Wisconsin Drug Possession Lawyers
Defending Clients in the Greater Milwaukee Area
Drug charges are among the most serious that you can face in Wisconsin. Even first-time offenders charged with possession of a lower-level drug can be fined thousands of dollars and spend time in jail. Some possession charges also count as a strike. Three strikes can put you behind bars for the rest of your life.
One of your first calls after a drug possession arrest should be to the legal team at West & Dunn. We aggressively defend our clients at a fraction of the cost of many larger firms.
The Badger State follows the same numbering schedule outlined in federal law. The lower the number, the steeper the possession penalties. There are five categories as outlined in the federal Controlled Substances Act.
- Schedule I Drugs: These drugs have no currently accepted medical use and have a high potential for abuse/addiction. Examples include heroin, LSD, and ecstasy. Marijuana is included in this classification.
- Schedule II Drugs: These drugs have some medical use but have a high potential for abuse/addiction. Morphine, opium, cocaine, Vicodin, and amphetamines are examples.
- Schedule III Drugs: These drugs have a low probability of physical and psychological dependence. Anabolic steroids, testosterone, and ketamine fall into this classification.
- Schedule IV Drugs: These drugs have little potential for abuse and a low risk of dependence. Examples of this class include Darvocet, Valium, Ambien, and Tramadol.
- Schedule V Drugs: Drugs in this class have the lowest likelihood of abuse and dependence. Cough syrups with low levels of codeine, Lyrica, and Motofen fall into this category.
Drugs can be moved from one category to another, and new drugs can be added. At West & Dunn, we stay on top of all changes that affect drug charges and our clients. When you hire us, you can be assured you are retaining skill, knowledge, and insight for your possession case.
Consequences of a Possession Conviction
Wisconsin has various possession charges that depend on the type of drug, the amount, and whether the accused has previous convictions on their record. The drug schedule, drug offenses, and penalties are included in the state’s Uniform Controlled Substances Act (UCSA). Depending on the details, the offense can be categorized as a misdemeanor or felony. The foundation of legal penalties is generally determined by how the drug is scheduled. However, Wisconsin law has identified some specific drugs for elevated consequences.
According to the UCSA, “No person may possess or attempt to possess a controlled substance or a controlled substance analog unless the person obtains the substance or the analog directly from, or pursuant to a valid prescription or order of, a practitioner who is acting in the course of his or her professional practice, or unless the person is otherwise authorized by this chapter to possess the substance or the analog.”
Anyone who is accused of violating USCA is subject to the following penalties:
- Schedule I and II narcotic drugs. A person who possesses or attempts to possess a controlled substance included in schedule I or II is guilty of a Class I felony. Consequences include fines of up to $10,000 or imprisonment for up to 3.5 years or both.
- Most other drugs. If the person possesses or attempts to possess a controlled substance in schedule III, IV, or V, the person is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 6 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.
- Cocaine and cocaine base. If a person possesses or attempts to possess cocaine or cocaine base, the person shall be fined up to $5,000 and/or imprisoned for up to 1 year in the county jail. Second and subsequent convictions are a Class I felony.
- Certain hallucinogenic and stimulant drugs. If a person possesses or attempts to possess certain drugs in this category, they face a fine of up to $5,000 or up to 1 year in the county jail or both. Second and subsequent convictions will be punished as a Class I felony.
- Tetrahydrocannabinols. If a person possesses or attempts to possess tetrahydrocannabinols, the penalty is up to $1,000 in fines or up to 6 months in jail or both. Second and subsequent offenses are a Class I felony.
- Synthetic cannabinoids. If a person possesses or attempts to possess a synthetic cannabinoid outlined in the law, the person may be fined as much as $1,000 or imprisoned for up to 6 months or both. Second or subsequent convictions are a Class I Felony.
- Gamma-hydroxybutyric acid, gamma-butyrolactone, 1,4-butanediol, ketamine, or flunitrazepam. If a person possesses or attempts to possess gamma-hydroxybutyric acid, gamma-butyrolactone, 1,4-butanediol, ketamine, or flunitrazepam, the person is guilty of a Class H felony. A Class H felony is punishable by up to 6 years in prison or a fine of up to $10,000 or both.
- Methamphetamine. If a person possesses or attempts to possess methamphetamine or a controlled substance analog of methamphetamine, the person is guilty of a Class I felony. Sentences can include fines of up to $10,000 or 3.5 years in prison or both.
When Possession Becomes Possession with Intent
As you can see from above, possession carries significant sentences. When possession becomes more – possession with intent to distribute or manufacture – the stakes go up exponentially. You do not have to be in the process of selling a drug to be arrested with the intent to distribute. When the amount of drugs in your possession is above a certain threshold, you can be charged with possession with intent. Cocaine, methamphetamine, and fentanyl can carry the most severe consequences as a Class C felony. This felony can mean up to 40 years in prison or a $100,000 fine or both.
Aggressive Defense for Drug Possession Charges in Milwaukee
If you are arrested for drug possession, you need an attorney right away. Make West & Dunn your first call. The sooner we are on the case, the sooner we can begin to fight for your rights. We’ll immediately begin formulating a defense strategy customized to you. From getting charges dropped or reduced, we will continue to work for the best possible outcome.
Contact us for a free consultation. Call us at (608) 490-9449 or send us a message online.
This firm is very knowledgeable in VA Laws and Regulations, understanding that every case is unique to the individual.- Ray Reid
The professional skills and commitment Attorney Dunn has consistently shown in each of my appeals is confirmed by her success.- Tedd Welch, Vietnam Veteran
They were extremely responsive, professional and honest.- Michael B.