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Drug Trafficking Wisconsin Penalties & How to Beat Charges

Penalties for trafficking drugs in Wisconsin (manufacturing, delivering or distributing them) vary based on the drug itself, the quantity, circumstances, number of previous offenses and other variables. Trafficking Schedule I and II narcotics could be a Class E felony or a fine up to $50,000, up to 15 years in prison or both.

Amy Scholz

OWI & Criminal Defense Attorney

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Drug Trafficking Lawyers Provide Criminal Defense for Misdemeanor & Felony Drug Charges

One of the best defenses for a drug trafficking charge is to challenge the search and seizure that led to your arrest. Police officers must have probable cause before searching you, your car, your home, your backpack, or anywhere else. If the arresting officer did not have probable cause when they found the drugs, any evidence they found is no longer admissible in court.

If you’ve been charged with maintaining a drug trafficking place, there’s only so far cursory online research is going to get you. A free consultation with an experienced lawyer will give you the lay of the land far better than a Google search.

Drug trafficking penalties in Wisconsin

Fines, Penalties & Accompanying Charges - Misdemeanors and Felonies in Wisconsin

The DA will often seek to establish a negotiating position by charging you with everything they can. Sometimes the accompanying charges fit naturally with a drug trafficking charge, like possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession and intent to distribute the drug being trafficked (often cocaine or marijuana).

Determining whether you can beat the charges or plead them down is something an experienced drug crime defense attorney can help you with. If charges brought against you don't seem to fit into any common felony or misdemeanor class, learn more about Class U misdemeanors in WI, or call an experienced defense attorney at Grieve Law. The penalties you receive for drug trafficking in Wisconsin may depend on:

  • The type or schedule of substance(s) involved
  • The weight and amount of the drug(s) involved
  • Cash found to be in your possession
  • Your number of previous convictions
  • Drug paraphernalia found to be in your possession
  • If a death resulted from the drugs involved
  • Subsequent classifications
  • The felony class of your accused offense


Maximum Penalties for Drug Trafficking in Wisconsin

Felony Class

Maximum Prison Sentence

Maximum Fine

C 40 Years $100,000
D 25 Years


E 15 Years $50,000
F 12.5 Years $25,000
G 10 Years $25,000


Federal Penalties Based on Drug Type & Quantity

Drug Type


Prison Sentence Range

Maximum Fine

Heroin 100 Grams 5 - 40 Years $5,000,000
Heroin 1 Kilogram 10 Years - Life


Cocaine 500 Grams 5 - 40 Years $5,000,000
Cocaine 5 Kilograms 10 Years - Life $10,000,000
Methamphetamine 5 Grams 5 - 40 Years $5,000,000
Methamphetamine 50 Grams 10 Years - Life $10,000,000

Other drugs you can be charged for trafficking include but are not limited to:

  • Marijuana
  • Oxycodone
  • Fentanyl
  • LSD

Penalties for Maintaining a Drug Trafficking Place in Wisconsin

There are two misdemeanor charges for keeping a drug house in Wisconsin. One refers to a place for using drugs, while the other refers to a place used for manufacturing, storing, or delivering controlled substances. The charges are largely the same and involve the following:

  • The person kept or maintained a building or place
  • People used controlled substances in the place
  • The place was used to manufacture, hold, or deliver drugs
  • The defendant knew the place was being used in this way

The maximum penalty for either drug house charge is one year in jail and a fine of $25,000.

Although the jail time for these charges is only a year (as compared to the 40-year sentence for heroin possession), they are frequently combined with other charges, such as Wisconsin's possession with intent to distribute charge. The severity of possession with intent charges depends on which illegal substance was found, and how much.

DID YOU KNOW: Police officers must have probable cause before searching you, your car, home, backpack or anywhere else. If the arresting officer did not have probable cause when they found the drugs, any evidence they found is no longer admissable in court.

A Common Mistake in Selecting a Criminal Defense Attorney

Do not be lulled into a false sense of security by choosing the lawyer who paints the rosiest picture. You are up against serious charges with life-altering consequences, you need an advocate who has all your bases covered.

There are many factors impacting your case and the outcome you’ll arrive at – a good lawyer will make you aware of them and their likelihood, guiding you to the choices that align most with your best interest. Usually, that means avoiding a jail sentence or minimizing fines.

You Are Only Guilty If You Are Convicted ®

"I was facing a lot of time....Amy always had my best interest at heart and gave me some great advice regarding my charges. I'd recommend her to anybody looking for an attorney that goes the extra mile for their client. Awesome Attorney!"

AttorneyAmy Scholz

Contact Wisconsin criminal defense attorney, Amy Scholz, now to schedule a FREE case evaluation for you or a loved one.

In Wisconsin, how long does a trafficking charge stay on your record?

Trafficking drugs (manufacturing, delivering or distributing them) in Wisconsin could lead to range of penalties including a $10,000 fine, but the charges alone could remain on your record permanently.

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