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What to Do When You Get Arrested For Someone Else’s Drugs

 Posted on November 29, 2023 in Criminal Defense

Skokie criminal defense lawyerGetting arrested is traumatic enough on its own. But getting arrested for a crime you did not actually commit can turn your whole world upside down. If you have been wrongly accused of possessing illegal drugs that belonged to someone else, you need an Illinois lawyer on your side.

You Can Be Charged Even If They Are Not Your Drugs

Under Illinois law, you can be charged with drug possession even if the drugs did not actually belong to you. The prosecution only needs to prove that you exercised control over the area where the drugs were found. So, if illegal drugs are found in your car, purse, pockets, or a similar area, you could face charges. The fact that they were left there by someone else likely will not get you off the hook on its own.

Act Quickly To Build Your Defense

As soon as you are arrested or charged, get in touch with a criminal defense lawyer. An attorney can start working immediately to build a strong defense by gathering evidence and lining up witnesses. If illegal drugs were left in your possession without your knowledge, witnesses who can testify to those circumstances will be vital. An early consultation also gives your lawyer time to negotiate with the prosecution or identify any improper police procedures.

Sentencing Depends On The Specific Charges

The penalties you face depend on the type and quantity of drugs you are accused of possessing. Possession of a small amount of marijuana is a misdemeanor in Illinois, punishable by up to a year in jail. Possession of heroin, cocaine, and other hard drugs is typically charged as a felony, and larger quantities trigger lengthier sentences.

Expungement May Be An Option

If your charges are dismissed, or you are acquitted, you may be able to have your arrest record sealed or expunged. An expungement would essentially erase the arrest and charges from your criminal record. This can help mitigate problems finding jobs and housing that often follow drug arrests.

Contact a Skokie, IL Criminal Defense Lawyer

Being accused of a drug crime you did not commit is scary. But following the advice of a Northbrook, IL criminal defense attorney gives you the best chance at clearing your name or receiving the most favorable outcome from the charges. Call The Law Offices of Matthew R. Gebhardt, P.C. at 847-239-4703 for a free consultation to see how we can help.

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