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: 70
Total number of misdemeanor and felony cases: 215
Percent of misdemeanor and felony cases that include bail-jumping charges: 33%
Total number of felony cases with bail-jumping charges: 44*
Total number of all felony cases: 130
Percent of felony cases that include bail-jumping charges: 34%
Total number of misdemeanor cases with bail-jumping charges: 26
Total number of all misdemeanor cases: 85
Percent of misdemeanor cases that include bail-jumping charges: 31%
Largest number of bail-jumping charges issued in a single case: 3
Number of felony bail-jumping charges issued: 44
Number of misdemeanor bail-jumping charges issued: 45
*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. Criminal traffic cases are not included in this analysis.
A switch at the wheel and subsequent drug use landed Floyd Travis John Davis in Crawford County court three times in just over a year.
In September 2020, a car driven by a female passed Crawford County Sheriff’s Deputy Joe Breeser. Breeser ran the license plates and found that the plates belonged to a different vehicle.
Breeser followed the car as it turned off the highway, but he lost sight of it temporarily.
When Breeser next saw the car, it was parked, and Davis was exiting the driver’s seat. Although Davis said he alone was driving, the female passenger admitted that the two switched seats after she turned off the highway.
Davis confessed to using methamphetamine the day before, but he gave Breeser his brother’s name and date of birth. Davis failed field-sobriety testing, was arrested, and then was taken for a blood draw under his brother’s name.
Davis received five citations for traffic or ordinance violations.
The false identification was later corrected, and it turned out that Davis had a prior offense for operating while intoxicated or with a controlled substance in his blood.
Davis was charged with two misdemeanor crimes: second-offense operating with a restricted controlled substance in his blood (OCS) and obstructing an officer. The OCS charge exposed Davis to a fine of between $350 and $1,100 and jail time of five days to six months. The obstruction charge carried a $10,000 fine and up to nine months in jail.
Crawford County Circuit Judge Lynn Marie Rider released Davis on $300 cash bond, with conditions that he not possess or consume unprescribed controlled substances and that he submit to a urine test at the request of law enforcement. Upon a positive urine test, he was to submit to a blood test, too.
The case remained pending, with several adjournments while the district attorney waited for blood test results.
Bail-jumping charges arose while Davis rode in cars driven by others while out on bond.
In January 2021, Officer Jeremy Cliff of the Prairie du Chien Police Department stopped a car for a traffic violation. Davis was a passenger.
Cliff had Davis provide a urine sample under his bond condition. The sample was positive for methamphetamine and THC. Davis then consented to a blood draw.
Davis was charged with misdemeanor bail jumping, which carries a maximum penalty of a $10,000 fine and nine months in jail.
Misdemeanor bail jumping occurs when a person out on bond on a misdemeanor charge violates the conditions of that bond. Felony bail jumping occurs when a person out on bond on a felony charge violates the conditions of that bond.
A bail-jumping offense may not itself be a crime. Missing a court date, violating a local ordinance, having a drink, or using an illegal drug could all be bail-jumping offenses if bond conditions prohibit the activity.
Rider released Davis on a signature bond with the same conditions as before — no possession or consumption of unprescribed drugs and provision of a urine specimen and possible blood sample at the request of law enforcement.
In September 2021, Davis was a passenger in another car stopped by Cliff. Again, Cliff had Davis provide a urine sample. Again, the sample was positive for methamphetamine and THC — plus amphetamine. Davis provided a blood sample as required.
Davis faced $11,100 and 15 months in jail on the original misdemeanor charges. He faced another $20,000 in fines and 18 months in jail for his continued use of drugs, exposed when he rode in cars stopped by the police.
Davis resolved the misdemeanor charges and tickets in November 2021. He pleaded no contest to the OCS and obstruction charges and to a ticket for operating without carrying a license.
Rider sentenced him to $350 and 15 days in jail on the OCS count, a year of probation on the obstruction count, and $150 on the traffic ticket.
The two bail-jumping charges and four traffic or ordinance citations were dismissed on the motion of the district attorney.
Our methodology: WJI and Mastantuono 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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