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A Wisconsin drug charge is a grave matter that can lead to jail time and substantial fines. Drug convictions can have long-lasting consequences that impact jobs, housing, and finances. At J. Kippa Law, our criminal defense team has 30 years of combined experience handling drug crimes.

Types of Drug Charges

Dangerous and illegal drugs are pervasive in urban centers and rural areas throughout Wisconsin. Three standard drug charges that people in Wisconsin face are:

 Drug possession: Drug possession in Wisconsin is a serious offense that can have substantial repercussions. Whether the possession is for illegal drugs like cocaine or legal substances held without a valid prescription, such as Xanax, possession charges carry significant legal consequences.

Penalties vary based on the offense level and the substance possessed. Penalties for a second offense of cocaine possession may differ from those of a first-time offender charged with marijuana possession.

A first-time offender for possession of marijuana faces misdemeanor charges with up to 6 months in jail and up to $1,000 in fines, as well as license revocation. Students risk losing federal financial aid.

For a first-time possession charge of felony drugs (heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, LSD), you can face up to 3.5 years in jail and up to $10,000 in fines. Repeat offenses result in harsher penalties, longer prison terms, higher fines, and higher felony classifications.

Possession of drug paraphernalia is also a crime in Wisconsin. Paraphernalia includes:

  • Pipes
  • Bongs
  • Scales
  • Baggies
  • Syringes

A conviction can result in serious consequences, including jail time.

Drug possession with the intent to distribute: Wisconsin penalties for the felony of intent to distribute drugs are stiff. You can be sentenced to 3.5 to 15 years in prison and fined $10,000 to $50,000, depending on the amount and type of drug. For instance, if you are convicted of possession of more than 40 grams of cocaine with the intent to distribute, you can face up to 40 years in jail and fines of up to $100,000. The greater the quantity of the drug you possess, the more severe the penalties will be.

Felonies can significantly impact your ability to find work or obtain housing and can affect child custody arrangements. A conviction for intent to distribute usually remains permanently on your record.

Distribution of controlled substances: Selling, distributing, or manufacturing controlled substances (illegal drugs) in Wisconsin carries severe penalties. These crimes are felonies, with potential jail time determined by the type and quantity seized. At the lower end, distributing 200 grams or less can lead to a maximum of three and a half years in prison. However, selling over 10,000 grams could result in a 15-year jail term and a $50,000 fine. Wisconsin residents caught in such activities face escalated consequences.

Contact Our Criminal Defense Team Today

Our seasoned criminal defense team has a long-lasting track record of successful legal representation. Attorney Jeffrey Kippa and his criminal defense team help clients with drug charges in Appleton, Green Bay, and throughout Wisconsin. Contact us online or call (920) 733-1100.

Are you familiar with the age-old courtroom drama, where lawyers passionately argue their cases in front of a jury of twelve? It’s a scene we often see in movies and television shows, but did you know that not all trials involve a jury? In fact, there is another type of trial known as a bench trial, where the judge takes on the role typically played by jurors. If you’ve ever wondered about the differences between these two types of trials and how to choose which one is right for your case, read on. In this blog post, we will discuss the key distinctions between bench trials and jury trials and provide insights to help navigate this important decision.

What is a Bench Trial?

In essence, during a bench trial, it’s up the judge to make all critical decisions regarding law interpretations and factual determinations based solely on presented evidence and arguments from both parties involved. Some may argue that this puts immense power into one person’s hands; others may see it as an efficient way to streamline complex cases without relying on diverse opinions.

What is a Jury Trial?

A jury trial is a court proceeding in which a jury makes a decision about a case. The jury is made up of ordinary citizens who are chosen to serve on the jury by the court. The judge presides over the trial and instructs the jury on the law, but it is the jury that decides whether the defendant is guilty or not guilty.

Key Differences Between the Two

When it comes to deciding whether to have a bench trial or jury trial, there are a few key differences to keep in mind. For one, in a jury trial, a group of peers will hear the evidence and decide the verdict, whereas in a bench trial, the judge will serve as both the finder of fact and law. Additionally, jury trials tend to be more formal than bench trials, as they require more extensive questioning of witnesses and longer closing arguments. Jury trials are typically more expensive than bench trials since they require more resources.

Pros and Cons of Each Trial Type

When it comes to choosing a trial type, there are two main options: bench trials and jury trials. Both have their own pros and cons that you should consider before making a decision.

Bench Trials Pros

Generally speaking, bench trials tend to be shorter than jury trials. This is because there is only one judge hearing the case rather than a panel of jurors. Bench trials also tend to be less expensive than jury trials, as they require fewer people and resources. Another pro is that because the judge is the only one who decides the outcome of the case, there is generally more control over the outcome of a bench trial. Finally, some people feel that bench trials are fairer than jury trials, as jurors may be influenced by their personal beliefs or experiences.

Bench Trial Cons

The disadvantage of having a shorter trial is that there is less time for both sides to present their case. Additionally, because the judge is the only one making a decision in a bench trial, some people feel that this can lead to bias or partiality. For these reasons, some people prefer to have a jury of their peers decide their case rather than a single judge.

Jury Trials Pros

Jury trials tend to be more thorough than bench trials, as there are multiple jurors who must come to an agreement on the outcome of the case. Furthermore, this agreement must be unanimous, which ensures that both sides receive fair consideration. Having a jury of peers decide a case can also provide more assurance that justice will be served.  Additionally, juries may be better equipped to evaluate complex cases, as they are not experts in law like judges are.

Jury Trial Cons

Jury trials tend to take much longer than bench trials and require more resources. This can increase the cost of having a trial significantly. Additionally, because jurors must come to an agreement unanimously on the outcome of the case, this can lead to long deliberations and deadlocks. Furthermore, jury selection can often take up a large portion of time during trial preparation and may result in bias or prejudice towards one side of the case. Lastly, some people feel that jury trials are too unpredictable, as there is no guarantee that the jurors will reach an agreement in the end.

How to Choose the Right Trial for Your Case

The choice of whether to have a bench trial or a jury trial is an important one. The key difference between the two is that in a bench trial, the judge renders the verdict, while in a jury trial, it is a group of jurors who decide the case. There are pros and cons to both types of trials, and the best option for you will depend on your specific case. Here are some things to consider when making your decision:

  • The severity of the crime
  • The amount of evidence
  • The complexity of the case
  • Your personal preference

Contact a Wisconsin Criminal Defense Attorney

Bench trials and jury trials are both important parts of the American justice system, offering different advantages and disadvantages depending on your situation. Understanding the key differences between these two types of trials will help you make an informed decision about which one is right for your case. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide whether a bench or jury trial is best for your purpose, but considering all of the factors involved can help ensure that you choose wisely. If you’re wondering whether you should choose a bench or jury trial, it’s best to consult an experienced criminal defense attorney.

 

Facing charges related to prostitution can be a frightening experience. The complex legal landscape surrounding these offenses requires individuals to have a solid understanding of their rights and available legal options. In this blog post, we aim to provide a comprehensive overview of the steps you should consider taking when confronting prostitution-related charges. From knowing your fundamental rights to engaging the right legal representation, we’ll explore the various strategies and resources that can help you build a strong defense

Know Your Rights

When accused of a prostitution-related offense, it is crucial to be aware of your basic legal rights. Understanding these rights empowers you to make informed decisions and ensure your protection throughout the legal process. Here are three fundamental rights that individuals have when facing prostitution-related charges:

The Right to Remain Silent

You have the constitutional right to remain silent when questioned by law enforcement or prosecutors. This means that you are not obligated to answer any questions that may incriminate you. Exercise this right to avoid inadvertently providing evidence that could be used against you.

The Right to an Attorney

You have the right to legal representation, regardless of your financial situation. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed to you. It is crucial to engage the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney who specializes in prostitution-related cases. Your attorney will provide guidance, protect your rights, and construct a strong defense strategy on your behalf.

The Right to a Fair Trial

Every individual accused of a crime, including prostitution offenses, is entitled to a fair trial. This means that you have the right to present your defense, challenge the evidence against you, cross-examine witnesses, and have a neutral judge or jury preside over your case. Ensuring fairness during the trial process is essential to protect your rights and attain a just outcome.

 

Engaging Legal Representation

Obtaining the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney holds immense importance when facing charges of this nature. Legal representation plays a crucial role in protecting your rights, guiding you through the complex legal process, and constructing a robust defense strategy tailored to your case.

 

Firstly, an attorney with expertise in prostitution laws possesses the in-depth knowledge required to analyze the specifics of your case. They understand the intricate legal nuances surrounding these offenses, enabling them to identify potential defenses and develop a strategic approach that aligns with your unique circumstances.

 

Additionally, a skilled attorney will ensure the protection of your rights throughout the legal proceedings. They will serve as your advocate, advising you on when to exercise your right to remain silent, ensuring law enforcement respects your fundamental rights during questioning or searches, and safeguarding you from self-incrimination.

Case Evaluation

A thorough case evaluation by an attorney can help immensely when it comes to prostitution offenses. A case evaluation involves a comprehensive review of the evidence, identification of potential defenses, and a careful assessment of the strength of the prosecution’s case.

 

One of the primary objectives of a case evaluation is the review of evidence. An attorney can scrutinize every piece of evidence related to the prostitution offense. This includes examining documents, phone records, surveillance footage, witness statements, and any other relevant materials. Through this process, attorneys search for any inconsistencies, errors, or gaps in the evidence that can cast doubt on the prosecution’s case. By carefully analyzing the evidence, attorneys can identify potential weaknesses or issues with its collection or presentation.

 

Assessing the strength of the prosecution’s case is also a vital component of case evaluation. Attorneys examine the quality and reliability of the evidence presented by the prosecution. They evaluate the credibility of witnesses, the accuracy of forensic tests, and whether the prosecution has met the burden of proof required for a conviction.

Defense Strategies

One common defense strategy in prostitution-related cases involves challenging the legality of the arrest. If law enforcement violated procedural rights during the arrest or obtained evidence illegally, it may be possible to have the charges dismissed or the evidence suppressed.

 

Questioning the credibility of witnesses or evidence is another effective defense strategy in prostitution cases. An attorney may cross-examine witnesses vigorously, highlighting any contradictions or biases to undermine their credibility. Additionally, attorneys critically assess the credibility and reliability of the evidence presented by the prosecution. This includes scrutinizing forensic tests, surveillance footage, or any other evidence that could be subject to interpretation or manipulation.

 

Negotiating for reduced charges or alternative resolutions is also a valuable defense strategy in prostitution-related cases. Attorneys may engage in plea bargaining with the prosecution to secure lesser charges or penalties. This could involve negotiating for a reduction from a prostitution offense to a lesser offense or seeking alternative resolutions like participation in diversion or rehabilitation programs. These programs aim to address the underlying issues that contribute to the involvement in prostitution and can present an opportunity for a more favorable outcome, such as a dismissal of charges upon successful completion.

Exploring Diversion Programs

When facing prostitution offenses, individuals may have the option to explore diversion programs or alternative sentencing options that can help address underlying issues while avoiding traditional criminal consequences. These programs are designed to divert individuals away from the standard criminal justice system and towards rehabilitative services. They recognize that many individuals involved in prostitution face complex challenges such as substance abuse, poverty, or exploitation. Instead of focusing solely on punishment, diversion programs aim to address the root causes of the behavior and provide support for rehabilitation.

 

It is important to note that eligibility for diversion programs may depend on factors such as prior criminal history, the nature of the offense, and the individual’s willingness to participate in treatment and counseling. Consulting with an experienced attorney is crucial to understanding the availability and suitability of diversion programs in a specific case.

Support and Resources

Seeking support during the legal process, especially in cases involving prostitution-related offenses, is crucial for individuals to navigate the challenges they may face. There are various resources available that can provide assistance, guidance, and emotional support to help individuals cope with legal proceedings.

 

One valuable resource to consider is counseling services. Engaging in therapy can offer individuals a safe and confidential space to explore their feelings, address trauma, and work toward personal growth. Licensed therapists or counselors with experience in supporting individuals involved in prostitution-related offenses can provide specialized care tailored to their unique needs.

 

Conclusion

In conclusion, when facing charges related to prostitution, it is crucial to understand your rights and explore your legal options. Engaging the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney can provide guidance, protect your rights, and develop a strong defense strategy. A thorough case evaluation helps identify potential defenses and assess the strength of the prosecution’s case. Defense strategies such as challenging the legality of the arrest, questioning witness credibility, and exploring alternative resolutions can strengthen your defense. Diversion programs and support resources are also available to address underlying issues and provide assistance during the legal process. By understanding your rights, utilizing available resources, and contacting an experienced criminal defense attorney, you can navigate prostitution offenses with confidence and work towards the best possible outcome in your case.

 

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.

Call 920-733-1100