Getting arrested for any reason can be frightening, worrisome, and concerning. Unfortunately, it happens to all sorts of people every day for a vast multitude of reasons. To put things into perspective, the United States has 5% of the world’s population and 25% of its prisoners.
What’s more? Almost half of all prisoners in the United States are incarcerated for drug-related offenses.
Here’s what you need to know if you’ve been arrested for a drug crime in Wisconsin:
#1 – You are entitled to an attorney.
If you are arrested for a drug-related offense (or any other offense, for that matter), you are entitled to an attorney. It’s extremely risky to try and handle a drug arrest on your own, so it’s in your best interest to retain skilled representation to help you clear your name of any charges.
#2 – Before questioning you, the arresting authorities must make you aware of your Miranda rights.
The Miranda Warning (also known as Miranda rights) is as follows:
“You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you.”
If the authorities begin questioning you without making you aware of these rights, it’s possible (although unlikely) that your case will be dismissed. If you are not read your Miranda rights, the prosecutor will not be able to use (for most purposes) anything you say as evidence against you at trial.
#3 – Wisconsin’s drug possession laws are relatively unforgiving.
Compared to some other states, Wisconsin’s drug laws are relatively strict. For example, if you’re caught in possession of any amount of cannabis (marijuana), you could end up in jail for 6 months and/or face a fine of up to $1,000. And that’s just for a first-time offense.
If you’re caught with the substance again, you may end up with a felony conviction, be incarcerated for up to 3.5 years, and face a fine of up to $10,000. In fact, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC—the primary psychoactive compound found in cannabis) is listed as a Schedule I drug in the state of Wisconsin. That means it is classified in the same category as fentanyl and heroin.
#4 – The drug laws in Wisconsin aren’t necessarily common sense.
Schedule I drugs are said to have a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use. However, cannabis is classified as a Schedule I drug and numerous studies have confirmed that there are several medical uses for the substance. In addition, other studies suggest that very few people who use cannabis are dependent upon or abuse the substance.
Furthermore, methamphetamine, (including the street form, crystal meth), is classified as a Schedule II drug. Schedule II drugs are said to have a high potential for abuse and severe psychological or physical dependence but have an accepted medical use with severe restrictions. While methamphetamine is sometimes prescribed to treat obesity and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), it has a much higher potential for abuse and dependency than cannabis does. In fact, over 60% of people who use methamphetamine report substance abuse or dependency issues, compared with just 27% of cannabis users.
#5 – The legal system is complex, and it’s unwise to handle something like this on your own.
If you’ve been arrested for a drug crime, it’s important to retain skilled representation right away. Drug crimes are considered serious offenses, so it’s not a good idea to try and handle a situation like this without the help of experienced legal representation.
Having a skilled Wisconsin drug crime attorney on your side can make all the difference in the outcome of your case. Don’t take the chance with your freedom—contact us right away to discuss the details of your case.