Criminal

Facing the criminal court system in Wisconsin can be both intimidating and overwhelming. If you are being investigated for a crime, or if you have been charged with a crime, you need to contact an aggressive, experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon in the process as possible.

Fox, O’Neill & Shannon (FOS) fights for its clients’ legal and constitutional rights defending against all manner of criminal offenses and investigations. From white collar crimes to misdemeanors and felonies, Milwaukee-based FOS represents clients throughout Wisconsin in both federal and state courts.

Always remember when facing any criminal charge, it is important to speak with an attorney before you make any statements to law enforcement officials. Making a statement without an attorney will only help the prosecution build a case against you by using your statements against you. So, to best protect your rights, it is imperative to contact and speak with Attorney Jacob Manian.

Criminal defense at FOS is handled primarily by Manian, a former Assistant District Attorney. During his term with the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office, Manian tried more than three dozen felony jury trials, including many complex cases while assigned to the Sexual Assault Unit. Manian has conducted direct and cross examination of expert witnesses in a variety of scientific areas, including medical, crime scene forensics, computer forensics, DNA, fingerprint and trace evidence.

FOS is also well suited to defend against white collar criminal charges, particularly in contrast to exclusively criminal defense firms. The firm combines Manian’s expertise with more than a half-century of experience representing businesses and providing CPA-driven tax advice. FOS’s criminal defense practice further relies on the firm’s civil litigation department, to provide an overall strategy for its clients. FOS has the experience, knowledge and diversity in these crucial areas to mount a robust defense for you or your business against the massive power of a government investigation.

FOS represents individuals accused or being investigated in the following criminal areas:

White Collar Crimes

White collar criminal investigations can be directed at individuals and/or businesses, from large corporations to small family-owned businesses. These investigations are complex and lengthy, involving wide-reaching subpoenas for bank records, financial records, corporate records and forensic computer evidence.

An individual or business facing such an investigation always needs a team of experienced and sophisticated attorneys to represent and protect their/its interests. Having an experienced Milwaukee-based law firm represent you or your business, from the first contact with law enforcement officials or a federal agency, can mean the difference between being charged, or not being charged, with a white collar crime.

FOS can help guide you and your business through the mine-field of a white collar criminal investigation. This includes reviewing subpoenas for legal sufficiency and, when appropriate, moving to quash them. At the same time, the firm will help you and your business avoid making matters worse by ignoring, instead of complying with, a white collar criminal investigation.

If a white collar criminal investigation ultimately results in state and/or federal charges, Manian and the lawyers at FOS will draw on the firm’s significant criminal, business, tax and accounting experience to aggressively mount the strongest possible defense. The firm will thoroughly examine and scrutinize all evidence, moving to suppress any illegally obtained records or documents. If necessary, Manian and the firm are prepared to vigorously defend you and/or your business through a jury trial, and any necessary appeal.

Manian and the lawyers at FOS provide defense services as to all state or federal white collar criminal charges, including:

  • Corporate theft
  • Embezzlement
  • Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO)
  • Securities fraud
  • Bank fraud
  • Tax fraud
  • Wire fraud
  • Credit card fraud
  • Medicare, Medicaid and health care fraud
  • Conspiracy
  • Computer and Internet Crimes
  • Extortion
  • Theft of Trade Secrets
  • Identity theft

OWI/DUI Drunk Driving or Impaired Driving

A Wisconsin OWI/DUI conviction can result in large fines, higher insurance rates and suspension of driving privileges. It can also result in the loss of your Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), which could cost you your job.

If you have a prior OWI/DUI conviction, you face mandatory jail time on any subsequent Wisconsin OWI/DUI conviction. If you have multiple priors, you could even face prison time. If you have been arrested for OWI/DUI it is extremely important to contact FOS and immediately speak with Manian.

Q:What is the legal limit for Operating a Motor Vehicle in Wisconsin?

The legal limit for operating a motor vehicle on a public highway in Wisconsin is a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08. For someone who has three previous OWI/DUI convictions the limit is .02. The limit for those operating a commercial motor vehicle at the time of the alleged offense is .04. Remember, the fact that a BAC test result states that you are over the legal limit does not automatically mean that you will be found guilty. There may be a basis to challenge the test results or the other evidence against you.

Q:What is Wisconsin’s Implied Consent Law and What is a Refusal?

All drivers in Wisconsin are subject to the Implied Consent law. This means if you are operating a motor vehicle on Wisconsin’s roads, you have impliedly given consent to law enforcement officials that, once you are placed under arrest for OWI/DUI, they can request you submit to a chemical test of your blood, breath or urine.

Refusal to submit to a chemical test of your blood, breath or urine will likely result in you being charged with a refusal. You will then be served with a Notice of Intent to Revoke your operating privilege, which will go into effect 30 days from the Notice date. This is an administrative proceeding by the Department of Transportation (DOT), separate from your court proceeding.

This process also applies to your commercial driver’s license (CDL). In Wisconsin, you cannot obtain an occupational CDL license.

It is important to know that strict time deadlines exist for challenging this procedure. You only have 10 days from the date of Notice to request a hearing challenging the revocation of your license. Failure to do so can have severe consequences for you and your case. Contact FOS so Manian can make sure your rights and privileges are protected.

Manian will carefully review every aspect of your case, from the initial stop and field sobriety tests, to blood and breath tests. Manian will obtain and examine all necessary evidence, including police reports, police or third-party videos, and records relating to the breath/blood tests or the testing equipment. If legal errors were made by law enforcement officials or prosecutors, Manian will identify them and begin building a thoughtful and strategic defense for you.

Q:What is a PBT?

The chemical test of your blood, breath or urine should not be confused with the preliminary breath test device (PBT). This is a device that law enforcement officials will typically request someone to blow into on the side of the road, after administering the field sobriety tests. You are typically asked to blow into this device before your arrest. You do not have to consent to the PBT. The PBT results are not admissible in court. However, law enforcement will use the PBT results to further verify whether a basis exists to arrest a person suspected of OWI/DUI.

Q:What will happen to my license if I am over the legal limit?

If a chemical test of your blood, breath or urine states that you are above the legal limit, you will be served with a Notice of Intent to Suspend your operating privileges, which will go into effect 30 days from the Notice date. This is a DOT administrative proceeding, separate from your court case. You may be able to obtain an occupational license right away, depending on the circumstances of your case. In addition to the suspension of your license, you will be issued an additional charge of operating with a Prohibited Alcohol Concentration (PAC).

This process also applies to your commercial driver’s license (CDL). In Wisconsin, you cannot obtain an occupational CDL license.

The suspension of your license can be challenged in an administrative hearing. However, a person must request a hearing within 10 days of receiving the Notice, or 13 days if the Notice was mailed. Contact FOS so Manian can make sure your rights and privileges are protected.

Q:What will happen to my Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) if I am Convicted of Drunk Driving?

If you hold a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) and you are convicted of drunk driving, the penalties are severe. In that case, your CDL will be revoked for one year, even if the offense did not occur while you were operating a commercial motor vehicle. A second conviction for drunk driving will result in the revocation of your CDL for life. Further, CDL occupational permits are abolished, so you cannot get an occupational license to operate a commercial motor vehicle.

Q:What are the Important Deadlines in an OWI/DUI case?

Manian can request a hearing to challenge either the revocation of your license, in the case of an alleged refusal, or the administrative suspension of your license, in the case of a test result above the legal limit, or showing the presence of an illegal drug. This hearing must be requested within 10 days of the notice date or you will lose the right to challenge the revocation of your license.

Waiting to contact an attorney may make your case much harder to defend, since you will miss important deadlines and opportunities to challenge the charges. Contact FOS so Manian can make sure your rights and privileges are protected.

Manian will vigorously defend against all types of OWI/DUI related charges, including

  • Operating While Under the Influence of alcohol or a controlled substance
  • Operating with a Prohibited Alcohol Concentration
  • Refusal to Submit to Chemical Testing of breath, blood or urine
  • Administrative Suspension of Driving Privileges
  • Homicide by Intoxicated Use of a Motor Vehicle

Drug Crimes

If you are facing state or federal criminal drug charges, you should know that penalties for these crimes can be severe. One possessing even a small amount of drugs can face significant prison time. Charges of drug conspiracy or possession, with intent to distribute drugs, can carry penalties of decades in prison. If you have been arrested or charged with either state or federal drug crimes, it is important to contact FOS promptly to speak with Manian.

State and federal criminal drug charges often involve complex law enforcement investigations, including affidavits, search warrants, informants, undercover law enforcement agents and wiretaps. These are common instruments used by law enforcement officials to build a criminal drug case. Manian will carefully examine each aspect of your case, to identify any weaknesses or bases to challenge how law enforcement officials obtained the evidence.

The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution protects your rights against unlawful search and seizure practices by law enforcement. If you believe your rights have been violated, contact FOS and speak with Manian.

Q:How Can a Drug Case be Challenged in Court?

The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution protects your rights against unlawful search and seizure practices by law enforcement officials. Common challenges in drug crime cases include challenges to law enforcement officials’ searches of a person, vehicle, home, garage or attic; the sufficiency and scope of a search warrant; and methods by which law enforcement officials seized evidence used against you. Evidence obtained from an invalid search or seizure may be inadmissible, and may result in your charges being dismissed.

Manian has obtained favorable results for clients facing drug crimes in Milwaukee and throughout Wisconsin. He will fight aggressively to defend you against any state or federal criminal drug charges including charges of:

  • Drug possession
  • Drug possession with intent to distribute
  • Drug conspiracy charges
  • Len Bias charges
  • Drug Trafficking
  • Keeping a Drug House

Gun and Firearms Crimes

State and federal criminal gun and firearm charges can carry serious prison sentences and significant fines. There are over 20,000 state and federal gun and firearm laws in the United States. Many of these laws regulate where a person may or may not carry a gun or firearm. A mistake or confusion regarding gun/firearm laws can lead to state or federal criminal charges. If you have been questioned, arrested or charged with a state or federal gun or firearm crime, it is important to contact FOS immediately to speak with Manian.

Q:What is Wisconsin’s Castle Doctrine?

Under Wisconsin Statutes §939.48 (1m)(ar), if an actor intentionally used force that was intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm, the court may not consider whether the actor had an opportunity to flee or retreat before he or she used force, and shall presume that the actor reasonably believed that the force was necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself, if the actor makes such a claim under [§939.48(1) The Self-defense Statute] and either of the following applies:

–   1. The person against whom the force was used was in the process of unlawfully and forcibly entering the actor’s dwelling, motor vehicle, or place of business, the actor was present in the dwelling, motor vehicle, or place of business, and the actor knew or reasonably believed that an unlawful and forcible entry was occurring.

–   2. The person against whom the force was used was in the actor’s dwelling, motor vehicle, or place of business after unlawfully and forcibly entering it, the actor was present in the dwelling, motor vehicle, or place of business, and the actor knew or reasonably believed that the person had unlawfully and forcibly entered the dwelling, motor vehicle, or place of business.

•   (b) The presumption described in par. (ar) does not apply if any of the following applies:

–   1. The actor was engaged in a criminal activity or was using his or her dwelling, motor vehicle, or place of business to further a criminal activity at the time.

–   2. The person against whom the force was used was a public safety worker, as defined in s. 941.375 (1) (b), who entered or attempted to enter the actor’s dwelling, motor vehicle, or place of business in the performance of his or her official duties. This subdivision applies only if at least one of the following applies:

•   a. The public safety worker identified himself or herself to the actor before the force described in par. (ar) was used by the actor.

•   b. The actor knew or reasonably should have known that the person entering or attempting to enter his or her dwelling, motor vehicle, or place of business was a public safety worker.

Criminal charges stemming from the use of a gun or firearm may implicate Wisconsin’s Castle Doctrine. The Castle Doctrine mainly concerns a homeowner’s use of deadly force in situations when facing imminent danger of death. Whether a particular homeowner was justified in using a firearm is an extremely fact-intensive analysis, requiring careful scrutiny of every aspect of an incident. Having a knowledgeable attorney involved in the process from the beginning can make all the difference between the issuance, or non-issuance, of very serious criminal charges.

Q:What About Self-Defense?

Under Wisconsin Statutes §939.48(1), a person is privileged to threaten or intentionally use force against another for the purpose of preventing or terminating what the person reasonably believes to be an unlawful interference with his or her person by the other person. The actor may intentionally use only such force or threat as the actor reasonably believes is necessary to prevent or terminate the interference.

Wisconsin’s self-defense privilege may apply if a gun or firearm is used. This privilege requires a very fact-specific analysis, based on the event’s unique circumstances. If you have been arrested or charged for using a gun or firearm, it is imperative that you have a knowledgeable attorney to defend you. Having an experienced attorney involved in the process right away can make all the difference between the issuance, and non-issuance, of very serious criminal charges.

Q:What about Concealed Carry in Wisconsin?

To obtain a license to carry a concealed weapon in Wisconsin, you must be 21 years old, be a Wisconsin resident and not have been prohibited from possessing a firearm, under state or federal law, or as a condition of bail or release in a criminal case. You must also prove that you have taken the required firearms training. Carrying a concealed weapon without a license to do so will result in arrest and criminal charges carrying significant jail time and fines.

Q:Any Challenges to Law Enforcement Seizing my Gun?

The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution protects your rights against unlawful search and seizure practices by law enforcement officials. Common challenges in gun or firearm cases involve challenges to law enforcement officials’ searches of a person, vehicle or home, garage or attic; the sufficiency and scope of a search warrant; and the methods by which law enforcement seized the gun or firearm. A gun or firearm obtained from an invalid search or seizure may be inadmissible, and may result in your charges being dismissed.

A person in Wisconsin can be charged criminally for unlawfully possessing a gun or firearm. Such charges often result from the lack of a permit to carry a concealed firearm, or a previous felony conviction.

The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution grants all Americans the right to bear arms, subject to state and federal regulations. If you have been questioned, arrested or charged with possession or use of a gun or firearm, contact FOS and speak with Manian.

Manian has obtained favorable results for clients facing gun crimes. He will fight aggressively to defend you against any state or federal criminal gun or firearms charges including charges of:

  • Felon in possession of a firearm
  • Recklessly endangering safety
  • Endangering safety by use of a weapon
  • Disorderly conduct while armed
  • Carrying a concealed weapon
  • Possession of a firearm without a carrying concealed permit
  • Illegal trafficking in guns or firearms
  • Selling illegal guns or firearms
  • Possession of a machine gun
  • Possession of a short-barreled shotgun or rifle

Sex Crimes and Computer Crimes

Investigations and criminal charges of a sex crime or, using a computer to facilitate or commit a sex crime, can come from the state or federal government. State or federal penalties upon a conviction can be severe, including up to decades in mandatory prison time, huge fines, surcharges, and even permanent sex offender registration. If you have been questioned regarding, or charged with, a sex crime or computer crime, it is extremely important to contact FOS to speak with Manian.

Manian worked as a prosecutor in the Sex Crimes Unit of the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office for several years. Consequently, he knows how investigations in these areas are conducted, and knows what types of evidence must support a criminal charge and conviction. Manian can use his knowledge and experience in this unique area to scrutinize the evidence carefully and build a strong defense for you.

Manian has experience in medical, crime scene forensics, computer forensics, DNA, fingerprint and trace evidence. These scientific areas become extremely important in any case in this area. Manian has the knowledge and experience to build a strong defense against any allegation of sex crime or computer crime, including the following crimes:

  • Sexual assault
  • Human Trafficking
  • False imprisonment
  • Using a computer to facilitate a sex crime
  • Possession of child pornography

Domestic Abuse Crimes

An investigation or criminal charge of alleged domestic abuse can be life-changing. An accusation alone can result in irreversible harm to your reputation, career and family. A domestic abuse conviction can yield severe penalties, including jail or prison time, fines, surcharges and the loss of rights, including the right to carry or possess a gun or firearm.

If you have been questioned or arrested regarding, or charged with, a domestic abuse matter, it is extremely important to contact FOS and immediately speak with Manian.

If you have been charged with a domestic abuse-related offense, a “No Contact Order” will likely be issued against you. This order may require you to move out of your home and may prevent you from having contact with your children. That is why it is crucial to have a knowledgeable and experienced criminal attorney involved at the beginning of the process. An experienced attorney can try to prevent charges from being issued by conferring with the prosecutor before a charging decision is made.

If a criminal charge of domestic abuse cannot be avoided, Manian will rely on his knowledge and experience in these matters to build a strong defense for you and represent you every step of the way. He will work to have the charges reduced and, if that cannot be obtained, will aggressively represent you at trial.

Injunctions/Restraining Orders

Several different types of injunctions and restraining orders exist in Wisconsin, including those relating to domestic abuse, child abuse and harassment. Obtaining an injunction or restraining order can be vital to protecting the victim and the victim’s children, and stopping the harassment.

A knowledgeable attorney can walk you through the process, step by step. He can help gather vital evidence to prove your case, such as pictures or text messages, and represent you at an injunction hearing. Manian can use his experience as a former Milwaukee District Attorney’s Office prosecutor to help you obtain an injunction and/or restraining order.

Unfortunately, these legal protections are sometimes abused to make false accusations of abuse and harassment, whether to gain leverage in divorce proceedings or ruin an adversary’s reputation. If you are subject to such charges, Manian will carefully review all allegations against you. He will help gather evidence to defend against false accusations, or help show that the alleged facts do not constitute abuse or harassment under the law. Given the irreversible harm of an injunction or restraining order on your life, career and family, it is wise to consult an experienced attorney if you are served with injunction/restraining order filings.

Q:What is a TRO?

Many people do not understand that a person can obtain what is known as a temporary restraining order (TRO) or injunction, which may remain in place until the date of a court hearing. A temporary injunction or restraining order can prohibit a person from having any contact with another person, that person’s children, or a residence, until a court hearing can be held. Violating a temporary injunction or restraining order can result in arrest, criminal charges, jail time and fines.

Q:What Happens at an Injunction or Restraining Order Hearing?

At a court hearing for an injunction or restraining order request, both parties present evidence by themselves testifying and/or having other witnesses to the events testify as to the facts. Either party can also present any supporting evidence, such as phone records, text messages or pictures, to help prove or defend against the allegations. Manian will make sure that important admissible evidence of your case is presented properly, to give you the best chance of obtaining or defending against an injunction or restraining order.

Contact Fox, O’Neill & Shannon at (414) 273-3939 to set up a free consultation with Attorney Jacob Manian regarding your criminal matter. Manian can also be reached during non-business hours at (414) 303-2526 or jamanian@foslaw.com.