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June 2015 Archives

U.S. drug trafficking convictions and penalties

Defendants convicted of importing, transporting or selling drugs almost always go to prison. How long a Milwaukee defendant remains incarcerated following a drug trafficking conviction depends heavily upon the type and quantity of drugs seized by investigators. Over 22,000 of the more than 80,000 cases before the U.S. Sentencing Commission in 2013 were drug trafficking cases.

Wisconsin lacks a law prohibiting 'sextortion'

Extortion is not a new crime but Internet technology has made it possible to threaten Wisconsin residents in a new way. So-called sextortion involves using secretly recorded or voluntarily shared sexually explicit images or videos obtained online to blackmail someone. "Sextortionists" claim the sexual content will be revealed unless the victim meets certain demands.

Fraud plea agreement to resolve whistleblower case

Federal courts can cause serious damage to the lives of defendants who are accused of obtaining government money illegally. A Wisconsin businessman is on the hook for over $1.6 million, according to the details of a plea deal between the construction company owner and U.S. prosecutors. The owner of Watry Homes was accused of conspiring to commit fraud in a 2013 whistleblower lawsuit.

Do federal grand jury witnesses need legal representation?

Federal grand juries collect evidence through the use of subpoenas before deciding whether criminal charges are warranted. There is no requirement for a Milwaukee witness to retain an attorney before testifying in front of a federal grand jury, but there is a compelling reason to seek a lawyer's advice. A witness may be the target of a federal criminal investigation.

Reasonable and unreasonable searches and seizures

Your body, property and home are your possessions but there are times when police officers have the right to frisk, seek and take those things. A Wisconsin police officer may not conduct a search unless the action is justified. "Justified" is not a matter of opinion.

Wisconsin man could face 25-year prison term for sex crime

Any criminal charge or conviction can be destructive to the lives of Wisconsin defendants. Some of the most severe consequences are the result of sex crime allegations, particularly charges involving minors, because of the public's sensitivity toward possible child sexual abuse.

How is copyright infringement prosecuted and punished?

Ignorance of the law cannot be used as an excuse by a Milwaukee defendant. In truth, it is largely impossible for anyone, even legal professionals, to know and understand every law. If you want to pick an especially difficult area to tackle, try sorting out the nuances of intellectual property laws.

10 arrested in Wisconsin underage pornography investigation

A task force comprised of members of eight Wisconsin law enforcement agencies arrested 10 people recently. Allegations of underage pornography possession or distribution were made against half a dozen people -- two other defendants are expected to be charged with the same offenses. The remaining two defendants were charged solely with drug crimes.

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Kohn Smith Roth
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Milwaukee, WI 53203

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