Attorney Eric D. Puryear

Marijuana (Cannabis) Possession Charges in Illinois

Puryear Law » Legal Blog » Illinois Criminal Law » Marijuana (Cannabis) Possession Charges in Illinois

In Illinois, the legal term for Marijuana is “Cannabis,” rather than “Marijuana,” “weed,” “grass,” “ganja,” etc.  Possession of Cannabis is a serious crime in Illinois, and anyone charged with that crime is wise to secure legal representation as soon as possible.


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The jail/prison and fine amounts for conviction on cannabis charges can be summarized as follows:

  • Under 2.5 grams is a Class C misdemeanor (up to 30 days in jail, fines up to $1,500).
  • More than 2.5 grams but fewer than 10 grams is a Class B misdemeanor (up to 6 months in jail, fines up to $1,500).
  • More than 10 grams but fewer than 30 grams is a Class A misdemeanor (up to 1 year in jail, fines up to #2,500).
  • More than 30 grams but fewer than 500 grams is a Class 4 felony (1-3 years in prison, fines up to $25,000).
  • More than 500 grams but fewer than 2,000 grams is a Class 3 felony (2-5 years in prison, fines up to $25,000).
  • More than 2,000 grams but fewer than 5,000 grams is a Class 2 felony (3-7 years in prison, fines up to $25,000).
  • More than 5,000 grams is a Class 1 felony (4-15 years in prison, fines up to $25,000).

Note: those individuals with previous convictions, or those charged with possession under a variety of special circumstances, can face much higher penalties.  That is why I speak with my clients about their criminal record and all the surrounding circumstances, so that we can get a clear idea of the charges and possible penalties that they are facing.

Loss of school financial aid for those convicted of Cannabis possession


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For those attending college, or planning to attend college, a Cannabis possession charge can be an especially large problem.  That is because a conviction for Cannabis possession can result in the loss of federal financial aid.  Indeed, the statistics show that about one percent of students receiving federal financial aid lose their student loans because of a cannabis case.

Having the right lawyer when facing a Cannabis charge is critical

I have represented many clients facing Cannabis possession charges.  In each of those cases, I begin by meeting with the client to get a complete understanding of the facts of the case.  Then, I apply my legal education and experience to those facts, and determine the best way of resolving the case.  In some situations, an improper search by the police may lead to the evidence of the Cannabis possession being suppressed, causing the case against the client to be dismissed.  In other cases, it is possible to successfully argue that the Cannabis is question does not belong to the client, resulting the client being found not guilty at trial. In still other cases, I have negotiated plea deals that kept my clients out of jail and without a Cannabis possession conviction on their record.  In any event, each case is unique, and I bring to bear maximum effort for my clients in each and every case.


The attorneys at Puryear Law are ready to put our skill to work on your case. Consult with us today.


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