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What is the age of consent in Wisconsin?

Statutory rape occurs when a person has sex with someone who is under the age of consent. Wisconsin's age of consent is 18. Prosecutions for sexual assault of a minor can have serious consequences.

Individuals who are 17 years old or younger cannot legally consent to participate in sexual activity. In other words, it is no defense that an underage participant agreed to have sex. A person violates the state's statutory rape law when a person has consensual sexual intercourse with a person under 18.

What is wire fraud?

Fraud charges may be filed for alleged crimes that take place through the mail, telephone and electronic media. Attorneys can help defend against federal fraud charges, including wire fraud. Wire fraud occurs when the defendant uses electronic communications or an interstate communications facility to defraud or obtain money after making false promises or representations to the recipient of the communication.

Convictions for this federal crime may result in up to 30 years imprisonment and fines and restitution. Prosecutors must file charges within five years. Where the fraud involves a financial institution, this period is 10 years.

What is embezzlement?

Employees may be entrusted with finances and other valuable assets. However, an embezzlement charges defense law firm may be needed when employees are charged with stealing these assets.

Embezzlement is defined as wrongfully appropriating funds that were entrusted to a person but owned by another person, business or organization. It is widely known as employee theft, but this crime can also cover other individuals who hold a position of trust within an organization, such as a charity or government authority.

Supreme Court restricts civil forfeiture

Wisconsin and other states have civil forfeiture laws that allow law enforcement to seize cash, vehicles and other private property that may have been used in crimes, particularly drug offenses. The U.S. Supreme Court, however, unanimously ruled that the Constitution restricts the ability of states and towns to take property involved in crimes. This decision can help a drug charges defense law firm fight this practice.

A criminal conviction or even charges are not required for civil forfeiture. Law enforcement must only submit proof that the property was used in a crime. To seek return of their property, owners must prove that it was not used in a crime or was used without their knowledge. Investigations across the nation revealed many incidents where the property seized was disproportionate to the crime, taken from innocent citizens or targeted by authorities.

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.

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Sheboygan, WI 53081

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