Child neglect, OWIs, disorderly conduct, etc in court

According to news reports, there were various crimes dealt with in Langlade County court last week. Michelle G. Steffers of Second Avenue, 33, received a sentence of one year of probation for child neglect. The charge comes from an incident when police found 3 children, ages 8 and under, to be unsupervised and the home in disarray. They had been left alone for several hours. Steffers must comply with the Department of Social Services. Dena Burkhart of Bryant, 42, was fined $375 for a charge of endangering safety by reckless driving. She had also been charged with Operating with a Prohibited Alcohol Concentration, but that was dismissed. Melissa A. Ross of Plattsburg Street, 37, received a fine of $100 for a charge of possession of drug paraphernalia dating back to May. Chelsie J. Schisel of Birnamwood, 22, was fined $817.50, her license was revoked for six months, and she must undergo alcohol assessment for a charge of operating while intoxicated. Vicki L. Volm of Wausau, 57, was sentenced to one year of probation for disorderly conduct. She had made a phone call and threatened a clerk at a local hotel.


Good luck getting that child abuse/neglect case convicted. Wisconsin does not have a state statue that determines the age/maturity of when a child can be alone. And what be "disarray" to someone, could be "normal" to someone else. To my knowledge there is no such state law that provides any guidelines at what might be considered "neglect" unless the children were suffering without food, water, clothing, and shelter. Supervision is loosely mentioned in the state statues.

Pretty sure she was convicted already if she was sentenced. Doesn't seem to matter to police what's right or wrong. If you don't want a conviction of some kind or another you will need to take the case to a trial if the D.A. doesn't drop the charges unless he offers deferred prosecution, There are other cases made up that were prosecuted by the D.A. She is not alone there

Yes.. I read the story wrong. I believe she could have fought it since there are no laws on the books that specifically mention an age on when a child can be left alone. It is recommended by the Federal Goverment the maturity age is 12 when a child can be left alone, but what is recommended isn't the law of the land.

You are most likely right about that, but I think it is up to a jury to decide. I have a buddy in the middle of a situation where police did some things they should not have but his attorney says if you don't like it you have to go to trial and let a jury decide if police are right or wrong. Seems people are quick to judgment around here so to try and get a fair trial for anything is risky business I think

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