If you’re convicted of felony drug possession charge, chances are, you’ll be looking at serious jail time and heavy fines. The type of drug you are charged with possessing and the amount will determine if you can be charged with a felony or not. Among the most serious of possession charges is the felony possession of cocaine.
For possession of as little as 15 grams of cocaine, you can be charged with a Class 1 Felony, which is the most serious of all possession felonies. Penalties will escalate based on the amount, and can range from incarceration of as little as four years to up to 50 years if you’re convicted of possessing 900 or more grams. You can also face fines of up to $200,000 as well.
However, an experienced attorney will be able to explore several defense options, depending on your particular situation. Some of those defense strategies may include:
Entrapment. Law enforcement routinely sets up sting operations, but when officers or informants induce a suspect to commit a crime that he or she would not have committed otherwise, a claim of entrapment may be a possibility.
Planted drugs. This is less common and can be difficult to prove, especially since an officer’s testimony carries considerable weight in a courtroom, but it is a viable defense in some cases.
Unlawful search and seizure. All people are guaranteed the right to due process under the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution, and this extends to making sure that search and seizure procedures were carried out in an appropriate way. If the defendant’s rights were violated, then any drugs that were found may not be used as evidence at a trial.
In addition to these strategies, an experienced attorney will also closely monitor the stated facts, testimony, evidence and procedural processes, looking for errors that can turn the tide in favor of a defendant, resulting in acquittal.
The Law Office of David M. Smith serves clients in Chicago, Cook County and surrounding Illinois communities.