Internet browsing history: can it be used in court?

Internet browsing history and its use in criminal prosecutions: Your internet browsing history tells a lot about you.  It tells what you recently purchased on Amazon.  It tells what you've streamed.  And sometimes it leaves a trail of illegal activity online. Most of us spend at least part of our day on the internet, whether...CONTINUE READING

What is the 5th Amendment?

Grand Jury The Fifth Amendment says “No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger…”…


Presenting a fake vaccine card: What state crimes have I committed?

Potential state charge: forgery Firstly, state prosecutors could start off with forgery charges.  Forgery is a Class A misdemeanor, meaning the maximum penalty is 9 months jail, $10,000.00 in fines, or both.  A Class A misdemeanor is only a misdemeanor, but it’s the most serious one.  9 months in jail is certainly a long time,…


Intentionally coughing on someone else: crime?

The most likely charge: disorderly conduct Disorderly conduct is a Class B misdemeanor in Wisconsin.  That means the charge carries a maximum penalty of 90 days in jail, a $1,000.00 fine, or both.  Even though this is a lower-level charge, it’s still serious.  And a conviction for it will remain with you for the rest…


Is road rage a crime?

What is road rage? Aggressive driving takes many forms.  Tailgating, weaving in and out of lanes, and speeding are all certainly forms of aggressive driving.  An unfortunately it happens a lot.  A AAA survey found that nearly 80% of drivers expressed significant anger or aggression while behind the wheel at least once over the course…


OWI stops and inclement weather

Why does the weather matter for an OWI stop? After police stop you for suspected drunk driving, frequently they require you to complete a battery of field sobriety tests.  The purpose of those tests is to determine whether or not you appear to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs.  That conclusion, along with…


Can police chase you into your home?

Potential charges for running from police Firstly, if you run from police in your vehicle: Section 340.06 of the Wisconsin Statutes prohibits fleeing/eluding an officer.  Wisconsin Criminal Jury Instruction 2630 prohibits “operating a vehicle to flee or in an attempt to elude an officer.”  Both pieces of literature describe the same crime. If you face…


Can I request an alternative to a blood draw after an OWI stop?

What happens when I violate implied consent laws? If the driver refuses an evidentiary blood, breath, or urine test, certain administrative penalties apply.  If prosecutors prove the refusal (or if the challenge timeframe passes) the Department of Motor Vehicles revokes the driver’s license for 12 months.  Additional requirements include an ignition interlock device, a substance…


Certain refusals can’t count as penalty enhancers

On June 3, 2022, the Supreme Court of Wisconsin determined: Wisconsin’s OWI graduated-penalty scheme is unconstitutional to the extent it counts prior revocations for refusing to submit to a warrantless blood draw as offenses for the purpose of increasing the criminal penalty. The following blog post may contain outdated law and is focused on refusals…


Going “armed while intoxicated” not protected by Second Amendment

State v. Mitchell L. Christen – SCOW considers going armed while intoxicated and the Second Amendment Defendant Christen, his roommates, and his roommates friends were drinking alcohol on February 2, 2018.  At one point a confrontation occurred and Christen armed himself.  Testimony about where Christen pointed the firearm differed, but everyone agreed that he possessed…


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