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What Factors Can Aggravate a Criminal Charge in Wisconsin?

Posted on in Criminal Defense

Racine County criminal defense attorney aggravated charges

The time spent in the criminal justice system begins when a person is arrested. After an arrest, an individual will be charged with a crime if the prosecution finds that there is enough evidence to do so. Next, the alleged offender and his or her attorney may be able to reach a plea bargain with the prosecution, or the case may proceed to trial. Once everything is said and done, a judge will deliver a sentence for the crime if the defendant is convicted or pleads guilty. In Wisconsin, each crime has a different classification, which typically depends on the seriousness and nature of the offense. In some cases, the prosecution can push to have a sentence increased if there are aggravating factors present. That is why it is important to understand what circumstances can lead to harsher sentencing.

Examples of Aggravating Factors

Typically, there are a variety of factors that can increase the severity of the sentence for a crime. These are usually referred to as aggravating factors, and they may include anything from the location where the crime allegedly took place to the damage allegedly caused by the crime. In Wisconsin, there are various actions or behaviors that could affect a person’s sentence. These may include:

  • The harm caused by the offense: The level of harm that an offense allegedly caused another person can be a factor when deciding to increase a defendant’s sentence. The judge may take into consideration any physical, emotional, or financial harm that the alleged victim of the crime suffered.

  • Association with a gang: Typically, if a crime was allegedly committed in association with a gang, the accused person may be punished more severely than if it was not gang-related. This is often done in an effort to prevent gang-related crimes.

  • Use of a dangerous weapon during the crime: If an individual allegedly used any firearm or other type of dangerous weapon when committing a criminal act, he or she could face increased penalties for the crime.

  • The role of the defendant in the crime: The role a person plays in an alleged crime can also affect his or her sentence. If the prosecution believes that the person was a ringleader or mastermind behind an alleged crime, the sentence will likely reflect that, resulting in stiffer punishments. These can include costly fines, probation, loss of driving privileges, or extended jail time.

  • The risk the defendant poses to others: Courts also usually base a defendant’s sentence on the danger he or she allegedly poses to others and the community. If a judge believes the alleged offender is a threat, he or she will likely sentence the defendant to time in prison.

Contact a Milwaukee County Criminal Defense Attorney

If you are facing any type of criminal charges, it is crucial that you have a skilled Racine County criminal defense lawyer on your side. Depending on the details of your situation, your charges or sentence could be increased because of aggravating factors. At the Bucher Law Group, LLC, we understand how complicated and confusing the criminal justice system can be. Our team of lawyers is here to help you avoid a conviction whenever possible and fight to help you achieve a favorable outcome to your case. To schedule a free consultation, call our office today at 262-303-4916.

 

Sources:

https://www.wispd.org/images/AppellateFolder/templatesforms/TISnotes.pdf

https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/statutes/statutes/973/017

 

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