Skip to main content

Christopher wagner my son was charged with party to a crime murder and plea bargan for 35yrs can the judge add on more time.

Madison, WI |

Include background information that will enable lawyers to answer your question.

from my understanding the judge cant exceed 35yrs because the united states supreme court holds that petitioner has a constitutional right to enforcement of the agreement not to exceed the 35yrs

+ Read More

Attorney answers 6


Sentence is always up to the judge, who can sentence up to the maximum on the charge or charges on which he or she is imposing sentence.

This answer is provided for general information only. No legal advice can be given without a consult as to the specifics of the case.


I agree with the previous answer that sentencing is always up to the judge. You should not share details such as your son's name or specific details about your case on Avvo.

This is not intended as legal advice. It is only provided for educational purposes and cannot be relied upon as legal advice. Further no attorney client relationship is or has been formed by answering this question.


While sentencing is always up to the judge, if your son pleaded guilty because he entered into a plea bargain that the court approved with a promised sentence, the court will be bound to that sentence or allow your son to withdraw his plea of guilty. Your son, or you, should be discussing this with the attorney handling the defense.

Michael C. Witt

Michael C. Witt


Courts in Wisconsin generally do not involve themselves in the plea bargaining process, and part of the standard plea colloquoy here involves the defendant acknowledging that he/she understands that the Court is in fact not bound by the plea agreement, and free to impose any sentence up to the maximum allowed by law.

Charles K. Kenyon Jr.

Charles K. Kenyon Jr.


This is not correct. I wish it were. Wisconsin judges are not bound by plea agreements and can sentence up to the maximum for the charges. The only limit on the judge is if charges are dismissed, those cannot increase the sentence beyond the maximum for the other charges.


I agree with the first two answers. The plea bargain is an agreement between only the defedant and the district attorney. The agreement only binds the district attorney to recommend that specific sentence to the judge. The judge is not bound by the terms of the plea agreement and may sentence a defendant above and beyond the recommendation of defense counsel or the district attorney.


Generally speaking, the Judge is free to impose any lawful sentence regardless of the plea agreement, and judges are supposed to notify the defendant of that fact in open court. (Of course, many defendants at a plea hearing are too upset to listen very closely, but our laws don't much take that into account.)

At the same time, if the judge rejects the plea bargain, it is sometimes possible for the defendant to withdraw his or her plea. But that course has its own risks, such as a trial and harsher sentencing.


CCAP does not show any felony case for Christopher Wagner that involves a charge of homicide. If your son has in fact been charged in the State of Wisconsin under Wisconsin law, then the judge is not bound by any plea agreement between the defense attorney and the prosecutor. The judge has sentencing authority from the mandatory minimum sentence (if any) up to the maximum sentence. Additionally, if your son has been charged with more than one charge (i.e. Count One - First Degree Intentional Homicide as Party to the Crime, Count Two - First Degree Recklessly Endangering Safety, Count Three - Disorderly Conduct . . . etc.), and your son pleads guilty or no contest to more than one charge, the judge has the authority to decide not only the amount of incarceration for each conviction, but also whether the sentences are to be run concurrently or consecutively.

This communication is for the purposes of general advice only. This communication does not form any contractual obligation on behalf of the Attorney Stephen W. Sawyer or the Law Offices of Stephen W. Sawyer.

Criminal defense topics

Recommended articles about Criminal defense

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer