Property Damage as a Result of Driving Under the Influence

September 15th, 2010 No comments

Getting stopped by a cop could be the one thing that comes to mind when looking at some of the outcomes of driving under the influence. Drunk driving or driving while intoxicated often results in injuries to the person drinking and to others , and possibly property damage. If you give alcohol to someone who causes property damage and/or injuries, you may face a civil lawsuit for money damages.

Learn the issues and risks of providing alcohol.

Where to Find More Info

Several kinds of alcohol providers could be at risk / subject to liability for the acts of intoxicated person . Providers include sellers, such as bars, discos, restaurants and liquor stores. Also include social hosts, organizations holding an event and fraternities or sororities.

In the past, alcohol providers normally weren’t held to blame by the courts for an intoxicated person’s actions. Many states have since passed what are referred to as dram shop laws. These laws place a certain amount of responsibility on some alcohol providers for damages and/or injuries caused by intoxicated people. Today, most states have some for of dram shop law , but coverage differs . Dram shop laws usually differ on
the elements of:

* Who can be held liable for injuries and damages for providing alcohol

* What types of damages an injured person can seek

* Whether or not relief under the dram shop law is the only relief allowed or there are other alternatives

* The remedy permitted under a dram shop law may be unique . This means that other lawsuits based on other legal theories ,
such as negligence, might not be permitted .

Third Party Liability Where There Are Minor Involved 

Vendor liability ,social host or alcohol server liability can be determined by whether the drunk person is an adult or a minor. Offering minors with alcohol can be the basis for negligence claims . A plaintiff in a lawsuit would most likely try to show negligence through a lack of duty of care by the server furnishing alcohol to a minor . In doing so , it was envisioned or foreseeable and that aneibriation , potential or actual injuries and property damage would result .

Dependant upon the state, those offering alcohol to a minor might be treated differently than social hosts or those having a get together at their home. For example, owner of a convenience store, bar or restarant owner compared with the host of party at their home or place of business. Liability for selling or supplying alcohol to minors can be based on numerous factors including violations of laws against underage drinking, as well as potential violations of local ordinances and regulations on the subject of providing alcohol to minors.

Different Providers of Alcohol

Businesses can be sued for damages as a result of supplying alcoholic beverages to an employee, business guest or to another person acting as a social host. In certain circumstances, employers can be held liable for an employee’s actions. Instances that may apply include occurances when an employee is working , or when his or her actions are within the scope of their employment duties. Several instance or examples would include things such as business meetings or company outings / events.

College fraternities or sororities often face lawsuits after supplying alcohol at parties and their party guests or house members cause accidents and injuries as a result of becoming intoxicated at the party. A plaintiff in such a case may attempt to hold a fraternity or sorority liable as a social host under the law. Another potential basis for a lawsuit is the tort theory of premises liability. Under these circumstances, the claim of the lawsuit would be that the fraternity or sorority did not keep the premises what would be considered to be reasonable safe during a party at which alcohol was served.

If you are facing a DUI in Wisconsin, call a Green Bay Attorney who specializes in DUI cases at Brabazon Law Office by calling 920-494-1106 or visit us online at

What To Do After An Automobile Accident – Green Bay Attorney Shane Brabazon

August 17th, 2010 No comments

Auto accidents are all-too-common occurence . Varying from the minor “fender-bender” with little property harm and without any personal injuries to multiple -car crashes resulting in serious property damage and fatalities. All of which may result in life altering consequences . In case you drive a car , you should understand how to proceed if you’ve experienced an injury as a result of an automobile accident. .

What to do following a Car Accident

In case you are caught in an auto accident, there are certain steps you should take, for example :

* Put on your emergency blinkers to ensure that other traffic will go around you.
* Ensure no one else is injured in your car is hurt , and if they are , immediately emergency assistance.
* Only exit your vehicle after checking to make sure t’s safe to do so.
* Check to see if anyone inside the other vehicle is injured , and if they are , call for emergency paramedics .
* Contact the police . They’ll write up a police report of the facts of the auto accident, which can be used in insurance claims and any potential law suits that will result from the accident. The police will also assist in obtaining details obtained from the other involved parties and in re-routing traffic around the accident . More than likely, they might also evaluate if anyone has been driving when intoxicated .
* Take pictures of the scene if possible . Some people keep a non reusable camera inside their car in case they ever have an accident . You can also use the camera installed in most cellular phones.
* If you can safely move over to the shoulder of the road, do so
* Be sure to exchange names, addresses, telephone numbers and insurance info with all the drivers involved in the accident. This data is very important for submitting a claim with your insurance company.
* Be sure to get the names, addresses plus telephone numbers of any eye witnesses so you are aware who to contact in case the accident case goes to court .
* Don’t talk about the accident with other people . If you admit any type of responsibility , this can be used against you later. You do not want to create any suspicion that can be used against you later.
* Take down as many notes as you can on details surrounding the mishap, like the time, day, place of the accident, who did what, when and where.
* If the police have been called , stay at the scene of the accident until the police tell you that you could depart .
* Call your insurance agent and let them know about the car accident Ask your agent concerning any time limitations for submitting a claim. Be sure to contact a lawyer as soon as possbile. If you are intending to file a lawsuit , have the claims process begun as quickly as possible. Your insurance agent will investigate the loss, get statements and scrutinize the damage to both automobiles in order to decide the merit of your claim.
* Call your lawyer in case you are injured or the damages are substantial. The laws of each state vary. Your attorney may clarify legislation to you plus advise you of your legal privileges and responsibilities. Your law firm may also assist in pinpointing who was at fault and may assist you in receiving fair compensation for your damages as well as any personal injuries you may have suffered as a result of the accident.

Reporting to Insurance Companies ??
Sometimes, a driver involved in an automobile accident don’t want to record the car accident to their insurer . Usually, the concern is that your insurance premiums will go up if you are involved in an accident, and you would prefer to pay for the damages up front. If you experience such a dilema , you should know that it’s up to each driver whether or not they will record the auto accident to their respective insurance company.

Your insurance rates are not tied to the faults of the other driver involved in the accident. The other driver may alter his view after he/she has had a chance to think about it. It is best to discuss your case with your lawyer and insurance company. If the other driver alters their mind and files a claim with their insurance company , it may be too late to register a claim with your own insurance firm . Be sure to check with your attorney as soon as possible

Hit & Run Mishaps

A hit-and-run happens when a car hits with some other car, pedestrian or object, and the driver of the offending car drives away without stopping . Whenever this happens, the driver of the offending automobile has committed an offence . If you are the victim of a hit-and-run accident , contact the police immediately preferably from the scence of the accident.

If you have fled the scence of an accident, you need to contact a lawyer as soon as possible and report the incident to the police. If you wait for the police to find you first, you will be in a much weaker position to defend yourself and the consequences of your actions may be much less severe. BE SURE to get a hold of your attorney FIRST, before contacting the police.

Questions for Your attorney

* If I’ve been involved in a car accident , do I file a claim with my insurance firm after the other driver in the acccient files their claim and will my insurance provider defend me in case the other driver’s insurance company later sues me for damages?
* Will the fact that I was taking pictures of the auto accident scene just after the accident impact my claim that I sustained personal injuries in the automobile accident?
* Will my car insurance company pay my claim in case my vehicle was ruined by a hit-and-run motorist ?

For assistance with various kinds of personal accident injuries, contact the Green Bay personal injury lawyers at Brabazon Law Office for help and to get your questions answered. For a FREE preliminary consultation, call Shane Brabazon or Laura Tritt at 920-494-1106 today!

Shane Brabazon has been a practicing Green Bay attorney for 18 years, focusing his practice primarily in the areas of criminal and personal injury law For more information and answers to your legal questions, contact Shane by calling Brabazon Law Office at (920) 494-1106 or visit our website at

Changes in OWI Laws coming July1, 2010

February 16th, 2010 No comments

Drivers in Wisconsin need to be aware that the state’s drunk driving laws are changing July 1, 2010.  While their aim is to deter drunk driving, the reality is they only serve to increase the punishment for those convicted and will, in my opinion, ultimately have little or no effect to preventing drunk driving.

Clearly the new laws are political fodder, used to “beef up” the resumes of the legislators who voted for it.  Rather than attack the problem at the core, the new legislation tries to attack the sentence, without considering increased education, rehabilitation and supervision.

Probably the most important provision, from a punishment perspective, is the new law makes a drivers 4th offense a felony if it is committed within five years of the persons previous conviction.  This is likely to increase the pressure on the Court system as many drunk drivers are hunters and will fight to save their right to possess a firearm.

I am sure there will be a lot more to write about after July 1st.  Stay tuned!

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8 Things You Should Know if you are Being Investigated for a Crime

January 8th, 2010 No comments

I don’t care if you are innocent or guilty, it is NEVER in your best interests to talk to the police. I have seen many Innocent clients screw themselves over by talking to the police. Your words, your demeanor and your physical characteristics can all be misconstrued, misinterpreted and used against you in numerous ways. No matter how innocent you are or how good you are with your words, it is highly unlikely you will be able to talk yourself out of being arrested.

Police officers love it when suspects talk to them. It gives them an opportunity to get a confession (or what they perceive to be one) out of the suspect. Once they get the confession, the case is usually closed and no more investigation is needed. Police officers will use all different types of tactics to obtain a confession. They have been known to tell individuals under investigation for crimes they have DNA evidence, when, in reality, no such evidence exists. They have professed to have an eye witness when no eye witness exists. They have alleged to have had confessions from other co-defendants when none exist. These types of tactics have been used by officers for years to get a suspect to confess to a crime. Police officers can and will lie to you. There is nothing illegal about an officer lying to you.

Do not believe a police officer if they make promises to you. If they promise not to arrest you if you talk to them, that doesn’t mean they will not charge and/or arrest you later. The district attorney or U.S. Attorney is the only person who can make enforceable deals or agreements.


Anyone you talk to (except your attorney) can be subpoenaed and forced to testify at your trial. Whether it’s your best friend, girlfriend, relative or co-worker, they can be compelled to tell the Court or the Jury what you said.

On many occasions, the officer will have a friend or relative of the victim call you to confront you with the allegation. This conversation is then recorded and used against you in Court. Always expect that anyone talking to you about the allegations is recording the conversation.

Law enforcement is using confidential informants more often than ever. You never know who is working with the police.


Never consent to a search of your home, car or person whether you are innocent or guilty of a criminal offense. In most cases, the officers are seeking your permission to search because they lack the probable cause necessary to obtain a warrant for the search.

If they threaten you with getting a search warrant, don’t worry. Make them get the warrant. They may not have enough evidence against you to obtain the search warrant. The harder they press for your consent, the less likely it is they have enough to get a search warrant.


If an officer comes to your house to talk to you, you are not required by law to talk to them. In many cases, the officer will ask you to step outside your home to talk. DO NOT STEP OUTSIDE YOUR HOME! They are usually doing this so they can arrest you. As long as you stay inside your home, they cannot enter to arrest you without a warrant.

Also, do not invite the officer into your home. This will allow them to arrest you and also make notes of anything they see inside your home that is in their plain view. Do not open the door. Talk through the door. If you open the door, an officer may infer that as consent to enter your home.

Do not call your family attorney. Do not call your business attorney. You need to call an experienced criminal defense attorney. Be sure they are a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys. Make sure they devote at least 50% of their practice to criminal law. Finally, make certain they have handled the most serious of cases and have a proven track record of success at trials involving criminal charges.


If you are unfortunate enough to get arrested, demand an attorney. You must make sure your request for an attorney is clear and unequivocal. Statements such as “Maybe I should get an attorney?” or “Do I need an attorney?” are not strong enough. You must be strong and demand an attorney. If you do not, officers will continue to probe and try to get information they can use to convict you. Exercise your 6th Amendment right to an attorney.


Lying to the police can result in additional criminal charges and in some cases, can lead to your arrest. You do not have to talk to the police. You are better to say absolutely NOTHING than to lie to the police


This may seem strange considering all of the other advice. Under Wisconsin Criminal Law, while the results of a lie detector test are generally not admissible in Court, your willingness to submit to a lie detector test MAY be admissible.

When asked if you would submit to a lie detector, say “Absolutely”. Make it as clear as can be, but add, “so long as my attorney is present” First, it is unlikely they are going to give you the test as most police departments do not have polygraphs. Second, your willingness to submit to a lie detector may give the officer pause about arresting you, holding you, or referring your case to the District Attorney for criminal charges. Third, if they really do plan on giving you the polygraph, they will have to wait until you get your attorney. You can discuss whether to finally submit to a lie detector test with your attorney.

A typical case of a prosecutor over-charging a case

December 14th, 2009 No comments

Two Wisconsin women accused of seeking revenge on a cheating lover by gluing his penis to his stomach have reached plea deals that could keep them out of jail.

Therese Ziemann, 48, of Menasha, who was accused of doing the actual gluing, pleaded no contest Monday to reduced charges of disorderly conduct and misdemeanor battery. Her sister, Michelle Belliveau, 43, of Neenah, pleaded no contest to disorderly conduct.

District attorney Ken Kratz agreed not to seek jail time for either one.

The women allegedly lured the Fond du Lac man, 37, to a motel and tied him to a bed last July.
A third defendant pleaded not guilty last month to false imprisonment. Her case remains pending. A false-imprisonment charge against the man’s wife was dropped earlier.

This is another typical case of a prosecutor over-charging a case.  Rather than investigating all of the facts of the case, including the background of the ‘victim’, the prosecutor chooses to charge the most serious of crimes, a felony no less.  While the prosecutor received the media attention and made the rounds on various news shows, he likely cost his county (and possibly state taxpayers too) thousands of dollars in an effort to to build up his notariaty.

This case should have been handled much differently from the start.  I still wonder, in the end, if they got more punishment than they deserved.  This was nothing more than a prank, not a criminal matter.

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Welcome to Brabazon Law

August 25th, 2009 1 comment

No matter what legal questions or concerns you have, the attorneys at Brabazon law are here to help.  Our Green Bay attorneys are here to assist you with the legal counsel you need. From Criminal law, family law, personal injury law, immigration law or business law we at Brabazon are here to get you the results you’re looking for.  Voted Best in Green Bay, find the answers to your legal questions here at Brabazon.

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