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Past conviction record can impact financial crime sentencing

One of the things that can affect the legal situation of a person accused of committing a crime against a financial institution, such as stealing from, defrauding or robbing such an institution, here in Wisconsin is their past conviction record. For example, whether such a person has had previous convictions on charges of crimes against financial institutions could impact what maximum prison sentence they could face if found guilty of the current charge.

Under Wisconsin law, when a person is convicted of a crime against a financial institution and they have had at least two past convictions of committing crimes against financial institutions that, along with the current offense, fall into the same 18-month period, the maximum prison sentence they could face increases above the typical maximum for the crime.

How much the maximum increases depends on multiple things, including what class the charges the prior convictions were on fell into.

If the prior convictions were all on misdemeanor charges, the maximum potential sentence for current conviction increases by two years.

If one or more of the prior convictions was on a felony charge, what the increase would be for the maximum possible prison sentence for the current conviction varies depending on what the normal maximum prison sentence for the offense the current conviction is on is. The increase would be by:

  • Two years if the normal maximum sentence for the offense of the current conviction is a year or less.
  • Four years if the normal maximum sentence for the offense of the current conviction is greater than one year but less than or equal to 10 years.
  • Six years if the normal maximum sentence for the offense of the current conviction is over 10 years.

What the maximum allowed sentence is for a given crime can have significant implications in the sentencing phase of criminal proceedings and can also be a very important thing to keep in mind during the other stages of criminal proceedings. Criminal defense attorneys can provide individuals accused of crimes against financial institutions or other white collar crimes with information on what maximum sentence they could face if convicted and other details that could significantly impact their case.

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