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Eau Claire Criminal Defense Blog

Probation does not mean you are out of the woods just yet

A common penalty for people who allegedly commit certain crimes is probation. While many people often jump for joy when they receive that verdict, it is not always a walk in the park. Anyone who receives probation as a condition of their sentence should prepare to walk a straight and narrow line to avoid additional troubles with the law.

Probation carries stipulations you must follow to avoid spending time in jail and ending up with a harsher sentence. In most cases, restitution, community service and the completion of a court-ordered education or therapy program are a few probation conditions. Take a few moments to learn what is at stake if you violate the terms of probation. By law, you are responsible for what happens to you while on probation. Any associations you may have with unsavory characters and questionable activities can land you back in hot water and mess up your probation. Keep in mind that probation comes with a set length of time that can range from as little as a few months to several years.

Wisconsin high school student facing felony marijuana charges

Most high schools in Wisconsin and elsewhere have rules regarding what students may or may not bring to school. For instance, it is never okay to enter a school with a weapon. It is also not okay to have marijuana in one's possession on school grounds. Disobeying such rules or existing criminal statutes can have immediate and far-reaching negative consequences, especially if the person involved is a minor. 

A drug-related situation is reportedly what caused a big problem for a 17-year-old boy during school hours on a recent Monday. The boy's teacher is the one who supposedly approached school officials, saying the student reeked of marijuana. Administrators then contacted police.  

Police say they found marijuana and other drugs at Wisconsin home

When Wisconsin police show up at a residence unannounced, it is usually because they believe a crime has taken place or is taking place. Four people from one particular residence were present when such a visit occurred on a recent Thursday. Those four people are now facing marijuana charges as well as other serious criminal allegations due to what unfolded when officers stepped inside the house.

Officials say the officers in question were executing a search warrant. Police say they requested the warrant after receiving information regarding a possible narcotics trafficking situation. The search is said to have resulted in numerous weapons, drugs and money being taken into police custody.

Preventing a traffic stop from turning into a drug bust

As a Wisconsin college student, you likely will get your share of traffic tickets. But before that traffic stop turns into a drug bust, you need to know and assert your rights. For instance, it may surprise you to learn that law enforcement officers do not have the automatic right to search your car for drugs or anything else when they pull you over for an alleged traffic violation.

Only two exceptions exist for this prohibition. First, officers can search your car if you or your passengers leave drugs or any other suspicious or illegal items in plain view when officers look in your car windows. Second, they can search if you give them permission to do so. Even when you know you have nothing illegal in your car, you should never give officers permission to search it if and when they ask to do so. Of course, you should never “mouth off” to a law enforcement officer; simply decline his or her request to search.

Did a night out in Wisconsin lead to OWI charges against you?

If you go out to eat with a group of friends, drink a beer or glass of wine with your supper and later drive yourself home, are you breaking the law? The answer is that it depends on numerous factors. For instance, you must be age 21 or older to legally consume alcohol, and your blood alcohol content level must never be .08 or higher while operating a motor vehicle. These and other issues can lead to OWI charges in Wisconsin.

It is also true that arrests for suspected drunk driving often involve a significant amount of subjective assessments from the arresting officer.  If you were arrested, the officer likely asked you to take a field sobriety test at the scene of your traffic stop. Such tests are often unreliable, and although there are observation guidelines, it is impossible for a police officer to be 100 percent objective when determining whether you should pass or fail.

Prosecutors charge 20 Wisconsin residents with drug crimes

According to investigators who have been working on a case for two years, Wisconsin has been a prime location for illegal drug activity. Police say they recently made multiple arrests on suspicion of drug crimes. These arrests were direct results of the 24-month drug task force investigation. All of those arrested are currently facing criminal charges that are listed as felony crimes. 

The ages of 20 defendants who were recently arrested in connection with the drug investigation range from 20 to 64. One of those arrested is accused of committing illegal drug acts within 500 feet of a public park. Authorities say they are still actively seeking the whereabouts of eight other suspects, following the apprehension of those who were arrested on a recent Thursday.  

Will K9 investigation lead to charges for drug crimes?

As happens to any number of Wisconsin motorists on a given day, a man was recently pulled over by a traffic cop. Events that unfolded from there resulted in the man's arrest. Police not only claim he committed a traffic violation, but they also suspect him of drug crimes.  

At some point during the traffic stop, the officer on duty contacted another officer in the area who then came to the scene with a K9 unit. The dog was released to investigate the man's vehicle. Authorities say that methamphetamine and other drug paraphernalia was found inside the man's car.  

How to avoid an OWI this Halloween

Halloween is a holiday enjoyed by children to go trick-or-treating and get free candy. However, plenty of adults enjoy the holiday and will typically host parties where guests consume alcohol. One study found that fatal drunk driving crashes are more likely to occur on Halloween compared to New Year's Eve. If you plan on partying for Halloween this year, you need to be safe. 

Halloween falls on a Wednesday in 2018, which typically results in fewer drunk driving crashes than when the holiday falls on a Friday or Saturday. Regardless of what day it is, here are a few tips to keep in mind if you plan on drinking Halloween night

Why is binge drinking associated with college life?

Like many other college students in Wisconsin, you are kicking off your first year in university by participating in activities involving alcohol. While you may have every intention of drinking responsibly, you should understand the potential liabilities that can result from campus drinking.

Students have considered drinking in college to be a rite of passage for generations. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reports that nearly 60 percent of college students across the country between the ages of 18 and 22 drank during the past month. About two out of three binge-drank during that time. You may not consider that very surprising. After all, most people consider drinking at parties, sporting events and bars to be part of the college experience. However, it can help to understand that binge drinking can involve a lot more than harmless fun.

Man facing OWI charges in Wisconsin

As summer winds down in Wisconsin, many motorcycle enthusiasts are getting as much road time as they can, often taking passengers along for their rides. Many say there's nothing like being out on the open road, soaring along on two wheels through a cool, summer breeze. Such an adventure can come to a screeching halt, however, if an accident occurs, which is what happened to one motorcyclist and his passenger; in fact, the driver is now facing OWI charges because of the incident.

A 40-year-old male biker had a female passenger at the time. Although officials did not provide specific details about what caused the motorcycle to crash, they did say they believe that the motorcyclist had something to do with it. The woman traveling on the back of the bike was hurt and was taken to an area hospital for treatment.

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