Category: Prison

Criminal Carjacking Penalties May Increase

A bill proposed in the Wisconsin Senate looks to increase penalties for carjacking in Wisconsin.  Legislators have said that they proposed the bill because of the increased rate and brazenness of carjackings in Milwaukee.  This post will explore the current law and look at how the new law would increase the penalties.  Criminal defense attorney…

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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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“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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Early Release Programs in Wisconsin

Wisconsin is known as a “Truth in Sentencing” state.  This means that someone sentenced to the Wisconsin State Prison System must serve a bifurcated sentence – a period of initial confinement and a period of extended supervision.  The “truth” in the sentence comes from the fact that the offender knows exactly how much time he…

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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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