Legal Question in Criminal Law in Wisconsin

I have requested through the freedom of information act. The VA police issued me a ticket based on one persons perspective (disorderly conduct) . I recieved the ticket 8 days later and the officer that wrote the ticket never witnessed nor brought this to my supervisors attention. The police here at the VA are refusing to release the information. I need to know what I am to dispute and provide information to legal counsel.

Asked on 10/21/09, 12:16 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

JAY Nixon nixon law offices

If you want to fight municipal ordinance citations for disorderly conduct or anything else (I am assuming that's what this is, rather than a Circuit Court criminal charge), the two most important words which you need to know are "not guilty." Make sure that you say that at your first appearance, then demand (and pay for) a jury trial and hire a lawyer to prepare your defense. Better yet, retain a lawyer before your first court date, since he can probably have it reschedule for a more meaningful court date which normally might come much later in the process. Initial appearances are rarely productive; rather are "cattle calls" in busy municipal courts for the sole purpose of sorting the contested cases from the uncontested ones--prosecutors do not have the time or the information to discuss your case in any meaningful way then. However, later in the process, you may get an opportunity for more meaningful negotiations. At that time, you or your lawyer can attempt to resolve the case or even suggest reasons why the witnesses should not be believed and the case thrown out before trial. For some types of cases, officers are not required to personally witness events and can rather rely upon hearsay statements from witnesses who supply them with statements during an interview. Later on, however, at the trial, the production of the witnesses for cross examination by you would normally be required, assuming that you have correctly preserved all your rights. If you have not properly contested the case earlier, however, you will never get a trial and rather be found guilty before trial. My responses on this public website is intended for public educational purposes only, it is not intended to create an attorney client relationship between us. However, I would be more than happy to discuss possible representation with you via a private email or via the inquiry link on my private office website.

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Answered on 10/26/09, 8:07 am

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