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Wisconsin Cities Decriminalize Marijuana, But State Law Remains Tough

Cities across Wisconsin, including Waukesha and Milwaukee, have adopted municipal ordinances that decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana. Those cities still impose fines for simple possession, however, with the amount of the fine varying from city to city.

For example, you can be fined $50 for a minor marijuana violation in Milwaukee, while Green Bay imposes a maximum fine of $1,000.

The relaxation of penalties on the city level contrasts greatly with Wisconsin state law, which still calls for incarceration and heavy fines for possessing any amount of marijuana.

Because there is no absolute consensus statewide with regard to marijuana possession, it is crucial to know exactly what is at stake when a person is facing state marijuana charges.

Under Wisconsin state law, if you are accused of first-time possession of marijuana in any amount, then you face the possibility of a misdemeanor conviction punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.

The stakes are even higher if you're charged with a second marijuana offense.

Being charged with marijuana possession a second time can lead to a felony conviction punishable by incarceration for up to 3.5 years and a fine of up to $10,000. The possible penalties increase significantly for subsequent marijuana possession charges.

If the state decides to charge you with the sale, delivery or cultivation of marijuana, then you are facing very serious felony charges that carry lengthy prison sentences upon conviction.

In short, if you find yourself charged with any kind of marijuana offense, then don't leave anything to chance. Go with your best defense. Get legal help now.

A person charged with a marijuana crime for the first time may qualify for alternative sentencing or participation in a diversion program. Additionally, anyone facing a marijuana charge in Wisconsin needs to understand one basic thing: no one accused of a crime is automatically guilty. Police and prosecutors make mistakes, and these mistakes, when uncovered by a skilled defense attorney, can result in the reduction or complete dismissal of charges.

Don't hesitate to talk to an experienced criminal defense lawyer about your case if you ever find yourself accused of a drug crime.

For more on building a strong defense against a drug charge, please see Kim & LaVoy's drug crime overview. We have helped hundreds of clients throughout Wisconsin resolve their drug crime cases.

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