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Middleton Criminal Defense & Workers' Compensation Law Blog

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What offenses are considered computer crimes in Wisconsin?

Computer technology has come a long way over the decades. However, with the rise of computers and the Internet came various computer crimes. Many computer crimes are considered white-collar crimes. Those who violate laws regarding computer crimes could face serious penalties.

Hacking is a computer crime that many people in Wisconsin may already be familiar with. Other types of computer crimes include: improperly accessing a network; improperly copying, modifying, damaging or using data; introducing a virus into a network; interfering with someone else's access to a computer; and more. However, to be criminally charged with a computer crime, a person must have acted willfully and knowingly. Unintentional actions are not subject to prosecution.

Some workplace environments are more dangerous than others

It is understandable that some workplaces in Wisconsin are more dangerous than others. For example, those who work with heavy machinery or at great heights could see more workplace fatalities than those who work in an office. However, it is important to recognize that any workplace environment could present hazards that could ultimately lead to fatalities.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released a report of the number of worker deaths suffered in U.S. workplaces in 2016 and found that the number rose seven percent from the year before. This is the third year in a row that workplace fatalities have increased across the nation. The BLS noted which types of jobs saw the most fatalities.

Does Dane County offer alternative drug courts?

The state of Wisconsin recognizes that sometimes there are underlying issues that cause a person to commit a criminal offense, such as drug addiction. Problem-solving courts, including drug courts, address these issues in a way that treats the offender, while still holding them responsible for the drug offense they committed. Dane County has drug courts that may be an alternative for some drug offenders.

The Dane County Drug Courts provide alternatives in prosecuting and sentencing individuals with substance abuse issues. Those in Dane County who are accused of committing a non-violent felony crime driven by drugs, and who present a medium to high risk of committing another such offense in the future, may be referred to the Dane County Drug Courts.

The 'Fatal Four' workplace injuries in the construction industry

While it may still seem like we are still on the tail end of winter, spring will soon be coming around the corner, and, in Wisconsin, this means many construction projects will begin. It should come as no surprise that work performed in the construction industry can be dangerous. The following are some statistics regarding common workplace injuries.

According to the U.S. Department of Occupational Safety and Health Administration, in 2017, 20.7 percent of all workplace fatalities in the private industry took place in the construction industry. Not including highway collisions, the most common fatal injuries in the construction industry include falls, being hit by an object, being electrocuted and being caught in or between machinery. OSHA refers to these injuries as the "Fatal Four" and they comprised almost 60 percent of all construction worker fatalities in 2017.

License suspension may not resolve unpaid traffic tickets

Sometimes, when a person in Wisconsin commits a traffic offense, they are ordered to pay a fine. If they fail to do so, their driver's license may be suspended. While some might think this is a reasonable measure to provide an impetus for people to pay their traffic tickets on time, it is actually causing problems, according to a report published in the Racine Journal Times.

According to that report, almost 60 percent of license suspensions in the state were issued because the motorist failed to pay a fine. In fact, a 2013 study indicated that 250,000 driver's license suspensions were based on the non-payment of fines, compared to a total of 170,000 driver's license suspensions issued on all other bases combined.

What can I do if my workers' compensation claim is denied?

When a person in Wisconsin suffers an injury on-the-job, they may find they are unable to work for a period time as they recover from the injury. This could be costly, as the worker may incur a hefty amount of medical expenses with no means to pay either them or their everyday living expenses if they aren't earning any wages. For these reasons, the worker may pursue workers' compensation benefits following a workplace injury.

Unfortunately, not every claim for workers' compensation benefits is approved. This can be distressing, especially if the worker feels they have a valid claim. However, it is possible to appeal a denied claim for workers' compensation benefits.

Bill would criminalize first-time OWI offenses in Wisconsin

As of right now, a first-time operating while intoxicated (OWI) offense is considered a civil violation and will result in a citation. However, a bill has been introduced in the Wisconsin Legislature that would make a first-time OWI a misdemeanor. Under the bill, if convicted on a first-time OWI, a person could have their record expunged if they did not commit a subsequent OWI for five years. The newly-elected Governor Tony Evers has stated he is open to the idea of criminalizing a first-time OWI.

Not everyone is on board with the bill, however. Once senator stated that the bill would impose a criminal record on an individual that could affect their ability to find a job for half a decade. He believes people should not face such repercussions simply for making one mistake.

Ag is one of Wisconsin's most dangerous workplace environments

Agriculture is one of Wisconsin's most important industries, but it's also one of the most dangerous. In 2011, 570 agricultural workers died from work-related injuries nationwide. This is seven times higher than the fatality rate for employees generally. This blog post will briefly discuss the factors making agriculture so dangerous and will also describe the workers' compensation status of the ag industry.

What is the leading cause of death in the agriculture sector? According to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the number one cause of death is tractor overturns. Over 90 deaths annually happened due to overturning tractors between 1992 and 2009. A device called a Roll-Over Protective Structure can prevent these deaths. If this device is more prevalently used, it could reduce the number of claims arising in agricultural workplace environments.

What are the penalties for disorderly conduct?

Disorderly conduct is not high on anyone's list of notorious crimes in Middleton, Wisconsin. Still, it's common for those convicted of it to receive a fairly stiff fine, and sometimes even jail time. Also, a conviction may appear on a person's criminal record, which could cause questions to be raised during job searches. In this post, we will give a brief overview of the Badger State's laws against disorderly conduct.

Under Wisconsin law, a person is committing disorderly conduct when they engage in profane, abusive, indecent, violent, "boisterous, unreasonably loud or otherwise disorderly conduct" that leads to a disturbance, either publicly or privately. If a person swears or angrily yells in public, they may be charged with disorderly conduct. Other examples of disorderly conduct may include appearing on stage nude to trigger an audience reaction and disobeying a peace officer's instructions to move.

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Mays Law Office, LLC

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Middleton, WI 53562

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