Methamphetamine Sale, Manufacturing, Possession

Methamphetamine, also known as crystal meth or simply “meth,” is a dangerous drug that has an almost unmatched ability to ruin the lives of those who use it. Users young and old have, in recent years, fallen prey to the drug, and Illinois law officials are dedicated to cracking down on its use and stopping it from spreading.

Among the most serious meth-related charges are the delivery, manufacturing, trafficking, or possession with intent to deliver the drug. Serious jail time and financially crippling fines are just some of the dire consequences that can accompany a conviction. Consequences of a felony conviction for meth manufacturing or delivery may include:

  • Spending years or decades in prison
  • Paying significant fines — possibly hundreds of thousands of dollars
  • Acquiring a permanent felony record that can ruin your job or career prospects
  • Suspension or revocation of your professional license, if you have one
  • Loss of your rights to vote and possess firearms
  • Loss of child custody or visitation rights, particularly if you were involved in activities related to methamphetamine in their presence
  • Loss of your immigration visa or green card, denial of your citizenship application, or deportation

Given the seriousness of the charge and the nature of the drug involved, if you’ve been charged with meth manufacturing, delivery, trafficking, or possession with intent it is vital that you talk to a resourceful Illinois drug defense attorney who can explain your charge and the potential penalties, investigate your case, and fight to get your charge dismissed or reduced.

Defining Methamphetamine Offenses

The sale, delivery, manufacturing, or possession of meth with the intent to sell is among the most serious drug-related charges that can be brought against someone. You may be charged under the Illinois methamphetamine manufacturing statute at 720 ILCS 646/15, the methamphetamine delivery statute at 720 ILCS 646/55. The statute defines these offenses as:

  • Delivery: It is unlawful to knowingly transfer ownership of methamphetamine to another person, whether through a sale or a gift.
  • Manufacturing: It is illegal to create or manufacture meth in Illinois. This may become a key piece of the charge if certain equipment or chemical components are found or confiscated as part of the investigation.
  • Trafficking: This involves knowingly bringing into Illinois from another state or country meth itself, anhydrous ammonia, or other meth precursors that can be used to manufacture the drug with the intent to manufacture or deliver meth.
  • Possession with intent: This refers to when someone has meth and is planning a sale or transfer, but typically has not followed through at the time of the arrest.

Additional circumstantial evidence may be introduced to bolster the prosecutor’s case and cement the charge against someone. That evidence may include:

  • Scales, baggie, or other items that may be involved in a sale (even when a sale has not taken place)
  • Pseudoephedrine, anhydrous ammonia, and other ingredients or tools used to manufacture meth
  • External factors, including the location of the arrest, especially when a particular building or street corner is known among officials for drug dealing and other illicit activity

Penalties for a Meth Manufacturing, Delivery or Possession with Intent Conviction

Meth manufacturing, delivery, and possession with intent to deliver are felonies in Illinois and, as such, are harshly punished. Penalties for meth offenses increase with the quantity of the drug involved. The statutory penalties for meth crimes include:

Methamphetamine Manufacturing

  • Less than 15 grams — You may be sentenced to 4 to 15 years in prison and ordered to pay a fine of up to $25,000
  • 15 to 100 grams — You may be sentenced to 6 to 30 years in prison and ordered to pay a fine of up to $100,000
  • 100 to 400 grams — You may be sentenced to 9 to 40 years in prison and ordered to pay a fine of up to $200,000 or the street value of the drugs
  • 400 to 900 grams — You may be sentenced to 12 to 50 years in prison and ordered to pay a fine of up to $300,000 or the street value of the drugs
  • More than 900 grams — You may be sentenced to 15 to 60 years in prison and ordered to pay a fine of up to $400,000 or the street value of the drugs

You may be sentenced to a longer prison term if your offense involved the use of a firearm; manufactured meth in a multi-unit dwelling such as an apartment building; manufactured meth in the presence of a child, elderly person, pregnant woman, or disabled person; or other factors that an Illinois drug crimes lawyer can explain.

Methamphetamine Delivery or Possession with Intent to Deliver

  • Less than 5 grams — You may be sentenced to 3 to 7 years in prison
  • 5 to 15 grams — You may be sentenced to 4 to 15 years in prison and ordered to pay a fine of up to $25,000
  • 15 to 100 grams — You may be sentenced to 6 to 30 years in prison and ordered to pay a fine of up to $100,000
  • 100 to 400 grams — You may be sentenced to 9 to 40 years in prison and ordered to pay a fine of up to $200,000 or the street value of the drugs
  • 400 to 900 grams — You may be sentenced to 12 to 50 years in prison and ordered to pay a fine of up to $300,000 or the street value of the drugs
  • More than 900 grams — You may be sentenced to 15 to 60 years in prison and ordered to pay a fine of up to $400,000 or the street value of the drugsv

You may face enhanced penalties for aggravated methamphetamine delivery or possession with intent if your offense involved:

  • Delivery of meth to a minor
  • Using a minor in the delivery of meth if you are 18 or older
  • Deliver meth to a school
  • Deliver meth to a pregnant woman

Methamphetamine Trafficking

When you’re found guilty of a meth trafficking charge that involves transporting the drug itself, you can receive double the prison sentence you may receive for delivery or possession with intent. Possible prison sentences include:

  • Less than 5 grams — You may be sentenced to 6 to 14 years in prison
  • 5 to 15 grams — You may be sentenced to 8 to 30 years in prison
  • 15 to 100 grams — You may be sentenced to 12 to 60 years in prison
  • 100 to 400 grams — You may be sentenced to 18 to 80 years in prison
  • 400 to 900 grams — You may be sentenced to 24 to 100 years in prison
  • More than 900 grams — You may be sentenced to 30 to 120 years in prison

Defending Your Illinois Meth Manufacturing or Delivery Charge

When you are charged with manufacturing, delivery, trafficking, or possession of methamphetamine with the intent to deliver, there are many avenues that a great Illinois criminal defense lawyer may explore when designing your defense strategy. These cases often rely upon evidence obtained through searches, wiretaps, surveillance, the use of drug-sniffing dogs, or tips from confidential informants.

Police are required to follow strict procedures when performing searches, seizures, wiretaps, and surveillance. If they fail to follow those procedures, your rights may have been violated, which in turn may lead to the dismissal of your case or a reduction in your charge.

Common ways that an Illinois drug defense lawyer may approach your meth charge may include:

  • Procedural errors: Ensuring that charges didn’t arise from a flawed investigation, false or biased information from a confidential informant, or other indiscretions on the part of law enforcement officials, such as conducting a search with an invalid search warrant.
  • Rights violations: The accused are afforded certain legal rights during investigations and arrests, including search and seizure and Miranda rights. If your rights were violated, evidence against you may be deemed unusable in court and your case may be dismissed.
  • Insufficient evidence: A prosecutor must present sufficient evidence to prove that you are guilty of manufacturing, delivery, or possession of meth with intent beyond a reasonable doubt. If this evidence is insufficient or relies on difficult-to-prove assertions, an experienced Chicago drug attorney will make sure a judge or jury knows this.

How Chicago Drug Defense Lawyer Michael O’Meara Can Help

Chicago criminal defense lawyer Michael O’Meara has more than 20 years of experience in legal practice that includes several years as an assistant Cook County state’s attorney and more than a decade of criminal defense.

His significant experience includes working on thousands of criminal cases and countless trials in Chicago and the surrounding area, which provides him a unique understanding of how the local criminal justice system works and the most effective strategies for defending serious drug charges. He has an unparalleled passion for justice and will fight to obtain the best possible result in your case.

Don’t let a meth-related charge ruin your life. Contact O’Meara Law LLC for a free consultation today at to learn how he can help.