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3 Factors That Influence Drug Crime Penalties In Wisconsin

Wisconsin Drug Crime Penalties Are Influenced By These 3 Factors

Some of the most common criminal charges in the State of Wisconsin involve drug crimes. Penalties may occur at the state or federal level and vary widely from case to case based on the drug involved, the circumstances of the crime, and the criminal history of the accused. However, the drug crime penalties assessed often hinge on just three factors.

Three Factors That Affect Drug Crime Penalties and Sentencing

  1. The Type of Drug Involved. Like the federal government, Wisconsin categorizes illegal drugs based on their potential for abuse, their medical value, and their safety. Drugs that are considered highly addictive, unsafe, and/or without medical value are classified as Schedule I drugs. Examples include: heroin, cocaine, LSD and ecstasy. Categories of drugs range from Schedule I (most severe) to Schedule V (least severe). Drug crime penalties are partially based on which Schedule of the drug was in your possession.
  2. The Amount or Weight of the Drug. The next consideration is how much of the drug you had in your possession. Small amounts that indicate the drug was only for personal use face lower penalties than higher amounts, which can be an indication of intent to sell or distribute. Drug crimes result in felony charges that become more severe based on the number of drugs in your possession. Felony charges range from Class I, which is the lowest and least severe charge to Class C, which is the most severe charge. Each higher class results in a more serious charge and more severe drug crimes penalties than the lower class level. Class G and F felonies, for example include prison sentences that range from 10 to 12 and a half years and fines of up to $25,000 while a Class C felony carries up to 40 years of prison time and fines of up to $100,000.
  3. What Was Being Done with the Drug. The final factor that affects penalties is what was being done with the drug. Examples include:
  • Possession
  • Distribution/Selling
  • Manufacturing (ex. meth labs)
  • Drug trafficking
  • Cultivation (ex. growing marijuana)
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia
  • Selling drugs within 1,000 feet of a school, playground, or other places where children assemble

Simple possession is the least serious crime with drug sales and distribution, manufacturing, or trafficking being the most serious. The more serious charges often include a combination of charges, compounding the penalties faced.

Meet with a Drug Defense Attorney in Madison, Wisconsin

Drug crimes are felonies, which can lead to a permanent criminal record that affects your life for years to come and devastates your finances. Do not leave your defense to chance. Contact the drug defense attorneys at Eisenberg Law Offices in Madison, Wisconsin to mount a strong defense that minimizes drug crime penalties and protects your reputation.

We offer free case consultations so you can learn more about the charges against you and your defense options.

Call Eisenberg Law Offices at 608-256-8356 or email to schedule a consultation today.



Eisenberg Law has successfully represented our clients in thousands of Personal Injury, Criminal Defense and Family Law Cases during our 30-plus years in business.