Category: Criminal Defense

This is an important development in criminal justice reform, but it does nothing to eliminate this severity at the state level. Drug charges of any kind need an aggressive defense.

Cases are being pushed months, even years, behind due to the public defender shortage in Wisconsin. Experts say it will take years to overcome the pileup of cases within the Wisconsin courts.

Why is This Happening?

Public defender pay has remained unchanged for many years, although the amount of work demanded from them has only increased. According to data provided by Wisconsin’s public defender’s office, the number of cases sitting on the desks of public defenders was 32,000 before the pandemic and is now 64,000 as of May this year. SPD spokesperson Wilson Medina states, “This is unsustainable and can potentially jeopardize the constitutional rights of our clients throughout the state.” In addition, the pandemic caused many counties to put jury trials on hold due to public health and safety concerns. Many prosecutors, judges, and attorneys feared the upcoming pileup we are now experiencing.

The Struggles of The Defendants

The defendants are not unharmed by the backlog. Some of them are in jail for months while waiting for their case. Others are losing residences and jobs. The issue is larger than it seems.

How Will This Be Fixed?

Since public defender pay remains too low for people to desire to work in this field, the first step to solving this dilemma is to increase funding for public defenders. This would encourage more young lawyers to become public defenders rather than working for a private firm. Since public defenders are so overbooked, it is hard to find enough of them who are qualified for the more complex cases such as shootings, homicides, or reckless driving. A change must occur. With the current status of the pileup in cases, it could take the court system years to get through the cases they already have.

One way to avoid becoming a victim of the backlog is to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney of your own. The protection of your rights, reputation, and future is too important to be delayed.

Have you heard about this program? It’s probably bad news if you have, since the goal of The Wisconsin Enhances Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (ePDMP) is to identify potential drug crimes and apprehend those accused of committing them.

How Does It Work?

The ePDMP provides the state with valuable information regarding monitored prescription drugs dispensed by Wisconsin and aids healthcare workers in their prescribing and dispensing decisions. In addition, the ePDMP allows pharmacies, healthcare workers, law enforcement, and public health officials to work together, attempting to reduce the misuse, abuse, and diversion of monitored prescription drugs.

The ePDMP receives alerts based on numerous things such as early refills, long-term Opioid therapy, and high Opioid daily use. For example, in June 2022, about 20,000 individuals received an early refill. This is a cause for immediate concern for those individuals. In the same month, about 12,000 individuals were on long-term Opioid therapy. These numbers are the lowest they have been since January of 2022. Delegates and Prescribers make most of the patient queries each month. With this information, the WI ePDMP can monitor any patients who meet the criteria to be considered as concerning.

Mistakes Will Be Made

Unfortunately, human beings make mistakes and law enforcement officers are no exception. An increased focus on prescription drug monitoring will result in increased scrutiny on legal prescription drug users and result in faulty criminal charges. It is crucial to have a skilled criminal defense attorney
protecting your rights and making sure your side of the story is told if you find yourself on the wrong side of prescription drug charges.

Public defenders play a crucial role in our criminal justice system, but there are benefits to hiring your own defense attorney. One crucial reason is a shortage of public defenders is delaying the resolution of criminal cases. When your rights, future, and reputation are on the line you cannot afford to wait to get the defense you need.

In an attempt to crack down on illegal substances, the Forest County Sherriff’s Office led a massive interdiction. This resulted in a total of 107 traffic stops across 8 hours. Follow the link to find out the statistics on the stops… it is shocking!

We recently shared an interesting nugget about the prevalence of wrongful convictions in our criminal justice system. As we said then, when mistakes occur in the criminal justice system, we all have an obligation to learn from them and ensure people’s rights are protected.

Unfortunately, the post-mortem blame game on wrongful convictions does nothing in the short term to insulate you against flaws in the justice system.

Are penalties too severe? Yes, for the most part.

Do we incarcerate far too much of our population? Yes.

Do prosecutors, juries, and judges make mistakes? Yes.

Will addressing those issues and reforming the system help you if you are already facing criminal charges? No. You can do only one thing now to protect your rights and lessen the chance of being wrongfully convicted of a crime you did not commit.

Regardless of the work that is yet to happen on criminal justice reform, your best bet is to make sure you have an experienced, knowledgeable, and resourceful defense attorney looking out for your interests. You have too much on the line to leave your defense in the hands of someone who only dabbles in criminal defense or has yet to take part in a criminal trial.

A proven defense attorney can identify potential issues with jury selection, discovery, and trial procedure and limit your exposure to a wrongful conviction. In some cases, early intervention can result in criminal charges not being pursued or dismissed due to a lack of admissible evidence.

The Bottom Line

Our system is not perfect, and there is much work to be done, but it is all we have right now. Therefore, it is essential to have an attorney on your side who knows how to navigate the system as it exists today to limit your exposure to a criminal conviction and penalties.

“You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to a lawyer. If you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be appointed for you if you wish.”

If you are a fan of police procedural shows such as Law & Order, this is not the first time you have encountered this language. Known as the “Miranda” warning, it lays out the rights of those who have been placed under police custody.

It gets its name from the Supreme Court case Miranda v. Arizona. The language of the Miranda decision borrowed heavily from a thesis laid out by law professor Yale Kamisar, who died on January 30 at the age of 92. As reported by The Washington Post, he was dubbed the “father of Miranda”.

This seems like an appropriate time to take a closer look at Miranda and what it means for you if you find yourself in police custody.

When Miranda Warning Must Be Read

Miranda rights do not have to be read every time you interact with a police officer, investigator or other law enforcement officer. For example, an officer who pulls you over on the highway or knocks on your door at home does not have to read your Miranda rights to you.

Miranda is required to be read when you are placed into police custody and police interrogate you. This is the type of situation you are likely familiar with from watching the aforementioned television programs.

Failure to Read Miranda Warning Is Not Game Over for the Prosecution

Do not assume that your case will be thrown out if they failed to read your Miranda warning. It could become a crucial issue in your case or it may turn out to be nothing but an unfortunate footnote. Any time you are placed under arrest or have reason to believe you are under investigation, it is crucial to have an experienced criminal defense attorney working to limit your exposure to criminal penalties.



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