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Challenge to sufficiency of the evidence is frivolous; sanctions ordered

Village of DeForest v. Michael Brault, 2014AP2398, District 4, 4/16/16 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity (including briefs)

Brault’s challenge to the sufficiency of the evidence for his conviction for OWI 1st is frivolous, so sanctions under Rule 809.25(3) are appropriate.

Brault claimed the evidence was insufficient because the circuit court’s verdict relied on the arresting officer’s opinion that Brault was intoxicated, and that opinion lacked probative value because it was formed before the officer had enough evidence to support it. (¶8). But the record shows the court didn’t unduly rely on the officer’s experience and opinion and there was plenty of other evidence that Brault ignores (e.g., running a stop sign, the odor of intoxicants, Brault’s admission he’d been drinking, a PBT of .097). (¶¶9, 10). “Thus, Brault is obviously incorrect when he concludes his argument by asserting that the ‘available evidence … was completely lacking in probative value.’ Viewing the evidence most favorably to the circuit court’s finding of guilt, it is easily sufficient to support Brault’s conviction.” (¶9).

Brault’s “clear and obvious” misapplication of the sufficiency standard makes the appeal frivolous, so the case is remanded for the circuit court to assess costs and fees against him. (¶¶11-14).

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