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What is statutory rape?

As previously discussed on this Wisconsin criminal defense legal blog, the age of consent in Wisconsin is 18 years of age. That means that it is illegal for a person to have sex with anyone who has not yet attained their 18th birthday. Doing so and being charged with statutory rape may have serious and irreversible consequences for the alleged perpetrator's future.

Statutory rape is the term given to alleged sexual encounters with minors. Acts of this nature are considered "statutory" rape and not just rape because they are illegal by law even if the minor victims consent to participate in the alleged acts. Consensual acts between adults are legal, though the same acts involving minors are not.

3 Common myths surrounding a DUI conviction

Facing a DUI charge can be a confusing experience. You may have endless questions about what it means and how it will impact your life. However, these questions might stem from common myths about DUI convictions. It’s important to recognize these misconceptions and set them straight so that you can protect your rights and know your options.


Embezzlement is a serious criminal offense

Criminal charges can change the entire course of a Wisconsin resident's personal and professional life. When facing allegations of criminal wrongdoing, individuals should know that they may face significant penalties for their alleged involvement in illegal activities.

One alleged crime that may cause a person to face serious penalties is embezzlement. The elements of embezzlement are similar to the elements theft, but embezzlement was distinguished from general theft long ago because it does not require a person to trespass onto their alleged victim's property to take something. At its core, embezzlement takes place when a person lawfully possesses someone else's property, but then turns the item into his or her own property without intending to give the item back to its owner.

Wisconsin getting tougher on impaired driving

Wisconsin has long had a reputation as a state that is relatively lenient on drunk driving charges. That reputation isn't entirely deserved, and things are changing quickly. Recently, lawmakers have been moving to toughen the state's penalties for impaired drivers.

Wisconsin is the only state in the nation where a first-time OWI charge is treated only as a civil offense, and not a criminal offense. This year, lawmakers have sought to shed this distinction, and have debated a number of measures that would toughen penalties for first-time offenders and others.

Federal judge dismisses fraud charges against visiting professor

The term "fraud" covers a wide range of acts, and so federal fraud charges can come up in a very wide range of cases, including cases involving accusations of identity theft, securities fraud, tax evasion and more.

In a recent case, a federal judge dismissed fraud charges against an Iranian scientist who was accused of industrial espionage.

Federal vs. state crimes: what are the differences?

In the U.S., most cases are heard at the state or local level. If you break the law, you could face a state or federal crime charge. To ensure you have the best chance in court it is imperative that you know the differences between a federal and state crime, so you can make the correct decisions about your representation.

Law enforcement visits registered sex offenders on Halloween

Wisconsin requires people who have been convicted of certain sex crimes to register as sex offenders. This registry is intended to warn the public about the possibility of repeat offenders in their neighborhoods, and to help the authorities keep track of offenders. However, being placed on the registry comes with many other restrictions and limitations, official and nonofficial.

One of the official restrictions was in the news recently during Halloween celebrations. Registered sex offenders are prohibited from participating in trick-or-treating activities. They can't have candy inside or outside their homes, they can't wear costumes, they can't put up Halloween decorations, and they must turn off their porch lights, so as to discourage children from visiting. To ensure that registered offenders are complying with the law, the Wisconsin Department of Corrections sends teams out to visit the homes of certain registrants. The agency claims it made 2,200 such visits in 2018, and arrested 43 people for violating the requirements of their supervision.

Man charged in alleged embezzlement scheme

A Wisconsin man faces charges of theft and other financial crimes after, prosecutors say, he stole more than $150,000 from his former employer.

The man is charged with forgery, using fraudulent cash and credit advances, and stealing money from daily sales and gift certificates.

What is the legal alcohol limit for drivers under age 21?

When discussing drunk driving charges, people often talk about the so-called legal limit. This term is misleading in several ways, and totally out of place when discussing drivers under age 21. Under Wisconsin law, people younger than 21 may not legally drive with any amount of alcohol in their system.

For drivers 21 and older, the so-called legal limit refers to a blood alcohol concentration, or BAC, of 0.08%. When police pull over a driver on suspicion of drunk driving, they typically ask the person to perform a road sobriety test in which they must walk a straight line, stand on one leg and perform other simple acts of coordination or balance. After this, they often ask drivers to submit to a BAC test, usually through a chemical breath analysis device.

How federal and state marijuana charges can differ

Despite the continuous conversation around legalization, marijuana remains illegal under both U.S. law and Wisconsin law. The thresholds and penalties outlined in federal and state law, however, are different.

That means an individual charged with a marijuana-related crime by Wisconsin authorities will likely be facing a completely different type of case than if the charges had come from the federal government. How significant might the differences be? Here is a brief overview.

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Kirk Obear, Attorney at Law
603 South 8th St
Sheboygan, WI 53081

Phone: 920-395-3004
Fax: 920-395-2202
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