Milwaukee Cocaine Defense Lawyer
If you or someone you know has been accused of possession of cocaine in the Milwaukee area, you should contact Hart Powell, S.C. immediately. The penalties in Wisconsin for possession of even the smallest amount of cocaine are extremely strict and can result in heavy fines and incarceration. Our team has extensive experience helping people just like you fight the charges against them, and we are ready to go to bat for you. We have helped individuals accused of drug crimes like the possession or sale of cocaine, and we are prepared to help you build a strong, persuasive defense against these accusations.
With your freedom, finances, and reputation at stake, you need to be sure you have an experienced defense attorney on your side. Hiring the right Milwaukee cocaine defense lawyer can make all the difference in the outcome of your case, so choose a team that has the experience necessary to help you get the charges against you reduced or dropped completely.
The drug crime attorneys at Hart Powell, S.C. know the law and know how to advise you of your options if you’ve been arrested and charged with a crime involving cocaine. Our firm has 25 years of success in defending the rights of those accused of cocaine possession, distribution, and use, among other charges. Contact us today at (414) 271-9595, fill out a contact form, or chat with us live to schedule a confidential consultation with our team today.
Why You Need an Attorney
While Wisconsin has strict drug laws, it is important to note that most anything you’ll read about penalties for these crimes will discuss the maximum penalties; lesser fees and jail-time may be possible with the right legal advice.
In order to ensure you get that advice, it is imperative you hire an experienced attorney as soon as possible after you have been charged. A knowledgeable attorney can help you get the best possible deal, no matter if this is your first charge or your fifth. Whether police have charged you after finding what they consider paraphernalia, or you’ve been accused of possessing a large amount of cocaine with intent to sell, an experienced lawyer will know how to guide you to the best possible outcome.
Before you hire a lawyer, it is also important that you do not disclose anything to the police. You have the right to refuse to answer questions that may incriminate you, so exercise that right. Keeping silent until you speak with your lawyer allows you to avoid making any mistakes you may pay for later. Along the same lines, do not take any deal offered to you until you’ve spoken with your lawyer first.
An attorney can help you formulate the right statements to make to the police while also advising you on how much and when to speak. That includes helping you decide when a deal is worth taking and when it’s better to push for more. Attempting to navigate the legal system alone while such serious potential consequences are on the line is not advised.
Why You Should Choose Hart Powell, S.C. to Defend You
When so much of your future depends on the lawyer you choose, it is obviously of great importance that you only choose an experienced lawyer to handle your case. The lawyers at Hart Powell, S.C. have defended people just like you all across the state of Wisconsin for decades. We have helped countless individuals fight extremely serious charges like possession of cocaine, and we have prevailed on their behalf, saving them from heavy fines and jail time in many cases. We are ready to stand next to you and fight the charges you are facing. While you may be accused of a crime, it is important to remember that you are innocent until proven guilty, and you have the right to aggressively defend yourself against these accusations.
Legal Penalties for Cocaine in Wisconsin
The severity of cocaine-related charges depends on the nature of the crime. Punishments can range from a fine of a few thousand dollars to life in prison, depending on the amount of cocaine found on the person, and the intended purpose. Penalties are determined by considering these and other factors:
- The type of drug: in this case cocaine, which is a Schedule II drug
- The amount of the drug in possession, with penalties increasing depending on the number of grams
- The intended purpose of the drug, whether for manufacture, sale, sale to children, or personal use, with personal use receiving more lenient penalties
- The number of previous offenses for the individual charged, with more leniency for first-time offenders
So, for a first time offender with a small amount of cocaine in their possession, the penalty may be no more than $5,000 and one year in prison.
For future offenses, however, the penalties get more severe, as the charge changes from a misdemeanor to a felony. For the second charge, the maximum penalty is a $10,000 fine and three years in prison.
If charged with the intent to manufacture or distribute cocaine, the penalties are far more severe, depending on the amount found in the person’s possession.
The penalties have a wide range:
- A maximum of a $25,000 fine and ten years in prison for one gram or less
- A maximum of a $100,000 fine and 40 years in prison for 40 grams or more
The possession of cocaine-related paraphernalia, even without cocaine present, can also be a crime in the state of Wisconsin, and it may be up to the court to determine what they believe the definition of paraphernalia is. This charge holds a maximum penalty of a $500 fine and 30 days in jail.
Almost all convictions for cocaine (or other drugs) results in the loss of your driver’s license for up to five years. This penalty can be extremely damaging even after a sentence is served and fines are paid because it can make it difficult to find employment down the road. Until recently, this penalty was mandatory, but there is now some room to avoid it.
What are some potential defenses for cocaine possession?
The law guarantees due process to accused individuals, and you have the right to defend yourself against cocaine possession charges. There are multiple defenses you and your attorney can pursue depending on the details of your case. Defenses for cocaine possession include, but are not limited to:
- Someone Else’s Drugs: Simply put, this defense states that the drugs in question did not belong to you. You may not have known they were in your car or home if they belonged to someone else.
- Entrapment: If an officer of the law sets you up to commit a crime you otherwise would not have committed, you can plead entrapment. Typically, entrapment applies in cases in which the state supplies the drugs.
- Drug Analysis: If the drugs seized from your possession were not actually what they appeared to be, crime lab analysis can take place. You can utilize this defense to prove that the “cocaine” in question is not actually cocaine.
- Unlawful Search and Seizure: As a private citizen, you have the right to privacy. The Fourth Amendment prevents any evidence obtained by unlawful search and seizure from being used against you in a court of law. For example, if a law enforcement official forcefully enters your home without a warrant, unlawful search and seizure may apply and void any evidence against you.
To learn about legal defenses that may be available to you in your case, contact Hart Powell, S.C. at (414) 271-9595 today to speak with an attorney right away.
What is the difference between actual possession and constructive possession?
Actual possession and constructive possession have different meanings, but either charge can result in serious consequences. The definitions of these terms are as follows:
- Actual Possession: Actual possession applies when drugs are found on your person: in your pockets, in your hand, etc. Essentially, when you’re in actual possession of a substance, you’re in immediate physical control of it.
- Constructive Possession: Constructive possession applies when an individual is presumed to be in control of a substance, but the substance is not found on their immediate person. Basically, if drugs are found in the glovebox of your car or in a drawer in your apartment, constructive possession may apply to you. Even though you weren’t physically holding the drugs, you were presumed to be in control of their whereabouts.
If you or someone you know has been charged with a cocaine-related crime, do not wait any longer to begin mounting an aggressive defense. Call Hart Powell, S.C. today at (414) 271-9595 to schedule a no-obligation, 100% confidential consultation today.