Articles Posted in Criminal Law

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In this appeal from Defendant’s judgments of conviction for three crimes related to his domestic violence toward his then-girlfriend, the Supreme Court held (1) the recently amended language in Wis. Stat. 904.04(2)(b)1 allows admission of other-acts evidence with greater latitude than under an analysis pursuant to State v. Sullivan, 576 N.W.2d 30 (Wis. 1998); and (2) the circuit court did not abuse its discretion in admitting evidence of Defendant’s other acts because the court applied the correct legal standard, and admission was a conclusion that a reasonable judge could reach based on the facts of the record. View "State v. Dorsey" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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A defendant may not seek expunction after sentence is imposed where both the language of Wis. Stat. 973.015 and State v. Matasek, 846 N.W.2d 811, require that the determination regarding expunction be made at the sentencing hearing. Defendant in this case pled no contest to crimes relating to an incident of shoplifting. After the judgments of conviction were entered and the sentence was imposed, Defendant filed a postconviction motion for sentence modification seeking entry of amended judgments of conviction finding that Defendant was eligible for expunction. The circuit court denied the motion. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that a defendant may not seek expunction after sentence is imposed. View "State v. Arberry" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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In this case requiring the Supreme Court to interpret and apply Wis. Stat. 971.04(1) and (3), the Supreme Court held (1) section 971.04(3) did not apply to the facts of this case because it does not place any limitation on a defendant’s ability to waive the right to be present at any portion of trial; and (2) Defendant, by his conduct, waived his section 971.04(1) right to be present at trial. The court thus affirmed the decision of the court of appeals, which determined that Defendant waived his statutory right to be present at trial. View "State v. Washington" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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When an officer conducts a valid traffic stop, part of that stop includes checking identification, even where the reasonable suspicion forming the basis for the stop has dissipated. The Supreme Court in this case affirmed Defendant’s conviction for operating a motor vehicle under the influence, seventh offense, holding (1) asking for a driver’s license does not impermissibly extend a stop because it is part of the original mission of the traffic stop; and (2) the circuit court correctly denied Defendant’s suppression motion because Defendant’s stop was reasonably executed, and no Fourth Amendment violation occurred. View "State v. Smith" on Justia Law

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State v. Douangmala, 646 N.W.2d 1, was objectively wrong because it failed properly to consider the harmless error statutes, Wis. Stat. 971.26 and 805.18, and is thus overruled. At issue in this case was whether Defendant’s motions to withdraw two guilty pleas for two separate criminal violations should be subject to harmless error analysis pursuant to Wis. Stat. 971.26 and 805.18. In his motions filed pursuant to section 971.08(2) Defendant argued that the circuit court’s immigration consequences advisement was defective and that his guilty plea resulted in losing the cancellation of removal defense. The circuit court denied the motions, finding that the immigration consequences advisement substantially complied with section 971.08(1)(c). The court of appeals reversed, concluding that the immigration consequences advisement did not substantially comply with the statute. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) applying the harmless error analysis to this case, the circuit court’s errors were harmless as a matter of law; and (2) therefore, Defendant was not entitled to withdraw his guilty pleas. View "State v. Fuerte" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the court of appeals affirming the circuit court’s denial of Appellant’s postconviction motion asserting that defense counsel at trial had been ineffective. Appellant was convicted of five crimes relating to her abuse and neglect of her son. Appellant filed a postconviction motion, arguing that there was insufficient evidence to support her convictions and that defense counsel at trial had been ineffective. The circuit court denied the motion, and the court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that trial counsel’s performance was not deficient. View "State v. Breitzman" on Justia Law

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Defendant’s consent to a blood draw was not given freely and voluntarily under the Fourth Amendment, and the good faith exception to the exclusionary rule did not apply in this case. Defendant submitted to a blood draw after a law enforcement officer stated the consequences of refusing to submit to a test. The information given to Defendant, however, was not accurate. The circuit court granted Defendant’s motion to suppress the results of the blood test obtained under Wisconsin’s implied consent law. The court of appeals reversed. The Supreme Court reversed and remanded to the circuit court to reinstate its order suppressing the evidence, holding (1) the State did not prove by clear and convincing evidence that Defendant’s consent to the blood draw was freely and voluntarily given under the Fourth Amendment and thus valid; and (2) the exclusionary rule’s deterrent effect will be served by suppressing evidence of Defendant’s blood test. View "State v. Blackman" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant’s conviction for possession with intent to deliver non-narcotic controlled substances as a repeat offender, holding that the trial court did not err in denying Defendant’s motion to suppress. A search of Defendant’s person revealed illegal drugs in Defendant’s possession. The search was warrantless but allegedly consensual. Defendant filed a motion to suppress, arguing that the officer extended the traffic stop without reasonable suspicion, and therefore, his consent was void. The circuit court denied the motion after a suppression hearing. Defendant filed a postconviction motion arguing that he received ineffective assistance of counsel at the suppression hearing. The circuit court denied the motion. Defendant appealed the denial of his motion to suppress and the denial of his postconviction motion. The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the officer did not extend Defendant’s traffic stop because the request to perform a search of his person was part of the stop’s mission; (2) Defendant was lawfully seized at the time of the request, and Defendant provided his consent to the search freely and voluntarily; and (3) trial counsel did not perform deficiently. View "State v. Floyd" on Justia Law

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Appellant pleaded no contest to operating after revocation, causing death, contrary to Wis. Stat. 343.44(1)(b) and (2)(ar)4. After a hearing, the sentencing court sentenced Appellant to the maximum sentence of six years. Appellant filed a postconviction motion, arguing that section 343.44(2)(ar)4 is ambiguous and unconstitutional. The court of appeals affirmed but remanded the case to the circuit court for resentencing. The Supreme Court affirmed and remanded to the circuit court for a new sentencing hearing, holding (1) any ambiguity in the statutory scheme is clarified by the statutes’ legislative history; (2) the statutory scheme does not violate Defendant’s rights to either due process or equal protection; and (3) section 343.44(2)(b) is mandatory, and the record failed to demonstrate that the circuit court considered the required factors enumerated in the statute. View "State v. Villamil" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The circuit court’s finding that Defendant consented to a blood draw was not clearly erroneous, and Defendant’s consent was voluntary. Defendant was convicted of operating while intoxicated, third offense. Defendant appealed the denial of his motion to suppress the results of a blood test, arguing that it was an unconstitutional search because he did not consent to having his blood drawn. The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that, under the totality of the circumstances, Defendant voluntarily consented to the blood draw. The dissent argued that neither a driver’s obtaining a Wisconsin operators license nor a driver’s operating a motor vehicle in Wisconsin is a manifestation of actual consent to a later search of the driver’s person by a blood draw. View "State v. Brar" on Justia Law