Score One for Mark

Our esteemed partner has done it again. Mark Powers has successfully campaigned his way to a re-election to Municipal Judge for the North Prairie Joint Municipal Court. This re-election is a fantastic achievement for Mark and the firm.

It is a testament to his knowledge of law and dedication to serving his community. As a Municipal Judge, Mark is charged with overseeing court cases involving a variety of offenses.

  • TrafficMark Powers
  • First offense drunk driving
  • Underage alcohol
  • Parking
  • Building code violations
  • Disorderly conduct
  • Trespass
  • Health code violations
  • Animal control violations
  • Truancy

The Municipal Court is a vital part of our legal system. These courts are often people’s first interaction with any kind of legal proceedings. Mark’s job is to make sure this first interaction is both fair and just.

Being a lawyer and a judge kind of makes Mark a double agent, without the cool disguises. By sitting on both sides of the bench, Mark knows how the other side thinks and what’s motivating them. This allows him to be highly effective in both capacities.

We wish Mark the best of luck moving forward with this important job.

How Does Attorney Client Privilege Work?

When a client hires an attorney, trust must be established. This is particularly when the client is accused, and may be guilty, of a heinous crime like murder or rape. In order for a lawyer to properly defend a client, they need to have all the facts no matter how embarrassing they may be.attorney client privlege

This is why attorney client privilege exists. Only when the client knows they can tell their lawyer the whole story without fear of embarrassment or exposure can they fully trust their lawyer.

Attorney client privilege isn’t a foreign concept for most people, but it’s important to know the ins and outs of this extremely important legal precedent.

There are three broad instances when this privilege applies.

  • The client asks the lawyer for legal advice about their case.
  • The lawyer interacts with the client in a professional capacity.
  • The client communicates with their attorney with the intention and expectation of privacy.

This privilege is intended for the benefit of the client and therefore can only be broken by the client. The attorney can not decide to forfeit this privilege, but the client can.

Time has no effect on privilege, meaning it continues after the case is settled and even after the client dies.

Prospective clients are typically covered by privilege, which allows clients to talk with attorneys who may not represent them in the end. There’s a bit of grey area here, clients are encouraged to confirm that privilege is in effect when communicating with prospective lawyers.

Exceptions

As with all rules, there’s an exception to this one. Privilege does not apply to crimes that will be committed in the future. Meaning clients can’t tell their lawyer that they’re planning to rob a bank and expect the lawyer to keep it quiet. Lawyers are permitted to alert authorities if they have information that could prevent a crime.  

 

Switchblade Laws Just Got Switched

 

Switch-Blade-laws-just-got-switched Now this new law doesn’t mean anyone can walk down the street waving a knife around and get away with it. There are still some limits on carrying a knife, and it’s important to know what you can and can’t do.

 

To set the record straight, here’s a list of knife carrying cans and can’ts.

 

  • You can carry a knife without a concealed carry permit, unless you are already banned from carrying a firearm for any reason.
  • You can’t be charged with disorderly conduct just for carrying a knife. This was the case for firearms and now knifes fall under the same rule.
  • You can now carry a switchblade, which were previously illegal.
  • You can’t be stopped by city or county regulations. This new law is preemption, meaning because it is a state law, it trumps local laws.

So there you have it, the cans and can’ts of the new Wisconsin knife laws. If you need legal help with any kind of weapons charges, call the Huppertz & Powers for a free case evaluation.

Alicia’s Law Creates Unexpected Controversy

Assembly Bill 666 (that’s really the name of the bill) more commonly known as “Alicia’s Law” was recently passed by state lawmakers. In short, this bill gives administrative subpoena power to the state Attorney General, and expands jailhouse strip searches.Alicia's Law Controversy

 

The bill focuses on subpoenas for internet records for those suspected of internet sex crimes. Basically, the state Attorney General’s office will have the ability to issue subpoenas without judicial oversight to internet providers. These subpoenas will be used to catch suspected online predators by tracking their online address.

 

At first glance, this bill doesn’t seem to be so bad. Now the cops can catch the bad guys without jumping through so many hoops right? While that is true, several public defenders fear with no judicial oversight, prosecutorial mischief will begin to spread. Judicial oversight is there to make sure cops don’t get too eager and cut corners.

 

Supports of the bill argue that 19 other states have a similar law in place and because these kinds of subpoenas have limited power, a lower level of oversight is acceptable. There’s also an amendment that restricts police from being able to search content without a warrant.

 

The bill still has to be signed by Governor Walker for final approval, which should happen soon.

 

Laws and bills like this one are made with the best of intentions, but it’s important to not have a knee jerk reaction and automatically assume it’s a good law. Everyone, no matter what they are accused of doing, is innocent until proven guilty and deserves a fair and just trial.
At Huppertz & Powers our mission is to do just that, ensure that every single one of our clients gets the due process guaranteed to them in the constitution.

When Can The Police Search Your Car?

You get pulled over, do you know what your rights are? Traffic stops can cause a lot of stress and confusion if you don’t know what your rights are. There are lots of different situations where different rights apply, but for the sake of this blog, we’re going to focus on when the police have the right to search your car.

Here are six reasons the cops can search your car.When can the police search your car?

  1. They have a warrant– If it’s just a routine traffic stop, odds are they won’t have a warrant waiting in their car with your name on it, but stranger things have happened. So for the sake of clarity, if the police have a warrant to search your car, you can’t stop them.
  2. Plain view– This applies when you have some illegal item in plain view where the officer can clearly see it without searching. For instance, if you have a large bag of pot riding shotgun in your passenger sheet, the cops will most likely have the right to search your car.
  3. Consent– This is kind of obvious, but if the cops ask for your permission to search the car and you agree, they can do the search.
  4. Arrest– Police are allowed to search your car if they arrest you with probable cause.
  5. Exigent Circumstances– This means that police can search your car without a warrant if they believe evidence will be destroyed before they can get a warrant.
  6. Probable Cause– This term brings up a little bit of grey area, and probable cause is frequently debated. Typically, probable cause refers to the police seeing things that aren’t inherently illegal but suggest something illegal happened. For example, it’s not illegal to have a ski mask, a gun, and a big bag of cash in your car, but it does look mighty suspicious.

All Americans are protected from illegal searches by the Fourth Amendment, but that doesn’t mean illegal searches don’t happen. Make sure you know your rights and do your best to protect them so they can protect you. If you need legal help to fight an illegal search contact Huppertz & Powers.

Lifelong GPS Tracking Ankle Bracelet

GPS tracking ankle bracelet become somewhat of a pop culture topic thanks to Lindsay Lohan, Martha Stewart, and the movie Disturbia. These modern marvels allow law enforcement to keep tabs on individuals put on house arrest.

Gps Ankle Bracelet Blog

Most people are familiar with the concept of the tracking bracelet, and most people don’t have a huge problem with them. After all, it helps police know exactly where convicted persons are at all time and what is so wrong with that?

In most cases, people are only required to wear these bracelets for a short amount of time, but in Wisconsin it’s legal for courts to rule that bracelets be worn for life. Michael Belleau, a 72-year-old Wisconsin man, is serving a lifetime sentence wearing a GPS tracking ankle bracelet.

Wisconsin Act 431 is a sex offender law that gives authority to the courts to give these lifetime tracking sentences. The tracking bracelets are incredibly sophisticated, only requiring a one-hour daily charge and is waterproof up to 15 feet.

Belleau has tried to appeal his sentence, but this appeal was denied by the court of appeals. In his appeal he said.

 

“Having a device affixed to one’s body that can be seen by the public, transmits audible messages, and results in frequent visits from DOC officials or police, predictably subjects offenders to face-to-face humiliation and thus closely resembles historical shaming punishments.”

 

Wisconsin isn’t the only state that allows courts to hand down lifetime sentences for tracking bracelets. Oklahoma, Ohio, Missouri, and Florida all have similar laws to Wisconsin’s.

These kinds of law raise questions about how far the courts can, and should be able to reach. GPS can be used as a great alternative to traditional incarceration, but some feel that a lifetime sentence goes too far.

What do you think about this rule? Should courts be allowed to give a sentence like this?

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