Heroin is an illegal drug, so getting stopped with it in your possession could lead to significant penalties. While Illinois does have drug courts that may be available to you after you are charged, not all cases can be sent to those alternative courts.
In Illinois, the sale, possession or trafficking of heroin are all treated as felonies. The exact penalties you could face will depend on how much heroin you had in your possession and if there are other aggravating factors involved in your case.
Can you be arrested if you overdose on heroin?
Many people who live with addictions or who know people who do become concerned about calling for help when an overdose is expected or experienced. They worry that they may be arrested for having the illicit substance in their possession.
According to the law in Illinois, a person who is experiencing an overdose will not be charged, arrested or prosecuted for having the drugs in their possession. Despite being in violation of the Illinois Controlled Substances Act, they are given immunity so long as the amount of heroin identified is less than three grams.
What should you do if you are arrested for heroin possession?
If you are arrested for possessing heroin, the first step is to remember that you should not talk to the police or give them any further evidence. You have a right to speak with an attorney to learn more about your legal rights and options before you’re interviewed further.
It’s important to find out what the exact accusations and charges are. Depending on how much of a substance you possessed, you may be able to seek alternative penalties, like attending drug rehabilitation treatment, rather than going through a traditional sentencing process.
Illinois does treat drug offenses seriously, but the laws are also protective in some ways. Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to seek alternative penalties or defend yourself against any penalties at all. It’s in your best interests to look into the laws that may affect your case, so you can begin to build a strong defense against the charges.