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Chicago Drug Crime Attorneys

Call (312) 883-9466 for a Case Evaluation

At Pissetzky Law LLC, our Chicago drug lawyers have skillfully represented clients in federal and state courts around the country. If you have been accused of a serious drug offense in Illinois and you want to assert your right to a trial, then we are the Chicago criminal defense firm you’re looking for. Whatever type of drug charge you face, we are ready to fight for your not-guilty verdict.

From Gal's interview for the Masters of the Courtroom series on

Why Choose Our Chicago Drug Lawyers?

  • Over 20 years’ Powerhouse Advocacy
  • In National Trial Lawyers: Top 100
  • Named in Illinois Super Lawyer® Rising Stars℠
  • Cases Argued before the Illinois Supreme Court, multiple Illinois Appellate Courts, and Deferral Courts Nationwide
  • Proven Record of Not-Guilty Verdicts and Dismissed Cases

With a former prosecutor on our team, we have invaluable insights into how to counter the government’s every move. As nationally recognized defenders, we offer the high-caliber advocacy you deserve. Don’t hesitate to discover what your possible defenses are.

Request your case review online or call (312) 883-9466 to start getting the answers you need. Se habla español. Mówimy po polsku.

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Legal Advocates Ready for Any Challenge

No case is too complex for us. We take on drug cases involving and not limited to:

  • Marijuana
  • Cocaine
  • Ecstasy / MDMA
  • Heroin
  • LSD
  • Methamphetamine
  • Morphine
  • Peyote

If you are charged with trafficking a controlled substance, this charge is virtually always a Class X felony, just one category short of first-degree murder, rendering you ineligible for probation. When you face serious drug charges that threaten your entire future, you urgently need the powerhouse defense that we offer. Contact Pissetzky Law LLC today to see what our award-winning Chicago drug lawyers can achieve for you.

Facing charges for a drug crime? Call (312) 883-9466 or email us now to schedule your case evaluation.

Penalties for Drug Crimes

In the state of Illinois, if you are facing drug charges you can receive severe penalties. If convicted, you are facing years in prison, possibly even decades, along with steep fines. You need fierce, battle-ready advocates like the team at Pissetzky Law LLC if you want to avoid the maximum penalties.

Unlawful Prescription of Opiates

Doctors are obligated to provide medical treatment that will benefit and cure their patients, respect the life of all human beings, and not intentionally harm those under their care. When it comes to liability, physicians are generally given leeway to encourage them to perform healing or life-saving measures. Although doctors are liable for monetary damages when they make mistakes, there has been an increasing number of cases brought against them in criminal court as a result of the opioid crisis.

At Pissetzky Law LLC, we are committed to helping all doctors, pharmacists, dentists, and other healthcare providers being investigated or charged with unlawful prescribing or dispensing of opiates. Our Chicago drug attorneys have a comprehensive understanding of federal and state law to guide you through the complexities of your case and build an effective defense strategy to protect your rights, reputation, and future.

How long do you go to jail for possession?

In Illinois, the amount of jail time that you can face for drug possession largely depends on the type and amount of drug that is found in your possession.

Possible drug possession charges and jail time include:

  • Class 1 felony (morphine, cocaine, LSD, heroin and hallucinogenic substances): punishable by four to 50 years’ incarceration
  • Class 1 felony (barbituric acid, peyote, and amphetamine): punishable by 4 to 15 years’ incarceration
  • Class 1 felony (methaqualone, pentazocine, PCP and ketamine): punishable by four to 15 years’ incarceration
  • Class 1 felony (more than 200 grams of any other Schedule I or II narcotics): punishable by four to 15 years’ incarceration
  • Class 4 felony (any other amount of Schedule I or II narcotic not previously mentioned): punishable by one to three years’ incarceration
  • Class C misdemeanor (first offense): punishable by up to six months’ incarceration
  • Class B misdemeanor (second offense): punishable by up to six months’ incarceration

What Are the Crimes Associated with Unlawful Opiate Prescription?

Due to the widespread abuse of opiates throughout the United States, federal agencies such as the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) have heavily targeted medical professionals that prescribe and dispense narcotic medications. When the DEA, for example, investigates a medical practice, clinic or pharmacy, the aim is to obtain evidence of issuing false prescriptions (through forgery or other means), using drug shorting and refill schemes, prescribing more than necessary, falsifying patient records, or even selling fraudulent prescriptions.

Under certain federal statues (i.e. Controlled Substance Act (CSA), False Claims Act (FCA), Anti-Kickback Statute and Stark Law), federal agencies have the jurisdiction to investigate healthcare providers for prescription drug fraud. Federal penalties for prescription drug fraud involving narcotic medications can include incarceration, costly fines, exorbitant damages, and loss of licensure.

If unlawful prescription resulted in the death of a patient in Illinois, the state could also seek criminal charges. These include charges such as manslaughter, or even murder via drug-induced homicide in some cases.

When Does Drug Dealing Becomes Federal Drug Trafficking?

It is a drug crime to sell, distribute, or otherwise handle any illegal narcotic, or to use a legal drug in any way deemed illegal. However, there are circumstances that can elevate a drug crime from a state-level issue to a federal crime. In particular, at a certain point, most drug crimes can constitute the federal crime of drug trafficking if requirements are fulfilled.

Creating, moving, selling, or handling drugs can be drug trafficking depending on these factors:

  • Amount, weight, or measurements: The primary factor law enforcement agents – specifically Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents – will consider when determining if a suspect can be charged with the federal crime of drug trafficking is how much of a drug is found in a person’s possession. If a suspect has drugs in amounts well beyond what an individual would need for individual use, it may trigger federal charges.
  • Potential value: The DEA and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) tries to keep on top of the average sale price of a certain amount of each type of common “street level” drug. A suspect found to have enough of a substance that could potentially fetch a high price if sold may be labeled a drug trafficker.
  • Presentation or storage: Drug trafficking is generally considered a more professional form of drug distribution. Investigators tend to look for signs of thoughtful presentation or careful storage of narcotics to determine if it is linked to a drug trafficking ring.
  • Affiliations: A person’s known affiliations and accomplices can also escalate a drug crime to a federal drug crime. For example, if the son of a known criminal boss is arrested with cocaine in his possession, it might be assumed he was participating in drug trafficking to some degree.
  • State lines: A drug crime or a string of drug crimes that take place in more than one state will generally be considered federal drug trafficking, no matter how small in scale the crime. This is true of most crimes as well.

Talk to a Chicago Drug Attorney Today

Criminal penalties related to a drug crime conviction will be severe. Imprisonment can range from a year to a life sentence. Fines usually start in the several thousands of dollars but could reach millions depending on the scale of the narcotics seized. A person must act quickly in order to protect their name and future freedoms from destruction at the unforgiving hands of the law.

Ready to Protect Your Reputation & Future Today

With more than 20 years of experience handling complex criminal cases—some argued before the Illinois Supreme Court—we are a group of intelligent and skilled litigators who are ready to up against federal and state prosecutors. We can thoroughly evaluate your case and determine all of your legal options to get the best results available.

Contact us online or at (312) 883-9466 today to schedule a case evaluation with our Chicago drug lawyer.


  • Case Dismissed Case Dismissed After State Refuses to Cooperate
    People v. IP (2014) Mr. IP was arrested for possession of a large amount of a controlled substance after Chicago police executed a search warrant. Arguing that the information in the search warrant was fabricated, Mr. Pissetzky filed a Motion to Produce Informant. Against the odds, the judge granted the motion and ordered the State to produce the informant. When the State failed to do so, the judge dismissed the case.
  • Not Guilty Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney Secures a “Not Guilty” for Possession, Conspiracy, and Intent
    Chicago criminal defense attorney, Gal Pissetzky takes the fight all the way for his clients. Gal was able to secure a “not guilty” on all counts for his client in a case involving possession, conspiracy, and intent to distribute cocaine.
  • Case Overturned Chicago Criminal Defense Lawyer Gets Drug Case Overturned
    Chicago criminal defense attorney Gal Pissetzky takes the fight all the way for his clients, even when the fight involves creating new laws to protect their rights. While defending a day laborer accused of drug trafficking crimes, the prosecutor in the case questioned the man as to how he was able to come up with the $75,000 bail bond. The client was found guilty but Mr. Pissetzky objected to the bail bond reference and the case was overturned on appeal. When it was sent back to trial, Gal Pissetzky negotiated for time served and the client regained his freedom.
  • Not Guilty of All Charges Class X felony Possession with intent to deliver marijuana and cocaine

    Not Guilty of All Charges

    People v. LG – Not Guilty of a Class X felony Possession with intent to deliver marijuana and cocaine. Although the chicago police had a search warrant to search a home where they found large amounts of marijuana and cocaine, as well as an identification card and other proof of residency for LG, the judge found LG NOT GUILTY of all charges.

  • Sentenced Reduced Client Facing 40 Years Gets 4 Months Instead
    Chicago criminal defense attorney Gal Pissetzky argues for a light sentence and wins! Mr. BC was charged with a large drug conspiracy in a federal court case. He was personally responsible for distributing over 200 kilos of marijuana. After intense negotiations with the government and without ever having to become an informant or a snitch, Mr. Pissetzky convinced the judge that Mr. BC should receive a very short sentence of four months, despite the fact that he was facing up to 40 years in prison. The judge agreed with Mr. Pissetzky and sentenced Mr. BC to just four months in jail.
  • Not Guilty on All Counts Cross-Examination by Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney Leads to a “Not Guilty”
    People v. Z. (2009) – Mr. Z. was accused of transporting five kilograms of cocaine in a secret compartment of a car. After a trial in which Gal Pissetzky cross-examined officers from the elite narcotics division of the Chicago Police Department, the judge found Mr. Z. NOT GUILTY of all charges.
  • Federal Judge Imposes Light Sentence Over Government’s Objections Federal Crime
    U.S. v. HJ (2014) Mr. HJ was charged as the leader of a large Chicago drug organization. The government attributed over 26 kilos of cocaine to Mr. HJ, and sought a minimum 15-year-sentence based on his alleged leadership role. After a very contested sentencing hearing, during which Mr. Pissetzky argued that Mr. HJ was not a the leader of the organization and should therefore receive a much lower sentence, the judge agreed with Mr. Pissetzky and told the government it had not met its burden of proof. Although the judge found Mr. HJ responsible for 26 kilograms of cocaine, Mr. Pissetzky convinced the judge to sentence Mr. HJ to only 70 months–nine years less than what the government wanted.
  • Reduced Sentence Federal sentencing on drug conspiracy charges – 18 months for 26 kilos of cocaine without ever cooperating
    (USA v. MM) Mr. MM was charged in Federal Court with drug conspiracy to distribute over 26Kilograms of cocaine. The government used an informant and recorded calls. After long but successful negotiations with the government, Mr. Pissetzky was able to convince the prosecutor to amend the charges so MM won’t be facing the mandatory 10 years to life in prison. The government, however, still sought to send MM away for a long period of incarceration. MM never cooperated or became an informant!!!! Mr. Pissetzky filed a sentencing memorandum. During the federal sentencing hearing, Mr. Pissetzky argued to the Judge for a much reduced sentence. The Judge sentenced MM to a short 18months.
  • Not Guilty Gal Pissetzky Gains Not Guilty Verdict on Tough Drug Case. Defendant Wins!
    (People v. CC) – FINDING OF NOT GUILTY – CC was charge with possession with intent to deliver 175 grams of cocaine, and 4 guns where also found during the search of the apartment he was in. Chicago police had a search warrant to an apartment that they claimed CC was living in with his girlfriend. During the search of the apartment, the police recovered 4 guns, ammunition, 175 grams of cocaine, and a scale. At trial, attorney Pissetzky and one other attorney established through cross-examination that the State could not prove that CC actually lived in the apartment. The judge found CC NOT GUILTY of all charges.
  • Case Dismissed Gal Pissetzky Gets Federal Drug Case Dismissed After Cross Examining DEA Agents.
    Defendant Wins! (USA v LG) – RARE CASE OF NO PROBABLE CAUSE FINDING IN FEDERAL COURT – The DEA arrested LG with his wife and charged them with possession of 2.5 kilograms of cocaine. The government alleged at a preliminary hearing in federal court that LG’s wife was trying to sell the cocaine to an undercover DEA agents. Mr. Pissetzky was representing LG, who was arrested in the undercover DEA car after the wife handed the drugs to the DEA agent. During the hearing, Mr. Pissetzky questioned the DEA agent and established that LG was merely present during the drug deal. The federal magistrate judge found that there was not probable cause to arrest LG and ordered that the case against him be dismissed immediately.


  • “Fantastic attorney”

    Former Client

  • “Gal saved me from prison”


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    Scott E.

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  • “We are SUPER BLESSED to have found a great attorney like Mr. Pissetzky. He helped me in a legal situation that would have been a nightmare for my ...”


  • “Got me the best possible outcome, highly recommend”

    Former Client

  • “I highly recommend Gal Pissetzky!!!”


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    Former Client

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