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Walworth Traffic LawyerFor those with multiple traffic violations in Wisconsin, you run the risk of penalties beyond the normal accumulation of fines and license suspensions. Drivers who have racked up a qualifying number of violations over a five-year period will be declared a Habitual Traffic Offender and automatically lose their license for five years. The road to getting your license back is not easy, but working with the right attorney can help when you are facing this situation.

Wisconsin’s Tough Habitual Traffic Offender Law

To ensure public safety and protect other drivers and residents from those with a history of repeated traffic violations, Wisconsin has instituted a Habitual Traffic Offender law. Violations are tracked by the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles, and the law applies to traffic offenses by Wisconsin drivers both in the state and out of state. It also keeps track of residents of other states who have convictions in Wisconsin. To qualify as a Habitual Traffic Offender, a driver will have accumulated the following within a five-year period:

  • Convictions for 12 or more moving violations committed in Wisconsin. These can include speeding, failure to obey traffic signals, and similar offenses.

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Ozaukee County Car Crash LawyerBeing in a motor vehicle accident, especially if you are injured, can be a jarring experience. That experience can be made worse if the other driver does not stop. Wisconsin law requires drivers who know or believe they have caused a traffic accident to stop. If you do not have the other driver’s information, you may not know where to turn. By calling an experienced hit-and-run attorney, you can start to put the pieces back together and receive the compensation you deserve. 

Hit-and-Run Laws in Wisconsin

Under Wisconsin law, after a traffic accident you must stop, exchange information with the other driver, call the police if the accident is serious or caused an injury or death, and provide reasonable assistance to the driver and passengers in the other car. Failure to stop or meet the other requirements can open a driver up to civil and criminal consequences. 

The criminal penalties for hit-and-run drivers can be very severe. If the driver does not meet their obligations under the law, the charges they face depend on the severity of the injuries suffered by the victim. For an accident with only minor or moderate injuries, the driver faces misdemeanor charges with up to 9 months in jail, plus probation and a fine of up to $10,000. For more severe injuries, felony charges are possible. The driver could face up to 15 years in prison, probation, and $50,000 in fines. For a fatal hit-and-run accident, the legal consequences are a higher-degree felony with up to 25 years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000. 

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Ozaukee County Traffic Violations LawyerWith warmer weather slowly returning to Wisconsin, more bicyclists and pedestrians will be out on local roads. Some drivers may not know the rights and responsibilities that bicyclists have as they are sharing the road with motor vehicles or the proper behavior for drivers around bicycles. Bicycles are considered vehicles and belong on the road. Here are some tips for safe driving when bikes are present and to avoid risking severe accidents and traffic violations.  

Wisconsin Rules of the Road for Bicycles and Motor Vehicles

  • Bicyclists should generally ride on the right side of the road or traffic lane, except when passing slower traffic, going around objects such as parked cars or other hazards, preparing to make a left-hand turn, or when the road is too narrow to move farther to the right.

  • Motor vehicles passing a bicyclist must maintain at least three feet of space between them and the bicycle. You are permitted to cross a double yellow line in order to keep this distance while passing a bike.  

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WI defense lawyerIf you have been charged with any type of sex offense, your situation is incredibly serious. Having a sex offense on your record will impact almost every area of your life. Being on the sex offender registry closes a lot of doors. Opportunities that otherwise would have been available to you can disappear. Your reputation can be destroyed very quickly. You are also likely facing prison time - judges typically do not go easy on those being sentenced for sex crimes. Even after any judicial consequences are over with, being a sex offender can permanently alter the course of your life. The best thing you can do for yourself right now is to find an experienced criminal defense attorney. There are steps a lawyer can take to help you.

How Can Becoming a Sex Offender Affect My Life?

There are a lot of legal requirements that sex offenders have to abide by. There are also a lot of collateral consequences from a social perspective. Some ways that becoming a sex offender may affect you include:

  • Housing - Unless you can buy a house, it can be extremely difficult for a sex offender to find housing. Most landlords and property management companies will not even consider an application from a sex offender. The housing available to sex offenders is generally not desirable. You may also be required to live a certain distance from schools, playgrounds, and other areas where children tend to congregate.
  • Career - If you work in any type of career that involves professional licensing - like teaching, nursing, or social work - you are likely going to lose your license. You are likely to be fired from your current job. Finding a desirable job can be very difficult for sex offenders.
  • Publicity - The sex offender registry is public. Your name, address, photo, offense, and more will always be available to anyone who cares to check it - and a lot of people do keep an eye out to see whether any sex offenders are living near them. Do not expect a warm welcome when you move to a new location.
  • Social relationships - Most people who have had to register as sex offenders have experienced the loss of personal and social relationships. Not many people are willing to stand by a friend or even romantic partner who gets convicted of a serious sex offense. It can be difficult to form new social relationships, as many people do not want to be associated with a sex offender.

These are just a few of the problems people on the sex offender registry face. It is important to work with a skilled lawyer when you are facing this type of accusation.

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WI defense lawyerWhen operating a car or any motor vehicle, you are in control of what can be a very dangerous object. While basic traffic violations are unlikely to harm others, driving recklessly can have deadly consequences for yourself and other drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and bicyclists on the road. If you strike and kill another person with a vehicle in Wisconsin, you can be charged with vehicular homicide.

Types of Vehicular Homicide and Penalties in Wisconsin

There are two different types of vehicular homicide charges in Wisconsin:

  • Homicide by Negligent Operation – A driver is charged with Homicide by Negligent Operation when they cause the death of an individual by their criminally negligent operation or handling of a vehicle. Criminal negligence means that a person should know that their action creates a substantial and unreasonable risk of death or great bodily harm to another individual. Homicide by Negligent Operation is a class G felony and can carry a penalty if convicted of up to 10 years in prison and a maximum of $25,000 in fines.
  • Homicide by Intoxicated Use of a Vehicle – This charge is used when a driver kills another person while driving a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Intoxicated means a driver has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or more or has a detectable amount of a controlled substance in their blood. The penalties for Homicide by Intoxicated Operation are even more severe. It is usually a class D felony, and a driver convicted of this charge can face up to 25 years in prison and a maximum of $100,000 in fines. If the driver has one or more prior DWI convictions or license suspensions, they could be charged with a Class C felony and face up to 40 years in prison and a maximum fine of $100,000.

Both charges result in the driver’s license being revoked for at least one year. If you were intoxicated, you must have an ignition interlock device (IID) installed on your vehicle. . The penalties for convictions on either count can depend on the specific circumstances of the case, so it is essential that you hire a criminal defense attorney who knows Wisconsin DUI and criminal laws and can fight for your future.

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