2010 Wisconsin Code
Chapter 906. Evidence--witnesses.
906.09 Impeachment by evidence of conviction of crime or adjudication of delinquency.

906.09

906.09 Impeachment by evidence of conviction of crime or adjudication of delinquency.

906.09(1)

(1) General rule. For the purpose of attacking the credibility of a witness, evidence that the witness has been convicted of a crime or adjudicated delinquent is admissible. The party cross-examining the witness is not concluded by the witness's answer.

906.09(2)

(2) Exclusion. Evidence of a conviction of a crime or an adjudication of delinquency may be excluded if its probative value is substantially outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice.

906.09(3)

(3) Admissibility of conviction or adjudication. No question inquiring with respect to a conviction of a crime or an adjudication of delinquency, nor introduction of evidence with respect thereto, shall be permitted until the judge determines pursuant to s. 901.04 whether the evidence should be excluded.

906.09(5)

(5) Pendency of appeal. The pendency of an appeal therefrom does not render evidence of a conviction or a delinquency adjudication inadmissible. Evidence of the pendency of an appeal is admissible.

906.09 - ANNOT.

History: Sup. Ct. Order, 59 Wis. 2d R1, R176 (1973); 1991 a. 32; 1995 a. 77.

906.09 - ANNOT.

This section applies to both civil and criminal actions. When a plaintiff was asked by his own attorney whether he had ever been convicted of a crime, he could be asked on cross-examination as to the number of times. Underwood v. Strasser, 48 Wis. 2d 568, 180 N.W.2d 631 (1970).

906.09 - ANNOT.

It was not error to give an instruction as to prior convictions effect on credibility when the prior case was a misdemeanor. McKissick v. State, 49 Wis. 2d 537, 182 N.W.2d 282 (1971).

906.09 - ANNOT.

When a defendant's answers on direct examination with respect to the number of his prior convictions were inaccurate or incomplete, the correct and complete facts could be brought out on cross-examination, during which it was permissible to mention the crime by name in order to insure that the witness understood the particular conviction being referred to. Nicholas v. State, 49 Wis. 2d 683, 183 N.W.2d 11 (1971).

906.09 - ANNOT.

Proffered evidence that a witness had been convicted of drinking offenses 18 times in the last 19 years could be rejected as immaterial if the evidence did not affect his credibility. Barren v. State, 55 Wis. 2d 460, 198 N.W.2d 345 (1972).

906.09 - ANNOT.

When the defendant in a rape case denied the incident in an earlier rape case tried in juvenile court, impeachment evidence of a police officer that the defendant had admitted the incident at the time was not barred by sub. (4). Sanford v. State, 76 Wis. 2d 72, 250 N.W.2d 348 (1977).

906.09 - ANNOT.

When a witness truthfully acknowledges a prior conviction, inquiry into the nature of the conviction may not be made. Voith v. Buser, 83 Wis. 2d 540, 266 N.W.2d 304 (1978).

906.09 - ANNOT.

A defendant's 2 prior convictions for burglary were admissible to prove intent to use gloves, a long pocket knife, a crowbar, and a pillow case as burglarious tools. Vanlue v. State, 96 Wis. 2d 81, 291 N.W.2d 467 (1980).

906.09 - ANNOT.

Cross-examination on prior convictions without the trial court's threshold determination under sub. (3) was prejudicial. Gyrion v. Bauer, 132 Wis. 2d 434, 393 N.W.2d 107 (Ct. App. 1986).

906.09 - ANNOT.

An accepted guilty plea constitutes a "conviction" for purposes of impeachment under sub. (1). State v. Trudeau, 157 Wis. 2d 51, 458 N.W.2d 383 (Ct. App. 1990).

906.09 - ANNOT.

An expunged conviction is not admissible to attack witness credibility. State v. Anderson, 160 Wis. 2d 435, 466 N.W.2d 681 (Ct. App. 1991).

906.09 - ANNOT.

Whether to admit evidence of prior convictions for impeachment purposes requires consideration of: 1) the lapse of time since the conviction; 2) the rehabilitation of the person convicted; 3) the gravity of the crime; and 4) the involvement of dishonesty in the crime. If allowed, the existence and number of convictions may be admitted, but the nature of the convictions may not be discussed. State v. Smith, 203 Wis. 2d 288, 553 N.W.2d 824 (Ct. App. 1996), 94-3350.

906.09 - ANNOT.

Evidence that exposed a witness's prior life sentences and that he could suffer no penal consequences from confessing to the crime in question was properly admitted. State v. Scott, 2000 WI App 51, 234 Wis. 2d 129, 608 N.W.2d 753, 98-3105.

906.09 - ANNOT.

Even if the circuit court did not expressly state on the record that it considered the possible danger of unfair prejudice, the fact that the court gave a limiting instruction can reveal that the trial court considered the possibly prejudicial nature of evidence and was seeking to ensure that it was properly utilized by the jury in reaching its verdict. State v. Gary M. B. 2004 WI 33, 270 Wis. 2d 62, 676 N.W.2d 475, 01-3393.

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