Frequently Asked Questions About Criminal Defense

Being charged with a crime can be terrifying if you don't know what to expect. Here are answers to some questions clients frequently ask. Please contact J. Kippa Law, LLC, for a free consultation about your specific case.

Do I need a lawyer for my first OWI?

While it is true that in Wisconsin an OWI is typically a civil offense, you would be wise to seek the assistance of an attorney. Under certain circumstances, even a first-offense OWI can be charged criminally. It is of critical importance that you understand the difference. Civil forfeiture is punishable by fines and license suspensions, but not jail or probation. A criminal OWI will carry mandatory minimum prison and the potential for probation.

Penalties for a civil first offense include fines, license suspension, mandatory alcohol assessment and installation of an ignition interlock device. The assistance that a good attorney can provide is essential. At a minimum, you ought to contact an attorney to discuss the specifics of your case.

I was not read my rights. Will my case get thrown out?

No. Not being read your Miranda rights will affect any statement that you may have given, under certain circumstances, and could result in the suppression of your statement. It is not likely to result in a complete dismissal of your case. Analysis of this type of issue is very fact-specific and requires an in-depth conversation with an attorney.

I am not charged with a felony. Even if I am convicted of a lesser crime, will it affect my right to possess a firearm?

Possibly. Federal statutes can implicate your ability to own or even possess a gun if the crime for which you are charged meets the definition of a violent crime of domestic abuse. So even though Wisconsin law only prohibits possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, federal law may prevent you from possessing a gun, depending on the facts of your case.

Will my drug charges affect my eligibility for federal student loans?

Quite likely. If you are ultimately convicted of a crime involving any controlled substance, financial assistance can be denied. The length of time that you are ineligible depends on the type of offense for which you are convicted. There are many ways a lawyer can prevent a conviction, even if you possessed a controlled substance.

I am not sure I can afford an attorney. Are lawyers ridiculously expensive?

It is not cheap to hire a qualified, experienced attorney, but more importantly, you should ask yourself what the cost of not getting a good attorney may be. While there is a presumption of innocence in criminal matters, once you get into a courtroom, the deck is stacked against you.

Prosecutors and judges are likely looking for a quick guilty plea and resolution to the case. That often is not in your best interest. The first offer may not be the best, there may be collateral consequences to a guilty plea, or you may be innocent.

Contact J. Kippa Law, LLC, For Experienced Criminal Defense

Trying to walk the legal minefield without a good lawyer can be treacherous at best. Attorney Jeffrey Kippa does not want to see a potential client take the "cheap" way out with an inexperienced attorney or no attorney at all.

Jeffrey Kippa represents clients in Appleton, Green Bay and Oshkosh and throughout Wisconsin. To learn about his criminal defense experience, set up a free appointment online or call him at 920-944-3352.