Dane County Criminal Court

Dane County Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in Dane County. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in Dane County.

Can I request a Plea Agreement?

In Dane County you may be able to enter into a plea agreement depending upon the severity of the charges. It is also dependant upon the prosecution willing to accept a plea agreement. You can ask your attorney to attempt to negotiate a plea agreement with the prosecution to avoid having a jury trial along with the potential for a more serious sentence. Approximately 9 out of 10 criminal cases usually end in a plea agreement.

Where can I get help for my Dane County criminal case?

The 6th amendment of the United States Constitution provides a criminal defendant with the right to an attorney. As read in the miranda rights, this means that if a defendant cannot afford to hire a private attorney a legal attorney will be appointed to the defendant to represent him at no cost to the defendant. This is often a public defender. In addition, the court clerk for Dane County will also be able to provide general information about a specific criminal case. The clerk can only provide information and is not an attorney so they cannot provide legal advice, only a licensed attorney can provide legal advice about what the best options for are for your particular case.

Dane County Criminal Court

Dane County Criminal Court

What if I can’t afford an attorney?

The 6th Amendment guarantees you the right to an attorney whether or not you can afford one. If you cannot afford one, a public defender will be appointed by the court to represent you.

Jury by Trial Right

The US Constitution (Article 3 along with the 6th Amendment) ensures an accused defendant the right to a jury trial. This applies to crimes that have a $500 fine or a potential sentence of six months in jail (aka Serious Crimes). This right to trial by jury can also be waived by a defendant.

Dane County Arraignments

An arraignment is a court hearing. In Dane County this is the first thing that will happen in a criminal case. The defendant will be brought before a judge in Dane County Criminal Court and the judge will read the charges that were filed against the defendant. The judge will also read the rights the defendant has and ask the defendant if they understand both the charges filed against them and their rights as a defendant in the case. In Dane County a plea of Guilty, Not Guilty or No Contest may be entered. In a guilty or no contest plea the sentencing of the defendant may take place at the same arraignment hearing or a later date may be scheduled for sentencing. For a not guilty plea, a date will be set for a trial.

Dane County Criminal Court hearings

Criminal hearings in Dane County will take place at the Dane County Criminal Courts. Please see here for a list of the Dane County Criminal Court Locations.

Jury Deliberations in Dane County

In Dane County, jury deliberations will take place in a jury trial after the prosecution and defense have presented their cases and rested. At this point, the judge will provide a list of instructions to the jury about what they are allowed and not allowed to do and what verdict options are available for them to decide. The jury will be sent to a private room to discuss the evidence presented in the case and attempt to reach a unaminous decision. When a unaminous decision is reached, the jury will inform the judge that they have reached a verdict and will return to the courtroom for the verdict to be read allowed. In the event that the jury cannot reach a unanimous verdict, the jury results in a deadlock and a mistrial is declared.

Dane County Required Court Appearances

In Dane County, there are both required and non-required court appearances for the defendant. At a required or mandatory appearance hearing, the defendant is required to appear in person before the court. Failing to appear at your required hearing may result in a bench warrant being issued for your arrest by the judge.

Defendant Sentencing

At a sentence hearing the judge will inform the defendant of the sentence that will be imposed. This sometimes occurs at the same hearing in which the defendant is found guilty (either by trial or plea agreement). In can also occur at a later date, most often this is due to the complexity of the case where more time is needed to determine the appropriate sentence.

Can I appeal a guilty verdict?

If found guilty, a defendant may decide to appeal his case to an appelate court. The appellate court will not retry the case, they will examine the proceedings in the lower court to make sure they were done in a legal manner. The appellate court can either uphold the original conviction, or determine that due to errors made in the original trial, that there must be a retrial, resentencing or a complete dismissal of the charges.

What is the Burden of Proof?

The term “Burden of Proof” means that the prosecutor is required to prove the guilt of the defendant beyond a reasonable doubt. If the prosecutor cannot provide proof of the defendants guilt, then the judge or jury in a trial must find the defendant not guilty. In the United States the principle innocent until proven guilty derives from this that the defendant is assumed innocent and the prosecution has the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty.

Prosecutor in Dane County

In Dane County, the prosecutor is an attorney representing Dane County. In some cases, the prosecutor may actually represent Wisconsin. For the most part, the prosecutor in Dane County has discretion to both decide whether to file charges and also negotiate a potential plea deal with the defendant.

Dane County Criminal Court Locations

  • Dane County Circuit Court

    Address: 215 South Hamilton Street, Room 1000, Madison WI 53703
    Phone: 608-266-4311 Fax: 608-267-8859

  • City of Fitchburg Municipal Court

    Address: 5520 Lacy Road, Fitchburg WI 53711
    Phone: 608-270-4224 Fax: 608-270-4212

  • City of Madison Municipal Court

    Address: 210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard, Madison WI 53703
    Phone: 608-264-9282 Fax: 608-266-5930

  • City of Middleton Municipal Court

    Address: 7341 Donna Drive, Middleton WI 53562
    Phone: 608-824-7370 Fax: 608-833-9995

  • City of Monona Municipal Court

    Address: 1000 Nichols Road, Monona WI 53716
    Phone: 608-216-7422 Fax: 608-222-4196

  • City of Stoughton Municipal Court

    Address: 321 South 4th Street, Second Floor, Stoughton WI 53589
    Phone: 608-873-6676 Fax: 608-873-5519

  • City of Sun Prairie Municipal Court

    Address: 300 East Main Street, Sun Prairie WI 53590
    Phone: 608-837-9541 Fax: 608-825-1198

  • City of Verona Municipal Court

    Address: 111 Lincoln Street, Verona WI 53593
    Phone: 608-848-9938 Fax: 608-845-8613

  • Eastern Dane County Joint Municipal Court

    Address: 200 Spring Street, PO Box 99, Cambridge WI 53523
    Phone: 608-423-3712 Fax: 608-423-3916

  • Northeast Community Municipal Court

    Address: 5365 Reiner Road, Burke WI 53718
    Phone: 608-825-3119 Fax: 608-825-8422

  • Town of Cottage Grove Municipal Court

    Address: 221 East Cottage Grove Road, Cottage Grove WI 53527
    Phone: 608-839-8064 Fax: 608-839-4698

  • Town of Dunn Municipal Court

    Address: 4156 County Road B, McFarland WI 53558
    Phone: 608-838-1081 x201 Fax: 608-838-1085

  • Town of Madison Municipal Court

    Address: 2120 Fish Hatchery Road, Madison WI 53713
    Phone: 608-210-7263 Fax: 608-210-7236

  • Village of Belleville Municipal Court

    Address: 24 West Main Street, PO Box 79, Belleville WI 53508
    Phone: 608-424-6551 Fax: 608-424-3423

  • Village of Black Earth Municipal Court

    Address: 1210 Mills Street, Black Earth WI 53515
    Phone: 608-767-2563

  • Village of Brooklyn Municipal Court

    Address: 102 North Rutland Avenue, PO Box 189, Brooklyn WI 53521
    Phone: 608-455-1168 Fax: 608-455-1799

  • Village of Cottage Grove Municipal Court

    Address: 221 East Cottage Grove Road, Cottage Grove WI 53527
    Phone: 608-839-8064 Fax: 608-839-4698

  • Village of Cross Plains Municipal Court

    Address: 2417 Brewery Road, Cross Plains WI 53528
    Phone: 608-798-4101 Fax: 608-798-4001

  • Village of Dane Municipal Court

    Address: 102 West Main Street, PO Box 168, Dane WI 53529
    Phone: 608-849-5422 Fax: 608-249-6756

  • Village of DeForest / Town of Windsor Municipal Court

    Address: 305 East Holum Street, DeForest WI 53532
    Phone: 608-846-6782 Fax: 608-846-0945

  • Village of Maple Bluff Municipal Court

    Address: 18 Oxford Place, Madison WI 53704
    Phone: 608-244-3069 Fax: 608-244-0179

  • Village of Marshall Municipal Court

    Address: 130 South Pardee Street, PO Box 540, Marshall WI 53559
    Phone: 608-655-3533 x214 Fax: 608-655-4273

  • Village of Mazomanie Municipal Court

    Address: 133 Crescent Street, Mazomanie WI 53560
    Phone: 608-795-2100 Fax: 608-795-2102

  • Village of McFarland Municipal Court

    Address: 5915 Milwaukee Street, PO Box 110, McFarland WI 53558
    Phone: 608-838-3764 Fax: 608-838-3619

  • Village of Mount Horeb Municipal Court

    Address: 138 East Main Street, Mount Horeb WI 53572
    Phone: 608-437-7748 Fax: 608-437-3190

  • Village of Oregon Municipal Court

    Address: 383 Park Street, Oregon WI 53575
    Phone: 608-835-2206 Fax: 608-835-6262

  • Village of Shorewood Hills Municipal Court

    Address: 810 Shorewood Boulevard, Madison WI 53705
    Phone: 608-267-2690 Fax: 608-267-1155

  • Village of Waunakee Municipal Court

    Address: 500 West Main Street, Waunakee WI 53597
    Phone: 608-849-4573 Fax: 608-849-5628

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