Washington, D.C. (PRWEB) December 23, 2013
The Supreme Court Press, leader in exquisite Supreme Court printing, document preparation, and filing with the Supreme Court of the United States is proud to name Kimberly Verhagen et al. v. State of Wisconsin (Supreme Court Dkt. No. 13-545) as its Petition of the Month(TM) for December 2013. The Supreme Court Press worked with Attorney John Miller Carroll from the John Miller Carroll Law Office of Appleton, Wisconsin, on the preparation of this petition for a writ of certiorari.
The Supreme Court set off a major change in criminal sentencing with its 2000 ruling in Apprendi v. New Jersey, 530 U.S. 466, 120 S. Ct. 2348 (2000), which required that any fact that increased the penalty for a crime beyond the prescribed statutory maximum is, in effect, an element of the crime, which must be submitted to a jury and proven beyond a reasonable doubt. At present, Wisconsin is the only state in the country to treat a first time OWI/DUI as a civil judgment. At a first-timer hearing, a defendant is not permitted the right to counsel, the right to confront witnesses, the right against self-incrimination, and the right to have a unanimous jury verdict. The standard of proof is also lower - clear, satisfactory, and convincing. The teeth rear themselves on a second offense, where Wisconsin judges apply a major penalty enhancement, essentially treating the second OWI/DUI as a second criminal conviction. The Verhagen case posits whether it is constitutional to enhance a sentence on an alleged second-offense when the first offense was not submitted to a jury.
In an interview with the Supreme Court Press, Attorney John Miller Carroll described the reason he is pursuing this case to the Supreme Court: “Almost every 2nd offense OWI is predicated upon a civil conviction in which defendants are not afforded the same constitutional rights as the defendants would in a criminal trial...This situation is analogous to juvenile cases...(where) a defendant is not guaranteed his or her constitutional rights. The lack of due process causes one to question the validity of these convictions and their subsequent use as enhancers in future criminal matters.” His complete interview is available here.
Mr. Carroll also went on to praise the quality work of the Supreme Court Press, stating “Our experience with Supreme Court Press has been excellent. Someone has always been available for even the most trivial questions. We received practical tips and great advice that I believe assisted in our efforts to get certiorari. The Supreme Court Press never presented the company as merely a printer. The Supreme Court Press has provided us with a place to go for all of our needs relating to this petition.”
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About the Petition of the Month(TM) : The Supreme Court Press’ Petition of the MonthTM program recognizes applicants to the Supreme Court with well-written petitions for writ of certiorari that address important questions of law. We look for cases that meet the criteria of Rule 10 of the United States Supreme Court – important issues where the underlying decision is in conflict with the Supreme Court, another Court of Appeals, or the United States Constitution. If you have a pending petition that you believe is worthy of Petition of the MonthTM advice, you can email us at editor(at)supremecourtpress(dot)com
Disclaimers: The Supreme Court Press does not provide legal advice. The Supreme Court Press does not endorse either party in this matter and expresses no legal opinion on any case selected as Petition of the Month(TM) .