The Castle Doctrine

On December 7, 2011 Governor Scott Walker signed a bill passing the Castle Doctrine in Wisconsin.  The law provides criminal immunity (along with civil protection) for individuals who use a gun in self-defense while on their property.  The doctrine provides the gun-user a presumption that use of the gun was justified.  The law is a “stand…

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Guide to Expunction (Expungement)

One of the most common questions individuals convicted of crimes ask if whether their convictions can be expunged.  This question usually occurs after the individual suffers collateral consequences for the conviction.  Unfortunately, expunction is not always easy to do and most often individuals are not eligible to have their offenses expunged. On July 1, 2009 Wis….

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I was just sentenced. I want to appeal. What do I do?

Sometimes your case isn’t finished when you’re sentenced.  If something doesn’t seem right, or you think someone screwed up, whether it’s the court, your attorney, or the district attorney, you might have a basis to seek relief in the Court of Appeals. The first, and important, step to take when you want an appeal is…

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Probation and extended supervision revocation. What is it? Can I fight it?

When an offender fails to comply with his probation or extended supervision rules he risks being revoked from his probation and being sent to jail/prison. The first step a probation agent takes for a revocation is placing the offender on a “probation hold.”  A probation hold is initiated when the agent believes the offender violated a rule/rules of his…

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Probation. What is it? What should I expect?

Once a defendant is convicted of certain crimes in Wisconsin he can be placed on probation.  Probation is not available when an individual is convicted of a crime which is punishable by life imprisonment.  It’s also not available when specifically prohibited by statue for a specific offense.  (Probation Statute Wis. Stat. §973.09(1)(a)) When a defendant is placed on…

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What is a preliminary hearing?

Wisconsin criminal laws require that an individual charged with the commission of a felony be given a preliminary hearing. A preliminary hearing requires that the State show there is probable cause to believe the defendant committed a felony.  Probable cause is a low hurdle for the prosecutor to overcome.  It requires that the prosecutor show the…

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Wisconsin Criminal Penalties (Misdemeanor)

In Wisconsin, “A crime is conduct which is prohibited by state law and punishable by fine or imprisonment or both.  Conduct punishable by only a forfeiture is not a crime.”  Wis. Stat. § 939.12. Crimes are classified as either misdemeanors or felonies.  Misdemeanors have three classifications. A Class A Misdemeanor is punished by imprisonment of up to…

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Wisconsin Criminal Penalties (Felony)

In Wisconsin, “A crime is conduct which is prohibited by state law and punishable by fine or imprisonment or both.  Conduct punishable by only a forfeiture is not a crime.”  Wis. Stat. § 939.12. Crimes are classified as either misdemeanors or felonies.  Felonies range from Class A to Class I and carry different penalties: A Class…

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