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Can where drugs are sold worsen penalties for drug offenses?

For Wisconsin residents who are arrested and charged with drug offenses, there are the fundamentally serious consequences that must be considered when assessing the alternatives for lodging a defense. It can come as a surprise, however, when the penalties are worse than the person might initially have envisioned. The situation will dictate when there will be additional penalties based on the location of where the acts occurred. This is when there will be extra charges when the offenses of sale, intent to deliver or distribute controlled substances happen at or near certain locations.

If the person possesses with the intent to sell, deliver or distribute methamphetamine, cocaine, LSD, heroin, amphetamine and other drugs and it takes place at or near certain areas, then the person could face increased penalties than they otherwise would have had the incident taken place in other locations. If the person is in or on a scattered-site public housing project (specifically for low-income people), this law will be violated and the penalties will be worse.

If the person is within 1,000 feet of one of the following locations, it is also subject to worsened penalties: a town, village, city or county park; a correctional facility or jail; a public housing project of multi-units; a public swimming pool; a youth or community center; a school - public or private; and a school bus. There will also be enhanced penalties if the person is at a treatment facility that cares for those seeking help for drug and alcohol issues. If the person is within 1,000 feet of one of these facilities and should have known that the facility for treatment was there, it is also a situation that can lead to enhanced penalties.

Should there be a conviction, the initial penalties if the person was not on or near these locations will be increased by five years. Being arrested for drug offenses not only results in potential jail time and fines, but it can also negatively impact a person's future and hinder them as they seek certain jobs and admission to schools. There are options available for a defense and that is especially important when the allegations include worsened penalties for being at or near the above-listed locations at the time of the incident. A law firm that understands drug charges and how to craft a defense should be called for help.

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