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How long does a criminal case in Wisconsin typically take?

How long a criminal case takes depends on the specific circumstances of the case. Depending on the specific charge and the facts involved, resolving a criminal case could take as few as a couple of months, or it could take a year or longer, depending on the complexity of case.

Whether or not you are incarcerated could be a factor

Certain cases proceed more quickly than others, but one of the main factors to consider is whether you are free or in custody. If you are not in jail or prison, it is often beneficial to you for your attorney to have more time to prepare your case. Generally, when you are not in custody, your attorney has more time to prepare, focus and think through the case to develop an effective defense strategy.

Is speeding up the process more advantageous in some cases?

There are situations when a speedier trial — or more quickly reaching a plea agreement — is the more advantageous route to take. For example, some defendants benefit from a speedy trial request, which your attorney can file. In other cases, if a defense attorney gets involved later in the process, the case may proceed quickly once the defense attorney gets involved.

Ultimately, the decision to go to trial or accept a plea agreement is up to you, the defendant. To determine the best strategy for your specific case, talk to a criminal defense attorney who handles cases specifically in Wisconsin. An attorney with experience in the county and court where you are facing a charge can also give you a reasonable idea of how long your case will take, given the specific court and the facts of your case.

For more on criminal defense in Wisconsin, please see our previous posts: