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Appleton Wisconsin Criminal Law Blog

Do police need a warrant to search my car?

Cars have been part of people's daily lives for decades now. People use their cars to travel from place to place, obviously. Because they are so important, people haul around a lot of their stuff in their vehicles, and police in Appleton and the surrounding area know this. For this reason, police often conduct traffic stops with the hope of finding evidence that could lead to drug charges or other criminal offenses.

Generally speaking, police do not need a warrant to search a Wisconsin resident's vehicle. However, they are required to have what is called probable cause before doing so. In other words, they have to have some objective reason to believe that they will find evidence of criminal activity by searching the vehicle. Otherwise, they must either obtain a search warrant, get consent to search the vehicle or rely on some other special legal rule that gives them the authority to conduct a search.

Do drug courts work?

If authorities find you using, possessing, selling or manufacturing drugs and you find yourself facing a drug-related criminal charge, you may have to pay steep fines, fulfill substance abuse treatment requirements or even spend time in jail as a result. This does not necessarily have to be the case for all drug offenders, however. In some circumstances, criminal offenders who commit drug-related crimes that are not violent in nature may be able to participate in drug court as an alternative to spending time in jail.

So, what can you expect if you attend a drug court program, and can they actually help addicts kick their drug habit for good? The National Institute of Justice sponsored a 10-year study of one American drug court program to get a better understanding of its effectiveness.

College student accused of resisting arrest

An 18-year-old student at the University of Wisconsin in Madison faces multiple criminal charges after what may have been connected to a Saturday night of partying.

Police in charge of enforcing the laws on the University's campus say that an officer was sent to a dormitory on reports that someone was urinating in the common area. At some point, the officer determined that the young man, who was not of legal drinking age, had a blood alcohol content of .20, well over the .08 in which one is legally drunk in Wisconsin.

Not everyone accused of domestic abuse is violent

This blog has on several occasions discussed the serious consequences even a first-time offender can face after being accused of domestic abuse or another criminal charge related to domestic violence.

There is also a certain stigma associated with getting convicted of or even accused of this sort of crime. Especially with heightened awareness of the problems with domestic violence, it is very easy for someone with a history to be seen as violent and unpredictable at all times. In others, the person will not be trusted in either a professional environment or even in one's personal life.

Review of penalties for drunk driving in Wisconsin

Most Appleton residents probably know the basics of what could happen to them if they get convicted of a drunk driving charge, which is legally called in OWI in the state of Wisconsin. For example, they probably know that there will fines and a license suspension, and jail may even be on the table.

Even a first-time OWI offense with no aggravating circumstances can carry with it some significant penalties. While a lengthy stay in jail might not be a serious concern, a person can face a license revocation of up to nine months, as well as a mandatory $435 fee as well as the possibility of additional fines.

Alleged fake doctor faces multiple criminal charges

A Wisconsin man, who is a resident of Appleton, faces multiple criminal charges in connection with allegations that he held himself out as a psychologist to multiple patients and even treated them for their ailments. The man does not have a medical license.

Investigators say that the man, who gave a different last name when treating patients, was licensed as a nurse but later found himself out of work and unable to get a job.

As opioid deaths rise in Wisconsin, the state takes action

It is no secret that the opioid crisis is hitting Wisconsin hard. According to recent reporting, the rate of fatal opioid overdoses in Wisconsin is climbing. Families are suffering as their loved ones die of opioid overdoses even after receiving treatment.

This tragedy is signaling alarm bells for the state. Wisconsin is expanding its efforts to combat the opioid epidemic, thanks in part to new funding from the federal government.

Thought-provoking statistics on false domestic violence claims

As this blog has discussed previously, a Wisconsin resident who is facing a criminal domestic violence allegation is exposed to some serious and long-term consequences, even for a first-time offense.

If it is the case that a person really has made a mistake and committed domestic violence, it is understandable that there will be some consequences. Of course, one can still expect fair treatment and to have an opportunity to explain any mitigating circumstances. Doing so, often with the help of an experienced attorney, can mean a lessened penalty and the ability to move past a mistake.

Other consequences of domestic violence convictions

A previous post on this blog talked about how an Appleton, Wisconsin, resident might wind up losing custody of his children or even, in some cases, having to settle for supervised visits. As the previous post mentioned, this can happen even if the child was not an alleged victim and did not witness domestic violence.

This is just one of many so-called collateral consequences to a domestic violence conviction. In general, crimes related to domestic violence are particularly serious since they can have a far-reaching impact on a person's life, even if the person was convicted of a misdemeanor and even if it was a first offense.

Police officer charged with domestic violence offense

A police detective on the force of Wisconsin's largest city was reported in jail while prosecutors contemplate filing charges related to a domestic incident with his girlfriend. Police indicated that an internal investigation in to his conduct is also underway.

Police described the woman's injuries as serious. They say they found her at a neighbor's home after an alleged altercation with the detective about his not being faithful to the woman. The woman said she was attacked and fled to the neighbor's home.

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Appleton, WI 54911

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