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What does it mean to maintain a drug house in Wisconsin?

Many people facing allegations of drug crimes may hear the term "drug house" or "maintaining a drug house" bandied about in relation to their charges. In Wisconsin, the legislature addresses the use of drug houses within its general statutes that revolve around drug crimes.

Specifically, the law addresses the use of drug houses in statute 961.42, Prohibited Acts B. The statute lists several venues that could be used as a drug house including warehouses, stores or shops, private dwellings, automobiles, boats and aircraft. However, the statute takes care to point out that any structure or building could be used as a drug house.

Unlike a simple charge of drug possession, maintaining a drug house means the defendant or defendants are using the structure to store or warehouse illegal drugs meant for delivery or manufacture. In Wisconsin, this type of activity is a Class I felony and could mean serious penalties for those convicted of such a crime. The state's legislative website provides an example of the difference between simple possession and possession in relation to drug houses.

For defendants, a successful conviction of any drug crime associated with the operation and maintenance of a drug house is a life-changing occurrence. Depending upon the severity of the specific charges, defendants could face a lengthy jail term as well as costly fines.

If you are under investigation or already facing criminal charges in relation to participation in drug house activities, it is imperative to seek legal counsel as early as possible. With a good defense, it is possible to avoid the harshest sentence and even escape some or all of the charges.

Source: Wisconsin State Legislature, "Prohibited acts B -- penalties.," accessed March. 30, 2015

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