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In this article we discuss the classifications of misdemeanors in Wisconsin, should you or a loved one be arrested. These are punishable by terms of less than one year in county or local jail.

In this article we discuss the classifications of misdemeanors in Wisconsin, should you or a loved one be arrested. These are punishable by terms of less than one year in county or local jail. Misdemeanors are classified as Class A, B, or C. (Wis. Stat. § 939.51 (2019).) More serious crimes (felonies) are punishable by terms in state prison. For classification of misdemeanors and felonies for OWI offenses, see our Learn About Law article here

Below is a list of possible penalties for a violation of Wisconsin misdemeanor and felony offenses:  

Misdemeanor Offense Classes And Possible Penalties

Class A Misdemeanors

Class A misdemeanors, the most serious misdemeanor crimes in Wisconsin, are punishable by up to 9 months in jail, a fine of up to $10,000, or both jail and a fine. For example, Theft of Property with a Value of Less Than $2,500.00 is a Class A misdemeanor.

Class B Misdemeanors

Class B misdemeanors in Wisconsin are punishable by up to 90 days in jail, a fine of up to $1,000, or both. For example, Disorderly Conduct is an example of a Class B misdemeanor.

Class C Misdemeanors

A Class C misdemeanor is the least serious type of misdemeanor in Wisconsin. Being convicted of a Class C misdemeanor can result in a sentence of up to 30 days in jail, a fine of up to $500, or both. For example, a second conviction within 30 months for underage drinking of alcohol is a Class C Misdemeanor.  

Statutes of Limitations

Statutes of Limitations are time limits, after which the state can no longer begin criminal prosecution. The statute of limitations begins to “run” when the crime is committed. In Wisconsin, misdemeanors generally have three-year limitation periods.

Felony Offense Classes And Possible Penalties

Felonies in Wisconsin are crimes punishable by incarceration in state prison. Wisconsin's lawmakers classify felonies as Class A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, or I. (Wis. Stat. §  

Class A Felonies

Class A felonies are the most serious types of crimes in Wisconsin, punishable by life imprisonment. Murder is an example of a Class A felony.

Class B Felonies

A Class B felony is punishable by up to 60 years' imprisonment. In Wisconsin, for example, First Degree Sexual Assault of a Child is a Class B felony.

Class C and D Felonies

A conviction for a Class C or D felony can result in:

  • a prison term of up to 40 years (for Class C) or 25 years (for Class D),
  • a fine of up to $100,000, or
  • both imprisonment and a fine.

Carjacking is an example of a Class C felony under Wisconsin's laws.

Class E Felonies

In Wisconsin, Class E felonies are crimes punishable by a fine of up to $50,000, up to 15 years' imprisonment, or both. For example, Aggravated Battery Causing Great Bodily Harm (GBH) to another person is a Class E felony.

Class F and G Felonies

Class F and G felonies are punishable by:

  • up to 12 years and six months (for Class F) or 10 years (for Class G) in prison;
  • a fine of up to $25,000; or
  • both a fine and imprisonment.

For instance, burglary is typically a Class F felony in Wisconsin.

Class H and I Felonies

Class H and I felonies are punishable by fines of up to $10,000, prison terms of up to six years (for Class H) or three years and six months (for Class I), or both imprisonment and a fine. These are the least serious felony crimes in Wisconsin. Theft of Property Worth Between $5,000.00 and $10,000.00 is a Class H felony.

Statutes of Limitations

The statute of limitations, discussed above, is longer for more serious crimes. In Wisconsin, the most serious crimes, such as homicides and sexual abuse of a child, have no statute of limitations. Most other felonies have a limitation period of six years.

The Value of Legal Assistance

Felony convictions have serious and lasting consequences, including prison, fines, and a criminal record. A felony criminal record can make if difficult (and sometimes impossible) to obtain a job, qualify for a professional license, or earn a graduate degree. If you are charged with a crime, the best way to avoid a conviction is to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney. If you or a loved one has been charged with a misdemeanor or felony offense in Wisconsin, it is critical to contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible to explain the specific circumstances of your situation and get expert help.

The purpose of a free consultation is to determine whether our firm is a good fit for your legal needs. If you need help with a Wisconsin felony or misdemeanor case and would like the assistance of an attorney today, call our office at (630) 324-6666.  

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