Author: Benjamin Van Severen

Benjamin T. Van Severen is a Milwaukee, WI criminal defense attorney. Mr. Van Severen is a graduate of Marquette University Law School.

Is window tint illegal in Wisconsin? How dark is too dark?

Section 305.32 of the Wisconsin Statutes: side and rear window tint Section 305.32 of the Wisconsin Statutes deals with window tint law as applied to side, vent, and read windows.  There are a few ways tint is legal in Wisconsin: Firstly, the tint is installed by the manufacturer of the glazing as a part of…

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Is sending dick pics in Wisconsin illegal?

Criminal charges for dick pics: Section 944.25 of the Wisconsin Statutes There’s only one crime in Wisconsin that resembles sending dick pics.  And while we recognize that traditionally this practice is done via cell phone, this criminal charge focuses on emails. Section 944.25 of the Wisconsin Statutes indicates: (1)  In this section: (a) “Electronic mail solicitation” means…

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Prostitution: does it require an actual exchange of money?

So, what’s prostitution? This charge requires you to exchange money (or something of value) for some kind of sex act.  Specifically, section 944.30 of the Wisconsin Statutes states: (1m)  Any person who intentionally does any of the following is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor: (a) Has or offers to have or requests to have nonmarital sexual…

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Roe v. Wade, overruled

Roe v. Wade Decision Roe v. Wade introduced the concept of a constitutional “right to privacy” that it said had been intimated in its earlier decisions Meyer v. Nebraska and Pierce v. Society of Sisters, which involved parental control over childrearing, and Griswold v. Connecticut, which involved the use of contraception.  Moving forward, the Court ruled that regardless of which…

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Are brass knuckles illegal in Wisconsin?

What are brass knuckles? Brass knuckles are simply pieces of metal, plastic, or carbon fibers shaped to fit around the knuckles.  The device works by preserving and concentrating a punch’s force by directing it towards a smaller and harder contact area.  This results in an increased potential for tissue disruption, including an increased likelihood of…

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Romeo and Juliet Laws in Wisconsin

What are Romeo and Juliet laws? Romeo and Juliet laws were designed to lessen penalties associated with statutory rape laws.  Specifically, these laws focus on teenagers who engage in voluntary sexual acts with someone older than they are.  Interpretations vary by state, but they all have the same general purpose.  In no instance do these…

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Who can own guns in Wisconsin?

Minors in possession of firearms in Wisconsin: Individuals under 12 years old in Wisconsin can only possess firearms while engaging in a Hunter Safety program.  Importantly a child under 12 years old may complete the program but must wait until he’s 12 to actually hunt.  Once a child turns 12, he’s allowed to possess a…

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Marsy’s Law in Wisconsin

History of Marsy’s Law Marsy Nicholas was the sister of Henry Nicholas, the co-founder and former co-chairman of the board, president and chief executive officer of Broadcom Corporation. In 1983, Marsy, then a senior at UC Santa Barbara, was stalked and murdered by her ex-boyfriend.  Kerry Michael Conley went to jury trial in the matter.  Eventually he lost…

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Can Milwaukee police use confidential informants?

Can police use informants? Police can use confidential informants, and have been using them for decades.  The law ebbs and flows regarding disclosure of the identity of confidential informants, but that’s really the only issue we regularly encounter in the law. A confidential informant is a secret source who, through a contact law enforcement officer,…

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Is it illegal to share my prescription medication?

Obtaining a prescription medication by fraud Various parts of Section 450.11(7) of the Wisconsin Statutes deals with obtaining a prescription drug using fraud.  While this blog post deals with the common situation involving exchanging prescription medication between family and friends, that situation could easily evolve into one involving trying to obtain a prescription using fraud. …

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