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Drug Charges

Drug Charges

You Are Facing Drug Charges. Now What?

With drug crimes you need to be prepared for anything. In drug crimes like most other charged criminal offenses, you need to understand the reason and motivation for the drug crime you will be charged with in order to defend against them.  At Smerlinski Law Office we have successfully defended numerous drug cases. With more than 20 years of experience as a criminal defense attorney at the state and federal level we know the system, and the law. We can help you get the best results possible based on the facts of your case. Every case is unique. 

Contact Us, for a free consultation, so we can get to know the specifics of your case.

Common Drug Charges

Here are just a few of the common drug charges that we are experienced with:

  • possession of a controlled substance
  • possession of marijuana
  • possession of paraphernalia
  • possession of cocaine
  • possession of narcotics
  • drug conspiracy charges
  • drug trafficking charges
  • conspiracy to distribute
  • drug distribution charges
  • drug possession charges
  • drug dealing charges

The list is a few of the common drug charges. However, we have the knowledge and experience to help you with any other drug charges.

Wisconsin Drug Charges

Wisconsin law defines which drugs are illegal to use, possess, or deal. The laws have different penalties for those who are involved with different drugs.  Most drug crimes in Wisconsin are felony offenses. However, a few exceptions include misdemeanor possession offenses and drug paraphernalia offenses.

Federal Drug Charges

Federal laws outlining drug crimes are used in the State of Wisconsin when an individual is prosecuted federally. The difference between federal and state drug classifications are minor, but the sentencing structure is entirely different.

Normally in federal court the amount of a drug that is possessed, manufactured, or distributed by an individual drives the sentence that individual will receive. In federal court other relevant criminal conduct related to the original drug crime drug, and possession, manufacture or distribution of a drug that is not involved in the indictment can increase the sentence. In the federal system guideline calculations dictate the length of all sentences. The same can not be said in general about Wisconsin drug crime sentencing laws.

Drug Charges At The State And Federal Level

It is possible for an individual in the State of Wisconsin to be charged in both federal and state court for the same drug crime.

Recent law decisions permit prosecutors to pursue simultaneous charges in federal and state court because it involves prosecution in different jurisdictions. Practice in state courts differs radically from federal court practices. Each jurisdiction has different approaches to the prosecution of drug crimes. Having extensive experience at both the state and federal level allows us to help you in both jurisdictions.

Notable differences between the two include:

  • prosecutor resources and staffing
  • sentencing structures and amount of real time a sentence will be served
  • how quick cases will proceed through the different courts
  • probationary sentences and how an individual is supervised while on probation
  • trial practice and different approaches each court will rule as it it relates to evidentiary rulings
  • the decision to prosecute will vary between state and federal systems

Confidential Informants

In this area of the law it is not uncommon for police to set up controlled buys with confidential informants who work with the police. A confidential informant by definition is usually just a common person residing in the community.  The identity of the informant is known to police but not the target of the controlled buy. There are many different objectives that motivate confidential informants to work with police. Sometimes a dealer may themselves be working with police to work out of criminal exposure that exists due to past or pending drug charges.