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Criminal Cases


Alternative Ways of Defending Criminal Cases

MOTION PRACTICE A defendant has engaged in the criminal behavior as alleged. However, the police violated the defendant’s constitutions rights and the evidence is inadmissible. A successful defense of this type involves knowledge of the law and a complete analysis of the facts of the case.

RECEIVING STOLEN PROPERTY The defendant was charged with multiple counts of receiving stolen property as a repeat offender and faced up to eight years in prison. The evidence obtained by the police was obtained with two separate search warrants: one for the defendant’s car and the other for the defendant’s residence. Three of the four charges were the result of the evidence obtained from the second research warrant. The Court granted the Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss the evidence obtained from 5he defendant’s residence which resulted in the dismissal of three of the four charges and the defendant was able to negotiated an acceptable resolution of the one remaining charge.

OPERATING MOTOR VEHICLE WHILE UNDER INFLUENCE OF PRESCRIPTION DRUGS-THIRD The defendant was originally charged with operating while under the influence of an intoxicant. After the initial State Crime Laboratory Report indicated that the defendant had no alcohol in his system when he operated his motor vehicle. Several months after receiving this information the State asked the Court to dismiss the charges and the Court dismissed the charge. Months later the State received another report from the State Crime Laboratory indicating the presence of a number of prescription drugs in the defendant’s blood at the time of the driving. The State waited almost two years before re-charging the defendant. After a variety of Motions were filed and argued, the State moved to dismiss the charge.

TRIALS A defendant cannot obtain dismissal of the charges and is unable to negotiate an acceptable resolution. This leaves the option of having a trial either before a judge or before a jury of his or her peers. The decision whether to have a trial is for the defendant. However, there may be tactical reasons to try the case to a particular judge rather than a jury and the attorney’s experience is crucial to the defendant’s decision.

TRIAL TO THE COURT OPERATING WHILE INTOXICATED-THIRD OFFENSE Example: The defendant was stopped and subsequently arrested while walking toward his vehicle on a public street not far from several taverns. He was clearly intoxicated and the State charged him with a third offense drunk driving which carries a mandatory jail sentence, loss of license, and substance monetary consequences. The decision was made to trial this case to the court and the defendant was found not guilty when the State was unable to prove beyond a reasonable doubt (the standard in a criminal case) that the defendant had operated his vehicle while he was intoxicated.


1) RECKLESSLY ENDANGERING SAFETY The defendant was charged with three counts of recklessly endangering safety in a driving incident in which another driver was killed and the driver and two occupants of a second vehicle were injured. If convicted, the defendant who had no prior criminal record was facing a prison sentence. The State’s evidence consisted of a coerced confession and an unanticipated courthouse identification which resulted in a mistrial and was admitted at the defendant’s second trial. The defendant took the witness stand and the jury of twelve returned a verdict of not guilty on all counts.

2) CARRYING A CONCEALED WEAPON The defendant was charged with carrying a concealed weapon. The defendant who did not have a concealed carry permit possessed his weapon openly and while traveling in his vehicle received a frantic phone message from his sister that her son (the defendant’s nephew) was being harassed by a group of teenagers. The defendant rushed to the scene and had his gun in his waistband where the teenagers could observe it. They physically confronted the defendant whose shirt ended up concealing the weapon when several officers who had been investigating an unrelated matter drove a block to the scene and arrested the defendant for carrying a concealed weapon. The defendant took the witness stand and the jury of twelve returned a verdict of not guilty.

3) DISORDERLY CONDUCT-DOMESTIC VIOLENCE The defendant was a legal immigrant, a college student with no criminal record, and married in another state to to a woman he had known many years earlier in Mexico and who was in the Untied States illegally. Not long after the couple moved to Milwaukee the marriage became very problematic and the wife ultimately accused the defendant of an act of domestic violence. The defendant was able to show the jury that his wife’s motivation was to create a basis to change her legal status as a result of being the victim of domestic violence which the couple had learned earlier when visiting an immigration attorney. The defendant took the witness stand and the jury of twelve returned a verdict of not guilty.

RESOLUTION BY PLEA NEGOTIATION Many criminal cases are resolved by plea negotiations in where the parties through their respective attorneys reach an agreement which is acceptable to the defendant. This may involve the dismissal of one or more charges, the reduction of the charge to something less serious and/or a sentence recommendation. A defendant is in a much better position to negotiate an acceptable plea when the State knows that his or her attorney has years of successful trial experience. THE VALUE OF EXPERIENCE Successful representation in criminal matters requires a combination of legal, experience, and candor with clients. Attorney Rosenthal brings a lifetime of experience to each case. He begins with a thorough interview with the client. He decides what type of investigation of the facts is necessary and whether an expert is need either for trial or for mitigation. He gives the client a honest evaluation of the options available.