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Bucher Law Group, LLC
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wisconsin criminal defense lawyerWhen you get into a traffic accident, the proper thing to do is to check for injuries and then exchange contact information so you can work everything out with your insurance companies. In fact, most states require that you do this by law, but it does not stop some people from fleeing the scene when they get into an accident. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were more than an estimated 814,000 hit-and-run crashes that took place across the country in 2019. If you have been accused of being involved in a hit-and-run accident, you should speak with a Wisconsin criminal defense attorney to discuss your options.

Requirements After a Wisconsin Car Accident

If you are involved in a car accident in Wisconsin, there are certain things that you are required by law to do. After you get into a collision in Wisconsin, the law states that you must get out of your vehicle and investigate what you hit. If you hit a person or a vehicle that had a person inside of it, you are required to:

  • Give your name, address and vehicle registration number to the other party

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Walworth County weapons violation defense attorney

For many pro-gun-ownership activists, the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution is often the go-to for debates over who should be permitted to own a firearm. According to the Second Amendment, all citizens have the right to bear arms, but the government has reserved the right to regulate ownership to the individual states. Each state and even the federal government has placed restrictions on gun ownership, specifying when an individual may be forbidden from owning or possessing firearms. Violating these laws can result in serious consequences in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Gun Ownership Laws

In Wisconsin, there are certain people who are not permitted to purchase or possess a firearm. If you are caught in possession of a gun when you are not permitted to do so, you may face criminal charges. You could face illegal possession charges if you own or possess a firearm and you:

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Waukesha County OWI homicide defense attorney

When it comes to drunk driving laws, Wisconsin is relatively lenient compared to other states. In fact, Wisconsin is the only state in the country in which a first-time DUI offense is merely a ticket, rather than a criminal charge. Even when a person reaches his or her second, third, or even fourth conviction of Operating While Intoxicated (OWI), the sentence typically does not involve jail time. Rather, probation is usually given to those offenders, even if their driving privileges were revoked. Jail time can be expected, however, if there are certain aggravating factors present in the situation to warrant a need for incarceration. Aggravating factors in a Wisconsin OWI case can include causing bodily harm or injury to another person, committing OWI with a child in the vehicle, or one of the most serious charges: homicide while committing OWI.

Charges for Homicide While Driving Under the Influence

In all 50 states, operating a vehicle while you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol is illegal. Adding an aggravating factor to OWI, such as killing another person, makes the charges even more serious. In Wisconsin, a person commits the offense of homicide by intoxicated use of vehicle when he or she causes the death of another person due to the handling of the vehicle while he or she was under the influence of alcohol or any type of drug, had a BAC of 0.08 or more, or if he or she had a BAC of 0.04 or more and was driving a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). 

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Jefferson County drunk driving defense attorney

Thanksgiving is upon us, with Christmas following soon after. Holiday get-togethers are a time for family and friends to gather and spend time with one another. It is not uncommon for adults to drink alcohol during these festive gatherings, but drinking too much and getting behind the wheel can result in criminal charges for those who choose to do so. Holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas are notorious for having staggering statistics on DUI-related traffic accidents, many of which turn out to be deadly. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 800 people died in alcohol-related car crashes during Thanksgiving holidays between 2013 and 2017. If you plan on drinking this holiday season, here are a few things you can do to prevent a serious and costly Wisconsin OWI charge:

  1. Be smart about how you drink. If you plan on driving home after a holiday party, and you also plan on having a drink or two while you are there, you need to be responsible about your drinking habits. Always make sure you eat a decent meal before you start drinking. Drinking on an empty stomach not only enhances the effects of alcohol, but it also makes your body absorb the alcohol faster, meaning your BAC will be higher in less time than usual. Also, make sure to drink plenty of water and stop drinking at least one hour before you plan to leave.

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Milwaukee County OWI defense attorneyWhen it comes to driving under the influence (DUI) laws in Wisconsin, things can get rather confusing. Wisconsin refers to the offense as Operating While Intoxicated (OWI). The state has some of the most lenient OWI laws in the country, especially for a first-time OWI offense. If you are convicted of OWI in Wisconsin, and you have no prior OWI convictions or arrests, you do not actually face a criminal charge; rather, you face a civil penalty or the equivalent of a traffic ticket. That can all change, however, if your first-time OWI charge involves the great bodily harm or death of another person.

OWI With Great Bodily Harm

Even if you have never before been convicted or arrested for drunk driving in Wisconsin, an OWI charge alleging that you caused great bodily harm to another person is a very serious charge with stiff penalties. You can face OWI charges with great bodily harm if your BAC was over 0.08, if you had a detectable amount of an illicit drug in your system, or even if an officer found you to be under the influence and impaired.

Causing great bodily harm to another person while driving under the influence is classified as a Class F felony in Wisconsin. This means you may face fines of up to $25,000. You can also face up to 12.5 years in prison, a two-year driver’s license revocation, and a requirement for an ignition interlock device (IID). 

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