Milwaukee Criminal Defense Lawyers

The Milwaukee criminal defense attorneys of Hart Powell, S.C., one of Wisconsin’s finest criminal defense law firms, are dedicated to representing clients who have been accused or charged in federal and state criminal matters. At Hart Powell, S.C., our criminal defense attorneys are licensed to practice in various states before multiple federal, state, and appellate courts. When it comes to your defense, experience matters. Turn to the skilled criminal defense attorneys of Hart Powell, S.C. to provide you with exceptional legal representation as you face criminal charges.

The criminal defense attorneys of Hart Powell, S.C. understand that we are not only fighting for your rights, but also for the future of your family, job, and reputation. As such, the criminal defense lawyers of Hart Powell, S.C. will do everything in our power to ensure that your rights are protected, your interests are safeguarded, and your entitlement to a fair legal proceeding is maintained.

To learn more about the Milwaukee criminal lawyers of Hart Powell, S.C. and the services we provide, please take a moment to explore the website or call our Milwaukee office at (414) 271-9595.

Hart Powell, S.C.

A group of attorneys working together,
fighting for your rights.

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Why Do I Need A Criminal Defense Attorney?

Quite simply, your freedom is at stake. The importance of legal counsel to the accused is so great it is specifically required by the Constitution. You cannot be expected to protect yourself from the immense power of the Government on your own. If you are facing charges for any crime, whether a serious felony or simple misdemeanor, State or Federal, having a lawyer is necessary to weather the legal battle ahead. A knowledgeable attorney who has spent years representing clients and providing the best defense possible is the only way of ensuring a smooth future ahead.

Hart Powell, S.C. is widely recognized as one of the top names in criminal defense, behind decades of courtroom experience. We understand the anxiety and uncertainty that follows an arrest. Facing charges can destroy a reputation and livelihood that you spent your life building. Our firm is dedicated to defending you and what you have built. The process to freedom is tough, but it can be assisted with experienced legal representation. Over the decades we’ve had the honor of protecting good people who have stared down unjust charges, and we can help you.

Our Results


In the event you find yourself in a situation that requires a real-life super-hero legal team you need not look any further than Hart Powell, S.C., whose lawyers have helped generations of my family. In the late 80's early 90's my father was involved in a business that was very lucrative but very illegal. He was caught up and facing decades in Federal and State prison. I was very young at this time so I completely didn't understand what was going on, but when my mom, uncles, and other family members talked about my dad's situation they would always bring up one name, Marty Kohler. Marty was talked about in our house as if he was a "Saint." My mom would say stuff like, "Thank god for Marty". The Government tried to make an example of my father but there was one problem the Government had that they couldn't solve. The lawyers at Kohler & Hart (the predecessor to the firm now known as Hart Powell) were more than they could handle. Because of Kohler & Hart's expertise in the Criminal Justice System they were able to get a lot of evidence suppressed which ultimately helped my father down to a plea of 7 years, 4 in and 3 out, when he was facing over 30 years in prison to start. It was a master class of navigating through the system. Fast forward almost 35 years, I am the proud father of three sons. My oldest became a firefighter, and my middle and youngest both followed in his footsteps. In 2020 my oldest son was put in a position where he had to defend his life and, tragically, another soul lost theirs. My son was charged with homicide and, needing a lawyer for my son, I attempted to contact Marty hoping he was still practicing law. Sadly I was informed that he was now retired. So after reaching out to a friend I was told to contact Michael Hart. I called Mr. Harts office and scheduled a meeting with him the following business day. When my wife and I walked into the office, we knew you were walking into a serious law firm. I noticed some names on the wall. The names read Martin Kohler, Michael Hart, Craig Powell. I was immediately in shock because what where the odds of this being the Marty Kohler who helped my dad all those years ago. After speaking with Mr. Hart, I asked if Marty Kohler was still practicing law and he informed me that Marty was now retired. So I asked Mr. Hart if he knew of my father's case. He asked my father's name and once I told him who my father was, he immediately repeated the address of my childhood home. I just started crying because Mr. Hart was my father's co-counsel. It was at that moment I knew my son was in the best hands and we hired the Hart Powell S.C. Law firm to represent my son. Through this process Mr. Hart and his team treated us with the utmost respect. They were honest and straightforward with their professional opinions, never once promising us anything but assured us to trust the process. They were going to fight for my son as hard as they fought for my father. Mr. Hart was able to get my son's bail reduce to a reasonable number and ultimately to get a jury of my son's peers to find him not guilty on all charges by reason of self-defense. I cannot thank this man enough. He truly is a blessing and more important a master at his craft. In the event you find yourself in a situation that requires a real-life super-hero legal team you have no need to look any further.

- Solo A

Craig, with a professional, educated conscientious lawyer. He was prompt with returning phone calls, and communicating effectively. Craig was very patient and understanding while explaining things to us over and over as we were unfamiliar with the law. His prices were competitive. He was also very instrumental in helping us even after the case was over. I would refer Craig Powell to anyone that needs a good defense attorney.

- Ginger

I was taken into custody after a night of excessive drinking and threatening behavior towards an officer resulted in multiple charges. Among these were three felonies, six misdemeanors, and an OWI charge. I was facing potentially six years in prison. Living up to the title of Super Lawyer, Attorney Hart was able to arrange a plea deal with the district attorney that reduced all of my felonies to misdemeanors and resulted in no prison time. This is unheard of, considering my charges violated a pending deferred prosecution agreement, which was issued merely two weeks prior to my arrest. I am confident that no other lawyer would have arranged the deal that Michael Hart did. I owe him my life and freedom.

- Robert B

Mr. Powell is the attorney you want to hire whenever you need a lawyer that cares and has your well being as the highest priority. He is smart, intelligent and puts his client first. He did a wonderful job for me and I highly recommend him.

- William

The legal representation provided by Mr Powell was honest, realistic but most of all it was his integrity which kept my case alive throughout the nearly 3 years before and after my sentencing. Craig could have easily ignored my calls and e-mails which I sent from prison but instead he kept fighting my case through until I received an additional time cut. It was his continued effort that got me out early and helped me get my life back and for that I am forever grateful. After hearing some of the horror stories it is clear to me how lucky I was to have Mr. Powell fighting for me in my corner and I recommend him to anyone who may be facing a tough uphill court battle. My case was historic and if there was something he was unsure about he was honest and realistic about it. Craig is not an attorney that will leave you high and dry, He will fight your case through until it's completely over. To me that's more important than anything.

- Paul

It was my 2nd OWI and I was accused of other things as well. Craig provided awesome explanations and defense on my case. Many charges were dropped / reduced. Really worth the money. Saved me a lot of time and hassle. Extremely professional and willing to help even past the trial date.

- Anonymous

The people at Hart Powell, SC are fantastic. Great to work with, start to finish, and I highly recommend them. If you need the best attorneys to help, you can't get better.

- Timothy

The best of the best. I can’t thank them enough for what they’ve done for our family. We are in a better place because of them. True professionals.

- Justin

Excellent attorneys! Craig Powell is great with communication, and he provided solid legal advice - very savvy!

- Eric

Hands down the most professional firm I could have ever hoped to have represent them with my life

- Peter

I cannot say enough about the team at Hart Powell, they have taken great care in every aspect of business that we have done with them. When all hope was lost, they have come through. Their vast knowledge and ability to come up with out of the box solutions to very difficult problems has proven invaluable to us. If google would allow me to give them more stars, I would, and I would personally recommended this group for any of your legal needs!

- Mike

The talented lawyers at Hart Powell have represented me and my family in a number of matters over 30 years. I trust all of them with my life and the lives of the people I care most about.

- Rodney

Attorney Michael Hart, is a person who is there to help when you need it the most. This past summer I worked with Mr. Hart and the experience was nothing short of perfect. He was able to assure me that he would do everything in his power to defend me and the results don't lie! Attorney Michael Hart is truly a life-saver and his services are worth every penny.

- Patrick A

I've interacted with both Michael Hart and Craig Powell for my legal cases, but I mostly dealt with Craig. I was facing almost 6 years for my revocation plus a separate class B felony in criminal court which carries up to 60 years. This was all over a proven false allegation made by someone close to me. Craig helped me win my revocation and get my criminal charge dismissed. Michael and Craig are two of the most intelligent lawyers I've ever met and they genuinely care about your situation. Thank you guys so much, y'all saved my life.

- Michael

Michael Hart takes the time to listen and provide the professional guidance you need. His dedication, support and expertise make him an outstanding attorney and one you want on your side.

- Jennifer Kern

Attorney Michael Hart has not only been a friend of mine for years now but is also someone I can count on with anything. He is an honest, upfront man and the only one you could ever want to represent you. It’s no question there is no other attorney you would ever want on your side!

- Chris Mcgauran

Looking for a lawyer who has your best interest, who will fight for you and genuinely cares..then look no further..Attorney Powell is the best. Highly recommend!

- Will D

I have nothing but amazing things to say about these attorneys. They are very professional, knowledgeable, and trustworthy. Highly recommend them!

- Haley Haddad

I'm very comfortable saying this is the best group of attorney's I've ever worked with. Honest, reliable and just easy to work with overall. If you are looking for strong legal advice and support from a reputable group of attorneys, I'd strongly recommend reaching out to them.

- Erik LaSeure

I cannot say enough about the team at Hart Powell, they have taken great care in every aspect of business that we have done with them. When all hope was lost, they have come through. Their vast knowledge and ability to come up with out of the box solutions to very difficult problems has proven invaluable to us. If google would allow me to give them more stars, I would, and I would personally recommended this group for any of your legal needs!

- Mike Cannell

Mike Hart has a commanding presence in the courtroom. When he walks in, people notice. When he speaks, people listen.

- Patricia Bradford

I've worked with Craig Powell on 2 cases. Both achieved a better than expected outcome but what really stuck out to me was that after I was incarcerated, Craig remained engaged with my case and secured an earlier than expected release date for me when he could have very easily ignored and moved on to the next. For this reason he was the first person I called next time I needed an attorney. The case was recently resolved and I couldn't have asked for a better outcome.

- Paul Engstrom

While faced with revocation, I consulted several attorneys & wasn't impressed or confident in their proposals. Thankfully I followed my instincts & passed on them, because a friend then referred attorney Geoffrey Misfeldt to me so I called Hart Powell, S.C. to see what he had to say. I can honestly say that after just one conversation with Geoff, I felt relief for the first time in months. In just a couple days he put together a stellar defense and his efforts continuously went above & beyond anything I could have expected. Geoff Misfeldt relentlessly fought my case for 2 years, and I am home with my family today because of it. That in itself is a win & would justify a glowing recommendation on it's own, but he wasn't finished. He then went right back at them, and won a 6 figure settlement for me in a civil suit. He's the M.A.N.... That's all there is to it

- Drjay

Attorney Michael Hart is an upfront and honest attorney who delivers. The only lawyer I would recommend to family and friends.

- Drew Nelson

Hands down the most professional firm I could have ever hoped to have represent them with my life

- Peter Balestrieri

The people at Hart Powell, SC are fantastic. Great to work with, start to finish, and I highly recommend them. If you need the best attorneys to help, you can't get better.

- Timothy Meyerring (Timo)

Why Should I Choose Hart Powell, S.C. to Represent Me?

Hart Powell, S.C.

The Hart Powell Team Approach

Since 1993, the Milwaukee criminal defense lawyers of Hart Powell, S.C. have been committed to the zealous defense of the accused. Our team of outstanding attorneys speaks for itself:

  • Michael F. Hart the firm’s Managing Partner, has practiced law for over 30 years and is an experienced and trusted advocate with an unmistakable and impressive presence in the courtroom who has been recognized as a Wisconsin Super Lawyer every year since its inception. He was a former appointee to the Bradley Center of Sports and Entertainment Corporation by the former Governor of Wisconsin, Jim Doyle.
  • Craig Powell began his legal career when he joined the firm in 2005 and has been a named partner since 2011. He is devoted to making sure the accused have their rights respected and upheld. He has been repeatedly recognized as a “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers and both Law & Politics and Milwaukee Magazines, as a Top 100 Trial Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers, and has been rated a 10.0 “Superb” by AVVO. He has been involved in the defense and trial of numerous high-profile cases, and is an accomplished appellate litigator as well.
  • Geoff Misfeldt joined the firm in 2010. He brings a sharp eye for spotting legal issues and a tenacity in their pursuit. He is not afraid to challenge unconstitutional laws and has argued numerous cases of injustice across Wisconsin. Having won favorable results in front of the Wisconsin Supreme Court and prepared petitions to the United States Supreme Court, Misfeldt is dedicated to upholding the law.
  • Daniel Sanders joined the firm in 2013 after nearly 20 years as a decorated Assistant United States Attorney. He has extensive experience in complex criminal procedures and has worked extensively on a variety of cases from immigration fraud to drug conspiracy and money laundering. Sanders is licensed to practice at the Wisconsin State level and Federal District Courts.
  • Morgan Minter joined Hart Powell, S.C. in 2022 after earning her Juris Doctorate from Marquette University Law School. Morgan brings a fresh viewpoint and keen eye to the team and has quickly developed into a tenacious litigator and advocate for the firm’s clients. She is licensed to practice in the Federal District Courts of Wisconsin and Wisconsin State Courts.

Each of the lawyers on our legal team brings added experience and skill dedicated to ensuring your rights are protected. They will aggressively represent you and make sure that your arrest doesn’t define you. When a client hires Hart Powell, S.C., the client is getting the invaluable benefit of the collective approach. While one of the Hart Powell, S.C. attorneys may take the lead on any given case, each of the lawyers is involved in brainstorming and problem-solving a case’s issues, a process that drives the firm towards achieving the client’s goals. Years of results speak to the success of this approach on behalf of our clients. Contact a professional defense attorney at Hart Powell, S.C. to get started clearing your name and fighting your charges today.

Milwaukee Criminal Defense Practice Areas

The Milwaukee criminal defense lawyers of Hart Powell, S.C. have the experience to defend our clients against any charges they are facing. We are well equipped to defend our clients in federal and state courts as well as appellate court appeals.

Federal Charges We Handle:

  • Bank and Mail Fraud Federal prosecutors have an endless supply of resources and you need someone strong to counter cases from the FBI and DEA.
  • Drug Trafficking and Conspiracies there is a host of invasive methods the federal agencies will employ against you. You need an experienced attorney to analyze your case thoroughly.
  • Gun Crimes firearm rights have seen over 20,000 laws and regulations in recent years. It is inevitable that good people will get caught in the confusing web.
  • Internet Sex Crimes an internet sex crime can destroy your whole life. Your words can be twisted completely out of context and used against you.
  • Medicare and Healthcare Fraud A trusted and experienced attorney can effectively represent and build an iron case against any kind of healthcare of Medicare fraud.
  • Perjury and Obstruction of Justice: If you are accused of making false statements under oath, you could be facing perjury charges.
  • Pre-Indictment Investigations: Any statement made to federal agencies without legal representation builds a stronger case against you.
  • RICO Conspiracies Instated to fight against organized crime, the RICO act is used to accuse two or more people of criminal conspiracy.
  • Trade Secrets potentially breaking a non-disclosure agreement is a serious charge and requires astute legal representation.
  • Trademark and Copyright Infringement: Laws regarding trademarks and copyright infringement are oftentimes vague and confusing.

State Charges We Handle:

  • Armed Robbery A potential felony conviction carries fines, and years in prison.
  • Domestic Violence Offenses Domestic violence accusations can ruin reputations, careers, and families.
  • Drug Crimes An attorney is the only way to combat jail sentences and debilitating fees of a drug charge.
  • DUI/OWI A DUI conviction can destroy any potential career options and affect your reputation.
  • Fraud: Fraud is so harshly punished even intending to commit fraud can land someone in jail.
  • Homicide and Murder Charges Homicide and murder charges are complex and near impossible to combat alone.
  • Probation and Parole RevocationsProbation and parole requirements are complicated and a fair trial is crucial to combat any probation or parole revocation.
  • Theft/Burglary Theft related charges could cost thousands of dollars in fines and up to 20 years in prison.
  • Sex Crimes Damaging to one’s reputation and family, a sex crime accusation cannot be taken lightly.

If you have been charged with any variety of federal or state crimes, you need an experienced attorney representing you. Remember, speaking with any law enforcement or federal agents can only build a stronger case against you. Make sure you speak with an attorney before making any official statements.

Does It Make Me Look Guilty to Hire An Attorney Immediately Following an Accusation?

Hiring an attorney after being charged with a criminal accusation is vital. You want to make sure you are getting sound legal advice from the beginning of the process. Taking an accusation lightly most often leads to excessive fines or even prison. Federal prosecutors and law enforcement will start building a case against you the moment you are charged. Any statement made after the initial charge is built into the case against you. Having an attorney with you from the beginning can make sure you case stays valid, and your rights are upheld.

Wisconsin Criminal Law

The Wisconsin court system sees a lot of cases each year. In 2022, there were over 100,000 cases opened in Milwaukee County alone. Of these, more than 9,000 are criminal cases. These stats are from the Wisconsin Court’s public website caseload statistics. As many trials can take up to two or three years, prosecutors use this to their advantage. Federal agents and law enforcement wait for suspects to let their guard down before seizing evidence. Hiring an attorney can ensure that your rights and freedom are constantly their priority so you can focus on clearing your name.

It is no mystery that the trial process is complicated. A statistical map of Wisconsin created by the Measures of Justice shows the percentage of felony charges resolved by trial at court. In Milwaukee County, WI, only 5.61 percent of felony cases go to trial. This may surprise many of us who grew up watching shows like Law and Order, which dramatized the criminal justice system. In reality, parties often settle cases outside of court. Knowing which legal path your charges will take is crucial to protecting your rights. An experienced attorney can guide your case and inform you of the changing landscape of justice.

Hart Powell, S.C.
Hart Powell, S.C.

Contact a Milwaukee Criminal Defense Attorney Today

Every citizen has rights that need to be upheld. It’s in the constitution, and it’s our firm’s standard. When you hire an attorney from Hart Powell, S.C., you are making sure that you are getting the full fairness of the law. We fight for the best deal possible for you. Don’t let your charges dictate your life. Let us worry about your presence in the court of law so you can focus on your family and reputation. Call us today at (414) 271-9595, and we can begin the process of winning back your livelihood.

Recent Results from Hart Powell, S.C.

  • Client was falsely accused of child sexual assault by former spouse during custody battle. Client faced both revocation of his extended supervision as well as decades in prison on the new criminal charges. Attorney Craig Powell first won the revocation hearing, demonstrating through cross-examination of the child’s interviewer and video of the interview itself that it appeared the child had been coached. Attorney Powell then used what transpired at the revocation hearing to convince the District Attorney’s office to dismiss the new criminal charges, and the client was able to win back his visitation and custody rights in family court. Details
  • In a high-profile and challenging case, Attorneys Michael Hart and Morgan Minter used footage from body cameras, phone calls, and maps of the surrounding area to convince a Milwaukee County jury that their client was not guilty through valid use of self-defense. Details
  • Client was charged with multiple felonies, including sexual assault, based on allegations made by an ex-girlfriend. Attorney Michael Hart co-chaired the defense with out-of-state counsel and took the lead on the sexual assault charges. Client was found not guilty of those charges. Details
  • Client was charged in one case with possession with intent to deliver cocaine, and in another case with fleeing a traffic stop, possession with intent to deliver cocaine and methamphetamine, recklessly endangering safety, bail jumping and obstructing an officer. Attorney Powell was able to get the first drug case dismissed after winning a motion to suppress arguing that the initial search and seizure of the client violated his constitutional rights. The second case went to trial and resulted in not guilty verdicts on the most serious charges. Client was accused of fleeing from a traffic stop at high speeds through a residential neighborhood. Police recovered a bag of cocaine along the route of travel and, once he pulled over and gave himself up, police recovered a cannister containing over 50 pills of methamphetamine in the console. Through a careful analysis of hours of squad and body camera footage from the police, as well as the personnel files of the officers involved, Attorney Powell was able to identify and execute a trial defense on a case nobody thought could be won. The client was found not guilty on all of the drug counts and the charge of recklessly endangering safety. He was convicted of fleeing, obstructing an officer, and bail jumping. Where the client was originally facing decades in prison, the client walked away with less than a year in custody. Details
  • Client was accused of dealing multiple pounds of marijuana, and Attorneys Geoffrey Misfeldt and Morgan Minter exposed multiple weaknesses in the State’s case through cross-examination of its witnesses and expert, resulting in a Not Guilty verdict from a Milwaukee County jury. Details
  • Client was charged with conspiracy to sell large amounts of methamphetamine. Attorney Craig Powell identified suspicious omissions from the search warrant and sought additional information from the District Attorney’s office. When they resisted, Attorney Powell convinced the Court to compel the District Attorney’s office to locate and disclose the records Powell thought existed. The records were ultimately produced and documented an illegal search by Federal agents. The case was dismissed.Details
  • Felony charges dismissed. Client was charged with a violent felony. Attorney Misfeldt convinced the prosecutor before trial that the State would have proof issues if the case proceeded to trial. The client’s felony charge was dismissed.Details
  • Craig S. Powell Wins Dismissal of Gun Charges for Client Based on Illegal Search. Craig Powell recently won a dismissal of gun charges against his client. The client was surrounded by police in a gas station parking lot based on a claim that the client’s tail light was broken. Powell and Hart Powell, S.C. Investigator Santo Galati acted quickly to obtain the station’s surveillance camera footage before it could be destroyed. The video showed that the officers’ reports about the event were not accurate, and that police had acted outside of the client’s constitutional rights when he was seized and his car was searched. Powell filed a motion to suppress evidence and, upon reviewing the surveillance video Powell obtained, the prosecutor moved to dismiss the case. Details
  • Michael F. Hart and Craig S. Powell Team Up to Win Dismissal of Felony Drug Charges. Hart Powell, S.C. client was charged with possession of cocaine with intent to deliver. Police were executing a search warrant at the client’s residence and seized the client standing on the sidewalk down the street. Craig Powell drafted a motion to suppress challenging the police action in seizing and searching their client on the sidewalk as outside the scope of the warrant and otherwise without reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. Michael F. Hart questioned the officers at the hearing and successfully argued to the court that the client was illegally seized and searched. The case was dismissed. Details
  • Sexual Assault of a Child Case Dismissed. Client was charged with sexual assault of a child. Despite the dubious credibility of the allegations, the case proceeded through the system. Through a comparison of phone records and text messages, Craig S. Powell was able to show that the accuser’s allegations were untrue and the case was dismissed before trial. Details
  • Attorney Craig S. Powell’s client was legally parked in a Milwaukee neighborhood, waiting for his girlfriend, when Milwaukee Police Officers approached and ordered him out of the car with his hands in the air. Officers searched Powell’s client and found a handgun. Powell challenged the police action in seizing and searching his client. At a hearing on Powell’s motion, the officer involved attempted to justify his actions by claiming he was investigating whether Powell’s client had illegal window tint on his vehicle. The Court found the officer’s explanation not credible, referencing Powell’s cross-examination of the officer in its decision. The Court ruled that the police conduct was unconstitutional and threw out the gun evidence, forcing the State to dismiss the case. Details
  • Attorney Craig S. Powell’s 19-year-old client was charged with fatally shooting another teenager in an attempted armed robbery. The State presented the testimony of two other individuals who claimed to have been with Powell’s client and saw him shoot the victim. Both of those individuals were charged as accessories to the crime and were testifying in the hopes of receiving a deal from prosecutors. The State also presented the testimony of a classmate of Powell’s client who claimed that he had confessed to the shooting. Powell’s cross-examination strongly challenged the credibility of these witnesses and highlighted the fact that the description of the shooter by an independent eyewitness did not match Powell’s client. The jury’s verdict: not guilty. Details
  • Client, a 42 year-old woman with no criminal record, was charged with first-degree reckless homicide after the New Years’ Day stabbing death of her husband. The client admitted to police that she caused the fatal injury. The attorneys at Hart Powell, S.C. relied on police officers, citizen witnesses, and a respected domestic violence expert to show that his client acted reasonably and in self-defense, after suffering years of severe physical and sexual abuse by her husband. After six days of trial and three hours of deliberations, the jury agreed, and found the woman not guilty. Details