Municipal Citations

What do you do if you receive a municipal citation?  Is it worth fighting?  Do I even need an attorney?  The attorneys at Meyer Van Severen, S.C. believe that there’s always something worth fighting for, even if it’s just a seemingly minor municipal citation. Court date information Nearly every officer in the state uses the Wisconsin…

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Early Release Programs in Wisconsin

Wisconsin is known as a “Truth in Sentencing” state.  This means that someone sentenced to the Wisconsin State Prison System must serve a bifurcated sentence – a period of initial confinement and a period of extended supervision.  The “truth” in the sentence comes from the fact that the offender knows exactly how much time he…

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K-9 Search at a Traffic Stop

The police just pulled you over for a traffic violation.  The officer took down your information and has decided to issue you a citation.  As he is handing you the ticket, he asks “Do you mind if I run my K-9 around your vehicle?”  What do you do?  Can you refuse?  What happens when the officer…

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Why did the police pull me over?

Why did the cops pull you over?  A criminal defense attorney should always ask you this question at your initial consultation.  Whether you’re facing a drug case, a drunk driving case, or any other case that involves a traffic stop, the police need to satisfy constitutional requirements before stopping your vehicle.  If they fail to…

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“Good time” in Wisconsin

Defendants in criminal cases often don’t understand good time.  Does it apply to prison?  Is it only in jail?  How is it calculated? Good time only applies to county jail sentences Section 302.43 of the Wisconsin Statutes provides the guidelines for good time.  “Every inmate of a county jail is eligible to earn good time in…

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Standardized field sobriety tests – What are they and what are they looking for?

Before you’re arrested for a drunk driving offense law enforcement will typically ask you to complete a series of standardized field sobriety tests.  The three tests most commonly used by law enforcement in Wisconsin are 1) Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN); 2) Walk and Turn; and 3) One-Leg Stand.  Although officers may throw in a few non-standardized tests,…

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Grand Jury’s Decision in Michael Brown Shooting in Ferguson – How Wisconsin Grand Juries Work

On Monday, November 24, 2014 the decision by a grand jury not to indict Darren Wilson was announced by St. Louis County prosecutor Robert P. McCulloch.  Mr. McCulloch indicated that Officer Wilson faced potential charges ranging from first-degree murder to something as mitigated as involuntary manslaughter.  The grand jury brought no charges against Officer Wilson. Officer…

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Underage Alcohol Consumption/Possession Tickets

Underage alcohol consumption/possession (underage drinking) tickets are extremely common once students return to college.  Fortunately, an underage drinking ticket is a forfeiture.  A forfeiture is a non-criminal offense that results in a fine.  Jail or prison time are not consequences of a forfeiture, but certain other collateral consequences are. Section 125.07(4) of the Wisconsin Statutes…

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The Castle Doctrine

On December 7, 2011 Governor Scott Walker signed a bill passing the Castle Doctrine in Wisconsin.  The law provides criminal immunity (along with civil protection) for individuals who use a gun in self-defense while on their property.  The doctrine provides the gun-user a presumption that use of the gun was justified.  The law is a “stand…

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Guide to Expunction (Expungement)

One of the most common questions individuals convicted of crimes ask if whether their convictions can be expunged.  This question usually occurs after the individual suffers collateral consequences for the conviction.  Unfortunately, expunction is not always easy to do and most often individuals are not eligible to have their offenses expunged. On July 1, 2009 Wis….

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