Success Stories

Three Consecutive OWI/PAC 5th/6th Victories in One Month

Attorney Stangl of Stangl Law Offices, S.C. achieved three (3) back-to-back OWI 5th/6th victories within a one-month period in May-June 2023 thereby saving his clients from mandatory prison sentences. In State v. Shirikian, 2023 WI App. 13 the Court of Appeals held that the sentencing language for a 5th/6th OWI/PAC offense requires the sentencing court to impose a mandatory prison sentence upon conviction. Even if the sentencing court wanted to impose a non-prison sentence, they do not have the discretion or authority to do so under the current penalty structure for the offense and this decision.

In the first case Attorney Stangl successfully argued that one of his client’s prior convictions could not be counted because he was not properly advised of his right to counsel in a previous case and that the record did not demonstrate a free and voluntary waiver of his 6th amendment right to counsel. After investigating and researching the issue, Attorney Stangl brought a motion challenging the uncounseled conviction and after an evidentiary hearing the trial court agreed that the prior conviction could not be counted, thereby reducing the 5th/6th offense to non-mandatory prison charges.

Approximately 2 weeks later, in a different case, Attorney Stangl previously argued to the court that the arresting officer did not have a sufficient legal reason or probable cause to arrest his client on a 5th/6th OWI/PAC. After the evidentiary hearing and briefing by the parties the court issued a very thorough and analytical oral decision granting the defendant’s Motion to Dismiss and the case against his client was dismissed.

Within two weeks after the 2nd consecutive OWI/PAC 5th/6th victory Attorney Stangl secured his 3rd consecutive OWI/PAC 5th/6th victory within (1) one month with the dismissal by the State of charges during a preliminary hearing. At the preliminary hearing it was clear that the arresting officer testified falsely about the alleged events including his client’s performance on the field sobriety test (FST’s) when in fact his client never submitted to the FST’s. Once the State realized the major problem with the officer’s perjured testimony it moved for immediate dismissal of all the charges. His client will not be re-charged.

These three cases demonstrate that if you are facing OWI/PAC charges that require a mandatory term of imprisonment there is hope. If there is a way to successfully defend your case Attorney Stangl will find the best possible legal issues with the best chance for a successful defense. He has successfully defended hundreds of OWI/PAC (drunk driving) and criminal cases and brings his 30+ years of experience to the fight. If you are facing an OWI/PAC contact us at (608) 831-9200 or fill out a free consult form at

Felony OWI Victory

Adding to the hundreds of OWI-PAC and criminal victories, Attorney Stangl recently won yet another felony OWI/PAC felony drunk driving case.

In this case, his client was charged with an OWI-PAC 4th offense with an alleged concentration seven times over the legal limit. The client was facing not only a felony conviction but a potential prison sentence.

Attorney Stangl successfully mounted what is known as a collateral attack on a prior Columbia County conviction and successfully argued to the court and proved that his client was not properly advised of his constitutional rights in the previous case. As a result, the State was not able to enhance the client’s charges into a felony. Wisconsin’s OWI-PAC penalties are enhanced for successive convictions, meaning as prior convictions mount the penalties, including fines, license revocation, and jail/prison sentences are increased.

In this case, Attorney Stangl’s client escaped a felony conviction and the case was successfully resolved with significantly less penalties and a misdemeanor conviction.

If you are facing felony OWI-PAC charges, don’t lose hope. Contact Attorney Stangl at Stangl Law Offices, S.C., a law firm that has successfully defended hundreds of OWI-PAC and criminal cases.

Impressive OWI Acquittal Rate

During the past decade, Attorney Stangl has achieved many jury acquittals for clients charged in OWI-PAC offenses, what is commonly called “drunk driving” cases.  In fact, as of the date of this post, since 2010 Attorney Stangl has racked up an acquittal rate of 75% on OWI-PAC cases tried to verdict.  Put another way, he has received NOT GUILTY VERDICTS in 75% of the cases which he tried to a jury and resulted in a verdict.  

Recently, Attorney Stangl successfully defended his 255th drunk driving case, meaning that for the 255th time his client was not convicted of an OWI related offense.  Put another way, they were NOT FOUND GUILTY of either operating while under the influence (OWI), or operating with a prohibited alcohol concentration (PAC), or found to have unreasonably refused to submit to a chemical test.  While technically referred to as an Implied Consent Violation, this civil citation is commonly known as a “refusal” and counts as the equivalent of an OWI or PAC conviction for purposes of greater penalties in the event of a future conviction.  For example, a person has an OWI 1st conviction in 2011 and a refusal in 2013; in 2019 they are charged with another OWI-PAC, it now becomes a third (3rd) offense.    

Another OWI Trial Victory

Attorney Stangl defended a client who was cited for OWI and PAC 1st with an alleged chemical breath test result of .13 g/210L of breath.

The case proceeded to a jury trial and Attorney Stangl had a forensic expert and field sobriety expert prepared to testify in the defense case. After the city had put in its case and after the cross examination of the arresting officer, an issue arose which would have ended up in a mistrial and the re-trial of the case.

To avoid a mistrial, the case was successfully resolved with amendments to the OWI 1st and PAC 1st citations, which resulted in non-OWI related traffic violations. Simply put, once again, Attorney Stangl’s client was convicted of neither the OWI, nor a PAC violation.

This case illustrates the critical importance of investing in the best possible defense and being willing to proceed through trial. It also demonstrates Attorney Stangl’s (and Stangl Law Offices, S.C.'s) continued and unrelenting commitment to excellence.

Another Felony Drunk Driving and Drug Victory

Attorney Stangl represented a client who was charged with felony Operating with a Restricted Controlled Substance (4th Offense) as well as Possession of Narcotic Drugs, i.e. heroin. During the defense of the charges, Attorney Stangl was able to raise an attack on the client’s prior OWI convictions and was able to have an Implied Consent, or refusal, violation excluded which resulted in the State amending the OWI-Restricted Controlled Substance to a misdemeanor OWI offense instead of a felony.

With respect to the Possession of Heroin, Attorney Stangl was able to have a prior drug conviction expunged from the client’s record and ultimately was able to negotiate a Deferred Judgment of Guilt on the Possession of Heroin charge. This means that if the client successfully completes conditions, including treatment and monitoring, the felony drug charge will be dismissed. It is a significant victory because the client could end up without any felony conviction, which would be significant as he moves on with his life. A felony conviction has multiple negative consequences, including limiting career and other choices available to an individual.

If you are facing felony drunk driving or felony drug charges contact Attorney Patrick J. Stangl and Stangl Law Offices, S.C. for your best chance of a successful defense.

Four Consecutive Jury Victories

For the fourth time in a a row, a jury has refused to convict Attorney Stangl's client of Operating While Under the Influence of an Intoxicant (OWI). A St. Croix county jury sitting in Hudson, Wisconsin has found Attorney Stangl's client not guilty of OWI. His client was also charged with Operating With a Prohibited Alcohol Concentration (PAC). The above the legal limit or Operating with a Prohibited Alcohol Concentration charge (PAC) was dismissed by the trial court after the conclusion of the State's evidence on Attorney Stangl's motion. The court agreed there was insufficient evidence to support a conviction on the PAC charge because the State failed to produce expert testimony establishing the relevance of the blood test result given the fact it had not proven the time of the alleged operating/driving of the of his client's vehicle. The State's blood test evidence indicated the client's blood alcohol concentration was 3.5 times the legal limit. The jury was then left to decide the criminal OWI charge. After deliberating approximately an hour and 15 minutes, the jury returned a unanimous not guilty verdict.

This case represents the fourth time in a row that Attorney Stangl's clients were cleared of both OWI and PAC charges, a total of 8 charges, in four consecutive jury trials.

Third Acquittal in a Row

A Sawyer County jury recently returned not guilty verdicts in an OWI-PAC 1st case on behalf of Attorney Stangl’s client after deliberating for approximately one hour. This case marks the third jury trial in a row where Attorney Stangl’s clients have been acquitted on all drunk driving related charges. Dane and Sauk County juries also recently returned not guilty verdicts on behalf of his clients. According to the State’s chemical tests, his clients registered blood alcohol concentrations of .12, .15, and .20 in these respective cases.

Jury Verdict Reversed

Attorney Stangl represented a client who was charged with an OWI 7th/8th offense. The State did not have any direct evidence that his client either drove or operated the motor vehicle and in fact the only testimony at trial was that he did not drive or operate the motor vehicle. The State had a weak circumstantial case and Attorney Stangl was in disbelief when a guilty verdict was returned on two counts. The defendant sought post-conviction relief from the conviction and imposed sentence. Attorney Stangl believed something was not right with the verdict and that a real miscarriage of justice occurred. After a thorough investigation the foreperson of the jury came forward and admitted that one of the other jurors had done her own investigation and improperly provided the jury with information that was not evidence at trial. Attorney Stangl filed a post-conviction motion seeking a reversal of the jury verdict based on juror misconduct. An evidentiary hearing was held where the court concluded that the defendant did not receive a fair trial by an impartial jury and reversed the jury’s verdict as well as the sentence which was imposed. Attorney Stangl and Stangl Law Offices, S.C. has a proven track record of winning cases at the trial, post-conviction and appellate levels. If you find yourself in a difficult, and what appears to be hopeless situation do not hesitate to contact us for a free confidential consultation.

Felony Battery EMT/Police Officer Victory

Attorney Stangl represented a client who was charged with felony battery to an EMT worker which arose out of a weekend getaway gone wrong. Police and emergency personnel were dispatched to a hotel where the couple had been staying after an alleged domestic disturbance. As a result of the encounter with emergency personnel, his client was charged with felony battery as well as domestic disorderly conduct. Attorney Stangl believed his client was overcharged, and that the behaviors she was alleged to have engaged in were consistent with someone who had been given a date rape drug.

Despite his attempts to have the case dismissed, it was not, and the State insisted that his client be convicted of felony battery. He fought extremely hard and tirelessly for nearly three years and the State finally relented. The felony battery charge was dismissed shortly before trial. The domestic disorderly conduct was amended to a non-domestic offense, thereby preserving his client’s right to possess a firearm in the future. Monetary penalties were imposed as a sentence and the matter was successfully resolved.

Another Win Based on an Unconstitutional Arrest - LaCrosse

Attorney Stangl was hired to represent Larry, who was charged with an OWI 1st and Implied Consent (Refusal) Violation in the City of LaCrosse. His client was alleged to have urinated in public in a mall parking lot, and the police were called. After police met with a witness describing the allegation, they established contact with his client, who was sitting in the car with the vehicle off. His client initially denied the public urination allegation but later admitted that he did go because he has some medical issues.

The police noticed a slight odor of intoxicant on his breath, and things went downhill fast. The police were insistent that his client do field sobriety tests, and he explained to them that he could not do them because he had two knee replacement surgeries and other medical issues. Officers are trained that certain tests, like the one leg stand and walk and turn tests, may not be appropriate for people over a certain age or that have medical disabilities. Attorney Stangl proved that the officer made multiple mistakes during the field sobriety tests, including the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test (eye test). He demonstrated the tests were simply not reliable given the multiple mistakes the officer made as well as pressuring his client to submit to field sobriety tests that he could not physically complete. These tests were then held against him.

Historically, field sobriety testing has discriminated against those with poor balance, inner ear issues and medical conditions. The court agreed and tossed out the HGN, the Walk and Turn and the One Leg Stand test. After this evidence was excluded, the only evidence that existed was an admission to drinking one beer, an odor of intoxicants and an open liquor bottle which was found in the vehicle. Case Dismissed!

State of Wisconsin v. R.B.

Attorney Stangl recently represented an off-duty law enforcement officer who was picked up for drunk driving. His chemical test result was significantly above the legal limit and he was charged with criminal drunk driving. Attorney Stangl quickly had the criminal charges dismissed by pointing 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.

OWI-PAC 7th Victory, Steve's Story

Steve hired Attorney Stangl to represent him on a 5th/6th OWI offense and unfortunately, while out on bond he was picked up for another OWI which was his 7th offense since 1989. Attorney Stangl was now defending against a 6th and 7th offense OWI plus related felony bail jumping and criminal operating after revocation charges. Needless to say, the client was in serious trouble and if convicted of the 7th offense would have done mandatory prison time. A charging error was made, however, with respect to the 7th offense and it was charged out as a 5th and 6th offense, although it was correctly a 7th offense. Because of the mandatory minimum sentence structure on the 7th offense, Steve did not have proper notice of that charge and the State could have dismissed that charge and re-charged it properly as a 7th offense with the mandatory minimum prison sentence language. This would have provided Steve with due process notice of the mandatory minimum penalties. Fortunately for Steve, who was prepared to fight to the bitter end, Attorney Stangl was able to negotiate an amendment from the 7th offense down to a different felony, thus removing the mandatory minimum prison sentence for Steve. Instead, Steve received treatment court options with county jail time which will likely include electronic monitoring and he was not sentenced to prison. If you are ever in a desperate situation like Steve where on the surface it looks like you are heading to prison, contact Stangl Law Offices, S.C. and Attorney Pat Stangl immediately as they have extensive experience in defending difficult cases.

Another Felony Drunk Driving Victory

Attorney Stangl recently wrapped up another successful defense of a serious felony OWI drunk driving case.  His client was facing felony OWI and PAC 4th offenses along with an Implied Consent Refusal, meaning he refused to submit to a chemical test.  This particular case involved a blood test and a warrant was issued in order to obtain the defendant’s blood when he refused to comply with the requested blood draw.  A 4th offense OWI-PAC, or a combination of prior OWI convictions along with refusals which equal four or greater results in the lifetime prohibition of driving privileges.  This means that if an individual is convicted of a fourth offense (4th) his or her license is gone for life unless the third offense occurred 15 years prior to the date of the most recent incident.  A person can apply for an occupational license only after 10 years.  If his client was convicted he would have lost his job, his home and everything that he had worked for all his life. 

The State had a circumstantial case that his client had driven his girlfriend’s Jeep which was found in a snowbank off a public highway.  Further complicating the defense the defendant told the police that his girlfriend was driving but later changed his story insisting that another person had driven the vehicle.   The client was found approximately a half mile away from the abandoned vehicle.  The arresting agency made multiple mistakes in the investigation which Attorney Stangl was able to capitalize on including losing photographic evidence and failing to preserve other important evidence in the case.  The defendant also faced an Implied Consent Refusal which has a very low burden of proof and if he was found to have unreasonably refused the test, a civil not criminal violation, he still would have been lost his driving privileges for life.  Through a masterful defense and thorough investigation the refusal was found to have been reasonable and was dismissed.  The PAC charge, being above the legal limit charge, was dismissed.  The OWI 4th was amended to the negligent operation of a vehicle off a public highway, a criminal misdemeanor.  The court approved the amendment off of the felony OWI-PAC charges and his client’s future is now intact.

Attorney Stangl has a proven track record of defending difficult OWI-PAC cases where multiple prior offenses exist.  If you are facing a difficult case with prior offenses contact Stangl Law Offices, S.C. to increase your chances of a successful outcome.

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

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)

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)

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 the 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)

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)

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.

Craig’s Conundrum

Craig was charged with 12 criminal charges, eight (8) which were felonies, including two counts of strangulation and suffocation, §940.235 (1) Wis. Stats., two counts of intimidating a victim through the use of force, §940.45 (1) Wis. Stats., §968.075 (1) (a) 1 Wis. Stats., aggravated battery, §940.19 (5) Wis. Stats., false imprisonment and possession of a firearm by a felon, §941.29 (1m) (a) Wis. Stats. Attorney Stangl was hired to help Craig in what appeared to be a hopeless situation and likely prison sentence. Attorney Stangl filed a Motion to Dismiss Count One through Six and Count Twelve of the Criminal Complaint and based upon the motion the prosecutor elected to dismiss all twelve criminal charges. Although the State refiled some of the criminal charges, the Motion to Dismiss filed by Attorney Stangl resulted in the dismissal of six felonies. Upon being recharged the client faced two felonies including being a felon possession of a firearm and false imprisonment. The case was resolved shortly before trial and even though the State possessed evidence showing the defendant’s DNA on the firearm in question, that charge was nonetheless dismissed. Ultimately the defendant ended up with two disorderly conduct convictions and a Class A misdemeanor bail jumping conviction, an extraordinary result in a case that looked hopeless from the start. This case is proof positive that no matter how serious or how many charges a defendant faces, Stangl Law Offices, Attorney Stangl can help.

OWI-First Offense in Chippewa County, Wisconsin

The client was charged with OWI and operating with a prohibited alcohol concentration at or above .08. The client was stopped after speeding approximately 10 mph above the posted speed limit and subsequently arrested. He registered an alcohol breath concentration of .12. The defense replicated the driving and alcohol consumption scenario on the night in question and did a subsequent Intoximeter test showing the defendant’s alcohol concentration. The defense was prepared to show the scientific basis for the huge discrepancy and the defense was also prepared to prove that the arresting officer was not qualified to properly complete the field sobriety tests and made multiple errors in implementing those tests. Days before the scheduled jury trial, the Village conceded that it could not prevail and the PAC charge was dismissed and the OWI amended to reckless driving.

Drug Case

The client was charged in a methamphetamine conspiracy with seven different felonies as well as additional misdemeanor charges. As a result of his investigation of the charges, Attorney Stangl was able to demonstrate that the defendant was essentially in the wrong place at the wrong time and on the periphery of any conspiracy. The majority of the co-defendants were found guilty of conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamines and other drug felonies. He filed a Motion to Dismiss a number of the felony charges and was able to come to an agreement with the prosecutor that a number of charges would be dismissed. Ultimately the case successfully settled with a diversion agreement on a non-drug felony and as long as the client complies with the conditions of the deferred agreement will not end up with any felony convictions. 

Transfer of Articles to Inmate

Attorney Stangl represented a client, a licensed healthcare practitioner who worked for the Department of Corrections, who was charged with engaging in an inappropriate relationship with an inmate resulting in the transfer of articles to an inmate in violation of Section 302.43 Wis. Stats.  Attorney Stangl filed an extensive motion arguing that the client was being selectively prosecuted based on her gender as well as a family member’s conflictual relationship while employed with the DOC.  The case was successfully resolved and the felony charge will ultimately be dismissed upon certain conditions being met by the defendant. 

Matthew’s Dilemma

Matthew was arrested after he had an accident where he crashed into a decorative retaining wall in front of a closed business. He was initially arrested and cited for felony reckless endangerment as well as operating a vehicle while intoxicated. It was alleged that he "huffed" an inhalant and blacked out while driving. He immediately hired Attorney Stangl prior to being formally charged and the criminal charges were not pursued. He was then charged with an OWI 1st under the theory that he was under the influence of an inhalant. The matter was aggressively defended and many motions challenging the case were filed including a motion to suppress statements made by Matthew which were very damaging to his case. Ultimately, prior to trial, due to concerns with proving its case a resolution was reached and the City amended the OWI to a reckless driving and inattentive driving with the payment of two forfeitures-fines.

Possession of A Firearm While Intoxicated-OWI/PAC 1st, Gil's Story

Attorney Stangl was hired to represent Gil, a retired State Trooper, who had the misfortune of getting arrested for drunk driving. After Gil's vehicle was stopped and he was arrested for OWI-PAC 1st, the arresting officer located a loaded concealed weapon on his person. While a retired police officer is allowed to carry a concealed weapon, it is still illegal in Wisconsin to carry a concealed weapon under the influence of an intoxicant. Along with the OWI charges Gil was charged with possession of a firearm while intoxicated and a conviction of either would have tarnished his otherwise unblemished career in law enforcement and life as a hardworking and law-abiding citizen. A special prosecutor was named to prosecute the criminal firearms charge due to the fact that Attorney Stangl's client was a member of the law enforcement community. Attorney Stangl had successfully defended law enforcement officers in the past and Gil was very fortunate and pleased to have all the charges against him ultimately dismissed as a result of Attorney Stangl's defense.

State of Wisconsin v. R.D (Chippewa County)

The defendant, Mr. Dekan, was originally charged with an OWI 8th offense which carries a mandatory minimum prison sentence.  Attorney Stangl was able to successfully attack two prior OWI convictions and the State was not able to count them to enhance Mr. Dekan’s penalties.  The charges were amended to allege a 5th or 6th OWI thereby avoiding a mandatory prison sentence for his client.

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.

State of Wisconsin v. N.M. (Dane County)

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.

County of Sawyer v. Adam H.

The client was involved in a one-car accident. The car was totaled and the defendant was found walking down an isolated road approximately one-half mile from the crash. A passerby noticed the client and pulled in front of the client restricting his freedom of movement. He asked him if he was ok or involved in an accident to which the client responded he was ok and was going to continue walking. The passerby, a voluntary fire chief, with law enforcement communications then continued on and called 911 to report the accident. He told law enforcement that he saw a man walking in a particular direction approximately one-half mile from where the single vehicle was discovered.

The voluntary fireman returned to the client and told him he would give him a ride home which was a ruse, instead he took him to the waiting police where he was arrested for OWI and taken to the county jail. He refused to submit to chemical testing of his breath and was cited with an Implied Consent (Refusal) Violation and Operating Under the Influence of an Intoxicant. The defendant hired a different attorney and the case stalled, he was not getting the results he needed and ultimately hired Attorney Stangl. The client, a former Badger athlete, simply could not have an OWI conviction on his record or it would significantly impair his financial future. Attorney Stangl was able to create an argument that the first responder was acting as an agent of the county and when he restricted the freedom of movement of his client he violated his client's Fourth Amendment right to be free of an unreasonable seizure. The first responder offered to give the client a ride home but went in the opposite direction of his home, stalling for time until law enforcement arrived. The client's case was successfully resolved and the refusal was dismissed and the OWI 1st was amended to reckless driving, the Implied Consent Violation was dismissed and the client also agreed to an inattentive driving violation for a forfeiture of one hundred eighty seven and 90/100 dollars ($187.90).

State of Wisconsin v. A.G.

The defendant was charged with an Implied Consent Refusal and OWI-2nd after a motorist who claimed to be following the defendant and further claimed that he was driving recklessly and exceeding speeds of 90 mph. The citizen witnesses followed the client to a rural bar and on the way there called 911 reporting that they believed the client was intoxicated. The client went into the bar where he consumed several shots. Deputy Sheriffs went into the bar and began questioning the client about the incident and how much he had been drinking. The defendant denied consuming any alcohol prior to arriving at the bar and further denied any erratic driving. He was subsequently taken into custody and arrested for an OWI 2nd offense. The client who had a previous cerebral hemorrhage had difficulty speaking and processing information due to his medical condition. He ultimately declined a blood test and was charged with a refusal (implied consent violation).

During the course of the case investigation, it was learned that the defendant suffered from aphasia, a condition which results in confusion and difficulty in processing information which was a result of his medical condition. Attorney Stangl also investigated the alleged citizen witnesses and learned that both of them had extensive criminal records, including conduct and criminal convictions for crimes and acts of dishonesty. The State failed to provide this information to Attorney Stangl and Attorney Stangl also believed that the State would not be able to procure the attendance of the claimed eyewitnesses at trial. Armed and ready to go to trial the prosecution was caught flat footed and their bluff was called. Prior to the start of the trial the criminal OWI was amended to a non-criminal citation for inattentive driving and the refusal was dismissed as the State finally realized the weakness of its case and that it could not come close to proving the allegations. 

State of Wisconsin v. R.T.

The client was charged with an OWI 5th offense, a felony, with a high alcohol concentration. He had a number of prior convictions from Minnesota, where he did not have a lawyer. If convicted he would likely have received a prison sentence. 

As a result of a very thorough factual and legal investigation, Attorney Stangl was able to establish that in four of the prior convictions his client was not properly advised of his right to appointed counsel and how an attorney may have been able to assist him in those cases, thus establishing that the prior convictions violated his client's constitutional rights under the Sixth Amendment. The State conceded that four of the prior criminal OWI convictions could not be counted against Attorney Stangl's client and the case was amended from a criminal conviction OWI 5th offense to an OWI 1st offense, a non-criminal ordinance violation, thus saving his client from a lengthy jail or prison sentence and another OWI conviction.  

State of Wisconsin v. J.H.

The client had a search warrant executed on her house where several marijuana plants were discovered as a result of the search. She was charged with a drug felony and her husband was charged with manufacturing THC. In defending her case Attorney Stangl believed that there were false statements made in the affidavit portion of the complaint for search warrant and further contended that the warrant itself lacked probable cause to be issued in the first place due to misstatements made in the affidavit and that the informant who provided the information was not reliable. Indeed, the information was based on allegations from an individual who had approximately ten prior criminal convictions, was a known drug user, and had existing charges for obstructing justice. Moreover, some of the information provided by this individual was not confirmed. Attorney Stangl brought a number of motions to have the search warrant and all of the evidence tossed out. The motions were set for a hearing and late in the morning prior to the afternoon hearing he received a call from the District Attorney to discuss his pending motions. The State believed there was more than a reasonable chance that the motions to suppress would be granted. The case was successfully resolved and his client was not convicted of any drug felony.

State of Wisconsin v. G. B.

The client was charged with possession of two ounces of marijuana. The charges arose when law enforcement had responded to complaints about a lot of traffic coming and going from a particular apartment complex and they subsequently began surveillance of the property. Essentially, cars would pull into the apartment complex, go into the building, and leave shortly thereafter. Suspecting that the client had purchased drugs, the client was stopped after he had exited the building and drove away. When stopped by the police the client admitted that he had just purchased the marijuana for his personal use and turned over the marijuana. After he was charged his family hired Attorney Stangl to represent him and Attorney Stangl questioned whether law enforcement’s observations were in fact sufficient to establish a reasonable suspicion based solely on his entry into the apartment complex and his exit therefrom to legally stop the vehicle. After some legal wrangling and before filing a formal motion challenging the legality of the seizure, Attorney Stangl was able to convince the prosecutor that the criminal charges should be dismissed. The prosecution agreed that under all the circumstances in the case it would not pursue the criminal prosecution.  The case was successfully resolved and the client was not convicted of any criminal offense.

State of Wisconsin v. R.T (Chippewa County)

The defendant was charged with felony operating while under the influence of an intoxicant and felony operating with a prohibited alcohol concentration.  Again, Attorney Stangl was able to successfully mount an attack on an un-counseled prior conviction and the case was amended to a misdemeanor, saving his client from the stigma and penalties of an OWI felony conviction and potential prison.  

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. The 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.

Village of Lake Hallie v. J.K. (Chippewa County)

The defendant was charged with an OWI-PAC 1st offense with an alcohol concentration of .13.  Attorney Stangl, after independently testing the Intoximeter EC/IR II, was able to demonstrate to the prosecutor that there was no way that the client’s alcohol concentration was .13 and that the inflated alcohol concentration was caused by inhaled vapors from chemicals that the client was working with the day of the incident.  A few days prior to trial the case was successfully resolved without an OWI or PAC conviction. 

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.

Victory - OWI Accident in Madison, Wisconsin

Attorney Stangl represented a client who had a vehicle accident in the City of Madison and registered a breath alcohol concentration of .14. Luckily no one was hurt but his client was subsequently charged with what is commonly called “drunk driving” but technically an OWI/PAC as a first offense in the State of Wisconsin, §346.63 (1) (a) and §346.63 (1) (b) Wis. Stats. It appeared the City had a strong case and his client was willing to put the matter behind him, however Attorney Stangl continued to research and investigate the matter. Ultimately he was able to discover that the arresting officer failed to comply with certain technical requirements of the law regarding the reading of the Informing the Accused which are rights that a suspected drunk driver must be informed of prior to the submission of any chemical test of their blood, breath or urine. Ultimately the case was successfully resolved and the OWI was amended to reckless driving and the PAC (above the legal limit charge) was dismissed.

Caleb's Conspiracy Victory

The client was charged with multiple felonies and drug charges including conspiring to manufacture/deliver methamphetamines, §961.41, §939.31 and §939.50 (3) (f) Wis. Stats. The client was initially charged with seven (7) felonies. Believing that the client was overcharged and the criminal complaint was insufficient to confer probable cause as to each element of all the charges listed, Attorney Stangl filed a lengthy Motion to Dismiss prior to the preliminary hearing. Before the hearing the State agreed to dismiss eight (8) charges including five (5) felonies. The defendant was bound over for trial on two (2) felonies. During the course of his investigation of the case Attorney Stangl was able to demonstrate to the prosecutor that the defendant was on the periphery of the conspiracy and was not a co-conspirator in the manufacture of methamphetamine. Ultimately this very challenging case was resolved without any felony or misdemeanor drug convictions. As long as the client successfully completes his probation he will only end up with a misdemeanor on his record after being charged with seven (7) felonies and multiple misdemeanors.

If you ever find yourself facing an impossible situation like Caleb did, Attorney Stangl and Stangl Law Offices, S.C. will help. Attorney Stangl has extensive experience defending drug possession, manufacturing and conspiracy cases, having defended hundreds of drug cases over the last 25+ years. Contact him at (608) 831-9200 or visit his firm at

Appeal - Dave's Story

Dave was unrepresented by counsel when he pled guilty to domestic battery. Even though it was a misdemeanor offense, and given the domestic nature of the conviction under federal law he was prohibited from possessing a firearm. As a truck driver he would occasionally haul equipment for the United States Military and because of the conviction he would not be able to perform his job function.

Learning of the problem he contacted Attorney Stangl to initiate an appeal to determine whether there was anything that could be done about his conviction. Attorney Stangl argued in the Court of Appeals that the trial judge failed to comply with certain procedural requirements when it accepted Dave’s plea. Attorney Stangl previously filed a motion to withdraw the guilty plea which was denied by the same trial court that he contended failed to comply with the appropriate procedure. The matter was briefed in the Court of Appeals and the State recognized that the court did indeed fail to comply with the appropriate procedure and the Court of Appeals ordered that the trial judge hold a hearing on the issue of its compliance with the appropriate plea procedure.

Andy's Story - Child Abuse

The defendant was charged with felony child abuse for an alleged fight which occurred with his stepson. At the probable cause or preliminary hearing on the felony charge Attorney Stangl was able to get the case dismissed. While this in and of itself was a remarkable result, Attorney Stangl fully expected that the State would eventually recharge him with the same offense. Approximately eight months later his client was recharged with the same felony child abuse charge. Attorney Stangl was eventually able to get the second case dismissed as well. His client, who denied battering the problematic child was extremely pleased and relieved to have the matter finally resolved.

State of Wisconsin v. S.P.

The defendant was initially charged with an OWI-7th offense with two (2) pending OWI-PAC’s at the same time along with bail jumping.  The 7th offense requires a minimum mandatory three (3) year term of imprisonment.  Attorney Stangl was able to get the 7th offense reduced to a 5th/6th offense thereby saving his client from prison.  The client received five (5) years probation and one (1) year in the county jail on the 6th offense OWI-PAC, which also could have resulted in a prison sentence. 

Stalking Case Dismissed

Attorney Stangl represented a client charged with stalking his ex-wife and violating a harassment injunction. Upon reviewing the initial charging document, the criminal complaint, Attorney Stangl believed the complaint failed to allege sufficient facts to establish a pattern or “course of conduct” which is a necessary legal element of the crime of stalking. He filed an extensive Motion to Dismiss and prior to a hearing on the motion the State agreed and dismissed the stalking and other related charge. Stalking, under §940.32 Wis. Stats. is a serious crime in Wisconsin, a Class I Felony, punishable by a fine of $10,000 and prison of three (3) years and six (6) months. Attorney Stangl and Stangl Law Offices, S.C. have successfully defended several stalking cases and if you are ever charged with stalking make sure to contact us immediately at (608) 831-9200 or visit us at Aggressive Defense with Results!

The Importance of Precharge Representation

Attorney Stangl is often enlisted by clients to represent them when they are the subject of a criminal investigation and long before the State or federal government has reached the decision of whether to file criminal charges or not. Attorney Stangl has successfully represented clients in precharge representation in numerous cases including attempted homicide, sexual assaults and OWI cases involving bodily injury to others.

In an especially notable OWI 5th prosecution his client had an accident and registered a blood concentration almost two times the prohibited level for a fourth offense or greater in Wisconsin. His client was smart and proactively hired Pat a few days after the accident. Pat immediately became involved, advising the District Attorney and law enforcement that he was representing his client, Jeff, and began investigating and negotiating with the District Attorney.

After months of negotiating the State agreed with Attorney Stangl that it had several problems with its case and ultimately decided not to charge Jeff even though his blood test result was above the legal limit and another person was injured. Obviously Jeff was exceedingly happy and relieved.

This case, as well as the many other cases, where Attorney Stangl has been able to avoid criminal charges or negotiate a resolution up front without the State bringing felony charges, for example, demonstrates the importance of precharge representation.

If you are under a criminal investigation and have not been charged, effective precharge representation is critical. If you are under a criminal investigation it is best not to meet with or make statements to the police without first seeking legal advice from an experienced criminal defense attorney with a proven track record of success. At Stangl Law Offices, S.C. we have that proven track record. Contact us at (608) 831-9200 or at

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