January 31, 2017

Know Your Rights if You're Stopped by Police on the Street in Wisconsin

written by Lane Fitzgerald

You could be walking home from a friend's house, walking to or from work or even just out for a leisurely walk when you are stopped by police for questioning. 

Knowing your rights in this type of situation can help keep you out of trouble with law enforcement and, hopefully, send you on your way without issue.

Keep reading to learn more about what to do if you're stopped by police for questioning on the streets in Wisconsin.

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Criminal Defense

January 18, 2017

Wisconsin's New Traffic Law: No Cellphones in Work Zones

written by Lane Fitzgerald

Wisconsin's traffic and driving laws can change quickly and without much public announcement, making it crucial to stay up-to-date on what's happening.

This article covers a relatively new law making it illegal to use a handheld mobile phone while driving through construction sites in Wisconsin.

Keep reading to learn more about this new rule, and the potential penalties associated with it.

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Criminal Defense

January 11, 2017

Wisconsin's Stricter OWI Penalties Now in Effect

written by Lane Fitzgerald

As of January 1, 2017, repeat OWI offenders with four or more convictions will face harsher penalties than they did previously.

In the spring of 2016, Governor Walker signed Senate Bill 455 into law in the spring of 2016 (now known as 2015 Wisconsin Act 371), increasing the penalties for certain repeat drunk driving convictions. The new law took effect January 1, 2017.

This article explains those new drunk driving penalites in Wisconsin.

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Criminal Defense

September 02, 2016

How Long Will My License Be Suspended Under the Wisconsin Point System?

written by Lane Fitzgerald

If you've ever been stopped for speeding or another moving violation in Wisconsin, you're probably already familiar with driver's license points. Under this system, demerit points are assigned to your driver's license for each moving violation for which you are convicted, in addition to other fines and penalties.

The number of points that are assigned to your license in Wisconsin depends upon both the violation, itself, and your license type. Once you accumulate a certain number of points on your Wisconsin license, you risk suspension of your driving privileges.

If you're wondering how many demerit points it takes before your driving privileges are suspended, the answer is 12 points within 12 months. However, the length of time the suspension to your driver's license will last depends upon the type of operator's license you have been issued and the number of points on your license.

This article will explain the range of suspension times to various Wisconsin driving licenses, including: instructional permit, probationary license, commercial driver's license (CDL) and a standard (or regular) driver's license, including a motorcycle license.

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Criminal Defense

September 01, 2016

Understanding Wisconsin's Point System for Moving Violations

written by Lane Fitzgerald

If you're like most Wisconsin residents, you likely do not challenge a traffic ticket when you get one, but pay it immediately. Most people do. After all, if you don't pay or otherwise address your traffic ticket by the due date you risk serious penalties including higher fines, suspension of your driver's license, arrest and even jail time.

However, what many people do not stop to consider is that by paying a traffic ticket without question, you are also pleading guilty to the charges assigned in that traffic citation. Each time you are found guilty of a traffic offense in Wisconsin, a number of points, or demerits, are assigned to your driver's license. Once you accumulate a certain number of points, you risk having your driver's license suspended.

This article will take a closer look at Wisconsin's Point System so that you have a better understanding of the consequences of failing to challenge your traffic tickets.

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Criminal Defense

July 12, 2016

Learn the New Penalties for 5th and 6th OWI in Wisconsin

written by Lane Fitzgerald

If you or a loved one have been charged with operating under the influence for a fifth or sixth offense in Wisconsin, then you need to know about the latest changes to the penalties for these criminal offenses since Governor Scott Walker signed Senate Bill 455 into law on April 25, 2016.

In an effort to bring drunk driving laws into closer alignment with those of neighboring states, Wisconsin lawmakers authored this bill which increases the severity of consequences to individuals convicted of repeat drunk driving offenses. As a result, the potential penalty for 5th and 6th DUI offenses in Wisconsin are much more severe than before.

This article will take a closer look at the new penalties for both fifth offense and sixth offense drunk driving or driving under the influence (DUI) in Wisconsin, including an explanation of both the mandatory minimum and maximum penalties.

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Criminal Defense

May 23, 2016

Learn About Wisconsin's New Penalties for 4th Offense OWI

written by Lane Fitzgerald

If you have ever been convicted of drunk driving in Wisconsin, you are already aware of the stress, expense and strict penalties that go along with this type of criminal charge.

What you may not yet be aware of is that on April 25, 2016, Governor Scott Walker signed Senate Bill 455 into law, making the penalties for a fourth offense of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of an intoxicant (OWI) in Wisconsin even more severe.

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Criminal Defense

April 28, 2016

Understanding PTSD and Criminal Charges in Wisconsin

written by Lane Fitzgerald

Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is a growing epidemic in our country with about 8 million people struggling with this mental illness in the United States annually.

This condition is generally caused from enduring a terrifying event or string of events. One population at greater risk of developing this condition are active members and veterans of United States military service.

The Fitzgerald Law Firm is committed to helping protect and defend the rights of our brave Wisconsin veterans, and understands one of the best ways to start that process is to share relevant information which may offer insight to those in need of help.

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Criminal Defense

April 20, 2016

Understanding Battery Charges in Wisconsin

written by Lane Fitzgerald

Battery, also commonly referred to as assault, is a serious offense under Wisconsin law.

Just as individual acts of battery can range in exerted force and resulting injuries, the consequences also range in severity.

This article will help answer questions you may have concerning the misdemeanor charge of battery and associated penalties, as well as offer you guidance if you need to defend against battery charges.

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Criminal Defense

March 21, 2016

A Closer Look at Bail and Bail Jumping in Wisconsin

written by Lane Fitzgerald

If you have been charged with Misdemeanor Bail Jumping or Felony Bail Jumping in Wisconsin or Illinois, contact The Fitzgerald Law Firm for a free 15-minute consultation to explore your options.

What is Bail?

Bail is a monetary condition of release from jail. More simply, bail is money you pay for your release from jail after you are arrested. This does not mean you are in the clear. Bail is offered with conditions you must meet.

When posting bail, you must:

  • Provide your current address to the court
  • Stay out of additional trouble
  • Not make contact with any alleged victims surrounding your case, and
  • Pay a cash bond or bail amount

After being arrested, a judge will determine if you are eligible for bail at your first appearance in court at an arraignment or bail hearing. To put it another way, the judge will consider factors such as your previous record and the nature of the crime with which you have been charged, then decide whether or not to offer you the opportunity to pay a fine in exchange for your temporary and conditional release from jail.

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Criminal Defense