Milwaukee Legal Issues Blog

Genealogy databases could be used in criminal investigations

Police departments love the popularity of at-home DNA test kits. They're already helping investigators solve old murder cases and other violent crimes.

At-home DNA kits have been marketed as holiday gifts and a way to learn more about family connections. They're also a tool for people who want to add their information to databases that allow them to search for relatives. That's a particular benefit to people who were adopted or conceived through artificial insemination using donor sperm. Numerous people have found lost siblings or parents. Others have uncovered relatives they didn't even know existed.

What is the difference between federal and state crimes

If you are ever charged with a crime, there can be major differences based on its designation of a state or federal offense. As a resident of Wisconsin, you not only have to abide by the laws of the state, but also the legalities that are set forth by the United States government.

Fatal motor vehicle accidents often lead to litigation

A  young man was recently traveling as a passenger in a vehicle that was involved in a collision in Wisconsin. Another vehicle that was carrying a university volleyball team was also involved. Motor vehicle accidents like this one often occur when motorists are negligent or reckless, placing themselves and their passengers in harm's way.  

That appears to be what happened as the volleyball team headed home. A motor vehicle carrying two occupants that was in the lane adjacent to the team bus is said to have suddenly veered out of its lane, crossing into oncoming traffic. The car slammed head-on into the bus.  

Report: Milwaukee County tops the state in auto fatalities

People sometimes lose their lives in traffic crashes out on Wisconsin’s roads. Unfortunately, Milwaukee County is the home of a sizable portion of these tragedies. A report suggests that it generally sees more than any of the state’s other counties.

The report reviewed traffic statistics covering the 2000 to 2015 period. These statistics were from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Protect your rights when charged with drug crimes in Wisconsin

Any number of situations or issues in life can have immediate and long-lasting impacts on your personal or professional reputation in Wisconsin. Especially if such issues include being accused of drug crimes, even if the ultimate outcome of the situation lies in your favor, you may encounter serious challenges trying to restore your good name and overcome the negative effects of the incident. The sooner you can take action to protect your rights and obtain the best possible outcome, the better.  

Even if you know you are innocent of the charges against you, there is no way to predict the final outcome of a particular case. Much depends on the type of defense you are able to present in court. When you act alongside someone well-versed in criminal law, who knows the strategies prosecutors often use to try to secure convictions, you increase your chances of hearing the court rule in your favor.  

Some motor vehicle accidents happen after midnight

After 1 a.m., it is logical to assume that there might be less traffic on an average Wisconsin roadway. Then again, some people prefer traveling in the wee hours of the morning so they can reach their destinations before the sun comes up. On a recent Saturday, there were three motorcycles and a car sharing the same stretch of road at around that time when tragedy struck. Investigations remain ongoing regarding two motor vehicle accidents that occurred only moments apart.  

The first impact was felt when two of the motorcycles crashed into one another. In the near aftermath of the collision, a pickup truck reportedly stopped at the scene. Shortly after, another approaching motorcycle apparently tried to avoid hitting the wrecked motorcycles, but it wound up crashing into the pickup truck.  

Man shows dangers of not following Move Over Law

When an officer or local sheriff spots some suspicious activity, they will pull over the suspect to the side of the road to discuss the matter. It could be a serious offense like driving while intoxicated or just to simply remind them to turn on their headlights. Regardless of the circumstances, the other drivers should give the two the space necessary to discuss the issue peacefully.

To ensure this, Wisconsin enforces the “Move Over Law.” Like other states, drivers must switch to a further lane if a police or emergency vehicle is on the side with another driver or slow down to avoid any accidents. Drivers who fail to do this can risk causing critical injuries to themselves, the driver on the side and any of the emergency vehicle operator. They also can face serious charges for their negligence, as can be seen with a recent driver in Outagamie County.

Slip-and-fall accidents: Is your party host liable?

As summer winds down in Wisconsin, many people are hosting backyard parties for friends, family, co-workers and neighbors. It can be a lot of fun to grill some burgers, toss back a few cold ones and perhaps even try your hand at a game of lawn darts. However, slip-and-fall accidents have a way of putting a damper on outdoor social events.

If a property owner was negligent and you, your spouse or your child suffered an injury because of it, there is no reason your family should bear the full financial burden associated with the incident. Twisted ankles, for instance, typically necessitate X-rays and if there is even a hairline fracture, the attending physician may recommend putting on a hard cast for four to six weeks. This, of course, would require repeated medical visits, which are quite expensive.

Wisconsin victims demonstrate the dangers of dog bites

Most residents thought that dog bites can only be hazardous to their health if the canine pushes their teeth deep into their skin or gives them receive multiple cuts, scratches and bites all at once. However, many are reconsidering after two Wisconsin citizens made national news for catching a potentially dangerous disease from a small nibble or lick from a dog.

Even if a dog's owner receives nothing but love and companionship from their pet, these reports show that they need to be cautious when Fido is interacting with other people. The dog or victim's condition prior could determine the severity of the infection from the bite.

Man charged with violent crimes may have mental health issues

Residents of a particular Wisconsin apartment complex say their neighborhood is usually quite safe. In fact, one man says he feels comfortable enough to leave his door unlocked. The city in which the apartment building stands was reportedly voted one of the safest in the state. However, despite this, charges of violent crimes were filed against a resident of the complex on a recent Friday evening.

The defendant is a 74-year-old man. His neighbors describe him as being typically quiet, offering passers-by an occasional hello. There have also been disorderly conduct complaints filed against him in the past, leaving police officials to question whether he might have a mental health disorder.

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