Possession is one of the most commonly charged offenses involving controlled substances. However, there often are many ways to fight these charges and prevent a conviction that could lead to a long prison term. A drug possession charge should be taken very seriously because it can affect the rest of your life, including efforts to find a job or a place to live. With so much at stake, you cannot gamble on facing the aggressive state or federal prosecutors on your own. Instead, you should enlist an experienced Wisconsin drug possession defense lawyer at Attorney Spiros Stavros Nicolet. We can help you find ways to undermine the prosecution’s arguments and cast doubt in the minds of jury members that you were in illegal possession of controlled substances.What Drug Possession Means, and What Penalties it Carries
Without a medical prescription, it is illegal to possess controlled dangerous substances that range from marijuana, heroin, and cocaine to more unusual substances. Wisconsin divides banned drugs into five groups, known as “schedules,” that are ranked in descending order of the risks that they pose from Schedule I to Schedule V. For example, Schedule I narcotics are those that are the most likely to cause abuse and addiction and the least likely to have medical value. Drugs in Schedules IV and V, by contrast, have a lower probability of causing abuse and addiction and a more significant medical value. Marijuana possession involves a distinct set of laws that you should explore separately if you have been charged with a marijuana-related offense.
Possessing a Schedule I or II narcotic is considered a Class I felony. Defendants charged with this crime may face up to three years and six months in prison, a fine of $10,000, or both. Cocaine and meth are examples of drugs that carry this penalty for those found to possess them. Possessing a Schedule III, IV, or V controlled substance, or a Schedule I or II non-narcotic controlled substance, is a misdemeanor. Defendants charged with this crime may face between 30 days and nine months in jail, a fine of between $500 and $10,000, or both.
There are certain areas where someone found in possession of drugs will face 100 hours of community service in addition to the penalties listed above. These areas include school buses, public parks, jails and prisons, public housing, community centers, drug treatment facilities, among others. The relevant area for purposes of this law extends in a radius of 1,000 feet from those locations.
A capable drug defense attorney can construct a variety of arguments depending on each defendant’s specific circumstances. For example, a police officer might have violated the rules on search and seizure in the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. An officer generally must have a warrant to search your home, except in a set of narrowly defined “exigent circumstances.” If the officer who seized the controlled substances lacked a warrant, and no exigent circumstances apply, your lawyer can argue at trial that the evidence should be excluded. Drug prosecutions often fall apart at that stage because the prosecution has little remaining evidence with which to persuade the jury beyond a reasonable doubt that you had drugs.Contact a Knowledgeable Drug Defense Lawyer in Wisconsin
The dedicated drug crimes defense attorneys at Attorney Spiros Stavros Nicolet understand the nuances that these cases can take. Our team also understands the magnitude of the impact that a drug conviction on your criminal record can exert over the rest of your life. Knowing how much it matters to your clients, we fight relentlessly on their behalf to protect their rights and ensure that they have every possible opportunity to make their case. If you have been charged with drug possession, you should not hesitate to contact us at (773) 562-6884 or through our online form to set up your initial consultation.