To study bail jumping in Wisconsin, WJI and the Mastantuono Coffee & Thomas law firm will look county by county at 2021 bail-jumping charges. Which counties are charging bail jumping the most? Who are some of the defendants? What happens to those cases? We'll report the statistics from individual counties and tell you the stories from randomly chosen cases.
Total number of cases with bail-jumping charges: 103
Total number of misdemeanor and felony cases: 390
Percent of misdemeanor and felony cases that include bail-jumping charges: 26%
Total number of felony cases with bail-jumping charges: 65*
Total number of all felony cases: 179
Percent of felony cases that include bail-jumping charges: 36
Total number of misdemeanor cases with bail-jumping charges: 38
Total number of all misdemeanor cases: 211
Percent of misdemeanor cases that include bail-jumping charges: 18
Largest number of bail-jumping charges issued in a single case: 12
Number of felony bail-jumping charges issued: 119
Number of misdemeanor bail-jumping charges issued: 118
*Felony cases can include felony or misdemeanor bail-jumping charges or both; misdemeanor cases can include only misdemeanor bail-jumping charges.
The 30-year-old Wisconsin Dells woman was out on bond for a Sauk County hit and run. She allegedly ran a red light and crashed into a Honda Civic, leaving a man shaken and slightly injured. He was bleeding from the mouth and his back was sore, according to the criminal complaint. A trip to the emergency room showed that he was bruised, but nothing was broken and he did not need stitches.
After the accident, the woman allegedly left her car and ran away on foot. When police got there, the abandoned car smelled like booze and there was an open can of Budweiser, about a third full, on the front passenger floor. There also were two other unopened containers of alcohol – a 16-ounce can of Steel Reserve and a one-shot bottle of Smirnoff vodka. There was a debit card with the woman's name on it.
The woman eventually was arrested. She was charged with felony hit and run and was released in May 2001 on a $1,000 signature bond.
In August, while that charge was pending, she got in trouble again, this time in Adams County. First she argued with her boyfriend, then later with her mother at her mother's house.
She was intoxicated and angry that her mother would not let her leave, drunk, with her children. At some point, the woman punched her hand through a screen door.
Deputies from the Adams County Sheriff's Department arrived.
The woman told a sergeant that "she just wanted to go home and became increasingly argumentative with deputies....She made comments that she wanted deputies to shoot her and she would rather die in front of her child...." the complaint said.
When deputies tried to handcuff her, she tried to pull her arm away and refused to cooperate. They took her to the ground and cuffed her.
She later resisted getting into a squad, kicked at the door and slammed her head into the side of the car. A deputy eventually was able to calm her down and get her to cooperate.
She was charged with felony bail jumping, misdemeanor criminal damage to property with a domestic abuse assessment, misdemeanor resisting an officer, and misdemeanor disorderly conduct with a domestic abuse assessment.
The misdemeanors each carried maximums of 9 months or less in jail. The bail-jumping charge carried a maximum term of six years in prison.
She was booked and released on signature bond.
The woman pleaded no contest in Sauk County Circuit Court to misdemeanor hit and run. She was sentenced to one year's probation and ordered to serve 30 days in jail with work-release privileges. Circuit Judge Patricia A. Barrett also ordered her to participate in alcohol and other drug abuse treatment and to participate in any ordered follow-up counseling/treatment. Barrett also ordered her to pay $27,552 in restitution.
The Adams County felony bail-jumping charge was dropped as part of a plea agreement, as was the misdemeanor criminal damage to property charge. The woman pleaded guilty to the resisting and disorderly conduct charges and was sentenced to a year of probation. Circuit Judge Daniel Wood, like his Sauk County counterpart, ordered her to participate in AODA treatment and follow-up.
Our methodology: WJI and Mastantuano Coffee & Thomas determined the number of felony and misdemeanor bail-jumping cases and charges in each county through court data. The total number of felony and misdemeanor cases filed in a county was obtained through the state's online court system. Cases selected for the "case file" section are chosen randomly through a random number-generator web site. The intent of the project is to show a variety of bail-jumping cases.
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