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Wisconsin Traffic Offense AttorneyMost people are likely to be pulled over by a police officer and issued a traffic violation at some point during their lives. These tickets are often issued due to minor violations of traffic laws, such as speeding or failing to come to a complete stop at a red light or stop sign. While traffic tickets may require a person to pay a fine, and they may lead to other issues, such as increased insurance rates, a driver usually will not face serious consequences that will affect their driving privileges. However, if a person receives multiple traffic tickets within a certain period of time, they may face more serious penalties, and if they are considered a habitual traffic offender, they may be subject to a lengthy driver’s license revocation.

What Is a Habitual Traffic Offender?

A conviction for a traffic violation will result in a certain number of points being added to a person’s driving record, and if a person accumulates at least 12 points within 12 months, their driver’s license will be suspended. However, a person will face more serious consequences if they are convicted of enough violations to be considered a habitual traffic offender. This designation will apply if a person is convicted of 12 traffic violations or four major traffic violations within five years. Major traffic violations include:

  • Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs (OWI/DUI)

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Wisconsin Family Law AttorneyThere are many reasons why a couple’s marriage may break down. In some cases, it may be clear to one or both spouses that the marriage cannot be saved and that divorce is the best choice for everyone involved. However, other couples may not yet be ready for the finality of a divorce, or they may wish to remain legally married even if they will not be living together. In these cases, a legal separation may be appropriate, either as a step along the road to divorce while a couple determines whether their marriage can be saved or as a more permanent solution. 

Legal Separation Vs. Divorce

In Wisconsin, family courts handle legal separation very similarly to divorce. As with a divorce petition, one party will file a petition for legal separation, alleging that the marriage has broken down irretrievably. If both parties agree that their marriage is irretrievably broken, or if the couple has voluntarily lived separately for at least 12 months, the request for a legal separation will usually be granted. A family court may also grant a legal separation if one party does not agree that the marriage is irretrievably broken, as long as a judge determines that there is no reasonable prospect of reconciliation.

Before a judgment of legal separation can be issued, a couple will need to address most of the same legal issues that would be involved in a divorce. They will need to create a settlement that details the division of marital property, and spousal support may be awarded, if appropriate. If a couple has children, they will need to create a child custody agreement that details the legal custody and physical placement of their children, as well as provisions for child support. Once the court has approved or made provisions for all applicable matters, it may enter a judgment of legal separation.

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Wisconsin Drug Defense LawyerThere are multiple types of drug crimes that a person may face, ranging from “simple” charges of drug possession to more serious offenses involving manufacturing or distributing controlled substances. Because these types of crimes are taken so seriously by law enforcement, a person who is arrested on drug charges may be concerned that they will face serious consequences, such as the requirement to pay large fines or serve a lengthy sentence in prison. Alleged offenders should be aware of the options for probation that may be available in some cases, and they will need to understand the rules and restrictions they may face if they receive this type of sentence.

Conditional Discharge for First-Time Drug Possession Offenses

If a person had not previously been convicted of any drug-related offenses, they may receive a sentence of conditional discharge following a guilty plea or verdict for a charge of possession or attempted possession of controlled substances. Conditional discharge is another term for probation. When sentencing a person to probation, a judge will determine an appropriate period for the sentence, which is usually between six months and three years. After completing probation, all charges against the person will be dismissed, and they will not have a criminal conviction on their record. Conditional discharge for drug possession charges is only available to a person once during their lifetime.

When sentencing a person to probation, a judge will impose certain terms and conditions that the person will be required to follow. Any violations of these terms and conditions may result in the court imposing the applicable penalties for the offense, and a conviction will remain on the person’s record. In drug possession cases, the terms of probation may include the requirement to receive treatment for substance abuse at an inpatient or outpatient treatment facility. Other rules that a person may be required to follow during probation include:

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waukesha spousal maintenance lawyerA divorce can lead to a variety of financial difficulties for both parties. While spouses will need to make adjustments to ensure that they will be able to support themselves individually instead of using a combined income, there are some situations where one party may be at a financial disadvantage. If one spouse earns a lower income, or if they are a stay-at-home parent who does not work outside the home, spousal maintenance may be appropriate. In these situations, a spouse may ask for ongoing support payments from their former partner. By understanding how Wisconsin law addresses this issue, divorcing spouses can understand their rights and determine how they can protect their financial interests.

Understanding Issues Related to Spousal Support

When it comes to spousal maintenance, Wisconsin’s divorce laws are fairly broad. Judges have a great deal of leeway to determine when this form of support will be appropriate, how much will be paid, and how long payments will last. The law lists a number of factors that should be considered by a judge when they look at whether to award spousal maintenance, and these include the age and health of both parties, how their financial situations will be affected by the division of marital property, and whether they have made any agreements about this issue, such as a prenuptial agreement.

Some of the most important issues that a judge may consider involve the earning capacity of the spouse who is asking for maintenance. The judge will look at the spouse’s education, job training, and employment skills, while also considering whether they have been out of the job market for a significant period of time, whether the decisions made about child custody and placement have given them responsibilities that will affect their ability to work, and whether they have the means to pursue education or training that will allow them to find employment. The judge may also consider whether either spouse has contributed to the other spouse’s education or training in a way that has increased that spouse’s earning capacity.

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waukesha criminal defense lawyerWhile the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees that Americans have the right to bear arms, there are some cases where laws restrict people’s ability to own or possess weapons. Some states have passed what are known as “red flag” laws that make it illegal for certain people to own firearms or other types of weapons based on their criminal history or other issues that could potentially create a danger to others. People in Wisconsin will want to understand what types of weapons laws apply to them, and anyone who is facing weapons charges can work with an attorney to determine their options for defense.

Laws Addressing Firearm Ownership in Wisconsin

States that have implemented “red flag” laws may prohibit gun ownership for people who are considered a threat to other people or society at large. Usually, these laws allow for temporary restrictions in certain situations, such as when a person is accused of committing domestic violence. In many cases, only law enforcement officials are permitted to implement protective orders requiring a person to surrender their firearms. However, other people, such as a person’s spouse or family members, may be able to request these types of orders.

Currently, Wisconsin does not have “red flag” laws that allow for “extreme risk” protection orders that revoke a person’s right to own a firearm. However, if a person is subject to a restraining order based on accusations of domestic abuse, child abuse, or harassment, they will be required to surrender any firearms they own. If there is clear and convincing evidence that a person may use a weapon to harm someone else or endanger public safety, they may be prohibited from owning or possessing firearms while a restraining order is in effect. Those who have been convicted of felonies are also prohibited from owning or possessing firearms, and these restrictions also apply to those who have been involuntarily committed to a mental health facility. Illegal possession of a firearm is a Class G felony.

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