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Wisconsin fatal car accident: Drugs, needles in driver's pocket

Wisconsin criminal proceedings are underway in Fond Du Lac County in the aftermath of a double fatal motor vehicle accident. The car accident occurred in March when the driver plowed into a group of motorcycles. Two bikers lost their lives in the tragedy, and eight other bikers suffered personal injuries.

The car driver has been accused of a dozen separate felony charges stemming from the crash. Wisconsin law enforcement personnel responded to the scene of the tragedy. An officer apparently removed syringes and drugs from pockets in the pants of the car driver. Prosecutors seek to introduce that evidence against the defendant during his trial, and defense attorneys objected.

The defense team argued that a warrant should have been obtained before the man's pants were searched. Nevertheless, the judge presiding over the proceedings denied the defense motion to suppress the evidence. That means that the prosecution may present the evidence during the criminal trial, and it could also have important bearing on any related civil proceedings stemming from the deaths and injuries that resulted.

When a Wisconsin car accident causes death or serious injuries, those victimized have legal rights apart from any criminal proceedings that may occur. If evidence suggests that the crash was caused by driver negligence, there are legal remedies available under our state's wrongful death and personal injury laws. As the criminal proceedings move forward, any conviction achieved against the man may be offered as evidence of culpability in a related civil proceeding. The fact that officers discovered narcotics and drug supplies in the accused man's pockets after the collision may provide valuable supporting evidence in any subsequent civil proceedings.

Source: therepublic.com, "Judge allows evidence taken from defendant's pants after fatal motorcycle crash," April 11, 2013

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Godfrey, Leibsle,
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