Chirafisi & Verhoff, S.C. Drug Crimes Defense
Possession, possession with Intent, Drug Trafficking
If you are in trouble with drugs criminally and/or federally, our Attorneys are here to help. We can answer all of your questions and fight for the best possible outcome in your case. An arrest is not a conviction. You have the right to an attorney, to have that attorney present during all questioning, to plead your innocence to the charges, to force the state to prove your guilt and to face your accusers at trial. If you have been contacted by the authorities for a drug related crime, you have the right to an attorney and you have the right to remain silent during questions. Contact Chirafisi & Verhoff to find out your rights before you speak with a detective or the police. Chirafisi & Verhoff, S.C. drug crimes defense and criminal defense Madison, Wisconsin.
We represent people in both Wisconsin Circuit Courts and US Federal Court cases. Attorney Corey Chirafisi & Attorney Tim Verhoff frequently represent people who have been accused of a drug crime, including: possession of a controlled substance; possession with intent to deliver or sell; second or subsequent drug crime offenses; delivery or manufacturing of a controlled substance; and federal drug charges.
Possession doesn't always mean physical possession - called actual possession. There is such a thing under the law as "constructive possession," which means although the person did not actually possess the substance, they had control over the drugs. That type of control over the drugs would exist if the drugs were in a purse, or in the trunk or glove compartment of a car.
Remember, simply knowing drugs are present somewhere does not mean that you possessed them. It is the Government's responsibility to prove that the person charged had the ability to possess the drugs. It is not necessarily a crime to know that drugs are located in a certain spot.
A charge for possession of a controlled substance means that the person simply possessed a controlled substance and had no intention of selling or delivering the drugs to a third person. Some possession cases are felonies, such as possession of Heroin and Methamphetamine. Possession can mean physical possession or "actual possession" as it is called by the Wisconsin Statutes, or it can mean "constructive possession." A person is in constructive possession of drugs when they have control over the drugs, such as when drugs are stored in a glove compartment or in a purse.
Intent to Deliver and/or Sell
Possession with Intent to Deliver is a charge that is based on two factors.
1) The Weight of the Drugs, and
2) What, if anything, is located with the drugs.
The greater the weight of the drugs, the more likely the police and prosecution will believe the defendant intended to deliver or sell the drugs.
What is located with the drugs
The second factor involves the police search. The police will search for paraphernalia and other items that they believe might be used to buy and sell drugs. They may look for a scale used to weigh the drugs before selling them or for baggies used to package the drugs. They also may look for cutting agents to divide up the drugs for sale.
Any conviction for possession with intent is a felony, regardless of the weight or type of drug. Remember, the prosecutor must be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant had the intent to deliver the drugs. Possession with intent is one of the most defensible of the drug crimes because it requires the prosecution to prove your intent, your mental state of mind, and what you actually intended to do with the drugs. If you tell the police what you intended to do with the drugs, even if it was only to consume them yourself or just to look at them all day long, you will provide the police with a valuable piece of evidence that can be used against you. Sometimes, a good defense can be built on the simple face that you intended to use the drugs for personal use only.
Federal v. State Charges
If a person is arrested for, or with cocaine base, known as "crack," they run a much greater chance of being charged in Federal Court. The reason is that the penalties in Federal Court are much, much more severe for "crack." In the federal system, crack is treated 100 times more severely than powder cocaine. In short, that means if you possess 5 grams of crack, a conviction would result in the same penalty as if you were in possession of 500 grams of powder cocaine.