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June 2014 Archives

Face to Face...With Technology

In the early years of drug trafficking in the United States, telephones were rarely used, in part because telephones themselves were less common than they are today, where everyone seems to have a cellphone glued to their hand, not to mention home and office lines. However, even as the years continued on, drug traffickers typically shunned the use of telephones to conduct business, preferring to discuss business face to face or via a third party messenger. The reasoning behind this was that even thirty, forty, fifty, years ago, it was easy to tap a phone and get incriminating details such as pickup locations, drop-off times and the names or voices of those who were involved in the illegal transactions.

What is "Disorderly Conduct"?

Disorderly Conduct is one of the most commonly charged offenses in Wisconsin. That's in part because it is classified as a Class B misdemeanor, which is really the lowest classification--the lowest level--of criminal behavior in Wisconsin. If a person is charged criminally with just Disorderly Conduct, it means that in the State's view, the person's conduct has just crossed the line into the territory of criminal conduct. It's also probably in part because Disorderly Conduct can be charged as a municipal ordinance violation. If a person is charged with a municipal ordinance violation, that means the State has decided that a person's conduct may have been unlawful, but not criminal. A municipal ordinance violation is a forfeiture level offense, as opposed to a criminal offense. What's the difference between a forfeiture violation and a criminal violation? A criminal violation means that a person could be penalized by being put in jail, or put on probation, as well as possibly being made to pay a fine. A monetary fine is also known as a forfeiture. A forfeiture offense is punishable by a forfeiture--being made to pay a fine--but not by jail or probation.

I Know What's Wrong With Your Child: An Open Letter To Divorcing Parents

On an almost daily basis, our office is inundated with phone calls and emails from clients and potential clients reporting that they are seeing negative behavioral changes in their children as a result of their pending or (sometimes not so) recent divorce. Over and over again, our attorneys are asked if we can shed some light on why a child who never previously got into trouble at school is becoming a regular in morning detention, why the A student is slipping to Bs and Cs, or why a previously talkative child has become shy and withdrawn. From the hundreds of family court cases I have handled, I'm confident I know the answer to these questions, and more. I'm equally assured that the answer will not be popular.

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