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.

Drunk Driving in Wisconsin – OWI 2023 update

2023 OWI 1st charges in Wisconsin: The first time many individuals are ever arrested is for a first-offense operating while intoxicated.  In Wisconsin, a first OWI isn’t a criminal charge (it is not a misdemeanor or felony).  Penalties include fines ranging between $150.00 and $300.00, a driver license revocation of 6-9 months, and an interlock ignition…

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Can I receive an OWI while snowmobiling?

What is the law for OWI while snowmobiling? Section 346.63(1)(a) of the Wisconsin Statutes governs operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of an intoxicant.  The law says: 346.63  Operating under influence of intoxicant or other drug. (1)  No person may drive or operate a motor vehicle while: (a) Under the influence of an intoxicant, a…

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Is it safe for me to go hunting while intoxicated? Can I be arrested?

Endangering safety by use of a dangerous weapon: operating or going armed with a firearm while under the influence of an intoxicant – Wis. Stat. 941.20(1)(b) Also called endangering safety by use of a dangerous weapon, section 941.20(1)(b) of the Wisconsin Statutes prohibits using or going armed with a firearm while under the influence of…

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What is an ignition interlock device (IID) and when am I required to install one?

What is an ignition interlock device? An ignition interlock device is a cell phone sized device that is wired to your vehicle’s ignition.  After installation, an IID requires you to provide breath samples before starting a vehicle, and sometimes while a vehicle is operational.  If the device detects alcohol in the breath sample, the engine…

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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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