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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.

Crimes against Animals

Did you know that Wisconsin has an entire chapter in its criminal code devoted to crimes against animals?  Chapter 951 of the Wisconsin Statutes covers crimes against animals and the penalties you face if convicted of one of these crimes. What’s an Animal? Believe it or not, the statute specifies what constitutes an “animal.”  Animals…

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Gambling in Wisconsin

Is gambling legal in Wisconsin?  What is the definition of gambling?  What penalties do you face if charged?  This post will answer these and other questions about gambling in Wisconsin. Gambling – What is it? Gambling in Wisconsin is regulated in Section 945 of the Wisconsin Statutes.  First, we need to define a few terms. …

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Drunk Driving Homicide

Drunk driving homicide penalties change A new law was enacted in Wisconsin that changes the sentencing structure for drunk driving homicides.  Signed into law by Governor Tony Evers on November 20, 2019, the bill created a presumptive minimum penalty for all drunk driving homicides.  This post will explain the new law, how it changes the…

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4th Amendment Update with Kansas v. Glover?

Registered owner of the vehicle is revoked.  Can police pull me over? There is a case pending in the United States Supreme Court that will have a huge impact on drivers throughout the country.  Kansas v. Glover will address whether police can pull over a car solely because the registered owner of the car has...CONTINUE READING

Marijuana Smell in my Car

Did you know that if a police officer detects the smell of marijuana in your car during a traffic stop, he can search your car?  So long as marijuana remains illegal in Wisconsin, police can search your car based on the smell alone.  This post looks at car searches based on the smell of marijuana….

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Passenger In a Stolen Vehicle Explained

Passenger in stolen vehicle: criminal liability? Will you get in trouble if you’re a passenger in a stolen vehicle?  In short: maybe.  If you get caught, you’re certainly exposed to criminal liability.  Riding as a passenger in a stolen vehicle is a crime in Wisconsin. The criminal defense attorneys at Meyer Van Severen, S.C. defend…

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Mandatory Minimum Crimes

In Wisconsin, judges are often not required to sentence defendants to a minimum term of incarceration.  However, there are a few select groups of crimes where the legislature has created mandatory minimum sentences.  The three main groups are operating while intoxicated offenses, firearm offenses, and sex offenses. Mandatory Minimum Penalties for OWI The legislature decided…

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Domestic Abuse Repeater Statute Explained

There is a provision in the Wisconsin Statutes that can increase your maximum penalty for a domestic abuse related offense.  In this post, criminal defense attorney Benjamin Van Severen explains what a domestic abuse repeater is.  He’ll also explain how the DV-repeater works in concert with other repeater statutes. Domestic Abuse Repeater The DV-repeater statute…

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Electric Scooters Legal in Milwaukee

Electric scooters now legal in Milwaukee Electric scooters are everywhere in Milwaukee.  Just take a stroll through the Third Ward and you will see dozens of riders zipping past you.  Lime.  Bird.  Spin.  What happens when a user cuts you off, swerves in front of your vehicle, or commits some other senseless act?  Surely you’ve…

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When Obstructing isn’t Obstructing

Obstructing an officer is a crime in Wisconsin.  Citizens are not allowed to obstruct an officer doing any act in his official capacity and with lawful authority.  This includes knowingly giving false information to an officer.  But what if you simply refuse to give an officer information?  What if you don’t tell an officer your...CONTINUE READING