It is illegal to possess or traffic any controlled dangerous substance. Controlled dangerous substances are substances determined by the federal government to pose some level of harm to their users, despite some having medicinal value. A substance’s medical value and potential for harm and abuse determine its schedule, which is its classification under the Controlled Dangerous Substances Act. A substance’s schedule also determines the penalties an individual faces for possessing, selling, manufacturing, or transporting it. Other factors can determine the penalties an individual faces for a drug charge as well, such as whether it is the individual’s first or subsequent offense and whether there are special penalties for the specific substance cited outside its schedule. Other factors that can determine the penalties an individual faces for a drug charge include whether he or she possessed the substance in a school zone and, if the charge involved intention to distribute, whether the individual sold or attempted to sell the substance to a minor.
Drug charges can be complicated. If you are facing a drug-related charge, start working on your case’s defense strategy with an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.
With certain substances, like cocaine, whether it is an individual’s first offense or not determines the penalties he or she faces. With other substances, such as methamphetamines, the penalties an individual faces for his or her conviction do not change. The maximum penalties an individual convicted of drug possession in Wisconsin can face are up to $10,000 in fines and six years in jail.
Possession with the intention to distribute a substance can have much steeper penalties. For example, an individual convicted of the possession of more than 40 grams of cocaine with the intention to distribute it can face up to 40 years in jail and a fine of up to $100,000. With a possession with the intent to distribute charge, the amount of the drug that the individual was found to have plays a large role in determining the penalties he or she faces. In contrast to our previous example, an individual found with more than five, but fewer than 15 grams of cocaine with the intention to distribute it faces only up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000.
In some cases, it is possible for an individual with a drug charge to have the charge dismissed upon the successful completion of a diversion program. Talk to your lawyer about whether a diversion program is an option for you, depending on your previous criminal history and other relevant circumstances of your case.
If you are facing drug possession charges in Appleton or elsewhere in the Winnebago County area, start working with an experienced Wisconsin criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Contact our team of Appleton drug trafficking attorneys at Hammett, Bellin & Oswald, LLC to schedule your initial consultation in our office. We can help you develop an effective legal defense strategy for your case.