Illinois Drug Possession Laws

To combat the rising use of drugs and its negative fallout, the Illinois Controlled Substances Act criminalizes the knowing possession, manufacture and delivery of certain controlled substances, counterfeit substances, and "analogs" of controlled substances. A "controlled substance analog" is one which has a chemical structure or effect substantially similar to that of a controlled substance listed in Schedule I or II of the Act.

Illinois recognizes two distinct crimes stemming from the unlawful possession of a controlled substance:

  1. Mere possession of a controlled substance or analog; and
  2. Possession of such substances with intent to manufacture or deliver (more severely punished).

Elements of a Drug Possession Charge

To secure a conviction for drug possession, the prosecution must prove the following beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • The identity of the substance in question;
  • That the defendant knowingly possessed the substance; and
  • That the substance was in his or her immediate and exclusive control (either actual or constructive possession)

Although possession of any amount of a controlled substance will sustain a conviction, higher grades of the possession offense require greater amounts of the drug(s) involved, or of the substance(s) containing the drug. Thus, to convict a defendant of a higher-level controlled-substance possession offense, the prosecution must prove the weight of the drug or substance containing the drug beyond a reasonable doubt.

Illinois Drug Possession Laws at a Glance

You can learn more about drug possession laws in Illinois by reviewing the information in the chart below.

Statutes

Illinois Statutes Section 570/402

Possible Penalties

Heroin Possession: This is a Class 1 Felony, punishable by up to $200,000 in fines and imprisonment as follows:

  • 15g-99g: Between 4-15 years in prison
  • 100g-399g: Between 6-30 years in prison
  • 400g-899g: Between 8-40 years in prison
  • 900g or Higher: Between 10-50 years in prison

Cocaine Possession: This is a Class 1 Felony, punishable by up to $200,000 in fines and imprisonment as follows:

  • 15g-99g: Between 4-15 years in prison
  • 100g-399g: Between 6-30 years in prison
  • 400g-899g: Between 8-40 years in prison
  • 900g or Higher: Between 10-50 years in prison

Morphine Possession: This is a Class 1 Felony, punishable by up to $200,000 in fines and imprisonment as follows:

  • 15g-99g: Between 4-15 years in prison
  • 100g-399g: Between 6-30 years in prison
  • 400g-899g: Between 6-40 years in prison
  • 900g or Higher: Between 10-50 years in prison

Peyote Possession: 200g or more is a Class 1 Felony punishable by between 4 and 15 years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines.

Barbituric Acid/Salts Possession: 200g or more is a Class 1 Felony punishable by between 4 and 15 years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines.

Amphetamine Possession: 200g or more is a Class 1 Felony punishable by between 4 and 15 years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines.

LSD Possession: This is a Class 1 Felony, punishable by up to $200,000 in fines and imprisonment as follows:

  • 15g-99g: Between 4-15 years in prison
  • 100g-399g: Between 6-30 years in prison
  • 400g-899g: Between 8-40 years in prison
  • 900g or Higher: Between 10-50 years in prison

Pentazocine, Methaqualone, Phencyclidine and Ketamine: Possession of 30g or more is a Class 1 Felony punishable by between 4 and 15 years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines.

Other Substances Not Listed in Statute: Possession of any amount is a Class 4 Felony punishable by between 1-3 in prison and up to $25,000 in fines.

Anabolic Steroids: Possession of any amount is a Class C Misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in prison and up to $1,500 in fines.

 

Defenses
  • Lack of knowledge
  • Prescription medicine
  • Infancy (for persons under 13 years old)
  • Insanity
  • Duress or compulsion
  • Entrapment

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Related Resources for Illinois Drug Possession Laws

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