Best Green Bay Criminal Lawyers
Finding the Best Criminal Defense Lawyer in Green Bay, Wisconsin
Getting charged with a crime in Green Bay can be an incredibly stressful and frightening experience. Even misdemeanors carry the potential for jail time, fines, probation or a criminal record that can affect your life for years to come. Felonies are even more serious and can result in years behind bars. That’s why it’s so important to have an experienced criminal defense lawyer fighting for you if you find yourself facing criminal charges in Green Bay. But how do you know which lawyer is the best fit for your specific case?
I’ve put together this guide to help walk you through the process of identifying the most qualified criminal defense attorneys in Green Bay. With the stakes so high, you’ll want to do your research to find the right lawyer. I’ll discuss what to look for in an attorney, provide tips on choosing the best one for your situation, and highlight some of the top-rated criminal lawyers in Green Bay.
What to Look for When Hiring a Criminal Defense Lawyer
There are several key factors you’ll want to consider when researching criminal defense lawyers in Green Bay:
- Experience handling your type of criminal case – Has the lawyer represented many clients facing similar charges as you? Look for attorneys who specialize in defending cases like DUIs, drug crimes, domestic violence, sex offenses, white collar crimes, etc.
- Courtroom experience – The best criminal defense lawyers spend a lot of time arguing cases in front of judges and juries. Look for attorneys who have extensive litigation experience.
- Knowledge of Wisconsin criminal law – Make sure the lawyer is very familiar with Wisconsin statutes, case law, and the local court rules and procedures where your case is being heard.
- Resources & expertise – Do they have the time and resources to dedicate to your defense? Can they afford to hire expert witnesses and private investigators if needed?
- Results – What is their track record of success in getting charges reduced or dismissed for past clients?
- Reputation & reviews – Research online reviews and talk to people in the local legal community to understand the lawyer’s reputation.
- Communication skills – Do they listen carefully and clearly explain the strengths/weaknesses of your case?
Questions to Ask Potential Criminal Defense Lawyers
Once you’ve identified some top criminal defense attorneys in the Green Bay area, take the time to interview them before making a hiring decision. Here are some key questions to ask:
- How much experience do you have handling my specific type of criminal charges?
- What will your overall approach be to defending my case?
- How often do you take criminal cases to trial versus seeking a plea bargain?
- Will you personally handle my case or pass it off to an associate or paralegal?
- What are the strengths and weaknesses of my case based on the information I’ve provided?
- What are the best and worst case scenarios for the outcome of my charges?
- What are your fees and how do you bill for your services?
- Can you provide references from past clients facing similar charges as me?
Don’t hesitate to ask plenty of questions and be upfront about your concerns and expectations. The lawyer you hire is going to tremendously impact the outcome of your case, so take your time evaluating potential attorneys.
5 Top Criminal Defense Lawyers in Green Bay, WI
Now let’s take a look at some of the most highly recommended criminal defense attorneys practicing in the Green Bay area:
1. David Geraghty – Geraghty, O’Loughlin & Kenney, P.C.
With over 35 years of criminal law experience under his belt, David Geraghty is widely regarded as one of the top defense attorneys in Green Bay. He’s handled thousands of misdemeanor and felony cases over his career and has an impeccable reputation for providing aggressive and effective representation. Geraghty has extensive jury trial experience and also sits on the Wisconsin Board of Attorneys Professional Responsibility. Learn more about David Geraghty’s background and credentials here.
2. Deja Vishny – Deja Vishny Law
Recognized as a “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers Magazine multiple times, Deja Vishny is a skilled Green Bay criminal defense lawyer respected by prosecutors and judges alike. She’s defended all types of felony and misdemeanor charges and developed a reputation for her meticulous preparation, sharp legal mind, and compassionate approach. Vishny is also active in the local community, serving on boards for organizations like Golden House and the Brown County United Way. Click here to learn more about Deja Vishny.
3. Kent Hoffman – Lins & Hoffman, LLC
With deep roots in Northeast Wisconsin, attorney Kent Hoffman has been practicing criminal defense for over 20 years. He’s defended everything from drunk driving to homicide charges and developed extensive trial experience. Hoffman has a strong reputation for thoroughly investigating cases, identifying procedural and evidentiary issues, and building rapport with judges and juries. He’s also active in the legal community, serving as president of the Brown County Bar Association. More details on Kent Hoffman’s background here.
4. Bridget Boyle – Bridget Boyle Law
Attorney Bridget Boyle takes a compassionate yet aggressive approach to defending clients against criminal charges. A Green Bay native, Boyle has over a decade of experience handling cases ranging from misdemeanor retail theft to serious felonies. She’s known for her sharp legal mind, skill at identifying key issues in complex cases, and building strong attorney-client relationships. Boyle volunteers her time for legal nonprofits and frequently provides pro bono representation as well. Click here to learn more about Bridget Boyle.
5. Benjamin Gehring – Gehring Law Office
With deep experience as both a prosecutor and criminal defense lawyer, Benjamin Gehring brings a balanced perspective to defending clients. He handles cases ranging from drunk driving to sex offenses and homicide. Gehring is respected by peers for his rigorous preparation, skilled negotiation tactics, and commanding presence in the courtroom. He’s also active in the Green Bay legal community, serving as a board member for multiple local bar associations. More information on Benjamin Gehring’s background here.
How to Choose the Best Criminal Defense Lawyer for Your Case
Now that you have a shortlist of top criminal defense attorneys in Green Bay, how do you decide which one is the best fit for your specific case? Here are some tips:
- Match experience to your charges – Make sure the lawyer has extensive experience dealing with cases similar to yours.
- Consider resources – Bigger law firms may have more capacity to dedicate to your defense.
- Align philosophies – Do you want an aggressive trial attorney or someone who favors plea bargains?
- Meet in person – Schedule consultations and gauge communication styles and compatibility.
- Compare costs – Get fee quotes and look for flexible payment plans if needed.
- Check reviews – Research online reviews and talk to past clients about their experiences.
- Trust your gut – Go with the lawyer you feel most confident in after doing your diligence.
Finding the right criminal defense lawyer in Green Bay takes time and effort, but it’s one of the most important investments you can make if facing criminal charges. Take the time to research attorney qualifications, interview top candidates, and choose the one you feel will fight hardest to achieve the best possible outcome for your unique situation.
The Criminal Justice System in Wisconsin
To better understand the criminal defense landscape in Green Bay, it helps to have an overview of how the criminal justice system works in Wisconsin. Here are some key facts:
- Cases typically initiated by criminal complaint filed by district attorney.
- Misdemeanors have max 1 year in jail; felonies > 1 year.
- Preliminary hearings within 10 days if in custody, 20 days if out of custody.
- 6 person juries for misdemeanor trials, 12 persons for felony trials.
- Sentencing guidelines established for each offense.
- Wisconsin Circuit Courts divided into 10 judicial administrative districts.
- Right to appeal convictions to Wisconsin Court of Appeals.
- Supreme Court is court of last resort in Wisconsin.
Knowing the basics on how the courts operate in Wisconsin will help you understand the system your defense lawyer will be navigating. The process differs significantly from federal criminal cases, so it’s important to work with an attorney well-versed in state law and procedures.
Common Criminal Charges in Green Bay
To give you a sense of the types of crimes commonly charged in Green Bay, here are some of the top offenses prosecuted:
- Drunk driving – 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th offenses
- Domestic violence – battery, criminal damage to property, disorderly conduct
- Drug possession – marijuana, cocaine, heroin, prescription medications
- Theft/burglary – shoplifting, theft by fraud, armed robbery
- Sex crimes – sexual assault, statutory rape, child enticement
- Violent crimes – battery, aggravated assault, homicide
An experienced Green Bay criminal defense attorney will have defended hundreds or even thousands of these types of common criminal charges over their career. Make sure any lawyer you are considering has extensive experience handling the specific charges you are facing.
Criminal Defense Strategies
Skilled criminal lawyers have many strategies at their disposal to build the strongest defense for your case. Here are some of the most common tactics used:
- Suppress evidence – File motions arguing evidence was obtained illegally.
- Challenge probable cause – Fight the grounds for your arrest.
- Discredit witnesses – Use cross-examination to undermine testimony.
- Raise affirmative defenses – Self-defense, insanity, entrapment, etc.
- Negotiate plea deals – Try to get charges reduced or dropped.
- Take case to trial – Force the prosecution to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt.
An adept Green Bay criminal lawyer will leverage multiple strategies in your defense. They’ll identify the strongest angles to get charges dismissed pre-trial, secure a favorable plea bargain, or win a not guilty verdict at trial.
How Much Does a Criminal Defense Lawyer Cost in Green Bay?
The cost to hire a criminal defense attorney in Green Bay can vary substantially depending on the lawyer’s experience level, the complexity of your case, and other factors. Some typical price ranges include:
- Misdemeanors – $1,000 – $5,000+
- Simple felonies – $5,000 – $15,000+
- Complex felonies – $15,000 – $50,000+
- Major felonies – $50,000+
Reputable criminal lawyers will often provide a free initial consultation, so be sure to take advantage of this to understand what they may charge for your specific situation. Many also offer flexible payment plans.