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Milwaukee theft charges defense attorneyBy Attorney Brianna Meyer

The definition of theft varies greatly, and so do the offenses that fall under this category. From taking a candy bar from a store shelf to providing false receipts to obtain a loan, there are a wide range of theft charges that a person may face in Wisconsin. For those accused of shoplifting, it is important to know the charges that may be tied to retail theft, especially since they depend upon the value of the items that were allegedly stolen and the type of theft being alleged. 

What Are the Different Types of Shoplifting and Theft Charges?

Shoplifting, a.k.a. “Retail Theft”, includes more than just taking an item off the shelf. In fact, Wisconsin statutes list eight different ways in which a person’s actions can be considered retail theft. According to Wisconsin statute 943.50, a person can be penalized if they do any of these actions without a merchant’s consent and with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of possession of the item or the full purchase price of the item:

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Milwaukee gun crime defense attorney

By Brianna Meyer and Max Stephenson

In the wake of widespread mass shootings across the United States, advocates and lawmakers in many jurisdictions are pushing for new gun laws to curb gun violence. “Extreme Risk” or “Red Flag” laws are one type of new gun legislation that targets gun violence problems and have been enacted in several states.

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Milwaukee WI domestic abuse charges defense laywerFalse accusations of domestic violence are more common than one might think. They can be devastating to someone’s personal reputation and professional life. It is important to take these types of sensitive criminal charges seriously by hiring an experienced attorney who has defended clients against such accusations and understands the best way to proceed with a case. 

How Does the Law Define Domestic Violence?

While you may have an idea about what acts are commonly considered to be domestic violence by the general public, Wisconsin law specifies exactly what must transpire for a charge to be properly labeled as “domestic violence.”

Wisconsin State Statute 968.075(1) defines “domestic abuse" as any of the following engaged in by an adult person against his or her spouse or former spouse, against an adult with whom the person resides or formerly resided, or against an adult with whom the person has a child in common:

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circumstantial evidence, direct evidence, Wisconsin criminal cases, Milwaukee criminal defense lawyer, facing criminal chargesBeing arrested and charged with a crime can be a frightening prospect. A criminal conviction has serious consequences to a person’s life, finances, career, and freedom. However, those who are facing criminal charges may not understand the laws involved in their case, the processes followed during an investigation, or their options for defense.

One aspect of criminal prosecutions that can often cause confusion is the different types of evidence that can be used to show a person’s guilt. During a Wisconsin criminal case, it is important to understand the difference between direct evidence and circumstantial evidence. 

Direct Evidence

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giving an oath, Milwaukee criminal defense lawyer, appellate attorney, court testimony, taking an oathBy: Kenneth Baker

Joseph Jakubowski, notorious in Wisconsin last year for his 161-page handwritten manifesto he sent to President Trump, was in Rock County circuit court on January 28th on charges of burglary while arming himself, theft, and possession of burglary tools. In the course of the proceedings, he was barred from testifying as a witness in his own case because he refused to raise his right hand while being sworn in. While he promised to tell the truth, he nevertheless refused to raise his right hand. The trial judge thus barred him from giving testimony in front of a jury. This raises serious questions that could lead to an appeal; the main question being - is there an affirmative rule that forces witnesses to raise their right hands prior to giving testimony in court?

What about when the president or any federal officer is being sworn in to duty? What are the requirements that must be met? There is no constitutional requirement for any federal official—firefighter, ambassador, or President—to take the oath of office over a particular text or, in fact, over any text at all. President Theodore Roosevelt did not use a bible when he was sworn into office in 1901. Both John Quincy Adams and Franklin Pierce swore on a book of law with the intention that they were swearing on the constitution. In 1973, Henry Kissinger swore on a Hebrew bible while being sworn in as secretary of state. In 2006, Keith Ellison swore on Thomas Jefferson’s English translated copy of the Koran while being sworn in as America’s first ever Muslim congressman. In 2014, Suzi LeVine swore on an Amazon Kindle tablet showing the bible while being sworn in as Ambassador to Liechtenstein and Switzerland. It is clear that the use of a bible is not a requirement but is often the book that is used in swearing in ceremonies, less so in courtrooms.

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government regulate bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, money laundering, fraud, Milwaukee criminal defense lawyerBy: Kenneth Baker & Jason Luczak

If you haven’t heard of Bitcoin by now, you haven’t been paying attention. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies such as Litecoin, Ethereum, and Ripple have dominated headlines for the past six months. Cryptocurrencies are digital assets designed to work as a medium of exchange that uses cryptography to secure its transactions, to control the creation of additional units, and to verify the transfer of assets. What does that mean? Basically, it is a computer generated asset that is capable of being bought and sold. There is a finite number of Bitcoins, which creates demand, and therefore creates value for the crypto-asset. The Blockchain is what secures the cryptocurrency. Blockchain technology is a public ledger that tracks Bitcoin transactions. Every second, millions of people are buying and selling Bitcoin. Every transaction has a specific transaction code and is part of the Bitcoin Blockchain. This procedure creates a record of authenticity that is verifiable by a user community, increasing transparency and reducing fraud. This is where miners come in.

Bitcoin miners utilize highly-advanced supercomputers, much greater than your common PC, to “mine” for Bitcoins. However, this characterization is a tad deceiving. Miners do not find Bitcoins on the internet, rather, the miners are tracing the Blockchain transactions, and once the transactions reach a certain threshold, and the miners complete a “block,” they are rewarded in, you guessed it, Bitcoins. Bitcoins are thus a form of currency that is capable of being used to purchase goods and services on the internet. While this is a simplistic explanation for how Bitcoin operates, it is helpful to understand that this entire process is completely free from governmental intervention. Therefore, there is currently no recourse for any person that is cheated out of a transaction using Bitcoin.

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legal drinking age, Milwaukee criminal defense lawyer, Wisconsin lawmakers, lower legal drinking age, alcohol consumptionBy: Attorney Steven McGaver and Law Clerk Kenneth Baker

Some Wisconsin lawmakers recently announced a proposal to lower the legal drinking age to 19 years old. This proposal has one significant condition: federal highway funding cannot be withheld from the state.

In 1984, Congress passed the National Minimum Drinking Age Act (NMDAA). The act created a uniform age for the legal consumption of alcohol at 21. If states refused to raise their legal drinking age, the Department of Transportation would withhold federal highway funding. Eventually, all 50 states passed legislation to raise the drinking age to 21, including Wisconsin on September 1st, 1986.

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white collar crimes, embezzlement, embezzlement laws, Milwaukee criminal defense lawyer, Wisconsin embezzlement casesTheft can take many forms, from seemingly minor offenses like shoplifting to major financial crimes involving millions of dollars, high-value real estate, and/or banks or other organizations. While the news often focuses on bank fraud, securities fraud, and other high-profile white collar crimes, another form of theft that is common in Wisconsin is embezzlement. 

Embezzlement Laws in Wisconsin

Embezzlement is typically defined as the theft of money or property by an employee from his or her employer. However, it can also include the theft of property that is placed in one’s trust by someone else, such as a friend or family member. 

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cyberbullying crimes in wisconsin, milwaukee criminal law attorneyBullying is defined as behavior that is intended to cause intimidation, fear, or harm to others. "Cyberbullying" is a relatively new term for the same maltreatment except that it is perpetrated through the Internet or text messages. Cyberbullying may involve criminal charges in Wisconsin. If the accused is found guilty of a crime, fines and/or jail time may be imposed. 

Examples of Cyberbullying 

Due to the proliferation of Internet-enabled devices and social media platforms, there are numerous ways cyberbullying can occur, including: 

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ridesharing, drunk-driving, milwaukee criminal defense lawyersA recent study has found no significant reduction in drunk driving fatalities due to the rollout of the ridesharing app Uber. This comes as a surprise to many as Uber has been viewed as an option to traditional taxis and public transportation and often gives rides to those who have been drinking. The ridesharing company began offering services in Milwaukee in 2014, and it has become a popular way for many to get around town safely.

Explaining the Study

Researchers explained the counterintuitive results by pointing to several factors: 

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