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New Berlin Criminal Defense AttorneyCitizens of the state of Wisconsin have a right to bear arms, but there are certain restrictions in place that are meant to protect public safety, and violations of the laws related to firearm possession can lead to criminal charges. It is important to be aware of these restrictions if you are considering purchasing a firearm or already possess one. 

Illegal Possession of a Firearm 

In Wisconsin, it is illegal for certain people to possess firearms or ammunition. These people include convicted felons, juveniles who have been adjudicated delinquent for offenses that would be considered felonies for adult offenders, people who are subject to restraining orders due to allegations of domestic violence or abuse, and people who have been involuntarily committed to mental health treatment facilities. If one of these individuals is found in possession of a firearm, they may be charged with a Class G felony, and if they are convicted, they may be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison, fined up to $25,000, or both.

Illegally Carrying a Concealed Weapon 

Under Wisconsin law, it is illegal for any person to carry a concealed weapon without a valid concealed carry license issued by the state of Wisconsin or another state. If an individual is caught carrying a dangerous weapon on their person without the proper license, they may be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. A conviction on these charges may result in a prison sentence of up to nine months, a fine of up to $10,000, or both.

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New Berlin Drunk Driving Defense AttorneyIf you are stopped on suspicion of drunk driving, the officer will likely ask you to blow into a portable breathalyzer or take field sobriety tests. These tests are used to determine whether you are impaired and whether you should be arrested and charged with drunk driving. If you are arrested, additional tests may be performed to determine whether you were driving under the influence and whether you should be charged with the offense of operating while intoxicated (OWI). Understand the role that these tests play in OWI cases is important, and you will need to be aware of the consequences you may face for refusing to submit to one or more types of tests.

Roadside Breathalyzer Tests

If you are pulled over by a police officer on suspicion of drunk or intoxicated driving, you may be asked to take a breathalyzer test. This portable breathalyzer test may be used to determine whether you are intoxicated by providing an estimate of the amount of alcohol in your system. The legal limit for blood alcohol content (BAC) in Wisconsin is 0.08%. If a breathalyzer indicates that your BAC is above this limit, this will give the officer probable cause to arrest you for OWI. 

However, breathalyzer tests are not always accurate. If the machine is not calibrated properly, it may give a false reading. Additionally, other factors, such as mouthwash or acid reflux, can affect the accuracy of the test. You are allowed to refuse a roadside breathalyzer test.

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Waukesha county criminal defense lawyerWhen it comes to drug possession charges in Wisconsin, there are two types of possession that can lead to criminal prosecution: actual possession and constructive possession. The type of possession the prosecution chooses to allege will have an impact on what kind of defenses might be available to the defendant. Today, we will look at the differences between these two types of possession, as well as some possible defenses for each.

Actual Drug Possession

Actual drug possession is just what it sounds like—the drugs are found on the person who is charged with possession. This can be in the form of drugs being found in a person's pocket, purse, or even in their hand. If drugs are found in any of these places, it is going to be very difficult for the defendant to assert any type of defense because it is going to be assumed that they knew the drugs were there and that they intended to use them.

Possible Defenses to Charges for Actual Possession

If the police find drugs on someone’s person, that does not mean that a conviction is guaranteed. There are still some possible defenses that can be effective. One such defense is illegal search and seizure. If the police conducted a search without a warrant or without probable cause, anything they found as a result of that search cannot be used against the defendant in court. Another defense is entrapment. This occurs when law enforcement encourages someone to commit a crime they would not have otherwise committed.

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Waukesha County criminal defense lawyerIn 1966, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling in the case of Miranda v. Arizona that set forth certain constitutional rights that must be read to criminal suspects who are in police custody and are going to be interrogated. These rights, commonly referred to as "Miranda rights," come from the Fifth and Sixth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. In Wisconsin, these rights are codified in state statute (Wis. Stat. 971.30).

What Are the Miranda Rights?

Broadly speaking, Miranda rights ensure that defendants in criminal cases are aware of their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and their Sixth Amendment right to counsel during police interrogations. The specific language of the Miranda warning that must be read to a suspect depends on the jurisdiction, but typically includes something to the following effect:

  1. You have the right to remain silent.

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Waukesha Juvenile Criminal Defense LawyerEvery parent hopes for the best for their child. Even when a child struggles with a bad friend group, poor academic performance, impulse control, or other difficulties that contribute towards criminal behavior, it can still be a shock to learn that child is being accused of committing a serious crime. 

Wisconsin has a separate juvenile justice system to handle cases of juvenile delinquency, but some crimes can be serious enough to merit treatment in the adult criminal justice system. If your child is facing criminal charges, contact an experienced Wisconsin criminal defense attorney, especially if you are concerned that your child may be tried as an adult. 

Which Crimes Can Cause Juveniles to Be Tried as Adults? 

Once a child is 17 years old, he or she is considered an adult for the purposes of criminal prosecution. But some of the most serious crimes can allow much younger children to be prosecuted as adults as well, and in some cases, the law even requires it. 

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