What constitutes possession in Illinois drug charges?

If the answer to this question is important to you, you may have run up against authorities and the Illinois Controlled Substances Act. You may need to know what constitutes possession when it comes to any drug charges you may face. Understanding the difference can make exploring your options regarding the resolution of the charges less of a challenge.

First, it may help to know that the law includes both actual controlled substances and their analogs. In addition, Illinois differentiates between just possessing an analog or a controlled substance and being in possession of it in order to deliver or manufacture it. This distinction is crucial since the penalties for the latter form of possession are much harsher.

Securing a conviction beyond a reasonable doubt requires that the prosecutor provide an accurate identification of the substance, that you knowingly possessed it and that it was in your exclusive and immediate control. For example, if the controlled substance you were found with is a valid and verified medication that you were prescribed, a conviction may not be possible. Moreover, you may not have known there were drugs in your vehicle or home. You should also be made aware of the fact that the penalties can change depending on the type of controlled substance or analog, but all of them can have negative consequences on your personal and professional lives.

These are just two avenues of defense you could pursue when facing drug charges. A detailed review of all of the supposed evidence against you could reveal violations of your rights or other weaknesses in the prosecution's case. Depending on the circumstances, it may be possible to get the charges reduced or dismissed before the case even goes before the court.

Source: FindLaw, "Illinois Drug Possession Laws", Accessed on July 31, 2017

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