State v. ThompsonAnnotate this Case
Defendant was convicted of first-degree sexual assault of a child under the age of thirteen without great bodily harm. Following Defendant's conviction, all the principals in this case learned that Defendant was subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of twenty-five years in prison. Defendant moved for a new trial on the basis that he was denied his due process rights when he was not adequately informed of the penalty of the crime prior to going to a jury trial. The circuit court granted the motion. The court of appeals reversed, concluding that Defendant's lack of knowledge regarding a mandatory minimum sentence could not have interfered with Defendant's right to plea bargain because he did not have such a right. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the case must be remanded to the circuit court for a hearing to determine whether Defendant was prejudiced by the violations of Wis. Stat. 970.02(1)(a), which requires the judge who presides at an initial appearance to inform the defendant of the possible penalties for the offenses in the complaint.