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THE STANGL LAW BLOG

Wisconsin Felony Classes: A Quick Guide

Updated by Attorney Stangl on July 27, 2020

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What is a felony in Wisconsin?

In Wisconsin, a felony is any crime that brings a maximum sentence of more than one year in prison.

What Is the Difference Between a Felony and a Misdemeanor?

At first, all criminal offenses fall into one of two categories: felonies and misdemeanors.

According to Wisconsin law, a felony is a crime that could result in a jail term of one year or longer. Felonies are assigned sentences within the Wisconsin State Prison System rather than a county jail.

A misdemeanor is any crime not punishable by imprisonment in the Wisconsin State Prison System.

Read more about misdemeanors in Wisconsin »

After this initial classification, offenses are broken down into a number of separate categories based on the nature of the crime itself.

Wisconsin Felony Classes

There are nine classes of felonies: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, and I. They are classified by the seriousness of the offense, from most to least serious.

Class A felonies, or example, are considered the most serious offenses and result in the most severe punishments given in Wisconsin. They include a lifetime sentence with further stipulations for repeat offenders and those with specific criminal records.

For instances of repeat offenses or prior criminal records, contact an experienced Wisconsin criminal defense attorney to better understand what specific penalties may be possible. Note that the example offenses listed is not exhaustive.

Read on for a list of felony classes, corresponding penalties, and examples of the types of offenses that fall under each category.

Class A Felony in Wisconsin

Class A felonies carry the most severe punishments in Wisconsin, punishable by life imprisonment. (Wis. Stat. § 939.50.)

Read more about Class A felonies »

Examples of Class A Felonies Stangl Law Can Defend in Court

Class B Felony in Wisconsin

Class B felonies are punishable by up to 60 years in state prison and are the second most severe offense in Wisconsin. (Wis. Stat. § 939.50.)

Read more about Class B felonies »

Examples of Class B Felonies Stangl Law Can Defend in Court

Class C Felony in Wisconsin

Class C felonies are punishable by up to 40 years in state prison, a maximum fine of $100,000, or both.

Read more about Class C felonies »

Examples of Class C Felonies Stangl Law Can Defend in Court

  • OWI Vehicular Homicide with a Previous OWI Conviction
  • Possession of Amphetamines or Flunitrazepam (Rohypnol) with the Intent to Sell (of 50 grams or more)
  • Arson
  • Possession of Cocaine with the Intent to Sell (40 grams or more)
  • Causing Death by Administering, Making, or Selling Schedule I or II Narcotic Drugs

Class D Felony in Wisconsin

Class D felonies are punishable by up to 25 years in state prison, a maximum fine of $100,000, or both. (Wis. Stat. § 939.50.)

Read more about Class D felonies »

Examples of Class D Felonies Stangl Law Can Defend in Court

  • Hit and Run Involving Fatality
  • OWI Vehicular Homicide or 2nd Degree Reckless Homicide
  • Possession of Amphetamines or Flunitrazepam (Rohypnol) with the Intent to Sell (10-50 grams)
  • Possession of Cocaine with the Intent to Sell (15-40 grams)

Class E Felony in Wisconsin

Class E felonies are punishable by up to 15 years in state prison, a maximum fine of $50,000, or both . (Wis. Stat. § 939.50.)

Read more about Class E felonies »

Examples of Class E Felonies Stangl Law Can Defend in Court

  • Hit and Run Involving Great Bodily Harm
  • Possession of Body Armor After Being Convicted of a Violent Crime
  • Aggravated Battery Causing Great Bodily Harm Intentionally
  • Possession of Schedule I or II Narcotics or 3-10 Grams of Amphetamines or Flunitrazepam (Rohypnol) with the Intent to Sell
  • Possession of Cocaine with the Intent to Sell (5-15 grams)
  • Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Sell (10 kg. or more)

Class F Felony in Wisconsin

Class F felonies are punishable by a fine of $25,000, a state prison sentence of 12 1/2 years, or both. (Wis. Stat. § 939.50.)

Read more about Class F felonies »

Examples of Class F Felonies Stangl Law Can Defend in Court

  • 1st Degree Reckless Endangerment
  • OWI Causing Great Bodily Harm
  • Modifying a Gun to Operate Like a Machine Gun
  • Stalking Involving a Weapon
  • Discharging a Firearm on a Highway or in a Parking Lot Towards People or Buildings
  • Possession of Amphetamines or Flunitrazepam (Rohypnol) with the Intent to Sell (3 grams or less)
  • Possession of Cocaine with the Intent to Sell (1-5 grams)
  • Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Sell (2.5 to 10 kg.)

Class G Felony in Wisconsin

Class G felonies are punishable by up to 10 years in state prison, a maximum fine of $25,000, or both. (Wis. Stat. § 939.50.)

Read more about Class G felonies »

Examples of Class G Felonies Stangl Law Can Defend in Court

  • 2nd Offense Strangulation
  • OWI 5th Offense
  • 2nd Degree Reckless Endangerment
  • Homicide by Negligence with Firearms or Motor Vehicles
  • Possession of a Firearm with a Previous Felony Conviction
  • Theft of Property Worth More than $10,000
  • Endangering Safety with a Dangerous Weapon
  • Possession of Cocaine with the Intent to Sell (less than 1 gram)
  • Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Sell (1 to 2.5 kg.)

Class H Felony in Wisconsin

A Class H in Wisconsin is punishable by up to 6 years in state prison, a maximum fine of $10,000, or both. (Wis. Stat. § 939.50.)

Read more about Class H felonies »

Examples of Class H Felonies Stangl Law Can Defend in Court

  • 4th Offense OWI
  • OWI with a Minor Under the Age of 16 in the Vehicle
  • Second OWI Causing an Injury
  • Strangulation
  • False Imprisonment
  • Felony Bail Jumping
  • Aggravated Battery Causing Great Bodily Harm
  • Theft of Property Worth $5,000–$10,000
  • Arson with the Intent to Defraud
  • Destruction of Power Lines, Power Service Equipment, or Other Property Critical to Electricity Distribution
  • Possession of Machine Guns, Silencers, and Short-barreled Rifles or Shotguns
  • Possession of Armor-piercing Bullets During the Commission of a Crime
  • Pointing a Firearm at Medical Responders, Firefighters, or Police Officers
  • Possession of Schedule IV or Schedule I, II, or III Non-narcotic Drugs with the Intent to Sell
  • Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Sell (200 g. to 1 kg.)

Class I Felony in Wisconsin

Class I felonies are punishable by up to 3 1/2 years in state prison, fines up to $10,000, or both (Wis. Stat. § 939.50.)

Read more about Class I felonies »

Examples of Class I Felonies Stangl Law Can Defend in Court

  • Aggravated Battery Causing Substantial Bodily Harm
  • Theft of Property Worth $2,500-$5,000
  • Threatening Stalking
  • Destruction of Property Worth More than $2,500 or Certain Types of Property
  • Arson of Property Other than a Building
  • Possession of Schedule V Drugs with the Intent to Sell Them
  • Possession of of Marijuana with Intent to Sell (200 g. or less)
  • 2nd or Subsequent Possession of Cocaine Charge
  • 2nd or Subsequent Possession of THC Charge

What Are the Consequences of a Criminal Conviction?

Criminal convictions carry serious penalties, some of which you may not expect. If you or someone you know has been charged with a crime, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney to craft a powerful defense.

Possible consequences of a criminal conviction include:

  • Jail or prison time
  • Large fines and court fees
  • Difficulty finding a job
  • Probation
  • A permanent criminal record
  • Ineligibility for student financial aid
  • Suspended driver's license
  • Loss or denial of professional licenses
  • Inability to rent or buy a house 

What Are the Consequences of a Felony Conviction?

A major difference between felonies and misdemeanors is the forfeiture of civil liberties.

Possible consequences of a felony conviction include loss of:

  • The right to possess a gun
  • The ability to hunt with a gun
  • The right to vote
  • The ability to hold office
  • The ability to serve on a jury

What to Do If You're Charged with a Felony in Wisconsin

If you or a loved one has been charged with any crime that may potentially be considered a  felony, having a good defense attorney on your side is invaluable. Do not wait to seek legal advice. Contact us and schedule a consultation right now.

 

At Stangl Law Offices, Patrick J. Stangl listens carefully to your side of the incident, and works with you to build a defense that could potentially result in either an acquittal, a reduction to a lesser charge, or in some cases the dropping of charges. No matter what your situation, being accused of a crime is unsettling. Contact us for a free 15-minute consultation.

Two Felony Defense Success Stories

Victory - State of Wisconsin v. J.H.

The client had a search warrant executed on her house where several marijuana plants were discovered as a result of the search. She was charged with a drug felony and her husband was charged with manufacturing THC. In defending her case Attorney Stangl believed that there were false statements made in the affidavit portion of the complaint for search warrant and further contended that the warrant itself lacked probable cause to be issued in the first place due to misstatements made in the affidavit and that the informant who provided the information was not reliable. Indeed, the information was based on allegations from an individual who had approximately ten prior criminal convictions, was a known drug user, and had existing charges for obstructing justice. Moreover, some of the information provided by this individual was not confirmed. Attorney Stangl brought a number of motions to have the search warrant and all of the evidence tossed out. The motions were set for a hearing and late in the morning prior to the afternoon hearing he received a call from the District Attorney to discuss his pending motions. The State believed there was more than a reasonable chance that the motions to suppress would be granted. The case was successfully resolved and his client was not convicted of any drug felony.

Victory - Matthew’s Dilemma

Matthew was arrested after he had an accident where he crashed into a decorative retaining wall in front of a closed business. He was initially arrested and cited for felony reckless endangerment as well as operating a vehicle while intoxicated. It was alleged that he "huffed" an inhalant and blacked out while driving. He immediately hired Attorney Stangl prior to being formally charged and the criminal charges were not pursued. He was then charged with an OWI 1st under the theory that he was under the influence of an inhalant. The matter was aggressively defended and many motions challenging the case were filed including a motion to suppress statements made by Matthew which were very damaging to his case. Ultimately, prior to trial, due to concerns with proving its case a resolution was reached and the City amended the OWI to a reckless driving and inattentive driving with the payment of two forfeitures-fines.

Read more Success Stories →

FREE 15-Minute Consultation

If you need help fighting felony charges in Madison or elsewhere in the state, Attorney Pat Stangl is happy to offer you a FREE 15-minute consultation to discuss your case and explore options for your defense. Click or tap the link below to get started.

Get a Free Criminal Defense Consultation 

Topics: Criminal Defense

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