When defendants in Wisconsin are facing drug charges, they could be faced with consequences that will impact them for a lifetime. Both federal and state laws outline various types of drug crimes. Depending on the type of charges, a defendant could face harsh penalties. State drug laws tend to be narrower, but they cannot conflict with current federal drug laws. State drug crimes tend to result in short-term sentencing or even probation, but federal drug charges have the tendency to result in longer sentences.
When facing drug charges, it is imperative to understand the type of drug crimes a defendant is accused of. This often requires knowing the drug in question, the quantity and any evidence collected at the scene of the crime. Understanding the details of the charges also helps a defendant assert a defense.
Drug paraphernalia is a common drug crime and occurs when the accused is allegedly in possession of any equipment that is used to prepare, inhale or conceal illegal drugs. This typically includes bongs, pipes, rolling papers and syringes. The problem with these charges is that many items that are deemed drug paraphernalia are also designed for legal uses. Thus, these charges can easily be argued.
Possession is another type of drug crime. This is when the accused is in possession of any illicit drug, such as marijuana, heroin or cocaine. However, to be charged with this crime, a defendant must have been knowingly in possession of the illicit drug. Another type of drug crime is drug manufacturing, which occurs when a person is involved in any phase of the production process of an illegal drug.
Finally, a defendant could be accused of drug trafficking or drug dealing. Drug trafficking involves the transportation of a large amount of illegal drugs, while drug dealing addresses the selling of illegal drugs on a smaller scale.
No matter the type of drug crime you are faced with, it is important to understand the details of the charges against you. This can help you realize the potential penalties you could face, as well as helping you develop a strong criminal defense against the pending charges.
Source: Findlaw.com, "Types of Drug Crimes," accessed April 1, 2017