Accusations affecting a person's reputation and job opportunities should not be considered lightly. When charged or convicted of a criminal charge, a defendant likely faces difficulties in finding jobs, getting student loans and even a place to live. A man recently accused of stabbing a woman may endure severe scrutiny and other challenges from his community.
In Wisconsin, as in most states, a drunk driving offense carries strict penalties. Penalties for a first-time OWI may include driver's license revocation, mandatory alcohol education or treatment, fines and even time behind bars. Sadly, a drunk driving conviction can have a lasting impact on an individual's life, and, as the number of drunk driving convictions increase, the penalties become more severe.
A person accused or convicted of a sex-related crime faces life-altering challenges. In Wisconsin, and throughout the nation, there are serious penalties for possession of child pornography. A person who is convicted of a sex offense may suffer consequences, including bans from communities and prejudice from co-workers and neighbors. If a coach or a teacher is accused of a sex-related offense, their reputation may forever be tarnished. A coach in a nearby state could face these consequences after being charged with two counts of child sex-related offenses.
When a person has been charged with a drug offense, they must ensure that their constitutional rights were not violated. In Wisconsin, a person convicted of a drug offense faces possible jail or prison time, significant fines and mandatory education and treatment. Two Wisconsin men possibly face these consequences after their arrest in Arizona for drug possession.
In Milwaukee, and in most cities across the country, both state and federal laws restrict the possession of specific drugs. When people have been convicted of drug charges, such as drug possession, their personal and professional lives will likely be impacted. A drug conviction could affect the person's employment and education opportunities. The accused may not only face significant fines, court ordered treatment and prison, but also scrutiny from family, friends and neighbors.
A homicide charge against a person is one of the most severe in criminal law. To be arrested for homicide, or any other criminal charge, the police must have probable cause, a legal requirement of sufficient reason from the facts and circumstances of the situation, that an individual has committed the crime. In general, the police must have probable cause to obtain a search warrant before searching for evidence.
When a person has been charged with or convicted of sexual assault, the accused may be presented with enduring consequences. If the person has been convicted of sexual assault, the person's private information is placed on public registers. This information is on full display to potential employers, which makes it extremely difficult to find a job. Not only may the person struggle in finding a job, the person will likely face prejudice from the community they choose to reside in.
The fact that criminal charges are filed does not necessarily mean the accused person is guilty. Sometimes a misunderstanding leads to the need for a criminal defense, but that doesn't stop people -- sometimes even family and friends -- from siding with police.
DNA is widely used as evidence in criminal trials. In Wisconsin and across the country, this DNA evidence can be used in two ways: either to link an individual to a crime, or to prove his or her innocence. While DNA testing can be accurate, there are times when this evidence should be challenged. A man in Wisconsin is currently struggling with this very battle, as he has been accused of a crime that occurred more than 20 years ago. It was alleged that in 1989 he sexually assaulted a 12-year-old girl.
Our readers in Waukesha may recall a previous post discussing the unfortunate situation of criminal charges resulting from domestic disputes. Although emotions can run high in the home, it is important to remember that just because a person is accused of a crime does not necessarily mean that person is guilty, even when the charges stem from the claims of a family member or friend. The prosecution is nonetheless obliged to hold up its end of the legal bargain by bearing the burden of proof.