Beyond the harsh criminal penalties associated with possessing marijuana, a drug offense conviction can carry a social stigma lasting long beyond a defendant finishes serving a prison sentence. Marijuana has been legalized in some states, so having or using it may not seem like a serious issue. But this drug remains illegal in Wisconsin, and prosecutors aggressively seek convictions against defendants charged with possessing it. To ensure that you mount a strong defense, you should consult the capable and compassionate marijuana defense lawyers at Attorney Spiros Stavros Nicolet. We have the energy and commitment to unravel the specific details of your situation and advise you on the most effective ways to fight the charges against you.Possessing Marijuana Exposes Defendants to Severe Penalties
Wisconsin law makes it illegal to have any amount of marijuana. A first conviction will expose a defendant to a jail sentence of up to six months, a fine of up to $1,000, or both. A second conviction, or any other subsequent conviction, will expose a defendant to a prison sentence of up to three years and six months, a fine of up to $10,000, or both. If a defendant was found in possession of marijuana within 1,000 feet of certain places, that defendant will be punished with 100 hours of community service in addition to the fine and jail or prison term. These places include public parks and pool, public housing complexes, drug treatment facilities, jails, schools, and youth or community centers.
Sometimes people who possess marijuana grew the drug themselves. In these situations, they may be exposed to even more severe penalties. For most first-time offenders, the sentences will vary in proportion to how much marijuana the defendant possessed, grew, or sold. For example, the sentence for cultivating 200 or fewer grams, or growing four or fewer plants, is the same as the sentence for a defendant convicted of a second or subsequent possession offense. Penalties mount from that level to 15-year prison terms and fines of up to $25,000 in the most egregious marijuana cultivation cases. Sales to a minor or within a drug-free school zone are treated especially harshly, as are second or subsequent offenses.
Another marijuana-related offense concerns the manufacture, sale, and use of drug paraphernalia, or possessing paraphernalia with the intent to make, sell, or use it. A common example of paraphernalia is a pipe used to smoke marijuana, but the term extends to cover any item used in growing, processing, selling, storing, or using it. A defendant convicted of having drug paraphernalia may face a sentence of up to 30 days in jail, a fine of up to $500, or both. Selling the paraphernalia may expose a defendant to a sentence of up to 90 days in jail, a fine of up to $1,000, or both. If the defendant sold paraphernalia to a minor who is at least three years younger than the defendant, the defendant may face a sentence of up to nine months in prison, a fine of up to $10,000, or both.Discuss Your Marijuana Possession Charges With an Experienced Lawyer
If you have been charged with possessing marijuana, you should not take the situation lightly even though the use of this drug has become increasingly widespread and tolerated in some circles. Instead, you should consider contacting the hard-working Wisconsin marijuana defense attorneys at Attorney Spiros Stavros Nicolet for assistance with your case. We will challenge the prosecution to prove each element of its case beyond a reasonable doubt and mount any relevant defenses on your behalf. For example, this may include arguing that police officers illegally seized evidence from a place that they were not permitted to enter under search-and-seizure rules. We will tailor our strategies to the specific nuances of your case and ensure that you fully understand your options. Contact us at (773) 562-6884 or through our online form to set up an initial consultation.