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Ben Schwarz

Ben Schwarz’s Answers

454 total


  • A friend of mine was caught in one of Chris Hansen’s investigations, can he sue them for entrapment?

    Ben’s Answer

    Entrapment is a defense to criminal charges, not a cause of action for a civil case that I'm aware of. Additionally, entrapment can only be committed by governmental actors (like police officers), not private citizens like hosts of television shows. Your friend, assuming the accuracy of your question, would be best served by focusing on hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney to represent him for whatever criminal charges he is facing. Good luck.

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  • I have not been convicted of shoplifting at walmar, can they banned me from coming to the store?

    Ben’s Answer

    Walmart can ban anyone from their store for almost any reason. They are a private entity and have the right to control who can enter their businesses. Even if you're acquitted at trial or your case is dismissed, Walmart is under no obligation to allow you to shop there.

    The police don't have to read you your rights unless they plan on asking you questions while you're in custody and also want to use those statements later in court.

    Your best bet now is to forget about Walmart and focus on your arrest/charges. Hire an experienced local criminal defense lawyer ASAP, or if you can't afford to hire private counsel, contact your local public defender service. Good luck.

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  • Drove and hit a curb on the way home. A person driving saw the incident and called the police.

    Ben’s Answer

    You have not asked a question. Sounds like you need to hire an experienced local criminal defense lawyer ASAP. You can use the "Find a Lawyer" tool on AVVO or Google criminal defense lawyers in your area. If you've been charged criminally (as in this is not a 1st OWI civil ordinance), and you cannot afford a lawyer, you may be able to get one appointed through the local State Public Defender's Office. Contact them to find out if you're eligible. Good luck.

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  • Will I be punished harshly?

    Ben’s Answer

    For the purpose of your question, I'm going to assume that you are talking about mushrooms containing psilocybin or another chemical that is listed in Wisconsin's controlled substances act. If you are caught in possession of psilocybin mushrooms, a first offense is a misdemeanor crime with the potential for up to 1 year in jail. A second or subsequent simple possession offense is a felony with significantly greater potential penalties. Manufacturing/producing psilocybin containing mushrooms is an even more serious felony with even harsher potential penalties. If you are discovered to be in possession of or producing controlled substances, you can expect to be charged with one or more crimes and face the maximum potential penalties for those crimes. No one can tell you what the end result would be (whether or not you would actually be sentenced to a period of incarceration, for example) but the potential penalties for the actions you're asking about are serious. Good luck to you and I hope you seriously consider the potential consequences of you're actions before making any decisions.

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  • I have a warrant for my arrest in wisconsin. If I travel to Iowa can the Iowa police also arrest me

    Ben’s Answer

    If you have a warrant out for you and come into contact with law enforcement, they may discover that warrant and arrest you, regardless of where you are or what state you are in. So the answer to your question is yes, if Iowa police find out you have a warrant in Wisconsin, they can arrest you.

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  • If my boyfriend was intoxicated (drugs) and threatened to kill himself pulled my hair will judge post no contact?

    Ben’s Answer

    There's a lot going on here and you ask several different questions but I'll do my best to address them all.

    Can the judge order the no contact? - Yes, it's up to the judge who sets the bond. The judge can order the no contact regardless of whether or not you waived or enforced the DV no contact provision at the time of the arrest. Bond conditions are set in each case and often include a no contact order. While the judge can take into consideration the fact that you did not enforce the DV no contact and that you were the one who called out of concern for his safety, the bond conditions are still up to the judge.

    Can you ask that he go to rehab/therapy? - Yes. Victims in Wisconsin have the right to speak at certain hearings and to communicate to the prosecuting attorney their wishes. There should be some kind of victim/witness staff at the District Attorney's office who can inform you of your rights as a victim.

    How long does a no contact order last? - If it's part of the bond conditions, it lasts as long as the defendant is on bond or until the judge changes the conditions. If it's a restraining order, it lasts as long as the restraining order is in effect unless altered by the court. If your boyfriend is sentenced to probation or extended supervision, the judge or his agent could also put a no contact provision in place as a condition of his probation.

    Can you recant a prior statement? - Yes, but this could also expose you to some kind of penalty for lying to the police. I would strongly urge you to consult with your own criminal defense attorney before speaking with the police. You could also talk to your boyfriend's attorney to see if you can assist with his defense, but again, I would caution you to seriously consider any potential negative affects that a recantation could have on you before you proceed down that road.

    It sounds like you're in a very difficult position, I hope that this was somewhat helpful for you and that this situation works out. Good luck.

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  • Banning for no reason on tinder?

    Ben’s Answer

    Tough luck. Try another dating app. Tinder is free to ban anyone from their app, they are a private company and you don't have any entitlement to their services.

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  • In Ohio can you be indicted for a assault that wasn't reported to police until 2 years later?

    Ben’s Answer

    If the statute of limitations has not expired then yes, the State can indict your husband for a crime that occurred months or years ago. I don't practice in Ohio but a quick google search indicates that most felonies in that state have a statute of limitations of 6 years, and that some serious assault charges may have even longer time frames, so it would seem that this charge is likely still within the statute of limitations in your particular case.

    The most important thing to do at this point is for your husband to hire an experienced local criminal defense attorney. He needs to do this IMMEDIATELY. Criminal charges are very serious and his best chance of avoiding major, potentially life altering consequences is to retain an experienced lawyer ASAP. If he cannot afford to hire a private attorney, he should contact the local public defender service to see if they can assist him.

    I would also suggest that you not post any more details of the alleged offense on the internet. Although this forum is technically anonymous, it's theoretically possible that a zealous investigator or prosecutor could trace your online statements back to you to use against your husband in the case. Get your husband a lawyer and don't talk to anyone else about the details of the case against him. Good luck.

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  • Do you think i can win at trial?

    Ben’s Answer

    There is no way anyone on this anonymous online forum can give you an accurate prediction of what may or may not happen in your particular case. Every case is different and requires a full review of all of the potential evidence and defenses to even start predicting what may happen at trial. No one on this forum can tell you whether or not you will win.

    If you have a lawyer, you should be discussing these issues with him or her. If you don't have a lawyer, you need to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney ASAP. If you can't afford to hire private counsel, contact your local public defender service to see if they can assist you. Don't delay, you need representation sooner rather than later. Good luck.

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  • Can the driver sue me for claiming I hit her car? She says I hit it with the door but the damage is on my passenger seat.

    Ben’s Answer

    Can she sue you? Sure. Will she win? Impossible to say without a full evaluation of the evidence. But you have insurance, so they should defend you in the event of a lawsuit. Keep your insurance in the loop and if you are served with a lawsuit your insurance company should provide you with a lawyer to defend against the suit. I would also recommend that you stop communicating with this woman at all, let your insurance handle it. Good luck.

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