State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > Wisconsin > 970 > 970.03

970.03

970.03 Preliminary examination.

970.03(1)

(1) A preliminary examination is a hearing before a court for the purpose of determining if there is probable cause to believe a felony has been committed by the defendant. A preliminary examination may be held in conjunction with a bail revocation hearing under s. 969.08 (5) (b), but separate findings shall be made by the judge relating to the preliminary examination and to the bail revocation.

970.03(2)

(2) The preliminary examination shall be commenced within 20 days after the initial appearance of the defendant if the defendant has been released from custody or within 10 days if the defendant is in custody and bail has been fixed in excess of $500. On stipulation of the parties or on motion and for cause, the court may extend such time.

970.03(3)

(3) A plea shall not be accepted in any case in which a preliminary examination is required until the defendant has been bound over following preliminary examination or waiver thereof.

970.03(4)

(4)

970.03(4)(a)

(a) If the defendant is accused of a crime under s. 940.225, 948.02, 948.025, 948.05, 948.051, 948.06, 948.085, or 948.095, or under s. 940.302 (2), if the court finds that the crime was sexually motivated, as defined in s. 980.01 (5), the court may exclude from the hearing all persons who are not officers of the court, members of the complainant's or defendant's families or others considered by the court to be supportive of the complainant or defendant, the service representative, as defined in s. 895.45 (1) (c), or other persons required to attend, if the court finds that the state or the defendant has established a compelling interest that would likely be prejudiced if the persons were not excluded. The court may consider as a compelling interest, among others, the need to protect a complainant from undue embarrassment and emotional trauma.

970.03(4)(b)

(b) In making its order under this subsection, the court shall set forth specific findings sufficient to support the closure order. In making these findings, the court shall consider, and give substantial weight to, the desires, if any, of the complainant. Additional factors that the court may consider in making these findings include, but are not limited to, the complainant's age, psychological maturity and understanding; the nature of the crime; and the desires of the complainant's family.

970.03(4)(c)

(c) The court shall make its closure order under this subsection no broader than is necessary to protect the compelling interest under par. (a) and shall consider any reasonable alternatives to full closure of the entire hearing.

970.03(5)

(5) All witnesses shall be sworn and their testimony reported by a phonographic reporter. The defendant may cross-examine witnesses against the defendant, and may call witnesses on the defendant's own behalf who then are subject to cross-examination.

970.03(6)

(6) During the preliminary examination, the court may exclude witnesses until they are called to testify, may direct that persons who are expected to be called as witnesses be kept separate until called and may prevent them from communicating with one another until they have been examined.

970.03(7)

(7) If the court finds probable cause to believe that a felony has been committed by the defendant, it shall bind the defendant over for trial.

970.03(8)

(8) If the court finds that it is probable that only a misdemeanor has been committed by the defendant, it shall amend the complaint to conform to the evidence. The action shall then proceed as though it had originated as a misdemeanor action.

970.03(9)

(9) If the court does not find probable cause to believe that a crime has been committed by the defendant, it shall order the defendant discharged forthwith.

970.03(10)

(10) In multiple count complaints, the court shall order dismissed any count for which it finds there is no probable cause. The facts arising out of any count ordered dismissed shall not be the basis for a count in any information filed pursuant to ch. 971. Section 970.04 shall apply to any dismissed count.

970.03(11)

(11) The court may admit a statement which is hearsay and which is not excluded from the hearsay rule under ss. 908.02 to 908.045 to prove ownership of property or lack of consent to entry to or possession or destruction of property or to prove any element under s. 943.201 (2) or 943.203 (2).

970.03(12)

(12)

970.03(12)(a)

(a) In this subsection:

970.03(12)(a)1.

1. "Hospital" has the meaning designated in s. 50.33 (2).

970.03(12)(a)2.

2. "Local health department" has the meaning given in s. 250.01 (4).

970.03(12)(b)

(b) At any preliminary examination, a report of one of the crime laboratory's, the state laboratory of hygiene's, a federal bureau of investigation laboratory's, a hospital laboratory's or a local health department's findings with reference to all or any part of the evidence submitted, certified as correct by the attorney general, the director of the state laboratory of hygiene, the director of the federal bureau of investigation, the chief hospital administrator, the local health officer, as defined in s. 250.01 (5), or a person designated by any of them, shall, when offered by the state or the accused, be received as evidence of the facts and findings stated, if relevant. The expert who made the findings need not be called as a witness.

970.03(12)(c)

(c) At any preliminary examination in Milwaukee County, a latent fingerprint report of the city of Milwaukee police department bureau of identification division's latent fingerprint identification unit, certified as correct by the police chief or a person designated by the police chief, shall, when offered by the state or the accused, be received as evidence of the facts and findings stated, if relevant. The expert who made the findings need not be called as a witness.

970.03(13)

(13) Testimony may be received into the record of a preliminary examination by telephone or live audiovisual means if the proponent shows good cause or if the testimony is used to prove an element of an offense under s. 943.201 (2) or 943.203 (2).

970.03(14)

(14)

970.03(14)(a)

(a) In this subsection, "child" means a person who is younger than 16 years old when the preliminary examination commences.

970.03(14)(b)

(b) At any preliminary examination, the court shall admit an audiovisual recording of a statement under s. 908.08 upon making the findings required under s. 908.08 (3). The child who makes the statement need not be called as a witness and, under the circumstances specified in s. 908.08 (5) (b), may not be compelled to undergo cross-examination.

970.03 - ANNOT.

History: 1975 c. 184; 1977 c. 449; 1979 c. 112, 332; 1985 a. 267; Sup. Ct. Order, 141 Wis. 2d xiii (1987); 1987 a. 332 s. 64; 1987 a. 403; Sup. Ct. Order, 158 Wis. 2d xvii (1990); 1991 a. 193, 276; 1993 a. 27, 98, 227, 486; 1995 a. 456; 1997 a. 252; 1999 a. 111; 2001 a. 103; 2003 a. 36; 2005 a. 42, 155, 277; 2007 a. 97, 116.

970.03 - ANNOT.

Judicial Council Note, 1990: : [Re amendment of (13)] The right to confront one's accusers does not apply to the preliminary examination, and since credibility is not an issue, demeanor evidence is of less significance than at trial. For these reasons, a party should not be permitted to prevent the admission of telephone testimony, although the proponent of such evidence should bear the burden of showing good cause for its admission. [Re Order eff. 1-1-91]

970.03 - ANNOT.

While hearsay relied upon in support of a criminal complaint requires some basis for crediting its reliability, whether the informants are named or not, that requirement is satisfied if the hearsay is based upon observation of the informants. State ex rel. Cullen v. Ceci, 45 Wis. 2d 432, 173 N.W.2d 175 (1970).

970.03 - ANNOT.

There is no obligation on a magistrate to conduct an investigation to verify the contents of a criminal complaint. That is the duty of the state, and if it fails to put sufficient facts before the magistrate to show probable cause, the complaint must fail even though clues and leads that could provide that information are revealed in the complaint. State ex rel. Cullen v. Ceci, 45 Wis. 2d 432, 173 N.W.2d 175 (1970).

970.03 - ANNOT.

At the preliminary hearing, a defendant is entitled to cross-examine witnesses who identified him at the hearing and who also identified him at a lineup, because if the lineup was unfair, the identification evidence might be suppressed. Hayes v. State, 46 Wis. 2d 93, 175 N.W.2d 625 (1970).

970.03 - ANNOT.

A ruling on admissibility of evidence at a preliminary hearing is not res adjudicata at the trial. Meunier v. State, 46 Wis. 2d 271, 174 N.W.2d 277 (1970).

970.03 - ANNOT.

It was not error for the magistrate and trial court to fail to sequester witnesses without motion by the defendant, especially in the absence of a showing of prejudice. Abraham v. State, 47 Wis. 2d 44, 176 N.W.2d 349 (1970).

970.03 - ANNOT.

A bind over was not invalid because the judge stated that it was "for the purpose of accepting a plea." Dolan v. State, 48 Wis. 2d 696, 180 N.W.2d 623 (1970).

970.03 - ANNOT.

A defendant is not entitled to call witnesses for pretrial discovery or to shake the credibility of the state's witness. State v. Knudson, 51 Wis. 2d 270, 187 N.W.2d 321 (1971).

970.03 - ANNOT.

A defendant who has been indicted by a grand jury is not entitled to a preliminary examination. State ex rel. Welch v. Waukesha County Circuit Court, 52 Wis. 2d 221, 189 N.W.2d 417 (1971).

970.03 - ANNOT.

When the preliminary examination is not timely held, personal jurisdiction is lost, but when the defendant on arraignment enters a plea, the defense is waived. Armstrong v. State, 55 Wis. 2d 282, 198 N.W.2d 357 (1972).

970.03 - ANNOT.

Defense counsel should be allowed to cross-examine a state's witness to determine the plausability of the witness, but not to attack the witness's general trustworthiness. Wilson v. State, 59 Wis. 2d 269, 208 N.W.2d 134 (1973).

970.03 - ANNOT.

The purpose of a hearing under sub. (1) is to determine whether a felony, whether charged or not, probably was committed. After bind over the prosecutor may charge any crime not wholly unrelated to transactions and facts adduced at the preliminary examination. Wittke v. State ex rel. Smith, 80 Wis. 2d 332, 259 N.W.2d 515 (1973).

970.03 - ANNOT.

Appellate review of a preliminary hearing is limited to determining whether the record contains competent evidence to support the examining magistrate's exercise of judgment. Although motive is not an element of any crime and does not of itself establish guilt or innocence, evidence of motive may be given as much weight as the fact finder deems it is entitled to at the preliminary hearing or trial. State v. Berby, 81 Wis. 2d 677, 260 N.W.2d 798 (1978).

970.03 - ANNOT.

Section 970.03 (8) neither limits a prosecutor's discretion to prosecute criminal actions nor prohibits a second examination under s. 970.04. State v. Kenyon, 85 Wis. 2d 36, 270 N.W.2d 160 (1978).

970.03 - ANNOT.

This section does not require that proof of the exact time of an offense be shown. State v. Sirisun, 90 Wis. 2d 58, 279 N.W.2d 484 (Ct. App. 1979).

970.03 - ANNOT.

In finding probable cause, the court properly took judicial notice of the fact that rapid consumption of 1/2 quart of liquor probably caused a young girl's death. State ex rel. Cholka v. Johnson, 96 Wis. 2d 704, 292 N.W.2d 835 (1980).

970.03 - ANNOT.

An accused does not have a constitutional right to make a closing argument at a preliminary examination. State ex rel. Funmaker v. Klamm, 106 Wis. 2d 624, 317 N.W.2d 458 (1982).

970.03 - ANNOT.

If any reasonable inference supports a conclusion that the defendant probably committed a crime, the magistrate must bind over the defendant. State v. Dunn, 117 Wis. 2d 487, 345 N.W.2d 69 (Ct. App. 1984); aff'd. 121 Wis. 2d 389, 359 N.W.2d 151 (1984).

970.03 - ANNOT.

The state has the right to appeal a dismissal when it believes an error of law was committed. An uncorroborated confession alone was sufficient to support a probable cause finding. State v. Fry, 129 Wis. 2d 301, 385 N.W.2d 196 (Ct. App. 1985).

970.03 - ANNOT.

Mandatory closure of a hearing solely at the request of a complaining witness over the objection of the defendant violates the right to a public trial. Stevens v. Manitowoc Cir. Ct., 141 Wis. 2d 239, 414 N.W.2d 832 (1987).

970.03 - ANNOT.

If an appellate court stays the trial court proceedings on an interlocutory appeal, sub. (2) does not set a mandatory time limit for the preliminary hearing upon remittitur. State v. Horton, 151 Wis. 2d 250, 445 N.W.2d 46 (Ct. App. 1989).

970.03 - ANNOT.

An unconstitutionally obtained confession may be admitted and serve as the sole basis for bindover at a preliminary examination. State v. Moats, 156 Wis. 2d 74, 457 Wis.2d 299 (1990).

970.03 - ANNOT.

A defendant claiming error at a preliminary examination may obtain relief only prior to trial; the defendant may seek interlocutory review from the court of appeals under s. 809.50. State v. Webb, 160 Wis. 2d 622, 467 N.W.2d 108 (1991).

970.03 - ANNOT.

Adjourning a preliminary examination for cause is within the court's discretion. State v. Selders, 163 Wis. 2d 607, 472 N.W.2d 526 (Ct. App. 1991).

970.03 - ANNOT.

A court commissioner's determinations of admissibility of evidence will be upheld absent an erroneous exercise of discretion; the reviewing court then determines whether, if believed, the evidence would permit a reasonable magistrate to conclude that the defendant probably committed the crime. State v. Lindberg, 175 Wis. 2d 332, N.W.2d (Ct. App. 1993).

970.03 - ANNOT.

If a bindover decision is made by a court commissioner or circuit judge, review must be by a motion to dismiss brought in circuit court. Habeas corpus is not available to review a bindover. Dowe v. Waukesha County Circuit Ct. 184 Wis. 2d 724, 516 N.W.2d 714 (1994).

970.03 - ANNOT.

Single count complaints under sub. (7) and multiple count complaints under sub. (10) are to receive the same procedural treatment. In multiple count complaints a court must dismiss any count for which it believes there is not probable cause to believe a felony has been committed by the defendant. The specific felony charged need not be proved and it is inadvisable for the court to opine as to what felony was probably committed. Evidence that is not transactionally related to a count for which bind over is considered proper may not form the basis for a count in an ensuing information, but the information may include any count that is transactionally related to a count on which the defendant is bound over. State v. Williams, 198 Wis. 2d 516, 544 N.W.2d 406 (1996), 93-2444. See also State v. Williams, 198 Wis. 2d 479, 544 N.W.2d 400 (1996), 93-2517 and State v. Akins, 198 Wis. 2d 495, 544 N.W.2d 392 (1996), 94-1872.

970.03 - ANNOT.

Following a bindover at a preliminary hearing, the proper test for reviewing a challenge to an information that alleges wholly new charges not accompanied by the original charge is the sufficiency of evidence test. State v. Cotton, 2003 WI App 154, 266 Wis. 2d 308, 668 N.W.2d 346, 02-2923.

970.03 - ANNOT.

The purpose of a preliminary examination is limited to an expeditious determination of whether probable cause exists for the state to proceed with felony charges against a defendant. This limited purpose does not permit a criminal defendant to compel discovery in anticipation of the hearing. There is no 6th Amendment right, based on effective assistance of counsel, and no compulsory process right to subpoena police reports and other non-privileged materials prior to the examination. State v. Schaefer, 2008 WI 25, 308 Wis. 2d 279, 746 N.W.2d 457, 06-1826.

970.03 - ANNOT.

It was not proper to dismiss a criminal charge added in the information because the prosecutor successfully objected at the preliminary hearing to questions that were relevant to that crime but not to the crime charged in the complaint. State v. White, 2008 WI App 96, 312 Wis. 2d 799, 754 N.W.2d 214, 07-2061.

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > Wisconsin > 970 > 970.03

970.03

970.03 Preliminary examination.

970.03(1)

(1) A preliminary examination is a hearing before a court for the purpose of determining if there is probable cause to believe a felony has been committed by the defendant. A preliminary examination may be held in conjunction with a bail revocation hearing under s. 969.08 (5) (b), but separate findings shall be made by the judge relating to the preliminary examination and to the bail revocation.

970.03(2)

(2) The preliminary examination shall be commenced within 20 days after the initial appearance of the defendant if the defendant has been released from custody or within 10 days if the defendant is in custody and bail has been fixed in excess of $500. On stipulation of the parties or on motion and for cause, the court may extend such time.

970.03(3)

(3) A plea shall not be accepted in any case in which a preliminary examination is required until the defendant has been bound over following preliminary examination or waiver thereof.

970.03(4)

(4)

970.03(4)(a)

(a) If the defendant is accused of a crime under s. 940.225, 948.02, 948.025, 948.05, 948.051, 948.06, 948.085, or 948.095, or under s. 940.302 (2), if the court finds that the crime was sexually motivated, as defined in s. 980.01 (5), the court may exclude from the hearing all persons who are not officers of the court, members of the complainant's or defendant's families or others considered by the court to be supportive of the complainant or defendant, the service representative, as defined in s. 895.45 (1) (c), or other persons required to attend, if the court finds that the state or the defendant has established a compelling interest that would likely be prejudiced if the persons were not excluded. The court may consider as a compelling interest, among others, the need to protect a complainant from undue embarrassment and emotional trauma.

970.03(4)(b)

(b) In making its order under this subsection, the court shall set forth specific findings sufficient to support the closure order. In making these findings, the court shall consider, and give substantial weight to, the desires, if any, of the complainant. Additional factors that the court may consider in making these findings include, but are not limited to, the complainant's age, psychological maturity and understanding; the nature of the crime; and the desires of the complainant's family.

970.03(4)(c)

(c) The court shall make its closure order under this subsection no broader than is necessary to protect the compelling interest under par. (a) and shall consider any reasonable alternatives to full closure of the entire hearing.

970.03(5)

(5) All witnesses shall be sworn and their testimony reported by a phonographic reporter. The defendant may cross-examine witnesses against the defendant, and may call witnesses on the defendant's own behalf who then are subject to cross-examination.

970.03(6)

(6) During the preliminary examination, the court may exclude witnesses until they are called to testify, may direct that persons who are expected to be called as witnesses be kept separate until called and may prevent them from communicating with one another until they have been examined.

970.03(7)

(7) If the court finds probable cause to believe that a felony has been committed by the defendant, it shall bind the defendant over for trial.

970.03(8)

(8) If the court finds that it is probable that only a misdemeanor has been committed by the defendant, it shall amend the complaint to conform to the evidence. The action shall then proceed as though it had originated as a misdemeanor action.

970.03(9)

(9) If the court does not find probable cause to believe that a crime has been committed by the defendant, it shall order the defendant discharged forthwith.

970.03(10)

(10) In multiple count complaints, the court shall order dismissed any count for which it finds there is no probable cause. The facts arising out of any count ordered dismissed shall not be the basis for a count in any information filed pursuant to ch. 971. Section 970.04 shall apply to any dismissed count.

970.03(11)

(11) The court may admit a statement which is hearsay and which is not excluded from the hearsay rule under ss. 908.02 to 908.045 to prove ownership of property or lack of consent to entry to or possession or destruction of property or to prove any element under s. 943.201 (2) or 943.203 (2).

970.03(12)

(12)

970.03(12)(a)

(a) In this subsection:

970.03(12)(a)1.

1. "Hospital" has the meaning designated in s. 50.33 (2).

970.03(12)(a)2.

2. "Local health department" has the meaning given in s. 250.01 (4).

970.03(12)(b)

(b) At any preliminary examination, a report of one of the crime laboratory's, the state laboratory of hygiene's, a federal bureau of investigation laboratory's, a hospital laboratory's or a local health department's findings with reference to all or any part of the evidence submitted, certified as correct by the attorney general, the director of the state laboratory of hygiene, the director of the federal bureau of investigation, the chief hospital administrator, the local health officer, as defined in s. 250.01 (5), or a person designated by any of them, shall, when offered by the state or the accused, be received as evidence of the facts and findings stated, if relevant. The expert who made the findings need not be called as a witness.

970.03(12)(c)

(c) At any preliminary examination in Milwaukee County, a latent fingerprint report of the city of Milwaukee police department bureau of identification division's latent fingerprint identification unit, certified as correct by the police chief or a person designated by the police chief, shall, when offered by the state or the accused, be received as evidence of the facts and findings stated, if relevant. The expert who made the findings need not be called as a witness.

970.03(13)

(13) Testimony may be received into the record of a preliminary examination by telephone or live audiovisual means if the proponent shows good cause or if the testimony is used to prove an element of an offense under s. 943.201 (2) or 943.203 (2).

970.03(14)

(14)

970.03(14)(a)

(a) In this subsection, "child" means a person who is younger than 16 years old when the preliminary examination commences.

970.03(14)(b)

(b) At any preliminary examination, the court shall admit an audiovisual recording of a statement under s. 908.08 upon making the findings required under s. 908.08 (3). The child who makes the statement need not be called as a witness and, under the circumstances specified in s. 908.08 (5) (b), may not be compelled to undergo cross-examination.

970.03 - ANNOT.

History: 1975 c. 184; 1977 c. 449; 1979 c. 112, 332; 1985 a. 267; Sup. Ct. Order, 141 Wis. 2d xiii (1987); 1987 a. 332 s. 64; 1987 a. 403; Sup. Ct. Order, 158 Wis. 2d xvii (1990); 1991 a. 193, 276; 1993 a. 27, 98, 227, 486; 1995 a. 456; 1997 a. 252; 1999 a. 111; 2001 a. 103; 2003 a. 36; 2005 a. 42, 155, 277; 2007 a. 97, 116.

970.03 - ANNOT.

Judicial Council Note, 1990: : [Re amendment of (13)] The right to confront one's accusers does not apply to the preliminary examination, and since credibility is not an issue, demeanor evidence is of less significance than at trial. For these reasons, a party should not be permitted to prevent the admission of telephone testimony, although the proponent of such evidence should bear the burden of showing good cause for its admission. [Re Order eff. 1-1-91]

970.03 - ANNOT.

While hearsay relied upon in support of a criminal complaint requires some basis for crediting its reliability, whether the informants are named or not, that requirement is satisfied if the hearsay is based upon observation of the informants. State ex rel. Cullen v. Ceci, 45 Wis. 2d 432, 173 N.W.2d 175 (1970).

970.03 - ANNOT.

There is no obligation on a magistrate to conduct an investigation to verify the contents of a criminal complaint. That is the duty of the state, and if it fails to put sufficient facts before the magistrate to show probable cause, the complaint must fail even though clues and leads that could provide that information are revealed in the complaint. State ex rel. Cullen v. Ceci, 45 Wis. 2d 432, 173 N.W.2d 175 (1970).

970.03 - ANNOT.

At the preliminary hearing, a defendant is entitled to cross-examine witnesses who identified him at the hearing and who also identified him at a lineup, because if the lineup was unfair, the identification evidence might be suppressed. Hayes v. State, 46 Wis. 2d 93, 175 N.W.2d 625 (1970).

970.03 - ANNOT.

A ruling on admissibility of evidence at a preliminary hearing is not res adjudicata at the trial. Meunier v. State, 46 Wis. 2d 271, 174 N.W.2d 277 (1970).

970.03 - ANNOT.

It was not error for the magistrate and trial court to fail to sequester witnesses without motion by the defendant, especially in the absence of a showing of prejudice. Abraham v. State, 47 Wis. 2d 44, 176 N.W.2d 349 (1970).

970.03 - ANNOT.

A bind over was not invalid because the judge stated that it was "for the purpose of accepting a plea." Dolan v. State, 48 Wis. 2d 696, 180 N.W.2d 623 (1970).

970.03 - ANNOT.

A defendant is not entitled to call witnesses for pretrial discovery or to shake the credibility of the state's witness. State v. Knudson, 51 Wis. 2d 270, 187 N.W.2d 321 (1971).

970.03 - ANNOT.

A defendant who has been indicted by a grand jury is not entitled to a preliminary examination. State ex rel. Welch v. Waukesha County Circuit Court, 52 Wis. 2d 221, 189 N.W.2d 417 (1971).

970.03 - ANNOT.

When the preliminary examination is not timely held, personal jurisdiction is lost, but when the defendant on arraignment enters a plea, the defense is waived. Armstrong v. State, 55 Wis. 2d 282, 198 N.W.2d 357 (1972).

970.03 - ANNOT.

Defense counsel should be allowed to cross-examine a state's witness to determine the plausability of the witness, but not to attack the witness's general trustworthiness. Wilson v. State, 59 Wis. 2d 269, 208 N.W.2d 134 (1973).

970.03 - ANNOT.

The purpose of a hearing under sub. (1) is to determine whether a felony, whether charged or not, probably was committed. After bind over the prosecutor may charge any crime not wholly unrelated to transactions and facts adduced at the preliminary examination. Wittke v. State ex rel. Smith, 80 Wis. 2d 332, 259 N.W.2d 515 (1973).

970.03 - ANNOT.

Appellate review of a preliminary hearing is limited to determining whether the record contains competent evidence to support the examining magistrate's exercise of judgment. Although motive is not an element of any crime and does not of itself establish guilt or innocence, evidence of motive may be given as much weight as the fact finder deems it is entitled to at the preliminary hearing or trial. State v. Berby, 81 Wis. 2d 677, 260 N.W.2d 798 (1978).

970.03 - ANNOT.

Section 970.03 (8) neither limits a prosecutor's discretion to prosecute criminal actions nor prohibits a second examination under s. 970.04. State v. Kenyon, 85 Wis. 2d 36, 270 N.W.2d 160 (1978).

970.03 - ANNOT.

This section does not require that proof of the exact time of an offense be shown. State v. Sirisun, 90 Wis. 2d 58, 279 N.W.2d 484 (Ct. App. 1979).

970.03 - ANNOT.

In finding probable cause, the court properly took judicial notice of the fact that rapid consumption of 1/2 quart of liquor probably caused a young girl's death. State ex rel. Cholka v. Johnson, 96 Wis. 2d 704, 292 N.W.2d 835 (1980).

970.03 - ANNOT.

An accused does not have a constitutional right to make a closing argument at a preliminary examination. State ex rel. Funmaker v. Klamm, 106 Wis. 2d 624, 317 N.W.2d 458 (1982).

970.03 - ANNOT.

If any reasonable inference supports a conclusion that the defendant probably committed a crime, the magistrate must bind over the defendant. State v. Dunn, 117 Wis. 2d 487, 345 N.W.2d 69 (Ct. App. 1984); aff'd. 121 Wis. 2d 389, 359 N.W.2d 151 (1984).

970.03 - ANNOT.

The state has the right to appeal a dismissal when it believes an error of law was committed. An uncorroborated confession alone was sufficient to support a probable cause finding. State v. Fry, 129 Wis. 2d 301, 385 N.W.2d 196 (Ct. App. 1985).

970.03 - ANNOT.

Mandatory closure of a hearing solely at the request of a complaining witness over the objection of the defendant violates the right to a public trial. Stevens v. Manitowoc Cir. Ct., 141 Wis. 2d 239, 414 N.W.2d 832 (1987).

970.03 - ANNOT.

If an appellate court stays the trial court proceedings on an interlocutory appeal, sub. (2) does not set a mandatory time limit for the preliminary hearing upon remittitur. State v. Horton, 151 Wis. 2d 250, 445 N.W.2d 46 (Ct. App. 1989).

970.03 - ANNOT.

An unconstitutionally obtained confession may be admitted and serve as the sole basis for bindover at a preliminary examination. State v. Moats, 156 Wis. 2d 74, 457 Wis.2d 299 (1990).

970.03 - ANNOT.

A defendant claiming error at a preliminary examination may obtain relief only prior to trial; the defendant may seek interlocutory review from the court of appeals under s. 809.50. State v. Webb, 160 Wis. 2d 622, 467 N.W.2d 108 (1991).

970.03 - ANNOT.

Adjourning a preliminary examination for cause is within the court's discretion. State v. Selders, 163 Wis. 2d 607, 472 N.W.2d 526 (Ct. App. 1991).

970.03 - ANNOT.

A court commissioner's determinations of admissibility of evidence will be upheld absent an erroneous exercise of discretion; the reviewing court then determines whether, if believed, the evidence would permit a reasonable magistrate to conclude that the defendant probably committed the crime. State v. Lindberg, 175 Wis. 2d 332, N.W.2d (Ct. App. 1993).

970.03 - ANNOT.

If a bindover decision is made by a court commissioner or circuit judge, review must be by a motion to dismiss brought in circuit court. Habeas corpus is not available to review a bindover. Dowe v. Waukesha County Circuit Ct. 184 Wis. 2d 724, 516 N.W.2d 714 (1994).

970.03 - ANNOT.

Single count complaints under sub. (7) and multiple count complaints under sub. (10) are to receive the same procedural treatment. In multiple count complaints a court must dismiss any count for which it believes there is not probable cause to believe a felony has been committed by the defendant. The specific felony charged need not be proved and it is inadvisable for the court to opine as to what felony was probably committed. Evidence that is not transactionally related to a count for which bind over is considered proper may not form the basis for a count in an ensuing information, but the information may include any count that is transactionally related to a count on which the defendant is bound over. State v. Williams, 198 Wis. 2d 516, 544 N.W.2d 406 (1996), 93-2444. See also State v. Williams, 198 Wis. 2d 479, 544 N.W.2d 400 (1996), 93-2517 and State v. Akins, 198 Wis. 2d 495, 544 N.W.2d 392 (1996), 94-1872.

970.03 - ANNOT.

Following a bindover at a preliminary hearing, the proper test for reviewing a challenge to an information that alleges wholly new charges not accompanied by the original charge is the sufficiency of evidence test. State v. Cotton, 2003 WI App 154, 266 Wis. 2d 308, 668 N.W.2d 346, 02-2923.

970.03 - ANNOT.

The purpose of a preliminary examination is limited to an expeditious determination of whether probable cause exists for the state to proceed with felony charges against a defendant. This limited purpose does not permit a criminal defendant to compel discovery in anticipation of the hearing. There is no 6th Amendment right, based on effective assistance of counsel, and no compulsory process right to subpoena police reports and other non-privileged materials prior to the examination. State v. Schaefer, 2008 WI 25, 308 Wis. 2d 279, 746 N.W.2d 457, 06-1826.

970.03 - ANNOT.

It was not proper to dismiss a criminal charge added in the information because the prosecutor successfully objected at the preliminary hearing to questions that were relevant to that crime but not to the crime charged in the complaint. State v. White, 2008 WI App 96, 312 Wis. 2d 799, 754 N.W.2d 214, 07-2061.

State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > Wisconsin > 970 > 970.03

970.03

970.03 Preliminary examination.

970.03(1)

(1) A preliminary examination is a hearing before a court for the purpose of determining if there is probable cause to believe a felony has been committed by the defendant. A preliminary examination may be held in conjunction with a bail revocation hearing under s. 969.08 (5) (b), but separate findings shall be made by the judge relating to the preliminary examination and to the bail revocation.

970.03(2)

(2) The preliminary examination shall be commenced within 20 days after the initial appearance of the defendant if the defendant has been released from custody or within 10 days if the defendant is in custody and bail has been fixed in excess of $500. On stipulation of the parties or on motion and for cause, the court may extend such time.

970.03(3)

(3) A plea shall not be accepted in any case in which a preliminary examination is required until the defendant has been bound over following preliminary examination or waiver thereof.

970.03(4)

(4)

970.03(4)(a)

(a) If the defendant is accused of a crime under s. 940.225, 948.02, 948.025, 948.05, 948.051, 948.06, 948.085, or 948.095, or under s. 940.302 (2), if the court finds that the crime was sexually motivated, as defined in s. 980.01 (5), the court may exclude from the hearing all persons who are not officers of the court, members of the complainant's or defendant's families or others considered by the court to be supportive of the complainant or defendant, the service representative, as defined in s. 895.45 (1) (c), or other persons required to attend, if the court finds that the state or the defendant has established a compelling interest that would likely be prejudiced if the persons were not excluded. The court may consider as a compelling interest, among others, the need to protect a complainant from undue embarrassment and emotional trauma.

970.03(4)(b)

(b) In making its order under this subsection, the court shall set forth specific findings sufficient to support the closure order. In making these findings, the court shall consider, and give substantial weight to, the desires, if any, of the complainant. Additional factors that the court may consider in making these findings include, but are not limited to, the complainant's age, psychological maturity and understanding; the nature of the crime; and the desires of the complainant's family.

970.03(4)(c)

(c) The court shall make its closure order under this subsection no broader than is necessary to protect the compelling interest under par. (a) and shall consider any reasonable alternatives to full closure of the entire hearing.

970.03(5)

(5) All witnesses shall be sworn and their testimony reported by a phonographic reporter. The defendant may cross-examine witnesses against the defendant, and may call witnesses on the defendant's own behalf who then are subject to cross-examination.

970.03(6)

(6) During the preliminary examination, the court may exclude witnesses until they are called to testify, may direct that persons who are expected to be called as witnesses be kept separate until called and may prevent them from communicating with one another until they have been examined.

970.03(7)

(7) If the court finds probable cause to believe that a felony has been committed by the defendant, it shall bind the defendant over for trial.

970.03(8)

(8) If the court finds that it is probable that only a misdemeanor has been committed by the defendant, it shall amend the complaint to conform to the evidence. The action shall then proceed as though it had originated as a misdemeanor action.

970.03(9)

(9) If the court does not find probable cause to believe that a crime has been committed by the defendant, it shall order the defendant discharged forthwith.

970.03(10)

(10) In multiple count complaints, the court shall order dismissed any count for which it finds there is no probable cause. The facts arising out of any count ordered dismissed shall not be the basis for a count in any information filed pursuant to ch. 971. Section 970.04 shall apply to any dismissed count.

970.03(11)

(11) The court may admit a statement which is hearsay and which is not excluded from the hearsay rule under ss. 908.02 to 908.045 to prove ownership of property or lack of consent to entry to or possession or destruction of property or to prove any element under s. 943.201 (2) or 943.203 (2).

970.03(12)

(12)

970.03(12)(a)

(a) In this subsection:

970.03(12)(a)1.

1. "Hospital" has the meaning designated in s. 50.33 (2).

970.03(12)(a)2.

2. "Local health department" has the meaning given in s. 250.01 (4).

970.03(12)(b)

(b) At any preliminary examination, a report of one of the crime laboratory's, the state laboratory of hygiene's, a federal bureau of investigation laboratory's, a hospital laboratory's or a local health department's findings with reference to all or any part of the evidence submitted, certified as correct by the attorney general, the director of the state laboratory of hygiene, the director of the federal bureau of investigation, the chief hospital administrator, the local health officer, as defined in s. 250.01 (5), or a person designated by any of them, shall, when offered by the state or the accused, be received as evidence of the facts and findings stated, if relevant. The expert who made the findings need not be called as a witness.

970.03(12)(c)

(c) At any preliminary examination in Milwaukee County, a latent fingerprint report of the city of Milwaukee police department bureau of identification division's latent fingerprint identification unit, certified as correct by the police chief or a person designated by the police chief, shall, when offered by the state or the accused, be received as evidence of the facts and findings stated, if relevant. The expert who made the findings need not be called as a witness.

970.03(13)

(13) Testimony may be received into the record of a preliminary examination by telephone or live audiovisual means if the proponent shows good cause or if the testimony is used to prove an element of an offense under s. 943.201 (2) or 943.203 (2).

970.03(14)

(14)

970.03(14)(a)

(a) In this subsection, "child" means a person who is younger than 16 years old when the preliminary examination commences.

970.03(14)(b)

(b) At any preliminary examination, the court shall admit an audiovisual recording of a statement under s. 908.08 upon making the findings required under s. 908.08 (3). The child who makes the statement need not be called as a witness and, under the circumstances specified in s. 908.08 (5) (b), may not be compelled to undergo cross-examination.

970.03 - ANNOT.

History: 1975 c. 184; 1977 c. 449; 1979 c. 112, 332; 1985 a. 267; Sup. Ct. Order, 141 Wis. 2d xiii (1987); 1987 a. 332 s. 64; 1987 a. 403; Sup. Ct. Order, 158 Wis. 2d xvii (1990); 1991 a. 193, 276; 1993 a. 27, 98, 227, 486; 1995 a. 456; 1997 a. 252; 1999 a. 111; 2001 a. 103; 2003 a. 36; 2005 a. 42, 155, 277; 2007 a. 97, 116.

970.03 - ANNOT.

Judicial Council Note, 1990: : [Re amendment of (13)] The right to confront one's accusers does not apply to the preliminary examination, and since credibility is not an issue, demeanor evidence is of less significance than at trial. For these reasons, a party should not be permitted to prevent the admission of telephone testimony, although the proponent of such evidence should bear the burden of showing good cause for its admission. [Re Order eff. 1-1-91]

970.03 - ANNOT.

While hearsay relied upon in support of a criminal complaint requires some basis for crediting its reliability, whether the informants are named or not, that requirement is satisfied if the hearsay is based upon observation of the informants. State ex rel. Cullen v. Ceci, 45 Wis. 2d 432, 173 N.W.2d 175 (1970).

970.03 - ANNOT.

There is no obligation on a magistrate to conduct an investigation to verify the contents of a criminal complaint. That is the duty of the state, and if it fails to put sufficient facts before the magistrate to show probable cause, the complaint must fail even though clues and leads that could provide that information are revealed in the complaint. State ex rel. Cullen v. Ceci, 45 Wis. 2d 432, 173 N.W.2d 175 (1970).

970.03 - ANNOT.

At the preliminary hearing, a defendant is entitled to cross-examine witnesses who identified him at the hearing and who also identified him at a lineup, because if the lineup was unfair, the identification evidence might be suppressed. Hayes v. State, 46 Wis. 2d 93, 175 N.W.2d 625 (1970).

970.03 - ANNOT.

A ruling on admissibility of evidence at a preliminary hearing is not res adjudicata at the trial. Meunier v. State, 46 Wis. 2d 271, 174 N.W.2d 277 (1970).

970.03 - ANNOT.

It was not error for the magistrate and trial court to fail to sequester witnesses without motion by the defendant, especially in the absence of a showing of prejudice. Abraham v. State, 47 Wis. 2d 44, 176 N.W.2d 349 (1970).

970.03 - ANNOT.

A bind over was not invalid because the judge stated that it was "for the purpose of accepting a plea." Dolan v. State, 48 Wis. 2d 696, 180 N.W.2d 623 (1970).

970.03 - ANNOT.

A defendant is not entitled to call witnesses for pretrial discovery or to shake the credibility of the state's witness. State v. Knudson, 51 Wis. 2d 270, 187 N.W.2d 321 (1971).

970.03 - ANNOT.

A defendant who has been indicted by a grand jury is not entitled to a preliminary examination. State ex rel. Welch v. Waukesha County Circuit Court, 52 Wis. 2d 221, 189 N.W.2d 417 (1971).

970.03 - ANNOT.

When the preliminary examination is not timely held, personal jurisdiction is lost, but when the defendant on arraignment enters a plea, the defense is waived. Armstrong v. State, 55 Wis. 2d 282, 198 N.W.2d 357 (1972).

970.03 - ANNOT.

Defense counsel should be allowed to cross-examine a state's witness to determine the plausability of the witness, but not to attack the witness's general trustworthiness. Wilson v. State, 59 Wis. 2d 269, 208 N.W.2d 134 (1973).

970.03 - ANNOT.

The purpose of a hearing under sub. (1) is to determine whether a felony, whether charged or not, probably was committed. After bind over the prosecutor may charge any crime not wholly unrelated to transactions and facts adduced at the preliminary examination. Wittke v. State ex rel. Smith, 80 Wis. 2d 332, 259 N.W.2d 515 (1973).

970.03 - ANNOT.

Appellate review of a preliminary hearing is limited to determining whether the record contains competent evidence to support the examining magistrate's exercise of judgment. Although motive is not an element of any crime and does not of itself establish guilt or innocence, evidence of motive may be given as much weight as the fact finder deems it is entitled to at the preliminary hearing or trial. State v. Berby, 81 Wis. 2d 677, 260 N.W.2d 798 (1978).

970.03 - ANNOT.

Section 970.03 (8) neither limits a prosecutor's discretion to prosecute criminal actions nor prohibits a second examination under s. 970.04. State v. Kenyon, 85 Wis. 2d 36, 270 N.W.2d 160 (1978).

970.03 - ANNOT.

This section does not require that proof of the exact time of an offense be shown. State v. Sirisun, 90 Wis. 2d 58, 279 N.W.2d 484 (Ct. App. 1979).

970.03 - ANNOT.

In finding probable cause, the court properly took judicial notice of the fact that rapid consumption of 1/2 quart of liquor probably caused a young girl's death. State ex rel. Cholka v. Johnson, 96 Wis. 2d 704, 292 N.W.2d 835 (1980).

970.03 - ANNOT.

An accused does not have a constitutional right to make a closing argument at a preliminary examination. State ex rel. Funmaker v. Klamm, 106 Wis. 2d 624, 317 N.W.2d 458 (1982).

970.03 - ANNOT.

If any reasonable inference supports a conclusion that the defendant probably committed a crime, the magistrate must bind over the defendant. State v. Dunn, 117 Wis. 2d 487, 345 N.W.2d 69 (Ct. App. 1984); aff'd. 121 Wis. 2d 389, 359 N.W.2d 151 (1984).

970.03 - ANNOT.

The state has the right to appeal a dismissal when it believes an error of law was committed. An uncorroborated confession alone was sufficient to support a probable cause finding. State v. Fry, 129 Wis. 2d 301, 385 N.W.2d 196 (Ct. App. 1985).

970.03 - ANNOT.

Mandatory closure of a hearing solely at the request of a complaining witness over the objection of the defendant violates the right to a public trial. Stevens v. Manitowoc Cir. Ct., 141 Wis. 2d 239, 414 N.W.2d 832 (1987).

970.03 - ANNOT.

If an appellate court stays the trial court proceedings on an interlocutory appeal, sub. (2) does not set a mandatory time limit for the preliminary hearing upon remittitur. State v. Horton, 151 Wis. 2d 250, 445 N.W.2d 46 (Ct. App. 1989).

970.03 - ANNOT.

An unconstitutionally obtained confession may be admitted and serve as the sole basis for bindover at a preliminary examination. State v. Moats, 156 Wis. 2d 74, 457 Wis.2d 299 (1990).

970.03 - ANNOT.

A defendant claiming error at a preliminary examination may obtain relief only prior to trial; the defendant may seek interlocutory review from the court of appeals under s. 809.50. State v. Webb, 160 Wis. 2d 622, 467 N.W.2d 108 (1991).

970.03 - ANNOT.

Adjourning a preliminary examination for cause is within the court's discretion. State v. Selders, 163 Wis. 2d 607, 472 N.W.2d 526 (Ct. App. 1991).

970.03 - ANNOT.

A court commissioner's determinations of admissibility of evidence will be upheld absent an erroneous exercise of discretion; the reviewing court then determines whether, if believed, the evidence would permit a reasonable magistrate to conclude that the defendant probably committed the crime. State v. Lindberg, 175 Wis. 2d 332, N.W.2d (Ct. App. 1993).

970.03 - ANNOT.

If a bindover decision is made by a court commissioner or circuit judge, review must be by a motion to dismiss brought in circuit court. Habeas corpus is not available to review a bindover. Dowe v. Waukesha County Circuit Ct. 184 Wis. 2d 724, 516 N.W.2d 714 (1994).

970.03 - ANNOT.

Single count complaints under sub. (7) and multiple count complaints under sub. (10) are to receive the same procedural treatment. In multiple count complaints a court must dismiss any count for which it believes there is not probable cause to believe a felony has been committed by the defendant. The specific felony charged need not be proved and it is inadvisable for the court to opine as to what felony was probably committed. Evidence that is not transactionally related to a count for which bind over is considered proper may not form the basis for a count in an ensuing information, but the information may include any count that is transactionally related to a count on which the defendant is bound over. State v. Williams, 198 Wis. 2d 516, 544 N.W.2d 406 (1996), 93-2444. See also State v. Williams, 198 Wis. 2d 479, 544 N.W.2d 400 (1996), 93-2517 and State v. Akins, 198 Wis. 2d 495, 544 N.W.2d 392 (1996), 94-1872.

970.03 - ANNOT.

Following a bindover at a preliminary hearing, the proper test for reviewing a challenge to an information that alleges wholly new charges not accompanied by the original charge is the sufficiency of evidence test. State v. Cotton, 2003 WI App 154, 266 Wis. 2d 308, 668 N.W.2d 346, 02-2923.

970.03 - ANNOT.

The purpose of a preliminary examination is limited to an expeditious determination of whether probable cause exists for the state to proceed with felony charges against a defendant. This limited purpose does not permit a criminal defendant to compel discovery in anticipation of the hearing. There is no 6th Amendment right, based on effective assistance of counsel, and no compulsory process right to subpoena police reports and other non-privileged materials prior to the examination. State v. Schaefer, 2008 WI 25, 308 Wis. 2d 279, 746 N.W.2d 457, 06-1826.

970.03 - ANNOT.

It was not proper to dismiss a criminal charge added in the information because the prosecutor successfully objected at the preliminary hearing to questions that were relevant to that crime but not to the crime charged in the complaint. State v. White, 2008 WI App 96, 312 Wis. 2d 799, 754 N.W.2d 214, 07-2061.

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