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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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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.

There is a common misconception about this law, as many Wisconsin residents assume that taking and sharing nude pictures is only against the law if one of the parties is an adult and the other is a minor child. This is not the case. The state’s laws regarding the sexual exploitation of a child prohibit the behavior by both minors and adults.

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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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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.

Create New Passwords

Experts also encourage those worried about being fraudulently accused of abuse to change their login information and passwords on all electronic devices. If the accuser has access to the accused’s cell phone, for example, he or she could use it to send threatening messages to himself or herself. To a judge, this will look like the accused actually sent the messages when in reality, he or she is the victim in this scenario. 

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Walworth Criminal Defense LawyerLast year, a 17-year-old resident of Manitowoc was sentenced to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to reckless homicide related to the death of his 7-year-old foster brother in 2018. According to court documents, the defendant said he was following instructions from his own parents in enforcing the 7-year-old’s punishment for failing to properly memorize Bible verses. The defendant is now 18 years old and serving his sentence, and his appeals are ongoing.

One of the side consequences of his ongoing appeals, however, is the delay of his father’s trial. The conicted boy’s father is facing charges for felony murder, child abuse, and more after he allegedly ordered his son to punish the younger boy. The son is not able to testify in the father’s case due to pending and ongoing appeals, so there has not yet been a trial date set. In the meantime, the father has been out of jail on $75,000 cash bond since late May of this year.

Part of the concern for the father’s trial is in regard to evidence from related juvenile cases. Juvenile records in Wisconsin are generally sealed and unavailable to the public in adult court cases. Hearings have been ongoing to determine what evidence, if any, from those cases will be allowed in the upcoming trial. Local legal sources suspect that the man’s trial will not be held until sometime in 2023 at the earliest.

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