Drug Possession Charges

Dealing with a drug possession charge in the City of Chicago and surrounding areas can be overwhelming. You may be wondering why you were charged, how to fight it, or how to reduce your charges so you can avoid excessive jail time. The attorneys at Giannola Legal LLC are here to help.

We provide counsel for clients charged with possession of any controlled substance as well as clients who have distribution, trafficking, or manufacturing charges against them. We’re dedicated to examining all angles of your case so we can build the strongest possible defense.

If you’ve been arrested for a drug offense, or are awaiting trial, don’t wait to call our attorneys at Giannola Legal LLC. For your convenience, we offer free case consultations. Call 630-600-5012 to schedule your appointment.

Possession of a Controlled Substance – What Does it Mean?

It can be difficult to know what’s at stake when you’re charged with possession of a controlled substance. There are many different types of possession charges, and each one comes with unique challenges that must be strategically addressed.

To help you better understand what you’re up against, we’ve compiled a list of the most common possession charges:

  • Drug Possession

    You may be charged with drug possession if the police find a controlled substance on your person or somewhere in your home or car.

  • Drug Paraphernalia Possession

    You can be charged with drug paraphernalia possession if you were found owning any sort of device associated with illegal drug use such as a pipe, scale, syringe, or even baggies.

  • Drug Possession with Intent to Deliver

    This charge is often given to defendants who have a large quantity of drugs in their possession, or have drugs in conjunction with things typically used to sell drugs such as baggies or scales

  • Manufacture

    You can be charged with manufacture if you’re found to have a drug lab in your home, are growing plants used to produce controlled substances, or own chemicals used to make a controlled substance.

  • Distribution & Trafficking

    You can be charged with distribution if you are seen selling or attempting to sell or transfer a drug to someone else. You can be charged for trafficking if you import a controlled substance over state lines into Illinois.

Penalties of Possessing a Controlled Substance in Illinois

In the State of Illinois, controlled substances are divided into different categories depending on their medical use and their potential for abuse and dependency. Each drug also has different possible penalties depending on how much was found in your possession. Below you’ll find some of the most common drugs along with their possible penalties.

Drug Involved Amount in Possession Possible Penalties
Cannabis 10-30 grams Up to $2500 fine and up to 1 year in jail
Up to $25,000 fine and 1-3 years in prison for a 2nd offense
Cannabis 100-500 grams Up to $25,000 fine and 1-3 years in prison
Heroin, Morphine, Cocaine, Methamphetamine, LSD, or Acid 15-100 grams Up to $200,000 fine and 4-15 years in prison
Heroin, Morphine, Cocaine, Methamphetamine, LSD, or Acid 100-400 grams Up to $200,000 fine and 6-30 years in prison

Regardless of the drug involved in your charge, our attorneys are prepared to represent you in court. Your ultimate sentence will vary greatly based on your case, the evidence presented, and your criminal history. We want to help you beat any charges that can be beat and reduce the remaining as much as possible.

At Giannola Legal LLC, we make it our goal to successfully guide you through the legal process so you can return to your life as quickly as possible. Call us at 630-600-5012 to schedule your free case consultation.

Our Approach

Drug Possession Lawyer in Chicago

At Giannola Legal LLC, we take pride in providing clear, thorough communication with all of our clients. We understand how stressful navigating the legal system can be. That’s why we want to be as transparent as possible about the trajectory of your case as well as the costs involved with the process.

Although going through a trial can be stressful, we are by your side every step of the way. We will work with you to sort through your case, schedule hearings, file paperwork, and speak on your behalf. We promise to answer every phone call and email within 48 business hours so you never have to worry about what’s ahead.

As we build your defense, we will carefully examine every detail of your case. Our goal is to be as thorough as possible so we can build a solid defense strategy.

Defense Strategies

Our attorneys are well-versed in the different areas of drug offenses, and we will tailor your defense to fit your unique circumstances. Some of the most effective defenses we use are:

  • Constructive Possession

    This is a good defense for someone who shares a home or was driving in a car with other people when they were arrested for possession. In these cases, there may not be a way to prove (without reasonable doubt) that the drugs were yours and did not belong to someone else.

  • Illegal Search or Seizure

    Unfortunately, it’s all too common for police officers to abuse their power and take advantage of you. Police have been known to plant evidence and make searches without probable cause. The 4th amendment guarantees you protection against illegal search and seizure. If the police violated your rights, you may be entitled to having some or all of your charges dropped.

  • Insufficient Evidence

    In any drug possession case, the court must be able to prove that you broke the law beyond a reasonable doubt. If the prosecution isn’t able to provide enough evidence to prove every element of a charge, then you are likely to be acquitted.

  • Lack of Knowledge

    This defense may be useful if you weren’t aware that there were illegal drugs in your possession.

  • Overdose

    In many cases, going to the hospital or taking someone to the hospital for an overdose can grant you some immunity to certain types of drug possession charges. These laws are in place to encourage people to seek emergency medical care when they may be otherwise hesitant to do so.

  • Entrapment

    This defense is justified when law enforcement agents trick you into committing a crime you would normally not be likely to commit.

It’s extremely important, for the sake of your defense, that you do not speak to the police without one of our lawyers present. Even if you are innocent, the police can easily manipulate you into saying something incriminating.

Our lawyers are prepared to start working on your case the day you come in for your first consultation. Call 630-600-5012 to schedule your appointment.

Plea Deal

In many cases, our attorneys are able to reduce your charges and avoid going to court using a plea deal. This method is most useful for cases in which the prosecutor has strong evidence against you.

While a plea deal can be a good option for you, you should never accept a plea deal or admit to anything without one of our lawyers present. In some cases, a plea deal is not in your best interest. This is why it’s important for one of our attorneys to look over your case and help you decide what’s best.

Even if a plea deal is your best option, negotiating is an important step in the bargaining process. Our attorneys will study the evidence presented against you and negotiate to reduce your sentence as much as possible.

What to Expect After Being Arrested for Drug Possession

Drug Possesion Lawyers in Chicago

Our attorneys understand how stressful it can be to deal with the uncertainty of an arrest. That’s why we strive to be as transparent as possible about what you can expect after you’ve been detained. Here’s what typically happens after you’ve been arrested for possession of a controlled substance.

Bond Hearing

Once the officer is finished processing your case, you’ll see a judge for a bond hearing within 48 hours. During this hearing, a judge will set your bail amount, which you can pay to get out of jail while awaiting trial.

Currently, Illinois is in the process of permanently ending cash bail, which will go into full effect in 2023. Once this happens, defendants will no longer have to pay to get out of jail while awaiting trial. If a judge does grant you a bail amount, our attorneys will work diligently to help you secure funding.

Once this hearing is over, the police will send drug evidence to the lab for testing. This typically takes about 3 weeks.

Preliminary Hearing

Once test results arrive, you will attend a preliminary hearing in front of a judge. During this hearing, the judge will review the evidence against you and decide whether or not it warrants holding a trial. If they decide to go to trial, there will be a waiting period to give the prosecutor and defense time to prepare.

Pre-trial Motions

Once the prosecutor has turned over all their evidence, our defense attorneys will go through it to determine if we need to file any pretrial motions.

Pre-trial motions include things like requests to throw out evidence or testimonies that were gathered improperly. These motions are usually filed if our attorneys believe any of the evidence was collected illegally or that you were arrested illegally.


If your case goes to trial, your attorney will use things like evidence and witness testimony to argue your case in front of the judge and jury. They may also cross-examine the arresting officers or people who questioned you in custody. Combined, these efforts will be used to disprove or reduce your charges.


If you are found not guilty of the charges, you are free to go. If you are found guilty, a judge will schedule a sentencing to determine your penalty.

The Best Drug Possession Attorneys in Chicago

If you’ve been charged with drug possession, don’t wait to seek the legal expertise of Giannola Legal LLC. We’re the best criminal defense attorneys in Lemont and the surrounding Chicagoland areas.

Our lawyers are ready to fight for your best interests, and we won’t rest until your charges are reduced or dropped entirely. Call us today at 630-600-5012 to schedule a free case consultation.