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You are only Guilty if you are Convicted

5 Brutal Facts on THC Possession + Intent to Distribute in Wisconsin

1. There is a world of difference between dealing/delivery vs. possession charges.

Any time someone is charged in Wisconsin with a dealing, delivery, or possession with intent to distribute, this always means they are facing a felony charge. Felony charges, regardless of the class of felony, are always extremely serious. You are facing years in prison, possibly tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of fines and penalties, not to mention having the silent “F” attached to every job application, resume, promotion, and interaction with all in-laws in the future. While that may not seem like a big deal right now (but hopefully it does), it is a huge deal!

Numerous studies have come out over the last several decades to show that somebody who has been convicted of a felony will face a far more difficult time getting a job, may make a lot less money than their non-felon counterpart, will earn far less money throughout the course of their career, and suffer from numerous other social and career penalties.

A possession charge is not always “just” a misdemeanor charge. Many drug possession charges can be felonies, including second offense marijuana possession charges. However, there is usually a world of difference between penalties, both now and in the future, of what a narcotics delivery, possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, or some other form of drug dealing charge will carry in Wisconsin.


2. Marijuana may become legal in the future, but that probably will not save you from fines & penalties from your drug dealing case now.

Yes, we all know marijuana is becoming legal in some states. We also know that marijuana has a broad social acceptance in many areas, both around the state and country.

However, while many employers, friends, and family may not look at a misdemeanor THC possession very seriously in some cases, they will always view a “drug dealing” charge extremely seriously.

Like it or not, when someone says the words “drug dealer,” different people think different things. And while some people may think of a nice person making some cash on the side, many other people will think there is some kind of gang affiliation or will picture you running around on the streets of Milwaukee loaded with illegal guns and selling to children on playgrounds. There is simply a world of difference between what people think of when they think of somebody who may have been busted with a few joints versus someone who is a “drug dealer.”

3. Expungement laws may not help you.

Wisconsin has an expungement law that means, for the most part, if you were under the age of 25 at the commission of any offense, and you are convicted of any offense that you are not facing more than six years of prison for, then you may be eligible for expungement. The emphasis here in the preceding sentence is “may be eligible for.” Just because you may be eligible before the law does not mean a Judge is going to grant that expungement for you.

Like it or not, drug charges are perceived very differently, not only in the outside world, but also in the criminal justice system. There is an old expression that “users get probation, and dealers get locked up.” Even if you case does not end in any form of incarceration, it just as likely may not end in any kind of expungement. Even if you are convicted of something as a result of tough negotiations with the prosecutor, it is extremely important to deal with any idea the government may have that you are “drug dealer.”

Your expungement may depend upon it.

4. You could go to jail.

If you have read this far, then by now you should know there is more than simply a possible list of punishments that separate a possession charge from a “drug dealing” crime.

People who are charged with drug dealing offense are usually facing much tougher penalties. They are also facing a far less sympathetic judge, a much more aggressive prosecutor, and far worse punishments as far as the possibility of expungement and job prospects in their future. But as referenced above, it does not end there.

Just because someone may be sentenced to some kind of jail or incarceration does not mean they actually will be. In other words, if you are facing up to one year in jail on a drunk driving third offense, that is no guarantee by any measure that you will actually go to jail for one year. Usually a skilled defense attorney can achieve something other than a maximum sentence outcome. While the same may be true about avoiding a maximum sentence outcome on a drug dealing charge, it is equally true you are far more likely to actually go to jail or prison on a drug dealing charge than on a possession charge. Remember, users get probation and dealers get locked up.

A skilled and experienced defense attorney team will be able to do everything to maximize the chances of both getting the charges dropped and protecting you from the most amounts of penalties. It does not change for one second that if you are facing a drug dealing charge in Wisconsin, you are facing a charge that puts you in an entirely different category of risk of going to jail or prison.

5. A jury might be better for you than a Judge.

Sometimes, depending upon the facts of the case and the background of the defendant, there really may be no choice other than to fight the charge. Maybe the case is just so serious that you are looking at going to prison no matter what if convicted. Other times, maybe you have a number of mistakes on your record, and we all know the Judge is going to slam you if you are ever convicted. In circumstances like these, there may be no option other than to fight your drug dealing charge in Wisconsin.

Don't trust your life to some general practice lawyer. DUI’s and criminal cases are not something that we do: they are basically everything that we do! Free no obligation consult with our team of award winning former state prosecutors for honest answers is just a call away.


Contact the drug charge defense attorney Milwaukee trusts to get penalties reduced or dropped and schedule your free consultation.

Fines & Penalties for THC possession with intent to distribute in Wisconsin:

Under Wisconsin drug laws, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute/sell is automatically a felony, regardless of the amount of marijuana. The penalties escalate in accordance to the amount of THC found in connection to the drug offense.

OffensePenaltyIncarcerationMax. Fine
200 grams of THC or Less (7 lbs) Class I Felony 3 years, 6 months $10,000 fine
200-1000 grams of THC (35 lbs) Class H Felony 6 years $10,000 fine
1000-2500 grams of THC (90 lbs) Class G Felony 10 years $25,000 fine
2500-10000 grams of THC (357 lbs) Class F Felony 12 years $25,000 fine
More than 10000 grams of THC Class E Felony 15 years $50,000 fine

You are only a criminal if you are convicted™

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Although laws regulating marijuana production and distribution vary widely from state-to-state and change every year, in Wisconsin THC, the drug in marijuana, remains entirely illegal and manufacturing or distributing THC is a criminal offense.Arrested for Selling Pot Lawyer Waukesha

Among neighboring states, Illinois and Michigan allow prescriptions of medical marijuana, and Minnesota has decriminalized marijuana possession. Travelers from these states or those who live near the border need to be careful and understand marijuana laws in Wisconsin are still very strict (marijuana remains completely illegal in Iowa and Indiana, as well).

Charged with Marijuana Possession with Intent to Distribute/Sell? Charges You May Be Facing:

In addition to the maximum fine allowed under each felony class, those convicted of drug offenses in Wisconsin can be assessed an additional surcharge up to 50% of their fines under the Drug Abuse Program Improvement Surcharge program. Enacted in 1987, this surcharge directly funds alcohol and drug abuse prevention programs through the Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services. With the surcharge, fines can range from $15,000 to $75,000 per drug offense.

If you’re being charged with possession of drug paraphernalia in Milwaukee or elsewhere in Wisconsin you may face additional fines ranging from $500 and $10,000, plus surcharges and 30 days to 9 months imprisonment.

If you are caught distributing or selling marijuana to a minor in Wisconsin, or if you are charged with possession of marijuana in Wisconsin with intent to distribute/sell within 1,000 feet of a school, school bus, public park or other protected property you may have an additional 5 years added to your prison sentence.

In Wisconsin, possession of drug paraphernalia charges are commonly added to charges of possession of THC with intent to distribute/sell. Prosecutors often issue separate charges for each individual item which could be used in the growth, production or consumption of marijuana.

Furthermore, the prosecutor may decide your residence constitutes a drug house, which would add an additional Class I felony charge.

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Milwaukee Criminal Defense Law Firm Produces the Powerful, Strategic Defense to Win Your Case

Caught Selling Weed Waukesha Criminal Defense AttorneyMany drug convictions are pinned on illegal search-and-seizures, warrantless wiretaps, insufficient probable cause and a host of other violations of your Constitutional rights. As a former state prosecutor, no one knows this better than award-winning Milwaukee criminal defense attorney Tom Grieve.

Whether you’re being charged with a felony first time offense drug charge in Milwaukee or you’re being charged with a marijuana misdemeanor in Waukesha, Tom Grieve is the drug defense attorney Wisconsin trusts to produce the powerful, strategic defenses to win their case.

No other drug possession lawyers in Milwaukee have a better track record for getting drug charges reduced or dropped entirely.

Contact our Milwaukee criminal defense law firm today for a FREE review of your case.

By: Attorney Tom Grieve on 03/06/2020

Tom Grieve is a former prosecutor who now runs a successful Wisconsin criminal defense law firm with offices in Milwaukee, Waukesha and Madison. If are facing new charges initial phone consultations are free: contact online or call 262-786-7100.

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