How to Avoid a Marijuana Possession Charge

Marijuana doesn’t have the same stigma that it did decades ago. It’s used recreationally all across the world, including in some states in the U.S. However, in the U.S., marijuana is still classified as a Schedule 1 drug in the Controlled Substances Act. This means it’s not approved for medicinal use. Still, some states have either legalized marijuana use and possession, approved it for medicinal use, or reduced penalties for marijuana possession. In Wisconsin, marijuana possession, manufacturing, or distributing are all still illegal.

If you’ve been arrested or charged with marijuana possession, you have rights, and they should be protected. A marijuana possession charge can negatively impact your life. It can affect your employment prospects and damage your reputation. You need legal representation to help mitigate the potential consequences to your life and liberty. The attorneys at Hart Powell, S.C. have successfully defended Wisconsin citizens against marijuana possession charges for decades. Call us at (414) 271-9595 today or complete our contact form online to schedule your consultation.

Consequences of a Marijuana Possession Charge in Wisconsin

There are several different penalties for drug possession in Wisconsin depending on the drug the accused possessed at the time of arrest and whether it was the accused’s first or second offense.

If you’ve been arrested for marijuana possession for the first time, it is a misdemeanor, and you may be fined up to $1,000 and/or could face imprisonment of up to 6 months. If this is your 2nd marijuana possession offense or if you’ve been convicted of any drug crime in any state in the U.S., it is a Class I felony. The penalties for a Class I felony are a fine of up to $10,000 and/or up to 3.5 years in prison.

Sometimes, marijuana possession charges are combined with other drug crimes. In Wisconsin, you can be charged with possession of either synthetic or natural marijuana with the intent to distribute, manufacture or deliver. This charge is either a Class E, Class F, Class G, Class H, or Class I felony. The amount in grams of marijuana found on your body or property determines which class felony the charge is. The penalties for this can range from a minimum of a $10,000 fine and/or 3.5 years of confinement to a maximum of a $50,000 fine and/or up to 15 years in prison.

The complexity of state and federal marijuana possession laws makes it harder for you to fight these charges alone. You need an attorney who understands the law to defend you.

How to Avoid Being Charged with Marijuana Possession

With more widespread societal acceptance of marijuana for medicinal use or for recreation and the legalization of marijuana in bordering states, it’s possible to catch a marijuana possession charge unintentionally. There are a few things to keep in mind to try to avoid falling victim to this a serious and consequential possession charge.

If you drive a vehicle and travel with others, take care that any passengers in your vehicle do not possess any marijuana or marijuana paraphernalia on their person. You could be charged with marijuana possession if the marijuana is found in a car that you are driving and/or that is registered to you. While a skilled attorney at Hart Powell, S.C. could potentially argue and prove that the marijuana was not yours, there’s no guarantee.

Additionally, just because another state has legalized marijuana, that doesn’t mean you can possess it outside of that state, particularly in Wisconsin. When a state has legalized marijuana, a person living in that state can still be charged with federal drug possession if, for example, they were found with marijuana at a national park or federal government property. Additionally, if you cross state lines to purchase marijuana in Illinois or Michigan — two states in which marijuana is legal — and bring it back to Wisconsin, you could still face a marijuana possession charge if you’re caught with the drug on your person or in your property.

Call Hart Powell, S.C. Right Away for Help

A marijuana possession charge is serious. It can stick to you and affect different areas of your life for a considerable time. You need a skilled attorney who understands the intricacies of Wisconsin’s drug laws, particularly as they pertain to marijuana, and has a proven track record of diligently fighting for the protection of their client’s rights.

The attorneys at Hart Powell, S.C. have successfully helped their clients fight marijuana possession charges, and we can help you, too. Call us today at (414) 271-9595 to schedule a consultation. Let us review your case and advise you about your options.

How to Beat a DUI

We’ve all seen the commercials, the online ads, the digital signs floating above the highway reading: “Don’t drink and drive.” But sometimes, things happen.

If you’ve been arrested or charged with driving under the influence or operating while intoxicated (DUI/OWI), you need the help of an experienced attorney. Having a DUI/OWI on your record can have devastating consequences for your future. The attorneys at Hart Powell, S.C. have experience in helping clients fight DUI/OWI charges. Call (414) 271-9595 today to schedule a consultation.

Consequences of a DUI/OWI Charge in Wisconsin

A driving or operating a vehicle while under the influence charge or arrest is a serious matter. The consequences of this charge can be cumbersome, expensive, and detrimental to both your quality of life and liberty. A DUI charge (called OWI in Wisconsin’s laws, but also called DWI) can damage your personal and professional reputation, your ability to obtain employment, and even your ability to drive if your license gets suspended. This type of charge can even, in specific instances, affect your ability to have custody or visitation with your child or children.

The consequences of a DUI have a cumulative effect. Some people may be charged once with a DUI and exercise extreme caution in order to prevent it from happening again. But because of the issue of addiction to alcohol and other substances, some people get multiple DUI charges. Since the risk of harm to others and damage to property is high, the law provides increasing penalties for those who are charged with multiple, successive DUIs.

In Wisconsin, there are varying penalties for OWI (or DUI/DWI) charges based on the accused’s history of OWI charges. Here are a few penalty guidelines for OWIs:

  • For a 1st offense, 2nd offense with no OWI charge in the previous ten years, and no history of an OWI charge causing bodily harm or death, the penalty is a fine of $585-$735 and license suspension for 6-9 months.
  • For a 2nd offense within ten years of the previous offense, penalties include five days to six months in jail, license revocation of 12-18 months, and fines of $350 to $1100. The fines can be increased, depending on the BAC of the driver. After 45 days, a hardship license can be issued, along with an ignition interlock device.
  • For a 3rd offense, the penalty is a fine of $1050-$2,435, 45 days to a year of confinement plus an additional 2-3 of license suspension, and be required to use an ignition interlocking device or participate in a sobriety program for 1-4 years.
  • A 10th OWI charge is a Class E felony, for which the fine may be up to $50,435 and 4-15 years in prison.

Because of the serious and life-altering consequences, you need an experienced attorney to help you fight your DUI charge. Hart Powell, S.C. is here to help.

How You Can Beat a DUI/OWI Charge

The attorneys at Hart Powell, S.C. have successfully defended clients who have been charged with DUIs/OWIs. We will devise a legal strategy based on the facts of your individual case. We will conduct our own thorough investigation and examine the evidence and look for certain aspects of your case that may raise doubt as to the validity of your DUI charge and/or prove your innocence. These factors could include the following:

  • Accuracy of breath analyzers or blood results – Breath analyzers are used to determine your blood alcohol concentration level at the time of use. However, breath analyzers can be inaccurate. There can be issues with the machine and its calibration, the officer may have used it improperly when they tested you, or the machine could have detected other substances on your breath that have the same molecular structure as alcohol. Likewise, if the blood test was improperly handled or the results were contaminated, doubts can be raised about the test’s validity.
  • Timing – If there is any delay in the blood test being administered, it can raise questions as to the validity of the test. This is because your BAC could have risen from the time you were pulled over and when you took the test. A DUI is based on your BAC at the time you were driving.
  • Legality of the Stop – Law enforcement must follow the law when it comes to traffic stops. For example, if you were subjected to an illegal search and seizure when you were stopped for a DUI for marijuana or other controlled substances, we will fight to suppress any evidence found in that search. We will review the officer’s arrest report of the stop to find any holes or any evidence that the officer may have misstepped.

Call Hart Powell, S.C. Today

The Wisconsin DUI/OWI attorneys at Hart Powell, S.C. are skilled and experienced in crafting strong defenses for DUI charges. We’ve worked for decades providing outstanding criminal defense for our clients. If you’ve been charged with a DUI, you need an attorney that can fight for you. Call (414) 271-9595 to schedule a consultation or contact us online.

Written by Michael Hart & Craig Powell

Last Updated : February 23, 2022