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Eau Claire Criminal Defense Blog

4 substances commonly abused on college campuses

Going to college is a great experience for many young adults. It is often the first time away from home, giving students a newfound sense of freedom and purpose. While attending college can be productive and beneficial, it can also result in experimentation with various substances. 

Alcohol and drug use among college students is common. According to recent statistics, half of all full-time college students either binge drink or use drugs at least once monthly. Here is a look at the most used, misused and abused substances on college campuses.

Marijuana: What are the laws in Wisconsin?

There are several legal issues in the United States that are complex because federal law and state laws seem to conflict. For instance, the federal law states that any and all use, possession of, manufacture of, or distribution of marijuana is illegal. However, many states have enacted laws that allow restricted use of this drug and some have decriminalized it entirely, so medical and recreational use is no longer illegal in these states. Wisconsin residents will want to stay updated on the laws of this state, which currently align with federal laws.

Even if you purchase marijuana in a state where it is legal to do so, you may not enter this state in possession of the drug. If you do, you are at risk for arrest and criminal charges that can lead to severe penalties under conviction. Wisconsin laws typically list marijuana crimes in three categories: possession, trafficking and sales.

Valentine's Day ends in 9 arrests for drug crimes in Wisconsin

Investigators say they were working on a particular case for several months. On Valentine's Day, police officers were dispatched to four different Wisconsin residences, all within the same general region. The officers reportedly carried warrants that granted them permission to search the homes in question. The searches led to nine arrests for suspicion of drug crimes.

Police say they seized $35,000 worth of heroin from the premises they searched. They also claim to have seized methamphetamine, marijuana, firearms and $1,400 in cash. Those taken into police custody range in ages from 21 to 49.

Do OWIs affect college scholarships?

College is a time of exploration. Plenty of students go out to parties and drink more than they should. However, after a party, it is paramount that no one who drank gets behind the wheel of a car. This could result in substantial injuries and property damage. One thing college students may not recognize is that an OWI can cause them to lose financial aid. 

An OWI conviction can seriously upend a person's life. The person may need to pay hefty fines and spend some time in jail. For college students, an OWI conviction can affect them for the rest of their lives. A loss of financial aid may make it so that the student can no longer attend college, provided the college does not have a policy for expelling students for OWI charges. Ultimately, it is not worth it to drink and drive with so much on the line. 

Wisconsin police claim man admitted to marijuana possession

If Wisconsin police pull someone over in a traffic stop, they may ask the driver of the car or a passenger, numerous questions. Whether a person being questioned must provide answers depends on the situation. If a motorist speaks freely during a traffic stop, it may work against him or her down the line if criminal charges are filed. A man who was recently stopped in traffic is now facing legal trouble regarding marijuana; police say he admitted to having approximately 100 pounds of it in his car.

The initial reason for the traffic stop is said to have involved a minor traffic violation. The patrol officer claimed the driver executed a lane change without using proper signaling. From there, things continued to go downhill for the man behind the wheel.

Charges for drug crimes do not constitute guilt

If a Wisconsin police officer arrests someone and he or she winds up facing criminal charges, it does not necessarily mean a conviction will be handed down if the case goes to trial. People often make the mistake of discussing such matters as though merely being formally accused of drug crimes or other illegal activities means that anything and everything reported about the incident is fact. To the contrary, not only are investigators capable of error, any number of issues, such as lack of evidence or proof of personal rights violations, may result in avoidance of conviction or even a case dismissal.

Several men were recently traveling together when they were pulled over in a traffic stop. Police later said that a 32-year-old in the vehicle had a warrant out for his arrest. Officers also claim they witnessed that same man swallowing a pill during the traffic stop, which they believed was Oxycodone.

3 reasons you should never let cops search your car

Are you aware of the rights you have when a cop requests to search your vehicle? If you are like most people, you may not know you have the right to refuse. A police officer needs your consent to conduct a search of your car, unless he or she has a warrant or reasonable suspicion of a crime. Make sure you know when you should say "no" to police officers.

Generally, if a police officer asks for your consent, you should refuse, even if you do not have anything suspicious to hide. Here are some reasons why you should say "no" to vehicle searches.

What is an OWI?

Many Eau Claire Metro Area, Menomonie, Central Wisconsin, Chippewa Valley residents assume the terms OWI (operating while impaired) and DUI (driving under the influence) are interchangeable. Though both offenses involve alcohol, there are some significant distinctions between them. Each carries strict penalties that could irrevocably change your life. 

In Wisconsin, it is not a crime to consume alcohol. It becomes an OWI crime when you get inside your car or are in control of a vehicle. One clear difference between an OWI and DUI is you do not have to drive or be in the driver’s seat to get an OWI. You do not have to be in a car, SUV or truck to end up in trouble with the law. 

Wisconsin man took a nap and wound up arrested for drug crimes

Wisconsin police often patrol in or near community parks. Most parks post signs listing rules, such as when a park is open to the public or closed, what people may or may not bring into it and other regulations. If police suspect that a person has disobeyed park rules or has committed a criminal offense, such as drug crimes in or near a park that children frequent, they may further investigate to determine if they have probable cause to make an arrest.

That appears to be what happened recently when a man was reportedly taking a nap in a vehicle at a local park. It was nearly 3 a.m. when patrol officers noticed the man and claimed to have smelled marijuana coming from his vehicle when they approached. The officers searched the man's car. 

Wisconsin cop questions woman about marijuana

The duties of Wisconsin police officers typically include making routine traffic stops. Such situations sometimes result in nothing more than a warning to a driver, perhaps regarding travel speed or a broken tail light. Other situations, however, lead to the arrest of one or more people, which is what happened recently when a police officer claimed to have smelled marijuana coming from the inside of a woman's car. 

The 21-year-old woman was reportedly traveling with her 49-year-old mother and three young children in the car. Officials say the initial reason for the traffic stop had to do with the tint of the vehicle's windows. Two of the children in the car were toddlers and the other was an infant.

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