The penalties for drug convictions in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin, depend on the situation, the drug, the amount of drug in question and other factors. For instance, possession charges could reach a penalty of a $10,000 fine and/or 3.5 years in prison, while heroine production penalties could reach a $100,000 fine and/or 40 years in prison.
Drug Lawyer for Possession & Dealing Glendale-Whitefish Bay office near Bayshore Mall
Penalties for illegal drug possession in Glendale & Whitefish Bay can include:
- Jail or prison time anywhere from 6 months to 6 years or even longer
- Significant fines up to $10,000
- The cost of drug treatment programs, which are expensive
- Probationary supervision for extended periods of time
- Losing financial aid for college
- Lost employment opportunities in the future
Whether you are facing a ticket, misdemeanor, or felony will depend on what type of drug was involved, your history, among other factors. You will want an experienced criminal defense attorney to walk you through the process and what you could be facing.
Criminal defense lawyer for drugs near Whitefish Bay, Milwaukee County
Drug charges are very common throughout the Northshore area of Milwaukee. Many people are arrested and/or cited every day for these types of cases. There are a lot of different factors in each case to determine what the outcome of that case will be, and one of the most important is who you have defending you.
Charges can differ by type of drug
Drugs, more formally known as controlled substances, fall into various schedules until the Wisconsin Statutes and are categorized by the effects they have on the human body. Obviously, some drugs are more serious than others, which means that the penalties for each type are going to vary tremendously. Party drugs such as MDMA or ecstasy are considered serious drug charges, but drugs such as heroin or methamphetamine are going to be considered even more serious still.
Once the war on drugs was declared and Wisconsin started having its own drug epidemic, prosecutors are really tough on serious drug cases, especially charges like heroin or methamphetamine. These have become such a concern, in fact, that first time possession charges for heroin are a felony.
Results differ depending on the county
While the State of Wisconsin has laws specific to its jurisdiction, how those laws are carried out is dependent on the county’s district attorney, its police, and judges. On the most general level, those are split up by county, and then city, town, etc. What this means for criminal cases is that the handling of a case can vary widely from county to county and so can local rules on narcotics cases. This can result in very different outcomes where the same charges are in differing counties.
While there are some widely known counties that are particularly harsh on various types of cases, most counties have specific types of charges that they focus on more. You want an attorney who knows the specifics from county to county, and who knows what is tough for Northshore offenders especially. You also want a defense attorney who knows how specific judges treat specific types of cases and what can happen if you substitute a particular judge. A good attorney will be able to advise on the specifics of your case depending on your charge, your county, your judge, and even your prosecutor.
Plenty of people are behind bars because they received bad advice from their criminal defense attorney, and maybe that attorney did not know the county as well as they should have. We see attorneys all the time who have never practiced in a particular court, and therefore have no idea what is going on. Making sure that you have an attorney who knows something as specific as a judge’s quirks can make all the difference in the outcome of your case.
Charges also differ for possession, buying, and selling drugs
Possession of a drug is probably the most common drug case that we see in our years of experience with drug cases. But, there are also many circumstances that could lead to being charged with something more serious, such as possession with intent, manufacture/deliver, or maintaining a drug trafficking place, among other things. It is considered much more serious to be involved in dealing drugs than it is to be in possession of them, regardless of the substance. For example, possession of THC could be a forfeiture citation in Bayside, but possession of large amounts could land you with felony charges for possession with intent to deliver.
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Possession with intent
You can be in possession of a drug that you may consider personal use amounts, and if the circumstances present themselves, the police could refer in charges for possession with intent. The police will look for things like baggies, large amounts of money, weapons, or scales, in addition to the amount of the drug that you had on you. These things can have innocent explanations, but in a situation where police are evaluating the totality of the circumstances, they may believe otherwise. While you may be trying to lose weight and are measuring your food, police will look at this as a supply to deal drugs in accurate amounts. Same with cash – you may have just cashed a check, but police will see it as cash from dealing.
Delivery and selling drugs
It is more serious still to be caught actually selling drugs or distributing them to another person. As we get to these more serious charges, the amount of the drugs is not as important as the fact that you were selling them. Judges and prosecutors take these cases very seriously and may see you as a source of a drug problem in a certain area. They want to get to the source of the drugs running rampant in our communities and want to penalize those who are causing those issues. If they believe it is you, you are likely going to serve jail time.
Because of the seriousness of these charges, the police may become overzealous in investigating these cases, and that is where mistakes get made. You are still entitled to constitutional rights, and if those are violated, your charges could be reduced or even dismissed.
Should I become a confidential informant?
When someone gets arrested, the police may give them the opportunity to work as a confidential informant if they believe they have access to higher-level drug dealers or the higher hanging fruits on the tree. As they work their way up, the hope is to get to the source.
Just like a good attorney's answer, whether you should act as a CI depends. It can depend on how much you think you can provide, how willing you are to work with them, and the county that you are in. If you are not going to work well with them and won’t do what they ask, it could backfire and hurt you and your case when charges then get filed.
The person who asks you to CI is usually an undercover officer who is working a bunch of different cases at once and can be very busy. They will not have time to answer a million questions, but they want someone who will do what they are told in a timely manner and not mess with them. They will not forget about you if they are not in regular contact. If you lose contact with them, they just have to refer the charges to the DA office, and then the prosecutors and judges will take it from there.
None of this work guarantees any sort of outcome. You can hope to get out what you put into your work, but there are never any guarantees. Many times, police want to see what you can do before giving you any sort of consideration for your case. They will usually tell you they want you to make a specific number of buys for specific types of drugs and see what comes of them. If you do what they want, they will see what they can do. If not, they just have to refer those charges in. It’s a tough situation for someone to be in and they can land themselves in a world of hurt if it is not done properly.
This is not a situation to take likely or tread through on your own. Make sure you have an experienced attorney by your side to advise you on what your options are and whether becoming a confidential informant is best for you and your case.
Three big issues in your Glendale, WI drug case
Through any drug case, there are three important parts that we see most frequently. First, the stop, or the initial police contact. You come into contact with police in some way, whether it be getting pulled over, police stopping you on the road, coming to your house, etc. Police have to have a reason to stop or seize you. If this is not legal, the rest of the interaction may not be legal either. A good criminal defense attorney will know when a stop or seizure by the police is illegal and may be able to get your charges reduced or even dismissed.
Second, is the search. At some point during your stop, the police may decide that they need to search you, your bag, your house, etc. Again, they have to have a reason to do this. One of those reasons can be that you give them permission to search. Never give police permission to search without a warrant, whether you have committed a crime or not. Other reasons to search would be the belief that you are in possession of something illegal. Police must be able to articulate specific facts of why they want to search. If they cannot do that, then it could be an illegal search.
Third, is talking to the police, or the confession. Police will try to ask you a bunch of questions and you have the right to remain silent and have an attorney present with you during questioning. It is imperative that you exercise these rights. If you waive them and give police information, it can all be used against you.
There may be other defenses to a case such as entrapment, personal use instead of possession with intent, among other things.
Not just a ticket
These charges are “not just a ticket.” While a ticket may not be a criminal offense, it can still have long term consequences to your life. You can lose things like scholarships or financial aid, you can have driving privileges revoked, which could affect both job prospects and other aspects of your life.
A ticket is not expungable or removable from your record. Regardless of your age, it will stick with you forever. On the other end, while police may hand you a ticket, you may still be charged criminally. Many citations from the police are merely referrals into court for an initial appearance. The district attorney may elect to file criminal charges instead. Cases involving possession of marijuana, paraphernalia, etc. can be citations, but they can also be criminal charges.
Drugs with OWI cases
OWI cases in Wisconsin vary between alcohol and other drugs, it is not just the drunk drivers that get these offenses. If you are driving under the influence of a restricted controlled substance such as marijuana or cocaine, you can get an OWI offense just for having it in your system, regardless of whether you are high. You can also get an OWI for legally prescribed medications if it is believed that you are unsafe to drive a vehicle. You will need legal representation regardless of what is in your system, and it is best to have an experienced, aggressive criminal defense attorney by your side.
Drug charges in Whitefish Bay include:
- Arrested on Drug Charges Northshore Attorney
- Possessing or manufacturing illegal drugs with intent to sell or distribute
- Possessing narcotics
- Distributing or selling illegal drugs
- Conspiracy to a drug crime
- Maintaining a drug trafficking place
- Possession of paraphernalia
Illegal Possession of Drugs in Wisconsin
- Marijuana possession
- Possession of cocaine or intent to distribute cocaine
- Possession of heroin
- Prescription drugs without or with intent to distribute:
- Oxycodone possession
- Oxycontin possession
- Hydrocodone possession
- Percocet possession
- Caught with Adderall or possessing other amphetamines
- Xanax possession
- Possession of ecstasy
- Possession of LSD or other hallucinogens
- Possession of any other narcotics labeled as illegal by Wisconsin or even Federal Law
If you have charges pending for anything on this list, you will need an aggressive, knowledgeable criminal defense attorney in the Milwaukee area who is successful. Grieve Law has the criminal defense attorney you are looking for in a case like these to see if they can get your drug case reduced or dismissed.
If you are convicted of anything on this list, these charges will never be removed from your record. Even if they are expunged, you will still have to admit to a criminal conviction. Where cases can be tickets and not criminal offenses, they do not come off of your record, either.
Wisconsin follows the same drug classification system as the federal government. The classification is broken down into “schedules”. They include:
- Schedule I: Defined as the most dangerous drugs and have a high risk of addiction or dependency with no legitimate medical use. The list includes LSD, marijuana, ecstasy, GHB, and heroin.
- Schedule II: Still have a high risk of abuse and dependency, but have medical uses. The list includes opium, cocaine, oxycodone, amphetamines, and more.
- Schedule III: Drugs less dangerous than those in Schedule II, but still have a moderate risk of abuse. The list includes codeine, anabolic, steroids, ketamine, and other depressants.
- Schedule IV: Drugs with a slight risk of dependency and have an exceptional medical use. The list includes clonazepam and other depressants.
- Schedule V: Substances with a very low risk of dependency including some over-the-counter medications with codeine.
How long will a drug charge stay on your record?
Any conviction for a drug offense will stay on your record for the rest of your life. In some circumstances, the Court may grant expunction of certain drug cases. However, expunction does not remove the conviction from your record. Rather, expunction acts to make the conviction less visible to the public. You may still be required to report your drug conviction on employment applications, leasing applications, and other professional licensing applications. In short, a drug conviction can have a negative impact in many aspects of your life for the rest of your life.
How to beat a drug charge in Milwaukee
Our attorneys may be able to challenge your case based on:
- Lack of probable cause for search or arrest
- Lack of a search warrant
- Illegal search or seizure
- Tampered evidence
- Fourth Amendment violations surrounding surveillance or wire-tapping
- Lack of identification
It is common for people to believe that they were a victim of entrapment in their drug case. While it is rare that we are successful in using entrapment as a defense, it is certainly possible and it could happen. There are many other defense options that your experienced attorney can look into for your case in addition to entrapment.