My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear about your situation.
The officer wrote you two tickets because there was no reason to take you and your friend to jail, but it's not the same as if it were a speeding ticket (you can see that, in part because the ticket doesn't give you the option of just paying a fine to avoid a court date). In Illinois, possession of marijuana is a Class C misdemeanor, which mean there is a maximum penalty of up to one year imprisonment and a fine of $2,500. There is a mandatory minimum fine of $200. The judge also has discretion to sentence
you to probation or drug abuse counseling.
I don't know where in Illinois you were caught, but if it was Cook County, you can ask to go to Drug School. If you complete the drug education program, the charges will be dismissed, and you may be able to have your record expunged later.
For the paraphernalia charge (with intent to use), it is a Class A misdemeanor, which carries a minimum. fine of $750. The maximum penalty is one year imprisonment and a fine of up to $2,500. The $750 is in addition to the fine otherwise imposed.
When you show up at the court date, the judge will explain the charges against you and notify you of your right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, the judge will appoint one. Either way, you will plead not guilty, because that gives you time to get copies of the evidence against you and negotiate with the prosecutor (you have the option of pleading guilty at any time before the trial
, if you want). With two tickets, you can often get one dismissed if you agree to plead guilty to the other one. Your lawyer will work out a deal for you.