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Disabled Wisconsin man faces marijuana charges

In April of 2017 police officers conducted a search of a home in Racine. During this search, the officers found $60,223 in cash, packaging materials, scales and 1 and ½ pounds of marijuana. Based on these findings, the man in the home was charged for felony possession with intent to deliver or manufacture tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), maintaining a drug trafficking place and a misdemeanor charge of possession of drug paraphernalia.

The man also lived with his parents. His parents faced charges of maintaining a drug trafficking house. The man was adamant that his parents were not involved, but officers contend that the presence of much of this material within common spaces made it unlikely that the parents were not aware of the allegedly criminal activity.

What types of penalties come with drug trafficking convictions in Wisconsin? These charges can lead to serious penalties. Paraphernalia penalties can range from 30 days to 9 months of prison time and a monetary fine of $500 to $10,000 in Wisconsin, depending on the details of the charges. The felony possession charge could come with up to 6 years' imprisonment and $10,000 in fines.   

What was the holding in this case? The man fought the charges and the judge had some sympathy. The man is disabled and requires a wheelchair. The judge stated that the man's use of a small portion of the drug, approximately 7 grams a week, may have been for medicinal purposes. However, the fact that a much larger portion was found within the home, along with packaging materials and a large amount of cash, made it difficult to argue that all of the marijuana was used for medicinal purposes.

As noted in a recent piece by The Journal Times, the man agreed to a plea deal. Part of the deal included a dismissal of the charges against his parents and a reduction of his charges. He is required to forfeit the cash found during the search as well as pay a fine for each criminal charge, but will not face prison time.

What does this mean for other drug cases in WI? This case provides an example of one resolution option for drug charges: plea agreements. Those who are facing similar charges may consider either entering a plea agreement or fighting for their innocence. Those who are considering these options are wise to seek the counsel of an experienced attorney. Your legal counsel will review the options available in your case and provide guidance for the best resolution possible. 

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