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Sentencing How does it work in Wisconsin?

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Sentencing for Criminal Charges in Wisconsin

Sentencing varies depending on the charges you face and the county you're charged in. In order to get the best result, it is important you have some of the best attorneys for your drunk driving or criminal case. Grieve Law knows the DUI penalties and all aspects of criminal law to help get your charges reduced or dropped.

After you have entered your plea, your case will usually go to sentencing on the same day. Sentencing begins with the prosecutor making any remarks about the case, highlighting the aggravating factors, as well as making a record of anything that any identified victims may want to say. If the victim(s) is present in the courtroom, they have the right to address the court and be heard. If they have filed a “victim impact statement” with the District Attorney’s Office, then the District Attorney will proceed to file it with the court as part of the sentencing phase of your case. The District Attorney’s remarks are aimed at their goal of the court ordering and adopting their sentencing recommendation.

What is a sentencing recommendation?

Wisconsin judges consider a variety of sentencing factors before deciding on a sentence. A sentencing recommendation is what our Waukesha and Milwaukee drunk driving attorneys and criminal defense attorneys negotiate on your behalf throughout your entire case. This is what the state is going to ask the court to be done to you as part of sentencing. The recommendation may be a fine, a fine with probation, or jail time. Whatever it is, the state will be gearing its remarks so the judge will adopt their sentencing recommendation.

All counties have a system where the state and defense will argue about what should be done. In certain counties, it is very common for the state defense to make a joint recommendation to the court about what should be done with your case. This means that your defense team and the prosecutor will have to agree on what should be done with your case. If your case is not a joint recommendation, then after the prosecution has finished making their recommendation to the court, we will have our own chance to make a recommendation to the court. Depending upon your case, the judge, and the state’s recommendation, we may make a very different recommendation to the court or very a similar recommendation to the court. There are a lot of reasons why an experienced criminal defense attorney may recommend something very close or very different. For more information about this, contact our Milwaukee drunk driving and criminal defense team.

The goal of our defense attorneys in making recommendations, remarks, and arguments to the judge is to show the court all of the mitigating factors of the case (the fact that you are not an awful human being; are a great husband, wife, mother, father; your volunteer activities in the community; and so forth). This ensures the judge gets to see the real you, not just the "you" in the police reports and criminal complaint, before making any decisions about what should be done with your life and future. This is exactly what our criminal defense attorneys will be doing as part of their sentencing recommendation.

Addressing the Court

After your attorneys have finished their sentencing recommendation, you will have the opportunity to address the court directly. This is your chance to tell the judge, in your own words, what you have learned as a result of going through this process, and maybe to give a little more insight into your personal background, along with what happened on the date of the incident. There are many other details you may want to get into. To learn more, contact the drunk driving and criminal defense attorneys at Grieve Law.

Once you are done addressing the court, it is now the judge’s turn. Some judges do not really ask any questions and may not even say much. After a few remarks, if any, they'll pronounce the sentence. Other judges prefer to engage in a discussion with the defendant prior to issuing any kind of sentence. They may choose to ask you questions about your life, the incident, or a variety of other areas. You may choose to answer or not answer. Not all judges will ask you questions, and sometimes they will make a number of remarks, comments, and statements before handing out a sentence. In general, this is your chance to listen to what the court has to say about your case. Keep in mind that judges hear cases similar to yours, day-in and day-out.

Once the judge has issued a sentence, your attorney will review any kind of post-conviction or appeal rights with you prior to leaving the courtroom. Depending on the county you are in, there may be additional paperwork to complete before you are able to leave the courtroom. These are just some of the reasons it is important you have experienced criminal defense attorneys on your side to help you get the best results. Learn more about some sentencing guidelines

Contact the Wisconsin criminal defense attorneys at Grieve Law for a free initial consultation.

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