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Bucher Law Group, LLC
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Ozaukee County DUI Defense LawyerA conviction for drunk driving can have significant legal and financial implications. Operating while intoxicated (OWI) can lead to fines and loss of your driver’s license. Second and subsequent OWI convictions are penalized even more harshly. Some OWI offenses even result in jail time. If you or a loved one were accused of drunk driving, it is important to explore your legal options.

How to Defend Yourself Against an OWI or DUI in Wisconsin

Being accused of a crime like drunk driving or drugged driving does not necessarily mean you will be convicted of the offense. As with all criminal charges, the prosecution must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. An experienced criminal defense attorney may use many different tactics to cast doubt on your guilt or prove your innocence.

Understanding Probable Cause in a DUI Case  

Police do not have free reign to pull over drivers for no reason. Officers must have a reasonable suspicion that the driver has committed a crime. For example, if police see you run a red light or weave in and out of traffic, they have the right to pull you over. If police pull over a driver without a valid reason for doing so, any evidence obtained during the traffic stop may be inadmissible under the exclusionary rule. Evidence, such as the results of a breathalyzer test, would be unusable during future legal proceedings.

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Walworth County Weapons Charges AttorneyThe state of Wisconsin allows residents to carry firearms in many situations. Concealed carry licenses allow people to carry handguns on their person or in their vehicle, and the state also allows for open carry of handguns and other types of firearms in locations where concealed carry is allowed. However, while some weapons charges may be avoided by ensuring that a person has obtained the proper licenses and is following the laws for carrying and transporting firearms, criminal charges may apply in situations where a person uses a firearm and causes harm to others.

Crimes Involving the Use of a Weapon

Wisconsin law specifies certain criminal charges that fall under the category of “endangering safety by use of dangerous weapon,” which includes multiple types of cases where a person may accidentally or intentionally fire a gun and injure someone else or put another person at risk of being injured. These charges may include:

  • Negligent operation or handling of a firearm - If a gun is accidentally discharged while cleaning or due to reckless handling, and this results in an injury or endangers someone’s safety, a person may face Class A misdemeanor charges. 

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Jefferson County Criminal Defense LawyerSince Wisconsin and Illinois are neighboring states, there are many situations where drivers who reside in Illinois will visit or travel through Wisconsin. While many drivers are able to avoid any serious incidents, some drivers may be pulled over by police officers and issued traffic violations. Because the two states have different laws, a person who lives in Illinois may not realize the consequences they may face if they receive a Wisconsin traffic ticket. Failure to follow the correct procedures could result in unexpected penalties, so before paying a traffic ticket or taking other steps to address a violation, it is a good idea for these drivers to consult with an attorney who is experienced in Wisconsin traffic laws.

Consequences of a Traffic Violation Conviction

The state of Wisconsin uses a points-based system for assessing penalties for traffic violations. Different violations will cause a certain number of demerit points to be added to a person’s driving record. If 12 points are added to a person’s record within one year, their driver’s license will be suspended.

Illinois uses a combination of a points-based and conviction-based system. Traffic violation convictions will add points to a person’s driving record, but any three convictions within one year will result in a person’s license being suspended, and the accumulated point values will determine the length of the suspension. However, drivers in Illinois may be able to avoid convictions by asking a court to issue a sentence of court supervision. This option is often available even without the need to appear in traffic court after receiving a ticket. Following an order of court supervision, a person may be required to pay a fine or attend traffic school, and if they do not receive any other traffic violations during their period of supervision, they will not be convicted of a traffic violation, and no points will be added to their record.

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Ozaukee County Shoplifting Defense LawyerAs the holiday shopping season becomes busier and busier, many store owners become concerned about the losses they may suffer because of shoplifting. Because of this, retailers and police officers are likely to take strong action against anyone who is accused of committing retail theft. Those who may be facing these types of accusations will want to be sure to understand the nature of these crimes and the potential penalties they may face if they are convicted on criminal charges.

Wisconsin Retail Theft Laws

Retail theft may involve many different types of activities. While shoplifting is generally thought of as pocketing merchandise and taking it out of a store without paying for it, a person may also face criminal charges if they conceal items from a store’s owner or transfer items to someone else with the intent of stealing them. Retail theft charges will also apply if a person changes a price tag or alters the price of an item, such as by scanning the barcode of a different item at a self-checkout. A person may also be charged with retail theft if they remove a theft-detection sensor from merchandise or use a device that is meant to remove these sensors or shield them from scanners.

As with other types of theft charges, the severity of the consequences a person may face will depend on the values of the items that were allegedly stolen. For merchandise valued at $500 or less, Class A misdemeanor charges will apply, and a person may be fined up to $10,000 and sentenced to up to nine months in prison. For retail theft of between $500 and $5,000, or in cases where more than one person worked together to steal items worth less than $500 and sell them online, a person may be charged with a Class I felony, and they may be sentenced to up to three years and six months in jail, as well as a maximum $10,000 fine. Theft of merchandise worth $5,000 to $10,000 will result in Class H felony charges, which can lead to a prison sentence of up to six years and a fine of up to $10,000. Retail theft involving items worth more than $10,000 is a Class G felony, which can lead to a maximum $25,000 fine and up to 10 years in jail.

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Walworth County DUI Defense AttorneyDrunk or intoxicated driving is taken very seriously by law enforcement officials. A person who is arrested and charged with operating while intoxicated (OWI) can face serious consequences, including the requirement to pay fines and court costs, as well as the loss of their driver’s license for a significant period of time. In some cases, a person may also be sentenced to time in prison. There are certain circumstances where OWI may be charged as a felony, and a person will face even more serious penalties. An experienced attorney can help determine the best defense strategy in felony OWI cases.

Felony Drunk Driving Charges

In Wisconsin, a first-time OWI is a civil infraction rather than a criminal charge, and a second or third OWI is a misdemeanor, although a third OWI may be charged as a felony if a minor under the age of 16 was in the vehicle. Any subsequent OWI will be charged as a felony. A fourth OWI is a Class H felony, and a conviction can result in a prison sentence of 60 days to six years, as well as a fine of $600 to $10,000. A fifth or sixth OWI is a Class G felony, and a person who is convicted may be sentenced to between one and 10 years in prison and fined between $600 and $25,000. A seventh, eighth, or ninth OWI is a Class F felony that can result in a sentence between three and 12.5 years and a fine of up to $25,000. A tenth or subsequent OWI is a Class E felony, and a person may receive a sentence of four to 15 years and be fined up to $50,000.

Felony OWI charges may also apply in cases where a person was involved in an accident that resulted in injuries to others. While a first offense of causing injury while OWI will be charged as a misdemeanor, a person may be charged with a Class H felony if they had previously been convicted of OWI or had refused a chemical blood alcohol test after being arrested on suspicion of drunk driving. If a person caused great bodily harm to someone else, meaning that the victim suffered an injury that put them at significant risk of death, caused disfigurement, or resulted in the loss of a body part or organ, Class F felony charges will apply. An OWI that results in a person’s death may be charged as a Class D felony, which can result in a prison sentence of up to 25 years and a fine of up to $100,000. If a person had a previous OWI conviction or chemical test refusal, a charge of homicide while OWI is a Class C felony, and a person may be sentenced to up to 40 years in jail.

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