Obear and Kaehne
Free consultations
View Our Practice Areas

Higher OWI penalties introduced

Wisconsin motorists may be facing more severe penalties for drunk driving charges. Under one of these proposals, drunk driving defense attorneys may have to now combat some of these charges as criminal offenses instead of civil violations.

Currently, first-offense drunk driving is a civil ordinance violation in Wisconsin. A bill would upgrade this to a misdemeanor that can be punished by up to 30 days imprisonment and a $500 fine. Offenders could petition a court to convert it to a civil violation after five years if the offender does not commit any new OWI violations.

State Supreme Court reviews plea deal

Plea negotiations are an expected part of most criminal prosecutions. However, the state Supreme Court is reviewing an appeal of a plea deal in a statutory rape case where wrong information was provided to the defendant. This case may be important not only for a sexual assault of a minor criminal defense attorney but for most defendants.

The defendant in this case was charged with four counts of first-degree assault of a child under 12-years-old and was committed to a mental health institute in Madison. This commitment was required under an earlier order in another case where he was found not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect, an NGI plea, of third-degree sexual assault.

What is Wisconsin's sex offender registry?

Conviction of sex crimes has unforeseen penalties in Wisconsin. The state keeps a sex offender registry with listings that can have lifetime consequences and which illustrates the need to mount a strong legal defense against sex offenses.

The state's department of corrections operates this registry which allows the public to monitor and track persons convicted of sex crimes. Individuals must continue to register for placement on the registry and undergo monitoring in the community even after they serve their prison sentence or legal supervision. Sex crime victims, law enforcement officials, interested individuals and the public have access but some data, such as certain information on minors, is not available to all groups.

Expunged OWI charges may survive

It is commonly believed that an expunged criminal conviction is erased and cannot be used against a person. However, an expunged drunk driving conviction may live to survive another day in Wisconsin. The state supreme court ruled last month that expunged convictions for drunk driving charges may be considered for later OWI convictions.

In 2011, the appellant in this case was convicted for injuring another person when driving while intoxicated. The Jackson County Superior Court subsequently expunged this conviction. The man was later arrested for drunk driving in 2016. Before his trial, he argued that the prosecution could not use his 2011 conviction to charge him as a repeat offender. The court denied his motion, and he was ultimately convicted. His sentence was delayed until courts ruled on his appeal.

What’s the harm in hazing?

It's time we started thinking differently about hazing. This long-time college tradition of torment is not only mean — it’s also illegal.

As the new semester rolls around and clubs, Greek life and schools take in new recruits, it’s important to know the legal ramifications of choosing to engage in hazing.

Wisconsin Supreme Court reviews DUI implied consent

Wisconsin's implied consent law allows police to draw a suspected drunk driver's blood if they are unconscious. The state supreme court may review the legality of this law, which could be before the court in a third consecutive session.

Under state law, any motorist is presumed to have given consent to tests on their breath, blood or urine for determining the amount and presence of alcohol or drugs in their system. A suspected impaired driver may withdraw this implied consent and face arrest and the use of the refusal as evidence against them. These tests may be performed on an unconscious person without a warrant if the police have probable cause to make an arrest because the law presumes that these drivers gave their consent.

Do the police take marijuana possession seriously?

As more and more states legalize the use of marijuana, the stigma of using it seems to be dwindling. You may believe that such acceptance of marijuana in many parts of the country means that law enforcement will not take the offense as seriously.

This may be true in some parts of the country, but what about Wisconsin law enforcement, where marijuana is still illegal? 

What is fraud?

Some crimes may have consequences under both federal and state laws and include allegations over activities that take place in an office or computer. Federal fraud charges can involve a wide range of business and personal practices.

Generally, fraud is an intentional and deceptive act that is intended to give the alleged perpetrator unlawful gain or deny rights to the victim. It involves the false representation of facts by intentionally withholding important information or giving false statements. The purpose is to gain something that was unavailable before committing the fraudulent act.

GPS warrants have lower requirements

Global position system technology provides directions to motorists but can also impact the rights of crime suspects and raise constitutional issues. The Wisconsin State Supreme Court recently issued a decision that can impact the rights of suspects charged with drug charges and other offenses by ruling that warrants for GPS tracking do not have to meet the legal requirements for timely execution that govern other warrants.

    • WACDL
    • The National Top 100 Trial Lawyers
    • Avvo Rating 10 Superb Top Attorney
    • Super Lawyers
Email Us For A Response

How Can We Help You

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Get In Touch

Obear and Kaehne
603 South 8th St
Sheboygan, WI 53081

Phone: 920-395-3004
Fax: 920-395-2202
Sheboygan Law Office Map