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Milwaukee drug charges defense attorneyBy Attorney Cameron Weitzner

In Wisconsin, thousands of people are arrested on criminal drug charges each year, with marijuana-related arrests being the most common. If you are one of the many who have been arrested, you may be facing serious consequences, but given the complexity of Wisconsin’s drug laws, it can be difficult to determine just how serious those consequences may be. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you better understand the charges you are facing and present a strong defense to help you avoid a conviction or minimize the penalties you may face.

Factors Involved in Wisconsin Drug Charges

Drug-related offenses in Wisconsin range from misdemeanors, which can result in a maximum of $1,000 in fines and six months of imprisonment, all the way up to Class C felonies, which can result in a maximum fine of $100,000 and up to 40 years in prison. A number of factors can impact the severity of your charges and the potential penalties you may face, including: 


Milwaukee, WI drug possession defense lawyer

With the changing climate of each state’s laws and regulations regarding drugs, particularly marijuana, it is crucial to know your state’s laws to avoid criminal charges, high fines, and potential jail or prison time. Marijuana possession, use, and distribution remains illegal in Wisconsin, unlike several of its surrounding neighbors.

Wisconsin has severe penalties for drug distribution. Possessing a marijuana cigarette is a misdemeanor. Passing the marijuana cigarette or pipe to another person is distribution as defined in Wisconsin law, which can be charged as a felony, even if there was no gain and it was a social gathering. Regardless of the leniency or legality of marijuana in these other states’ laws and their close proximity to Wisconsin, crossing the border into Wisconsin with any form and amount of illegal drugs (including marijuana) could result in harsh legal consequences.


Milwaukee, WI drug crimes lawyer

When many people think of drug possession charges, marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, and heroin come to mind. However, illegal drugs are not the only ones illegal to possess. The demand for prescription drugs is high as well. Drugs like Vicodin, OxyContin, Adderall, Xanax, Valium, Ambien, and Zoloft are often sold at high prices to those without a prescription.

In the case of OxyContin, many people have become addicted to this opioid drug. Once someone who is addicted can no longer find a source for the prescription opioid or can no longer afford it, they often turn to heroin, which produces similar effects in the body. 


drug crimes, drug possession, drug possession conviction,  possession of a controlled substance, Milwaukee criminal defense attorneyThe state of Wisconsin treats drug crimes very seriously. While drug distribution or trafficking can result in lengthy jail sentences or extensive fines, simply being in possession of an illegal drug (known as a controlled substance) can also lead to severe punishments. Those who are facing drug charges for possession should be sure to understand how Wisconsin laws affect them.

Penalties for Drug Possession

Under Wisconsin law, it is illegal to possess or attempt to possess a controlled substance, unless a person has a valid prescription or is legally authorized to possess the drug in question. Controlled substances are grouped into different “schedules” depending on their potential for abuse and their accepted use for medical treatment.


Milwaukee juvenile justice attorneys, drug trafficking, drug trafficking laws, juvenile criminal charges, juvenile offendersBeing arrested and charged with a crime is a serious matter for any person; however criminal charges are especially concerning for juvenile and young offenders and their families. Wisconsin’s juvenile justice system is complex. Therefore, it is important to understand the consequences that minors may face, especially if the charges are serious enough for the juvenile to be charged as an adult and what defense options exist.

Wisconsin Laws and Policies

Prior to 1996, all juvenile court cases were handled pursuant to the provisions of Chap. 48, Wis. Stats. Since that time, juvenile delinquency cases are handled under Chap. 938, Wis. Stats. and Child in Need of Protection and Services (CHIPS) cases under Chap. 48. The so-called “reforms” enacted in 1996 harshly criminalized Wisconsin juvenile law, e.g., carved out an age group of children (17 year olds), who are now always prosecuted and punished as adults, lowered the delinquency age to 10 years old, and allowed for automatic waiver of children to adult court depending on the type of felonies they are charged with. Most children 10 years and older who face charges of violating the criminal law will be tried in juvenile court if they are under the age of 17. However, there are a number of situations in which a minor may be charged as an adult. These include:

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