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Benchbook Vol. 1 - Criminal and Traffic Wisconsin Judicial Benchbook Series
  • AK0025
  • 978-1-57862-208-5

960+ pp.; 5th ed. 2016

Includes 2016-2017 supplement
2 volume set

Rely on decades of courtroom experience

Develop your criminal law or traffic law case with the same resource judges use to evaluate it — the Wisconsin Judicial Benchbook Volume I: Criminal and Traffic. The Benchbook takes the same information that judges use to conduct trials and puts that expertise into your hands. Intended to be a practical, everyday working tool for judging cases fairly, correctly, and efficiently, the Criminal and Traffic Benchbook is both a comprehensive guide and a distillation of the law, and integrates the experiences, practices, and thoughts of many outstanding Wisconsin judges.

Know where your case is going and why

You’ll know what to do next thanks to the Criminal and Traffic Benchbook’s easy-to-follow outline format that guides you through the main stages of the criminal law process and traffic proceedings. You’ll find your procedural questions answered efficiently and effectively.

Support your position

For each step in a case, you’ll have the most relevant statutory citations and case law references in the left margin of each page, next to the corresponding discussion in the chapter outline. This guide to the law provides you with the background and knowledge to confidently represent your clients.

Newly updated

The 2016-2017 supplement to this book includes a number of important recent developments, including:

  • Wisconsin appellate court and U.S. Supreme Court decisions involving:
    • Competency of defendants
    • Pleas (and withdrawal of pleas)
    • Joinder
    • Search-and-seizure
    • Custodial interrogations
    • Admissibility of evidence (including expert testimony)
    • Sentencing (including COMPAS risk assessment)
    • Sexually violent person commitments
  • Legislation on topics such as 24/7 sobriety programs and ignition interlock devices, controlled substances, and restitution
  • New information on the electronic transmission of search warrants
  • Updated figures for the 2017 federal poverty guidelines, for use in making indigency determinations

Recurring Issues

  • Victims' Rights
  • Interpreters
  • Counsel
  • Telephonic Hearings
  • Public Trial

Pretrial Matters

  • Issuing Warrants/Subpoenas
  • Initial Appearance
  • Bail/Conditions of Release
  • Prelim/Arraignment
  • Discovery and Inspection
  • Depositions of Witnesses
  • Competency to Proceed
  • Taking a Plea

Pretrial Motions

  • Substitution of Judge/Recusal
  • Challenges to Sufficiency of Complaint/Double Jeopardy
  • Speedy Trial
  • Personal Jurisdiction/Place of Trial
  • Motion for Joinder (Consolidation) or Severance
  • Suppression-Search and Seizure
  • Suppression-Identification
  • Suppression-Confessions/Witness Statements

Jury Issues

  • Jury Waiver
  • Selection of Jury
  • Jury Management
  • Preliminary Instructions/Opening Statements
  • Witnesses
  • Expert Witnesses
  • Hypnosis/Polygraph/DNA


  • Closing Arguments
  • Jury Instructions
  • Verdicts
  • Impeaching Jury Verdict

Trial Problems

  • Defendant Disruption/Presence
  • Mental Disease or Defect
  • Mistrial


  • The Sentencing Hearing
  • Options for Sentencing
  • Modification of Sentence/Resentencing


  • Motion for a New Trial
  • Ineffective Assistance of Counsel
  • § 974.06 Motions
  • Withdrawal of Plea

Special Proceedings

  • Extradition/Detainers
  • Electronic Surveillance
  • Writs
  • Contempt of Court
  • Grand Jury/John Doe Proceedings
  • Inquests
  • Sexually Violent Person Commitment
  • Juvenile/Adult Matters


  • Pretrial Proceedings
  • Trial Procedures
  • Sentencing-Postconviction Issues

Years of experience are yours!

With the experience of Wisconsin’s outstanding judges behind you, the Criminal and Traffic Benchbook will help fill you with confidence whenever you appear in court.

Get your copy today!

Order the entire Judicial Benchbook Library!

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