Many criminal cases involving alleged drunk driving hinge on details about the traffic stop itself. This includes whether or not the police officer had reasonable suspicion (and therefore legal justification) to pull over the driver. Law enforcement officers who charge drivers with OWI do not need to suspect drunk driving when they first initiate the stop. Instead, they can pull someone over based on observed violations of traffic laws, lesser offenses such as vehicle maintenance issues or erratic driving.
One of the many criminal justice issues under the media spotlight right now is the problem of police officers in schools. These "resource officers" first began appearing in schools in the 1980s. Their presence has only increased in the wake of numerous school shootings. Now, it is common to see at least one police officer posted in middle schools and high schools around the country.
It has long been a crime to take a picture of people under their clothes without their knowledge or consent in Wisconsin, sometimes known as "upskirting." Under a somewhat strange twist in state law, however, the person taking the photo could only be prosecuted under felony charges if the person photographed was captured nude.
We have written several posts over the last couple years about incidents in which police officers seemingly overstepped their authority and violated the civil rights of suspects. Many of these interactions involved African-American suspects and were ultimately fatal.
If you've been charged with a crime, it may seem like the only options you have are bad ones. Should you accept a plea deal? Should you try to fight the charges on your own? Should you attempt to get free legal representation from an overworked public defender? Should you hire your own criminal defense attorney, even though this could potentially be expensive?