Christopher Van Wagner’s Answers

Christopher Van Wagner

Madison Criminal Defense Attorney.

Contributor Level 4
  1. I received an under age drinking ticket in Wisconsin is this considered a misdemeanor?

    Answered 6 months ago.

    1. Michael C. Witt
    2. Christopher Van Wagner
    3. John Scott Swimmer
    3 lawyer answers

    In Wisconsin, a ticket for underage drinking is NOT a criminal charge. It is a civil violation, called an ordinance or forfeiture violation. You can be fined for the offense. You can also face a license suspension. If you go to court and plead no contest or guilty, the judge will tell you the amount you owe, and also whether or not your license is suspended for any period of time. But this is not a crime, and that allows you to answer "No" in the future to any question asking if you have a...

    5 lawyers agreed with this answer

  2. Is it legal to try and find a missing person.

    Answered 6 months ago.

    1. Christopher Van Wagner
    1 lawyer answer

    There isn't anything illegal or wrong with trying to locate a missing family member. Here, though, where your father hasn't been heard from for several months, you and other family members can make a report to the police that he is missing. This does not mean they will necessarily go look for him, depending upon the circumstances in which he disappeared. As a minor, however, there are really only a limited number of things you can do to try to make contact with your father. You should direct...

    5 lawyers agreed with this answer

  3. Expungment in different sates

    Answered 6 months ago.

    1. Christopher Van Wagner
    2. Nathaniel John Oleson
    2 lawyer answers

    Each state passes its own laws regarding criminal records, including if and when a record can be expunged. For instance, Wisconsin recently changed is expungement law to allow more people to seek and obtain expungement, and for more crimes. Previously, one could only seek expungement of certain misdemeanors, and only if you committed those crimes before you turned 21. Now, if you were no older than 25 years at the time of the crime, you may seek expungement, and you may do so now even for...

    4 lawyers agreed with this answer

  4. What is the process to get a sentence reduction?

    Answered 6 months ago.

    1. Christopher Van Wagner
    2. Jay K. Nixon
    3. John Christian Bohren
    3 lawyer answers

    Wisconsin law does permit something called a "Motion to Modify Sentence." The grounds are normally limited to a situation where one can show the Court a "new factor", that is, something not known to the judge at the time of sentencing but which, if known, would have produced a different sentence. Here, there may be some way to use the things your husband has done over the years in prison to persuade a judge to reduce the Wisconsin sentence or, perhaps, persuade the DA to agree to some sort of...

    2 lawyers agreed with this answer

    1 person marked this answer as helpful

  5. What will happen now? Would the charges be dropped? What would be the best option?

    Answered 6 months ago.

    1. Christopher Van Wagner
    2. Valerie Semmes Bouffiou
    2 lawyer answers

    As one lawyer has already told you, this is more complicated than simply deciding whether or not to "show up". First, if you are given a subpoena for court, failing to show up can lead to your arrest. Second, if you do show up, and you testify that you lied to the police and are telling the truth now, the DA could charge you with a crime yourself, known as "Obstructing" for lying to the police in the first place. Finally, if the DA doesn't believe you now, and yet you still give that sworn...

    2 lawyers agreed with this answer

  6. What happens if you already are a felon and you have 3 felony cases pending

    Answered 6 months ago.

    1. Christopher Van Wagner
    2. Stephen Walter Sawyer
    3. Alan James Brinkmeier
    4. Harry Edward Hudson Jr
    5. L. Vincent Ramunno Jr.
    5 lawyer answers

    In Wisconsin, when a person is already a felon and is later charged with additional felonies, the District Attorney may file what is called a "repeater" charge. That is a charge that allows the DA to seek even greater penalties upon conviction. When a person has three open felony cases, it is quite common for the DA to show greater willingness to negotiate a "global" plea agreement, which is an offer that if accepted would settle all of the charges at the same time. This can be done even if the...

    1 lawyer agreed with this answer

    1 person marked this answer as helpful

  7. Is it legal for a minor to date an adult in wisconsin?

    Answered 6 months ago.

    1. Jeffrey J. Szczewski
    2. Christopher Van Wagner
    3. Jay Scott Finnecy
    3 lawyer answers

    Your parents are the only ones who could try to stop you from dating an 18 year old, because you are still only 13. Technically, they could seek help under law (in the form of a restraining order) against him, if they were truly opposed to you seeing him. You wouldn't face any real legal concerns "just" for dating him, but if you were ever questioned, say, by the police, you might be tempted to lie or cover-up for him. That would be a crime, called "Obstructing", for which you could face...

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