Free Consultation:
(262) 581-4114
Featured   May 2, 2024

Drug Possession vs. Drug Trafficking in Milwaukee

Understanding the Charges

If you have been charged with drug possession or drug trafficking, you should first understand exactly what you have been charged with in the state of Wisconsin. In Wisconsin, marijuana is still illegal, which means that if you are found with any amount of marijuana or any other illegal drug in your possession, you can be arrested on a drug possession charge. If you are found with a larger amount or have brought the drug across state lines, even from a state where marijuana is legal, you can be charged with drug trafficking with intent to manufacture, distribute or deliver. The differences in these charges and their penalties are very important for you to understand.

What is Drug Possession

In Wisconsin, you can be arrested for drug possession if you are found with any amount of illegal drugs in your possession. In Wisconsin, there are two different types of possession: possession and actual possession. Actual possession means that you have physical possession of the substance on your actual person. 

With possession, the drugs do not have to be on your person. It must be proven that you knew where the controlled substance was located and had some intention of exhibiting some type of control over them in the future. If this can be proven, you can be charged with drug possession in Wisconsin.

Is Drug Possession Always a Misdemeanor?

Drug possession is not always a misdemeanor in Wisconsin. Under the Federal Uniform Controlled Substances Act, illegal substances are categorized into five different schedules by their likelihood to be abused and the danger to the abuser, with Schedule I being most likely to be abused and Schedule V least likely. 

In the event of a drug related arrest, the schedule of the drug, amount of the drug, and your criminal history will be taken into consideration in determining your charges. A Schedule I drug arrest can be charged as a Class 1 Felony, punishable by $10,000 in fines and 3 ½ years in prison.

What Qualifies as Intent to Distribute?

Intent to distribute in Wisconsin is defined as the intent to deliver or distribute a controlled substance to another person. Generally intent to distribute is associated with a larger amount of the illegal substance, but there is no minimum amount to be considered as possible distribution.  This is a felony and is punishable by 3 to 15 years in prison. 

The state merely needs to prove that you intended to transfer the substance to another individual and does not need to establish if the distribution was for profit.

What is Drug Trafficking?

Drug trafficking is the manufacturing, distributing or delivering of a controlled substance. Again, it is usually associated with large quantities of the substance, but there is no minimum associated with the charge. 

This is also a felony, punishable by 3 to 15 years in prison. If the act of trafficking the illegal substance crosses state lines, the case moves to federal court, even if the substance is coming from a state where it is legal.

Key Differences Between Possession and Trafficking

You can be in possession of an illegal substance without being guilty of trafficking it, but in order to be guilty of trafficking, you are almost always guilty of possession. Basically, possession is the simple act of having the illegal substance while trafficking entails manufacturing, transferring or intending to transfer the substance to someone else. 

Additionally, trafficking is a felony and carries a much stronger penalty than possession, which is usually a misdemeanor. 

Penalties for Drug Possession vs. Trafficking in Wisconsin

The penalties for drug possession and trafficking are vastly different. If convicted of possession of an illegal substance in Wisconsin, you can face six months to six years in jail and fines of up to $10,000. 

If convicted of trafficking an illegal substance in the state of Wisconsin, depending on the amount, the type of drug and your criminal history, you could face from ten to forty years behind bars and anywhere from $25,000 - $100,000 in fines. If the trafficking becomes a federal case, you could face up to life in prison and fines of up to $50,000,000.

How Can a Criminal Record Affect Your Life?

Sadly, even after you have served your time and are free to return to your life, it has irrevocably changed. Criminal background checks are a staple of society now and they are hard to avoid. Having a drug related conviction can affect future employment opportunities, rental possibilities and your eligibility for loans like student loans, vehicle loans and home loans. 

There are many areas of employment which are not available to convicted felons, like police and other municipal careers, schools and truck drivers. Most employers do routine pre-employment background checks and many companies will deny you employment if you have a criminal history. 

Many loan companies do both criminal background and credit checks to ensure that anyone they loan money to will be able to repay it and routinely deny loans to convicted felons.

What to Do if You Face Drug Charges in Milwaukee

You do not want to represent yourself in drug crime matters. If you are facing drug charges in Milwaukee, your first step should be to contact a defense attorney with experience in drug law. 

You need someone who will exhaust every effort to clear you of all charges to keep you out of prison and to protect your future. Don’t let drug charges ruin your life.

Why Choose Singleton Law Firm for Your Drug Charge Defense?

When retaining The Singleton Law Firm, LLC, you will be working directly with a criminal defense attorney who has experience litigating and investigating serious drug offenses and will ensure the state or federal government upholds their burden of proof. 

As a former detective with 28 years of experience investigating drug crimes, Attorney Singleton knows what it takes to reduce or dismiss your drug charges altogether. We won’t rest until we get you the results you deserve! Contact us today for your free consultation. 

Share This Story

Enjoyed this insightful read? Share it on your social media and spark a conversation with your network!

Winning with Precision

Contact us for a free consultation. We will provide you with insights on how to proceed with the best possible outcome.

I Want To...
2727 N. Grandview Blvd. Suite 118
Waukesha, WI 53188
2727 N. Grandview Blvd. Suite 118
Milwaukee, WI 53188
The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute a client relationship.
uploadmagnifiercrossmenu linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram