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Bail jumping – sufficiency of evidence – no drug consumption, positive urine test.

State v. Louis Taylor, 226 Wis.2d 490, 595 N.W.2d 56 (Ct. App. 1999)
For Taylor: Donald T. Lang, SPD, Madison Appellate

Issue:  Whether a positive urine test, while the subject is under  is on bail with a no drug consumption bond condition, is sufficient to support a felony bail jumping conviction.


“Where the State prosecutes an individual under Wis. Stat. § 946.49 for bail jumping, the focus of the prosecution is on the fact that the individual has violated a condition of his or her bond.  The focus is not on the underlying act.”  Jacobus, 208 Wis.2d at 53, 559 N.W.2d at 905.  The State provided scientific test evidence based on Taylor’s urine monitoring that he consumed illegal drugs during his release.  We are convinced that the State proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Taylor was guilty of bail jumping:  he was charged with a felony crime, he had been released from custody on bail, and the undisputed THC metabolite test result of his urine sample proved consumption of an illegal drug.

In addition, the State must prove that the defendant intentionally  failed to comply with the bond condition.  See id. at 54, 559 N.W.2d at 905.  The intentional component of the bail jumping statute entails that “the defendant knew of the terms of the bond and knew that his or her actions did not comply with those terms.”  State v. Dawson, 195 Wis.2d 161, 170-71, 536 N.W.2d 119, 122 (Ct. App. 1995); see WIS J I¾CRIMINAL 1795.

At trial, the court expressly found that “the bond [was] signed by the defendant.”  The court also noted that “when setting bond, many times [the court] does not go into every item that is required on the bond.  That’s why people are given the bond, told to read the bond, and told to obey the orders of the bond.”  Taylor does not dispute that he signed or that he understood the bond containing the explicit condition that he “not consume alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs.”  We therefore conclude that Taylor knew the conditions of his bond.

 State v. Griffin, 220 Wis. 2d 371, 584 N.W.2d 127 (Ct. App. 1998) (evidence of drugs in urine and bloodstream alone insufficient to support possession of controlled substance conviction), distinguished: Bail jumping focuses on violation of the bond condition, not the underlying act. The question in Griffin was knowing possession, here, knowing consumption.

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