For Wisconsin residents who watch the news, there isn't often a day that goes by when an individual is not accused of drug crimes. Recently, two individuals -- one male and one female -- have been arrested and accused for their alleged involvement in a methamphetamine lab. They are both now facing serious drug charges.
Many young adults in Waukesha County are at a critical time in their lives. Excited and overwhelmed with sudden independence, many are forced to make essential decisions about their future. Some young adults are not mentally ready to make these life-changing decisions, and may be led down the wrong path by peer pressure or the need to survive.
When it is discovered that a person has illegal drugs in his or her possession in Wisconsin, law enforcement officials may then conduct a more thorough search to determine if any other illegal substances are on the premises. Drug possession and distribution of drugs charges may carry serious penalties for those who are arrested and charged. The seriousness of the charges may also vary based on the total amount of drugs that were in the possession of the person charged.
Privacy is one of the most important rights that we have as citizens. This right works in tandem with a citizen's Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures. So where does the balance lie between the right to privacy and an officer's ability to search and seize a suspect's property? The answer lies in the use of search warrants. These documents grant special access to items that belong to a suspect whether they are a small box or a large home.
We have previously written that search warrants play a very important role in protecting the rights of criminal suspects. Before police can search a home for evidence of drug crimes or other illegal activity, they must convince a judge that there is probable cause for such a search.
Earlier this week, we wrote that Wisconsin authorities have charged 24 defendants following a major investigation into an alleged drug ring and illegal gambling scheme. Law enforcement officials believe that 17 of the defendants were conspiring to sell more than 2,000 pounds of high-grade, imported marijuana.
Late last month, Wisconsin authorities arrested 24 people during one of the state's largest drug busts in recent history. In addition to selling marijuana, police say the defendants were also operating an illegal gambling scheme using cell phones.
In January, we wrote a post which gave a brief lesson on search and seizure laws. Under the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, Americans are protected against illegal search and seizure by police and law enforcement.
Everyone has heard terms like "search warrant" and "probable cause" when hearing about collection of evidence. But unless you have studied the law you may not be clear on what these terms mean. Today I'd like to offer a few brief explanations about the laws to help everyone understand them better. Then I'd like to share a recent Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling which relates to these laws.