Author: Matthew Meyer

“Mandatory” minimum sentences for possession of child pornography, and why they don’t apply

On December 14, 2015 a client of Meyer Van Severen, S.C. was sentenced for possession of child pornography in the Fond du Lac County Circuit Court.  Although charged with possession of ten images, Attorney Meyer was able to negotiate for seven of the counts to be dismissed.  Three charges remained, but the State of Wisconsin requested…

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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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I was just sentenced. I want to appeal. What do I do?

Sometimes your case isn’t finished when you’re sentenced.  If something doesn’t seem right, or you think someone screwed up, whether it’s the court, your attorney, or the district attorney, you might have a basis to seek relief in the Court of Appeals. The first, and important, step to take when you want an appeal is…

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Probation and extended supervision revocation. What is it? Can I fight it?

When an offender fails to comply with his probation or extended supervision rules he risks being revoked from his probation and being sent to jail/prison. The first step a probation agent takes for a revocation is placing the offender on a “probation hold.”  A probation hold is initiated when the agent believes the offender violated a rule/rules of his…

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