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The Milwaukee criminal defense lawyers of Hart Powell, S.C. have the capability and experience to defend their clients against a variety of charges. The firm’s lawyers are dedicated to helping their clients in a range of lawsuits including charges at both the state and federal levels as well as appellate courts. Listed below are examples of the types of cases resolved by the Milwaukee criminal attorneys of Hart Powell, S.C..

Acquittals / Dismissals

First Degree Reckless Homicide While Armed – Not Guilty

Attorney Craig S. Powell’s 19-year-old client was charged with fatally shooting another teenager in an attempted armed robbery. The State presented the testimony of two other individuals who claimed to have been with Powell’s client and saw him shoot the victim. Both of those individuals were charged as accessories to the crime and were testifying in the hopes of receiving a deal from prosecutors. The State also presented the testimony of a classmate of Powell’s client who claimed that he had confessed to the shooting. Powell’s cross-examination strongly challenged the credibility of these witnesses and highlighted the fact that the description of the shooter by an independent eyewitness did not match Powell’s client. The jury’s verdict: not guilty. Read More>>

First-Degree Reckless Homicide – Not Guilty

Client, a 42 year-old woman with no criminal record, was charged with first-degree reckless homicide after the New Years’Day stabbing death of her husband. The client admitted to police that she caused the fatal injury. Hart Powell, S.C. relied on police officers, citizen witnesses, and a respected domestic violence expert to show that his client acted reasonably and in self-defense, after suffering years of severe physical and sexual abuse by her husband. After six days of trial and three hours of deliberations, the jury agreed, and found the woman not guilty.

Homicide – Not Guilty by Reason of Mental Defect

Client was charged with one count of homicide and one count of attempted homicide. Based on the expert evidence presented by Michael Hart, which included testimony from two national experts on post-partum psychosis and a specialist in forensic psychiatry, the court found that the woman was not criminally responsible for her actions because of her mental state. Client was found not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect.

1st-Degree Attempted Homicide – Not Guilty

Client was charged with attempting to kill a Deputy Sheriff while confined to a hospital room for heroin addiction recovery. Client admitted guilt on 5 other counts, including 1st-degree reckless endangerment, battery of a peace officer, and armed carjacking. Hart Powell, S.C. was able to show that client’s goal was escape, not murder; client as acquitted of 1st-degree attempted homicide.

1st-Degree Murder and Robbery – Not Guilty

Client was charged in the stabbing death of a recent acquaintance. Working the case as a public defender, our firm uncovered witness testimony that corroborated client’s account and laid blame on two other men for stabbing the victim during a robbery attempt. Client was acquitted of charges.

Homicide, Armed Burglary, Armed Robbery – Not Guilty

Client was accused of executing a store manager during an armed robbery. Client was arrested and charged based on testimony from his cousin, who was serving a life sentence for his part in the crime in question. Our firm cast doubt on the reliability of that testimony, pointing out the witness’demonstrated willingness to lie. Client was cleared of charges.

Arson, 3 Counts – Not Guilty by Reason of Mental Illness

Client was charged with setting fires in Marathon County. Hart Powell, S.C. presented evidence showing client’s mental illness and need for treatment. Client was found not guilty by reason of mental illness.

Misconduct in a Public Office – Cleared of Charges

Client was charged with Misconduct in Public Office and three related charges. The attorneys of Hart Powell, S.C. persuaded the court that there was no basis for two of the charges, and they were dismissed before trial. The client was acquitted after a jury trial on the two remaining charges.

Federal Bank Fraud – Criminal Charges Dismissed

Prominent Wisconsin CEO charged with federal bank fraud involving six-figure dollar amounts. The attorneys of Hart Powell, S.C. had the criminal charges dismissed, and the corporation paid a civil fine.

Workplace Death & Safety Violations – Cleared of Allegations

Fortune 500 company investigated for workplace death and related safety violations. The attorneys of Hart Powell, S.C. were able to have the company cleared of all allegations.

Campaign Finance Law Violations – Cleared of Charges

Lobbyist for major Wisconsin corporation retained the attorneys of Hart Powell, S.C., who were able to have all campaign finance violations cleared.

Probation and Minimized Sentences

Homicide – 5 Years Probation

Client was charged in connection with the fatal shooting of his close friend. Our firm presented testimony to show that the shooting occurred as client was attempting to take a gun away from his friend in the interest of safety. Client received 5 years probation.

Embezzlement of $160,000 – 1 Year Incarceration & 11 Years Probation

Client was accused of embezzling approximately $160,000 from her employer over an 8-year period, and admitted to “misappropriation of funds.” Hart Powell, S.C. presented evidence of client’s remorse, efforts at restitution, lack of a criminal record, and emotional troubles; client received 1 year incarceration and 11 years of probation, despite the objections of her employer.

Felony Child Abuse – 6 Months Incarceration & 3 Years Probation

Client was a bus driver accused of physically abusing a 9-year old boy with Down syndrome. Prosecution presented evidence in the form of a voice-activated tape recorder with audio of the defendant threatening the child. Hart Powell, S.C. challenged the tape’s admissibility, but was only able to block its acceptance temporarily. We also presented evidence of client’s remorse, inability to hold a steady job due to the abuse charges, lack of a criminal record, and history coaching softball with the Special Olympics of Wisconsin. Client received 6 months in jail and 3 years probation – far less than the state’s recommended sentence.

Homicide by Negligent Operation of a Vehicle – 12 Weeks Incarceration, 2 Years Probation & 250 Hours Community Service

Client was a truck driver charged with homicide by negligent operation of a vehicle and reckless driving causing great bodily harm in connection with a fatal crash. Our firm was prepared to challenge the case based on the faulty design of the intersection. Client received 12 weeks incarceration & 2 years probation for negligent driving homicide; under a sentencing arrangement, client was also ordered to pay court costs, provide restitution to victims, and complete 250 hours community service in exchange for a reduction of the reckless driving charge and closure of the case.

Falsifying Crime Lab Records – 5 Years Probation

Client was a fingerprint technician accused of taking shortcuts in processing evidence and falsifying records to cover his tracks. Re-analysis of evidence revealed hundreds of fingerprints and dozens of palm prints, leading to 29 new suspects in cases. Hart Powell, S.C. pointed out client’s good reputation among law enforcement personnel and argued that the humiliating end to client’s career was punishment enough. Client received 5 years probation.

Multiple Drug Felonies – Probation

Client was charged with multiple drug felonies. The attorneys of Hart Powell, S.C. took an aggressive negotiating position, and the case was eventually resolved by a guilty plea to the least serious charge. The client received probation without jail time and a $200.00 fine.

Possession with Intent to Deliver Marijuana – Probation

A client was arrested and charged with Possession with Intent to Deliver Marijuana. While cross-examining the police officers at a hearing, the attorneys of Hart Powell, S.C. were able to raise significant questions about the legality of the police search. As a result, the client was able to plead guilty to misdemeanors, and received probation.

Felony Possession of Heroin –1 Year Probation

A college student was charged with Felony Possession of Heroin. The firm’s attorneys forced the State Crime Lab to retest the substance seized from the client’s home, which ultimately turned out to be only marijuana. The felony was amended to misdemeanor marijuana possession, and the client received one year of probation.

Vehicular Homicide on the Job – Probation

The attorneys of Hart Powell, S.C. hired by Fortune 500 company to represent employee charged with vehicular homicide while on the job. Charges reduced to misdemeanors; client received probation.

Misappropriation of Federal & State Funds – $100 Fine

Client was target of federal criminal investigation for misappropriation of federal funds and related matters. Same client was under state investigation for similar matters. Client avoided federal prosecution. State charges were amended from a felony to a misdemeanor, and the client received a $100 fine.

Successful Appeals

Wisconsin Court of Appeals Reverses Felony OWI Conviction

The Wisconsin Court of Appeals agreed with Hart Powell, S.C. Attorney Craig Powell, and turned a Felony OWI-3rd conviction into an OWI-1st. Craig convinced the court that his client’s 1998 OWI-2nd conviction could not be counted as a prior offense because the client, who was not represented by a lawyer, did not understand the disadvantages of self-representation in that case. As a result, due to the passage of time between the client’s original OWI offense in 1996 and the current offense, the current offense will be treated as a non-criminal forfeiture.

Stalking Conviction Overturned

Client had been accused and convicted of stalking under previous representation. The attorneys of Hart Powell, S.C. took over the case and uncovered evidence contradicting the accuser’s story. Client’s conviction was reversed.

Other Notable Results

Motion to Dismiss Praised by Judge

The firm presented a motion to dismiss on behalf of a man charged with killing an unborn fetus by allegedly beating his pregnant girlfriend. We challenged a new Wisconsin feticide law on vague wording and on constitutional grounds. Though he declined to dismiss the charges, the presiding judge praised the firm’s motion as one of the best he had ever seen.