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waukesha county criminal defense lawyerSeeing police lights in your rear-view window is a cause of apprehension. A reel of questions might run through your head, “Why am I being stopped?” “What questions will they ask me?” “Am I in trouble?” Simply being pulled over is enough to make your heart flutter, but your heart rate may elevate dramatically if the officer asks to search your car. At this point, the officer probably suspects serious wrongdoing, and the chance of arrest may have increased.

However, the officer cannot search your vehicle without a valid reason. Due to the Fourth Amendment's protections against unreasonable searches and seizures, police officers can only search a car if there is a reasonable suspicion of wrongdoing. 

When Can Police Search a Vehicle? 

The Constitution protects us from unjustified searches and seizures of personal property. However, the law applies differently to different types of property. Police usually need a search warrant before entering and searching someone's home. However, the expectation for privacy in a vehicle is lower than the expectation of privacy in a vehicle. Consequently, there are a greater number of reasons why police may conduct a warrantless search. 

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shutterstock_356898968.jpgIn the State of Wisconsin, a court may restrict a person’s freedom to go certain places or be near certain people. Such a restriction is imposed using a “restraining” or “protective order.”

A judge usually issues a protective order at the request of someone (“the petitioner”) who feels their personal safety is threatened by the person subject to the order (“the respondent”).

They are most commonly used in cases of stalking, domestic abuse, child abuse, elder abuse, and harassment.

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waukesha county defense lawyerBeing charged with a serious crime is terrifying. Your mind may be inundated with feelings of anxiety and uncertainty. Your job, your quality of life, and your freedom are suddenly at stake.

The unknown is part of what makes an indictment so scary. What happens next? The criminal process is difficult to navigate; criminal law is vague and complicated.

Furthermore, not all charges are treated the same. The nature of the crime largely dictates what happens next.

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Wisconsin Attorney for OWI

An arrest for drunk or intoxicated driving can result in multiple consequences. If a person is convicted of operating while intoxicated (OWI), they may be required to pay fines, they may be sentenced to time in prison, and their driver’s license may be revoked. In some cases, a person may lose their driver’s license even if they are not convicted of OWI. Because most people need to be able to drive regularly, it is important for a person to understand their options for regaining their driving privileges, including whether they can receive an occupational driver’s license. For these types of licenses, a person will be required to use an ignition interlock device (IID), and these devices may also be required in other OWI cases. When using a vehicle with an IID, a person will be required to provide a breath sample before starting the vehicle and at regular intervals while driving.

IID Requirements in Wisconsin

For a first-time OWI offense, a person’s driver’s license may be revoked for six to nine months, and after their license is restored, they will only need to use an IID if a chemical test showed that they had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of at least .15 percent. An IID will also be required if a person is convicted of OWI for a second or subsequent time or if they refused to submit to chemical testing of their BAC. In most of these cases, the requirement to use an IID will last for one year.

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Wisconsin Traffic Offense AttorneyMost people are likely to be pulled over by a police officer and issued a traffic violation at some point during their lives. These tickets are often issued due to minor violations of traffic laws, such as speeding or failing to come to a complete stop at a red light or stop sign. While traffic tickets may require a person to pay a fine, and they may lead to other issues, such as increased insurance rates, a driver usually will not face serious consequences that will affect their driving privileges. However, if a person receives multiple traffic tickets within a certain period of time, they may face more serious penalties, and if they are considered a habitual traffic offender, they may be subject to a lengthy driver’s license revocation.

What Is a Habitual Traffic Offender?

A conviction for a traffic violation will result in a certain number of points being added to a person’s driving record, and if a person accumulates at least 12 points within 12 months, their driver’s license will be suspended. However, a person will face more serious consequences if they are convicted of enough violations to be considered a habitual traffic offender. This designation will apply if a person is convicted of 12 traffic violations or four major traffic violations within five years. Major traffic violations include:

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