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March 2014 Archives

Drug Testing Basics: Round 1

Drug testing has become a regular part of everyday life, whether it is for employment or insurance reasons, parents testing their children, or as a condition of probation or a family law order. There are many different kinds of drug tests, cheek swabs, hair follicle, etc. but one of the most common drug tests is a urine test. A quick Internet search for "drug test" will bring up thousands of results ranging from home remedy concoctions, expensive detox kits, powdered urine and fake genital appendages. This article will explain the different types of urine drug test, as well as debunk some of the myths that go along with them.

Go Directly to Jail--Unless You Prefer Home Cooking

One of the most common questions clients ask when they are facing the possibility of a jail sentence is: "Will I be able to get house arrest instead?" The answer, unfortunately, is complicated. But here is a primer on a few of the things that determine whether or not someone will be eligible.

What Should I Know About Jail?

When someone is convicted of a crime, a jail sentence is a common punishment. For many people, serving a jail sentence is a very understandable source of fear and anxiety. Here are some answers to common questions we get relating to jail sentences:

Confessions

There is an old saying that goes "the funny thing about common sense, is that it is hardly ever common". I decided to make this a blog topic today, because in the past three weeks, I have shockingly run into this issue several times: giving a confession to the police.

Divorce Myths: "You'll never see the kids again"!

A divorce is rarely an easy process but it tends to become even more difficult and complex when children are involved. At the start of a divorce, or custody battle, one of the most common things our office hears from clients is that the child's other parent is threatening to get full placement and never let them see the child again. If this sounds like a situation that you are, you can pause here to let out a sigh of relief. It is very unlikely a court would deny a parent placement, unless there have been serious acts of domestic violence or child abuse within the marriage.

The Basics of Domestic Violence in Wisconsin

It is not uncommon for people to call our office on behalf of a friend or family member or loved one who has been arrested for or charged with a crime of domestic violence and to be very confused, or even upset. They describe to us a situation where a married couple, or a boyfriend and girlfriend, or two siblings, or two roommates, got into an argument or even a fight, things may have gotten a little out of hand, and someone called the police for help in defusing or cooling things off. The police arrived and, to the caller's surprise, rather than simply defusing the situation or helping someone cool off, the police arrested someone. Even if nobody wanted anyone arrested. Even if no one was "pressing charges." And then the person arrested is charged criminally.

Do most cases go to trial?

When people call in for criminal consultations, one of the biggest areas we get questions about is their trial. Most people, having seen legal proceedings play out on TV or in movies, assume that a trial in inevitable, that it is the natural conclusion to their case. This is not true however, most criminal cases resolve without a trial, whether that be through a dismissal or a plea agreement. What do I mean by most criminal cases? Somewhere around 95% of all criminal cases. Often times when I tell people this, they are surprised and want to know why that is.

You're going to need a warrant for that....aren't you?

Not a week goes by that our office doesn't have someone call in about a search and seizure dealing with a vehicle. On a fairly regular basis, someone quotes the Jay-Z song 99 Problems, saying that obviously a police officer would need consent or a warrant, so how could they have searched the car with neither? The short answer is: The police do not need a warrant to search your car or truck, even if the glove compartment or trunk is locked.

The Dangers of Sharing - Len Bias Homicides

It used to be considered polite to offer a guest something when they visited, or just as polite to bring a gift when visiting someone.  Some people would bring a bottle of wine, others might prepare a side dish or dessert. While this can still be true in most cases today, one thing that it isn't a good idea is to share is your drugs. While you might be the life of the party when you break the drugs out, if a death should result, Len Bias is likely to be the only one standing by you.

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