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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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