Tag: WI Drug Crimes

Many states across the country have taken steps to legalize marijuana for personal use. However, it is vital to note that Wisconsin is not among these states. Wisconsin drug laws strictly prohibit the use, possession, and sale of marijuana and associated paraphernalia. Furthermore, driving under the influence of marijuana can result in severe penalties, especially after multiple convictions.

Understanding Wisconsin’s marijuana and driving laws can help you know what steps to take if you are facing drugged driving charges. Working with an experienced Wisconsin defense attorney can help maximize your chances of avoiding the harshest penalties.


What Are the Penalties for Marijuana Possession in WI?

In Wisconsin, marijuana possession is considered a criminal offense, and the state imposes some of the harshest penalties in the country. The penalties are as follows:

  • For a first offense, possession is considered a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 6 months in jail and a maximum fine of $1,000.
  • For second and subsequent offenses, possession is a felony, with potential penalties of 3.5 years in prison and fines of up to $10,000.
  • Possession of more than 200 grams of marijuana is considered possession with intent to sell, which carries a potential 15-year prison sentence and up to $50,000 in fines.


How Does Wisconsin Law Define Drugged Driving?

It is illegal in Wisconsin to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs, including marijuana. The law prohibits driving or operating a vehicle while:

  • Under the influence of any drug to a degree that renders the person incapable of safe driving
  • With any detectable amount of a restricted controlled substance in their blood

For marijuana, any amount over one ng/mL of THC in the blood can lead to an Operating While Impaired (OWI) charge.


What Are the Penalties for Drugged Driving in WI?

The penalties for an OWI drug conviction in Wisconsin depend on the number of prior offenses and any aggravating factors. In general:

  • A first OWI offense is a civil violation with potential fines of $150-$300.
  • A second offense within ten years is a criminal misdemeanor with up to 6 months of jail time and a license revocation of one year to 18 months, as well as fines of up to $1100.
  • A third offense is a misdemeanor with up to one year of jail time and a license revocation of up to three years, as well as fines of up to $2,000.
  • Fourth and subsequent offenses are felonies with up to six years of prison time, a license revocation of up to three years, as well as fines of up to $10,000


How an Attorney Can Help 

Working with an experienced Wisconsin marijuana defense attorney can maximize your chances of success in your case by:

  • Challenging the legality of law enforcement’s search and seizure
  • Questioning the accuracy of sobriety tests
  • Negotiating a plea bargain for lesser charges


Get Legal Help Today

If you’ve been arrested for or charged with marijuana possession or OWI, the skilled and knowledgeable attorneys at J. Kippa Law, LLC, understand how much your future depends on a solid legal defense. With us on your side, you can feel confident about the path forward. Call us today at (920) 733-1100 or contact us online for a confidential meeting with an attorney.

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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