Drug Paraphernalia: Protect Yourself with a Great Defense to Drug Paraphernalia Possession in Wisconsin
If you’re facing drug paraphernalia charges in Wisconsin, it’s crucial to understand your rights, the potential consequences, and how to navigate the legal system effectively. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll provide you with essential information to help you make informed decisions regarding drug paraphernalia possession.
Fines & Penalties for Drug Paraphernalia
Paraphernalia charges in Wisconsin can result in varying fines and penalties, depending on the nature of the offense:
- Possession: For simple possession of drug paraphernalia, you could face up to 30 days in jail and a fine of $500.
- Manufacture or Intent to Deliver: If you’re involved in manufacturing or have the intent to deliver drug paraphernalia, the penalties are more severe. You may be sentenced to up to 90 days in jail and fined $1,000.
- Delivering Drug Paraphernalia to a Minor: This is a particularly serious offense, carrying a potential sentence of up to 9 months in jail and a substantial fine of $41,000.
Please note that these penalties are accurate as of 2021. Additionally, drug paraphernalia charges are often combined with other charges, like maintaining a drug trafficking place, each carrying its own set of penalties. An experienced criminal defense attorney will aim to have the charges dropped or negotiate a favorable plea agreement.
Misdemeanor or Not?
While unaccompanied paraphernalia charges are technically classified as misdemeanors, it’s important to recognize that their impact can extend beyond the legal realm.
- Police Misconceptions: Many law enforcement officers may downplay the charges, referring to them as “just a misdemeanor ticket.” However, it’s crucial to understand that even misdemeanor charges can have significant consequences, especially when it comes to your record and background checks on CCAP (Consolidated Court Automation Programs).
- Employment Implications: Human resources officers and potential employers may not fully grasp the distinction between misdemeanor and felony charges. This lack of understanding can impact your employment prospects, especially in competitive job markets.
How Does a Drug Paraphernalia Charge Impact my Employment Prospects?
Before accessing publicly available online criminal records on the Wisconsin CCAP website, employers are issued a warning regarding discrimination based on arrest or conviction records. The law prohibits employers from discriminating against job applicants solely because of their criminal history.
However, in practice, the application of these laws can vary. Large companies often receive numerous applications and may use any reason to filter out candidates to save time and minimize risk. Smaller businesses follow similar practices, which can limit the job opportunities available to individuals with minor drug charges on their records.
Drug Paraphernalia List
To avoid unintentionally possessing drug paraphernalia, it’s essential to understand what items may fall under this category. Common drug paraphernalia includes:
- Rolling Papers
- Plastic Baggies
- Pipes (wood and metal)
- Burnt Spoons
- Modified soda cans/bottles
- Vaping Devices for Marijuana
How Long Does a Wisconsin Paraphernalia Charge Stay on Your Record?
The duration a drug paraphernalia charge remains on your record varies based on whether it results in a misdemeanor or a felony:
- Misdemeanor: Typically, a misdemeanor drug paraphernalia charge can stay on your record for up to 2 years.
- Felony: If the charge results in a felony conviction, it can have a lasting impact, remaining on your record indefinitely.
How to Get a Drug Paraphernalia Charge Dropped or Reduced
If you’re facing drug paraphernalia charges, it’s essential to explore potential legal strategies to have the charges dropped or reduced. Here are some avenues to consider:
- Probable Cause: One of the critical aspects of your drug charge is whether the officers had a valid legal basis for contacting you. If they did not follow proper legal procedures (e.g., an illegal traffic stop or an unlawful stop-and-search), the evidence collected against you may be inadmissible in court.
- Constructive Possession: In cases where multiple individuals are present, and drug paraphernalia is discovered, it may become a “he-said, she-said” situation. Police and prosecutors may attempt to pin charges on one or more individuals. This can lead to multiple people facing different outcomes based on pleas, judges, and juries.
- Entrapment: In some instances, individuals facing drug charges believe they were entrapped through sting operations. Entrapment defenses are complex and require a thorough evaluation by an experienced criminal defense attorney.
- Missing Drugs: If the police cannot produce the drugs associated with your charge, your defense attorney may argue that the charge lacks essential evidence.
- Consult an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer: Perhaps the most effective way to have drug paraphernalia charges dropped or reduced is to seek legal representation from an experienced criminal defense attorney. They can evaluate your case, identify legal issues, and develop a robust defense strategy on your behalf.
Remember, your future and rights are at stake when facing drug paraphernalia charges. It’s in your best interest to consult with Dahlberg Law Group, where experienced attorneys like King Tse can provide expert guidance and fight for your rights.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. Can drug paraphernalia charges be expunged from my record in Wisconsin?
Expungement eligibility in Wisconsin depends on various factors, including the nature of the offense, your age at the time of the offense, and whether you completed your sentence. It’s essential to consult with an attorney to explore your specific situation and determine if expungement is a viable option.
2. How can I find information about my drug paraphernalia charges in Wisconsin?
You can access information about your drug paraphernalia charges, including court records and case details, through the Wisconsin Circuit Court Access (WCCA) website (https://wcca.wicourts.gov/). It’s a valuable resource to stay informed about your case proceedings.
3. What legal rights do I have when facing drug paraphernalia charges in Wisconsin?
When facing drug paraphernalia charges in Wisconsin, you have several legal rights, including the right to remain silent, the right to legal representation, and the right to a fair trial. It’s essential to exercise these rights and seek legal counsel to protect your interests effectively.
4. How can I contact Dahlberg Law Group for assistance with drug paraphernalia charges?
To seek expert legal assistance from Dahlberg Law Group, including attorney King Tse, visit their website at https://dahlberglawgroup.com/king-tse/ or contact them directly for a free initial consultation. Protect your future by engaging experienced legal professionals.