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Bifurcated sentences for enhanced misdemeanors reversed because they violate the 75% rule

State v. Eric T. Alston, 2013AP1833-CR & 2013AP1834-CR, District 4, 4/19/16 (1-judge; ineligible for publication); case activity: 2013AP1833-CR; 2013AP1834-CR

Bifurcated sentences that were first modified under the now-superseded, unpublished ruling in State v. Gerondale have to be modified again because they violate the rule that the confinement portion of a bifurcated sentence can’t exceed 75% of the total sentence.

Alston complained that his enhanced misdemeanor sentences of 18 months’ confinement and 6 months’ extended supervision violated § 973.01(2)(c)1. by using enhancer time for extended supervision. (¶¶5-7). The sentencing judge agreed and modified the sentences to “1 year incarceration and 0 [zero] months extended supervision.” (¶7). The prosecutor then objected and, citing Gerondale, convinced the court to make the sentences 22.5 months long, consisting of confinement of 18 months and ES of 4.5 months (25% of the confinement time). (¶8 and n.3).

Alston appealed, again arguing that imposing any ES violates § 973.01(2)(c)1. (¶10). Alston’s argument fails under State v. Lasanske, 2014 WI App 26, 343 Wis. 2d 280, 844 N.W.2d 417, which (as described here) rejected Gerondale and held that enhanced misdemeanor sentences are subject to § 973.01’s basic 75% and 25% rules. (¶¶10-12). But 18 months exceeds 75% of the total sentence of 22.5 months, so the sentences now violate § 973.01(2)(b)10. (the confinement portion of a bifurcated sentence may not exceed 75% of the total sentence). (¶13). The modified sentences are reversed and the cases remanded for further proceedings. (¶14).

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