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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.

The arrests and alleged drug bust happened in Fitchburg on a recent Monday. Police apprehended four young men, two 19-year-olds, a 20-year-old and a 21-year-old. Police carried out the arrests at approximately 10 a.m. Three of the men were arrested for violating probation. One was arrested on suspicion of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

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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:

Carry: The terms "carry" and "carrying" in the context of firearms in Wisconsin means "to go armed with," which -- in turn -- means that the firearm is on the person's body, being carried by the person or within his or her reach. It also means that the person is aware that the firearm is there.

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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.

The final point above -- the element of force, violence or threat -- is essential to the crime of robbery, which is a more serious offense than theft or larceny. In cases where violence happened while the accused person was trying to escape after committing a theft, the matter would probably be viewed as theft or larceny as opposed to robbery.

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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:

1. Challenge evidence presented by the prosecution

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Posted on in OWI

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.

If the officer has yet to establish any kind of drunk driving evidence against you, and the officer is merely asking you to perform a Breathalyzer test as a way of fishing for evidence, you may have the legal right to refuse the test in some cases. However, in other cases, refusing a breath test can result in serious criminal consequences and even the suspension of your drivers' license.

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