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How Does Wisconsin Law Address Possession of Controlled Substances?

Posted on in Criminal Defense

Milwaukee, WI drug charges defense attorneysBy Attorney Nicole Masnica

While most people understand that possession of illegal drugs can lead to criminal charges, they may not be aware of which drugs are illegal or the potential penalties they may face. If you are facing charges related to drug possession, you should be sure to work with an experienced attorney to determine your best options for defense. 

Controlled Substance Categories

Under Wisconsin law, controlled substances are grouped into five categories, which are known as “schedules.” These schedules are based on whether the drugs have been deemed by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to have acceptable medical use in the United States, the potential of addiction or abuse, and the danger posed by a substance.

  1. Schedule I: These substances do not have an accepted medical use in the U.S., they are not considered to be acceptable for safe for use while a person is under medical supervision, and they have a high potential for abuse. Some examples of Schedule I drugs include heroin, LSD, cannabis (marijuana), analogs of fentanyl, and ecstasy.
  2. Schedule II: These substances are considered to be highly likely to lead to abuse, including severe physical or psychological dependence. Examples of Schedule II drugs include oxycodone, fentanyl, morphine, opium, amphetamines such as Dexedrine or Adderall, and hydrocodone.
  3. Schedule III: These substances are less likely to lead to abuse than substances in Schedules I or II, and their use may result in low to moderate physical dependence or significant psychological dependence. Examples of Schedule III drugs include buprenorphine (Suboxone), ketamine, and certain types of anabolic steroids.
  4. Schedule IV: These substances are less likely to lead to abuse than substances in Schedule III. Examples of Schedule IV drugs include Xanax, clonazepam (Klonopin), and diazepam (Valium).
  5. Schedule V: These substances are the least likely of the scheduled drugs to lead to abuse, and often, these drugs are sold over-the-counter, but in limited quantities. Examples of Schedule V drugs include Robitussin and pseudoephedrine.

Consequences for Possession of a Controlled Substance

To prove that a defendant committed possession of a controlled substance, a prosecutor must show that the defendant knowingly had one of these substances in his or her possession. Possession does not necessarily mean that the substance has to be physically on your person, and possession can also be shared with another under certain circumstances.

Possession of most Schedule I or II drugs is a felony offense that can result in prison time and substantial fines. The penalty structure is dependent on the type of drug possessed, the quantity, and whether there is evidence of the intent to distribute the drug to another. If you are charged with possession of any type of controlled substance, you should work with an attorney to be sure you understand the charges, the potential penalties, and the best options for defense. A conviction for a drug offense can impact one’s life in many ways, including the right to live in government-subsidized housing, eligibility for federal student loans, and the ability to obtain a variety of professional licenses.

Contact a Milwaukee Drug Possession Defense Attorney

A drug charge is a serious offense that can affect your personal and professional life for years to come. If you have been charged with possession of marijuana, cocaine, or any other controlled substance, the attorneys of Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown, LLP can provide you with the defense you need. Contact our Milwaukee, Wisconsin drug crimes defense lawyers at 414-271-1440. 

Sources: 

https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/statutes/statutes/961

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