Know the penalties for Wisconsin drug crimes

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Wisconsin drug possession penalties vary depending on the type of substance, the amount, prior convictions, and other factors. Before facing a court date for this type of charge, you should hire a criminal defense attorney who explains to you all the potential consequences of a conviction.

Learn more about the provisions of Wisconsin’s drug sentencing guidelines.

Types of controlled substances

Similar to federal law, Wisconsin law divides drugs into five schedules depending on their abuse potential and proven medical use. Schedule I substances include PCP, LCD and other hallucinogens, heroin and cannabis. Schedule II drugs include opium, codeine, cocaine, morphine, amphetamines, and methadone. Schedules III, IV, and V substances have less potential for abuse and widely accepted medical use. Examples include ketamine and Rohypnol.

Penalties for possession

Possession of PCP, LSD, methamphetamine, amphetamine, and psilocybin mushrooms carries up to $5,000 in fines and up to a year in jail for the first offense. Subsequent offenses are Class I felonies that result in fines of up to $10,000 and up to 3.5 years in jail. All narcotic drugs in Schedule I or II are also subject to these penalties. Cannabis is an exception that results in a fine of up to $1,000 and six months in jail for the first offense.

Types of possession

Law enforcement in Wisconsin can arrest you for either actual or constructive possession. Actual possession means that you are carrying the substance in your pocket or backpack or otherwise holding it on your person. Constructive possession means that you kept the drugs in your home or vehicle and planned to either distribute or use them.

The circumstances of your case significantly influence the penalties that you may receive. For example, hiring or using a child younger than 17 to manufacture, sell or distribute drugs is a Class H felony that carries up to $10,000 in fines and up to six years in prison. All Wisconsin drug offenders may receive a license suspension for six months to five years.