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February 2013 Archives

Facebook is among the worst places to brag about a crime: Part II

Earlier this week, we began a discussion about the role that social media is playing in the criminal justice system. Since it was launched in 2004, Facebook has become a valuable source of evidence for law enforcement agencies in solving various crimes, including theft, drug possession and vandalism.

Facebook is among the worst places to brag about a crime: Part I

Last month, we wrote about a teenager who was arrested after bragging about a drunk driving crash on Facebook. His online apology for hitting someone's car while driving drunk - a behavior which he described as "classic" - didn't amount to a legally admissible confession. However, it didn't take long for the post to be brought to the attention of local police, who were able to connect the teen's car to two vehicles that had been damaged in a hit-and-run crash the previous evening.

The U.S. Supreme Court and Wisconsin's approach to DNA collection

A case currently before the United States Supreme Court (USCS) may ultimately influence whether Gov. Scott Walker's proposal to obtain DNA from all persons arrested for a felony may be instituted or not. This proposal is being characterized as "DNA-on-Arrest." If Gov. Walker's proposal is instituted, every individual in Wisconsin arrested on a felony charge including Internet crimes, violent crimes and various property crimes, would be required to submit a DNA sample to law enforcement.

Wisconsin court overturns drug conviction for probable cause issues

When it comes to the American criminal justice system, rules and procedure matter a great deal. All citizens are innocent until proven guilty, and evidence obtained improperly or illegally by law enforcement cannot be used against defendants in court.

Study shows cocktail mixers can affect level of intoxication

We recently wrote that personal breathalyzer tests are growing in popularity. An increasing number of Wisconsin residents who want to enjoy a social drinking life while avoiding potential legal troubles from an accidental DUI incident have found it helpful to invest in their own breathalyzer to take some of the guesswork out of deciding whether or not they are too impaired to drive.

Computer virus extorts money over fake allegations of child porn

We have previously written that sex crimes are among the most severely punished and publicly reviled criminal offenses, especially sex crimes against children. Therefore, it should go without saying that if the FBI or some other law enforcement agency detected evidence of online activity related to child pornography, you would be facing much stricter penalties than a mere fine.

Suspected Wisconsin burglars may be targeted with GPS

The Wisconsin Supreme Court recently ruled that certain individuals may be tracked via GPS without their knowledge. The court's holding was related to a case involving suspected burglary. In this case, a man who was suspected of multiple burglaries was subject to having his car impounded. Once impounded, law enforcement installed a GPS in the vehicle without his knowledge.

Conflict of law affects some accused of child porn possession

A fundamental principle of criminal law holds that people should be able to understand what behavior is criminal and what is not in order to make informed decisions. Without clarity in the criminal code, individuals can unknowingly commit criminal acts without intending to do so. Unfortunately, sometimes criminal law is confusing due to nuance and sometimes it is confusing due to conflicting interpretations of the law.

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