Legal Question in Criminal Law in Wisconsin


my fingerprint was found in shower and nowhere else,i wasn't caught physically in residence,and nothing was taken. how can this be dropped to a misdemeanor charge, or dismissed?

Asked on 3/27/09, 12:48 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Sydne French Law Office of Sydne French

Re: burglary

There is no short answer to your question. Whether a charge can be dropped or amended from a felony to a lesser charge depends upon a great many factors and cannot be determined without a detailed review of the facts of the case.

In general, however, the weaker the evidence the State has, the better your chances (obviously). Also, if the police failed to conduct their investigation properly, or evidence (physical or statements) was obtained in violation of constitutional rights, it may be possible to suppress that evidence. Suppression of evidence means the State cannot use it against you at a trial. If enough evidence is suppressed, the State may concede they cannot prove their case and dismiss the charges.

Finding fingerprints of a person who has no business in a dwelling can be pretty damning. In situtations like this, establishing that police unlawfully obtained this evidence at a suppression hearing is a key defense stategy.

With regard to your point that no property was stolen, the Burglary statute in Wisconsin does not require actual theft of property. It only requires that a person "intentionally enters" the premises "without the consent of the person in lawful possession and with intent to steal or commit a felony ...." Keyword here is "intent."

The State may also issue charges for a burglary if they believe they can prove a person entered the premises with the intent to commit a "felony," such as "battery upon a person lawfully therin." Wisconsin Statutes Section 943.10(2)(d).

Reviewing a serious criminal charge (such as burglary) for potential defenses is a complex process that no individual or attorney should take lightly. You should consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney before making any decisions about your case and never rely solely on information found on the Internet.

If you would like to schedule a free initial consultation, please feel free to contact my office. We have devoted 100% of our practice to criminal and dui defense. Visit us on the web at:

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Answered on 3/28/09, 1:39 am

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