969.001   Definitions.
969.01   Eligibility for release.
969.02   Release of defendants charged with misdemeanors.
969.03   Release of defendants charged with felonies.
969.035   Pretrial detention; denial of release from custody.
969.04   Surety may satisfy default.
969.05   Endorsement of bail upon warrants.
969.065   Judicial conference; bail alternatives.
969.07   Taking of bail by law enforcement officer.
969.08   Grant, reduction, increase or revocation of conditions of release.
969.09   Conditions of bond.
969.10   Notice of change of address.
969.11   Release upon arrest in another county.
969.12   Sureties.
969.13   Forfeiture.
969.14   Surrender of principal by surety.
Ch. 969 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See definitions in s. 967.02.
969.001 969.001 Definitions. In this chapter:
969.001(1) (1)“Bail" means monetary conditions of release.
969.001(2m) (2m)“Serious harm" means any of the following:
969.001(2m)(a) (a) Personal physical pain or injury, illness, any impairment of physical condition, or death, including mental anguish or emotional harm attendant to the personal physical pain or injury, illness, or death.
969.001(2m)(b) (b) Damage to property over $2,500 in value.
969.001(2m)(c) (c) Economic loss over $2,500 in value.
969.001(3) (3)“Violent crime” means any of the following:
969.001(3)(b) (b) A felony violation of s. 941.26.
969.001(3)(c) (c) A violation of s. 813.12, 813.122, or 813.125.
969.001(3)(d) (d) The solicitation, conspiracy, or attempt, under s. 939.30, 939.31, or 939.32, to commit a Class A felony.
969.001(3)(e) (e) A violation to which a penalty enhancer specified in s. 939.621 or 939.63 (1) may be applied.
969.001 History History: 1981 c. 183; 1987 a. 399; 2023 a. 3, 10.
969.01 969.01 Eligibility for release.
969.01(1)(1)Before conviction.
969.01(1)(a)(a) Before conviction, except as provided in ss. 969.035 and 971.14 (1r), a defendant arrested for a criminal offense is eligible for release under reasonable conditions designed to assure his or her appearance in court, protect members of the community from serious harm, and prevent the intimidation of witnesses.
969.01(1)(b) (b) Bail may be imposed at or after the initial appearance only upon a finding by the court that any of the following is true:
969.01(1)(b)1. 1. There is a reasonable basis to believe that bail is necessary to assure the defendant's appearance in court.
969.01(1)(b)2. 2. If the defendant is accused of a violent crime, there is a reasonable basis to believe that bail is necessary based on the totality of the circumstances. The court, when considering the totality of the circumstances, may take into account whether the defendant has a previous conviction for a violent crime, the probability that the defendant will fail to appear in court, the need to protect members of the community from serious harm, the need to prevent the intimidation of witnesses, and the potential affirmative defenses of the defendant.
969.01(2) (2)After conviction.
969.01(2)(a) (a) Release pursuant to s. 969.02 or 969.03 may be allowed in the discretion of the trial court after conviction and prior to sentencing or the granting of probation. This paragraph does not apply to a conviction for a 3rd or subsequent violation that is counted as a suspension, revocation, or conviction under s. 343.307, or under s. 940.09 (1) or 940.25 in the person's lifetime, or a combination thereof.
969.01(2)(b) (b) In misdemeanors, release may be allowed upon appeal in the discretion of the trial court.
969.01(2)(c) (c) In felonies, release may be allowed upon appeal in the discretion of the trial court.
969.01(2)(d) (d) The supreme court or a justice thereof or the court of appeals or a judge thereof may allow release after conviction.
969.01(2)(e) (e) Any court or judge or any justice authorized to grant release after conviction for a misdemeanor or felony may, in addition to the powers granted in s. 969.08, revoke the order releasing a defendant.
969.01(3) (3)Bail for witness. If it appears by affidavit that the testimony of a person is material in any felony criminal proceeding and that it may become impracticable to secure the person's presence by subpoena, the judge may require such person to give bail for the person's appearance as a witness. If the witness is not in court, a warrant for the person's arrest may be issued and upon return thereof the court may require the person to give bail as provided in s. 969.03 for the person's appearance as a witness. If the person fails to give bail, the person may be committed to the custody of the sheriff for a period not to exceed 15 days within which time the person's deposition shall be taken as provided in s. 967.04.
969.01(4) (4)Considerations in setting conditions of release. If bail is imposed only due to a finding under sub. (1) (b) 1., the bail amount shall be only in the amount found necessary to assure the appearance of the defendant. If bail is imposed due to a finding under sub. (1) (b) 2., the bail amount may not be excessive. Conditions of release, other than monetary conditions, may be imposed for the purpose of assuring the defendant's appearance in court, protecting members of the community from serious harm, or preventing intimidation of witnesses. Proper considerations in determining whether to release the defendant without bail, fixing a reasonable and not excessive amount of bail or imposing other reasonable conditions of release are: the ability of the arrested person to give bail, the nature, number and gravity of the offenses and the potential penalty the defendant faces, whether the alleged acts were violent in nature, the defendant's prior record of criminal convictions and delinquency adjudications, if any, the character, health, residence and reputation of the defendant, the character and strength of the evidence which has been presented to the judge, whether the defendant is currently on probation, extended supervision or parole, whether the defendant is already on bail or subject to other release conditions in other pending cases, whether the defendant has been bound over for trial after a preliminary examination, whether the defendant has in the past forfeited bail or violated a condition of release or was a fugitive from justice at the time of arrest, and the policy against unnecessary detention of the defendant's pending trial.
969.01 Annotation The trial court exceeded its authority in granting bail to a revoked probationer pending review of a probation revocation. State ex rel. Shock v. DHSS, 77 Wis. 2d 362, 253 N.W.2d 55 (1977).
969.01 Annotation Habeas corpus is available to persons released on personal recognizance bonds. State ex rel. Wohlfahrt v. Bodette, 95 Wis. 2d 130, 289 N.W.2d 366 (Ct. App. 1980).
969.01 Annotation The court may impose a monetary condition of release under sub. (2) (b). State v. Barnes, 127 Wis. 2d 34, 377 N.W.2d 624 (Ct. App. 1985).
969.01 Annotation A warrant under sub. (3) must be supported by probable cause to believe that the testimony of the person is material and that it may become impractical to secure the person's presence by subpoena. State v. Brady, 130 Wis. 2d 443, 388 N.W.2d 151 (1986).
969.01 Annotation Indigency under this section relates to current economic status and does not involve consideration of whether the defendant is shirking unless the shirking relates to another statutory factor. Cash bail is not prohibited against an indigent convicted misdemeanant who takes an appeal. However, where there is no risk that the indigent misdemeanant will not appear, cash bail is inappropriate. State v. Taylor, 205 Wis. 2d 664, 556 N.W.2d 779 (Ct. App. 1996), 96-0857.
969.01 Annotation The conditions that a court is authorized to impose under this section and s. 969.03 govern the release of a defendant from custody and do not apply if the defendant cannot post bond and is not released. A court may impose pretrial, no-contact provisions on incarcerated defendants under s. 940.47 if the terms of that statute are met. State v. Orlik, 226 Wis. 2d 527, 595 N.W.2d 468 (Ct. App. 1999), 98-2826.
969.01 Annotation A circuit court that followed a blanket policy that mandated participation in a pretrial program as a condition of release for all persons based solely on the nature of the offense, without making an individualized determination that that condition is appropriate, erroneously exercised its discretion in setting conditions of bail. State v. Wilcenski, 2013 WI App 21, 346 Wis. 2d 145, 827 N.W.2d 642, 12-0142.
969.01 Annotation Under sub. (1), judges and court commissioners have the power, prior to the filing of a complaint, to release on bail persons arrested for the commission of a felony. 65 Atty. Gen. 102.
969.01 Annotation The public defender may represent indigent material witnesses subject to sub. (3) bail provisions so long as there is no conflict of interest with another client, but may not represent indigents in civil forfeiture actions unless that action is reasonably related to one for which an indigent is entitled to counsel. 72 Atty. Gen. 61.
969.01 Annotation Pretrial release; Wisconsin bail reform. 1971 WLR 594.
969.01 Annotation The Presumption of Release in Bail Decisions. Adelman & Schulenburg. Wis. Law. July 1989.
2021-22 Wisconsin Statutes updated through 2023 Wis. Act 71 and through all Supreme Court and Controlled Substances Board Orders filed before and in effect on February 14, 2024. Published and certified under s. 35.18. Changes effective after February 14, 2024, are designated by NOTES. (Published 2-14-24)