Experienced Injury Lawyers Serving Wisconsin

Criminal Defense

Wisconsin Criminal Defense Attorney

Criminal Defense in Wisconsin, Jefferson, & Throughout Wisconsin

When you are facing criminal charges, the team you choose to represent you can change the course of your life. At Lawton Cates, we have the experience and resources to defend your rights and protect your future.

If you or someone you love has been arrested or charged with a crime, it is important that you contact an attorney right away. In most cases, the prosecution will immediately begin gathering evidence and putting together its case against you; you need someone on your side who will work just as hard on your behalf.

At Lawton Cates, we defend individuals accused of all types of criminal offenses, including drunk driving (operating while intoxicated, or OWI), assault and battery, domestic abuse, drug possession, sex crimes, violent offenses, felonies, and misdemeanors. From our offices located in Jefferson and Madison, our criminal defense attorneys aggressively advocate on behalf of the accused throughout the state of Wisconsin, providing personalized service and custom legal strategies tailored to each individual’s unique situation.

Arrested in Wisconsin? Do not delay in calling Lawton Cates at (608) 282-6200 to learn how our experienced legal team can fight for you.

What to Do If You Are Accused of a Crime

Whether you are being treated as a suspect in a criminal case, have been detained or arrested by the police, or have already been charged with a crime, there are certain things you should do to protect yourself and your rights.

If you are accused of a criminal offense, try to do all of the following:

  • Remain silent. You do not have to—nor should you—answer any questions from police officers or provide any statements without an attorney present. Note that you do need to identify yourself to law enforcement officers, but you do not need to supply any additional information about what you are doing, where you are going, where you have been, where you live, whether you are a U.S. citizen, etc.
  • If law enforcement tries to search your home, vehicle, or other personal property, ask to see a search warrant. The search warrant must be signed by a judge and will provide detailed information on what the officers are allowed to search. If law enforcement does not have a valid search warrant, state simply and clearly that you do not consent to a search.
  • Hold on to anything that could be considered evidence. This includes things like time-stamped receipts, witness statements, videos or pictures, computer files, and more. Not only can this help establish an alibi in your case but discarding evidence—even accidentally—could be considered a second offense.
  • Avoid confrontation and comply with the arresting officer’s instructions without sacrificing your rights. Do not attempt to explain yourself, defend yourself, or make any sudden or unexpected movements while being detained. Resisting arrest is a serious crime that not only puts you at risk of harsh penalties but could also endanger your life.
  • Last but not least, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible. Even if you cannot afford an attorney, you have the right to be appointed one by the court. It is always best to work with someone who understands the law and has experience navigating the criminal justice system. An attorney will be able to help you understand your legal rights and build a powerful, evidence-based defense on your behalf.

At Lawton Cates, our Wisconsin criminal defense attorneys have more than 63 years of experience handling all types of serious criminal cases. Our team is prepared to take immediate steps to protect your rights, your freedom, and your future.

Why Should You Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney?

Facing a criminal charge can feel daunting. You may not know what to do or what your best options are. This is where a Wisconsin criminal defense attorney can help you. 

One of the biggest reasons to hire an attorney is that time is very likely not on your side. This means the sooner you hire a lawyer, the better your chances of negotiating to lower, or eliminate, your charges are. Other reasons to hire an attorney include:

  • You need a professional approach
  • You shouldn't answer questions unless you have an attorney present
  • They'll help you understand your legal options
  • You need support
  • Criminal laws are complex

Criminal Cases We Handle

We believe that everyone deserves the right to fair treatment under the law. Our criminal defense practice is founded on the principle of all people being innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Our goal as attorneys is to ensure that this standard is upheld.

Our attorneys at both our Madison and Jefferson locations defend clients against an array of criminal accusations, including but not limited to:

  • Assault and/or battery
  • Domestic abuse
  • Eluding an officer
  • Felonies
  • Homicide
  • Manslaughter
  • Misdemeanors
  • Murder
  • Operating a vehicle on a revoked license
  • Operating while intoxicated (OWI)
  • Rape
  • Reckless driving
  • Reckless endangerment
  • Sex crimes, including sexual assault
  • Theft crimes
  • Traffic violations
  • White collar crimes, such as embezzlement and fraud
  • Hit-and-run/leaving the scene of an accident
  • Drug crimes, including drug possession and trafficking

No matter how serious the allegations against you may be, our team at Lawton Cates is ready to aggressively defend you and your rights.

Contact us online or call (608) 282-6200 today to schedule a free and confidential consultation.

Client Testimonials

  • "Terry took the time to comfortably explain all and discuss options and decision-making that could be done along the way with clear pros and cons and asking me how I’d like to proceed."
    Jim R.
  • Compassionate, thorough, & made it easy to understand what’s going on.

    Riley G.
  • Lawton & Cates has been the most supportive and helpful!

  • "Everyone was so very kind to me... We were all made to feel welcome, made to feel supported, and made to feel like we belong there. That was very important to me since I was pretty stressed out a lot of the time."
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