State v. Miles

In State v. Miles, 221 Wis. 2d 56, 584 N.W.2d 703 (Ct. App. 1998), the defendant was convicted of possession of marijuana. Under the relevant statute, the maximum term of imprisonment was six months. See Wis. Stat. 161.41(3r) (1993-94). Because it was Miles's second conviction, the State filed the action as a felony, using Wis. Stat. 161.48(2) (1993-94) to double the maximum sentence and bump it up to one year. See id. Miles argued that his prior conviction had to be proved at trial as an element of felony possession of marijuana. The court concluded that a penalty enhancer which does not "concern the factual circumstances surrounding the underlying crime" does not add an element to the offense which must be proved at trial. See Miles, 221 Wis. 2d at 65.