In Wisconsin, judges are often not required to sentence defendants to a minimum term of incarceration. However, there are a few select groups of crimes where the legislature has created mandatory minimum sentences. The three main groups are operating while intoxicated offenses, firearm offenses, and sex offenses.
Mandatory Minimum Penalties for OWI
The legislature decided that repeat OWI offenders should spend at least some time incarcerated. Here are the minimum periods of incarceration for OWI offenses:
– 1st Offense – No mandatory minimum. (Remember, there’s no jail for a 1st offense);
– 1st Offense with child under 16 in car – 5 days jail;
– 2nd Offense – 5 days jail;
– 3rd Offense – 45 days jail;
– 4th Offense – 60 days jail;
– 5th and 6th Offenses – 6 months jail;
– 7th and 8th and 9th Offenses – 3 years prison;
– 10th and above – 4 years prison;
As with any OWI offense, you need to be sure to hire a drunk driving attorney who understands all aspects of defending an OWI case. The attorneys at Van Severen Law Office, S.C. handle dozens of OWI cases each year.
Mandatory Minimum Penalties for Firearm Offenses
The legislature created a mandatory minimum sentence for repeat firearm crimes. First, we must determine who this section applies to. The mandatory minimum applies to repeaters who commit a firearm violation. Section 939.6195 of the Wisconsin Statutes defines a firearm violation as one of the following:
– For possessing a firearm as a felon, or while subject to other certain restrictions in Section 941.29;
– For acting as a “straw purchaser” of a firearm under Section 941.2905;
A repeater, remember, is someone who was convicted of a felony during the 5-year period immediately preceding the commission of the current crime. A repeater is also someone who was convicted of 3 or more misdemeanors during the 5-year period immediately preceding the commission of the current crime.
If a repeater is convicted of a firearm violation, then the minimum is 4 years of initial confinement in prison. Further, the court may not place the person on probation. Finally, the person is also subject to any additional penalty enhancers. Note that this was enacted in 2017 and has a sunset date in 2022. This means that the legislature is using the 5 years between 2017 and 2022 to assess whether or not this mandatory minimum clause actually has an effect on the crime rates.
This page here describes additional mandatory minimum penalties for firearm offenses. Specifically, there are mandatory minimum penalties related to possessing a firearm if the defendant had previously been convicted of a violent felony. And there are mandatory minimum penalties if the defendant used a firearm during the commission of the present crime.
Child Sex Offenses
If a person is convicted of 1st Degree Sexual Assault of a Child causing great bodily harm, the person faces life in prison. The court may make the person eligible for extended supervision, but not before the person serves 25 years of initial confinement.
There is a mandatory minimum of 25 years for the following offenses, as long as the actor is 18 years or older:
– 1st Degree Sexual Assault of a Child – Intercourse with a child under age 12;
– 1st Degree Sexual Assault of a Child – Intercourse with a child under age 16 by use or threat of force or violence;
– Repeated Sexual Assault of the Same Child if at least 3 violations involved the above examples;
There is a mandatory minimum of 5 years for the following offenses, as long as the actor is 18 years or older:
– 1st Degree Sexual Assault of a Child – Sexual contact with a child under age 16 by use or threat of force or violence ;
– Repeated Sexual Assault of the Same Child if at least 3 violations involved the above example;
There are also presumptive minimum penalties for certain child sex offenses. However, for the most part, these serve as mandatory minimum penalties for offenders over the age of 20. There is a mandatory minimum of 5 years for both sexual exploitation of a child and use of a computer to facilitate a child sex crime. The mandatory minimum penalty is 3 years for possession of child pornography. Again, the minimums do not apply for offenders under 18 years old. And there are certain additional exceptions if the offender is no more than 2 years older than the child victim.
If a person has one or more prior convictions for 1st or 2nd degree sexual assault and subsequently commits a 2nd degree sexual assault, then the court must impose a mandatory minimum of 3 years 6 months. Further, the court cannot put the defendant on probation. If the person subsequently commits a 1st degree sexual assault, then the court must sentence the person to life in prison without parole or extended supervision.
If a person has at least one conviction for a serious violent crime and commits another serious violent crime, the mandatory minimum is 5 years. The court may not put the defendant on probation. Serious violent crimes include homicide offenses, armed robbery, and kidnapping, among others.
There are two types of persistent repeaters. First, individuals convicted of a serious felony on two or more separate occasions who are presently facing a conviction for a serious felony. A serious felony can mean any A,B, or C felony related to the manufacture, delivery, or intent to deliver drugs. It also includes most felonies in Chapter 940 and 948, among others.
The second way to be a persistent repeater is to have been convicted of a serious child sex offense on at least one occasion prior to the date of the violation for the serious child sex offense the offender is presently facing.
The mandatory penalty for a persistent repeater is life in prison without the possibility of parole or extended supervision.
Ultimately, if you or a loved one are facing mandatory minimum penalties, you need Milwaukee’s top criminal defense attorneys. The attorneys at Van Severen Law Office understand that these are the most serious types of cases. Your freedom is at stake. Call one of our criminal defense attorneys today!