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Possession of a Controlled Substance Water Street office (Milwaukee's lower east side)

In Milwaukee, controlled substances fall into categories of Schedule I through V. Generally, penalties for Schedule I are generally more severe than Schedule V controlled substances. Penalties range from misdemeanors to felonies with a maximum sentence of $100,000, 40 years in prison or both.

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The penalties for these criminal charges are going to depend on what drug it is, how much of it you have, and whether you are simply possessing it or dealing it to other people. For example, possession of marijuana in some places is even decriminalized, but can also be a forfeiture or misdemeanor with maximum penalties of a $1000 fine, 6 months in jail, or both. If you also possess paraphernalia, that comes with similar penalties, plus the possibility of a driver’s license suspension. Second and subsequent possession offenses are Class I felonies carrying maximum penalties of 3.5 years in prison, a $10,000 fine, or both.

First-time possession of most controlled substances such as cocaine are misdemeanor with a fine up to $5000, one year in jail, or both. However, other serious drugs that fall under Schedule I or II, such as heroin, are a Class I felony for even your first offense possession. A class I felony carries penalties of 3.5 years in prison, a $10,000 fine, or both.

Possession with the intent to deliver any controlled substances begins at a low-level felony. Depending on the type of drug and how much of it you have, you can be charged anywhere from a Class I felony to a Class C felony. Class C felonies carry a maximum of 40 years in prison, a $100,000 fine, or both. There is a range of penalties depending on how much a drug you possess. For example, 1000 grams of marijuana has more severe penalties than 200 grams of marijuana.

Controlled Substances in Milwaukee

Controlled substances are more colloquially known to most people as drugs. Drugs are obviously separated into different categories depending on the effect they have on the human body. Most controlled substances known to humans are classified into various categories; the United States classifies them into five. These categories are known as schedules. 

The Uniform Controlled Substances Act was written in order to create control over the drugs in our country. They are as follows:

  • Schedule I: these controlled substances are considered to be highly addictive substances, are at high risk of being abused by users, and do not serve any medical purpose. Drugs in this category include heroin, ecstasy, LSD, along with many others.
  • Schedule II: these controlled substances come with a high risk of abuse but also could serve to help someone medically. Types of drugs in this category include amphetamines, Oxycontin, Adderall, among others.
  • Schedule III: these include drugs such as anabolic steroids, Tylenol with codeine, testosterone, ketamine, along with others.
  • Schedule IV: these include things like Ambien, Valium, Xanax, in addition to others
  • Schedule V: these are drugs such as cough syrups or things like Lyrica

The drugs listed above are certainly not all-inclusive. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of different controlled substances and they all fall into one of these categories. With the exception of Schedule I, you can come by controlled substances legally with a valid prescription. However, if you find yourself in possession of one of these Schedule I drugs or something else without a valid prescription, you can be facing criminal charges. 


How long will a controlled substance charge stay on my record?

Short answer is forever. While misdemeanors and low-level felonies are expungable for some, that will merely seal the record, but will not remove the fact that you have a criminal conviction. Expungement also does not restore civil rights that you lose as a result of a felony conviction such as the right to possess a firearm.

How do I beat a controlled substance case?

Controlled substances are small, which means that they are not always visible out in the open. In order for police to see or find them, they usually have to be searching. People have constitutional rights to be protected from illegal searches and seizures, and if police illegally search you, your house, or your person, your case could be reduced or even dismissed. There are many defenses that our Milwaukee team of criminal defense attorneys use in cases involving controlled substances, so it is important that you reach out to us as soon as possible.

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