Illinois Look-a-Like Controlled Substance

The Law – 720 ILCS 570/404

It is unlawful for any person knowingly to manufacture, distribute, advertise, possess, or possess with intent to manufacture or distribute a look-a-like substance.

Any person 18 years of age or over who delivers a controlled substance look-alike to a person less than 18 years of age may be sentenced to imprisonment for a term up to twice the maximum term and fined an amount up to twice the amount otherwise authorized.

WHAT IS A “LOOK-A-LIKE” SUBSTANCE?

A “Look-alike substance" means a substance, other than a controlled substance which (1) by overall dosage unit appearance, including shape, color, size, markings or lack thereof, taste, consistency, or any other identifying physical characteristic of the substance, would lead a reasonable person to believe that the substance is a controlled substance, or (2) is expressly or impliedly represented to be a controlled substance or is distributed under circumstances which would lead a reasonable person to believe that the substance is a controlled substance.

Illinois prohibits the manufacturing, selling or possessing with the intent to sell any substance that looks like a controlled substance. For example, powdered sugar can be considered a look-a-like of powdered cocaine and would be the basis of a Look-A-Like offense. A substance can be considered a look-a-like for purposes of the statute if its shape, color or size would lead a reasonable person to believe the substance is a drug or if an individual represents the substance to be a controlled substance in a way that would lead a reasonable person to believe that the substance is in fact a drug.

Many factors can be taken into account in determining whether the look-a-like item was being represented as a controlled substance. Factors that would be taken into consideration include, but are not limited to: statements made by the person in possession of the substance, whether the substance is packaged in a manner similar to the packaging found with regards to controlled substances and whether the amount of money or other item being exchanged for the look-a-like substance is substantially greater than the value of the actual substance.

The state must prove that a reasonable person would believe that the substance is a controlled substance. If the state cannot meet this burden, the charges pertaining to a Look-A-Like substance will fail. As an illustration of this principle, if a person offered to sell a small bag of whitish-yellowish “substances” which: looked like popcorn, smelled like popcorn, felt like popcorn and tasted like popcorn while representing that the items in the bag contained crack-cocaine, the charges relating to a Look-A-Like substance would most likely fail. This is because a reasonable person would not believe the baggie contained crack-cocaine.

Additionally, Illinois law punishes individuals over the age of 18 that deliver a look-a-like substance to someone under the age of 18 more severally. In these circumstances, prison term and fines are doubled.

Illinois also prohibits the mere possession of a look-a-like substance. However, unlike Possession with Intent to Deliver, the punishment for mere possession is a petty offense punishable by fine only. Nonetheless, a second or subsequent conviction of possession of a look-a-like substance is a Class C Misdemeanor, which is punishable by jail time.

As with all other offenses in the Controlled Substances Act, a second or subsequent conviction of any offense listed in the Act may be punishable with twice the jail time and twice the fine than what would be allowed for a first offense.

The Sentence

Delivering to someone over the age of 18

Manufacturing, delivering, advertising or possessing with intent to deliver a look-a-like substance:

  • Class 3 Felony
  • 2 to 5 years in prison
  • Fine of up to $150,000

Delivering to someone under the age of 18

Manufacturing, delivering, advertising or possessing with intent to deliver a look-a-like substance:

  • Class 3 Felony
  • 4 to 10 years in prison
  • Fine of up to $300,000

Possessing a look-a-like substance

1st Offense

  • Petty offense
  • Fine up to $1,000

2nd or Subsequent Offense

  • Class C Misdemeanor
  • Up to 30 days in jail
  • Fine up to $1,500

Probation Possible? Yes

Supervision Possible? Yes

The latest from our blog...

Differences Between Motorcycle and Car Accidents

Motorcycles are a unique form of transportation. They offer benefits like fun, are compact, and cheaper to fuel, but unfortunately, they also have a higher risk of fatal injury to ...

Read more...

Car Accidents with Rideshare Services

Services like Uber and Lyft have changed the way we get around. Instead of needing to hire a taxi company with hidden fees, you get a price upfront depending on ...

Read more...

Birth Defects Caused By Medical Malpractice

The majority of children are born healthy, but three to four percent of babies will be born with a birth defect. A birth defect is a physiological or physical health ...

Read more...

Successful Cases

More Settlements

James A. Payonk, Jr.

~ Attorney at Law ~

10705 W 159th St.
Orland Park, Illinois 60467

708-633-6005