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Wisconsin's Three Strikes Law Explained


Wisconsin is one of 28 total states which have laws which impose heavier sentences for repeat offenders. These laws, often referred to as “Three Strikes” laws, are created with the intent to keep habitual criminals locked up for life, thereby discouraging others with felony records from committing subsequent violent or serious felonies.

As its namesake would suggest, Wisconsin’s repeat offender law implements a “strike” system for individuals convicted of certain violent or otherwise serious felony offenses. Individuals with a strike on their record face double penalties for any subsequent felony charges, culminating in a potential 25 years to life sentence without parole if convicted of a third strike offense.

What Is Considered a “Violent” or Serious Felony?

A wide range of criminal offenses can result in a strike on a person’s record. All of these crimes involve either inflicting serious injury to another person, using or threatening to use a weapon, are sexual in nature, or involve gangs in some way.

Typical strike offenses include:

In some cases, a person can be charged with multiple strikes in the same trial. For example, if a defendant were to threaten a person with a pistol and then subsequently commit a carjacking, they can be charged with two separate strikes in one shot – even though they occurred in the same incident.

Facing a “Strike” on Your Record?

Strike offenses are extremely serious and can expose individuals to a lengthy prison sentence and exorbitant fines – especially if they have previous strikes on their record. If you have been charged with a potential strike offense, it is imperative you retain the services of a hard-hitting advocate who can unbiasedly defend you against the prosecution’s claims.

When the stakes are high, contact the Law Offices of Christopher J. Cherella. Our Milwaukee criminal defense lawyer has successfully defended hundreds of clients accused of a wide range of high-level felonies and can provide the aggressive advocacy you need to minimize your chances of conviction. To discover what our 20+ years of legal experience can do for you, get in touch with our office today by calling us directly at (414) 882-8382.

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