Tag: Felony Drug Charges

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.

Wisconsin uses nine class levels for felony crimes. Class A felonies carry the most severe penalties, with decreasing consequences through to Class I felony charges. Understanding this system can take time. Choosing an experienced criminal defense attorney could help you avoid conviction or minimize jail time, fines, and other felony penalties.

The Basics of Wisconsin Drug Crime Felony Classes

The highest level felony for drug crimes in Wisconsin was recently amended. Reckless homicide by drug overdose used to be a Class C felony but now is a Class B felony.

Possession, manufacture, trafficking, or distribution of any controlled substance can have potentially severe consequences. Charges related to drugs or controlled substances in Wisconsin range from misdemeanors to felonies. Several factors determine the charge and its potential penalty: 

  • Type of substance in your possession
  • Quantity of the substance found in your possession (the greater the amount, the more serious the charge)
  • Intent to distribute, manufacture, or deliver the controlled substance rather than simple possession
  • Location of the drug offense (for example, at or near a school, which carries steeper penalties)
  • Ages of involved parties and if minors played a role in the offense
  • Your prior history of drug offenses, if any
  • Use of violence or force, with or without a weapon
  • Willingness to cooperate with law enforcement to provide information on higher-level offenders

Wisconsin Felony Classes for Drug Charges

Here are the felony classes for drug charges in Wisconsin:

  • Class B: Imprisonment up to 60 years, $100,000 maximum fine
  • Class C: Imprisonment up to 40 years, $100,000 maximum fine
  • Class D: Imprisonment up to 25 years, $100,000 maximum fine
  • Class E: Imprisonment up to 15 years, $50,000 maximum fine 
  • Class F: Imprisonment up to 12 ½ years, $25,000 maximum fine
  • Class G: Imprisonment up to ten years, $25,000 maximum fines
  • Class H: Imprisonment up to six years, $10,000 maximum fine 
  • Class I: Imprisonment up to 3 ½ years, $10,000 maximum fine


There are collateral penalties for a felony-level conviction:

  • Mandatory substance abuse treatment programs
  • Probation with drug testing and supervision
  • Community service
  • Loss of certain rights, such as owning a gun, voting, and serving in the military
  • Loss or cancellation of college loans and other federal aid
  • Difficulty getting a job 
  • Difficulty renting or buying a home

Potential Defenses for a Drug Crime in Wisconsin

A skilled drug crime defense attorney can assess your case to identify possible defenses. Two of the most common defense strategies:

  • Challenge the validity of probable cause: Law enforcement needs probable cause to search an individual or their vehicle or to obtain a search warrant to enter a home or business. 
  • Challenge the legality of the search and seizure process: The Fourth Amendment protects you from unlawful search and seizure. If the court determines an improper search and seizure took place, an attorney can ask that any evidence obtained from the search be inadmissible.

Contact a Wisconsin Criminal Defense Lawyer

To learn more about our experienced Wisconsin criminal defense lawyers, watch and subscribe to the J. Kippa Law, LLC YouTube channel. If you’re facing potentially high-level felony charges, contact J. Kippa Law, LLC, for a confidential consultation. A felony conviction could sentence you to more than prison. It can prevent you from enjoying your full potential. Call us today at (920) 733-1100 and find out how we can help. 

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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