When Are Drug Crimes Considered Felonies?

Published: Aug 18, 2017, by admin in Drug Crimes, Legal Blog

Drug offenses in the State of Illinois are considered serious and treated as such by the law, regardless of whether they involve marijuana possession, drug manufacturing, or drug trafficking. While some offenses are designated by the State as misdemeanors, others are categorized as felony drug crimes and accrue significant penalties to match the severity of the offense.

Felony offenses are more serious than misdemeanor offenses and carry much more severe penalties that can range from one year to life in prison, as well as fines reaching into the six figures for the most serious offenses. The more severe the drug crime, the higher class of felony it is assigned. The least serious felonies in Illinois are designated as class 4 felonies, while the most serious crimes are categorized as class X felonies.

If you are facing a felony drug crime charge, the potential consequences to your freedom and future are significant. That’s why you need a Chicago drug lawyer on your side with extensive experience and adeptness to achieve the best possible outcome in your case.

With more than 20 years of legal experience, including time serving on the prosecutorial side of the justice system, Attorney Michael O’Meara is able to provide you with the intelligent and vigorous representation you need at this critical time.

To request a free consultation, call our office today at 312-909-0706
or email us at

Felony Drug Crimes

Some common examples of felony drug crime charges in the State of Illinois include:

  • Drug Possession – In Illinois, it is unlawful to possess any quantity of an illegal controlled substance, including any type of prescription medication for which you do not have a legitimate prescription. Felonies are charged for drug possession in numerous cases. The penalties for drug possession vary extensively depending on the type and quantity of the substance involved.
  • Drug Possession With Intent to Deliver – Considered more serious and potentially more dangerous than drug possession alone, possession with the intent to deliver is charged as a felony in Illinois. If law enforcement believes you have drugs that you intend to give or sell to another person, you may be charged with this crime.
  • Drug Manufacturing – The crime of drug manufacturing includes the preparation, production, processing, conversion, propagation, or compounding of controlled substances. It can also include having particular materials in your possession that are necessary to make certain products, including applicable chemicals. Designated as a class 4 felony, drug manufacturing carries with it a one- to three-year prison sentence and a maximum fine of $25,000.
  • Prescription Drug Fraud – The commission of fraud in relation to prescription drugs covers a range of different offenses in the state of Illinois, including stealing blank prescription slips, forging a prescription, altering a prescription, or using multiple doctors to acquire the same prescription. Prescription drug fraud is often categorized as a felony, carrying a possible punishment of three years in prison and a maximum $100,000 fine. The fine is set by statute and can reach up to $200,000 for subsequent offenses.
  • Drug Transportation – The act of moving an illegal substance from one location to another, regardless of the distance involved, can bring upon you the charge of drug transportation. This is a felony crime that is punishable by multiple years in prison and massive fines depending on the amount and type of the substance involved.
  • Drug Sale and/or Delivery – You may be charged with the sale or delivery of an illegal drug even after the distribution of that drug has already occurred. As an offense that falls under the category of felony drug crimes, it is punished based on several factors such as the type of drug involved, whether injury to one or more persons occurred, and the location of the transaction. If convicted, you may face numerous years in prison and heavy fines.
  • Drug Trafficking – Possibly one of the most well-known categories of felony drug crimes, drug trafficking is an extremely serious offense. It involves the manufacture, distribution, and delivery of controlled substances.
  • Penalties are severe, but vary based on the amount and type of substance involved and the circumstances surrounding the offense; however, if convicted you may face a long-term mandatory prison sentence and potentially millions of dollars in fines.

Contact an Experienced Chicago Drug Lawyer

If you suspect you are under investigation for a drug crime or have already been charged, it’s essential that you obtain highly skilled legal representation from a Chicago drug attorney who will fight for your rights in an aggressive manner. Call Attorney Michael O’Meara today at 312-909-0706 to schedule a free confidential case evaluation.