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Appleton WI Criminal Defense Law Blog

"Jackass" star faces drunk driving charges

Wisconsin residents may be concerned about their next steps if they have been cited for driving under the influence. DUI charges aren't uncommon, but they can have a major impact. High-profile celebrities also frequently face these kinds of cases.The star of "Jackass", Bam Margera, was arrested on Jan. 7 for driving under the influence in California. He was stopped after state highway police saw him on his phone while driving after they had already stopped another car. Police reported that they smelled alcohol on his breath before giving him a field sobriety test and a Breathalyzer. He was taken into custody but later released on his own recognizance.

This isn't Margera's first encounter with alcohol-related issues, although it is the first time he has been charged with DUI. He has spoken publicly about his battle with alcohol dependency over the years as well as his desire to be sober. A friend of his was also killed while driving under the influence in 2011.

Traffic stop leads to range of drug charges after search

Traffic stops can be an occasion for serious charges including drug charges for people in Wisconsin. Searches that stem from traffic stops can give rise to charges that not only relate to someone's driving but also to drugs they may have in their vehicle. Many people are unaware of their rights in relation to searches conducted during traffic stops, especially because those rights are limited in comparison to those enjoyed in one's home.

In one December 2017 case, an 18-year-old from De Pere was stopped by Wisconsin State Troopers on U.S. Highway 10 in the town of Fremont. He was stopped for speeding, but the charges he is facing are unrelated to the operation of his vehicle. After a search during the traffic stop, the police found cocaine, ecstasy, cannabis and prescription drugs. In the trunk of the car, the police found 6 ounces of cannabis, six ecstasy pills, seven bags containing cocaine and 75 alprazolam pills. Alprazolam is a medication used for anxiety treatment. The police also stated that they found a $100 bill with white powder.

Mishap in drive-thru lane leads to DUI for country artist

Country music fans in Wisconsin may be interested in knowing about a drunk driving case that is unfolding in warmer climates. According to reports, singer Michael Ray was taken into custody on Dec. 20 after his Jeep Wrangler rear-ended a car in a fast-food restaurant's drive-thru lane in Florida. Ray was reportedly detained on a $6,000 bond at the Lake County jail following the incident.

The accident occurred in the city of Eustis at approximately 3 a.m. Sources say that the Jeep collided with another vehicle after the 29-year-old artist's foot slipped off the Wrangler's pedal. During the investigation, law enforcement officials noted that the singer had slurred speech and bloodshot eyes. After the artist admitted that he had been at a bar earlier, officers discovered cannabis oil in Ray's pocket. He failed several police-administered sobriety tests at the scene.

Federal agents accused of racial bias in drug stings

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, which includes Wisconsin, might have to to consider the question of racial bias in federal drug crime investigations. The convictions of 43 people could potentially be overturned if a judicial panel decides that agents from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives targeted people on the basis of race.

Some legal precedents have established that overtly racist behavior on the part of law enforcement, such as the use of racial slurs, does not have to be evident to prove racial prejudice. Statistical evidence that indicates policies impact certain racial groups disproportionately could support claims of racial bias. Information presented concerning nearly 100 defendants from one urban area showed that only eight were white. The vast majority, 74 people, were black, and the remaining 12 were Hispanic.

Possible impact of domestic abuse charges

Domestic abuse is a serious and somewhat complex accusation that comes with severe consequences. Just a domestic abuse charge in itself can have a strong impact on the life of the accused.

Those who may face domestic abuse charges should understand all that these entail so that they may create a solid defense. There are a few ways that domestic abuse charges may affect an individual.

The White House increases awareness of impaired driving

In Wisconsin, like every other state in the country, the legal limit for intoxication is .08 percent. When a person gets behind the wheel and is driving impaired, they put their lives at risk as well as the lives of other individuals in their vehicle, other drivers and innocent pedestrians. Every 50 minutes, approximately one individual loses their life in an alcohol-related automobile accident. As a result, many states have put strict laws in place to deter impaired driving.

Still, according to a 2012 report, more than 4 million adults admitted to getting behind the wheel of their vehicle although they were impaired by alcohol in a one-month time frame. The sobering reality is that every one of these individuals could have caused a fatal accident. While the legal limit for intoxication is .08 percent, some people are impaired after just one drink. Their decision to get behind the wheel and drive drunk can irrevocably change lives.

Penalties for cocaine sale and possession

Cocaine is one of the most heavily trafficked illegal drugs in Wisconsin. Furthermore, there has been growing violence related to the use, trafficking and manufacture of cocaine. As a result, authorities in the state are taking these offenses seriously.

The seriousness of the offense is based on how much of the drug the person possesses as well as whether the person has committed previous offenses. Any amount of cocaine can result in a sentence of up to a year in prison and a fine of $5,000. Attempting to possess this amount can lead to the same penalty.

Understanding Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is often experienced by those who live in Appleton, Wisconsin, and other areas of the country as a physical altercation between spouses or two people who are living together. In reality, this is only one form of domestic violence that is in existence. The violence also could include physical abuse, emotional or sexual abuse and even financial abuse. Most of the time, this violence takes place between two people who are either married or in a similar relationship. However, it also could involve children and parents, friends who live together or other family members who live in the same home.

Physical abuse occurs when any kind of physical force is used by one person against another. This type of domestic violence can include anything from kicking to choking, biting or pushing another person. Behavior that results in minor injuries, such as slapping, also is considered to be physical abuse.

Study shows disparity in prison sentences for black men

Wisconsin residents may be surprised to learn that according to a study by the U.S. Sentencing Commission, black men on average spend more time in prison than white men who commit the same crimes. The study looked at data from 2012 to 2016 and showed that black men served sentences that were 19.1 percent longer than white men who committed the same crimes.

Some may argue that the black men who got longer sentences may have had a history of violence or a history of crime. However, this pattern of thought does not hold water according to the study produced by the US federal judiciary branch. When an offender's history of violence was factored in, black offenders had sentences 20.4 times longer than white men.

Things to know about Wisconsin's new OWI laws

Operating a motor vehicle while under the influence is a dangerous criminal offense, and therefore comes with strict penalties. New Wisconsin laws increase those penalties.

If someone faces an OWI charge, it is important to understand all that this entails, including the potentially harsher outcomes that the new legislation has put into place.

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