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Appleton WI Criminal Defense Law Blog

Arrests in 2016 related to drug possession

In 2016, there were over 1.57 million arrests in Wisconsin and the rest of the nation for drug law violations, according to the Uniform Crime Report released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The figure represents a 5.63-percent rise over the number for 2015 and is more than three times the number of arrests for all violent crimes.

Over four out of five of the drug-related arrests in 2016, or 84.6 percent of them, pertained to drug possession. The number of arrests related to marijuana also rose, encompassing nearly 41 percent of all drug arrests. Most of those arrests were for simple possession.

Laws involving controlled substances

Under Wisconsin statutes, a controlled substance is an illegal drug that could potentially cause a person harm. Both state and federal governments have the ability to regulate controlled substances, meaning those who are accused of being in possession of controlled substances can face legal punishments at either or both levels.

Although the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 is a federal law, states do have some flexibility when it comes to whether or not they enforce it. Most states have adopted the Uniform Controlled Substances Act of 1973, which means that these states have adopted the provisions of the CSA. In some cases, some states have laws that are even stricter than the CSA and 30 states allow for the government to legally seize some assets when a person is criminally prosecuted.

19 charged in nationwide drug trafficking conspiracy

On Sept. 19, it was reported that 19 people in Wisconsin were charged with federal drug offenses after authorities seized a large amount of drugs and cash. The U.S. Attorney's Office stated that the accused individuals were believed to be involved in a drug conspiracy that spanned the nation.

Investigators said that the accused individuals were trafficking drugs using hidden compartments in commercial auto carriers. They were then transporting the drugs across state and international lines. The drugs appeared to be coming from Mexico, California and Illinois. During the seizure, authorities recovered 31 kilograms of cocaine, 10 pounds of meth and more than two kilograms of heroin. They also recovered about $1.3 million in cash and multiple weapons.

What constitutes domestic abuse in Wisconsin?

When you think of an abuser, you probably imagine a man beating up his spouse every day. If you do not fit this picture, you may not understand why you are facing domestic violence charges.

While physical harm is one type of domestic abuse, there are many others you can commit. Knowing what they are can help you in your defense and prevent the situation from happening again.

Drug dealing charges

The laws that govern drug dealing or sales of drugs vary widely from state to state and under federal regulations. Individuals who have been charged with drug-related crimes in Wisconsin will face different procedural and sentencing rules than they would find in other states. That said, there are some similarities than run across state lines.

Generally, drug dealing penalties are governed by the type and amount of drugs sold, as well as the prior related history of the accused. Drug dealing is often a felony offense. Drug possession, on the other hand, is most often charged as a misdemeanor. It may not even rise to the level of a misdemeanor in some circumstances, such as in areas where marijuana has been decriminalized. In some cases, though, intent to sell drugs may be presumed by the law based on the amount of a particular drug a person has in his or her possession.

2 women and 1 man arrested after Wisconsin man overdoses

The Sheriff's department in Adams County has pursued charges against two women and one man allegedly connected to a recent overdose. The overdose took place in the Town of Dell Prairie in a house on Highway 13. Emergency response personnel administered an overdose treatment to an unconscious man and took him to Baraboo hospital on August 27.

The overdose incident prompted law enforcement to obtain a search warrant for the location. Authorities reported finding items associated with drugs at the home as well as a child. They arrested a 37-year-old woman and charged her with neglecting a child as well as providing a place for drug trafficking and possession and delivery of heroin.

Woman charged after allegedly bringing drugs into prison

A Wisconsin woman has been accused of smuggling drugs into a prison so that her incarcerated boyfriend could sell it. The 36-year-old Kaukauna woman allegedly brought cocaine into the prison by hiding it in her bra. She would then pass the drugs to the boyfriend when they kissed.

According to reports, the 35-year-old boyfriend was allegedly selling cocaine and pot to other inmates in 2013 and 2014. The records said that the man would line up those who wanted drugs. Those buyers would prepare by having money orders and cash sent to a post office box. The accused woman would take the cash and buy drugs in Milwaukee. She would then bring the drugs into prison and transfer them to the boyfriend.

Defining reasonable suspicion and probable cause

For the most part, drivers in Wisconsin cannot be stopped on suspicion of drunk driving unless a police officer has a good reason to suspect that the driver is impaired. This is called reasonable suspicion, and it gives a police officer the right to detain someone and perform a brief investigation.

An officer could consider erratic driving such as drifting, weaving, sudden stops or unusually slow speeds to be cause for suspicion of DUI. It is not actually necessary for a driver to be driving for a police officer to have a reason to stop them on suspicion of operating while impaired. For example, if a driver gets out of his or her car and appears to be intoxicated, an officer could detain the driver and proceed with sobriety tests.

What to do if you get in a bar fight

It is no secret that people tend not to make the best decisions when they have been drinking, as alcohol impairs judgment. Some people are happy drunks, some do dumb but harmless things, and others get aggressive and contentious.

The combination of these various types in a setting where the prime activity is downing drink after drink often leads to bar fights. It may not seem like a big deal from an onlooker's perspective, but there are serious legal penalties if you are involved in the brawl.

Scheduling of drugs under the Controlled Substances Act

Wisconsin residents can be charged with drug crimes if they possess a wide variety of different drugs without prescriptions. Some of these drugs are unavailable by prescription and are illegal in all circumstances. The federal Controlled Substances Act, which was passed and signed into law in 1970, establishes the different categories of controlled substances, and state law follows this act for the most part.

The CSA outlines five schedules of controlled substances according to their danger and potential for harm. Those in Schedule 1, which includes such drugs as LSD, heroin and marijuana, are deemed to be the most dangerous and to have little or no medical benefits. Marijuana has remained in Schedule 1 even though several studies have shown that it may offer many benefits.

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