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Waukesha Criminal Law Blog

Madison men accused of drug and weapons-related crimes

Police arrested two men in Madison, Wisconsin last week on drug and weapons-related charges. Allegedly, the apprehended men were associated with a north Madison home, where authorities seized thousands of dollars of cash, narcotics and firearms.

The arrests happened in the wake of a long-term drug investigation that resulted in three searches of two north Madison residences and a storage locker last Tuesday. Police claim that they seized cocaine, heroin, $12,500 in cash and five guns as a result of their searches. Allegedly, the guns that police found during the search included an AR-15, an SKS 7.62 rifle, two .44-caliber handguns and a .22-caliber assault rifle.

Wisconsin gun law terminology: Terms you should know

In the state of Wisconsin, if you're a gun owner, it's important that you understand the legal distinction between various terms, like "carry" and "possession," for example. Understanding the meaning of these and other gun law terminology is important for deciding whether a particular defendant has broken Wisconsin gun laws.

Here are some important terms you should know:

2 ways to defend against drunk driving charges

Police arrest countless individuals on drunk driving charges every evening. However, police and the protocol they use to identify and charge people with intoxicated vehicle operation are not fool-proof. It's very possible for law enforcement officials to make a mistake and arrest someone intoxicated driving, when the accused was completely and undoubtedly sober. For this reason, every person accused of drunk driving will have the right to defend him or herself against the charges – no matter the facts and circumstances surrounding the arrest.

There will be numerous legal strategies available to defendants as they navigate their criminal charges. Such strategies may include:

What factors lead to a robbery conviction?

A robbery charge is a serious criminal accusation, and the punishments associated with a conviction for this offense become even more severe when a firearm was involved. That said, all individuals accused of this crime will have the opportunity to defend themselves against the allegations.

In all criminal cases, including robbery crimes, the burden of proof lies on the prosecution. If the prosecution cannot prove the following facts are true beyond a reasonable doubt in a robbery case, then a conviction cannot occur:

  • The accused person took or stole property.
  • The stolen property belonged to someone.
  • The property was stolen from the owner's person or it was stolen while in the presence of the owner.
  • The property was taken against the owner's will.
  • The accused person committed the unlawful taking through intimidation, violence or brute force.

Police arrest 4 in alleged drug and guns bust

Sometimes people accused of crimes find themselves in trouble with the law because they actually committed a criminal act. Other times, they get arrested because they were spending time with the wrong group of friends at the wrong time. Still, in other cases, police are completely misguided and arrest someone who is completely uninvolved in the alleged crimes.

In a recent drug bust, we can't know whether the people the authorities arrested are guilty of their alleged crimes until the conclusion of their criminal cases. Until they confess to the crimes by pleading guilty, or until a criminal court finds them guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, these individuals remain innocent in the eyes of the law.

Do I have to submit to a Breathalyzer test?

If a police officer pulls you over or suspects you've been driving while intoxicated by alcohol, the officer will request that you take a Breathalyzer test as a part of a larger drunk driving investigation that also includes a field sobriety test. The officer will ask you to do the Breathalyzer test by telling you to blow into a tube. A machine will then analyze the alcohol content of your breath to estimate your state of intoxication.

Breathalyzer tests are known to be plagued by inaccuracies, however, and many drivers don't trust them. This prompts a lot of people to refuse a Breathalyzer test out of the fear that false or inaccurate evidence from the test could later be used against them in court. Fortunately, there are several situations in which a driver can legally refuse to submit to a Breathalyzer test.

What is auto-brewery syndrome?

Some people suffer from the rare condition that turns them into a walking beer factory. These individuals -- when they eat anything that has sugar in it -- suffer from an automatic process by which their bodies convert the food into beer, and this makes them unintentionally drunk. Although it's hard to imagine that it could be true, auto-brewery syndrome is real. Not only that, but in a New Jersey drunk driving case last year, a woman successfully defended against her drunk driving charges because of the condition.

The accused woman claimed that she enjoyed drinking as much as a gallon of orange juice a day, and that she was also a recovering alcoholic. On the night of her arrest, the woman says that she had been sober for nearly a decade, but she also felt drunk. In fact, the woman explained to the jury that she had been feeling strange for approximately a year before her DUI arrest. During the arrest, she blew a level .10 when given a Breathalyzer test.

What's the status of federal marijuana decriminalization?

After years of different states legalizing same-sex marriage, the federal government finally legalized same-sex marriage for all across the entire United States. Could the same thing happen for marijuana? Not exactly, but many more states would likely come on board if the federal government decided to legalize the substance.

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer recently introduced a new piece of law that -- if passed -- would decriminalize marijuana under federal law and remove the drug from the federal government's controlled substances list. The proposed law is dubbed the "Marijuana Freedom and Opportunity Act."

2 Madison-area men arrested and charged with heroin crimes

No one intends to get arrested and accused of drug crimes, but sometimes -- whether it's because they were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time or they actually committed a narcotics-related offense -- Wisconsin residents may find themselves in trouble with the law. In one recent case, Madison-area law enforcement authorities arrested and charged two men with possessing large quantities of heroin and selling it to smaller drug dealers in the region.

On June 26, police arrested a 40-year-old Sun Prairie man and a 39-year-old town of Madison man. The arrest was made on tentative heroin possession charges with the intent to maintain a drug house and deliver drugs.

What are the benefits of plea bargaining?

When things look grim based on the factual scenario in a criminal defendant's lawsuit, and a conviction is likely, the defendant may elect to negotiate a plea deal. Negotiating the plea, or plea bargaining, is a useful defense tactic that benefits both the defendant and the prosecution.

Let's take a look at how plea bargaining benefits both sides of the criminal defense equation:

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