Marijuana is the most widely used illegal drug in the US. There have been studies that suggest its use is less harmful than that of alcohol and tobacco, which lend to its abuse. According to the website of Kohler Hart Powell, SC, 44% of all drug related crimes have to do with marijuana. Possessing drug paraphernalia, with or without intent to sell, is always a misdemeanor and has less severe consequences. Possession with intent to sell, or being caught selling the drug, is always a felony and has severe consequences. These cases affect a lot of lives every year, so it is important to be familiar with them and to know how to act.
Paraphernalia is defined as being any equipment, product, or material that can be used to make, use, or conceal drugs. This can include common household items such as plastic bags, spoons, measuring bowls and cups, and envelopes. However, charges are most often made against the possession of bongs. Possession of these items is always a misdemeanor in Wisconsin, but can still carry imprisonment time from 30 days to 9 months and fines from $500 to $10,000.
Selling marijuana, or having the intention to sell, is a serious offense in Wisconsin. The penalties vary based on the amount in possession. Penalties start at possessing 200 grams with a penalty of up to 3.5 years imprisonment and up to $10,000 in fines and go up to possessing more than 10,000 grams with a penalty of up to 15 years imprisonment and up to $50,000 in fines. Even just being accused of intent to sell can lead to your driver’s license being suspended for up to 5 years. The possession of hash is treated identically to the possession of marijuana.
Whether you have been accused of the possession of paraphernalia or with the intent to sell the drug, the consequences can be serious and negatively affect your life and job outlook in the future.
Criminal law is a funny thing, except that it is not really a laughing matter. A criminal record has a bad-penny way of cropping up to mess up a person’s life, and in some instances the record isn’t even for a conviction!
When a person is arrested, it creates an arrest record. That’s fine as far as that goes, but the thing is the arrest record does not go away even when the charges are dropped, dismissed, or not even made at all! There are instances when a person gets arrested for being mistaken for someone else, or for suspicion of doing something criminal but without enough evidence to sustain the arrest.
In such cases, you would think that the records will be automatically deleted or expunged because there was no basis for the arrest. Well, you would be wrong. In order to clear your record of even an arrest, you need to petition for expunction. And that is not as easy as it sounds.
It may seem like a small thing, but as pointed out at http://www.lomtl.com/collin-county/ many finds that having a criminal record can impact on education, career, or financial opportunities. The presumption is that if you got arrested, although not convicted, there must have been a good reason for it.
To qualify for an expunction, you would have to satisfy a set of criteria and then only can you file what is called an ex parte petition in the county where you were arrested. That means that if you live in Houston but are arrested in Allen, you would have to file it in Collin County. You would have to go to a hearing after the details of the case has been verified, and the order of expunction is sent to the responsible state agency, which will then be required to get back all the files and records of the arrest. A petition for expunction can be appealed by the state. All in all, it’s a lot of work so it would be advisable to retain a criminal defense lawyer to undertake expunction for you.