Wisconsin residents are regularly affected by the decisions of legislators and judges in other states. When state law is constructed either by legislation or judicial decision, it is often influenced by the decisions made by statehouses and courts in neighboring jurisdictions.
Earlier this week, be began a discussion about a DUI case and an issue that could become more prevalent in future criminal cases: whether or not a Facebook friendship between a judge and defendant is a significant enough link to question the judge's ability to rule in a case.
It is important for Wisconsin judges to remain impartial and fair, particularly in criminal cases. For instance, if the judge is friends with a defendant who has been charged with DUI, that connection might unfairly influence the judge's ruling.
Last month, we wrote about two recent examples where convictions for drunk driving were overturned because the arresting police officers did not have probable cause to make a traffic stop. If we did not have these protections in place, police officers could pull anyone over for any reason.
When authorities charge a suspect with OWI, procedure matters. The way in which evidence is collected is as important as the evidence itself. If police violate due process or otherwise fail to follow procedure, a good criminal defense attorney can use that information to suppress evidence.