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Category: Jail

What’s the impact of an OWI on my CDL?

What are the penalties? The State of Wisconsin determined that individuals with commercial driver licenses must abide by stricter safety standards.  Importantly, CDLs are required to operate vehicles over 26,000 pounds, vehicles carrying hazardous materials, and vehicles that transport more than 16 passengers.  Certainly, truck drivers, bus drivers, and other professional large vehicle operators all…

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Boating under the influence

There’s an injury.  What now? Section 30.681(2) of the Wisconsin Statutes prohibits causing injury while under the influence of an intoxicant: No person while under the influence of an intoxicant to a degree which renders him or her incapable of safe motorboat operation may cause injury to another person by the operation of a motorboat….

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Will I be arrested for possessing drugs if I’m an addict, and I call 911 on my abuser?

What happens when a drug addict calls 911 on her abuser? Criminal defense attorney Ben Van Severen regularly answers questions for individuals seeking legal help on AVVO.com.  In a recent question, one individual wanted to know what would happen to her if she, a drug addict, called police after being abused by her partner. Will…

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“Making a Murderer” – The Search for Truth

In a little under one month since its release, the Netflix original documentary “Making a Murderer” has taken America by storm.  The 10-part series was released on December 18, 2015, just in time for the holidays.  The filmmakers take viewers on a nearly 30 year journey, beginning with Steven Avery’s 1985 conviction for sexual assault. …

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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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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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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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Probation. What is it? What should I expect?

Once a defendant is convicted of certain crimes in Wisconsin he can be placed on probation.  Probation is not available when an individual is convicted of a crime which is punishable by life imprisonment.  It’s also not available when specifically prohibited by statue for a specific offense.  (Probation Statute Wis. Stat. §973.09(1)(a)) When a defendant is placed on…

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