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Recently in Criminal Procedure Category

If you're charged with a crime, chances are it's a violation of a local ordinance or state statute. But every now and then, if a crime is committed on federal land, a criminal enterprise spans multiple states, or you're involved in federal campaign shenanigans, you may be facing federal criminal charges.

Those charges and investigations can vary from state and local prosecutions, so here are five questions (and answers) regarding criminal investigations under federal law.

Girl Charged With Killing Infant in Daycare

In a bizarre string of events, a 10-year-old girl has been charged with first degree murder for the killing of a six-month-old boy in Chippewa County, Wisconsin. The laws in that state dictate that anyone 10 years old or above that is charged with first degree murder must be arraigned in adult court, regardless of whether or not the case will eventually end up in the juvenile system. The girl was brought into the courtroom in early November, sobbing and shackled. By all accounts, it was a very hard day in this rural Wisconsin courtroom.

A "wobbler," in criminal procedure parlance, is a crime that can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. That discretion is normally left up to prosecutors, although in some states judges may reduce felonies to misdemeanors under certain circumstances.

When it comes to DUIs, most drunk driving offenses are misdemeanors but may be bumped up to felonies depending on the specifics of the case. So, what makes a DUI a wobbler? And why does that matter to you?

Ah, the polygraph -- a staple of crime dramas. There's the suspect, sweating it out as dancing needles reveal if he's telling the truth. While they may not be admissible as evidence in a criminal trial, and their accuracy remains a mystery, they remain a common trope of legal fiction, and legal fact. But what if you had one for the written word?

European researchers think they've developed a tool that can help police identify false statements regarding mugging-style robberies, which could also be used to weed out other false police reports.

When Can Voting Be a Crime?

Whether it's the midterms or the presidential election, the importance of election day can't be underestimated. There's always a lot riding on the votes that are cast. But you may have also heard a little about registration requirements, voter ID laws, and something called "illegal voting."

When is it actually illegal to cast a ballot, and when can voting be a crime? Here's what you need to know.

Do Criminal Defense Lawyers Take Payment Plans?

If you've found yourself in a bit of a criminal pickle, you may want to find the best attorney possible. But good ones could charge high fees, and you may want to know a few things about criminal defense and payment plans before dialing for attorneys.

It's not that shocking that parents who leave meth within reach of their two-year-old child are charged with child endangerment. But it can be a surprise when a mother of a two-year-old who goes missing -- who claims she only left the child in a stroller in a park among friends and family for a moment while she went to grab a bottle -- is arrested and charged with the same crime.

While child endangerment charges can follow any criminal act that involves minors or places their health or safety at risk, even seemingly non-criminal behavior can lead to claims of endangerment. Here's a look:

Most of the time, when a police officer pulls you over they will just ask some questions about your license, registration, speedometer, and whether you saw that stop sign you rolled through. But every now and then, a traffic stop will get a little more serious, and officers will threaten to or actually call for canine reinforcement.

So, are cops allowed to dog search your vehicle for drugs during any traffic stop? Do they need a warrant? Here's what you need to know.

There is a rule of thumb in the data security realm that advises against hooking anything up to the internet that doesn't need to be, the idea being that internet connectivity is a door through which most every hacker finds their way in. In fact, a group of researchers discovered a way that even Google's Nest smart home thermostats could be hacked, two years ago.

As it turns out, hackers aren't the only ones you should be worried about when it comes to smart home device security -- cops are coming for your data, too. According to Nest's own transparency report, law enforcement has requested data at least 300 times over the past three years. And as Nest has grown from thermostats to surveillance cameras, the amount of data potentially available to cops has expanded exponentially.

How DNA on a Stamp Can Lead to a Criminal Indictment

Earlier this month, a Wisconsin District Attorney filed felony charges against a DNA profile for a crime committed six years ago. The statute of limitations was about to expire the next day for anonymous threats made against a sitting judge, and the prosecution felt strongly this perpetrator should face the charges, whomever he or she was.

Therefore, under Wisconsin's liberal interpretation of DNA laws, the state filed charges against the John Doe DNA profile on the nine cent stamp affixed to the envelope the threatening letter was mailed in. Prosecutors are hoping they can eventually learn the identity of the person that matches the DNA profile, and bring him or her to justice.