Archives : 2010 : June
Unlawful possession of a controlled substance with the intent to deliver (also referred to as “UPCS”) is a very serious felony offense in Illinois. Intent to deliver in Illinois means manufacturing, delivery, or possession with intent to deliver. Drugs that are commonly involved under UPCS are cocaine, crack, heroin, ecstasy, methamphetamine, mushrooms, or LSD. Penalties and fines are substantial.
720 ILCS 570 Illinois Controlled Substances Act
UPCS offenses carry the following sentences and penalties under 720 ILCS 570 Illinois Controlled Substance Act if you are charged with possession of cocaine, crack, heroin, ecstasy, methamphetamine, mushrooms or LSD:
· Possession of less than 1 gram is a Class 2 felony offense with a 3-7 year prison sentence. Fine can be $200,000. Probation is possible.
· Possession of 1-15 grams is a Class 1 felony offense with a 4-15 year prison sentence. Maximum fine allowed is $250,000. Probation is possible.
· Possession of 15-100 grams is a Class X felony offense. No probation is available. Mandatory minimum sentence is 6 years in prison with a maximum 30 years. The fine can be $500,000.
· Possession of 100-400 grams is considered an enhanced Class X felony offense or Super X offense which carries a prison sentence between 9-30 years. No probation is available. The fine can be $500,000.
· 400-900 grams is an enhanced Class X offense (Super X) with a 12-50 year prison sentence. No probation is available. The fine can be $500,000.
· 900 or more grams is a Class X enhanced offense (Super X) with a 15-60 year prison sentence. No probation is available. The maximum fine is $500,000.
Agents with the State Line Area Narcotics Team (SLANT), in conjunction with the Freeport Police Department Street Crimes Unit, arrested Terrance D. Young, a 37 year old Freeport, Illinois man, on June 10, 2010, with unlawful possession of a controlled substance with the intent to deliver, which is a Class X felony, and unlawful possession of cannabis, which is a Class C misdemeanor, after allegedly finding 77 grams of crack cocaine, 2 grams of cannabis, $430 cash and packaging materials at his residence. According to John Vogt of the Stephenson County State’s Attorney’s office, possession of 77 grams of cocaine was a significant amount. A Slant commander, who wishes to remain unnamed, said the arrest was the result of an ongoing investigation against Young regarding the sale of narcotics. SLANT is comprised of a joint effort of police officers from the Freeport, Loves Park, Rockford, and Monroe, Wisconsin police departments, as well as from the Stephenson County and Green County, Wisconsin sheriff’s departments and the Illinois State Police. If convicted of the possession of 77 grams of cocaine, a Class X felony in Illinois, which is the most serious of his charges, Young faces a 6-30 year prison sentence. Young was also charged with other felony charges for unlawful delivery of a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of school from a crime that occurred in March 2010. Bond for all charges was set at $200,000.
Another case involving the Freeport Police was the arrest of 21 year old Darren T. Miller on June 26, 2010, on felony charges of unlawful possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of Embury United Methodist Church, located at 515 S. Galena Ave. in Freeport. The police allege that Miller possessed, with the intent to deliver to another person, more than 1 gram but less than 15 grams of cocaine. Miller was taken to Stephenson County
Jail, and bond was set for $75,000. If convicted of this Class 1 felony offense of possession of 1-15 grams of cocaine, Miller could face a 4-15 year prison sentence in Illinois and a maximum fine of $250,000. Probation is also possible.
If you get arrested in Illinois for unlawful possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, you should hire an Illinois criminal defense attorney. The attorney can argue a defense such as illegal seizure to get your case dismissed, or you may be eligible for a diversion program for drug treatment if you have a drug problem. Your attorney may be able to negotiate a lesser offense with a plea bargain to get your charges reduced to a Class 2 felony so you can avoid jail time and receive probation instead.
California Penal Code 187 defines murder as the “unlawful killing of a human being, or a fetus, with malice aforethought”. You face serious jail time and penalties if convicted of first degree murder, capital murder with special circumstances or second degree murder in California. Penalties for murder in California range from 15 years in state prison to life or life without parole or even the death penalty. If the murder was a hate crime, you face life in prison without the possibility of parole.
First Degree Murder Conviction
To be convicted of a first degree murder in California, you must have:
· Used a destructive or explosive device
· Waited for a victim and inflicted torture on them
· Killed someone in a willful, deliberate and pre-meditated manner
· Killed someone while committing a felony or attempting to commit a felony under the felony murder rule
You face 15 years to life or life without parole in state prison.
Capital Murder with Special Circumstances Conviction
To be convicted of capital murder in the first degree with special circumstances, you must have:
· Killed someone for financial gain
· Killed multiple victims
· Killed a police officer, firefighter, prosecutor, judge, juror or elected official
· Killed a witness to prevent them from testifying
· Killed someone while attempting to commit or committing a felony which subject you to the first degree felony murder rule
· Killing someone because of their race, color, religion, nationality or country of origin which is considered a hate crime
· Killing someone by discharging a firearm from a motor vehicle (drive-by-shooting
· Murdering for benefit of a street gang (186.22 Penal Code)
You face 15 years to life, life without parole or the death penalty.
Second Degree Murder Conviction
To be convicted of a second degree murder charge in California, you must have committed any murder that does not fall under the category of first degree murder or capital murder with special circumstances. Examples of second degree murder are when you discharge a weapon into a crowd and kill someone, or you get into an argument or kill someone while you are intoxicated with alcohol or under the influence of drugs. Second degree murders are considered willful, but without pre-meditation or malice.
You can face up to a 15 year to life sentence and life without possibility of parole if you served time previous for a murder conviction. Sentences for murder can be increased to 20 years to life if you shoot a firearm from a vehicle with the intent of causing serious injury, or 25 to life if a peace offer is involved and life without the possibility of parole if you intended to kill a peace officer or to cause great bodily harm to a peace officer or used a deadly weapon or firearm in killing the officer. You may also have to pay a fine of $10,000 and also have to pay victim restitution. Under the California three strikes law, if you are convicted of three felonies, there is a mandatory prison sentence of at least 25 year to life.
On June 11, 2010, a Montebello jury acquitted 17 year old Angel Sosa of two murder charges, which included a special circumstance of multiple murders and assault with a firearm. Although the boy was tried as an adult, he was not facing the death penalty because he was under the age of 18 at the time of the murders of 44 year old Juan Garcia and his 12 year old son Albert at a high school graduation party on June 21, 2008. Sosa could have faced life in prison if convicted of the first degree with special circumstances or second degree murder charges.
The defense attorney, Jeri Polen, argued that dozens of witnesses were unable to identify Sosa as the shooter and witnesses identified someone else. The DA, Michele Hanisee, argued that a witness identified Sosa as the gunman and saw him fire a 9 mm from behind a van into a crowd of people beyond the backyard fence of a home located at the 100 block of East Madison Avenue, where the party occurred. The victims who had nothing to do with an earlier confrontation that had taken place at the home died at Beverly Hospital in Montebello. Sosa’s family described the defendant as “the best kid you could want to know and a “pretty good football player”. He plans on returning to high school in the fall.
A murder charge in California is a very serious crime. You should hire a skilled and experienced California criminal defense attorney to represent you. The attorney can defend you by raising doubt and using other defenses such as self- defense, defense of others, accidental killing, insanity, false and coerced confessions, illegal search and seizure or mistaken identity to get the charges reduced or dismissed.
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