What Is the Highest Level Felony for Drug Crimes in Wisconsin?

What Is the Highest Level Felony for Drug Crimes in Wisconsin?

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

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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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