When is drug possession a felony offense?

On Behalf of | Jun 22, 2024 | Criminal Defense |

Wisconsin has banned a large number of drugs. There are also numerous prescription medications that are subject to a variety of state statutes. Anyone who owns or uses a prohibited drug is at risk of prosecution. Those with prescription drugs for which they do not have a doctor’s recommendation are also at risk.

The average person facing a Wisconsin drug charge might hope that the state brings the simplest charges possible. Basic possession charges may seem like a minor issue, but they can be more significant than people realize. In some cases, possession of a drug is actually a felony offense.

When the drug is particularly dangerous

In Wisconsin, there is a basic system for classifying drugs. The schedule of controlled substances places the most dangerous drugs in Schedule I and less dangerous drugs in lower schedules. Under Wisconsin law, even possession for personal use could lead to felony charges if the drug in question is a Schedule I or Schedule II substance. The weight and classification of the drug determine what charges the state brings and what penalties are possible.

When there is a large amount of a drug

Frequently, people face felony charges not because of the type of drug that they have but rather the amount of the drug that police find. The cutoff point between a misdemeanor and felony offense depends on the substance. However, at some point, the state may begin assuming that the drugs found in someone’s possession were not for personal use. Those caught with multiple grams or kilograms of a drug are likely to face possession with intent charges.

As with simple possession cases, possession with intent cases come in a range of different charges and penalties. The schedule of the drug and the overall weight of the drug involved determine what class of felony charge someone faces. In more serious cases, people could face Class C felony charges over possession with intent in Wisconsin.

Before entering a guilty plea or talking with prosecutors, those accused of drug charges need to know the risks involved. Understanding charges and penalties – and seeking legal guidance and support accordingly – is a good starting point for someone hoping to minimize the consequences of a recent drug arrest.


FindLaw Network