Practice Areas

Drug Crimes

  • Possession of a Controlled Substance

  • Delivering, Distributing, or Manufacturing a Controlled Substance

  • Fraudulently Obtaining Prescription Drugs

  • Drug Conspiracies

Drug cases generally to fall into a two categories. “Simple” possession cases can involve marijuana, cocaine, heroin, prescription pills, or any number of other drugs. “Distribution” cases may involve allegations of anything from a single delivery all the way up to participation in a large-scale drug conspiracy. Generally, simple drug possession cases and smaller distribution or sales cases are more likely to stay in state court, while larger drug distribution or conspiracy cases may end up in federal court.

Marijuana laws are changing in this country — but not under federal law, and not in Wisconsin. In fact, state and federal law enforcement agencies are just as focused on drug crime as ever. A drug conviction – even a misdemeanor for marijuana possession – can end a career in many professions, and can even prevent people from obtaining federal guaranteed student loans. Fortunately, prosecutors are increasingly willing to consider alternatives to convicting casual users, especially if they understand the personal situation of defendants. A lawyer who can communicate effectively with clients and prosecutors will make it easier for clients to take advantage of these “second chance” alternatives to prosecution.

More and more Americans are becoming addicted to prescription drugs. Often people have a legitimate medical reason for taking medication, but become addicted. Because of the growing controversy over prescription drugs, law enforcement agencies are focusing more resources on investigations of illegal prescription drug sales, and fraudulent prescriptions.

Guiding clients to effective substance abuse counseling and treatment can play an incredibly important role in how drug possession cases are resolved. If clients can show prosecutors or judges a real improvement in dealing with their addictions, or legitimate medical reasons behind drug use, it can lead to reduced penalties, lowered charges, and even dismissals of charges. Attorney Kinstler frequently refers clients to specific drug treatment programs and professional health care providers with a record of success.

Law enforcement officers are very motivated to find drug evidence and make arrests, but they don’t always follow the law correctly. Fourth Amendment “search and seizure” issues are an important part of criminal defense, especially in drug cases. A prosecutor generally cannot use evidence that was obtained illegally – for example, if a person was stopped or detained by police without reasonable suspicion, or searched or arrested without probable cause, or if a home was searched without a warrant and without consent, or if a search warrant did not contain enough information, or contained incorrect information. But challenging police searches and seizures of evidence can be complicated and difficult. There are many detailed rules, and even more exceptions to the rules. Court hearings can become like miniature trials. Fighting and winning requires careful investigation, research, and writing. Attorney Kinstler has extensive experience litigating – and winning – Fourth Amendment issues at all levels of state and federal courts.

Confidential informants and recorded wiretaps can be the most important evidence in serious drug cases. The use – or misuse – of confidential informants can create problems for law enforcement, and it takes skill and experience to use these issues in the defense of a case. State and federal courts have different rules for obtaining and using wiretaps and other forms of recorded surveillance. Understanding these rules can sometimes make or break a case for a defendant.

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