If you are facing criminal charges in Wisconsin, it is wise to understand the ways in which your social media profiles and postings may impact your case. Nowadays, many people have social media accounts across a broad variety of different mediums, and just as you may use these channels to find out more about a colleague, babysitter, a potential date or what have you, you can expect that whoever is prosecuting your criminal case may do the same. So, before you post to any of your social media accounts, understand how doing so may affect your case.
Wisconsin laws address personal and professional gambling without specifically mentioning online gambling. Some Milwaukee residents may believe the lack of an Internet gambling law is the same as permission to bet. That's a false assumption -- online gambling can lead to state and federal criminal charges.
Computer technology and electronic devices offer Milwaukee residents the opportunity to communicate any time from almost any place. Online expression and criticism have legal limitations when someone else is harmed by the words, images or videos sent through texts, emails and posts. In Wisconsin, an individual who sends threatening electronic messages can be charged with an internet crime.
The Department of Justice defines stalking as a pattern of repeated and unwanted attention, contact, harassment, or any other course of conduct targeted toward a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear. Before the Internet, stalkers were known to show up at a person's home or work uninvited and usually unannounced. Today, stalkers are more likely to follow their prey online in a practice known as cyberstalking.
A 51-year-old Dane County man has been charged with attempted second-degree sexual assault of a child and using a computer to facilitate a child sex crime. The charges stemmed from an April 18 incident in which the man traveled to a residence in Racine County to allegedly meet with someone he thought was a 15-year-old boy for the purpose of having sex. The young boy, however, was actually an undercover investigator for the Racine County Sheriff's Department.
A sting operation involving a 10-month investigation in Milwaukee was criticized by an official from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms for various problems. Although the sting resulted in at least 31 arrests on charges of federal crimes, the ATF official stated that changes would be made in future undercover operations. The problems with this sting operation covered a wide range of issues, including stolen guns, the loss of one agent's ballistic shield, theft of nearly $40,000 in merchandise and charges being brought against the wrong suspects. The special agent in charge of the division admitted that mistakes had been made, but he also defended his officers, citing the high number of arrests. However, an independent investigation revealed that most of the counts were for minor gun and drug crimes.
Two suspects stopped on Feb. 25 in Shawano have been charged with possession of marijuana for sale. Police detained the men during a traffic stop after they found one of them was driving on a suspended license. The first defendant, a 20-year-old, was driving. He faces a penalty of up to 42 months in prison and a $10,000 fine if he is convicted for the drug crimes. The second suspect, a 22-year-old, could receive a steeper consequence because he has a prior felony conviction for burglary on his record. During the traffic stop, law enforcement personnel could allegedly smell the odor of marijuana. Officers with K9 units searched the vehicle and discovered about 130 grams of marijuana in separate baggies, a scale, a grinder and additional drug paraphernalia. The plastic bags appeared to be coded with initials that corresponded to a similar list on a piece of cardboard.
Wisconsin prosecutors take drug charges extremely seriously. This means that there are frequently scores of young individuals that have bright futures put on hold when they are charged with drug crimes in Milwaukee. Very often these individuals think that if they cooperate with police and answer their questions, they will get some sort of lenient treatment. This is not the case. It really is true that anything an individual says can and will be used against them. Accordingly, it is best to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney before answering any questions from police.
The mere allegations of a sex crime have the potential to devastate an individual in Milwaukee. If someone accuses an individual of a sex crime, even before a charged individual ever sees a courtroom, the court of public opinion can be quick to condemn the charged individual. In some instances, the allegations are simply not true. Yet, there can still be permanent damage to an accused individual's reputation in the eyes of the community.
When police are looking to catch a criminal, they may use certain tactics to persuade, coerce or scare a suspect into admitting a crime. There are limits to these tactics, though, and when they are deemed illegal, the resulting confession may be ruled inadmissible.