Immunity from Drug Prosecution

There is a little known statute in Wisconsin that provides immunity from prosecution to drug users.  Known as a “Good Samaritan” law, the statute states that a person who summons emergency aid for an individual who has overdosed cannot be prosecuted for possession of a controlled substance or drug paraphernalia.  However, a recent court of appeals…

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Substitution of your Judge

What happens when you are assigned a judge and you want someone else?  The Wisconsin Statutes provide a right to substitute on your judge, and although you don’t get to “pick” your new judge, filing a substitution request can make a big difference in your case. The Right to Substitution The right to substitute on your judge is…

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Repeater Enhancers in Wisconsin

What does it mean when you look at your criminal complaint and you see “repeater” listed after the charge?  What charges are affected by the repeater enhancer?  And what is a persistent repeater?  This post will examine the standard repeater statute, how DA’s will use the repeater enhancer against you, and how being labeled a…

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Open Carry in Wisconsin

A common question we receive is whether it is legal to openly carry a firearm or other weapon in Wisconsin.  The answer, in general, is yes.  There is no “law” permitting open carry in Wisconsin.  Rather, it is presumed legal but subject to numerous restrictions.  The opposite of open carry is carrying concealed.  Wisconsin statutes…

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Warrant Requirement Exceptions

We all know what the 4th amendment says:  “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and…

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Brendan Dassey Wins Federal Appeal

In a lengthy decision, Eastern District of Wisconsin Federal Magistrate Judge William Duffin has overturned Brendan Dassey’s 2007 murder conviction of Teresa Halbach.  Dassey gained national attention through the Netflix “Making a Murderer” series.  The series chronicled Dassey’s uncle, Steven Avery, and his ultimate conviction in the murder of Halbach.  Dassey was also convicted of…

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IID Laws in Wisconsin

If you’ve been pulled over for an OWI offense in Wisconsin, you may be required to install an IID, or ignition interlock device, on your vehicle.  This post explores the law, how it applies to you, and how you can get an exemption. The IID Law There are three scenarios where a person convicted of…

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Stingray Devices

The use of a cell site simulator, or Stingray, continues to crop up in headlines across the country.  Courts are now getting involved in addressing 4th amendment concerns, such as the device’s use without a warrant and how invasive the technology really is.  This post looks at phone tracking in general, how the Stingray operates, and…

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Stand Your Ground vs. Castle Doctrine

This post explores the similarities, differences, and legal interpretations of Castle Doctrine and Stand Your Ground in the State of Wisconsin. Castle Doctrine – The Law The castle doctrine and stand your ground defenses are subsets of the broader heading of self-defense.  In Wisconsin, however, only the castle doctrine is specifically codified in statute.  The…

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Illegal Stop OK with Valid Arrest Warrant

In a decision that affects criminal defendants throughout the country, the United States Supreme Court has ruled that an illegal stop of a person becomes acceptable if an officer discovers the driver has an outstanding warrant.  The Court further ruled that any illegal contraband discovered as a result of the arrest on the warrant is admissible…

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