Milwaukee Schedule 1 Drug Trafficking Defense Attorney
If you have been arrested for or charged with trafficking a Schedule I drug, you need to discuss your case with an experienced defense attorney. We understand that this is a frightening time. However, you do not have to face this alone. Contact Hart Powell, S.C. today at (414) 271-9595 to speak with one of our Milwaukee drug trafficking defense lawyers.
What Is a Schedule I Drug?
The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) classifies controlled substances into five separate categories, called schedules. They are grouped based on their acceptable medical use and potential for dependence or abuse.
Drugs classified as Schedule I have the highest potential for abuse and dependence of a psychological or physical nature. In addition, they are defined as currently having no accepted medical use. Schedule I drugs include:
- Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD)
- Marijuana (cannabis)
- Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, also called ecstasy)
In addition, analogue substances of Schedule I drugs are also treated as Schedule I drugs for criminal prosecution. An analogue is a substance structurally or pharmacologically substantially similar to a Schedule I substance intended for human consumption. This means that the penalties for criminal prosecution of an analogue are the same as if it were the actual Schedule I drug.
What Is Drug Trafficking?
Drug trafficking is a felony charge that is a federal criminal offense. The definition of drug trafficking is broad and covers a wide range of activities. Some activities that an individual may consider to be simple possession qualify as drug trafficking. This criminal charge generally includes the manufacture, possession, or distribution of illegal drugs.
It’s important to note that you do not actually have to be caught selling an illegal drug to be charged with trafficking. Law enforcement may assume that you intended to sell the drug if you are in possession of large amounts of cash or a controlled substance. Manufacture of an illegal drug with intent to distribute and possession of an illegal drug with intent to distribute both fall under drug trafficking.
In addition, a person may be charged with trafficking legal drugs. This applies in cases of the manufacture or possession of a legal drug with the intent to distribute the drug illegally.
Penalties for Schedule I Drug Trafficking
The punishments for drug trafficking of Schedule I substances are severe and include both long jail sentences and heavy fines. Penalties generally depend on the type of drug, the amount of the drug by weight, and whether there were any previous offenses.
Penalties for trafficking of heroin in amounts between 100 and 999 grams include (these same penalties apply to the trafficking of LSD in amounts between 1 and 9 grams):
- First offense — 5 to 40 years in prison and up to $5 million fine
- Second offense —10 years to life in prison and up to $8 million fine
Penalties for trafficking of heroin in amounts of 1 kilogram or more include (these same penalties apply to the trafficking of LSD in amounts of 10 grams or more):
- First offense — 10 years to life in prison and up to $10 million fine
- Second offense — 20 years to life in prison and up to $20 million fine
It’s important to note that the amounts shown above do not have to be pure amounts of the drug. This means that a mixture that contains heroin or LSD will be treated the same as if it were pure heroin or LSD. In addition, if death or serious injury were involved, prison time would increase drastically. In some cases, it automatically results in life imprisonment.
Penalties for trafficking marijuana depend on the type and amount of the drug. For 1000 kg or more of marijuana mixture or 1,000 or more marijuana plants:
- First offense — 10 years to life in prison and a fine of up to $10 million
- Second offense — 20 years to life in prison and a fine of up to $20 million
For 100 kg to 999 kg of marijuana mixture or 100 to 999 marijuana plants:
- First offense — 5 to 40 years in prison and a fine of up to $5 million
- Second offense — 10 years to life in prison and a fine of up to $20 million
For 10 kg of hashish, 50 to 99 kg of hashish mixture, more than 1 kg of hashish oil, and 50 to 99 marijuana plants:
- First offense — Not less than 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million
- Second offense — Not less than 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $2 million
For less than 50 kg of marijuana (not including 50 or more marijuana plants) and 1 to 49 marijuana plants:
- First offense — Not less than five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000
- Second offense — Not less than ten years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000
If death or serious injury were involved in marijuana trafficking, the imprisonment duration increases automatically. For a first offense, time in prison becomes 20 years to life. For a second offense, time in prison automatically becomes a life sentence.
Penalties for trafficking of all other Schedule I drugs include the following, regardless of the amount:
- First offense — up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $1 million
- Second offense — up to 30 years in prison and a fine of $2 million
For a third or subsequent offense, the penalty for trafficking of all Schedule I drugs is automatically life imprisonment without release and a fine of up to $20 million.
Defense Against Drug Trafficking
Each case is unique and will depend on many factors. Your defense attorney will examine the evidence to determine how to pursue the best outcome in your situation. There are a variety of defenses that may apply. These may involve:
- Determining whether law enforcement failed to follow proper procedure, such as search and seizure without a valid warrant
- Determining whether the prosecution has a weak case with insufficient evidence
- Determining whether your rights were violated, such as the arresting officer failing to read you Miranda rights
Some drug trafficking cases may involve a confidential informant. A possible defense strategy in this type of case may be to call the confidential informant to testify. The prosecution may offer a plea deal in such a situation because they might not want to reveal their source.
How Hart Powell, S.C. Can Help
When your freedom and your future are on the line, you need a knowledgeable lawyer on your side. It’s important to choose a defense attorney who has a proven track record and knows how to build a strong case for you. We have been representing people in Wisconsin just like you since 1983. Hart Powell, S.C. knows how to get results.
Just being charged with a criminal offense does not automatically mean you will be convicted. Our attorneys understand how the prosecution will build their case against you. We will fight aggressively to pursue getting your charges reduced or dropped.
Call Us Today
If you have been charged with a Schedule I drug trafficking charge, this can be a terrifying time. You need to speak with an experienced defense attorney as soon as possible. Your rights, your future, and your reputation are all at stake.