Criminal Law


At Monahan & Johnson, S.C., our criminal defense lawyers have decades of experience defending individuals from traffic cases to serious felonies. Not only do we have extensive experience as criminal defense attorneys, Attorney Tom Johnson previously worked as the prosecutor for the Town of Beloit, Wisconsin. If you are involved in a misdemeanor, drunk driving (DUI), felony, or federal crime, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney working for you in Beloit or Janesville, WI.

Misdemeanor Charges

A Misdemeanor is a crime typically punishable by a year or less in the County Jail, or fines, or both. However, based upon certain penalty enhancers, in some cases, a misdemeanor could have a sentence much longer than a year.

You have the same rights in a misdemeanor case as a felony case, with a few exceptions. The most notable exception is you are not entitled to a preliminary hearing. You are entitled to the same Constitutional rights, including the right to a trial. Your case will progress through the courts, much as outlined on the felony tab.

Even though a misdemeanor case is not as “serious” as a felony case, a misdemeanor case can have significant consequences. Penalties still can include things like jail time, probation, fines, and court costs. Further, a misdemeanor conviction will also remain a part of your criminal record. However, in certain cases, a misdemeanor conviction can be expunged (removed from your record). In addition, there are certain programs available for misdemeanor cases that could result in an outcome other than a criminal conviction. You should talk to an experienced attorney to discuss your options in a misdemeanor case.

Monahan & Johnson
Monahan & Johnson


Typically crimes involving a maximum penalty of a year or greater in prison are called felonies. A felony is the most severe criminal charge in Wisconsin. There are different classes of felonies carrying different penalties. The most serious penalty is a prison sentence. Further, if you are convicted of a felony, not only do you face prison time, you also face potential fines, and you can lose certain rights, such as the right to possess a firearm or deportation from the country, if you are not a citizen.


Under Wisconsin Law, two different crimes make up the generic term drunk driving. They are driving under the influence (DUI) and driving with a prohibited blood alcohol concentration (PAC).

Federal Crimes

If you face federal charges from the United States Government, experienced Federal Crimes Lawyers are required as these cases have an entirely different set of rules and procedures as to how the case is to proceed. For example, a federal case can proceed much faster through the court system. In addition, after a conviction, Courts follow what are called “sentencing guidelines” whereby sentences are determined using a “chart” that takes into account the offense you are convicted of, looks to see if the Defendant cooperated or took responsibility for their actions, prior criminal history and so forth.

You should contact an experienced Federal Crimes Lawyer immediately upon being charged with a federal crime.

Monahan & Johnson