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About Carlos Gamino

Carlos Gamino is a lawyer in Milwaukee, WI. He is bilingual in Spanish.

What if You’re Charged With a Hate Crime in Wisconsin?

What if You’re Charged With a Hate Crime in Wisconsin - Carlos Gamino

By Carlos Gamino

Statistically, hate crimes are on the rise – and they’re happening all over the United States. So what, exactly, is a hate crime, and what will happen to you if you’re convicted? For most people, the best thing to do is to get in touch with a Wisconsin criminal defense attorney for advice.

What if You’re Charged With a Hate Crime in Wisconsin?

Technically, Wisconsin law has a different name for hate crimes; they’re called crimes committed against certain people or property. These crimes are committed against people (or the property belonging to those people) because of the alleged perpetrator’s belief or perception about the person’s:

  • Race
  • Religion
  • Color
  • Disability
  • Sexual orientation
  • National origin or ancestry

That’s true whether or not the perpetrator’s belief was correct. For example, if someone commits a crime against someone and says it was because the person is African-American, but the person is not actually African-American, it doesn’t matter – it’s still a hate crime under Wisconsin law.

Penalties for Hate Crimes

Hate crimes are ordinary crimes, but they’re committed because the people who commit them believe that the victim belongs to a certain protected group of people. Here’s how the penalties change:

  • If the crime is ordinarily a misdemeanor of any class other than Class A, the penalty is up to a year in the county jail and fines of up to $10,000.
  • If the crime is ordinarily a Class A misdemeanor, the penalty is up to 2 years imprisonment with fines of up to $10,000.
  • If the crime is a felony, the maximum term of imprisonment for that felony is increased by up to 5 years, and the fine is increased by up to $5,000.

Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney Because You’ve Been Charged With a Hate Crime?

If you’ve been accused of committing a hate crime, whether you’re completely innocent or you made a mistake, we may be able to help you. Call us at 414-383-6700 today to schedule your free consultation with an experienced and knowledgeable attorney.

Carlos Gamino

By |2020-09-19T14:22:40-05:00November 20th, 2020|Criminal Law|0 Comments

CHIPS in Wisconsin

What is CHIPS in Wisconsin - Carlos Gamino

By Carlos Gamino

The state of Wisconsin has protections in place for juveniles who need help, and special court cases – called CHIPS cases – are opened to provide special services for kids. CHIPS stands for child in need of protection and/or services, and these cases are available until children reach the legal age of responsibility. Until that time, kids depend on adults for care and protection.

When parents can’t – or won’t – properly care for their children, the juvenile court may step in. That can happen in parent and guardian cases, as well as neglect and abuse cases.

CHIPS in Parent and Guardian Cases

CHIPS in parent and guardian cases typically involve children:

  • Who don’t have a parent or guardian
  • Whose parent or guardian has petitioned the court for help with the child’s care
  • Who petition the court for themselves
  • With inadequate care from a parent
  • Who have been abandoned

CHIPS in Neglect and Abuse Cases

CHIPS in neglect and abuse cases typically involve kids who:

  • Have been abuse victims in the past
  • Are at-risk for abuse
  • Have been placed for care or adoption unlawfully
  • Have been neglected or who are at substantial risk for neglect
  • Are suffering from emotional damage or an alcohol or drug abuse impairment
  • Have not been immunized as required by law

How Does a CHIPS Case Start?

Typically, a CHIPS case begins when someone makes a report of abuse or neglect to Child Protective Services or Social Services. A caseworker will evaluate the situation and see if the report appears to be valid; if he or she doesn’t find any safety issues, the case can be closed. If the case worker does find safety issues, he or she will document the issues and file a petition.

Are CHIPS Court Hearings Confidential?

CHIPS court hearings are confidential, which means it’s probably in your best interest to have an attorney represent you.

Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About a CHIPS Case?

If you’re involved – or about to become involved – in a CHIPS case, call us at 414-383-6700 to schedule a free consultation with an attorney as soon as possible. We may be able to help.

Carlos Gamino

By |2020-09-19T15:22:34-05:00November 17th, 2020|Family Law, Juvenile Law|0 Comments

What is Probable Cause?

What is Probable Cause - Carlos Gamino

By Carlos Gamino

You’ve most likely heard the term probable cause before, but what does it really mean – and how does it impact your case? Here’s what you need to know.

What is Probable Cause?

Police need to establish probable cause before they make an arrest, search you or your belongings, or get a warrant from a judge. That means police must have a reasonable basis for believing you’re doing something wrong.

How Can Police Establish Probable Cause?

If police can point to evidence that leads them to believe you committed a crime, a court would most likely find that they had probable cause to arrest you. A police officer can’t simply say, “I really feel like this person committed a crime.” A judge will have the final say on whether the evidence that the police had constitutes probable cause.

If police want a search warrant for your home, car or belongings, they’ll have to convince a judge that they have probable cause, too.

Examples of Probable Cause

Check out these examples of probable cause:

1. A police officer observes you swerving between lanes, driving too slowly, and even veering off the road. The officer can pull you over, and if your vehicle smells like marijuana smoke when you roll down the window, the officer has probable cause to search your vehicle and arrest you because it really looks like you’ve been smoking pot and driving (which is illegal).

2. A police officer gets a notification to watch out for a tall, white man in a red hat who’s carrying a black backpack – the person is suspected of robbing a gas station. If you’re a tall, white man wearing a red hat and carrying a black backpack who’s hanging around in the vicinity of the gas station counting money, the officer most likely has probable cause to arrest you.

3. A police officer has taken a statement from a person whose roommate has been collecting materials to make bombs. The person who gave the statement has a few receipts from different stores showing some of the purchases. Although buying the materials separately is not a crime, the police officer can ask a judge – based on the evidence he or she has – to issue a search warrant. The judge may find that based on the evidence, there’s a high likelihood that evidence of a crime will be uncovered; if that happens, that means the judge has determined there is probable cause.

Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About Your Rights?

If you believe you were arrested or that police searched you without probable cause, we may be able to help you. Call us at 414-383-6700 to schedule a free consultation today.

Carlos Gamino

By |2020-09-19T14:27:27-05:00November 13th, 2020|Criminal Law|0 Comments

Delinquency Petitions in Wisconsin

Delinquency Petitions in Wisconsin - Carlos Gamino

By Carlos Gamino

The state of Wisconsin uses delinquency petitions to protect children from being charged as adults in criminal cases. Sometimes, particularly when kids are under the age of 10, the state pursues JIPS action (that stands for juvenile in need of protection or services) rather than a delinquency petition; likewise, a prosecutor can pursue a JIPS action when the court finds that a child is incompetent to proceed, as well as in some other cases.

A delinquency petition is an option to start a criminal case against a child. When the prosecutor in such a case wants to send the child to an adult criminal court, where he or she will be tried as an adult, the prosecutor can file a waiver petition. Generally, prosecutors can ask to send a child to an adult court when the child is 14 or older and is charged with certain crimes, such as:

  • Felony murder
  • Second-degree reckless homicide
  • First-degree sexual assault
  • Hostage-taking or kidnapping
  • Robbery
  • Manufacturing, distribution or delivery of a controlled substance
  • Nearly any felony that’s tied into gang involvement

Prosecutors can seek waivers for any child over the age of 15 for any crime. For most people, the best option when a prosecutor is seeking a waiver is to find solid legal defense – your attorney can fight to keep the case out of adult court. When a child is tried as an adult, he or she faces the same penalties that any adult would for committing a criminal offense.

Related: What is juvenile delinquency in Wisconsin?

What is a Reverse Waiver?

When the state charges a child with a crime in adult court, the child can ask the court to send the case back to the juvenile court. This is called a reverse waiver.

Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About a Delinquency Petition?

If your child has been accused of a crime, we may be able to help. Call us at 414-383-6700 now to schedule a free consultation with an attorney.

Carlos Gamino

By |2020-09-19T15:16:22-05:00November 9th, 2020|Criminal Law, Juvenile Law|Comments Off on Delinquency Petitions in Wisconsin

Common Immigration Attorney Fees

Common Immigration Attorney Fees - Carlos Gamino

By Carlos Gamino

Working with an experienced immigration attorney can give you the peace of mind you need to tackle your case, whether you’re applying for an immigrant visa or you need deportation defense. But how much does it cost? What can you expect to pay in immigration attorney fees? Here’s what you need to know.

Common Immigration Attorney Fees

Like any other service, you have to pay for an immigration attorney’s help with your case. It’s important to note that you should watch out for people who say they’re “immigration consultants,” “immigration advisors” or “immigration advocates,” because they’re not attorneys – and often, they don’t provide actual services or answer your legal questions.

When you hire an immigration attorney, remember that every lawyer is different, and the cost will vary between law firms. You also need to know that:

  • You’ll often have to pay an advanced fee to get started on your case.
  • Hourly rates are different between attorneys. One attorney might charge $50 per hour, while another could charge $200 per hour.
  • Visas have different rate structures, and those rate structures are set by the U.S. government. You’ll have to pay filing fees for the immigration documents you file with the government.
  • You could be eligible for premium processing, but that results in an additional fee.

What Are Advanced Fees for Immigration Attorneys?

An advanced fee is money you pay an attorney before he or she will start working on your case. Usually, attorneys calculate them by evaluating your case and determining how much it will cost to complete based on an hourly rate. If your attorney works on your case longer than expected, you’ll incur hourly charges – but you’ll know about them ahead of time. Really, what’s happening is that you pay the attorney and he or she “works off” the balance using an hourly rate.

So what if you’ve overpaid because your case was easier than the attorney anticipated? You’ll get a refund of the balance. If you pay an attorney who charges $100 per hour a $1,000 retainer fee, but she finishes your case in 8 hours, you’ll get $200 back. (That’s just an example, though – every attorney’s retainer fee and hourly rate is different.)

Do You Need to Talk to an Immigration Attorney?

If you’re considering immigrating to the United States, we may be able to help you. Call us at 414-383-6700 to schedule a consultation with a Wisconsin immigration attorney who will talk to you about your case and answer your questions.

Carlos Gamino

By |2020-09-19T15:11:43-05:00November 4th, 2020|Immigration Law|Comments Off on Common Immigration Attorney Fees

Is Possession of a Controlled Substance a Felony in Wisconsin?

Is Possession of a Controlled Substance a Felony in Wisconsin - Carlos Gamino

By Carlos Gamino

Possession of a controlled substance is a serious charge in Wisconsin, and it’s one that comes with serious penalties if you’re convicted. But is possession of a controlled substance a felony, and what are the possible sentences you could receive if the court finds you guilty? Here’s what you need to know.

Is Possession of a Controlled Substance a Felony in Wisconsin?

The term controlled substance covers many types of drugs, ranging from marijuana to meth. If you’re caught with an illegal drug in Wisconsin, you’re subject to penalties based on the specific drug you had at the time of the offense. Here are some of the most common:

  • Cocaine and crack. When a judge convicts you of possessing either of these drugs, the possible sentence for your first offense is up to a year of imprisonment and a fine of $5,000. Second and subsequent offenses are Class I felonies.
  • Hallucinogenic or stimulant drugs. These drugs, like LSD and amphetamine, will subject you to a year of imprisonment and a fine of up to $5,000 for a first offense. For subsequent offenses, you’re looking at a Class I felony.
  • Marijuana. If you’re caught with marijuana, you’re subject to a maximum fine of $1,000 and up to 6 months of imprisonment if it’s your first offense. If you have a prior conviction, it’s a Class I felony, and for that, you could be facing up to 3 years, 6 months imprisonment and fines of up to $10,000.
  • Methamphetamine. It doesn’t matter whether it’s your first offense or not; possession of meth is a Class I felony in Wisconsin.
  • Schedules I and II narcotics. If you’re convicted of possession of Schedule I or Schedule II narcotics, you’re facing a Class I felony.

Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney About Possession of a Controlled Substance as a Felony?

If you’ve been arrested for possessing drugs – any drugs – it may be in your best interest to call our office at 414-383-6700 for a free case review as soon as possible. We’ll answer your questions and tell you what kinds of penalties you’re facing – and if we can help you, we will.

Carlos Gamino

By |2020-09-19T14:40:58-05:00October 30th, 2020|Criminal Law|Comments Off on Is Possession of a Controlled Substance a Felony in Wisconsin?

Frequently Asked Questions About Juvenile Justice

Juvenile Justice FAQ - Carlos Gamino

By Carlos Gamino

If you’re like many parents whose children have been accused of committing a crime, you probably have a lot of questions – and answers are a little bit hard to come by. Check out these juvenile justice FAQ to get answers, and if you don’t see the answer to your questions here, call us at 414-383-6700 to ask during a free consultation.

Juvenile Justice FAQ

Some of the most common questions we answer about juvenile justice and how the system works in Wisconsin are listed here. Remember, we’re also happy to answer case-specific questions during a free consultation, as well.

What is Delinquency Supervision?

Delinquency supervision is managed by social workers and is a program designed to keep kids out of trouble while holding them accountable for what they’ve done. It also helps provide treatment and services that help kids build competencies. Cases that result in delinquency supervision are overseen by social workers when kids are at home, in school and in the community. In many ways, it’s like adult probation.

Can My Child Be Charged With a Crime When Nobody Called Me?

The police can question and talk to your child without you being present. For this reason, it’s important that you teach your children to use their right to remain silent during police questioning until you or an attorney are present. (And even when you’re there, it’s typically best to wait for an attorney.) Because the police can talk to your child without you being present, it’s completely possible for your child to be charged with a crime and for you to find out about it after the fact.

How Will a Juvenile Record Affect My Child’s Future?

Having a juvenile criminal record can affect your child’s future. However, juveniles who have been found to be delinquent under the Wisconsin Juvenile Code can petition the court for expungement when they turn 17 – but only if it was a first offense, the child has completed all the terms of his or her sentence, the juvenile will benefit from the expungement, and society won’t be harmed by it. Expungement is not a right – even when the entire case takes place in juvenile court.

Should I Hire an Attorney to Represent My Child in the Juvenile Justice System?

If your child is in legal trouble, you have the right to hire an attorney – and for many people, that’s the best course of action. Your child’s attorney will be able to answer your questions and will work to protect your child’s rights every step of the way.

Call us at 414-383-6700 to schedule a free consultation with an attorney now.

Carlos Gamino

By |2020-09-19T15:07:49-05:00October 26th, 2020|Criminal Law, Juvenile Law|Comments Off on Frequently Asked Questions About Juvenile Justice

3 Possible OWI Defenses Your Attorney Might Use

3 Possible OWI Defenses Your Attorney Might Use - Carlos Gamino

By Carlos Gamino

If you’re like many people, you know that an OWI conviction can be devastating – but is it even possible to defend against one? For most people, the best way to defend themselves against these types of charges is to work with a knowledgeable, experienced attorney who can help.

3 Possible OWI Defenses Your Attorney Might Use

Your attorney can help defend you against OWI charges in court. Every case is different, but there are several ways your attorney may choose to defend you. Some of the most common OWI defenses include:

  • Breath test errors
  • Lack of probable cause
  • Unreliable field sobriety tests

Here’s a closer look at each.

Breath Test Errors in OWI Cases

Breath tests aren’t perfect. In fact, they make some common errors – and your attorney may choose to bring them up in your case. Some of the most common problems with tests that measure the alcohol on your breath include:

  • Calibration errors
  • Interference from radio frequencies
  • Your own physiological and medical conditions
  • Failure (on the police’s part) to properly maintain the system

These tests don’t measure the amount of alcohol in your blood, but only the alcohol in your blood (not the alcohol on your breath) can impair you. They don’t demonstrate your blood alcohol concentration, which can work in your favor in court.

Lack of Probable Cause in OWI Cases

Sometimes police don’t have probable cause to stop you, and sometimes they don’t have enough of a reason to legally arrest you. Really, whether an arrest is legal depends on the facts the police officer has when he or she chooses to arrest you. Some things can indicate that you’re impaired, like glassy or bloodshot eyes and difficulty with balance, but those things can be attributed to other causes, too. If that’s the case in your situation, your attorney may argue that your stop or arrest was unjustified.

Unreliable Field Sobriety Tests in OWI Cases

Field sobriety tests aren’t really accurate predictors of whether you’re impaired. Even when these tests are administered properly, they’re not right often enough. You may be asked to walk in a straight line, recite the alphabet backward or balance on one foot – but there are people who can’t do those things when they’re not impaired, as well.

What Should You Do if You’re Accused of OWI?

An OWI conviction can change your life, so generally, it’s a good idea to get legal advice from an experienced OWI lawyer. Call our office at 414-383-6700 today to find out how we can help you.

Carlos Gamino

By |2020-09-19T14:16:13-05:00October 26th, 2020|Criminal Law, Traffic Offenses|Comments Off on 3 Possible OWI Defenses Your Attorney Might Use

What Happens if You Violate a Restraining Order in Wisconsin?

What Happens if You Violate a Restraining Order in Wisconsin - Carlos Gamino

By Carlos Gamino

Violating a restraining order is a serious offense in Wisconsin. The courts only issue restraining orders if they feel that someone is in danger – and when someone takes one out against you, that means the court thinks you’re a threat. Violating a restraining order will get you into serious trouble, so here’s what you need to know.

What Happens if You Violate a Restraining Order in Wisconsin?

There are three types of restraining orders in Wisconsin, and the type the judge issues in your case will be one of them. Judges use:

  • 72-hour no-contact orders. These are usually issued immediately after a domestic violence arrest.
  • Temporary restraining orders. These restraining orders are issued to protect a person for up to 90 days or until a court hearing.
  • Injunction. Injunctions are restraining orders that can last for up to 2 years, and they can only be issued after a court hearing.

These orders can require you to avoid the alleged victim, stay away from your home or even tell you that you can’t see your children. When a judge issues a restraining order against you, you’ll get a notice that explains what the order means, what you need to do next, and when you must appear in court. No matter what, you should follow the instructions in your restraining order – even if you feel it was issued in error.

If you violate a restraining order, you’re going to face legal consequences. The consequences vary based on the reason the judge ordered the issue in the first place. For example, if a judge issued your restraining order in response to a domestic violence case, you could go to jail for up to 9 months and pay a fine of $1,000.

What to Do if You’re Caught Violating a Restraining Order

If you’ve been accused of violating a restraining order in Wisconsin, we may be able to help you. Call us at 414-383-6700 today to schedule a free consultation with an attorney who will listen to your side of the story and give you the legal guidance you need.

Carlos Gamino

By |2020-09-19T14:10:06-05:00October 19th, 2020|Criminal Law|Comments Off on What Happens if You Violate a Restraining Order in Wisconsin?

Does Cheating Affect Alimony in a Wisconsin Divorce?

Does Cheating Affect Alimony in a Wisconsin Divorce - Carlos Gamino

By Carlos Gamino

Wisconsin is a no-fault divorce state, which means that you don’t have to prove that your spouse is guilty of something in order to get a divorce. (Your spouse doesn’t have to say that you’re guilty of something, either.) However, if your spouse cheated – or if you did – will that affect alimony (technically called spousal support) in your case? Here’s what you need to know.

Does Cheating Affect Alimony in a Wisconsin Divorce?

You don’t have to prove fault to get a divorce, but if your spouse cheats on you (or if you’re caught cheating), it can affect some aspects of your divorce. Alimony is not one of them, though. Wisconsin courts are not allowed to consider infidelity when making an alimony award. Instead, judges can consider:

  • How long you were married
  • Each spouse’s age and emotional health
  • How your property is divided in your divorce
  • Both spouses’ educational levels at the time of the marriage compared to the time of the divorce
  • How much money each spouse has the capacity to earn through educational background, employment skills, work experience, length of time unemployed during the marriage and responsibilities toward kids
  • Whether the supported spouse is likely to become self-supporting enough to meet a similar standard of living as the couple enjoyed while married, as well as how long it would take the supported spouse to achieve that goal
  • Tax consequences to each spouse
  • Premarital or postmarital agreements
  • Whether one spouse contributed to the education or increased earning power of the other spouse
  • Other factors the court believes are relevant

Related: Will you have to pay spousal support?

Why Do Some People Get Spousal Support in Wisconsin?

The purpose of alimony is to ensure that one spouse – typically the lower-earning one – doesn’t starve or lose his or her home as a result of the divorce. Spousal support is there to provide, not to punish a bad spouse.

Related: Wisconsin alimony calculator

Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney About Spousal Support?

We can help you through your divorce, and we’ll be happy to talk to you about spousal support during a free consultation. Call us at 414-383-6700 now to schedule a time to talk to an experienced Wisconsin divorce attorney.

Carlos Gamino

By |2020-09-19T15:03:28-05:00October 12th, 2020|Family Law|Comments Off on Does Cheating Affect Alimony in a Wisconsin Divorce?