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Fines – Discretion to Impose

State v. Bruce J. Kuechler, 2003 WI App 245
For Kuechler: Charles B. Vetzner, SPD, Madison Appellate

Issue/Holding:

¶11. Second, Kuechler argues that “[e]ven if the size of the fine could be based exclusively on a guideline recommendation, the court here failed to give adequate reasons for choosing the more severe of two alternative guidelines.” We disagree. The court exercised appropriate discretion when it chose to impose a fine based on the guidelines that highlighted aggravating factors rather than on the guidelines that highlighted mitigating factors. The court specifically characterized this case as an “aggravated” one and the court identified the factors that led it to that characterization. Thus, the record contains evidence that the trial court properly exercised its discretion and we will not disturb the court’s decision. See Cooper, 117 Wis. 2d at 40; see alsoSpears, 147 Wis. 2d at 447.

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