Understanding Wisconsin's drug possession laws

It doesn't matter whether you are a college student found with a hallucinogenic in your backpack or a stockbroker found with pain pills prescribed for someone else in your briefcase, the act of being placed under arrest for drug possession will always be incredibly distressing.

That's because you not only worry about a conviction resulting in potential incarceration, but also the possibility of a damaged reputation, a criminal record and, of course, a potentially large fine.

In recognition of this reality, today's post will start exploring more about Wisconsin's drug possession laws in a bid to help people understand more about how the law works and how it might apply to their given situation, knowledge that can go a long way toward granting peace of mind during uncertain -- and understandably unnerving -- times.

Controlled substances and schedules I-V  

State law defines a controlled substance as any "drug, substance or immediate precursor included in schedules I to V."

While this might seem incomprehensible or even nonsensical to a layperson, in the context of drug crimes -- particularly possession for person use -- it simply means that drugs and other illegal substances are placed into one of five schedules with possession of schedule I drugs dictating the most stringent penalties and possession of schedule V drugs dictating the least severe penalties.

Specifically, the five schedules are ranked according to the probability of abuse/addiction and accepted medical purposes. Accordingly, a schedule I drug (i.e., peyote) is seen as having a high probability of being abused or a user becoming addicted, and no accepted medical purpose. Conversely, a schedule V drug (i.e., pseudoephedrine) is seen as having a very low probability of being abused or a user becoming addicted, and recognized medical uses.

We'll continue this discussion in a future post, exploring more about the penalties for drug possession in the Dairy State.

In the meantime, if you are facing any manner of drug crime charges, consider speaking with a skilled legal professional who can explain the law, and protect both your rights and your future.

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