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Specific Charges
Wisconsin Drunk Driving Defense

Many of us have made the wrong decision and rolled the dice, choosing to drive after having too much to drink. Wisconsin Drunk Driving Defense is very complicated and requires an attorney with an understanding of the particular nuances involved in Wisconsin Drunk Driving Defense.

Wisconsin Drunk Driving Defense
Wisconsin Juvenile Sexual Assault Charges

There has been a dramatic increase in charges of teens having consensual sex. I understand the delicate nature of the issues involved in these cases.

Wisconsin Juvenile Sexual Assault Defense
Wisconsin Drug Crimes

Whether you've been charged with kilos of Cocaine or grams of Marijuana, I will defend your rights to the fullest extent of the law.

Wisconsin Drug Defense
Wisconsin Gun Crimes

In Wisconsin, there are severe penalties for possessing a firearm when prohibited. Most Felons convicted of possessing a gun end up with a prison sentence. I will work hard to defend your rights.

Wisconsin Gun Crimes Defense
Wisconsin Preliminary Hearings and Probable Cause

Preliminary Hearings

Wisconsin criminal laws require that defendants in felony cases are afforded the opportunity for a Preliminary Hearing. The Preliminary Hearing can be waived by the defendant. Wisconsin criminal defense attorneys consult with their clients about whether to waive the Preliminary Hearing or force the State to provide witnesses and evidence to a magistrate in order to prove that Probable Cause exists in the case.

Probable Cause

When a magistrate finds that Probably Cause exists, after either a waiver or a Preliminary Hearing, the defendant is bound over for trial. Probable Cause is a standard of proof that is a very low hurdle for the prosecution to overcome. It merely requires that the State show that a felony was probably committed in Wisconsin, and that the defendant probably committed the felony. Hearsay is admissible in a Preliminary Hearing. For example, if the defendant made a confession to the police, all that is necessary for bind over is that the police officer read to the court the statements allegedly made by the defendant. Obviously, this alone isn’t sufficient for a conviction at trial, as challenges can be made regarding Miranda warnings or voluntariness of the statement. But for the purposes of the Preliminary Hearing, it is admissible and sufficient for bind over.

Results of Most Preliminary Hearings

The majority of Preliminary Hearings, either by waiver or hearing, result in the bindover of the defendant for trial. The Preliminary Hearing in Wisconsin criminal courts is not a full trial on all the issues in felony case. In fact, the Wisconsin criminal defense lawyer in a Preliminary Hearing is very limited in the types of questions he or she is allowed to ask a witness. Magistrates frequently sustain numerous prosecution objections to defense questions. It is quite rare for a defense attorney to put on witnesses in a Wisconsin criminal Preliminary Hearing. Many Wisconsin criminal defense lawyers waive the Preliminary Hearing. Again, the decision to do so is one that is made on a case by case basis. The waiver of the Preliminary Hearing is an admission by the defendant that probable cause exists in the felony case. A waiver is NOT an admission of guilt in a Wisconsin criminal case. A defendant who waives the Preliminary Hearing still retains his or her right to a full jury trial on all the issues to make the State prove the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Follow this link to read the Wisconsin Legislature’s statute, Chapter 970, regarding Wisconsin Preliminary Hearings.