While attitudes toward drug crimes are changing in Illinois, especially when it comes to drug possession, being caught with drugs can still lead to criminal penalties.
The drug you are caught with makes a significant difference in terms of the potential penalties you may face, and Schedule II drugs carry some of the harshest penalties under Illinois law.
What Is a Schedule II Drug?
Under the Illinois Controlled Substances Act, illegal drugs are classified based on a “schedule” that rates these substances according to how harmful they are and whether or not they have an accepted medical use. This schedule is broadly the same as the one used in federal law, and the different categories of drugs are:
- Schedule I – Schedule I drugs have a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical purpose. Examples of Schedule I drugs include heroin, Ecstasy/MDMA, LSD, methamphetamine, and PCP.
- Schedule II – Schedule II drugs also have a high potential for abuse but may have limited medical uses. Examples of Schedule II drugs include cocaine, opium, oxycontin, hydromorphone, and morphine.
- Schedule III – Schedule III drugs have some potential for abuse, but less so than Schedule I or Schedule II drugs. They also generally have an accepted medical purpose. Schedule III drugs include anabolic steroids, ketamine, and testosterone.
- Schedule IV – Schedule IV drugs have a low chance of abuse, addiction, and accepted medicinal use. Some Schedule IV drugs include diazepam (Valium), alprazolam (Xanax), tranquilizers, clonazepam, and certain sedatives.
- Schedule V – Schedule V drugs have a low chance of addiction or limited addictive properties, along with an accepted medical use. Cough suppressant is one example of a Schedule V drug.
Penalties for Drug Possession in Illinois
The penalties for possessing Schedule II drugs in Illinois depend mainly on the amount of the drug you are caught with. As a general rule, the penalties for possessing a Schedule II drug are:
- 15 grams or less – 1-3 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000
- 15-99 grams – 4-15 years in prison and a fine of up to $200,000
- 100-399 grams – 6-30 years in prison and a fine of up to $200,000 or the full street value of the drugs, whichever is higher
- 400-899 grams – 8-40 years in prison and a fine of up to $200,000 or the full street value of the drugs, whichever is higher
- 900+ grams – 10-50 years in prison and a fine of up to $200,000 or the full street value of the drugs, whichever is higher
Steps to Take if You Are Accused of Possessing a Schedule II Drug
Here is what you need to do if you have been arrested and accused of possessing a Schedule II drug in Illinois:
- Do not say anything – You have the right to remain silent, and you should use it. Anything you say to the police or other officials can be used against you, and you do not want to give them anything that could make the case against you stronger. Do not say anything to police or prosecutors without an attorney present.
- Do not try to hide or destroy the drugs – Being caught with Schedule II drugs is bad enough, but trying to hide or destroy them could lead to additional charges against you. Instead, comply with the police’s instructions while staying silent.
- Ask for your lawyer – Never, ever talk with police or prosecutors without an attorney present. There are many different tricks they will use to try to get you to incriminate yourself, and a lawyer can protect you from these traps. Request to speak with an attorney as soon as possible after your arrest, and do not say anything until your attorney arrives.
Contact a Chicago Drug Defense Attorney Today
If you have been caught by police with Schedule II drugs, you need to contact an experienced Chicago criminal defense lawyer right away. The Chicago drug crime defense lawyers of Sexner & Associates LLC have more than 30 years of criminal defense experience and have successfully represented more than 20,000 clients. Our attorneys can make sure you are treated fairly by the justice system and we will always try to have the charges against you reduced or dismissed. Should your case go to trial, we will be ready with a vigorous defense strategy tailored specifically to your case. For more information on our services, visit our contact page or call 800-996-4824 for a free, confidential consultation.