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You are only guilty if you are convicted in Wisconsin

Sentencing & Penalties for a Class I Felony in Wisconsin

A Class I felony conviction is a life-changing event. A conviction will never fade from your criminal record, and it will brand you as a semi-citizen, unable to vote, cross national borders, or hold some types of employment. Being convicted of a felony will impact your life for decades, long after the prison sentence is finished. It doesn’t have to. With Grieve Law, you are only guilty if you are convicted.™

Class I Felony Penalties and Defenses in WisconsinWhat is a Class I Felony in Wisconsin?

A Class I felony is punishable by up to 3 ½ years in state prison, fines up to $10,000, or both imprisonment and a fine. A Class I felony is the least severe felony offense in Wisconsin. (Wis. Stat. § 939.50.)

Wisconsin has a well-organized system to classify feloniesmisdemeanors, and other violations. Learn more about Wisconsin criminal penalties and defenses and what your charges really mean.

Types of Class I Felony

There are several types of Class I felonies which Grieve Law has experience defending in court, including:

Don't trust your life to some general practice lawyer. DUI’s and criminal cases are not just something that we do, they are basically everything we do! A free, no-obligation initial consultation with our team of award-winning former state prosecutors is just a call away.


Grieve Law has fought for Wisconsin defendants and won time and again. Unlike Fee to Plea™ lawyers who talk you into surrendering your rights in plea deals, Grieve Law prepares powerful, strategic defenses that win cases. If you’ve been accused of a Class I felony in Wisconsin, you are only guilty if you are convicted.™ Call Grieve Law today for a free consultation. 

Defenses for a Class I Felony in Wisconsin

The most important thing to do when facing a felony charge is to know the system. This often means having an attorney who can coach you through your initial appearance and make sure you know all of your options. Any criminal trial is a nerve-wracking experience, but you should never assume that whatever the prosecution offers you is your only way out.

Grieve Law always creates defenses to give you the best chance of winning at court. For Class I felonies, we’ll often begin by investigating if the prosecution has probable cause to accuse you of a felony during the preliminary hearing. Without probable cause, they cannot advance your case to trial. Grieve will analyze the police and court records to determine if your rights were violated during the arrest or pre-trial booking process. If a mistake was made before trial, a motion hearing can be called to dismiss the charges. These are tactics Grieve uses with other felony and misdemeanor violations, as well.

For drug charges, Grieve Law will carefully review your arrest, the search, and any statements you made to police officers. If your rights were violated during any of these events, it might make the prosecutor’s evidence inadmissible in court. Grieve will also look for evidence of entrapment, which would prevent the state from charging you with drug possession. For Possession with Intent drug charges, the prosecution must show you intended to distribute the drugs to charge you with a felony. Grieve Law knows how hard it is to prove intent, and disproving intent can massively reduce drug possession charges.

Because many Class I felonies are more extreme cases of behavior that can also be charged as a misdemeanor, trying to reduce the charges down to misdemeanors is an effective tactic. If you are not charged with any felonies, you cannot have your civil rights restricted and won’t serve time in state prison. Misdemeanors can also be erased from your criminal record through the expungement process.

Grieve Law: Keeping Innocent Wisconsin Free

If you or a loved one has been charged with a felony, don’t wait to seek legal advice. Grieve Law offers the highest quality, most affordable criminal law service in southeast Wisconsin. We offer flexible payment plans to make sure any Wisconsin citizen can get the legal counsel they deserve, and we offer free legal advice consultations to answer your questions and outline your options. If you need a defense attorney in the Milwaukee area, nobody has a better chance of getting your charges reduced or dropped than Tom Grieve. You are only guilty if you are convicted.™

By: Attorney Tom Grieve on 03/06/2020

Tom Grieve is a former prosecutor who now runs a successful Wisconsin criminal defense law firm with offices in Milwaukee, Waukesha and Madison. If are facing new charges initial phone consultations are free: contact online or call 262-786-7100.

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