Fentanyl Charges in Illinois
Fentanyl is a level II prescription drug used to treat patients who are recovering from surgery or those with chronic pain, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Increasingly, however, fentanyl is used for recreational purposes. It works by binding opioid receptors in the brain and increasing serotonin levels, bringing on a state of calm euphoria. Fentanyl, which is a pain killer 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine, is similar to other opioid pain medications in that it is incredibly addictive. And, overdoses are becoming ever more common due to pharmaceutical companies pushing this highly addictive drug. In fact, 28,648 Americans died in 2014 due to opioid overdoses (including fentanyl) and heroin, which is another opioid derivative, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As such, the penalties you face for fentanyl possession, intent to sell, or distribution are severe--even more severe than drugs such as cocaine and heroin. If you have been charged with an opioid crime, such as possession, sales, or intent to distribute fentanyl, you need the assistance of an experienced drugs crime attorney at once.
Rising Death Toll Across Illinois Increases Penalties of Fentanyl Crimes
Deaths caused by synthetic opioids rose by 73 percent across the nation in the past five years, according to The Pantagraph. In Illinois, deaths from opioids rose by 120 percent in that time period. The cause for the severe increase in addictions that lead to deaths is likened to poor prescription drug monitoring systems, misleading labels and information about prescription drugs, and dishonest and aggressive pharmaceutical sales. However, it is not the pharmaceutical industries that are held accountable for these addictions. Instead, it is the user that will be stuck with the physical, financial, and legal consequences. Illinois is cracking down on illegal fentanyl possession, possession with intent to sell, and distribution.
In Illinois, fentanyl is considered a Schedule I drug. As such, possession or intent to sell fentanyl is classified as a level X felony. Financial punishment includes a fine of up to $500,000, the street value of the fentanyl, or whichever is greater. Incarceration for level X felony drug crimes are as follows:
- Six to 30 years for 15 to 99 grams;
- Nine to 40 years for 100 to 399 grams;
- Twelve to 50 years for 400 to 899 grams; and
- Fifteen to 60 years for 900 grams or more.
Additionally, specifically for the sale or intent to sell fentanyl, the state of Illinois can increase the prison sentence by up to three years from what the court sentenced, according to Illinois statute 720 ILCS 570.
Call an Experienced Naperville, Illinois Fentanyl Drug Crimes Attorney Today
If you have been charged with a fentanyl crime, do not hesitate to contact an attorney at once. Fentanyl crimes are treated more severely than other drug crimes in Illinois. Contact the Naperville drug crimes attorneys of Law Office of Glenn M. Sowa, LLC today for immediate assistance with your case.