Check back next week for information on a new direction I will be taking. Great news for all of my clients!
The above lends credence to the old adage “even a fish wouldn’t get caught if he’d keep his mouth shut.” It seems appropriate at this time to resurrect an entry I have shared in the past. I often provide my clients with folding business cards with this information. Stop in for one any time. If you are being investigated, chances are you need an experienced, aggressive lawyer.
Remember, the following helps you to assert your rights but does not give you license to be mouthy to police officers:
Officer, please understand I refuse to talk with you until I consult with my attorney. I also refuse to consent to any search of these premises, or any other premises under my control, or in which I have a possesory, proprietary or privacy interest, including my car, my body or effects. I hereby demand to immediately be allowed the reasonable opportunity to obtain the advise of my attorney by telephone.
I desire to exercise all my rights guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States and the State of Wisconsin, to be free from your interference with my person or affairs. If you attempt to question me, I want my lawyer present. I refuse to participate in any line-up or perform any physical acts (except OWI related tests), or to speak or display my person or property at your direction, without first conferring with my lawyer. If I am under arrest, I wish to invoke and exercise my Miranda rights. If you ignore my exercise of these rights and attempt to procure a waiver, I want to confer with my lawyer prior to any conversation with you.
If I am to be taken into custody, removed from my present location, or separated from my property, I request a reasonable opportunity to make arrangements to secure my own property. I do not consent to any impoundment or inventory of my property. I do hereby waive any claim of liability for loss, theft or damage against you, your superiors, or any other authority, and agree to hold all harmless therefrom, if I am afforded the reasonable opportunity to arrange for the safekeeping of my own property. If this reasonable opportunity is denied or is unavailable, I demand that only such intrusion occur as is minimally necessary to secure such property, hereby waiving any claim of liability for your failure to scrutinize the property or its contents prior to it being secured.
If I am not under arrest I want to leave. If I am free to leave, please tell me immediately so that I may go about my business.
Few things are more terrifying than being arrested for drunk driving. Most are intimidated by investigating officers to begin with. First you are questioned by the officer by your vehicle. If he or she smells intoxicating beverages you will be asked to exit your vehicle for field sobriety tests. Make no mistake, at this point most officers have made up their mind as to how you will spend the rest of your evening. Many officers have confirmed in their testimony that they are looking for evidence that confirms their suspicion that you are under the influence. They are not looking for exculpatory evidence or proof that you are sober. After two or three field tests and perhaps a preliminary breath test at road side, you will be placed in handcuffs and taken for chemical testing.
Virtually every state has an implied consent law that requires that you submit to a test of your breath, blood or urine. In Wisconsin, on repeat offenses, if you refuse your blood will be taken against your will and you will receive additional penalties for the refusal and have only 10 days to request a hearing on that refusal. If no one can be reached to take you home, you will be held in custody for twelve hours until you sober up. In counties that “Fast Track” criminal OWI’s you could be in front of a Court Commissioner within a few days.
The question this raises is Now What? Many will hold off on seeking counsel or not hire a lawyer at all. This can have devastating consequences. ALL court appearances are important and you should have an experienced, aggressive lawyer at all of them. This is especially true at your intake appearance. This is more than an opportunity to enter a not guilty plea on your behalf and set your matter over for another appearance. The Court will make a determination of probable cause as to the criminal complaint and decide the terms of your bail. This could be the difference between you going home right away or waiting until someone can post cash bail for you. After one night in jail, you won’t want to spend any more. The Court will also assign conditions of your release. This is your opportunity to have an influence on those conditions. Appearing without an experienced, aggressive attorney is a major mistake.
A competent drunk driving lawyer will have the skills necessary to review your case and determine the best strategy . Motions might be filed that could alter the outcome of your case. Perhaps a jury would find you “Not Guilty.” You won’t know the answer to these questions unless you seek qualified counsel.
Most lawyers practicing in this area will meet with you and discuss the merits of your case.ake the time to ask them a few questions. Particulary important is that the attorney you select practices in this field regularly. Generally speaking, it is better to do one thing well than many things poorly. Also, ask the
lawyer whether he or she is familiar with the court your matter is being heard in. In Wisconsin, criminal defendant’s have a right to substitution which must be exercised before a not guilty plea is entered and before any motions are filed. You need an experienced, aggressive lawyer who knows which judges to substitute on to assure that you get the best possible result.
Finally, it is advisable to examine your drinking habits. If you have been arrested for drunk driving on more than one occasion, alcohol has negatively affected you life at least twice. Assessment and counseling is in your best interest as it will improve the outcome in the event you end up in front of a sentencing judge and you are less likely to get into this type of situation again.
This is of great concern. We need a judiciary that is above reproach. While it may be that the justices remain impartial despite the fact that one of the litigants has been a major campaign contributor, Wisconsin courts must avoid any appearance of impropriety. Justice Zeigler’s situation gave the Court a black eye and needs to be avoided in the future.
Federal judge rules monkey may provide woman with comfort, but is not a service animal within the definition of the word. Reminds me of when my Dad tried to convince a postal worker our Schnauzer was a seeing eye dog. Great stuff.
Only in Minnestota and I’m from Wisconsin. When I was younger, we would stop at a bar outside of Green Bay for a hamburger and a few pickled eggs after a morning of fishing. We would often see farm equipment of some type parked outside the tavern and two or three farmers would be inside having a drink before returning to work. We used to joke that you could always spot the fields that had been plowed in the afternoon because the rows were less and less straight.
This gentleman’s amusing story fortunately did not end in tragedy but offers a great opportunity to discuss the elements of the offense of OWI/BAC in Wisconsin. In order to obtain a conviction, the prosecution must prove that the accused 1) operated or drove (operation does not require actual driving but simply the ability to put the vehicle in motion keys in the ignition can be good enough) 2) A motor vehicle (the issue raised by this case) 3) on a public highway (any where that car or any other car can legally be not private property like the back 40) 4) while intoxicated.
The question raised by the case is whether a tricked out recliner is a motor vehicle for purposes of the statute.
Sec. 340.01(35) states, “Motor vehicle” means a vehicle, including a combination of 2 or more vehicles or an articulated vehicle, which is self-propelled, except a vehicle operated exclusively on a rail. “Motor vehicle” includes,without limitation, a commercial motor vehicle or a vehicle which is propelled by electric power obtained from overhead trolley wires but not operated on rails. A snowmobile and an all-terrain vehicle shall only be considered motor vehicles for purposes made specifically applicable by statute.
There have been a number of cases discussing the definition of the classification “motor vehicle” in the Wisconsin Appeals Courts. It does not matter whether the vehicle can be registered or if it is in fact a true conveyance. Tractors and backhoes both fall under the statute. What could potentially separate this motorized chair is the speed it is capable of. The definition statutes that were cited in a few of the cases required that the vehicle be capable of speeds in excess of thirty miles per hour. An experienced drunk driving lawyer can review this type of case with you and properly advise you as to what your options might be.
While most of my clients are not college students, I thought it worthwile to bring this to the readers attention. Binge drinking and drug use have been part of the college experience for many years. Many have developed troubling addictions that will affect their otherwise bright futures if not dealt with. Violations associated with drug or alcohol use and abuse can affect a career that one has gone to college to pursue. Many licensing boards frown on such brushes with the law. If you are using, get help. If you are in trouble, get help and speak to an experienced criminal lawyer.
The full Supreme Court said it would not review the 4-3 decision by Virginia’s high court that an anonymous tip about an allegedly drunk driver was not sufficient to give law enforcement a reason to stop the accused. In the instant case, a Richmond, Virginia police officer pulled over the defendant, Joseph A. Moses Harris Jr. based solely on an anonymous tip. The officer did not observe any erratic driving. The tip described the driver, the car and the direction he was traveling in. So the call was credible, yet would have been considered far more reliable if the caller was willing to be a witness. In Wisconsin, unidentified callers are scrutinized far more heavily than those where the caller is willing to participate in the prosecution of the offender.
If you are stopped for drunk driving as a result of a cell call you need to have this stop evaluated by an experienced OWI/DUI defense lawyer.