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OWI Defense Attorney Dodge CountyDrivers in Wisconsin and throughout the United States understand that it is illegal to drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Doing so may result in an arrest by a police officer and charges of operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OWI). Drivers who have been pulled over and are suspected of driving while intoxicated will want to understand their rights and the steps they can take to protect themselves from consequences. Tests used to measure a driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) are one issue that these drivers may need to address, and it is important to understand whether a person can refuse these tests or whether they should consent to testing.

BAC Tests and Implied Consent

In Wisconsin and other states, drivers are considered to have given consent to chemical testing of their BAC when they obtained a driver’s license. This means that a driver could potentially face consequences for refusing to take a BAC test. However, it is important to understand that the implied consent law applies to tests that are performed following an arrest rather than to roadside tests performed by a police officer prior to an arrest.

After an officer pulls someone over, they will be looking to establish probable cause, or a legal reason to perform an arrest. In some cases, an officer may decide to arrest a driver based on their observations before or after pulling a person over, such as erratic driving, the smell of alcohol on a driver’s breath, or open containers of alcohol that are visible in the vehicle. In other cases, the officer may ask a driver to breathe into a portable breathalyzer device that will give an estimate of their BAC, or a driver may be asked to step out of the vehicle and perform field sobriety tests that are meant to gauge their level of intoxication. Drivers are allowed to refuse these tests, although doing so may be seen as an indication that a driver has been drinking and is afraid to take a test, and this refusal may provide an officer with probable cause to arrest the driver.

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Criminal Defense Attorney Dodge CountyThere are multiple types of property crimes in which a person may be accused of taking money or property that belongs to someone else. These cases can result in serious criminal charges. Depending on the circumstances of a case, a person may be charged with a misdemeanor or felony offense, and if they are convicted, they could be required to serve time in prison, pay fines or restitution, or follow certain requirements during a period of probation. A person will want to understand the specific offense they are accused of, and an attorney can advise them of their best options for defense.

Property Crimes in Wisconsin

Offenses in which a person is accused of taking or misappropriating someone else’s property may fall into one of the following categories:

  • Theft - This offense covers any situations in which someone takes or obtains property from its rightful owner. In addition to stealing money or property, theft may involve the misappropriation of funds through embezzlement or other illicit activities, or a person may be accused of making false statements or misrepresenting facts with the intent to defraud someone. If the money or property obtained through theft is worth $2,500 or less, a person may be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. Felony charges will apply in cases involving amounts of over $2,500, and for higher amounts, a person may face more serious felonies that can result in longer prison sentences and higher fines.

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Criminal Defense Lawyer MilwaukeeBeing involved in a car accident can cause a number of difficulties in a person’s life. In addition to dealing with injuries and vehicle repairs, a person who may have been at fault for a collision may worry that they could face other consequences. This is especially true if an accident resulted in injuries to someone else, and in these cases, a person may be concerned about potential criminal charges that may apply. An experienced attorney can help people in these situations understand the specific charges they may face and their options for defense.

Cases Where Car Accidents May Lead to Criminal Charges

A person who is at fault for a car accident may be held liable for the damages suffered by other people, although they usually will not be charged with a crime unless they acted egregiously and put others at risk of harm. A person may face criminal charges for causing injuries to others in cases involving:

  • DUI/OWI - The charge of Operating While Intoxicated may apply if a person is accused of driving a motor vehicle while they were under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or any other substances that made them incapable of driving safely. In addition to OWI charges, a person may be charged with Injury by Intoxicated Use of a Vehicle if they caused great bodily harm to someone else due to driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This offense is a Class F felony. If a person caused someone else’s death due to driving under the influence, they may be charged with Homicide by Intoxicated Use of a Vehicle. This offense is a Class D felony, or a Class C felony for a person who had previously been convicted of OWI.

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Delafield, WI weapons lawyer

Originally published: March 29, 2019 -- Updated: September 17, 2021

UPDATE: The state of Wisconsin does permit the open carry of firearms as described below, although there are a few cases where a person may be restricted from carrying a loaded weapon in public, such as when a person has been convicted of a felony or a domestic abuse charge. Gun owners should also be aware of the situations in which they could face criminal charges based on how a weapon was used. The offense of “endangering safety by use of a dangerous weapon” may apply in the following situations:

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Juvenile Criminal Defense Lawyer MilwaukeeWhen we think about criminal defendants, we usually picture an adult. However, some criminal defendants are still school-aged. One 17-year-old Manitowoc County resident is facing two decades in prison for a crime that he allegedly committed when he was just 14 years old. The case has brought up many questions regarding juvenile criminal charges and punishments for minors.

Teen Allegedly Killed 7-Year-Old Relative by Burying Him in the Snow  

According to the complaint against him, the teen was just 14 years old when he was allegedly tasked with carrying out a punishment involving his 7-year-old relative. The prosecution reports that, per the parents’ instructions, the young boy was forced to carry a large log around the backyard as punishment for not memorizing Bible verses. The 14-year-old sentenced with the boy’s death allegedly struck, kicked, and taunted the boy as he carried out the punishment. The complaint also states that he buried the 7-year-old in packed snow and left him there for 20-30 minutes. The medical examiner found that the boy had suffered from hypothermia as well as several blunt force injuries before he died. The now-17-year-old has been convicted of first-degree reckless homicide. The teenager’s parents have also been charged because of their role in the young child’s death.

Should Juveniles Be Sentenced as Adults?

The entire situation is disturbing and heartbreaking. It also brings to light questions about Wisconsin juvenile law. Presently, any defendant over 10 years old charged with homicide can be charged in adult court in Wisconsin. Some believe that this rule unfairly punishes children who are not old enough to know what they are doing. Others believe that homicide should always be charged as an adult crime.

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