A person’s age can matter when accused of drug crimes

There are numerous situations in which a person’s age can have significant impacts. One is when they are accused of a criminal offense. One of the things the age of a suspect in a criminal case might impact here in Wisconsin is what kind of sentences the suspect could face if convicted of the offense they are alleged to have committed. Among the reasons for this is that individuals of certain ages can be exempt from certain sentence increasers.

An example of this can be seen in the realm of drug crimes. Generally, if a person is convicted of drug distribution in Wisconsin, and the individual they were found to have distributed drugs to was 17 or under, the max prison sentence the convicted individual could be given can be raised up to five years above the typical maximum sentence for the class of distribution in question.

However, this max sentence increaser does not apply to convicted individuals of certain ages. For one, it doesn’t apply to individuals less than 17 years of age. It also doesn’t apply to individuals whose age is less than three years apart from the age of the minor they distributed drugs to.

Another way a suspect’s age can have significant impacts when it comes to drug charges or other criminal charges is when a suspect is young enough that their case goes into the juvenile justice system. Juvenile crime cases can have a variety of unique aspects as compared to traditional criminal cases.

Skilled defense lawyers can help individuals facing drug crime allegations with identifying if their age triggers any unique issues in their case and with tailoring their defense strategy to any age-related issues that are triggered.

Source: Wisconsin State Legislature, “Wisconsin Statutes - 961.46 Distribution to persons under age 18.,” Accessed Aug. 24, 2016

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