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Stiffer Penalties for OWI Offenses in Appleton and Oshkosh

Stiffer penalties are now coming in 2017 for people convicted of Operating While Intoxicated in Appleton, Oshkosh, and throughout Wisconsin.  The new law becomes effective, kicks in, on Jan. 1, 2017.  The new law makes a fourth OWI offense a felony and will also increases the maximum sentence for fifth and sixth offenses from three years imprisonment to five years imprisonment.

Petit & Dommershausen, S.C. would like to remind our friends and neighbors of the great options available for a safe ride home if you have had too much to drink.  Should you or a loved one encounter a legal matter related to OWI, please do not hesitate to contact our firm at 920-739-9900.

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Attorney Britteny LaFond | Big Brothers Big Sisters | Board of Directors

Attorney Britteny LaFond has been named to the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Fox Valley Region Board of Directors.  Ms. LaFond is committed to providing children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever.  Ms. LaFond is driven to help all children achieve success in life.

Petit & Dommershausen, S.C. congratulates Attorney LaFond on her being named to the Board of Directors and commends her efforts to help children in our community.  Great Outcomes Don’t Just Happen.

For more information, please visit Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Fox Valley Region.

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Restorative Justice

How Restorative Justice Can Help Everyone Impacted by Crime

Restorative justice is a philosophical approach to dealing with crime in the community and working to repair some (or in some cases, all) of the damage. It invokes the participation of victims, the community, and offenders. Dr. Howard Zehr, a scholar in restorative justice says we need to ask 3 questions: (1) what is the harm; (2) what needs to be done to repair the harm; and (3) who is responsible for the repair?

Restorative justice focuses on the ripple effect of crime against an individual or the community. Victims have the opportunity to express the full impact the crime has had on their lives, to receive answers to lingering questions about the incident (often times, the unanswered why me question), and to participate in holding the offender accountable for their actions and the impact they have caused. Offenders can tell their side of the story, such as why the crime occurred and how it has affected them personally. Offenders are given the opportunity to help in the healing process of the victim to whatever degree possible. Restorative justice helps support victims and communities in the hearing process—something traditional courts and punishments have ignored.

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Oshkosh, Alcohol, and Public Intoxication

The snow is melting in Oshkosh and soon spring will be here— starting the annual season of pub crawls, music festivals…..and the drinking that’s common at these events.  While this is a part of life for many young people and students in the area, here are some things to keep in mind so you can stay out of trouble.

First, the City of Oshkosh has its own municipal code, and you can be charged with violating it by the city.  These offenses have separate penalties that are not necessarily the same as if you charged with a crime by the state.  Relevant to most college students is Section 17-7, which prohibits having open alcohol containers in certain public areas—for instance, on streets and sidewalks.  If you violate this law, you can be fined anywhere from $75 to $500, in addition to having to pay court fees.  If you don’t pay the fine, your driver’s license can be suspended or you could even serve up to 60 days in jail.

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Arrested in Oshkosh? | Information you need to know


             An arrest can be a parent’s or grandparent’s worst nightmare.  Maybe your child or grandchild made a mistake.  Or, even worse, your child or grandchild has been wrongfully accused of some criminal wrongdoing.

In the event one of your loved ones faces arrest or is taken into custody by law enforcement, you should be aware of the following information.  Many times officers make an arrest based on alleged probable cause without an arrest warrant.  This is a completely legal process.  If an officer makes a warrantless arrest, your child or grandchild’s arrest must be reviewed by an impartial magistrate (judge or court commissioner) within 48 business hours of arrest.  However, this does not mean your child or grandchild will go in front of the judge for a bail hearing at that time.  If a magistrate determines that probable cause exists, your son or daughter or grandchild could still sit in jail for days or more before going to court.

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A brief guide to understanding small claims cases

1. Complaint:
This document initiates a small claims action. The summons and complaint are completed by the plaintiff in a case. The plaintiff is the party bringing the claim to court. The complaint must set forth the claim for money, return of property, eviction, or personal injury damages that the plaintiff seeks to recover.

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OWI (DUI/DWI) and Your Driver's License

1) Arrest and Sample
In Northeast Wisconsin, nearly all law enforcement agencies prefer to test your blood upon arrest for OWI. In most cases, the blood sample is sent to the State Hygiene Lab.
2) Notice of Suspension
Usually, the arresting officer will receive the results of that blood test within a few weeks. If the sample indicates a prohibited alcohol concentration, the officer will forward the results on to the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the officer will provide you with a “Notice of Suspension of Operating Privilege.” This document informs you that the DOT will be suspending your license within 30 days of you receiving the notice.

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Is your 17-year-old teen son guilty of a sex offense?

    1. The dangers of social media.

      Your son has dated his girlfriend Jane for 6 months. At the last high school dance he breaks up with Jane and takes up with her best friend Mary. After a very public breakup, they exchange barbs with each other using various social media. As a result of facebook postings and twitter messages the word gets around school. The police school liaison officer decides to cool down the situation by intervening. The PSL interviews Jane and your son. The next thing you know, your son is charged with second degree sexual assault under Wis. stats. sec. 948.02(1)(b). Your son now will face up to 40 years in prison and registration as a sexual offender!

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