Know Your Rights


Under Wisconsin criminal law, a felony conviction carries with it potential term in the Wisconsin state prison.

The following are the penalties for the nine classes of felonies:

  • Class A Felony - life in prison
  • Class B Felony - up to 60 yrs in prison
  • Class C Felony - up to 40 yrs and $100,000
  • Class D Felony - up to 25 yrs and $100,000
  • Class E Felony - up to 15 yrs and $50,000
  • Class F Felony - up to 12 1/2 yrs and $25,000
  • Class G Felony - up to 10 yrs and $25,000
  • Class H Felony - up to 6 yrs and $10,000
  • Class I Felony - up to 3 1/2 yrs and $10,000

Felony conviction also carry with it a LIFETIME weapons prohibition (not allowed to own OR possess a firearm – not allowed to hunt) and you will no longer be eligible to vote or serve on a jury until your sentence is completed.


A misdemeanor charge carries a potential jail time as opposed to prison. This means you may be sentenced a county or local jail instead of incarceration in the Wisconsin State Prison System. Some prosecutors charge a Habitual penalty – repeat offender enhancer, which increases the incarceration portion of the misdemeanor penalty to include a prison sentence of up to two years.

  • Class A Misdemeanor - up to 9 months in prison, files of up to $10,000
  • Class B Misdemeanor - up to 90 days in prison, files of up to $1,000
  • Class C Misdemeanor - up to 30 days in prison, files of up to $500

Ordinance violations or municipal citations

An ordinance violation or forfeiture is a statute enacted by a county, city, or town. These are not considered criminal convictions and do not involve an arrest. Speeding and parking citations are examples of City or County ordinance violations.

Many others common citations issued are as follows: Disorderly conduct, retail theft, theft, battery, possession of a controlled substance, speeding and the numerous other traffic violations many of us are familiar with.

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