Can police officers lie to trick you into letting them search you?

Under some circumstances, the answer is yes. For example, both Wisconsin and federal courts have permitted police to conceal their identities (i.e. undercover stings) to gain entry to a home. The same goes for posing as a trash collector to gather evidence from someone’s home. On the other hand, courts don’t allow police officers to lie about whether or not they have a warrant or other lawful authority to gain consent to search.

However, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has not definitively ruled whether police officers can lie about the purpose of their investigation to gain consent to search. For example, it is unclear whether an officer can get you to agree to submit a DNA sample by saying the search is intended to clear you of a robbery when the officer is actually investigating an assault. In addition, trial courts have condoned this sort of conduct. Bottom line: if you agree to a search you should be prepared for the possibility that the police will try to use any evidence they find for any purpose they want, even if they tell you it will only be used for a limited purpose.

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License plate frames – a trap for motorists

Does your car have a license plate frame? Frames publicizing auto dealerships, sports teams and educational institutions are common, and often included on new and used cars. But they are (typically) illegal in Wisconsin. In State v. Collins (2010), the Wisconsin Court of Appeals held that a police officer can pull over any car that has a frame partially obscuring its license plate, even if the officer has other motives for the traffic stop. Be sure to check both of your license plates if you want to avoid arbitrary stops!

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Affordable, effective legal advocacy

Specializing in criminal defense and employment law, David Bolles is an affordable and effective legal advocate. Whether you are facing a criminal charge or traffic violation, or you have experienced employment discrimination, wrongful termination or other illegal treatment by your employer, David will work to achieve the best possible outcome in your case. David will listen carefully to your concerns and tailor his approach to meeting your specific needs in each case. Knowing how tough it can be to afford a lawyer during difficult times, our office offers affordable rates and alternative payment arrangements to fit your financial situation.

Please contact David at (608) 403-3249 or dbolles.law@gmail.com for a free consultation.

Bolles Law Office, LLC
PO Box 1878
Madison, WI  53701
 
phone (608) 403-3249
fax (888) 503-6072
email dbolles.law@gmail.com

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