Category: Criminal Law

Cases are being pushed months, even years, behind due to the public defender shortage in Wisconsin. Experts say it will take years to overcome the pileup of cases within the Wisconsin courts.

Why is This Happening?

Public defender pay has remained unchanged for many years, although the amount of work demanded from them has only increased. According to data provided by Wisconsin’s public defender’s office, the number of cases sitting on the desks of public defenders was 32,000 before the pandemic and is now 64,000 as of May this year. SPD spokesperson Wilson Medina states, “This is unsustainable and can potentially jeopardize the constitutional rights of our clients throughout the state.” In addition, the pandemic caused many counties to put jury trials on hold due to public health and safety concerns. Many prosecutors, judges, and attorneys feared the upcoming pileup we are now experiencing.

The Struggles of The Defendants

The defendants are not unharmed by the backlog. Some of them are in jail for months while waiting for their case. Others are losing residences and jobs. The issue is larger than it seems.

How Will This Be Fixed?

Since public defender pay remains too low for people to desire to work in this field, the first step to solving this dilemma is to increase funding for public defenders. This would encourage more young lawyers to become public defenders rather than working for a private firm. Since public defenders are so overbooked, it is hard to find enough of them who are qualified for the more complex cases such as shootings, homicides, or reckless driving. A change must occur. With the current status of the pileup in cases, it could take the court system years to get through the cases they already have.

One way to avoid becoming a victim of the backlog is to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney of your own. The protection of your rights, reputation, and future is too important to be delayed.

Have you heard about this program? It’s probably bad news if you have, since the goal of The Wisconsin Enhances Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (ePDMP) is to identify potential drug crimes and apprehend those accused of committing them.

How Does It Work?

The ePDMP provides the state with valuable information regarding monitored prescription drugs dispensed by Wisconsin and aids healthcare workers in their prescribing and dispensing decisions. In addition, the ePDMP allows pharmacies, healthcare workers, law enforcement, and public health officials to work together, attempting to reduce the misuse, abuse, and diversion of monitored prescription drugs.

The ePDMP receives alerts based on numerous things such as early refills, long-term Opioid therapy, and high Opioid daily use. For example, in June 2022, about 20,000 individuals received an early refill. This is a cause for immediate concern for those individuals. In the same month, about 12,000 individuals were on long-term Opioid therapy. These numbers are the lowest they have been since January of 2022. Delegates and Prescribers make most of the patient queries each month. With this information, the WI ePDMP can monitor any patients who meet the criteria to be considered as concerning.

Mistakes Will Be Made

Unfortunately, human beings make mistakes and law enforcement officers are no exception. An increased focus on prescription drug monitoring will result in increased scrutiny on legal prescription drug users and result in faulty criminal charges. It is crucial to have a skilled criminal defense attorney
protecting your rights and making sure your side of the story is told if you find yourself on the wrong side of prescription drug charges.

A civil offense is an illegal action that is targeted towards a specific person or corporation. An example of this type of case would be workplace discrimination. A criminal offense deals with an illegal action that affects society in it’s entirety. An example of this type of case would be a misdemeanor or felony offense such as OWI or homicide. If you face criminal accusations or charges, please contact our firm at 920-733-1100 to set up a free consultation.

Civil Case vs. Criminal Case: What’s the Difference?


With a first offense OWI in Wisconsin comes many charges and penalties. Offenders are charged a $150-$300 fine, as well as a $435 OWI surcharge fee. Penalties consist of the revocation of driver’s license for 6-9 months or more, or a 24/7 sobriety program with a duration of one year. Follow the link to learn more.

We recently shared an interesting nugget about the prevalence of wrongful convictions in our criminal justice system. As we said then, when mistakes occur in the criminal justice system, we all have an obligation to learn from them and ensure people’s rights are protected.

Unfortunately, the post-mortem blame game on wrongful convictions does nothing in the short term to insulate you against flaws in the justice system.

Are penalties too severe? Yes, for the most part.

Do we incarcerate far too much of our population? Yes.

Do prosecutors, juries, and judges make mistakes? Yes.

Will addressing those issues and reforming the system help you if you are already facing criminal charges? No. You can do only one thing now to protect your rights and lessen the chance of being wrongfully convicted of a crime you did not commit.

Regardless of the work that is yet to happen on criminal justice reform, your best bet is to make sure you have an experienced, knowledgeable, and resourceful defense attorney looking out for your interests. You have too much on the line to leave your defense in the hands of someone who only dabbles in criminal defense or has yet to take part in a criminal trial.

A proven defense attorney can identify potential issues with jury selection, discovery, and trial procedure and limit your exposure to a wrongful conviction. In some cases, early intervention can result in criminal charges not being pursued or dismissed due to a lack of admissible evidence.

The Bottom Line

Our system is not perfect, and there is much work to be done, but it is all we have right now. Therefore, it is essential to have an attorney on your side who knows how to navigate the system as it exists today to limit your exposure to a criminal conviction and penalties.

“By insisting on a formal review of how our criminal justice system failed, we can learn and improve our efforts to prevent future failures.” We agree. When mistakes are made in the criminal justice system, we all have an obligation to learn from it and ensure people’s rights are protected.



Your attorney's experience can make all the difference when your future is on the line. Learn how attorney Jeffrey Kippa can help you move forward.

Call 920-733-1100