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Why might someone receive a harsher penalty for a drug offense?

On Behalf of | Jun 20, 2023 | Criminal Defense

Getting in trouble for possession or trafficking of drugs is scary, especially since drug laws can vary significantly from state to state. However, there are certain things that can, across the board, cause someone to receive a stiffer fine or jail sentence than someone else.

Here are some reasons why someone might receive a harsher penalty for a drug offense in Wisconsin.

They are a repeat offender

People sometimes receive lighter punishments for first-time offenses because law enforcement officers realize that they made a mistake and believe the act of getting arrested will scare the person off from committing a similar crime in the future. However, officers give harsher penalties to someone who gets caught doing the same thing over and over again. This is because those in the legal system see that the existing punishments are not serving as a proper deterrent.

They have a large amount of a drug

The amount of a drug that an offender has in their possession can also affect the amount of jail time or fine they receive. This is particularly true if law enforcement has reason to believe that the person intended to distribute the drug to other people.

They were carrying a weapon

Some people convicted of drug possession become barred from purchasing or carrying a weapon. If such a person is then caught with the weapon in a subsequent drug bust, it would be a reason for officers to hand down a stiffer penalty.

There are many reasons why one person might receive a harsher sentence for drug possession than another. People should learn the reasons why in order to prevent themselves from falling into that category.