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Explaining Bail in Wisconsin

If you are charged with a crime in Wisconsin, your first court appearance is called your initial appearance.  You will be notified of the charges against you and the court will likely set bail.  “Bail” is defined in Section 969.001 of the Wisconsin Statutes as “monetary conditions of release.” Section 969.01(1) states defendants arrested for…

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Revocation Results in Prison Despite Not Guilty Verdict

How can someone be found not guilty by a jury of his peers and still be sent to prison?  Because he was on probation at the time he was charged with the crimes and his supervision was revoked.  Damien Payne took his felon in possession of a firearm and carrying a concealed weapon case to jury…

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Len Bias Law Prosecutions in Wisconsin

Wisconsin is seeing a significant increase in Len Bias homicide prosecutions in an effort to curb the delivery of opiate drugs and reduce overdose deaths.  The name Len Bias prosecutions became common parlance after the famous college basketball prospect overdosed on cocaine and died two days after he was drafted 2nd overall by the Boston Celtics…

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Sheriff to Increase Jail Staff

Between April and November 2016, four people have died at the Milwaukee County Jail.  The sheriff’s office hopes that increasing the jail staff will lead to better monitoring and supervision of inmates.  The office has gone on a hiring spree recently, hiring approximately 25 corrections officers in December.  The plan is to have another group…

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Court Ruling Keeps Schimel Videos Private

In a 5-2 Supreme Court ruling filed on December 28, the Wisconsin Supreme Court overturned decisions by lower courts requiring Attorney General Brad Schimel to make public two training videos he made as a state prosecutor.  The two videos in question were made for the Wisconsin Department of Justice in 2009 and 2013 when Schimel was…

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New OWI Penalties Begin January 1

A bill signed into law by Governor Scott Walker back in April is set to take effect as we ring in the New Year.  The new law affects the OWI penalties for repeat drunk drivers. OWI Penalties for 4th Offenses OWI penalties can be confusing, so let’s first look at what the current law is:…

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Drug Treatment Court in Milwaukee

Drug treatment court is a specialized program offered in many counties in Wisconsin.  This post will focus specifically on Milwaukee County, but many of the eligibility criteria are the same in neighboring counties. Purpose of Drug Treatment Court The mission statement of the drug treatment court program focuses on “enhancing public safety through the reduction…

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Immunity from Drug Prosecution

There is a little known statute in Wisconsin that provides immunity from prosecution to drug users.  Known as a “Good Samaritan” law, the statute states that a person who summons emergency aid for an individual who has overdosed cannot be prosecuted for possession of a controlled substance or drug paraphernalia.  However, a recent court of appeals…

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Substitution of your Judge

What happens when you are assigned a judge and you want someone else?  The Wisconsin Statutes provide a right to substitute on your judge, and although you don’t get to “pick” your new judge, filing a substitution request can make a big difference in your case. The Right to Substitution The right to substitute on your judge is…

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Repeater Enhancers in Wisconsin

What does it mean when you look at your criminal complaint and you see “repeater” listed after the charge?  What charges are affected by the repeater enhancer?  And what is a persistent repeater?  This post will examine the standard repeater statute, how DA’s will use the repeater enhancer against you, and how being labeled a…

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