A drug conviction in Illinois can have serious consequences. Firstly, you will be required to obey a criminal sentence which could include time in prison, massive fines, probation, and court-ordered rehab. Then, once you have served your time for a conviction, you will spend the rest of your life facing difficulties with a criminal record. You may find difficulties getting work, accessing education, applying for loans, traveling, and much more.
The court system and police take a tough approach toward drug users and those charged with drug crimes. In most cases, the priority of a prosecutor is to secure a conviction, increase their numbers, and get your case through as quickly as possible. Without a criminal defense lawyer to defend accusations, most drug cases result in a guilty verdict without much argument.
If you want to avoid facing serious penalties and a permanent criminal record, it is vital that you speak with a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. The only way to ensure that your rights are protected during a criminal trial and that your best interests are at the fore is to have strong legal representation.
At Hirsch Law Group, we know how stressful it is to face life with a drug conviction, and we want to do everything we can to make your situation better. In our law firm, we have a team of former prosecutors that now work as aggressive defense attorneys, fighting to protect clients’ rights in Illinois. Our priority is ensuring that you do not fall victim to the criminal justice system and that your life is protected from the future harm of a record.
Call us to schedule a free consultation at 815-880-1134.
Should I Worry About Facing Drug Charges?
Being charged with a drug crime is a scary experience. In most cases, people who commit a drug offense suffer from addiction or drug abuse. Nonetheless, law enforcement officers and prosecutors take a strict approach toward those accused of drug possession, whether it was simple possession, drug possession with intent to sell, or trafficking.
Instead of taking a rehabilitative approach toward offenders, criminal law prefers to imprison individuals or impose strict penalties, including criminal records. With a criminal record, you can face serious consequences for the rest of your life, including difficulty finding work, applying for bank loans, accessing education, and more.
If you have been charged with a drug-related offense, whether it was felony drug possession, drug dealing, or drug trafficking, you will undoubtedly be worried about your future. To come up against the criminal justice system, you will need a strong criminal defense to defend your case and fierce legal representation by your side.
What Can I Expect After a Drug Conviction?
If you are facing drug charges in Illinois, it is important that you are aware of the consequences of a conviction. The type of penalties that you will face for a crime depends on the particular circumstances of your case and the type of crime you are charged with. The penalties you receive for a misdemeanor conviction will be less severe than felony drug charges, however, both will result in a criminal record, which has long-lasting consequences.
Most drug crimes carry with them the potential for a jail sentence if the accused is convicted. If you are charged with drug possession for possessing 10 grams of marijuana, for example, you can face jail time of up to 6 years, with a mandatory minimum sentence of 1 year. Trafficking illegal drugs can result in much longer prison time, including sentences of up to 60 years depending on the substance.
Drug convictions automatically result in a criminal record. With a criminal record, you will face difficulties getting employed, accessing education, applying for custody of your children, applying for bank loans, and much more. A record is visible to anyone who performs a background check on you, including potential employers. They can see that you have been convicted of a drug offense, and are less likely to accept you for job opportunities, a bank loan, and more.
Court-Mandated Rehabilitation Programs
A court-ordered rehabilitation program is typically a mandatory condition of probation for drug criminal charges. Often, Judges will order rehab as a punishment to keep prison numbers down and to reduce the cost of incarcerating people. Typically, the burden is on the individual accused of the crime to find a rehabilitation program and they will have to pay the costs of the program unless they can find financial aid.
Court-ordered rehab can include inpatient drug rehab, day treatment, drug education programs, or outpatient addiction counseling. Rehabilitation is the desirable option for most individuals facing a drug charge, however, it is important to be aware of the consequences of court-ordered rehab.
In some drug cases, a Judge may sentence an individual to probation time, whether it is in lieu of jail time or for a period after jail. Probation can include community custody supervision or community service, for example. Often, the probation period can be quite long, which makes it difficult for people to begin a new chapter of their life after jail. You may be unable to go out past certain hours, have to report to your probation officer often, and have restrictions that make finding a job difficult.
Individuals living in the United States on an immigration visa or who are undocumented face huge risks if convicted of a drug crime. Immigration authorities such as the DEA and local immigration officers are strict towards drug charges. You may lose your green card or immigration visa, be deported, or be denied residency or citizenship rights. If you are hoping to return to the United States, you will be unable to do so with a criminal history.
Mental Health Issues
Unfortunately, we have seen many cases in which individuals suffer mental health issues after being convicted of a drug offense. If you already suffer from addiction, you may suffer from some form of mental illness, whether it is anxiety, depression, or PTSD. A drug conviction can cause ostracisation from society, making it more difficult to carry on with normal life. As such, the chances of you suffering from further mental illness increase with a drug conviction.
There are many resources available for you if you are suffering from mental health problems due to drugs or a drug conviction. A criminal defense lawyer may be able to help you get into an addiction treatment program or access resources for addicts in your local area.
How a Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help
Many people that have been charged with drug crimes are unsure about how they can improve their situation and avoid a conviction. Public defense lawyers are often overworked with hundreds of cases and are unable to dedicate the time and effort necessary to win a case. Hiring strong, reputable legal help is the best way to ensure that you get a favorable outcome in your case.
An experienced lawyer will be able to investigate your case, fight for your rights, and point out holes in the arguments of the prosecution. Without a lawyer, the courts are more likely to prosecute a person for a drug crime, as the prosecution’s arguments go unchallenged. With a lawyer by your side, they will fight tooth and nail to ensure that your best interests are protected.
In the event that you have already been convicted of a drug crime, a lawyer can help improve your current situation by doing the following:
Get Your Sentence Shortened
A skilled criminal defense lawyer can petition to the court to get your sentence shortened drastically or your probation period stricken. To do this, a lawyer will need to prove to a Judge that you have been rehabilitated while in jail or have taken appropriate steps to improve your situation. This could include attending counseling in prison or quitting drug use.
Expunge Your Criminal Record
Many people who have been convicted of drug charges face difficulties later in life because of their criminal record. The most effective way to begin a new chapter of your life is to get your record expunged, which is the process of getting your charges essentially cleared and starting fresh.
In Illinois, it is quite difficult to completely expunge a record however it is much easier to get it sealed. With a sealed record, it will be invisible to any employers, banks, or other bodies that perform a background check on you. It will be available if law enforcement can get a court order to view the records however this does not happen very often. Sealing records can be quite complex and a lengthy process, so it is important that you get help from a criminal defense lawyer.
Contact a Criminal Defense Lawyer at Hirsch Law Group Today!
Being convicted of a drug crime can have serious negative consequences for your future. In addition to the legal consequences such as prison time, fines, and probation, you will face further difficulties with a criminal record. Starting a new chapter of your life can be difficult when you have been convicted of a drug charge.
The best way to ensure that your life is not massively impacted by a drug charge is to speak with a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. At Hirsch Law Group, we understand that the criminal justice system is built against defendants, and we have seen how badly a conviction can upturn a person’s life. Police officers, Judges, and prosecutors do not care about how much your life will be impacted by a conviction, but our lawyers do.
Our law firm has been helping clients in Illinois with drug charges for over 15 years, and we know how important it is to have a strong legal advocate by your side. With our experience as former prosecutors, we take a unique approach to fighting criminal cases and we know how to beat them at their game. We know the dirty tactics that they use to secure a conviction and our priority is preventing this from happening.
You need strong legal representation by your side to prevent your life from being impacted by a drug conviction. The criminal defense lawyers from our law firm are the people you can trust to fight aggressively on your behalf and protect your future.
Call us today to schedule a free consultation at 815-880-1134.