Mastantuono & Coffee SC

Mastantuono & Coffee SC Criminal Defense. Crisis Management. Making Problems Better. *** If you need to talk with a lawyer, please call for the fastest response. ***
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Our Wisconsin criminal defense attorneys provide strong legal representation for people accused in criminal cases, as well as counsel and advocacy in crisis situations like law enforcement investigations and inquiries from regulatory agencies.

Operating as usual

Hello M&C FB friends. Our local alt-weekly's Best of MKE nomination period is going on right now. If you think we deserv...
09/28/2020
2020 Best of Milwaukee

Hello M&C FB friends. Our local alt-weekly's Best of MKE nomination period is going on right now. If you think we deserve a shot in the Services Rendered/Criminal Defense Lawyers category, we'd be honored to be nominated!

https://shepherdexpress.com/best-of-milwaukee/2020?fbclid=IwAR0VV4sPvU0A1_IRuhhMydBffmM6DUa2GNY7q_9zdDPOI8fmzJLnB3KE82Q#//

Our Best of Milwaukee is based entirely on the votes of our readers—and who better than the people that live and work in Milwaukee to decide upon the best the city has to offer in food, retail, health, culture and politics?

When protests become what the protest is marching about. Our firm is very proud of client Frank Nitty and the hard work ...
08/29/2020
Milwaukee activist Frank Nitty sues sheriff's deputies after he was bloodied during Hoan Bridge arrest, proposes new policies

When protests become what the protest is marching about.

Our firm is very proud of client Frank Nitty and the hard work he brings every day to draw attention to racial inequities in the criminal justice system. He just completed an epic march to Washington DC to raise the voice of our city at festivities honoring MLK. Earlier this year, Frank was arrested during a march in Milwaukee. He was injured and worse, had to fight a false police accusation; we were happy to help him clear his name. He now fights for justice and better police practices in a civil lawsuit based on the incident filed by Atty Mark Thomsen, described in this article from MKE JS online:

Nitty has filed a lawsuit alleging a violation of his First Amendment rights, excessive force and racial profiling when Milwaukee County sheriff's deputies threw him to the ground during an arrest on the Hoan Bridge in June.

The Sheriff's Office referred two felony charges of resisting an officer, causing injury, and a misdemeanor count of unlawful assembly to prosecutors. The Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office declined to issue any charges against Nitty.

"We conducted a thorough investigation, the result of which was that the sheriff's reports were refuted by several citizens and in many ways, were just not credible," said attorney Craig Mastantuono, who represented Nitty in that portion of the incident.

“When I first watched the video of the deputies’ unlawful attack on Frank Nitty, I never imagined that it would take filing a lawsuit to get my county’s new leadership's attention or make anti-racist law enforcement a reality here," [Atty Mark] Thomsen told the Journal Sentinel.

----

Keep marching, Frank - we're with you.
#BLM

As part of the lawsuit, Frank Nitty wants the Sheriff's Office to adopt a lengthy anti-racism and anti-discrimination policy.

"Already overcrowded, the population in state-run prisons is rising again after months of decline, though still down sin...
08/12/2020
Evers denies clemency to inmates as high heat, COVID risks raise health concerns

"Already overcrowded, the population in state-run prisons is rising again after months of decline, though still down since the beginning of the year. More than 21,000 adults are held in buildings designed to house fewer than 18,000."

We fully support looking at reasonable emergency clemency options to ease overcrowding in this pandemic crisis.

State officials reject requests for compassionate relief amid concerns about the coronavirus and the summer heat.

Gov. Evers pardons 18 people who made poor decisions in their youth, but who have turned their lives around to find succ...
07/16/2020
BREAKING: Gov. Evers announces 18 pardons

Gov. Evers pardons 18 people who made poor decisions in their youth, but who have turned their lives around to find success. This is exactly the type of action our community needs to heal and help support people who strive to do better.

Gov. Tony Evers granted pardons this week to eighteen people, according to an announcement from the governor's office.

WI Governor Tony Evers announces support for a package of legislation including a ban on police chokeholds, no-knock sea...
06/19/2020
Gov. Tony Evers calls for ban on police chokeholds and no-knock warrants in Juneteenth announcement

WI Governor Tony Evers announces support for a package of legislation including a ban on police chokeholds, no-knock search warrants, and making it harder for bad officers to move to other police jobs.

“Our country promises the opportunity of justice and equity, and it’s time for us to deliver on that promise,” Evers said in a statement. “This legislation is a first step toward dismantling the systems we’ve created, but it can only be a first step. Racism and racial disparities can’t be solved with any single bill or package of bills, or person — it’s on all of us, together."

M&C Law fully supports these steps in the right direction, and encourages further action to eliminate systemic racial inequality in our criminal justice system.

Gov. Tony Evers and Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes unveiled drafts of nine bills, including ones that would ban police chokeholds and no-knock warrants.

George Floyd's tragic murder has brought eradication of racism to the forefront of social consciousness. Our firm has ad...
06/09/2020

George Floyd's tragic murder has brought eradication of racism to the forefront of social consciousness. Our firm has addressed racial inequality in the justice system for years in our public outreach and blog, and we are hopeful that a larger conversation will lead to sustained change.

Inequities result from many decision touch points in the system from case investigation and police intervention through sentencing. A more diverse state court bench is a factor. Craig was asked to comment on this for MKE's WTMJ Ch. 4. Take a look here.

Courts across Wisconsin are using Zoom to conduct hearings. Make sure you're prepared with our tips.
05/28/2020
How To: Appear in Court by Zoom | Mastantuono & Coffee SC

Courts across Wisconsin are using Zoom to conduct hearings. Make sure you're prepared with our tips.

Court hearings will continue to take place through Zoom where possible. Mastantuono & Coffee has conducted many of these hearings, and we have developed recomme

This defender has, sadly, the right take on this weekend's ridiculous situation in Central Park, familiar to any experie...
05/27/2020
Opinion | I’m a public defender in Manhattan. The Central Park video is all too familiar.

This defender has, sadly, the right take on this weekend's ridiculous situation in Central Park, familiar to any experienced criminal defense attorney anywhere.

"A white person calls the police on a black man. The police arrive and take the side of his white accuser, refusing to believe his version of events. He is arrested and arraigned. An outrageous bail amount is set. His family can’t afford to buy his freedom. He gets sent to Rikers Island, where he sits for days, months or sometimes years."

"In cases I’ve taken to trial, the district attorney has offered recordings of 'hysterical 911 calls' as evidence of my clients’ guilt, urging the jury to 'just listen to the fear in her voice,' saying, 'You can tell she can sense a threat,' and asking questions such as, 'Why would she lie?' All too often, it works."

An ugly incident between a birdwatcher and dog walker shows there needs to be accountability for playing the privilege card.

Attorneys say a waiver might not give a business absolute protection when people are learning new things each day about ...
05/15/2020
New normal: COVID-19 waivers

Attorneys say a waiver might not give a business absolute protection when people are learning new things each day about the fast-spreading virus. "I don't know that salon owners, or myself, are able to determine now what the extent of risk is and how to ask a customer to knowingly waive that," attorney Craig Mastantuono said.

With many salons and barbershops reopening, a new normal for clients will be signing waivers.

04/30/2020
EXPO - EX-incarcerated People Organizing

If you missed Craig speaking at the EXPO Week of Action Webinar last night - check out this clip on the incarceration crisis in WI. Thanks for your work, EXPO!

The team at M&C Law continues to advocate for our clients. Call us - we're available for a free consultation.
04/24/2020

The team at M&C Law continues to advocate for our clients. Call us - we're available for a free consultation.

04/05/2020
doc.wi.gov

23,251. That is the number of people incarcerated in Wisconsin's prisons per the most recent DOC figures available, at the end of Feb. 2020.

$32,767/men, $37,743/women. That is the average yearly cost to WI taxpayers for incarcerating these people. Total cost of locking people up in America's Dairyland: more than $767 million a year.

9,381. That is the number of incarcerated people as of Jan. 2020 in neighboring Minnesota, with similar population and crime rate to Wisconsin, urban/rural mix, and racial and ethnic demographics.

That's 23,251 WI inmates to 9,381 MN inmates. Not even remotely close.

We're doing a lot wrong dispensing justice in our state, featured by an addictive over-reliance on incarceration as a simple fix-all to complex problems. It's costing us a fortune, it drains our community, and it doesn't make us safer.

With the COVID-19 crisis and an internal epidemic in our prisons looming, Wisconsin's incarceration problem is only that much more acute, and it will take lives needlessly.

See the DOC full report on Wisconsin's prison population here:
https://doc.wi.gov/DataResearch/DataAndReports/DAIAtAGlance.pdf

About 2.3 million people are incarcerated in local jails and state and federal prisons, according to the Prison Policy I...
03/25/2020
‘Disaster waiting to happen’: Thousands of inmates released as jails and prisons face coronavirus threat

About 2.3 million people are incarcerated in local jails and state and federal prisons, according to the Prison Policy Initiative, an organization that opposes mass incarceration. ...
On Monday, 14 senators from both parties sent a letter to the Justice Department, which oversees the federal prison system, asking that it make full use of its power to release elderly, terminally ill and low-risk inmates to home confinement.

As states and counties react to fears over the havoc coronavirus could wreak, the Trump administration faces growing pressure to take similar measures in the federal prison system.

For all of those who love a good lawyer joke, the City of Milwaukee agrees that legal services are essential :). M&C Law...
03/24/2020
Milwaukee Stay at Home Order

For all of those who love a good lawyer joke, the City of Milwaukee agrees that legal services are essential :). M&C Law is still open for business while protecting each other and our community by working remotely and through social distancing. We're available for your referrals or inquiries. The attached City Order has all relevant information on what individuals and businesses can and can't do during this crisis. We'll continue to provide updates. Stay healthy!

Source document contributed to DocumentCloud by Rachel Piper (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel).

Does your license expire soon? Don't venture out - you've got more time. "According to the DMV, all licenses and CDL's t...
03/20/2020
Wisconsin DMV to limit in-person services starting March 23

Does your license expire soon? Don't venture out - you've got more time. "According to the DMV, all licenses and CDL's that expire during the public health emergency will have an automatic 60-day extension. If officers pull you over, the police driving record will show that 60-day extension." https://www.tmj4.com/news/coronavirus/wisconsin-dmv-to-limit-in-person-services-starting-march-23

The Wisconsin Department of Motor Vehicles announced Wednesday that they would be limiting in-person services beginning March 23.

03/19/2020

One thing that defenders do in their professional communities, list serves, etc. during a crisis is think about how this affects our clients, and compare notes on what to do about it. That's happening right now in Wisconsin, a state with a mass incarceration crisis.

The Marshall Project just published this piece written by two inmates on what it is like to be under quarantine in a Washington state prison where a prison employee tested positive for COVID-19.

From the piece:

"Like everyone in the free world, those of us on the inside began to worry about our families, especially our older folks, and their safety in the face of an unknown predator. Even in the best of times, it's hard to know how our families are doing."

"We don’t have cleaning wipes, alcohol-based hand sanitizer (it’s contraband), or anything else that the CDC is recommending citizens use to prevent spreading the virus. The only cleaning solution we have is a mild “all-purpose cleaner” that is not germicidal and, rumor has it, is safe enough to drink."

"My prison may be one of the first to have a known case, but we are not unique. There are 2.3 million people incarcerated in the United States—something has to be done beyond dirty socks on phone receivers."

https://www.themarshallproject.org/2020/03/18/what-coronavirus-quarantine-looks-like-in-prison

03/16/2020

The M&C Law Team will reduce our office footprint dramatically for the rest of the month in response to the COVID-19 crisis. We will be working from home, and converting meetings to phone and video conferences. Our court appearances are all being rescheduled. You are still welcome to call us on our business line - 414-276-8662 - for any legal need. All of us, Craig, Rebecca, Leah, Adriana, and Andrea - continue to work hard on our cases and are available to our clients. Please follow recommended best practices until we get through this. We'll continue to provide updates on court schedules, etc. Stay safe and healthy!

Milwaukee County Circuit Court Chief Judge has issued a new order concerning court proceedings in response to the Corona...
03/16/2020

Milwaukee County Circuit Court Chief Judge has issued a new order concerning court proceedings in response to the Coronavirus crisis. The main thrust for criminal court cases: all trials and evidentiary hearings are suspended until after 4/3/20; between now and 4/3/20 all non-evidentiary hearings that can be done by phone or video conference will proceed as scheduled, subject to judicial discretion if a personal appearance is deemed necessary; all proceedings involving out of custody defendants are cancelled until after 4/3/20, but may still be heard by phone or video conference. Please check with your attorney for specific instructions regarding your case, if you have one.

"People in prison or jail may have made bad decisions to wind up behind bars, but they're still human beings worthy of G...
03/12/2020
A prison pandemic? Steps to avoid the worst

"People in prison or jail may have made bad decisions to wind up behind bars, but they're still human beings worthy of God's grace. As our country braces itself for the coronavirus, let's make sure that those in the justice system are protected, too."

Van Jones and Jessica Jackson write that as coronavirus spreads, there is an increased risk to prisoners, who already often live in unsanitary environments. But there are steps government can take to prevent a prison outbreak that spreads into the general population.

03/05/2020

Defense Attorneys walk with their clients through their struggles and their triumphs.

Today started out at the final court appearance for a client who successfully completed Drug Treatment Court (DTC) in a suburban Milwaukee County. The client had a long-term addiction to heroin, which resulted in an overdose at the wheel, minor accident, and drunk driving arrest and hospital visit about 18 months ago (no one was seriously hurt). Felony charges. He was given a chance to succeed on probation and the DTC, and he went through all of the required treatment and court appearances for more than a year. His case resolved today without further jail or a felony conviction. He looked good, a proud and sober person, father of a young child, and husband. The judge started the hearing by saying "this is a happy occasion." Couldn't agree more.

Treatment courts didn't exist in this particular county five years ago. These courts work, they matter, they save money and human resources, and they can be transformative to people's lives and for the communities they live in. A good morning indeed. -CM

Wisconsin lawmakers pass a package of so-called Tough-on-Crime bills that go in the opposite direction of bipartisan cri...
02/26/2020
Trading places: Republicans and Democrats switch spending stances when it comes to criminal justice

Wisconsin lawmakers pass a package of so-called Tough-on-Crime bills that go in the opposite direction of bipartisan criminal justice reform taking place in many states across the country. Bad enough to be plain wrong and behind the learning curve. Even worse when it's just because you're playing politics. From the MKE Journal Sentinel story:

"In an interview Friday, [GOP assemblyman] Schraa said his colleagues were willing to approve the revocation bill and other crime-related legislation despite the costs because they expected Democratic Gov. Tony Evers to veto them. He said cracking down on crime gained traction in part because of concerns that Republican lawmakers in suburban Milwaukee could face tough re-election bids."

“Everybody knew that they weren’t going to be signed so it really was a symbolic move for the caucus and some of the members that might be in the Mark Belling listenership radius,” he said, referring to the conservative host on WISN-AM (1130).

A funny thing happens when Wisconsin Republicans and Democrats debate criminal justice legislation — they trade places on their views about spending.

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219 N Milwaukee St, Ste 520
Milwaukee, WI
53202

Bus: Milwaukee & Buffalo stop, or Milwaukee & Chicago stop.

General information

Are you, a family member, or friend charged with a crime? At Mastantuono & Coffee, we speak with people everyday who are put in this frightening situation. The criminal justice system is unfamiliar to our clients, but it is our area of expertise. In other words, while you may not have been through this before, we have – thousands of times. Mastantuono & Coffee is a criminal defense law firm with an esteemed reputation in the greater Milwaukee County and Waukesha County region, and throughout Wisconsin. The attorneys at Mastantuono & Coffee take a dynamic and innovative approach to representing clients and creating positive results. We handle all criminal cases, from felony and misdemeanor charges to traffic and OWI/DUI cases, in state and federal courts. We also conduct negotiations with police and government officials during investigations and before court cases are charged, in addition to crisis management and advocacy for individuals and organizations. Our proven track record at winning cases and negotiations throughout Wisconsin has earned us the respect of our peers, resulting in valued recognition in the legal community. Call us – we'll use our experience and reputations to guide you through your legal problem.

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