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Recent Blog Posts

What Happens If I Refuse a Breathalyzer Test in Wisconsin?

 Posted on August 18, 2022 in DUI/OWI

Waukesha County OWI lawyerEven if you have never had it happen to you, you probably have a pretty good idea about what it might feel like to be pulled over after having a few drinks. You see the flashing lights in your mirror, and your stomach drops. By the time the officer gets to your window, the nerves have probably started, but you want everything to go smoothly so you can get home without incident.

As you expect, the officer asks whether you have been drinking. You acknowledge that you did have a couple earlier in the night. Then, the officer asks you to take a breath test. Do you have the right to refuse?

What the Law Says

Under the law in Wisconsin, you give your “implied consent” to chemical testing for blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) by driving your vehicle on the highways and streets of the state. Specifically, you consent to such testing when requested by the officer in certain situations or when required by law.

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Know the Law in Wisconsin Regarding Teens and “Sexting”

 Posted on August 11, 2022 in Criminal Defense

Waukesha criminal defense lawyerSmartphones have affected virtually every aspect of life in today’s increasingly connected world. It is easier than ever before to snap a quick photo and send it to family members, friends, and even potential romantic interests. When the photo is sexual in nature, however, and the person in the picture is legally a minor child, the individual who took the photo—and anyone who possesses it—could face criminal prosecution. Sometimes referred to as “sexting,” exchanging explicit photos might seem like no big deal for teens today, but this behavior can lead to extremely serious charges and criminal penalties.

Naked Photos Could Lead to Severe Consequences for Teens

Under Wisconsin law, it is illegal for anyone to create sexually explicit images—including taking nude photos—of any person under the age of 18. It is also against the law to possess such images or to distribute such images to anyone else.

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What You Need to Know About Assault and Battery in Wisconsin

 Posted on August 04, 2022 in Criminal Defense

Waukesha criminal defense lawyerThe way that certain words are used is perhaps the most confusing part of the law and the legal system at large. Often, a word’s legal definition is much different from the meaning it has in everyday use. This occurs because, in any legal application, words must be defined in a manner that can be clearly understood in a particular jurisdiction. Without intentionally and carefully defined terms, there would be a great deal of confusion among judges, lawyers, juries, law enforcement, and criminal defendants.

One of the clearest examples of a word being used differently in the law versus in casual conversation can be found in the word “assault.” You might be surprised to learn what the legal meaning of the word actually is—at least according to Wisconsin law.

What is the Legal Definition of Assault?

When you are involved in everyday conversation and you refer to an assault, you probably mean that an entity—a person, a gang, or even a military group—attacked another entity and inflicted violence. “That dude assaulted the girl before he ran off.” “The tactical operations team conducted a midnight assault on the suspected drug house.” Most of the time, people understand exactly what you mean.

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How to Handle False Accusations of Domestic Violence

 Posted on July 26, 2022 in Criminal Defense

Wisconsin domestic violence defense lawyerIf you and your spouse or significant other have a hostile relationship, it is possible that he or she may falsely accuse you of domestic violence. Although legitimate instances of domestic violence are sadly common, not every accusation of abuse turns out to be true. Being accused of domestic violence can negatively affect a person’s ability to maintain employment, spend time with their children, and continue relationships with friends and family. False accusations of abuse can also seriously impact divorce proceedings. If you have been accused of domestic violence, there are some things you can do to help protect yourself.

Notify Family Members About What is Happening

If a person has brought unsubstantiated accusations of domestic violence against you, you may feel overwhelmed, angry, betrayed, and confused about how to respond. The most important step you can take at this point is to contact a domestic violence defense attorney. Next, do not wait for the person falsely accusing you to contact your friends and family. If he or she reaches them first, he or she may be able to turn your loved ones away from you. It can be embarrassing to admit to such a situation, but hiding it will not help your case. Reaching out to others can also be helpful in working through the emotional pain that false accusations of domestic violence cause.

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Can Using Prescription Drugs Lead to OWI Charges in Wisconsin?

 Posted on July 13, 2022 in DUI/OWI

Racine County OWI Defense AttorneyMost drivers understand that driving under the influence of alcohol or even recreational drugs can lead to Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) charges. However, there is less clarity when it comes to prescription drugs. Although many types of prescription drugs, including opioids, come with warnings against driving or operating heavy machinery after use, driving while under the influence of these drugs which can impair your ability to safely drive continues to occur. Given the serious charges which can result from an OWI conviction, it is essential to work with an experienced OWI defense attorney.

Field Sobriety Tests for Drugs

Wisconsin law prohibits operating a motor vehicle when under the influence of any controlled substance that renders a person unable to drive safely. For alcohol, this means having a blood alcohol content (BAC) of over .08 percent. The officer who stopped you can perform a breathalyzer test after you have been pulled over. With substances including marijuana, other drugs, and prescription medications, there is no equivalent field test. If the use of a substance other than alcohol is suspected, an additional officer may be called in. Some Wisconsin police officers are trained as drug recognition experts (DRE). The trained DRE will administer a series of tests to assess the subject. These tests include checking the subject’s pulse, examining their eye movements, performing tests to assess the subject’s level of attention, and testing vital signs, and other assessments.

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Can I Refuse a Breath Test After Being Pulled Over For DUI?

 Posted on July 06, 2022 in DUI/OWI

Walworth OWI Defense AttorneyFor drivers who have been stopped under suspicion of Operating While Intoxicated (OWI), whether or not to take the breathalyzer test on the spot can be a difficult and confusing decision. Once a police officer pulls you over, they may already have a suspicion that you have been drinking alcohol or are under the influence of drugs. From the time they approach your vehicle, they will be looking for signs of intoxication, including the smell of alcohol on your breath, the clarity of your speech, your balance, and the appearance and motion of your eyes. You should learn what you should and should not do in this situation and know that it is always essential to call an OWI defense lawyer as soon as possible.

Field Tests Versus Tests at the Police Station

While Wisconsin is an implied consent state, meaning you have given consent to chemical testing when you obtained your driver’s license, that only applies after an arrest. You do not have to submit to any physical field sobriety tests or take a Preliminary Breath Test (PBT). You are not required to answer any of the officer’s questions but must produce your license when it is requested and exit your vehicle if instructed to do so. If you do choose to speak with the officer, you must tell the truth.

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Can a Minor Be Charged with Drinking in a Bar?

 Posted on June 24, 2022 in Criminal Defense

Walworth County Criminal LawyerWhile the legal drinking age in Wisconsin is 21, it is no secret that minors will break the law and consume alcohol. Many times, this drinking will be done at houses, parks, or other areas where the activity can occur discreetly. They may even try to drink at a bar or other establishment that serves alcohol with a fake ID. As a parent, it is best to know what the punishments for underage drinking and other juvenile crimes are, as well as the exceptions when underage drinking is allowed.

Penalties and Exceptions for Underage Drinking

If a minor is caught possessing or drinking alcohol and are between the ages of 17 and 20, they will face an underage drinking charge. Penalties for a first-time underage drinking conviction can include $250 to $500 in fines, a driver’s license suspension of between 30 and 90 days, and participating in community service work or another supervised work program. Minors under the age of 17 will face similar penalties, but will be charged as a juvenile. For both underage and juvenile offenders, trying to purchase alcohol with a fake ID will also result in fines, driver’s license suspension, and community service. Penalties for both underage and juvenile offenders increase with each subsequent conviction. Enrollment in a court-approved alcohol abuse education program may also be part of the sentence for any of the charges.

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Commercial Driver’s License Holders Risk Livelihood With Violations

 Posted on June 16, 2022 in Criminal Defense

Jefferson County CDL Disqualification LawyerHolding a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) can increase your likelihood of getting and keeping a job. CDL holders undergo special training and must pass additional tests to qualify for various commercial endorsements on their license, including for hazardous materials, tanker vehicles, passenger buses, school buses, and double and triple trailers. To stay employed as a commercial driver, you must maintain your license. However, some violations will put your CDL at risk, whether you or driving a commercial vehicle or even your private vehicle.

CDL Violations and Penalties in Wisconsin

Some traffic violations may not lead to a CDL disqualification after the first offense but have cumulative effects with additional violations. These include:

Stay Safe on Wisconsin Roads This Summer

 Posted on June 09, 2022 in DUI/OWI

Dodge County Criminal Defense LawyerWhether you are taking a cross country road trip, a weekend getaway, or just on your regular commute to work, the roads during the summer season present the risk of accidents and the resulting injuries. Car accidents, speeding and reckless driving, and operating while intoxicated all carry the risk of criminal charges. By taking steps to drive safely, you and your family can enjoy the drive and have a fun summer.

Avoid Traffic Violations in Wisconsin

By driving safely, planning ahead, and maintaining your vehicle, you can help to prevent potentially dangerous situations. Here are some tips to staying safe on the roads.

Drive safely – It is good advice throughout the years to slow down, obey the speed limit and traffic signals, and watch out for other drivers on the road. Limit the distraction in the car while you are driving so you can concentrate on the road and the vehicles around you. Construction zones are more common during the summer too, and they can present dangers such as narrow lanes, reduced speeds, construction workers, and slow-moving construction vehicles. Failure to follow the rules of the road can lead to speeding and reckless driving charges, and in more serious cases felony use of a motor vehicle or even homicide charges involving the use of a motor vehicle.

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Four Ways to Stay Safe on Your Motorcycle in Wisconsin

 Posted on June 02, 2022 in Personal Injury

Waukesha County Motorcycle Crash LawyerAll users of the road run the risk of being in an accident and incurring an injury during any trip. With less protection than drivers of cars and trucks, motorcycle riders run a higher risk of serious injury and even death if they are involved in an accident. Given this risk, there are preventative actions that riders can take to avoid being in a motorcycle accident and to stay safe on the road.

Take a motorcycle safety course – Before you even head out on the road, it helps to know the ins and outs of riding a motorcycle safely. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation offers motorcycle safety courses through the Wisconsin Motorcycle Safety Program (WMSP) to earn a Class M motorcycle license. Participants in a course learn how to improve their riding skills and share the road with other vehicles.

Wear proper motorcycle gear – Wisconsin strongly recommends all motorcycle riders and passengers wear a helmet when riding. All riders and passengers under 18 are required to wear a helmet. Additionally, full protective gear including leather or heavy-duty clothing, boots, gloves, and eye protection is strongly encouraged. You should also make yourself more visible to other drivers by wearing high-visibility clothing, especially at night or in poor weather.

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