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Why Fight a Wisconsin Drug Possession Charge?

If you have been charged with felony drug possession, don’t assume that all is lost. You have every right to fight the charge, no matter what circumstances surrounding your arrest. Any number of defenses may apply to your case, and a good drug possesion defense attorney will investigate thoroughly and challenge every aspect of the prosecution’s case.

At Cafferty Law Office, S.C., our first priority is to keep your record clear of a drug conviction.

Even if you are accused of simple possession of a substance such as marijuana, it is important to fight the charges. With a conviction on your record, any subsequent offense would be charged as a Class I felony, carrying the potential of heavy fines and incarceration in state prison. A drug possession conviction could have a negative impact on your future prospects – professional, educational and personal.

Attorney Patrick Cafferty has earned a 10.0 Superb Avvo Rating, an AV Preeminent® Martindale-Hubbell® Rating, and listing among Wisconsin Super Lawyers® for skilled and dedicated representation in a range of criminal defense matters. He is an aggressive trial lawyer, recognized by his peers for his integrity and hard work on behalf of his clients.

Controlled Substance Categories in Wisconsin

Wisconsin classifies controlled substances into five different “schedules,” with Schedule I having the highest potential for abuse and Schedule V having the lowest.

  • Schedule I includes LSD, PCP, heroin and THC (the hallucinogenic substance in marijuana).
  • Schedule II includes cocaine, opium, codeine, morphine, amphetamines, and methadone.
  • Schedules III, IV, and V include substances for which there is an accepted medical use and a lower potential for abuse. Two commonly known “date rape” drugs are included in these categories.

Penalties for Possession of a Controlled Substance

Wisconsin law imposes heavy penalties for possession of controlled substances. Penalties depend on the drug or how it is categorized. For example, here are the penalties for these controlled substances:

  • THC: For a first conviction, a fine up to $1,000 or imprisonment up to six months, or both, may be imposed. Any second or subsequent conviction is a Class I felony, which carries a fine of up to $10,000 or imprisonment up to 3 1/2 years, or both.
  • LSD, PCP, Methamphetamine, Amphetamine, or Psilocybin: On a first conviction, the penalty includes a fine up to $5,000, or imprisonment up to one year, or both. A second or subsequent conviction is a Class I felony with possible penalties of up to $10,000 in fines and up to 3 ½ years in prison, or both.
  • Schedule I or II Narcotics: Possession of these types of drugs is a Class I felony, punishable by up to $10,000 in fines or up to 3 ½ years in prison, or both.

What is Possession of a Controlled Substance?

You can be charged with illegal drug possession even if the substance was not found on you. In drug crime cases, there are two possible types of possession: actual possession and possession under the doctrine of constructive possession.

With actual possession, you must have physical possession of the controlled substance in your hand, in your pocket or somewhere on your person. Under the doctrine of constructive possession, however, the drugs do not need to be on your person in order for you to face charges. If a prosecutor can establish that you knew where the drugs were located and had the intention of exercising some type of control over them in the future, you could be charged with drug possession.

Defenses against Drug Possession Charges

Depending on your particular circumstances, there are a number of possible defenses to drug possession charges, felony or misdemeanor. Attorney Patrick Cafferty has a reputation for tenaciously protecting the rights of his clients and aggressively challenging the prosecutor’s case.

He will thoroughly investigate all the evidence in your case and actively challenge any flaw or weakness. Did the police have probable cause to search your person, your residence or your vehicle in the first place? Was there a search warrant and did the police have probable cause to rightfully obtain it? Can the prosecution prove that you were legally in possession of the controlled substance?

Attorney Patrick Cafferty will aggressively pursue strategies to find alternatives to a drug possession conviction. He has been defending clients in criminal matters since 1994, with hundreds of successful narcotics defense cases to his credit. Our firm’s reputation for excellence could be your biggest advantage in fighting your drug possession charges.


Wisconsin Legislative Council Legal Memorandum – Drug Laws in Wisconsin: Offenses and Penalties under Ch. 961, Stats. [The Uniform Controlled Substance Act]: