Drug Crime Lawyers in Madison, WI, Defending Individuals Charged With Criminal Drug Offenses
Substance abuse and drug addiction have reached an all-time high in our country. Drug users make up a significant part of the criminal justice system in Wisconsin. Nevertheless, Wisconsin takes drug offenses very seriously, and if convicted, individuals face steep fines and possible time in jail or prison. If caught with drugs such as methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, oxycodone, and other similar controlled substances, a person can be charged with a felony. A felony conviction can haunt a person for the rest of their life, making it difficult to obtain employment, find suitable housing, serve in the military, or legally own a firearm.
If you have been arrested and charged with a drug offense, you need an experienced lawyer to defend you against the charges. One of the first steps you must take to protect your freedom and your future is to hire an attorney who can build a solid criminal defense case on your behalf. In many instances, a skilled drug attorney can negotiate with the prosecution to possibly have your charges reduced or dismissed.
Contact Casper Mehlos Law Group, LLC, of Madison, WI, and ask to schedule a free initial consultation with a qualified legal team member who can answer your questions and explain your legal options.
How Does Wisconsin Classify Drug Crimes?
Wisconsin classifies controlled substances into categories, also referred to as schedules. An illegal substance is grouped into a “schedule” by the potential the drug may pose for abuse, accepted medical use, or the possibility that the user may develop physical or psychological dependence.
The following details drug schedules as determined by state and federal guidelines. They include:
- Schedule I: Schedule I substances are considered the most dangerous due to their high risk of addiction. Additionally, these drugs have been determined to have little to no legitimate medical use. Typically, Schedule I included illegal drugs, including heroin, marijuana, LSD, and ecstasy.
- Schedule II: Schedule II drugs also have a high risk of drug dependency and abuse but may have a small degree of medical value. Schedule II drugs include methadone, methamphetamine, cocaine, methadone, OxyContin, and opium.
- Schedule III: Schedule III drugs are considered to be less dangerous than those of Schedule II. However, Schedule III drugs pose some risk of user dependency and include codeine, testosterone, ketamine, and hydrocodone.
- Schedule IV and Schedule V: Schedule IV and V drugs have been determined to have a relatively low risk of drug dependency and have a high value for medical use. The majority of the drugs included in these two Schedules are typically prescription medications.
If you have been charged with possession of a controlled substance or possession with intent to sell, you could face a significant amount of time in jail. If you have prior convictions for drug possession charges or selling drugs, the court may decide to hand down a stiff sentence and sentence you to prison to send a clear message that drug dealing will not be tolerated.
Therefore, hiring an experienced attorney who can negotiate with the prosecutor to receive lesser charges and avoid a trial is in your best interests.
Can I Be Arrested for Having Drug Paraphernalia?
Under Wisconsin law, possession of drug paraphernalia is generally considered a misdemeanor and punishable by a maximum of 30 days in jail and a $500 fine. If you are charged with manufacturing or intent to deliver drug paraphernalia, the sentence increases to 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. Drug paraphernalia may include:
- Rolling papers
- Plastic baggies
- Aluminum foil
- Burnt or bent spoons
In most cases, possession of drug paraphernalia can stay on an individual’s record from 2 years to a lifetime. However, the length of time this type of conviction remains on a criminal record depends on whether the defendant is convicted of a misdemeanor or felony.
Additionally, possession of a drug paraphernalia charge may significantly impact an individual’s potential to obtain employment. Wisconsin law allows employers to reject applicants who have been convicted of a crime. However, it should be stated that the employer’s refusal to hire an individual must be based solely on whether the conviction relates to the job in question.
What Are the Penalties for Drug Trafficking in Wisconsin?
Drug trafficking cases are grouped into categories, including the manufacture, distribution, or delivery of controlled substances, all considered felony crimes.
Drug trafficking charges largely depend on the amount of substance the individual was connected to or had in their possession. For example, if an individual is charged with trafficking Schedule I or II drugs, this is considered a Class E felony. If convicted, an individual could face up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000.
If an individual is found to have used a child under the age of 17 to manufacture, distribute, or deliver a controlled substance, they may be charged with a Class F felony. A Class F felony is punishable by up to 12 years in prison and a fine ranging up to $25,000. Furthermore, suppose an individual is found guilty of selling or delivering illegal drugs to an individual under the age of 17. In that case, they will receive the same prison sentence imposed on someone for drug trafficking with an additional five years added.
Finally, if convicted of drug trafficking, individuals will have their driver’s license suspended for a period of 6 months to 5 years, along with the seizure of their assets, such as vehicles and financial resources, that may have been involved in the criminal activity.
If you have been arrested and charged with drug trafficking, you are facing life-altering consequences that could send you to prison for a substantial period of time. For this reason, you want a highly experienced criminal defense lawyer to handle your drug case. A skilled attorney can review the evidence the prosecution has against you. This evidence may include the search warrant executed by law enforcement or the testimony of confidential informants. Because so much is at stake, you will need a drug crime lawyer who is not afraid to stand up on your behalf and fight for your freedom.
Casper Mehlos Law Group, LLC, of Madison, WI, has a proven track record of obtaining favorable results for individuals charged with drug trafficking and other drug crime charges. Contact our law offices and ask to schedule a meeting with one of our drug crime attorneys to learn more information about how we may be able to assist you with your case.
What Makes Your Law Firm the Best Choice for My Legal Needs?
If you have been charged with any type of drug crime, you will need an experienced criminal defense attorney to represent you in court. Wisconsin law takes a dim view of any type of drug charge, including drug possession. Consequently, individuals who have never been in trouble but are arrested on marijuana or cocaine charges suddenly find themselves in court facing steep fines and harsh sentences related to their crimes. Furthermore, defendants facing drug dealing or possession with intent to sell may be looking at the possibility of serving over 10 years in prison if convicted.
Our drug crime lawyers realize that this is a frightening and overwhelming time in your life. The prospect of having to go to trial can be intimidating. However, our criminal defense lawyers have extensive experience handling all types of drug crimes and obtaining favorable client results.
If we agree to take your case, our legal team will immediately begin to analyze the evidence against you. Often, confidential informants lie to help themselves with their own drug cases. If we can prove their testimony was inaccurate, we may be able to have this evidence thrown out, which may weaken the state’s case against you.
Additionally, we could have more severe drug charges lowered to drug possession or even dismissed. Contact our law firm by calling (608) 820-8926 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to learn how we may be able to assist you.