Trial Courts Error In Sentencing Discretion

The principles governing our review of a court's sentencing decision are well established. See State v. Larsen, 141 Wis. 2d 412, 415 N.W.2d 535 (Ct. App. 1987). Appellate review is tempered by a strong policy against interfering with the trial court's sentencing discretion. See id. We will not reverse a sentence absent an erroneous exercise of discretion. See State v. Thompson, 172 Wis. 2d 257, 263, 493 N.W.2d 729 (Ct. App. 1992). In reviewing whether a trial court erroneously exercised sentencing discretion, we consider: (1) whether the trial court considered the appropriate sentencing factors; (2) whether the trial court imposed an excessive sentence. See State v. Glotz, 122 Wis. 2d 519, 524, 362 N.W.2d 179 (Ct. App. 1984). The primary factors a sentencing court must consider are the gravity of the offense, the character of the offender, and the protection of the public. See Larsen, 141 Wis. 2d at 427. The weight to be given each factor, however, is within the sentencing court's discretion. See Cunningham v. State, 76 Wis. 2d 277, 282, 251 N.W.2d 65 (1977).