Photo of Sarah M. Schmeiser, Attorney at Stroud, Willink, & Howard in Madison WI

Sarah M. Schmeiser


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Legal Assistant: Nicholas Santas

Practice Areas

Sarah concentrates on two areas of practice: criminal and traffic defense and immigration law. In the area of criminal and traffic defense, Sarah has defended clients at all levels – from local municipal courts through the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Sarah handles many circuit court trials every year, successfully protecting client interests. Sarah handles all levels of appeal in criminal and traffic cases and has argued several cases in front of the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Sarah frequently handles charges of drunk driving, sexual assault, substantial battery, theft from employer, delivery of a controlled substance, and all types of criminal and traffic offenses.

In the area of immigration, Sarah frequently handles family petitions as well as defending those in removal proceedings. Sarah often consults to provide information to clients and other attorneys about the immigration background and best plan for moving forward.

Practice Experience

  • Argued before the Wisconsin Supreme Court on three different drunk driving related cases
  • Acquittal at trial of clients charged with drunk driving, sexual assault of a child, sexual assault, and many others
  • Successfully filed motions to suppress evidence resulting in cases being reduced and dismissed
  • Successfully filed petitions for clients to become permanent residents in the United States

Practice Focus

  • Criminal Defense: drunk driving, sexual assault, controlled substances, theft, speeding, underage drinking
  • Immigration Law: review and analysis, family petition, work authorization, removal defense

Professional Achievements, Honors, and Awards

  • Warrior of the Year – Dane County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (2016)
  • President – Wisconsin Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Forensic Lawyer-Scientist Certification from the American Chemical Society

Speaking Engagements and CLE Presentations

  • 2019, State Bar of Wisconsin, Life is a Highway: Handling Traffic Cases – Habitual Traffic Offenders and Moving Violations
  • 2015 – 2018, Annual Drunk Driving Defense Seminar – Caselaw Update
  • 2018, State Bar of Wisconsin, OWI: Building Your Practice – Trial Issues from the Defense Attorney with Adam Welch
  • 2016, State Bar of Wisconsin: Boating While Under the Influence
  • 2015, Wisconsin Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers – Special Circumstances in OWI Cases
  • 2014, Annual Drunk Driving Defense Seminar – After McNeely


  • University of Wisconsin Law School, J.D. 2004, cum laude
  • Beloit College, BA 1997, cum laude


  • State of Wisconsin, 2005
  • United States District Court, Western District of Wisconsin
  • United States District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, 2005

Professional Memberships

  • Wisconsin Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Dane County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
  • National College of DUI Defense
  • State Bar of Wisconsin

Community Involvement and Memberships

  • Alzheimer’s and Dementia Alliance of Wisconsin