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Criminal Defense Archives

Your cellphone and your rights

You probably keep many things on your cellphone. In addition to music, pictures and your favorite apps, you may have text messages archived or favorite websites bookmarked. If you are like many in Wisconsin, your phone is password protected because of the private information it contains.

How do I get my property back after charges are dismissed?

While investigating a suspected crime, your property can be collected as evidence. There are several times when police can take your property: after being arrested, with a search warrant, with your consent, or during any other lawful seizure. They may collect contraband, anything which is related to a crime, or which may be evidence of any crime. Once your property is seized, it is not simply returned if you are not charged with a crime, if the charges are dismissed, or if you are acquitted.

Homicide does not only refer to murder

Many individuals consider taking another human life to be a deplorable and unforgivable act. However, some events in which a person dies may not necessarily have come about due to a conscious decision to cause fatal injuries. You may have found yourself in a situation where authorities suspect that your actions may have led to the death of another individual, but you likely did not set out to cause such injuries.

Criminal defense in the age of social media

The popularity of Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter have changed how we obtain information about suspected illegal activity. Before, the media was the primary factor that shaped our opinions about crime. Now, social media is quickly becoming the news source of choice for most people.

Criminal Prosecution and Witness Credibility

When a crime is being prosecuted, there inevitably are witnesses involved. This may include people involved in a crime, or who witnessed certain actions, and in some cases this people who were involved in other aspects such as a doctor who treated injuries, or a police officer who helped investigate aspects of the case. Despite the dramatic depiction of people storming into a courtroom, witnesses only appear at trial or at evidentiary hearings. Each side is required to disclose its witnesses prior to trial, giving the prosecution and the defense the opportunity to prepare for what witnesses may or may not say when taking the witness stand.

NOT ALL MURDERS ARE CREATED EQUAL: Lesser Included Offenses

Homicide charges can involve all sorts of circumstances that make a difference in how that case is treated by the legal system. While many cases are originally charged as 1st degree intentional homicides--the most serious of form of homicide--they often resolve with convictions for less serious types of homicide. One common way that this can happen is through a plea bargain, where the State and the Defendant agree to reduce the original charge to a less serious charge in exchange for a guilty plea by the Defendant. But a second way in which someone can be convicted of a less serious version of the offense for which they are charged with is by having the jury convict them of a lesser-included offense.

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