Category: Criminal Law

The Basics of Drug Possession in Wisconsin

In Wisconsin, drug offenses are taken very seriously. While many may dismiss simple drug possession as a minor offense, the repercussions can be substantial and long-lasting. This is particularly true if you’re unprepared and unaware of the ramifications. At J. Kippa Law, LLC, our goal is to shed light on these implications and guide you through the complexities of the legal system.

Wisconsin classifies controlled substances into different schedules. The severity of a possession charge largely depends on which schedule the drug falls under, as well as the quantity in possession. Penalties can range from a misdemeanor with a fine to felonies with potential imprisonment.

Immediate and Long-Term Consequences

Drug possession in Wisconsin is a serious offense that can have both immediate and long-term consequences. Depending on the type and amount of the drug involved, the penalties can vary from a misdemeanor to a felony, with possible fines, jail time, probation, and other sanctions.

For a first-time possession of marijuana or THC, which is a Schedule I drug, you may face up to 6 months in jail, up to $1,000 in fines, and a revocation of driving privileges for up to 5 years. If you are a student, you may also lose your federal financial aid money.

For a first-time possession of any other Schedule I or II drugs, such as heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, LSD, or fentanyl, you may face up to 3.5 years in prison, up to $10,000 in fines, and a Class I felony conviction. A felony conviction can have lasting effects on employment, education, housing, voting rights, and gun rights.

For a first-time possession of any Schedule III, IV, or V drug, such as ketamine, anabolic steroids, Valium, Xanax, or codeine, you may face up to 12 months in jail, up to $5,000 in fines and a Class H or I felony conviction. A felony conviction can also have long-term consequences, as mentioned above.

For a second or subsequent offense of drug possession of any kind, you may face harsher penalties than the first offense, such as longer prison terms, higher fines, and higher felony classes. You may also be subject to enhanced penalties if you possess drugs near certain places such as schools, parks, or public housing.

In addition to the criminal penalties for drug possession in Wisconsin, you may also face other consequences, such as substance abuse treatment programs, community service, drug testing, and supervision by a probation officer. You may also have difficulties finding or keeping a job, obtaining professional licenses or certifications, renting an apartment or house, applying for loans or scholarships, traveling abroad, or joining the military.

Contact a Wisconsin Criminal Defense Lawyer

A simple drug possession charge in Wisconsin can have far-reaching implications. While the legal consequences are immediate and clear, the ripple effect on your personal, professional, and financial life can be profound. Being informed, prepared, and represented by a dedicated attorney can make all the difference.

If you or a loved one are facing drug possession charges in Wisconsin, act quickly and secure skilled representation. Reach out to J. Kippa Law, LLC, where your future and freedom are our top priority. Call us today at (920) 733-1100 for a comprehensive consultation.

Sexual assault charges are some of the most severe criminal charges that an individual can face in the State of Wisconsin. A person can be found guilty and convicted of a sexual assault charge if they have sexual contact with another individual without their consent. More serious sexual assault crimes involve dangerous weapons and physical violence. A conviction can lead to severe penalties, including jail time.

If you are currently pending a sexual assault charge in Wisconsin, you must experience legal help as quickly as possible. The knowledgeable Wisconsin criminal defense attorneys at J. Kippa Law Office, LLC can help you advocate a solid legal defense for your pending sexual assault charge or represent you during plea deal negotiations with state prosecutors in your case.

For a free case evaluation and legal consultation with a skilled Wisconsin sexual assault lawyer, please call us at 920-507-5252 or online for more information.

Sexual Assault Penalties in Wisconsin

To receive criminal penalties for sexual assault, the state prosecutor must first satisfy the legal burden of proof in their case beyond a reasonable doubt. The potential sexual assault penalties that an accused individual may receive upon conviction will depend upon the degree of sexual assault with which they are charged.

  • First-degree sexual assault is the most serious and typically involves serious bodily harm, use of a dangerous weapon, or physical violence. A conviction can lead to a maximum of 40 years of incarceration.
  • A second-degree sexual assault conviction can lead to a maximum of 20 years in jail and a maximum monetary fine of $10,000.
  • A third-degree sexual assault conviction can lead to a maximum prison sentence of five years or a total monetary fine of $10,000.
  • A fourth-degree sexual assault conviction can lead to a maximum of 9 months in a county jail and a maximum monetary fine of $10,000.

While first, second, and third-degree sexual assault charges are a felony in Wisconsin, a fourth-degree sexual assault charge is a Class A misdemeanor.

Factors that Affect Sexual Assault Penalties in Wisconsin

Certain aggravating factors exist which may increase the severity of a pending sexual assault charge, as well as the potential penalties upon conviction. Those factors may include multiple sexual assault victims, use of physical violence during the incident, and use of a weapon.

However, in response to a sexual assault charge, several mitigating factors might apply, including cooperating with responding law enforcement officers, lack of prior arrests, and lack of previous sexual assault convictions.

Consent and Sexual Assault in Wisconsin 

 

Many sexual assault cases hinge on whether the alleged victim provided consent to the sexual act(s) in question. Suppose the state prosecutor can show, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the alleged victim did not provide consent. In that case, the accused can be convicted of a rape charge, leading to higher penalties.

Other Considerations in Sexual Assault Cases in Wisconsin 

 

When an individual is the victim of sexual assault, they can file a report. It is then up to the prosecuting attorney to bring criminal charges. If the prosecutor ultimately obtains a conviction, then before sentencing, the alleged victim can make an impact statement to the judge in person – or writing.

In addition to the potential penalties listed above, the accused individual may have to register as a sex offender on the State of Wisconsin’s sex offender registry under Megan’s Law.

Have you ever wondered what exactly constitutes a property crime? Many criminal offenses fall under this category, from theft and burglary to arson and vandalism. Understanding these crimes’ legal definitions, penalties, and consequences can be crucial in understanding your rights.

Types of Property Crimes in Wisconsin

Many view property crimes as lesser criminal charges with minimum consequences. Some view them as a joke or prank and something easy to get away with. Wisconsin is actually ranked as one of the lowest states for property crimes, with an estimated 1,500 out of 100,000 people affected. Even so, if found guilty of a property crime, the consequences can range from a misdemeanor to a felony charge.

Arson

Arson is the willful, intentional, and malicious destruction of property by fire and is a Class C Felony in Wisconsin. It also includes placing explosives in or near another person’s property. The penalties for arson can be very severe and may incur a prison sentence of up to 40 years and a fine of up to $100,000.

Burglary

Burglary is the unlawful entry into a structure intending to commit a crime, for example, breaking into a home to steal something. It could also apply to mobile homes, boats, train cars, or other commercial buildings. In Wisconsin, The penalties for burglary depend on several factors. For example, were you armed when you entered the structure? Was anyone home? Did you commit battery? While all of these add to the severity of a Burglary charge, it is always a serious crime. If you are found guilty of burglarizing a home or business, it will likely be a felony.

Theft/Motor Vehicle Theft

Larceny, or theft, is one of the most common property crimes. It involves taking another person’s property without their permission and intending to deprive them of its use permanently. This includes shoplifting, pickpocketing, and embezzlement. The penalties for theft in Wisconsin can range from a misdemeanor to a felony charge.

Motor vehicle theft can be more severe and occurs when the defendant intends to permanently take and use a car without the owner’s consent. State law also says that unless the car is worth less than $2,500, theft of the vehicle is considered a felony.

Shoplifting

Shoplifting is a property crime where someone takes merchandise from a store without paying for it. Shoplifting is a crime in all 50 states and can be punishable by fines, jail time, or both. The penalties for shoplifting depend on the value of the merchandise taken and even the offender’s criminal history. It can be either a misdemeanor or a felony in Wisconsin.

Vandalism

Vandalism is defined as intentionally damaging someone else’s property. This can mean anything from spray painting graffiti on a wall to smashing a window. The penalties for vandalism depend on the monetary amount of damages incurred. If it was less than $2,500, it was a misdemeanor, and if it was more, it was a felony.

No matter what property crime you are charged with, there are levels of severity. It is wise to contact an attorney with experience in property crimes to defend your case and answer any questions you may have before facing the prosecution.

Cases are being pushed months, even years, behind due to the public defender shortage in Wisconsin. Experts say it will take years to overcome the pileup of cases within the Wisconsin courts.

Why is This Happening?

Public defender pay has remained unchanged for many years, although the amount of work demanded from them has only increased. According to data provided by Wisconsin’s public defender’s office, the number of cases sitting on the desks of public defenders was 32,000 before the pandemic and is now 64,000 as of May this year. SPD spokesperson Wilson Medina states, “This is unsustainable and can potentially jeopardize the constitutional rights of our clients throughout the state.” In addition, the pandemic caused many counties to put jury trials on hold due to public health and safety concerns. Many prosecutors, judges, and attorneys feared the upcoming pileup we are now experiencing.

The Struggles of The Defendants

The defendants are not unharmed by the backlog. Some of them are in jail for months while waiting for their case. Others are losing residences and jobs. The issue is larger than it seems.

How Will This Be Fixed?

Since public defender pay remains too low for people to desire to work in this field, the first step to solving this dilemma is to increase funding for public defenders. This would encourage more young lawyers to become public defenders rather than working for a private firm. Since public defenders are so overbooked, it is hard to find enough of them who are qualified for the more complex cases such as shootings, homicides, or reckless driving. A change must occur. With the current status of the pileup in cases, it could take the court system years to get through the cases they already have.

One way to avoid becoming a victim of the backlog is to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney of your own. The protection of your rights, reputation, and future is too important to be delayed.

Have you heard about this program? It’s probably bad news if you have, since the goal of The Wisconsin Enhances Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (ePDMP) is to identify potential drug crimes and apprehend those accused of committing them.

How Does It Work?

The ePDMP provides the state with valuable information regarding monitored prescription drugs dispensed by Wisconsin and aids healthcare workers in their prescribing and dispensing decisions. In addition, the ePDMP allows pharmacies, healthcare workers, law enforcement, and public health officials to work together, attempting to reduce the misuse, abuse, and diversion of monitored prescription drugs.

The ePDMP receives alerts based on numerous things such as early refills, long-term Opioid therapy, and high Opioid daily use. For example, in June 2022, about 20,000 individuals received an early refill. This is a cause for immediate concern for those individuals. In the same month, about 12,000 individuals were on long-term Opioid therapy. These numbers are the lowest they have been since January of 2022. Delegates and Prescribers make most of the patient queries each month. With this information, the WI ePDMP can monitor any patients who meet the criteria to be considered as concerning.

Mistakes Will Be Made

Unfortunately, human beings make mistakes and law enforcement officers are no exception. An increased focus on prescription drug monitoring will result in increased scrutiny on legal prescription drug users and result in faulty criminal charges. It is crucial to have a skilled criminal defense attorney
protecting your rights and making sure your side of the story is told if you find yourself on the wrong side of prescription drug charges.

A civil offense is an illegal action that is targeted towards a specific person or corporation. An example of this type of case would be workplace discrimination. A criminal offense deals with an illegal action that affects society in it’s entirety. An example of this type of case would be a misdemeanor or felony offense such as OWI or homicide. If you face criminal accusations or charges, please contact our firm at 920-733-1100 to set up a free consultation.

Civil Case vs. Criminal Case: What’s the Difference?

 

Your attorney's experience can make all the difference when your future is on the line. Learn how attorney Jeffrey Kippa can help you move forward.

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