cases?
Law enforcement officials sometimes make traffic stops for seemingly arbitrary reasons, such as identifying vehicles with out-of-state license plates. More often, the police will stop a vehicle citing minor traffic offenses. Commonly, law enforcement will curb the vehicle, alleging that an equipment violation, such as a cracked windshield or tinted windows, had occurred.
Following the stop, police often argue that they had probable cause to search the vehicle based on various factors, such as the smell of narcotics, suspended driver's license, or observation of illegal items, such as guns, which may be seen in plain view.
If the police act in an unconstitutional manner and the defendant's rights were violated during the police investigation, this could potentially render their findings and testimonies invalid in court. Our legal team is astutely aware of such protocols and is well-trained in effectively employing them as possible defenses against illegal searches.
Consequences of Drug Trafficking Conviction
Having a felony drug conviction is incredibly damaging, both immediately and in the long term. In the short term, consequences can include fines and prison sentences. However, these punishments are nothing compared to the challenges felons must face after they have paid their debt to society. These ongoing consequences can make it nearly impossible for people with a felony to get back on their feet and become productive members of society.
Once out of prison, people with a felony drug conviction will be burdened by having a permanent criminal record that follows them until the end of their lives. This might negatively impact obtaining student loans or finding gainful employment, which could lead to financial insecurity and an inability to succeed in life.
Additionally, they may be denied safe and affordable rental housing due to their past convictions. Solving these issues can be difficult as the stigma from these convictions lasts long after the sentence has been carried out. People with felony convictions must understand all of the implications associated so they understand precisely how hard it can be to move forward with their lives following a conviction.
Arrested For Drug Trafficking in Chicago?
If you have been charged with drug trafficking in Cook County or the Chicagoland area, it is essential to find a drug trafficking lawyer who has experience in this type of case. Law Offices of Mitch Furman provide experienced representation for individuals who are accused of drug crimes and are facing drug offenses. Our lawyers bring over 20 years of experience to every case and are ready to challenge the prosecutors on your behalf.
We work diligently to guarantee the most successful outcome by mounting an aggressive defense against the charges and fighting for your freedom in court.
Depending on various factors associated with your particular case, we may recommend negotiations for lesser penalties, lessening evidence, or dismissing some charges altogether. No matter what strategy is involved, we'll handle everything expertly and aggressively defend our client's rights in court.
How Can We Help With Your Drug Trafficking Case?
The first step to success begins with an experienced defense team that can challenge evidence gathered during the arrest. Once the investigation is complete and a trial date is set, our legal team examines all potential mitigation options for clients. This involves analyzing the current laws surrounding the defendant's criminal history and any mitigating factors that may lead to lesser sentences, such as rehabilitation programs or community service hours. By organizing effective strategies tailored to each individual case, our attorneys are committed to obtaining the best possible outcome for our clients.
Drug trafficking cases come with severe and potentially life-altering consequences, so it is important to have an experienced attorney evaluate the evidence against you to build a defense.
Drug Trafficking Crime Defenses
Common drug trafficking defenses include lack of knowledge or intent, insanity, and duress. The lack of knowledge or intent defense is based on showing that the accused did not know what he or she was transporting into the state. An insanity defense may be used if it can be proven that the accused was not mentally able to understand his or her actions at the time of the offense. Finally, duress could be used as a defense if it can be demonstrated that someone else threatened the individual with harm if they did not transport drugs into Illinois.
No matter what kind of defense is constructed for a drug trafficking case, it's essential that a qualified criminal defense attorney has all angles covered. Your attorney will help you select from one or multiple potential defenses depending on your situation and thoroughly review all applicable evidence before proceeding further. Ultimately, a skilled criminal defense lawyer will strive to reduce your charge penalty or even have your criminal charges dropped altogether based on defending your rights as a suspect in those circumstances.
For a free initial consultation regarding your drug trafficking charges, contact our firm today. 312-236-7078