Wisconsin Criminal Defense FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions on Wisconsin Criminal Laws and Legal Defense

What can you do to help me with a Wisconsin criminal charge?

There are 3 basic avenues that any defense attorney must pursue to protect his client.

  1. Try to get the charges to go away entirely, and get the case dismissed.
  2. Fight and try to win the case at trial.
  3. Negotiate for a minimum sentence that the client can live with, that will remove the risk of the most serious penalties if found guilty.

These different defense methods are not mutually exclusive, a good attorney may be pursuing all 3 outcomes at the same time to give the client the most and best options.

Option 1 involves analyzing the case and all the evidence to find a mistake the police may have made in the course of their investigation, and contesting probable cause at an initial appearance or preliminary hearing in the case of a felony.

Option 2 involves fighting the case all the way, and trying to convince a jury that you are not guilty of one or more elements of the crime.

Option 3 is when you look for a reasonable plea for your client to accept. This involves more than simply being a tough and effective negotiator with the prosecutor, but also helping your client lay the groundwork for making a strong case for leniency. This can involve helping the client get drug treatment in a drug case, or working out creative solutions for restitution. Anything you can do to make the case that the defendant is working to turn his life around can be a huge help in getting a minimal sentence. And anytime an attorney can take the risk of a jail sentence off the table, that is a deal worth considering.

What is AODA?

It stands for Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse. The Wisconsin Association on Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse (WAAODA) is a helpful resource on drug and alcohol addition issues.

As a defense tactic, it often makes sense to enroll yourself in a treatment program before a court appearance, such as in a drug possession case or a domestic violence case where alcohol is a factor. Or you may be required to undergo substance abuse treatment as a condition of a plea or after sentencing.

My Driver’s License was Suspended for (Underage Alcohol Operation / a Drug Conviction / OWI). Can I get a work or hardship license?

Yes, you can in most cases. Wisconsin offers an occupational license for 12 hours a day to and from work, or other explicitly allowed places. See the Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s Occupational License page.

If you’ve been arrested or are facing criminal charges in Wisconsin, contact me or call me for a consultation and case evaluation. There’s no charge and no obligation for my advice if you decide not to hire me, so you have nothing to lose.  Call now at (888) 828-6041.

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