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Recent Blog Posts

Wisconsin alternative drug treatment programs

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Drug Charges

Drug addiction is a mental and emotional illness, just as much as it can be a crime. Fortunately, more and more states are beginning to treat the mental health issues that cause drug offenses rather than simply sending people to jail.

Through alternative drug treatment techniques called Treatment Alternatives and Diversion (TAD) programs, states across the country -- including Wisconsin -- have helped many nonviolent drug offenders get the help they need through voluntary substance abuse treatment as an alternative to prison or jail sentences.

TAD programs in different Wisconsin counties

The TAD programs available to drug defendants in Wisconsin vary depending on the county where the alleged offense occurred. These programs have helped many people overcome their addiction problems. They have also saved taxpayers money because they bypass the costs associated with imprisonment.

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Wisconsin could have new DUI laws soon

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in OWI

The government of Wisconsin, along with a prominent group of bar owners, is looking to change the way the state deals with repeat DUI offenders. The Badger State saw 24,000 convictions in 2015 for DUIs, which averages out to 66 per day.

A new legislative package being introduced is designed to make the penalties for drunk driving harsher:

  • It would change the minimum sentence for a drunk driving homicide to five years.
  • It would change the six-month minimum sentence for five- and six-time offenders to 18 months.
  • It would add prosecution for drivers who were caught driving without the court-imposed ignition interlock device. This would be on top of any penalties for driving without a license.

Previous bills like the ones being considered now have failed because of the increased costs it would add to every Wisconsin taxpayer's annual bill. The new legislation doesn't include anything about upgraded penalties for first-time offenders. Right now, first offenses are treated like a traffic violation rather than a criminal offense.

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Wisconsin gets an award for use of ignition interlock devices

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in OWI

No one likes to have an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle. In fact, it's an extreme inconvenience to have to blow into the device, and also embarrassing when passengers are in the car with you. Nevertheless, these devices play a crucial role in allowing those convicted of DUI to get back on the road as soon as possible.

In the state of Wisconsin, ignition interlock device usage is particularly common. In fact, the state was recently recognized by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) because ignition interlock devices in Wisconsin prevented more incidents of DUI than these devices have in any other state. In 2016, 37,299 instances of drunk driving didn't happen because drivers were blocked from using their vehicles by these devices.

MADD has made ignition interlock device laws it's top priority. When these devices are installed in a car, they prevent drivers from operating their vehicles if they have the smallest amount of alcohol on their breath.

Under Wisconsin law, any first-time drunk driver who had a blood alcohol content of 0.15 and up, in addition to all repeat DUI convictions, must install a breath interlock device in their cars.

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Wisconsin gun law terminology: Terms you should know

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Criminal Defense

In the state of Wisconsin, if you're a gun owner, it's important that you understand the legal distinction between various terms, like "carry" and "possession," for example. Understanding the meaning of these and other gun law terminology is important for deciding whether a particular defendant has broken Wisconsin gun laws.

Here are some important terms you should know:

Carry: The terms "carry" and "carrying" in the context of firearms in Wisconsin means "to go armed with," which -- in turn -- means that the firearm is on the person's body, being carried by the person or within his or her reach. It also means that the person is aware that the firearm is there.

Possession: In many cases, courts generally will not deem that a person is "carrying" a firearm if it is unloaded and encased. In these situations, the person is usually in "possession" of the firearm. The term "possession" describes someone who has a firearm -- and it could be on his or her person -- but the person is not "going armed with" the weapon.

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Wisconsin gun laws: Machine gun regulations

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Criminal Defense

Wisconsin residents need to know their gun laws if they want to avoid unintentionally getting into trouble. One area of the law that could be subject to changes from year to year relates to machine guns, which are currently considered illegal in the state. Gun owners should review the following rules and regulations pertaining to machine guns to ensure that they don't get into trouble with state and local law enforcement regarding the firearms they possess and carry.

It is unlawful to transport, possess or sell a machine gun or fully automatic weapon unless these actions are performed in strict alignment with applicable gun laws. The term "machine gun" in this context relates to any firearm that can automatically shoot -- or automatically be rearmed to shoot -- over one shot at a time without the need to manually reload, simply by pulling the trigger of the weapon.

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Wisconsin man accused of meth crimes in Sawyer County

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Drug Charges

A 38-year-old man from Minneapolis has been arrested and accused of selling methamphetamine throughout Sawyer County. The arrest came as a part of a joint investigation by the Sawyer County Sheriff's Department and other law enforcement agencies.

The arrest of the man happened on a recent Friday evening in Radisson after authorities carried out a traffic stop. The sheriff's department alleges that they found the man to be in possession of 86.8 grams of meth, $500 in cash and a digital scale. Authorities say that they found all of these items in the man's vehicle. Authorities also arrested a 28-year-old woman who was riding in the vehicle with the man at the time of the traffic stop.

This recent arrest and investigation came in the wake of a previous arrest of the same man in September. According to police, they allegedly found the man in possession of drug paraphernalia in the previous incident and decided to conduct a deeper investigation. Later, police learned that the man was going to return to Sawyer County with methamphetamine, so they prepared to intercept the suspect, which led to the arrest.

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Wisconsin ranks number 37 among the state on DUI strictness

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in OWI

At least two changes occurred earlier this year making Wisconsin stricter in how it deals with drunk-drivers. One of the changes was a new law that removed the right of first time drunk-drivers to refuse providing a blood sample to law enforcement. The new law, which went into effect back in March, allows officers to request a warrant for a blood sample. Then a second law went into effect in April which made a fourth drunk-driving offense automatically a felony. Previously, such offenses were misdemeanors in most cases.

These changes are both part of the landscape of Wisconsin’s drunk-driving policy. In our last post, we began looking at a recent analysis conducted by the website WalletHub which ranked the states according to their strictness in addressing drunk-driving. As we noted, the state of Wisconsin ranked at number 37, meaning that the state is closer to the lenient side in its DUI policies. As the above changes in law demonstrate, though, it is becoming stricter.

The WalletHub analysis highlighted a number of points concerning Wisconsin’s drunken driving policy and landscape:

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Woman accused of abusing her power of attorney privileges

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Criminal Defense

A Wisconsin woman has been charged with six felony-level crimes relating to her duties as a man's power of attorney. Officials allege that she failed to pay a man's health care bills and instead, she used the money for her personal expenses.

The 59-year-old woman allegedly abused her power of attorney privileges to steal money from the man she was caring for. Police in New Glarus first received news of the alleged theft in August 2016. Green County Human Services notified them that the woman was allegedly stealing.

Prosecutors say that the woman was paying her utility bills and mortgage payments with the man's money instead of paying his health care bills. Prosecutors also say that she was purchasing personal items that didn't have anything to do with the services she provided to care for the man.

Police arrested the woman last Monday. She is facing three charges of theft in a business setting and three charges of identity theft. All are felony charges that could land her in jail if she is convicted.

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Woman accused of drunk driving after crashing into a tent

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in OWI

Police have arrested and accused a woman of drunk driving after she drove into a tent full of people. The collision resulted in seven people inside the tent suffering injuries. The tent was located at a campground in River of Lakes in Grant County, where the accident happened late on a recent Saturday night.

The Grant County Sheriff's Office alleges that the 32-year-old woman who crashed into the tent was inebriated when the accident happened at approximately 10 p.m. Allegedly, she lost control of her sport utility vehicle while trying to maneuver a left-hand turn along campground road while driving through the camping area. Police say that the woman drove into the tent, and then backed over the tent another time.

Four of the injured people inside the tent were taken to Crossing River Hospital in Prairie Du Chien. Three were taken to Grant Regional Hospital in Lancaster. The extent of the injuries are unknown. Fortunately, as of last reports, all of the victims survived.

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Work with an experienced attorney to scrutinize law enforcement investigations, P.1

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Criminal Defense

Combating drug trafficking and related crimes is a high priority for law enforcement officials at both the state and the federal level, and government spends significant resources every year to target drug offenders. Law enforcement officials are particularly keen to target operations that serve as hubs in the drug market, such as the Milwaukee-based group known as “Bless Team”.

The group, according to law enforcement has been connected to 22 drug overdoses and is suspected of daily involvement in criminal activity in the city of Milwaukee. A number of members of the group, whose videos can be watched on YouTube, have already been convicted of drug-related crimes, and more cases are in the works. These cases are possible in large part because of focused efforts to target the group.

Wisconsin’s High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA), which consists of 12 area police agencies, has put a particular focus on fighting the Bless Team, using a variety of tools to halt their activity. These tools include surveillance of the mobile houses vehicles with tinted windows used by the group, as well as informants who can provide details about the group’s operations.

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