To study bail jumping in Wisconsin, WJI and the Mastantuono Coffee & Thomas law firm are looking 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: 25
Total number of misdemeanor and felony cases: 290
Percent of misdemeanor and felony cases that include bail-jumping charges: 12%
Total number of felony cases with bail-jumping charges: 17*
Total number of all felony cases: 153
Percent of felony cases that include bail-jumping charges: 11%
Total number of misdemeanor cases with bail-jumping charges: 8
Total number of all misdemeanor cases: 137
Percent of misdemeanor cases that include bail-jumping charges: 6%
Largest number of bail-jumping charges issued in a single case: 5
Number of felony bail-jumping charges issued: 26
Number of misdemeanor bail-jumping charges issued: 14
*Felony cases can include felony or misdemeanor bail-jumping charges or both; misdemeanor cases can include only misdemeanor bail-jumping charges. Case counts reported as of January 2022.
Scott's first arrest for having methamphetamine residue in his bedroom meant he faced an additional six years in prison when he was picked up less than two months later with .12 ounce of marijuana and two pipes.
As a bonus, prosecutors issued separate complaints for each charge in the two arrests. Most prosecutors in similar circumstances file a single complaint that includes all the relevant charges.
In Scott's case, though, there was one criminal complaint alleging felony possession of methamphetamine related to the March 12, 2021 search of Scott's home and a separate complaint alleging misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia stemming from the same search, which turned up a bong and scale. Both those items field-tested positive for meth. The complaints were filed on the same day. The facts cited in the complaints are identical.
Scott faced 3½ years in prison and a $10,000 fine on the meth charge and a month in jail and a $500 fine on the paraphernalia charge.
Buffalo County Circuit Judge Thomas Clark set a $1,000 signature bond.
Scott was busted again on May 1, 2021. Police stopped the car he was in because it had a cracked windshield and faulty light. The officer eventually had a K-9 sniff around, and the dog alerted, according to the criminal complaint. The officer searched the car and found the cannabis and pipes wrapped in a sweatshirt.
Scott was charged in one complaint with misdemeanor possession of marijuana, in a second complaint with misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia, and in a third complaint with felony bail jumping.
Clark set a $200 cash bond, according to online court records.
The misdemeanor cases carried a total potential maximum penalty of seven months in jail and $1,500 in fines. The felony bail-jumping charge carried a maximum penalty of six years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
In October, the two charges in the meth cases were dismissed on the prosecutor's motion.
That same day, Scott pleaded guilty to possession of marijuana and was ordered to pay $430. The related paraphernalia charge was dismissed, again on the prosecutor's motion.
That left the felony bail-jumping charge. Scott entered into a deferred prosecution agreement. The charge will be dismissed if Scott stays out of trouble for two years.
If he messes up though, he faces up to six years in prison for bail jumping — more than the time he faced on the four drug-related charges combined.
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