Recent news


State of Wisconsin v. S.N., (Lafayette County, April S2015).

Client was charged with operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated and operating with a prohibited alcohol concentration as a fourth (4th) offense.  OWI/PAC 4th. The State alleged that at the time of operation of the motor vehicle the client had a blood ethanol concentration of .284%, fourteen times (14x) the legal limit for a fourth (4th) offense.

The case presented an interesting legal issue as the client was cited under 346.63 (1) (a) and 346.63 (1) (b) Wis. Stats. The statute for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence (OWI) and with a prohibited alcohol concentration (PAC), respectively. However, the client was driving an ATV at the time of the arrest.  An issue of statutory construction was involved in the case because while an ATV may fit the broader definition of a motor vehicle under 340.01 (35) Wis. Stats. a specific and separate statutory section, Chapter 23 Wis. Stats. relates specifically to ATV’s and has its own provisions for operating while under the influence of an intoxicant. 

The alleged offense occurred on a public highway and not on an ATV trail, which further complicated the legal analysis, however Attorney Stangl was able to demonstrate that the public highway was also a designated ATV route under 23.33 (1) (c) Wis. Stats. Attorney Stangl filed a motion to dismiss for lack of probable cause to arrest for an OWI/PAC 4th violation as well as a motion to dismiss based on the statutory conflict.

The State ultimately agreed with the motions to dismiss and the charges were amended to operating an ATV while under the influence of an intoxicant and with a prohibited alcohol concentration as a first (1st) offense, a non-criminal violation, thus saving the client up to one (1) year in jail and a maximum fine of two thousand and 00/100 dollars ($2,000.00) as well as avoiding a fourth (4th) drunk driving conviction.  


State of Wisconsin v. N.B., (Rock County, February 2015).

Client was charged with operating while intoxicated (OWI) and operating with a prohibited alcohol concentration (PAC) as a third (3rd) offense. 

The client was pulled over in the early morning hours for alleged erratic driving and registered an alcohol concentration significantly above the legal limit.  During the pretrial proceedings the State alleged that it was a third offense based on two prior convictions, one of which was from Illinois.

Attorney Stangl filed a motion to dismiss the case because of evidence he discovered indicating that the conviction upon which the State was relying on was not a countable conviction.

After reviewing the motion to dismiss the State agreed and the criminal OWI/PAC 3rd charges were amended to a first offense (OWI/PAC 1st).  The case was successfully resolved and the client was also not required to install an Ignition Interlock Device in his vehicle.


State of Wisconsin v. L.J.S., (Richland County, February 2015).  

Client was charged with two counts of domestic battery and one count of domestic disorderly conduct for an incident involving an alleged fight that erupted between himself, his son and his son’s girlfriend.

The State alleged that our client got into a pushing and shoving match over a domestic dispute and further alleged that during the wrestling match which lasted for approximately two minutes, the client allegedly choked the two complainants as well as striking one of them with a closed fist twice in the left eye. 

The complainants further alleged there was physical evidence confirming the alleged batteries. The client vigorously denied the allegations, asserting that they were fabricated and mounted an aggressive defense. 

The case was successfully resolved prior to jury trial when the domestic abuse and misdemeanor and domestic disorderly conduct charges were dismissed and the remaining criminal battery charge reduced to a non-criminal citation.


State of Wisconsin v. A.J.J., (Barron County, December 2014).

Client was charged in a one count criminal complaint with Child Abuse-Intentionally Causing Harm, a Class H Felony contrary to §948.03 (2) (b) Wis. Stats. 

According to the allegations in the criminal complaint the client got into a fist fight with his 16 year old stepson which resulted in abrasions and alleged bruising. The defendant denied the allegations. The matter proceeded to a preliminary hearing. 

A defendant charged in Wisconsin with any felony is entitled to a preliminary hearing under §970.03 Wis. Stats.  A preliminary hearing is a probable cause hearing where the State has to establish a probability that a felony was committed and the defendant probably committed it.

The State does not even have to establish probable cause as to the charged felony if they can establish probable cause as to any felony then the matter is bound over for further court proceedings including trial.  The burden of proof on the State is very low at a preliminary hearing and if at the conclusion of the evidence there is a tie, every factual inference must be interpreted by the court in favor of the State, which means the State wins. Moreover, in Wisconsin hearsay is now allowed at preliminary hearings. 

The matter proceeded to a preliminary hearing and after Attorney Stangl’s cross examination of the police officer the State realized it could not even meet its minimal burden and the case was dismissed.  Several months have passed since the dismissal and it is unlikely the State will recharge the defendant with this serious offense.


State of Wisconsin v. B.R., (Oneida County, December 2014).

Client was charged with Operating with a Revoked (OAR) License with the revocation resulting from a prior OWI/Drunk Driving conviction.

Client was on probation and a conviction could have potentially resulted in the revocation of his probation and a return to court for a sentencing hearing after revocation and significant jail time.

The client was involved in a motorcycle accident and was also cited with a number of other serious traffic citations. 

After filing numerous pre-trial motions the case was successfully resolved by Attorney Stangl when the OAR was amended to a non-criminal traffic citation thereby avoiding an additional criminal conviction and possible probation revocation and subsequent resentencing after probation. 


Attorney Pat Stangl Signs Publishing Deal With CelebrityPress For New Book, “Transform”

Pat Stangl will team with CelebrityPress, a leading book publishing company, and other leading experts from across the globe to release the new book, “Transform.”

Madison, WI – June 25, 2014 – Pat Stangl, Owner of Stangl Law Offices, S.C.,has joined noted business development expert, best-selling author and speaker, Brian Tracy, along with a select group of the world’s leading professionals, to co-write the forthcoming book titled, Transform: The World’s Leading Entrepreneurs and Professionals Get to the Heart and Soul of Transforming your Life, Business & Health. Nick Nanton, Esq., along with business partner, JW Dicks, Esq., recently signed a publishing deal with Pat and the other authors to contribute their expertise to the book, which will be released under their CelebrityPress™ imprint.

Pat Stangl helps his clients tell their stories to judges and juries.  As the sole owner of Stangl Law Offices, S.C., a statewide criminal defense and civil litigation law firm with offices in Madison and Northern Wisconsin, Pat focuses on defending those accused of crimes including those charged with driving while impaired.  He has successfully defended numerous criminal cases including cases ranging in complexity from first degree intentional homicide to drug conspiracies, fraud, domestic and sensitive crimes to disorderly conduct.  Having successfully defended over one hundred drunk driving cases, he is well regarded as a trial lawyer by his peers and has represented clients in civil and criminal cases in federal courts in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Indiana and California.

Pat also practices appellate law having argued in front of the Wisconsin Supreme Court and the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.  He has a number of published appellate opinions in both state and federal Courts of Appeal.  Articles about some of his cases have appeared in newspapers across the nation including USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Sun Times, the Seattle Times, the Wisconsin State Journal and many other publications and blogs.

Since 2012, Pat has been named yearly as one of the top 100 trial attorneys among all civil plaintiffs and criminal defense attorneys in Wisconsin by the National Trial Lawyers.  The National Trial Lawyers is an invitation only organization with membership invitations extended to the select most qualified attorneys from each state that exemplify superior qualifications of leadership, reputation, influence, stature and profile.

CelebrityPress™ describes the book:

When we think of transformation, we automatically think of metamorphosis or change. One of the first metamorphoses we discover as a child is the universally- quoted change of the caterpillar into the butterfly. The positive symbolism of this transformation is liberally applied to illustrate the change from ‘ugly duckling’ to ‘elegant swan’ in all fields.

This symbolism readily transfers to just about any change for the better. The guidance of individuals who have experienced positive change with mentoring, have taken calculated risks and enjoyed accomplishments in their field, may be seen as role models. We also note that the transformations of the PremierExperts® in this book are not limited by ‘dollars and cents’ measurement, but include body, mind and soul accomplishments.

The transforming experiences discussed by the PremierExperts® in this book cover many subjects including positive mindset changes, changes wrought by perseverance, passion, due diligence, restructuring, technology, systems, techniques, etc., …in fact, they cover positive changes that cut across numerous disciplines and fields.

The book is tentatively scheduled for release in September 2014.


Attorney Stangl recently represented a client with an OWI 2nd, hit and run, resisting an officer and a refusal to submit to a chemical test case in State v. N.M., Dane County Case. Through his analysis of the case and experience in litigating constitutional issues Attorney Stangl believed that by the officer ordering his client out of his home that the officer constructively entered the home resulting in a warrantless entry and thus a violation of his client’s Fourth Amendment right against warrantless searches. He filed a motion to suppress and the matter was litigated and legal briefs by the defense and the State were submitted to the court. The trial court agreed with Attorney Stangl, finding that the officer constructively entered the home resulting in a warrantless search and granted the defense motion to suppress all evidence obtained as a result of that search. All charges against his client resulting from this incident were dismissed by the State.

State of Wisconsin v. N.M.


Attorney Stangl recently represented a client who was involved in a head on collision where both drivers received serious injuries. Some of the other driver’s injuries are unfortunately permanent. His client was charged with causing great bodily harm by the intoxicated use of a motor vehicle and causing great bodily harm by the use of a motor vehicle while operating with a prohibited alcohol concentration, serious felony charges. Luckily, neither of the drivers were killed. Attorney Stangl’s client registered an alcohol concentration of .15 and faced the likelihood of being sent to prison. Attorney Stangl put together an excellent defense which included a well regarded accident re-constructionist and the case was successfully settled shortly before jury trial. Remarkably, the most serious felony charges which each carried penalties of 12 years in prison and a twenty five thousand and 00/100 dollars ($25,000.00) fine were dismissed. His client was convicted of only misdemeanor offenses.

State of Wisconsin v. S.B.


Attorney Stangl represented an individual who failed to negotiate an exit ramp off of the Interstate and lost control of his vehicle. Open intoxicants were found in his vehicle and he had admitted to consuming alcohol while driving on a trip from Chicago. His car was totaled as a result of the accident and he was cited for operating while under the influence of an intoxicant and operating with a prohibited alcohol concentration. Attorney Stangl was able to demonstrate that his blood alcohol concentration was not at a prohibited level at the time of the accident and the case was resolved with an amendment off of the OWI-PAC 1st charges to a reckless driving conviction. Needless to say his client was thrilled with the result!

City of Madison v. G.S.


Attorney Stangl recently represented a client who was charged with OWI and PAC 4th.

It was a cold winter night and the client was found in the driver’s seat of his vehicle with the motor running outside of a local bar. He was arrested and charged and registered a .241 blood test. The case languished in criminal court for nearly a year and a half before it went to a jury trial. During the course of the proceedings the arresting officer filed an initial report and then subsequently created two supplemental reports regarding her observations and the client’s alleged statements regarding the incident. Each police report got considerably better for the State and worse for the defense.

Through the course of the defense investigation a witness was found who, while at the bar, offered to give the client a ride home which was refused. The witness walked the client out to his truck, started it for him, and turned the heat on. While the witness was critical in establishing that the client did not start or otherwise operate the vehicle the jury still needed to believe him. Coupled with Attorney Stangl’s cross examination of the Officer which demonstrated she did not witness the client operate the motor vehicle as well as her defensiveness in arguing with him when questioned about the supplemental reports done at the request of the prosecutor the jury deliberated approximately one hour before returning not guilty verdicts on both counts.

State of Wisconsin v. C.W.


Attorney Stangl recently represented an off duty law enforcement officer was picked up for drunk driving. His chemical test result was significantly above the legal limit. Originally charged with criminal drunk driving Attorney Stangl quickly had the criminal charges dismissed once he pointed out to the prosecutor that his client was improperly charged. After several pre-trial motion hearings the case proceeded to a jury trial. Shortly after the State’s first witness began to testify Attorney Stangl objected to the Trooper’s testimony and moved for a mistrial. The trial court ultimately declared a mistrial. Shortly before beginning the second trial the case was successfully resolved on behalf of his client.

State of Wisconsin v. R.B.


Attorney Stangl defended a client charged with homicide by intoxicated use of a motor vehicle and homicide by operation of a motor vehicle with a prohibited alcohol concentration charge. A young man was killed as a result of the accident. As a result of the defense he raised the homicide charges were dismissed and an amended charging document was filed alleging less serious charges.

State of Wisconsin v. J.F.


Attorney Stangl recently defended a client charged with operating while intoxicated and operating with a prohibited alcohol concentration as a fourth offense. The alleged alcohol concentrated was .241. After pending for nearly eighteen months the criminal case was finally tried to a jury. His client was acquitted of all charges.

State of Wisconsin v. C.W.


Attorney Stangl was enlisted to represent an individual charged in a drug conspiracy case which involved several states. The hub of the conspiracy was centered in Minneapolis. His client was charged with being a member of the conspiracy and if convicted faced a ten year (10) minimum mandatory prison sentence. Attorney Stangl believed that his client was the subject of an unconstitutional search of his vehicle and was not a member of any conspiracy. As a result of his dedication, thorough research, and litigation skills the federal magistrate suppressed large amounts of illegal drugs. His client was not convicted of a conspiracy but was convicted of a lesser offense and received a minimal sentence without a mandatory minimum prison sentence.

United States of America v. D.S. (Minnesota)


Attorney Stangl represented a client who was charged with being a party to substantial battery, burglary, and several counts of misdemeanor criminal damage to property. After the preliminary hearing, which took one half of a day, the trial judge expressed concern about the strength of the State’s case but nonetheless found probable cause as to the charges and the matter was bound over for further trial proceedings.

Prior to the arraignment on the charges Attorney Stangl filed a request for substitution of the trial judge. He believed the State did not meet its minimal burden to establish probable cause as to the charges at the preliminary hearing. He then filed a motion to quash the bind over on the felony charges along with an extensive brief supporting his arguments. The newly assigned trial judge agreed and all criminal charges against his client were dismissed.

State v. J.S.


Attorney Stangl represented a young lady who was the subject of a federal investigation for conspiracy to manufacture and distribute crack cocaine. She was ultimately charged with maintaining a drug house and if convicted faced significant prison time. Attorney Stangl successfully argued to the court at sentencing that if powder cocaine had been involved instead of crack cocaine her sentencing range would have been significantly lower. She was sentenced to a term of imprisonment of one year and one day.

United States of America v. E.S. (Wisconsin)