In 2017 -- the most recent year with available data -- there were 916 opioid-related overdose deaths in Wisconsin. In 2016, Wisconsin saw 865 opioid-related overdose deaths.
The opioid crisis continues to affect families throughout the state. People with addiction problems may face serious criminal charges. If you or someone you love has been arrested for possession, sale or distribution of prescription painkillers or heroin, it's important to know the available treatment options, as well as the options for mounting your best defense against the charge.
Doctors and nurses in Wisconsin have been warned by federal prosecutors.
Federal prosecutors recently sent warnings to 180 doctors, nurses and physician assistants in Wisconsin. They were told that they had been prescribing more opioids than their peers, that the prescriptions were likely fueling addictions, and that needless prescription of opioids could result in criminal prosecution.
The warnings to medical professionals emphasize the seriousness with which law enforcement views the opioid crisis.
The penalties for a conviction are serious, particularly for illegal sales and trafficking offenses.
It is not uncommon for people who have been convicted of selling pills to be sentenced to years in prison. Often criminal convictions for illegal opioid sales also lead to years of supervised probation after the time is served. Collateral consequences may include:
- Difficulty finding employment
- Restrictions on firearm ownership and use
- Being ineligible for college financial aid
- Being ineligible for other government programs, such as public housing
When the stakes include facing possible years in prison and a criminal record that could follow you for years to come, it only makes sense to seek legal guidance to minimize the negative effects of a charge.