Arrested For Drug Possession in Wisconsin?

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Possession of a controlled substance (drug possession) is a very serious crime under Wisconsin law. You will need quality legal representation to reduce the risks of the most severe consequences, and to determine what grounds you may have to fight the charges against you.

According to Wisconsin drug laws, the elements of possession of a controlled substance /drug possession are

  1. the defendant possessed a substance;
  2. the substance in question was (marijuana / cocaine / heroin / lsd / methamphetamine / etc) ;
  3.  the defendant knew or believed that the substance was marijuana / cocaine  / heroin / lsd / methamphetamine /etc.

Possession of a Controlled Substance in Wisconsin – Penalties


Substance Offense Maximum Penalty
Marijuana 1st (Misdemeanor) 6 months in Jail / $1000 fine
Marijuana 2nd (Felony) 3 1/2 years, $10,000
Cocaine 1st (Misdemeanor) 1 year in Jail, $5000 fine
Cocaine 2nd (Felony) 3 1/2 years, $10,000
Methamphetamine 1st (Misdemeanor) 1 year in Jail, $5000 fine
Methamphetamine 2nd (Felony) 3 1/2 years, $10,000
LSD (Acid) 1st (Misdemeanor) 1 year in Jail, $5000 fine
LSD (Acid) 2nd (Felony) 3 1/2 years, $10,000
Heroin Felony 3 1/2 years, $10,000




The most likely penalty for a first or second offense marijuana possession charge would be a fine of a few hundred dollars, or time served if the person was in custody for a few days or so.

There can also be strict penalties for unlawful possession of prescription drugs (oxycontin, vicodin, xanax, klonopin, ritalin, and more). The Wisconsin prescription drug laws can be tricky, call me for a consultation and I’ll go over the details.

Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

Simply possessing any drug paraphernalia (pipe, bong, needle, etc.) is a crime in Wisconsin. To be found guilty, the state must prove that

  • The defendant possessed an item
  • The item in question was drug paraphernalia
  • The defendant possessed drug paraphernalia with the primary intent to use it to ingest, inhale, or otherwise introduce into the human body a controlled substance

The maximum penalty for possession of drug paraphernalia in Wisconsin is 30 days jail and a $500.00 fine.

Other Effects of a Drug Possession Charge

There is a mandatory drivers license suspension or revocation for a minimum of 6 months and a maximum of 5 years for all drug offenses.

There are no mandatory treatment or random testing programs, but if placed on probation there would be random testing and possible referral to an AODA treatment program.

Wisconsin Drug Possession Defense Strategies

There are a number of very good defenses for fighting against a drug possession arrest.

We can challenge the search and seizure of the substance. Did the police have probable cause to search your home, car or person? Was a search warrant involved? Did the police have probable cause to rightfully obtain a search warrant? If there was no search warrant, the search is per se unconstitutional unless the state can prove that there was probable cause. I will make a motion to suppress the search and seizure. If the police did not have probable cause to search you, then they have violated your rights under both the US Constitution and the laws of Wisconsin, which would make the evidence inadmissible in court.

Can the prosecution prove that the controlled substance was legally in your possession? Can they prove for certain that it was an illegal substance? Can they prove that you knew it was an illegal substance?

For a Wisconsin marijuana charge, it is possible to get the charge reduced to an ordinance violation if there were no previous arrests and the amount is small (this varies from county to county).

There are also ways to mitigate or reduce the penalties if found guilty. I frequently recommend that my clients enroll in a substance abuse treatment program, or attend meetings for substance abusers.

The defense strategy we pursue depends on the facts of your specific case. I’ll be able to give you a good idea of what I’d do after talking to you and reviewing the police report.

If you’ve been arrested on any drug possession, or any Wisconsin drug charge, call me for a consultation. Defending people just like you is what I do everyday. I’ll lay out your options, the penalties you are facing, and offer some recommendations of what to do about it. There’s no charge for my initial advice, so you have nothing to lose. Call me to get my take on your case. Call now at (888) 828-6041.

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