Milwaukee Heroin Possession Lawyers

If you or a loved one were arrested and charged with possession of heroin, contact Hart Powell, S.C. right away to speak with a compassionate and qualified defense lawyer about your rights. We understand that dealing with charges like these can be frightening, but rest assured our team has the skill and experience to assist you. We’ve defended others just like you in Milwaukee and across Wisconsin who’ve been charged with heroin possession, and we’ll do everything in our power to minimize the impact this arrest has had on your life.

The Milwaukee drug crime lawyers at Hart Powell, S.C. will work to build a strong defense on your behalf, and we’ll seek to get the charges against you reduced or dropped. Contact us at (414) 271-9595 or reach out to us online to schedule a confidential consultation to discuss your situation in detail with an experienced member of our team.

Why You Need A Lawyer

Among drug crimes, heroin possession carries a heavy sentence. It is both a Federal and a State offense. Under Wisconsin law, it is a felony punishable by a fine and several years in prison. Federal penalties are even harsher. Penalties could be more severe, depending on the circumstances and the amount of the drug in your possession.

Additionally, forfeiture laws mean that you could lose your home, your car, or other property. Being accused of a drug crime is stressful enough, but mounting a good defense requires an attorney skilled in Federal and Wisconsin drug crimes representation.

Everyone accused of a crime in this country has Constitutional rights that protect them against unreasonable search and seizure, illegal police conduct, self-incrimination, and other violations. Police and prosecutors can sometimes be overzealous, however, and they have been known to violate these and other rights in pursuit of a conviction.

An experienced lawyer can investigate the circumstances of your arrest and determine whether all your rights were upheld, and can make sure your rights are protected throughout your case. They can organize witness statements and evidence to create a solid defense against the charges. A lawyer skilled in drug arrests will know all the ins and outs of federal and state laws and can advise you on how best to proceed based on the circumstances in your own case.

Why Hire Hart Powell, S.C.?

The drug possession lawyers at Hart Powell, S.C. have been defending clients accused of drug crimes for decades. We’ve helped to protect the rights of many people in Milwaukee and throughout Wisconsin. You can read about some of our results here.

When you hire our firm, you bring in a top-notch team of legal advocates who will fight relentlessly to bring your case to the best resolution possible. As our client, your success is important to us, and we are proud to be able to offer professional and compassionate representation so that you have a strong ally by your side throughout this ordeal.

We have over 30 years of experience, and our successes for our clients have earned us numerous accolades. We have received a 10.0 Superb Rating from Avvo, and our attorneys have been named “Rising Stars” in the field of criminal defense. We have also been named to the Super Lawyer list and to the Top 100 Trial Lawyers list by the National Trial Lawyers.

Consequences of Heroin Possession in Wisconsin

The state of Wisconsin takes heroin possession very seriously. The severity of the penalties are based on the quantity in your possession, and whether you are guilty of simple possession or had the intent to distribute. Possession of a small amount can mean a fine of up to $10,000 and up to 3.5 years in prison. If you are found with a larger amount, the penalties can increase up to $25,000 and 10 years of jail time.

Other factors, such as where you were caught with the drug and your prior arrest record, may have a bearing on the penalties. Some jurisdictions have special drug courts for first- and second-time offenders that offer options for rehabilitation rather than jail time.

Consequences for drug possession are not limited to fines and jail time, however. A drug charge on your record can follow you for years. It can negatively impact future employment opportunities, become a barrier to obtaining security clearances or state-issued licenses, cause you to forfeit rights to vote, own guns, or serve on a jury, and cause immigration problems.

Your Rights in a Heroin Possession Arrest

There are certain rights that police and prosecutors must observe when they arrest you for possession of heroin.

Rights against unreasonable search and seizure – The police must uphold your Fourth Amendment right against illegal search and seizure by obtaining a warrant to search your person, your car, or your home. They must have probable cause to search in order to obtain that warrant, which means that the officer must have reason to believe that you’ve committed a crime. There are cases in which a warrant is not necessary, but the officer must still have probable cause to arrest you.

The right to remain silent, etc. – These are known as your Miranda Rights, and as a suspect, the police must remind you of them when they arrest you if they want to interrogate you. These rights are derived from the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution, which protects you against self-incrimination. The wording may vary, but Miranda warnings usually consist of the following information:

  • You have the right to remain silent.
  • If you say anything, your statements can be used against you in a court of law.
  • You have the right to consult with an attorney and have that attorney present during questioning.
  • If you cannot afford an attorney, the court will appoint one for you if you so desire.
  • If you do choose to talk to the police officer, you have the right to stop the interview at any time.

If the arresting officer does not read you your Miranda rights, nothing you say (with some exceptions) can be used against you as evidence. If you wish to remain silent until you speak with an attorney, you must say so. If you say nothing at all, the police can continue to question you. The police can require you to give bodily samples such as hair or blood samples. These are not protected by the Fifth Amendment.

Rights after arrest – When you are taken into custody, you have the right to make a reasonable number of phone calls and to speak with an attorney. The police cannot threaten you or force you to sign any papers. If they do, the evidence they obtain in this manner cannot be used against you in court. You have the right to be “booked” (charged with a crime) within a reasonable period of time, or the police must release you. If you’re a citizen of another country, you have the right to contact your embassy and to communicate with consular officials.

Call Hart Powell, S.C. at (414) 271-9595 immediately to speak with an attorney before answering any questions or signing any forms.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you’ve been arrested and charged with possession of heroin, contact one of our experienced criminal defense lawyers right away to discuss your rights. We’ve also provided the answers to a few frequently asked questions below to help you better understand the charges you’re facing and how an attorney could help.

Why are heroin charges so serious in Wisconsin?

Heroin is an opioid, which is a substance derived from the poppy plant that acts on the nervous system. It is mostly cultivated and manufactured in South America, Southern Asia, and Mexico. Medically, opioids such as morphine and oxycodone are prescribed for pain-relief purposes. Heroin enters the brain rapidly, however, and is known to be highly addictive.

Stopping the use of the drug can cause severe withdrawal symptoms. An overdose of heroin can be deadly. Federal and state laws classify heroin as a Schedule I drug, and Wisconsin regulates it under the Uniform Controlled Substances Act.

What does the prosecution need to prove in a heroin possession case?

The prosecution must prove several facts to successfully secure a conviction. Remember that the burden of proof lies with them, so if they can’t prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that you were in possession of the drug, the jury must acquit you.

  1. The substance that you possessed was heroin.
  2. You knowingly possessed the substance. If you were unaware that the heroin was in your possession, you were not committing a crime.
  3. The substance was in your control. This could be actual possession, in which you had physical control over the substance, or constructive possession, in which the substance wasn’t under your physical control but was found in a place like your home or car where you had the ability to maintain control of it.

What defenses can I use?

Your defense will depend on the circumstances surrounding your case. Some common defenses to heroin possession charges include:

  • Insufficient evidence – The State must have enough evidence to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. This means that the level of proof must be high enough that a reasonable person would not hesitate to find you guilty based on the evidence.
  • Illegal search and seizure – If the police searched you or your car or home without probable cause and/or a warrant, that fact can be used in your defense.
  • You were unaware you were in possession of the substance – If someone else left the heroin in your control, but you didn’t know what it was, for instance, you could use that as part of your defense.

Talk to a Milwaukee Drug Defense Attorney Right Away

If you’ve been arrested for possession of heroin, contact an experienced Milwaukee drug crimes defense lawyer right away for help. Call us at (414) 271-9595 or fill out our online contact form today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your situation and how we can help you.

Written by Michael Hart & Craig Powell

Last Updated : April 15, 2020