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Enhancer – Pleading – Generally

State v. Jamale A. Bonds, 2006 WI 83, reversing unpublished decision
For Bonds: Jeremy C. Perri, Diana M. Felsmann, SPD, Milwaukee Appellate


¶30      When considered together, this precedent establishes the following principles:

(1) The purpose of the allegations of repeater status in a charging document is to provide the defendant with sufficient notice of the potential maximum penalty he faces in order that the defendant may make an informed plea. Gerard, 189 Wis.  2d at 512 n.6.; Martin, 162 Wis. 2d at 900-01; Whitaker, 83 Wis.  2d at 373.(2) If there has been no repeater allegation made prior to the court’s acceptance of a plea, and the defendant does not re-plead after the charging document has been amended, sentence enhancement is not permissible upon conviction. Gerard, 189 Wis.  2d at 513-14; Martin, 162 Wis.  2d at 902-03; Campbell, 201 Wis.  2d at 791-92.

(3) With leave of court, and after a plea has been accepted, charging documents that were sufficient before the plea was accepted may be amended with regard to the initial allegations concerning a defendant’s repeater status so long as the defendant is not prejudiced by the amendment. [9] Stynes, 262 Wis. Gerard, 189 Wis. Campbell, 201 Wis.  2d at 793.

(4) When a post-plea amendment to allegations earlier made concerning a defendant’s repeater status does not compromise the sufficiency of notice of the potential maximum sentence a defendant faces, no prejudice occurs. Stynes, 262 Wis.  2d 335, ¶¶31-32; Gerard, 189 Wis.  2d at 516; Campbell, 201 Wis.  2d at 793; Wilks, 165 Wis.  2d at 110.

 [9]  In order to give sufficient notice of the potential maximum penalty that a defendant faces due to allegations of habitual criminality, a complaint must specify the date or dates of conviction, the substantive crime or crimes of which the defendant was convicted, and whether each conviction was a felony or a misdemeanor. State v. Stynes, 2003 WI 65, ¶15, 262 Wis.  2d 335, 665 N.W.2d 115 (citing State v. Gerard, 189 Wis.  2d 505, 515-16, 525 N.W.2d 718 (1995).


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