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Wisconsin senate passes new penalties for criminal acts

Wisconsin's senate has passed tougher penalties for crimes committed in the state. Now, minors convicted of crimes could end up in the troubled youth prison for longer, and those convicted of multiple crimes or who get in trouble while on parole could face harsher penalties.

Currently, minors who are 14 or older may be sent to a juvenile correctional facility for up to three years if they commit or attempt to commit certain types of crimes. If the crime is serious enough that an adult would face life in prison, a juvenile can be held up to age 25. The new bill eliminates the three-year limitation, but some dislike that. They believe it opens up the minors to problems at the prison for a longer period, which could potentially lead to their harm.

The second bill that passed eliminates the judge's ability to choose if he or she wants to expunge the record of those under the age of 25 once they complete their sentences. Now, defendants have to ask for expungement a year after completing the sentence.

A third new bill requires the Department of Corrections to recommend revoking parole, extended supervision or parole for a person if he or she is charged with a felony or violent misdemeanor. The bill doesn't necessarily mean that someone who reoffends will have parole, probation or supervision revoked, but it does leave it up to the judge to decide.

If you're accused of a violent crime, these laws could affect you. Your attorney can tell you more about what to expect in your case.

Source: U.S. News, "Wisconsin Senate Passes Tougher Penalties for Crimes," Todd Richmond, accessed Nov. 09, 2017

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