Reeder & Brown, P.C.


Joliet criminal defense attorneyIf you are charged with crimes related to heroin possession, sales, delivery, or trafficking, the results can be life-shattering. Heroin is considered a Class I drug, meaning that it has a high likelihood for abuse and has no accepted medical use. While punishments for some drugs like marijuana are slowly lifting, heroin-related offenses are still aggressively prosecuted, often resulting in severe penalties including substantial fines and prison time. Working with an experienced drug crimes defense attorney is essential.

Heroin Possession Penalties in Illinois

All heroin-related crimes are charged as a felony. Here are the potential penalties for heroin possession, which increase based on the amount of heroin found:

  • Up to 15 grams is a Class 4 felony with a minimum 1 to 3-year sentence and up to $25,000 in fines.
  • Between 15-100 grams is a Class 1 felony and carries a 4 to 15-year jail sentence with a fine of up to $200,000.
  • Between 100-400 grams is charged as a Class X felony, with a minimum of 6 to 30 years in jail and a fine of up to $200,000.
  • Between 400-900 grams is a Class X felony and carries a mandatory minimum prison term of 8-40 years plus up to $200,000 in fines.
  • If you possess over 900 grams, you will be charged with a Class X felony and face a mandatory minimum prison term of between 10-50 years and a fine of up to $200,000.

For Class X felonies, the fines may be increased to the street value of the drugs if that amount exceeds $200,000. By possessing over 1/2 gram of heroin you could also be charged with distribution and face a minimum of three years in prison. If you were found possessing or distributing heroin within 1500 feet of a park, school, or place of worship, or if you were in possession of a gun when the arrest was made, penalties can increase dramatically.


IL defense lawyerAlthough marijuana was legalized for recreational use in Illinois, other controlled substances continue to be illegal without a prescription. Possession of an illegal drug carries charges and penalties that can vary according to substance; for example, having even .05 grams of heroin, which is a Schedule 1 controlled substance, allows for felony charges, including prison time.

In addition to the illegality of using or selling controlled substances, drug paraphernalia - such as pipes, bongs, or hypodermic needles - is illegal to possess or sell as well. Charges of possession of drug paraphernalia are serious and Illinois is notoriously hard on drug crimes. In this blog post, we will answer some general questions about drug paraphernalia charges, but each case is unique and a qualified Illinois criminal defense attorney is the best person to answer your questions.

What Counts as Drug Paraphernalia?

Certain materials are clearly drug paraphernalia, but there may be some question about others. For example, if heroin is found in a backpack, is that backpack paraphernalia? It depends. Illinois law defines drug paraphernalia as materials used for the following purposes:

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