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Class C Misdemeanors in Wisconsin examples, minimum penalties, fines & sentencing

A Class C misdemeanor in Wisconsin carries a penalty of a fine no greater than $500, a sentence of no more than 30 days, or possibly both.

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Prosecutors will try to tell you that a Class C misdemeanor isn’t worth fighting. However, unless you work hard to have it expunged, misdemeanor convictions will stay on your criminal record for life, visible to all future employers. It’s not “just a fine.” Remember, though, a Class C misdemeanor charge can be beaten. You are only guilty if you are convicted.™

What is a Class C Misdemeanor in Wisconsin?

Class C misdemeanors can be punished by up to 30 days in jail, a $500 fine, or both jail time and a fine. A Class C misdemeanor is the least severe misdemeanor offense in Wisconsin, excepting certain Class U offenses. (Wis. Stat. § 939.51)

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.

You are only guilty if you are convicted™

Types of Class C Misdemeanor

There are several types of Class C misdemeanors which Grieve Law works to defend in court, including:

  • Being in possession of alcohol as a minor (2nd Offense)
  • Providing alcohol to a minor
  • Drawing or writing lewd, obscene, or indecent material in a public place
  • Vagrancy
  • Drinking on public transportation
  • Encouraging or aiding a truant child
  • Possession of non-narcotic controlled substances

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's top-notch attorneys prepare powerful, strategic defenses to win cases. If you’ve been accused of a Class C misdemeanor in Wisconsin, you are only guilty if you are convicted.™ Call Grieve Law today for a free consultation.

Penalties for Class C misdemeanor in WI

Defenses for a Class C Misdemeanor in Wisconsin

The most important thing to do when facing a misdemeanor 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.

For Drug Possession Charges, Grieve Law will often begin by examining the circumstances of your arrest. If your rights were violated during the stop or search or you were compelled to give a confession, the evidence the police discovered (that is, the drugs) is inadmissible in court. It is also possible Grieve Law will find evidence of entrapment, which often invalidates a possession charge.

Grieve Law always creates defenses to give you the best chance of winning at court. For Class C misdemeanors, we’ll often begin by looking into the circumstances of your arrest. If the arresting officer made mistakes or violated your rights, their evidence cannot be admitted in court. That’s often enough to shut down the State’s case. Grieve will also review the pre-trial booking process to see if you were denied legal rights while awaiting trial, or if there’s evidence of the prosecution engaging in foul play. If a mistake was made before trial, a motion hearing can be called to dismiss the charges. These are all tactics Grieve might use with other felony and misdemeanor violations as well.

If your case does advance to trial, Grieve knows how the prosecution thinks and what tactics they’re likely to use. The burden of proof rests with the State. Mistaken identity, insufficient evidence, or other grey areas often make it impossible for the State to make charges stick, and Grieve will create a strategy designed to turn aside the prosecution's arguments.

Grieve Law: Keeping Innocent Wisconsin Free

If you or a loved one has been accused of 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 need, 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.™

In Wisconsin, how long does a Class C misdemeanor charge stay on your record?

Class C misdemeanor in Wisconsin could mean a $500 fine, which might not be much to some, but the conviction would likely remain on your record for life.


A Class C misdemeanor charge is not just a fine. A misdemeanor conviction will stay on your criminal record for life, so you want to avoid a conviction.

If you want to fight your Class C misdemeanor, contact Milwaukee’s award-winning criminal defense attorney Tom Grieve. His knowledge and expertise will help you fight the charge and avoid a conviction if possible.

Newsweek named Tom a Top Criminal Defense Attorney in the Country, making him one of the best lawyers to handle your case. No other criminal defense attorney in the Milwaukee area can match Tom’s record of success. You can trust that Tom Grieve will fight to the end to make your situation better. 

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