Milwaukee Criminal Defense Motions

This is your source for Wisconsin criminal defense motions and briefs-- all for free download.

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Jeffrey W. Jensen

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Milwaukee, WI 53202-4825



Wisconsin Appellate Briefs  (page two)



State v. Parish:  Parish, who was charged with sexual assault of a child, raises two issues on appeal.  The first is whether he is entitled to a new trial on the grounds that one of the jurors who served on his jury did not respond to a voir dire question asking whether any of the panel had experience with sexual assault, when, in fact, the juror had been sexually assaulted in college.  Secondly, Parish contends that he is entitled to a new trial because the prosecutor, during his closing argument, improperly appealed to the jury's bias and prejudice by making numerous Biblical references.

State v. Devonte Wilson: Wilson filed a postconviction motion alleging that trial counsel was ineffective for failing to move to exclude two critical state witnesses who had not been named on the state's witness list.  The circuit court denied the motion without a hearing on the grounds that the court would not have excluded the witnesses even if Wilson's counsel had objected.  On appeal, Wilson argues that the sanction of Sec. 971.23(7m), Stats. is mandatory and, therefore, the court would have been obligated to exclude the witnesses.  

State v. Adam Zamora:  In what is a recurring them in sexual cases in which children are involved, the state sought to call an "expert" witness to testify about why children delay reporting, and why they are poor historians.  Zamora objected to this testimony, and demanded a so-called Daubert hearing.  At the Daubert hearing, though, the judge merely took judicial notice that this particular expert had been permitted to testify by other judges in the county.  On appeal, Zamora argues that the circuit judge abdicated his "gatekeeper function" concerning this expert testimony.

State v. Kenneth Jaworski: The state filed a petition alleging that Jaworski is a sexually violent person.  During the course of the proceedings, Jaworski repeatedly claimed that the petition was not timely filed because the Department of Corrections miscalculated his release date.  It was determined that the DOC did, in fact, miscalculate Jaworski's release date; however, existing case law permits the state to rely upon the released date calculated by the DOC, even if it turns out to be wrong.  On appeal, Jaworski claims that he is at least entitled to a due process hearing to determine whether his release date was intentionally miscalculated, as he claims.

State v. Richard Scott: Scott plead guilty to repeated sexual assault of a child.  However, during the plea colloquy, the judge mis-stated the elements of the offense and applicable penalty.  Moreover, Scott claims that there was not a factual basis for the guilty plea.

State v. Mikulski: The state filed a petition seeking to commit Mikulski as a sexually violent person.  During the course of the trial, the state's expert testified that it was merely "likely" that Mikulski would commit a crime of sexual violence in the future.  On appeal, Mikulski claims that the evidence was insufficient to find that he was a sexually violent person because the statute requires that he be "more likely than not" to commit a crime of sexual violence in the future.

State v. Patterson:  Patterson raises a number of issues in this appeal from his conviction for first degree reckless homicide.   Perhaps the strongest issue is Patterson's claim that the jury instructions given by the circuit court improperly instructed the jury as to the state's burden of proof in negating Patterson's claim that he acted in self-defense. 


State v. Thiel: Thiel was involuntarily committed under Chapter 980 as a sexually violent person.  He petitioned for, and he was granted, supervised release.  At issue in this appeal is whether the conditions of release imposed upon Thiel were reasonable.

State v. Jackson: On appeal, Jackson claims that the circuit court erred in denying his motion to compel the state to disclose how the police knew that Jackson would be at the location where he was arrested.  Jackson suspects that the police were illegally using GPS technology to track him

IMPORTANT CASE UPDATEOn April 30, 2014 the Wisconsin Court of Appeals issued an opinion reversing Jackson's conviction, and ordering the state to turn over to Jackson the information concerning how the police knew that Jackson could be located in the apartment where he was arrested.  The state, not wanting to turn over this information, has filed a motion to reconsider.  You may read the opinion at State v. Adrian Jackson.

State v. Gimino:  Gimino appeals from an order of the circuit court denying his Sec. 974.06, Stats. motion without a hearing.  In the motion, Gimino demanded a new trial on the grounds that his trial attorney was ineffective for failing to raise the "constitutional defense" to child abuse charges.  Additionally, Gimino alleged that the "good cause" for failing to raise the issue in his original appeal was that postconviction/appellate counsel was ineffective for failing to identify the issue.  The circuit court denied the motion without a hearing, ruling that the circuit court lacked competence to resolve issues of ineffective assistance of counsel.  On appeal, Gimino argues that the court erred in denying the motion without a hearing because the central claim is ineffective assistance of trial counsel.  Therefore, the circuit court possessed competency to determine the issue.


State v. Rupar:  Rupar, who was convicted of first degree intentional homicide, claims on appeal that the trial court erred by permitting the State to play a video of his confession in which he is dressed in jail clothing, and in which he admits to gang affiliation.

State v. Foley:  In this appeal, Foley challenges the sufficiency of the evidence to convict him of theft by fraud where there was no evidence that Foley made any misrepresentations to the bank clerk who cashed a check that Foley knew had insufficient funds.

State v. Cotton:  Cotton filed a petition for discharge from his Chapter 980 commitment.  In support of the petition, Cotton filed a report from a doctor who was of the opinion that, due to additional research on the actuarial instruments, Cotton no longer met the criteria for a sexual predator commitment.  The State moved to deny the petition without a hearing on the grounds that this does not amount to a change in Cotton's condition; it only amounts to a change in the interpretation of his condition.   The court granted the State's motion.  Cotton appeals.  On appeal, Cotton argues that additional research that creates a better understanding of the petitioner's future dangerousness does require the court to set the matter for hearing.


State v. Negrete:  This case is presently on review in the Wisconsin Supreme Court.  In 2010 Negrete filed a motion to withdraw a guilty plea that was entered in 1992.  The reason was that Negrete was the subject of immigration proceedings, and he believes that he was not given the immigration warning at the time of the entry of his plea.  The court reporter is deceased and, therefore, there was no way to prove that Negrete was given the immigration warning.  There was, however, a guilty plea questionnaire in the file which bore Negrete's signature, and which contained the immigration warning.  Therefore, the trial court denied the motion on the grounds that any failure to give the immigration warning was harmless error.  This is Negrete's brief in the Wisconsin Supreme Court

State v. Vogt:  This is an appeal from a judgment convicting the appellant of criminal contempt of court for allegedly disobeying a court order that he not perform any work on a waterway that ran across his property.   In the brief, the appellant challenges the sufficiency of the evidence to support the conviction.

State v. Collins:  The issue in this appeal is whether Collins validly waived his right testify where the defense attorney told the court that Collins would not testify, but the judge never asked Collins personally whether he intended to testify.

State v. Reynolds: Reynolds filed a postconviction motion to withdraw his guilty plea on the grounds that the court's plea colloquy was defective because the record did not demonstrate that the court made sure that Reynolds understood the essential nature of the charge.  Specifically, Reynolds alleged that neither the judge nor his attorney ever explained the concept of criminally reckless behavior to him.  Additionally, Reynolds alleged that the criminal complaint failed to set forth a sufficient factual basis for his guilty plea because the complaint merely alleged that Reynolds shot the victim without setting forth any surrounding circumstances.  After a hearing, the circuit judge denied the motion, and now Reynolds appeals.



Federal Appeals


United States v. Williams: Williams was charged with numerous counts of sex trafficking, witness intimidation, and extortion.  At trial, the government sought to call an expert witness to testify as to the methods of operation for sex traffickers.  Williams objected on the grounds that this is not a proper topic for expert testimony.


United States v. Garcia:  This is an appeal to the United States Court of Appeals (7th Cir.).  In the appeal, Garcia argues that the warrant obtained to search his apartment was not based on proper probable cause.  There is also a discussion of the Leon "good faith" exception to the exclusionary rule.


United States v. Foley:  Foley was charged with a number of counts of production of child pornography. He was convicted by a jury; however, in this appeal Foley argues that the evidence is insufficient as a matter to law to prove the jurisdictional element of the offense.  In order for the federal courts to have jurisdiction, in must be shown that the equipment used to produce the child pornography moved in interstate commerce.  Here, Foley argues, there was no evidence as to where the camera was manufactured.


United States v. Reiter: In this appeal to the United States Court of Appeals (7th Cir), Reiter argues that the evidence was insufficient as a matter of law to convict him of social security fraud where there evidence showed that Reiter informed the SSA of an inheritance he received from his mother, but the SSA continued his payments.


United States v. James: James was charged with being part of the Cherry Street Mob.  This appeal to the Seventh Circuit raises numerous issues, including whether the evidence was sufficient as a matter of law to support James' conviction for conspiracy.  This is James' petition for certiorari to the United States Supreme Court.



United States v. Brian Dodds: Dodds was charged in federal court with being a felon in possession of a firearm.  On appeal to the Seventh Circuit, Dodds argues that police lacked probable cause to arrest him outside of a nightclub in Milwaukee; and, additionally, that the district court erred in permitting the government to present evidence that Dodds' real name was Horace Wilson

Dietrich v. Smith: Dietrich filed a Sec. 2255 petition for habeas corpus in the United States District Court.  The court denied the petition; however, the court issued a certificate of appealability on the issue of whether Dietrich's due process rights were violated at sentencing where the trial court permitted the victim's therapist to address the court while, at the same time, the court had denied Dietrich access to the victim's mental health records.   This is the brief that Dietrich filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

United States v. Hernandez: This is an example of a no merit ("Anders brief") that was filed in the Seventh Circuit.  This is the brief that is filed when appointed counsel is unable to identity any issues of arguable merit.

United State Supreme Court

Ivanez v. Wisconsin:  Ivanez was convicted of first degree intentional homicide in Milwaukee County. This is a petition for certiorari to the United States Supreme Court.  The issue involves the Wisconsin Court of Appeals' application of the harmless error rule to a constitutional error.  The circuit court denied Ivanez's motion to suppress his confessions to police on the grounds that he was arrested without probable cause.  The circuit court denied the motion, and Ivanez appealed.  The court of appeals assumed that the circuit court erred in denying Ivanez's motion to suppress but, applying a "Anson/Harrison" analysis, the court of appeals held that the error was harmless.  In this petition to the United States Supreme Court, Ivanez argues that the state courts improperly applied Harrison to the harmless error analysis.