Penalties for Possessing Marijuana

Amount in Grams* Max. prison Max. Fines Assessment
Up to 2.5 30 days $1,500 $ 200
2.5 to 10 6 months $1,500 $ 200
10 to 30 ? 364 days $2,500 $ 300
30 to 500 ? 3 years $25,000 $ 500
500 to 2,000 5 years $25,000 $ 500
2,000 to 5,000 7 years $25,000 $ 1000
Over 5,000 15 years $25,000 $ 2000

* There are about 28 grams in an ounce.
? Penalty is higher for a repeat offense.
Sources: 720 ILCS 550/4; penalties by class of crime stated in 730 ILCS 5/5-8-1, 5/5-8-3,
and 5/5-9-1; and assessments required by 720 ILCS 550/10.3(a).

The table below shows penalties for making; possessing with intent
to deliver (transfer to anyone else); or delivering marijuana or its
products. For amounts up to 2,000 grams, the rows labeled “At
school” show higher penalties if the crime is committed either on
school grounds or in a school vehicle such as a bus.

Penalties for Transferring Marijuana:

Amount In grams* Maximum prison Maximum fine Additional assessment
Up to 2.5 6 months $1,500 $200
At school 364 days $2,500 $300
2.5 to 10 364 days $2,500 $300
At school 3 years $25,000 $500
10 to 30 3 years $25,000 $500
At school 5 years $50,000 $500
30 to 500 5 years $50,000 $500
At school 7 years $100,000 $1,000
500 to 2,000 7 years $100,000 $1,000
2,000 to 5,000 15 years $150,000 $2,000
Over 5,000 30 years $200,000 $3,000
* There are about 28 grams in an ounce.
Source: 720 ILCS 550/5, 550/5.2, and 550/10.3


What are the penalties for other drugs?
The table below gives examples of maximum penalties for possession
without making or selling major illegal drugs. (Making, distributing,
or selling is always a more serious crime.) Each column
heading shows the number of years in prison that can be imposed
for possessing the amounts listed in that column. In addition to
prison, a violator may be assessed from $200 to $3,000, depending
on amount possessed, to help fund drug treatment..

Examples of Prison Sentences for Possessing Major Drugs
(amounts listed are grams, except for LSD pieces)

Narcotic 1-3 years 4-15 years 6-30 years 8-40 years 10-50 years
Amphetamines up to 199 200+
Barbiturates up to 199 200+
Cocaine up to 14 15-99* 100-399* 400-899* 900+*
Heroin up to 14 15-99* 200-599 600-1499 1500+
-grams up to 14 15-99* 100-399* 400-899* 900+*
-pieces up to 14 15-199* 200-599 600-1499 1500+
Methaqualone up to 29 30+
Methamphetamine up to 14 15-99* 100-399* 400-899* 900+*
Morphine up to 14 15-99* 100-399* 400-899* 900+*
Peyote up to 199 200+
PCP up to 29 30+
* A violator may be fined the full street value of the drugs if over $200,000.
Source: 720 ILCS 570/402 as re-enacted by P.A. 90-593 and amended by P.A. 90-674 (1998). 720 ILCS 570-Illinois Controlled Substances Act.


Do adult criminal laws apply to Minors?

Yes. The same acts are illegal if done by a minor as if they were done
by an adult, although the method of imposing punishment may be slightly
different. Most criminal acts by persons under 17 are prosecuted in
juvenile court. But a person under 17 can be tried in an adult criminal
court in these kinds of situations: (1) The crime charged is a traffic,
boating, fish and game, or municipal or county ordinance violation; (2)
The person was at least 13 and is charged with first-degree murder
committed in the course of (a) aggravated criminal sexual assault, (b)
criminal sexual assault, or (c) aggravated kidnapping; (3) The person
was at least 15 and is charged with (a) first-degree murder; (b)
aggravated criminal sexual assault; (c) aggravated battery with a
firearm at a school (including a college), on or within 1,000 feet of
its grounds, on a school bus, or at a school-related activity; (d) armed
robbery with a firearm; (e) aggravated vehicular hijacking with a
firearm; (f) possession on school grounds of a dangerous weapon
(including sprays for personal defense if carried by a person under 18);
or (g) delivering, or possessing with intent to deliver, an illegal drug
on school or public housing grounds, on a street within 1,000 feet of
them, or on any school bus. (4) The person is charged with a felony and
escapes from a penal institution or from custody, or violates a bail
bond by willfully failing to surrender at the appropriate time after
having posted bail.

There is also a hybrid kind of trial called an
“extended jurisdiction juvenile prosecution.” It is to be used if a
minor was at least 13 at the time of an alleged offense and is charged
with a felony, and the judge finds probable cause to believe that the
allegation are true.The judge may instead decide to keep the case in
juvenile court, based on clear and convincing evidence that criminal
prosecution would not be appropriate. Proceedings in an extended
jurisdiction juvenile prosecution are similar to those of an adult
criminal trial, including the right to a jury, but with less restrictive
rules of evidence.

Can I get in trouble with the law for sexual behavior?
Yes. You will be criminally liable for sexual conduct (including sexual
touching) in any of several kinds of situations, regardless of your or
the other person’s gender: (1) You are under 17 and the other person is
between 9 and 16; or you are less than 5 years older than the other
person, who is aged 13 to 16. This is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable
by up to 364 days and/or a fine up to $2,500. (2) You are at least 17
and the other person is under 13; or you are under 17 and the other
person is under 9. This is a Class 2 felony, punishable by 3 to 7 years
and a fine up to $25,000. (3) You are at least 17 and the other person
is under 13, and the conduct involves any contact between sex organs, or
intrusion of any part of either person’s body or any object into any
part of the other person’s body in the pelvic area. This is a Class X
felony, punishable by 6 to 30 years and a fine up to $25,000. (4) The
conditions in (3) apply and you use any drug in connection with the act.
This is a Class X felony with a minimum prison term of 50 years. It is
important to keep in mind that the other person’s consent is not a
defense to any of these crimes.

These prohibitions are designed to
protect very young people from sexual activity before they are old
enough to understand fully its effects. Of course, any sexual act done
by force or threat of force is a very serious felony—Class 1 (4 to 15
years and up to a $25,000 fine) or Class X; or if done with a firearm, a
Class X felony to which 15 to 25 years must be added to the normal term
for Class X.

If you become a parent, you can be required to support your
child up to age 18. In that case, part of the money you earn from work,
or any other regular source of income, for 18 years after the child’s
birth can be taken by court order to provide support. Blood testing of
DNA is required in Illinois paternity cases and is highly accurate in
determining who is the father. Mothers are also required to support
their children to age 18 just like fathers.

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Revised: 02/29/2008
Copyright 2008 Michael Baker Law Offices
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