The financial impacts a drug crime conviction has on a person can end up being quite large here in Wisconsin. One contributor to this is surcharges.
Many are aware that being convicted of a drug offense can result in a person facing, among other things, a fine. However, a fine is not the only sort of cost assessed against those found guilty of drug crimes in the state. Surcharges are another.
Today’s discussion will cover two types of surcharges: the penalty surcharge and the drug abuse program improvement surcharge. For most state drug crime convictions, both of these surcharges are to be assessed against an individual if they have been given a fine for the drug crime.
The amount of the penalty surcharge depends on the amount of the fine issued. Specifically, this surcharge is 26 percent of the amount of the fine.
Meanwhile, the calculation for the amount of the drug abuse program improvement surcharge not only factors in the fine that was issued, but also the penalty surcharge issued. Under state law, the amount of the drug abuse program improvement surcharge is to be 75 percent of the combined total of the penalty surcharge and the fine.
As one can see, these surcharges build off of the underlying fine and each other. Thus, they can add up to some pretty big amounts.
The financial consequences of a drug crime conviction are among the many things that can make post-conviction life very difficult for a person. The onerous nature that the penalties for drug crimes can take on is among the reasons why a quality defense can be such a critical thing for an individual to have when they have been accused of possessing, distributing or manufacturing a drug in Wisconsin.
Sources: Wisconsin State Legislature, “Wisconsin Statutes – 757.05 – Penalty surcharge.,” Accessed Aug. 3, 2016
Wisconsin State Legislature, “Wisconsin Statutes – 961.41 – Prohibited acts A — penalties.,” Accessed Aug. 3, 2016