Author: Benjamin Van Severen

Sentence Credit – Harder Than It Seems

Calculating sentence credit in Wisconsin is more difficult than you’d expect. Sentence credit calculations should be simple.  I spent “x” days in jail.  Therefore, I should receive “x” days of credit towards my sentence.  But calculating your sentence credit is rarely that easy.  In this post, criminal defense attorney Benjamin Van Severen discusses sentence credit. …

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Revenge Porn in Wisconsin

How do Wisconsin prosecutors deal with revenge porn? We’ve all heard the term used in the media – revenge porn.  But what is it and how does the law criminalize the conduct in Wisconsin?  Although this charge seems straightforward, it can be confusing.  Consequently, criminal defense attorney Ben Van Severen discussed the charge and its…

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Stand Your Ground – A Classic Case

A stand your ground case in Florida recently made national headlines.  Earlier this week, an Uber driver shot and killed a man who threatened him with what he believed to be a gun.  This post recaps the Florida case.  And it discusses the legal implications had this occurred in Wisconsin. If you are facing any kind…

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A Trial Without the Defendant?

How can a criminal trial proceed without the defendant present? A recent high profile case in Milwaukee where the defendant’s trial continued without him makes you wonder how there can be a trial without a defendant.  While uncommon, this is not unheard of. Section 971.04 of the Wisconsin Statutes require the defendant to be present…

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Expungement: Another Court Ruling

It seems like every six months, the topic of expungement comes up either in the courts or the legislature.  The Supreme Court of Wisconsin just issued a decision clarifying the language in Wis. Stat. Sec. 973.015 which requires the decision on expunction to be made at the time of sentencing. Expungement Recap Section 973.015 of…

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Traffic Stops Reduce Crime in Milwaukee

In mid-October, Milwaukee Police stepped up traffic enforcement targeting dangerous driver behavior.  The focus has been on speeding, reckless driving, and running red lights.  This heightened level of enforcement has resulted in a decrease in crime when compared with the same length of time prior to the enforcement beginning.  Some of the reductions include: A…

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Celebrating the New Year? Be Prepared!

If you’re going out drinking to celebrate the New Year, be aware that officers will be out in full force looking for intoxicated drivers.  According to the Milwaukee Sheriff’s office, the OWI task force in Southeastern Wisconsin plans to triple their usual numbers for the holiday weekend.  Sheriff Schmidt said that the average blood alcohol…

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Constitutional Carry in Wisconsin?

How close are Wisconsinites to carrying without a permit? A new bill passed the Wisconsin State Senate Judiciary Committee on 3-2 party line vote earlier this month. That approval cleared the way for the full Senate to consider the bill sometime next month. The bill would allow individuals to lawfully carry a concealed firearm without…

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Intimidation of a Witness/Victim Charges

Witness intimidation growing issue in Milwaukee If you read the news in Milwaukee, you’ve seen the countless stories over the past few years regarding the growing problem of witness intimidation.  Those stories have focused mainly on defendants who have tried to kill witnesses in their cases.  And although killing a witness is a rare event,…

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Remember: You don’t HAVE to talk to the Police

You have a right to silence Sometimes it’s always nice to hear this reminder:  you do NOT have to talk to the police.  Ever.  Aside from giving them your ID or telling them your name, you do not have to answer any of their questions.  Whether you have something to hide or you are just…

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