Human Resources & Workforce Diversity
State of Wisconsin and Federal Legal Sanctions
State of Wisconsin and Federal Laws
State of Wisconsin and Federal Legal Sanctions
The Uniform Controlled Substances Act, Chapter 961 of the Wisconsin Statutes,
regulates controlled substances and outlines specific penalties for the violation
of the regulations. A first-time conviction for possession of a controlled
substance can result in a sentence of up to one year in prison and a fine of up to
$5,000. Sec. 961.41(3g), Stats. A person convicted of manufacturing a
controlled substance, delivering a controlled substance, or possessing a
controlled substance with an intent to manufacture or deliver, can be imprisoned
for up to 30 years and fined up to $1,000,000. Secs. 961.41(1) and (1m), Stats.
Penalties vary according to the type of drug involved, the amount of drug
confiscated, the number of previous convictions, and the presence of any
aggravating factors. The distribution of a controlled substance to a minor can
lead to the doubling of an authorized sentence term. Sec. 961.46, Stats.
Wisconsin has formidable legal sanctions that restrict the use of alcohol in
various situations. It is illegal to procure for, sell, dispense or give away alcohol
to anyone who has not reached the legal drinking age of 21 years. Sec.
125.07(1)(a)(1), Stats. Every adult has a legal obligation to prevent the illegal
consumption of alcohol on premises owned by the adult or under the adult's
control. Sec. 125.07(1)(a)(3), Stats. A first-time violator of either of the above
subsections can be fined up to $500. It is against the law for an underage
person to procure or attempt to procure an alcoholic beverage, to falsely
represent his or her age for the purpose of obtaining alcohol, to enter premises
licensed to sell alcohol, or to consume or possess alcohol on licensed
premises. Sec. 125.07(4)(a), Stats. A first-time underage violator of Section
125.07(4)(bs), Stats., can be fined up to $500, ordered to participate in a
supervised work program, and have their driver's license suspended.
Federal Legal Sanctions
Pursuant to federal law, the United States Sentencing Guidelines establish
mandatory minimum penalties for categories of drug offenses and provide for
penalty enhancements in specific cases. Under these federal guidelines, courts
can sentence a person for up to 6 years for unlawful possession of a controlled
substance, including the distribution of a small amount (less than 250 grams) of
marijuana; a sentence of life imprisonment can result from a conviction of
possession of a controlled substance that results in death or bodily injury; and,
possession of more than 5 grams of cocaine can trigger an intent to distribute
penalty of 10-16 years in prison.
Federal Penalties and Sanctions for Illegal Possession of Controlled
21 U.S.C. 844(a)
1st conviction: Up to 1 year imprisonment and fined at least $1,000 but not more
than $100,000, or both.
After 1 prior drug conviction: At least 15 days in prison, not to exceed 2 years
and fined at least $2,500 but not more than $250,000, or both.
After 2 or more prior drug convictions: At least 90 days in prison, not to exceed 3
years and fined at least $5,000 but not more than $250,000, or both.
Special sentencing provisions for possession of crack cocaine: Mandatory at
least 5 years in prison, not to exceed 20 years and fined up to $250,000, or both,
a.1st conviction and the amount of crack possessed exceeds 5 grams.
b.2nd crack conviction and the amount of crack possessed exceeds 3
c.3rd or subsequent crack conviction and the amount of crack possessed
exceeds 1 gram.
21 U.S.C. 853(a)(2) and 881(a)(7)
Forfeiture of personal and real property used to possess or to facilitate
possession of a controlled substance if that offense is punishable by more than 1
year imprisonment. (See special sentencing provisions re: crack, above.)
21 U.S.C. 881(a)(4)
Forfeiture of vehicles, boats, aircraft or any other conveyance used to transport or
conceal a controlled substance.
21 U.S.C. 844a
Civil fine of up to $10,000.
21 U.S.C. 862
Denial of Federal benefits, such as student loans, grants, contracts, and
professional and commercial licenses, up to 1 year for first offense, up to 5 years
for second and subsequent offenses.
18 U.S.C. 922(g)
Ineligible to purchase, receive or transport a firearm.
Revocation of certain Federal licenses and benefits, e.g. pilot licenses, public
housing tenancy, etc., are vested within the authorities of individual Federal
Note: These are only Federal penalties and sanctions. Additional State penalties
and sanctions may apply.
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This document was created by UWSA Office of Human Resources.
This document was last revised on March 7, 2008.