In Illinois it is a crime to possess, deliver, manufacture, and traffic heroin. The Illinois Controlled Substances Act details the guidelines and penalties that Illinois courts follow in sentencing individuals under the Act. There are many factors that determine the sentence imposed, including the actions of the individual, amount of heroin in question, the individual’s criminal history, and other aggravating factors.
Mere possession of heroin is a crime in Illinois. If the amount of heroin is less than 15 grams, the individual will be charged with a Class 4 felony, which carries with it a sentence between 1-3 years and a fine up to $25,000.00. For any amount over 15 grams, an individual will be charged with a Class 1 Felony, and the sentence will vary depending on the amount. Specifically, possession of 15 to 99 grams carries a 4-15 year term in prison; 100 to 399 grams is a 6 to 30 year prison term; 400 to 899 grams is an 8 to 40 year prison term; and for 900 grams or more the term is 10 to 50 years. If the amount of heroin exceeds 100 grams, the individual is also facing a fine of $200,000.00, or the street value of the amount of heroin, whichever amount is greater.
In addition to possession, an individual can also be charged for knowingly manufacturing or delivering, or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver heroin. An individual charged under this section of the Illinois Controlled Substances Act faces greater penalties than those who are charged with mere possession. It is a Class 2 felony if the amount of heroin is less than 1 gram, and the sentence imposed is between 3-7 years. It is a Class 1 Felony if the amount of heroin is between 1 to 15 grams, and the sentence is between 4-15 years. For any amount over 15 grams, an individual will be charged with a Class X Felony, and the sentence continues to vary based on the amount of heroin in question. Specifically, 15-99 grams carries a 6 to 30 year prison term; 100 to 399 grams carries a 9 to 40 year prison term; 400 to 899 grams carries a 12 to 50 year prison term; and heroin over 900 grams carries a 15 to 60 year prison term. If the amount of heroin exceeds 100 grams, the individual is also subject to a fine of $500,000.00 or the street value of the heroin, whichever amount is greater.
A person may be charged with trafficking heroin if they knowingly bring, or causes to be brought into Illinois, heroin for the purpose of manufacturing or delivery. The sentencing Judge is authorized to impose a sentence of no less than twice the minimum term and no more than twice the maximum term of imprisonment for the manufacturing, delivering, or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver heroin.
Certain factors can increase or decrease the penalties for heroin charges. Aggravating factors such as the sale to minors, selling within a certain distance of a truck stop or school, or committing the offense when in possession of a firearm may increases the penalties. However, it is possible to serve less than the recommended sentence depending on plea negotiations. For example, certain heroin charges are eligible for drug probation, drug court, and/or Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities (“TASC”), in which no period of imprisonment is required. If an individual is facing a heroin charge, they should consult with an attorney in order to determine the most favorable resolution to their case.