Law Offices of Jeffrey W. Jensen 735 W. Wisconsin Ave., Twelfth Floor Milwaukee, WI 53233
Jeffrey W. Jensen is a criminal defense lawyer in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He is also a criminal appeals lawyer in Wisconsin.
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Sample Motions and Briefs in Criminal Cases
The following are sample criminal motions and accompanying briefs that have been used in actual criminal cases. They are only valid in Wisconsin courts. They are offered for your examination and use; however, it is usually a bad idea to represent yourself in a criminal case. Whenever there is the chance of going to jail or to prison it is best to seek representation from an experienced criminal defense lawyer. For a more detailed discussion of when and how to file motions in a criminal case see the article Criminal Motion Practice. These sample criminal motions and briefs may be immediately downloaded in PDF format:
Motion for change of venue due to extensive pretrial publicity. This is a motion and brief seeking a change of venue from Milwaukee County in the matter of State v. Carlos Gonzalez. Gonzales is charged with felony murder arising out of the shooting death of a Miller Brewing Company executive. The motion argues that due to the extensive publicity and the political nature of the case a fair jury cannot be seated in Milwaukee County.
Motion to dismiss information (evidence insufficient at preliminary hearing). The defendant was charged with intimidation of a witness. The defendant was bound over for trial following a preliminary hearing. The evidence was to the effect that the defendant's boyfriend was charged with sexually assaulting the defendant's minor daughter. The boyfriend contacted the defendant from jail and persuaded her not to bring the child to court. This brief argues that the defendant stands in the legal position of the minor child and, therefore, she was the victim of witness intimidation- not a party to the crime of witness intidimation.
Brief opposing the use of prior testimony in a criminal trial. The defendant was convicted of numerous felonies arising out of three shooting incidents. The convictions were reversed by the court of appeals and remanded for a new trial. At the start of the new trial four key state witnesses were unavailable and so the state sought to read the transcript of their prior trial testimony under an exception to the hearsay rule. This brief opposes the reading of the transcripts at the second trial.
Motion for severance of defendants. This is a motion and brief seeking severance of defendants for the reason that the defendants intend to present antagonistic defenses.
Motion to exclude all of the state's witnesses for failing to serve the defendant with a witness list. The Wisconsin Statutes provide that if the defendant serves upon the district attorney a demand for discovery the DA must, among other things, serve the defendant with a witness list a reasonable time before trial. The statutes further provide that if the DA fails to do so the court may exclude all of the state's witnesses. This is a motion and brief seeking exclusion of all state's witnesses for failing to serve a witness list.
Motion to compel the state to identify confidential informants. This motion seeks an order from the court compelling the state to identify confidential informers who provided information to police. The motion argues that the confidential was a "transactional witness"- that is, he observed events directly relevant to the charges- and, therefore, that the court must order the state to identify him.
Motion to withdraw guilty plea in first degree intentional homicide case. The defendant was charged with numerous crimes, including first degree intentional homicide, arising out of the bludgeoning death of a real estate agent in Jefferson County. The defendant pleaded guilty to first degree intentional homicide and he was sentenced to life in prison. The defendant now seeks to withdraw his guilty plea for the reason that it was not knowingly and voluntarily entered because: (1) trial counsel led the defendant to believe that the minimum sentence was twenty years in prison, when, in fact, it is life in prison; and, (2) during the plea colloquy, the judge failed to inform the defendant of the rules for eligibility for extended supervision.
Fourth/Fifth Amendment Motions (motions to suppress evidence)
Motion to suppress statement to police on the grounds that the statement was coerced by police misconduct. This is a motion to suppress the defendant's statement made while in police custody and subject to interrogation. The motion argues that the defendant requested that the police give him his medication but that the police refused until the defendant gave a statement. Additionally, the police falsely threatened the defendant that he would go to prison for the rest of his life unless he told the police who else was involved in the armed robbery. Finally, the police lied to the defendant when they told him that the picked picked him out of a photo line-up.
Motion to suppress evidence for a warrantless detention. This motion is filed in nearly all drug cases where the police stop and search the defendant without a warrant. If court finds that the detention was unreasonable the court will suppress all evidence seized as a result of the stop.
Motion to suppress evidence due to warrantless search of a home and arrest of the defendant. Milwaukee police were investigating a homicide when they developed a lead that a suspect may be located at the home of a girlfriend. Police went to the girlfriend's home and, without a warrant, kicked in the door and entered. They located the suspect in the living room and arrested him. This motion seeks to suppress the statements given by the defendant on the grounds that the warrantless entry and arrest of the defendant was unreasonable.
Motion to suppress evidence because the search warrant was defective. This motions seeks to suppress evidence seized as a result of a search of the defendant's home. The police had a warrant; however, the affidavit filed in support of the motion failed to allege sufficient facts to constitute probable cause. Rather, the affidavit merely recited the conclusions of a confidential informant that the defendant was "in possession" of a firearm.
Motion to suppress statement made to pretrial services worker. The defendant was released on bail. One condition of his bond was that he report to and cooperate with Wisconsin Correctional Services. On one occasion the defendant reported to WCS and was questioned by the worker as to illegal drug use. In response to the questioning the defendant admitted that he smoked marijuana (which was violation of his bond). Subsequently the defendant was charged with bail jumping. This motion and brief seeks to suppress that statement for use in the bail jumping case.
Motion to Suppress Blood Test Results in OWI case: The police were investigating a hit-and-run accident. The defendant was arrested in another part of town on an unrelated incident. Later, the police came to believe that the defendant was the driver in the hit-and-run accident and demanded that he submit to a blood test. The defendant seeks to suppress the blood test results arguing that the police lacked probable cause to arrest him for OWI.
Motion to modify sentence because the court abused its sentencing discretion. Wisconsin law requires the sentencing judge to set forth on the record the factors he considered in passing sentence. He must also include an explanation of why the factors considered required the amount of prison time imposed. Where the sentencing judge fails to do so the defendant may move the court for resentencing. This is such a motion
Motion for early termination of extended supervision. The defendant is serving his period of extended supervision under a Truth-in-Sentencing sentence. He has done very well while on extended supervision. Therefore, this motion and brief argues that the sentencing judge should grant early termination from extended supervision.
Motion to declare Sec. 948.02 (sexual assault of a child) unconstitutional. This is a motion challenging the consitutionality of the first degree sexual assault of a child statute where, at the time of the alleged offense, the defendant was also a child incapable of consenting to sexual activity. The defendant argues that it violates equal protection to child him with a crime while the girl is alleged to be a victim.
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Milwaukee criminal defense attorney Jeffrey W. Jensen, of the Law Offices of Jeffrey W. Jensen, a Milwaukee law firm with offices located at 735 W. Wisconsin Avenue, Twelfth Floor, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, has represented persons throughout the State of Wisconsin. If you will face felony charges in either state court or in federal court you should call 414.224.9484. Attorney Jensen regularly appears in Milwaukee County (Milwaukee criminal defense lawyer), Waukesha County (Waukesha criminal defense lawyer, Brookfield criminal defense lawyer), Washington County (West Bend and Germantown criminal defense lawyer), Racine County (Racine criminal defense lawyer), Kenosha County (Kenosha criminal defense lawyer), Brown County (Green Bay criminal defense lawyer), Fond du Lac County (Fond du Lac criminal defense lawyer), and Winnebago County (Oshkosh criminal defense lawyer)
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