If you are found with 10 grams or less of cannabis, you will be issued a civil citation. This means that if your only offense is carrying the small amount of cannabis, you will not have to face any jail time. Instead, you will be issued a fine.
The fines can range anywhere from $100 to $200. However, towns and cities are allowed to add their own fines, so you might end up paying more than $200.
If you are found with small amounts of cannabis and issued a citation, there will be a record created within the law enforcement agency and the circuit court. The new law requires that these records be automatically expunged, or erased, twice a year to prevent a permanent criminal record.
Starting January 2017, the civil offense will be automatically expunged from your record. The records are erased 2 times a year, on January 1 and July 1. While the process is automatic, you should still check to make sure the citation was expunged from your record.
Driving under the influence
Illinois used to have a no-tolerance policy for driving while under the influence of cannabis. Any THC in your blood would result in criminal prosecution. Under the new law, it is not necessarily illegal to drive a motor vehicle with small amounts of THC in your blood.
If you are driving safely, and you are found with 5 nanograms or less of THC in your blood, you will not be charged with a crime. However, keep in mind that THC can stay in the body a long time, especially if you use frequently. Even if you do not feel impaired, you may still have enough THC in your blood to be charged with driving under the influence.
Having paraphernalia, or tools, to use cannabis is also a crime. However, if you are found with 10 grams or less of cannabis the possession of paraphernalia will be treated as a civil offense. Like the possession of small amounts of cannabis, you will only be required to pay a fine ranging from $100 to $200 and will not be at risk to face jail time.
Updated: December 1969