What is a Sentencing Hearing and What Happens During One?
Sentencing is when the court imposes a punishment on the defendant after they have been found guilty at trial or has pled guilty to a crime. A judge will hold a hearing before they render their decision about the criminal sanctions for the defendant. The sentencing hearing is a tremendously stressful proceeding for the defendant because they literally learn their own fate. The defendant has a right to be heard before the judge hands down a sentence.
The Difference Between a License Suspension and Revocation in Wisconsin
If you have been convicted of certain traffic offenses, you may lose your right to drive for a certain period of time. There are various terms that the law uses for the loss of your ability to drive. The two most common terms are revocation and suspension of your driver’s license. Although these terms are largely the same, there are some key differences of which you should be made aware by your attorney. While you do not have full driving privileges, you will be punished far more seriously when you are caught driving with a revoked license.
How Does an Innocent Person End Up in the Court System?
Many people think that the protections of the legal system are enough to keep an innocent person from being convicted of a crime. However, the mere fact that an innocent person is in the court system is a large problem in itself. They are subject to an extreme amount of pressure and stress. They must also expend large amounts of money on legal defense. Any time that someone is in the legal system, there is a risk of conviction and jail time. If you have been charged with a crime that you did not commit, you need an attorney immediately.
How Will Social Media Impact My Criminal Defense?
If you are facing criminal charges, caution is the best course to follow in all areas of your life. You never quite know what you say to others may come back to hurt your criminal defense. Even worse may be information that you put out into the public realm for everyone to see. Social media may give a prosecutor the ammunition that they need to convict you of the charges. Here are several ways that your posts could be used against you.
Wisconsin Still Charges 17-Year-Olds as Adults in All Cases
Criminal justice reform has a long way to go in Wisconsin. Along with being one of the most difficult states to get an expungement of your criminal record, the state has many other laws on the books that are very unfavorable to defendants. One is a law that automatically charges every 17-year-old who has been arrested as an adult, practically ensuring that they will begin their life with a criminal record that could be very hard to clear. While Wisconsin allows for expungement of criminal records when the defendant was under 25 when the crime was committed, this policy does not cover all crimes. This law seems more unfair and out of place in the current time. Therefore, efforts are underway to change this.
SCOW Finds Generic Conduct in “High Crime Area” Created Reasonable Suspicion of Criminal Activity
The Wisconsin Supreme Court continues to make life harder for criminal defendants throughout the state, broadening law enforcement’s power through its recent rulings. In one case, the Supreme Court has practically criminalized being in a “high-crime area,” allowing officers practically unlimited ability to view any ordinary behavior in these areas as a pretext to search possible suspects. With rulings like these, defendants need attorneys more than ever to help them fight illegal searches and seizures.
Discharge from Probation Didn’t Count as Successful Completion of Sentence for Expungement Purposes
Although momentum seems to be on the side of criminal justice reform and allowing for broader abilities to expunge criminal records, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals did not exactly see it this way in a recent case. The court would not allow expungement of a defendant’s criminal record when he was discharged from probation. In order to be fully eligible for possible expungement, defendants need to complete their sentence in full, no matter the circumstances. To ensure your best chances of expunging your criminal record, make sure to hire a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
Does Taking a Plea Deal Result in a Conviction on Your Record?
In some cases, the best legal outcome in your case means that you enter into a deal with the prosecutor for lesser charges or a reduced sentence. For some defendants, it is the best way to put the matter behind them and move on with their life. It’s important to understand that in some cases, a plea bargain may still result in a criminal conviction on your record. One of your major considerations going forward is how the plea deal will impact your future. With that in mind, a frequent question we are asked is whether a plea deal will stay on your record.
How a Criminal Record Can Affect Your Professional Life
While Wisconsin has some limits on how employers can use criminal records in making hiring decisions, there are still many ways that it could affect your ability to get a job. The state tries to protect people with a criminal history, enabling them to get a fresh start in life. However, there are limits to what an employer is required to ignore when they run a background check. This could impact how your criminal case proceeds.