Stealing is a crime. Stealing in order to obtain meth may bring more serious charges if you are caught with the drug. The person who offers to trade meth in order to get you to commit theft, though? They’re probably going to face severe penalties – and they may even make headlines.
That’s exactly what happened in the case of Travis P. Tomlin. The Marion resident was arrested in November 2016 after he told a man he would give him meth in exchange for a video game system.
The theft occurred at the Marion Walmart, but the person stealing the game system was caught, and the crime was traced back to Tomlin. When police confronted Tomlin, he had meth materials in his possession.
So Tomlin was charged with unlawful possession of a methamphetamine precursor, a class 1 felony in Illinois. Tomlin has other meth-related convictions under his belt, so when he was convicted in early March, he was sentenced to seven years in prison.
Meth Is Making a Comeback in Illinois, and It Can Result in Serious Charges
Williamson County is not the only place that has had recent meth arrests worthy of a news story. Officials throughout the state of Illinois have stated that the drug is “making a comeback,” and it shows. In Franklin County, 40 people were arrested for meth between January 2016 and February 2017. The jail in Franklin County (which holds 100 people total) held 25 inmates who had been arrested for meth.
Three of those inmates were charged with Class X felonies, the most serious felony in Illinois.
Drug crimes and charges in Illinois are determined by a few different factors: how the drugs were being used (possession, distribution, manufacturing, etc.), the type of drug, and the weight of the drug(s) involved.
Methamphetamines are considered one of the most serious drugs. Being caught with meth is exceedingly more serious than marijuana or prescription drugs. In fact, due to its complexity and long list of ingredients, methamphetamine is addressed as a completely separate law in Illinois: the Methamphetamine Control and Community Protection Act.
The Act describes the different charges and penalties related to methamphetamine. Some charges that are important to note include:
Possession: Possessing less than five grams of meth, or a substance that contains meth, is a class 3 felony in Illinois. Charges increase with weight – 100 grams of methamphetamine warrants Class X felony charges.
Possession with Intent to Deliver: If law enforcement believe that you intend to deliver the meth that you possess, charges increase. For example, someone found possessing less than five grams of meth with intent to deliver is charged with a class 2 felony.
Manufacturing: “Manufacturing” charges are placed on individuals who are found to be making meth (or appear to be making meth). If you are charged with manufacturing less than 15 grams of methamphetamines, you will face a Class 1 felony. Anything above 15 grams is considered a Class X felony, but the weight of drugs will continue to have an impact on the length of your penalty if convicted.
Meth-related charges are serious, but being arrested or charged doesn’t automatically mean that you will spend years behind bars. A strong defense may be able to get your charges reduced or even dropped altogether, and help you return to your normal life faster.
To start building your defense, talk to an experienced Illinois criminal defense lawyer today.
About the Author
Sami Azhari has been working as a lawyer since 2007, after receiving his Juris Doctor from the Michigan State University College of Law. He has handled numerous state and federal cases, and is known throughout the Chicago and Rolling Meadows area for providing his clients with high-quality, skilled representation. He has been recognized by SuperLawyers, the National Trial Lawyers Association, and other notable organizations, and has spoken at a number of legal conferences.