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Waukesha Defense Lawyer for BUIWhether you are speed boating in the expansive waters of Lake Michigan or fishing in a smaller lake or river, Wisconsin offers boating enthusiasts endless opportunities to spend time on the water. People often wait all year for the chance to spend summer days relaxing in their boats. Many people enjoy bringing alcohol onto their boat, and while responsible alcohol use can lead to great memories with family and friends, irresponsible use can lead to accidents, injuries, and charges of boating under the influence. If you have been charged with a BUI, it is essential to speak with a Wisconsin criminal defense attorney who can help you understand your legal options. 

What are the Consequences of Boating Under the Influence? 

Although boating under the influence can carry less severe consequences than driving under the influence, charges are still serious, especially for repeat offenders. First time offenders face a fine between $150 and $300. Second offenses, however, face between five days and six months in jail and fines between $300 and $1,000. Punishments steadily increase for continued offenses and, if an accident involving serious bodily injury or death occurred while boating under the influence, the person responsible may face up to a year in prison, fines up to $2,000, and any other criminal or civil penalties associated with the accident (such as property damage, personal injury, etc.). 

Can I Refuse a Breathalyzer? 

No. If you are operating a motorboat in Wisconsin, you are automatically deemed to have given consent to test at least one sample, including breath, blood, or urine samples. Even if you are not using the boat’s motor at the time of the test, if the boat has a motor, you can be given a BUI. If your test results show a blood alcohol concentration above .08 percent or the presence of any restricted substance in your body, you may be charged with a BUI. Keep in mind that marijuana is not legal to use or possess in Wisconsin, even if it was purchased legally in another state. 


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muskego assault and battery defense attorneyThe terms “battery” and “assault” are often used interchangeably when people talk about criminal charges for acts of physical violence, but these two terms are not the same and describe behavior with different legal consequences. Because they are both violent offenses with serious criminal penalties, it is important to understand the difference between battery and assault if you have been charged with one or both of these crimes. 


Battery is an act of force intended to cause bodily harm. “Bodily harm” includes, but is not limited to bruises, cuts, burns, hair loss, or illness. Charges of simple battery that do not involve great bodily harm are usually punished as misdemeanors that can carry up to nine months in jail and up to $10,000 in fines. If you used a weapon, or even just threatened to use one, you could face additional jail time of up to six months. 

Under certain circumstances, however, battery can also be punished as a felony. When battery causes substantial or great bodily harm, or is committed against an elderly person, pregnant woman, a police officer, or disabled person, the battery can be prosecuted as a felony. The consequences of the felony charge will be determined by how badly the person was hurt and whether they were a member of a protected class. The most serious felony battery charges could land you in jail for up to 15 years and fines up to $50,000. 


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Waukesha drug crimes defense lawyerAs the opioid overdose epidemic continues to rage across America and potential policy suggestions are a topic of heated discussion and debate, Wisconsin had 1,227 opioid deaths in 2021 and the Wisconsin legislature has decided to take action. In a new law, Wisconsin has now increased the consequences for being convicted of fentanyl distribution, making the penalties similar to those for distributing heroin. As public health authorities struggle to get a handle on this serious issue, they are hoping that increased punishments will deter at least some distributors and keep those who are caught behind bars longer. If you have been accused of possessing, manufacturing, or distributing fentanyl or heroin in Wisconsin, it is essential to understand the consequences of a conviction. 

Penalties for Distributing Fentanyl in Wisconsin 

Criminals convicted of making or distributing fentanyl are now subject to the following punishments according to the amount of fentanyl in their possession: 

  • Possessing up to 10 grams is a Class E felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison and/or fines up to $50,000
  • Possessing between 10 and 50 grams is a Class D felony, punishable by up to 25 years in prison and/or fines up to $100,000
  • Possessing over 50 grams is a Class C felony, punishable by up to 40 years in prison and/or fines up to $100,000

Those charged with fentanyl distribution should be aware that selling or even giving opioids to someone who overdoses may allow the distributor to be also charged with reckless homicide, which carries penalties of up to 60 years in prison. Additional penalties are available if the person who received the opioids is less than 18 years old. 


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Wisconsin shoplifting attorneyWhen someone is arrested for switching price tags in a retail store, it is usually a young adult who thinks little of the action and may even be doing it as a dare or a joke with friends. This behavior, however, constitutes criminal retail theft and has serious consequences. Whether you are the parent of a teen accused of this behavior or have been accused of it yourself, it is important to take the charges seriously and to have an experienced Wisconsin criminal defense attorney representing you. 

How Serious Are the Charges for Price Tag Switching? 

While someone who switched price tags may have paid for, or tried to pay for, the merchandise and therefore may believe they did not really steal it, price tag switching is seen as a form of retail theft. Someone who hides some merchandise inside of other merchandise which they pay for, puts merchandise in their pockets, or wears merchandise like clothing under their own clothing to conceal it, has also committed an act of retail theft. 

Wisconsin’s theft offenses are categorized according to the value of the property that was stolen, although the type of property can also affect the charges. If the amount of merchandise was less than $2,500, the charges usually will not exceed a Class A misdemeanor. But the consequences even for a Class A misdemeanor are severe, including up to $10,000 in fines and up to nine months in jail. These charges can be increased to Class I felony charges if the person who tried to switch price tags or otherwise steal merchandise was working with other people. 


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Pewaukee drug crimes attorneyPublic perception of drug use in America has changed rapidly over the last ten years or so. As more states legalize medical marijuana and even the federal government moves towards treating drug addicts rather than penalizing them, society’s understanding of drug use has relaxed. 

Unfortunately, many states still have harsh laws that are a holdover from America’s infamous “War on Drugs” period. Mandatory minimum sentencing, large fines, and other punitive measures were meant to prevent drug use and distribution. As overdose deaths continue to skyrocket, these measures appear to have failed in their intent and instead have left many lives ruined by impractical punishments. Recognizing this, Wisconsin allows judges to consider deferred prosecution, probation, and other types of alternative sentences to allow citizens charged with drug crimes to properly make amends without completely derailing their lives. 

Pre- and Post-Conviction Diversion

If you have been charged with or convicted of a drug crime, a diversion program may allow you to receive substance abuse treatment services, mental health services, and even job training instead of going to jail. For up to two years, you will have to pass drug tests, go to therapy, perform community service, pay any restitution or fees, or do any other rehabilitative behaviors ordered by the court. 


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