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Thread: Wisconsin Statutes Felony defined §939.60, "offense punishABLE by imprisonment"

  1. #1
    Herr Heckler Koch
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    Wisconsin Statutes Felony defined §939.60, "offense punishABLE by imprisonment"

    Quote Originally Posted by rcawdor57 View Post
    I agree with your statement but here in Wisconsin there are many "laws" lurking for the unscrupulous D.A. to lay the "smack down" on his or her "defendant". Not to hijack this thread but here is the perfect example: Wisconsin Statute 939.60 Felony and misdemeanor defined.

    939.60  Felony and misdemeanor defined. A crime punishable by imprisonment in the Wisconsin state prisons is a felony. Every other crime is a misdemeanor.
    History: 1977 c. 418 s. 924 (18) (e).

    A statutory offense punishable by imprisonment of one year or less in an unspecified place of confinement may result in confinement in a state prison and, therefore, is a felony, regardless of the classification of the offense at the time of the statute's enactment. State ex rel. McDonald v. Douglas County Circuit Ct. 100 Wis. 2d 569, 302 N.W.2d 462 (1981).

    What this wonderful statute means if the judicial system (cough...cough) cannot find a spot for you in the jails and instead puts you in a prison for your small misdemeanor...you automatically are a felon.

    There are many statutes like this on the books for the D.A. and judge to use against us. "Justice? What justice?"
    It is worse than that. Any finding of other than not guilty may make one a felon, actual imprisonment is not necessary. The essential elements are liablity and duration. Actual residence is not an element.

    I was once called to a jury pool of one hundred. The Judge Cottingham lectured at length on the requirements of a juror, including a careful definition of felon under the laws of his jurisdiction. Then he directed all that thought they might fall into that classification to queue up at his bench. By my count, 80 potential jurors, 80% of the pool considered themselves potentially felon. I was empaneled and we found the drunken used-car salesman guilty.

  2. #2
    Campaign Veteran rcawdor57's Avatar
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    These laws are very, very bad and not many people (average citizens) have the slightest idea they exist.
    “The Constitution shall never be construed... to prevent the People of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms.” -- Samuel Adams

    “Today, we need a nation of Minutemen. Citizens who are not only prepared to take arms, but citizens who regard the preservation of freedom as the basic purpose of their daily life and who are willing to consciously work and sacrifice for that freedom.”

    —John F. Kennedy

  3. #3
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    Here is the statue with its ANNOTATION:


    939.60  Felony and misdemeanor defined. A crime punishable by imprisonment in the Wisconsin state prisons is a felony. Every other crime is a misdemeanor.

    History: 1977 c. 418 s. 924 (18) (e).
    939.60 Annotation A statutory offense punishable by imprisonment of one year or less in an unspecified place of confinement may result in confinement in a state prison and, therefore, is a felony, regardless of the classification of the offense at the time of the statute's enactment. State ex rel. McDonald v. Douglas County Circuit Ct. 100 Wis. 2d 569, 302 N.W.2d 462 (1981).
    That case Annotation is incorrect/misleading. The Annotation is NOT considered a part of the statutes. Here is the actual summary paragraph in the court decision:

    http://scholar.google.com/scholar_ca...=4,50&as_vis=1

    580*580 [4]

    In summary, we hold that a violation of sec. 346.67, Stats., involving death or injury to a person constitutes a felony. We reach that result by reading together secs. 346.67, 346.74(5), 939.60, and 973.02, Stats., which provide (1) an offense punishable by confinement for one year with no place of confinement specified; (2) a declaration that, when a statutory offense does not specify a 581*581 place of confinement, a sentence of one year may be to either the county jail or the state prisons; and (3) a classification as felonies of all crimes punishable by imprisonment in the state prisons. No further inquiry is needed.
    You will notice that the actual decision, does NOT say "imprisonment one year or less"
    It involves maximum sentences that are one year.

    This case involved violation of statute 346.67 involving injury to a person, and here is the penalty for violating that section in 1981:


    "346.74(5) Any person violating any provision of s. 346.67 may be fined not more than $200 or imprisoned not more than 6 months or both if the accident did not involve death or injury to a person and may be fined not less than $5 nor more than $5,000 or imprisoned not less than 10 days nor more than one year if the accident involved death or injury to a person."
    The 346.67 statute in 1981, did not spell out whether the crime was a misdemeanor or a felony. Most all newer statutes, do specify that in the statute or in the appropriate penalty statute. Later, there were several acts, including 2001, Act109 sections 459 thru 461,that corrected these problems. The current penalty statute (346.74) for statute 346.67 does specify what crimes are a felony:


    346.74(5) Any person violating any provision of s. 346.67 (1):
    _ (a) Shall be fined not less than $300 nor more than $1,000 or imprisoned not more than 6 months or both if the accident did not involve death or injury to a person.
    _ (b) May be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned for not more than 9 months or both if the accident involved injury to a person but the person did not suffer great bodily harm.
    _ (c) Is guilty of a Class E felony if the accident involved injury to a person and the person suffered great bodily harm.
    _ (d) Is guilty of a Class D felony if the accident involved death to a person.
    _ (e) Is guilty of a felony if the accident involved death or injury to a person.
    Last edited by E6chevron; 01-16-2012 at 03:41 PM.
    Wis. CCL #5x Springfield XDM 3.8 Compact .40 S&W, Utah CFP

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