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The Importance of a Pre-Charging Conference

From time to time we are contacted by clients who have not yet been formally charged with a crime, but who have been contacted by law enforcement officials for questioning or are ordered in for a charging conference with the district attorney. Our involvement at this stage not only can insulate our clients from the pressures being exerted to give an incriminating statement but can also yield positive results through the influence we exert on the charging process.

Possession with Intent to Deliver
Steve was arrested for possession with intent to deliver marijuana when a search warrant executed at a Milwaukee storage facility he rented yielded several pounds of high grade marijuana. A subsequent search of his house resulted in the seizure of an additional pound under his bed. Because Steve, who was married with two small children, had previously spent time in prison for the same offense, he was facing the likelihood of a ten-year prison sentence if convicted.

The police released Steve because they wanted his cooperation in an ongoing drug investigation and Steve immediately contacted the law firm of Anderegg & Associates. Steve did not wish to work undercover making drug purchases for the Milwaukee Metro Drug Unit and Anderegg & Associates supported him in this decision. Steve did, however, possess some critical information regarding an unsolved substantial battery in a nearby county. Through the intervention of the attorneys at Anderegg & Associates, Steve assisted in the reopening and successful prosecution of the battery case and drug charges were never issued against him. Forgery
Sally was contacted by police who suspected she had forged checks stolen from her employer. Given the nature of her actions and the amounts involved, Sally was ordered in for a felony charging conference with the district attorney. Sally had a previous conviction for uttering (i.e., issuing worthless checks) and was facing the real prospect of a prison sentence.

Sally contacted the law firm of Anderegg and Associates which assigned an attorney to investigate the facts and circumstances of the potential charges. With full knowledge of the State’s case against Sally, an agreement was reached at the charging conference whereby Sally agreed to make full restitution payments to her victims so they would be made whole. In exchange, the State agreed to issue a single misdemeanor charge to which Sally pled guilty and received probation with no jail time.

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