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Milwaukee criminal defense attorneyIf you have recently been charged with theft, you likely feel anxious and scared about your future. Whether you are dealing with a petty or felony theft charge, it can carry heavy consequences, like fines, jail time and a criminal record. It is important to consult with a Wisconsin criminal attorney about your case promptly.

How to Defend Against a Theft Charge

Just because you are facing theft charges, it does not mean you are automatically guilty, and it is possible to be acquitted or to have the charges against you dismissed. In order to have a successful outcome with your theft charge, you must have a good defense.

Here are several possible legal defenses for theft cases.

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Waukesha County criminal defense attorney for battery charges

Crimes of violence are taken rather seriously in the state of Wisconsin. Even crimes like battery, which is sometimes less serious than other violent crimes, are charged and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Being convicted of battery can be a serious crime, especially when it is charged as a felony. Not all battery crimes are charged as felonies. In general, battery is charged as a Class A misdemeanor, which comes with a potential sentence of up to nine months in jail and up to $10,000 in fines. In many cases, battery crimes are charged as various felonies, which can vary in severity. 

“Bodily Harm” Versus “Great Bodily Harm”

One of the easiest ways your battery charge can be elevated from a misdemeanor to a felony is by the amount of damage that is inflicted upon the victim and the perpetrator’s intent. Wisconsin law states that a misdemeanor battery crime is characterized by a person causing “bodily harm.” However, if a person is found to have inflicted “substantial bodily harm,” the charge is elevated to a Class I felony with a potential sentence of up to 3.5 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines. Likewise, a person can be charged with a Class H or Class E felony if they caused “great bodily harm” and they intended to cause some sort of harm. Class H felonies come with up to six years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines, while Class E felonies come with up to 15 years in prison with up to $50,000 in fines.

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Oconomowoc criminal defense attorney community supervision

The attitude surrounding marijuana and its use in the United States has changed drastically in the past 50 years. In just the past four months, four different states have passed laws decriminalizing cannabis, allowing for the use and possession of marijuana without fear of penalty. Many lawmakers from a couple of other states -- including Wisconsin -- are also hopeful that they can pass similar laws in the coming months. However, for the time being, marijuana is still illegal to possess, sell or grow in Wisconsin. While the severity of possession charges has lessened in some Wisconsin cities recently, the sale of marijuana still remains highly illegal and can result in serious consequences.

Cannabis Possession and Consequences for Selling

In the state of Wisconsin, laws relating to marijuana are relatively strict. Many states across the country have at least legalized the medicinal use of marijuana, but marijuana still remains fully illegal in Wisconsin. Only cannabidiol (CBD) is legal for medicinal use with a doctor’s recommendation.

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Waukesha County criminal defense attorney OWI

In most states, driving or operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is strictly forbidden and results in a criminal charge. Wisconsin, however, is unique in the fact that it is the only state to still classify a first-offense OWI as a driving offense, rather than a criminal offense. Instead of jail time as a punishment, a first-time OWI offender typically only faces around $735 in fines, a six- to nine-month driver’s license revocation, and a potential requirement for an ignition interlock device (IID) on their vehicles. However, charges can escalate quickly in OWI cases. Under certain circumstances, operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OWI) can result in felony charges.

Fourth or Greater OWI Offense

If the OWI offense is your fourth or greater OWI offense, it will automatically be charged as a felony offense. A fourth OWI is charged as a Class H felony, which carries a possible jail sentence of 60 days to six years, a two- to three-year driver’s license revocation, and an IID requirement for vehicles. Charges for further offenses can range from Class G felonies to Class E felonies, for 10th or greater offenses.

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Oconomowoc criminal defense attorney community supervision

Not all crimes are created equally, so it goes without saying that not all crimes will be punished equally either. There are actually a variety of options when it comes to sentencing a person for committing a crime in Wisconsin. The most obvious punishment that a person thinks of for a criminal would be jail time, but many studies have found that spending time in jail does not actually provide much in the way of rehabilitative services, especially when it comes to juveniles and other low-level offenders. In some situations, a judge may believe it is appropriate to sentence an offender to a type of community supervision. This type of sentence allows the offender to complete his or her sentence outside of jail while supervised by the Department of Corrections (DOC).

Types of Community Supervision

In general, community supervision is the broad term used to refer to the sentences offenders serve while they are outside of prison. There are various types of community supervision, including:

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