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Eau Claire Criminal Defense Blog

2 brothers in Wisconsin accused of drug crimes regarding vaping

Wisconsin investigators say they believe two men who happen to be brothers are involved in activity regarding illegal drugs. The case is unique because the drug crimes the brothers are suspected of involve vaping. Law enforcement authorities say they think that numerous vape injuries and illnesses across the country are linked to a vape manufacturing operation with which the two brothers are connected.

Police arrested the brothers, ages 23 and 20, after searching a condominium and a home earlier this month. Investigators claim the search revealed alleged evidence of an established THC-induced vape manufacturing scheme. One official went so far as to publicly state that he believes the men were in charge of an illegal drug empire.

What to know about a third OWI offense in Wisconsin

One arrest for operating a vehicle while under the influence is one too many. However, many people around Wisconsin get far more than one OWI. Police recently arrested one woman in Menasha for her sixth OWI, with her last offense going back to 2007. 

Most people will not have to worry about getting six OWIs in their lifetime. However, many drivers end up getting a third. After two OWIs, you need to do everything in your power to avoid driving drunk because the penalties worsen with each additional offense. Here is what you need to know about a third OWI conviction. 

Can officials search your dorm room without permission?

College life is full of new beginnings. The excitement of living on your own, making new friends and seeking a path to adulthood is challenging and rewarding.

While enjoying this stage of your life, you may find that you do not always make the best choices. When you make questionable decisions and the police get involved, what are your rights? When you signed a dorm agreement, did you give consent for officials to freely enter your room? Can the police search it without your permission? The answers to these questions may surprise you.

U.S. Supreme Court issues divided ruling on OWI in Wisconsin

The U.S. Supreme Court handed down a ruling in a 5-4 vote that pertains to Wisconsin drivers. More specifically, the ruling has to do with people who are unconscious whom police suspected of OWI, moments before the individuals became unconscious. Four justices expressed strong dissenting opinions on the matter.

The issue at hand is whether it violates a person's civil rights under the Fourth Amendment to draw blood without a warrant for the purpose of obtaining a BAC level on an unconscious person. The high court ruled that doing so does not violate the U.S. Constitution if police had probable cause to believe the unconscious person was driving while intoxicated before he or she fell unconscious. The justices who dissented believe it does violate a person's rights.

Were you charged with drug crimes after a dog sniffed your car?

Wisconsin residents, as well as those in all other states, enjoy a right to privacy. It is a right protected under the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. For the court to rule that police violated this right, a criminal defendant must show that he or she had the right to reasonably expect privacy in a particular situation and that said privacy was invaded. Things can get complicated regarding drug-sniffing dogs and suspected drug crimes.

If police officers enter a school building with canine units to search students' lockers for drugs, they do not need a warrant. This is because no one has a right to expect privacy in a public school. While someone might argue this point, asserting that a student's personal locker or contents therein are private property, federal courts have consistently upheld that random drug searches in schools do not violate personal rights.

What to know about boating under the influence

A fun pastime in Wisconsin involves heading out to a local lake and relaxing on a boat for an afternoon. You can go over to the Wisconsin Dells or Lake Winnebago and have a glorious afternoon with your loved ones. 

You may think there is no harm in relaxing on your boat with a beer in hand, but you need to be cautious. Operating a boat while under the influence is a crime, and it is just as severe as drunk driving. You can still have fun, but you need to have it in a fun, safe way.

Wisconsin police say they found marijuana in someone's home

If a Wisconsin resident answers his or her door and finds police officers outside wanting to come in to have a look around, he or she is protected by the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution against unlawful searches or seizures. Police must have a valid warrant to search a person's vehicle, residence or body. There are exceptions to the rule, such as if a police officer claims to witness a crime as it unfolds. One particular resident's home was recently searched by police, resulting in an alleged discovery of large amounts of marijuana.

Police say they found nearly 30 pounds of marijuana inside the home. In Wisconsin, use of this drug is only permitted medicinally under highly restricted circumstances. Officers who searched the home say they took more than drugs into custody.

Wisconsin OWI law stands, rules US Supreme Court

Wisconsin drivers may want to update themselves on a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that stemmed from an OWI case that occurred in this state. The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects people against unlawful searches or seizures. A challenge was issued in court a while back, asserting that a man's personal rights had been violated.

Police apparently did a blood draw on the man to check his blood alcohol content level while he was unconscious, following a motor vehicle crash. The man's attorney later argued that under such circumstances, the test violated the man's legal rights. The question as to whether police can draw blood without a warrant when a person is unconscious was considered by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Will your BAC trigger ignition interlock installation?

If law enforcement arrests you for operating while intoxicated in the state of Wisconsin, you face some harsh penalties, including fines, license suspension and possible jail time.

In addition, even if this is your first offense, you may be ordered to have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle.

Did Wisconsin police officers arrest you for drug crimes?

If a Wisconsin police officer arrests you, he or she must have first established probable cause for doing so. Perhaps you got pulled over in a traffic stop and an officer searched your vehicle. If that situation occurred without your consent and without the officer obtaining a valid warrant, and you are now facing charges for drug crimes, you may have grounds to challenge the legitimacy of the case based on a personal rights violation.

Nowadays, police officers often make arrests after obtaining information from informants during investigations. If the credibility of said informants is highly questionable, and an experienced criminal defense attorney knows how to use that to counter prosecutors' strategies. In addition to probable cause, search warrants and third-party testimony, there are other issues that may help increase the chances of obtaining a positive outcome in court.

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