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DUI Checkpoints in Wisconsin

DUI Checkpoints in Milwaukee - Carlos Gamino

By Carlos Gamino

Some states allow DUI checkpoints – even neighboring Illinois has plenty of them set up in and around Chicago, where they catch drunk drivers and process them through the state’s criminal justice systems. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that sobriety checkpoints are constitutional, which means they’re perfectly legal for police to set up and use.

But in Wisconsin, police have to have probable cause to believe that you’re breaking a law to pull you over – and that means we don’t have DUI checkpoints. The police have to see you weaving between lines, failing to use a turn signal, or exhibiting other behaviors on the road that make them suspect you’ve been drinking and driving before they can pull you over and check to see if you’re sober.

Instead of DUI checkpoints, police create task forces staffed with police who actively look for drunk drivers. The task forces watch for people operating while intoxicated during times that people are more likely to drive drunk, such as late weekend nights, in areas where there are frequent OWI arrests (like in areas that have a lot of bars and restaurants).

Here’s what to do if you’re nabbed by a Milwaukee OWI task force:

  • Remain calm. Don’t give the police any reason to say you’re not being cooperative.
  • Be polite and respectful.
  • Be very careful about what you say, because the police can (and will) use anything you say against you in court.
  • Be prepared to be arrested if you refuse to take a field sobriety test. If you’re arrested, you will still be required to submit to chemical testing to see if you have alcohol in your system. Chemical testing can include a breath test, blood test, or in rarer cases, a urine test.

Were You Arrested for OWI by a Drunk Driving Task Force?

If police arrested you for drunk driving, regardless of what your blood alcohol content was at the time you were tested, we may be able to help you.

Call our experienced Milwaukee OWI attorneys right now at 414-383-6700 for a free consultation. We’ll ask you some questions and answer all your questions, and we can begin building a defense strategy that gets you the best possible outcome.

Carlos Gamino

By |2019-11-27T22:28:29-06:00November 27th, 2019|Criminal Law, Traffic Offenses|Comments Off on DUI Checkpoints in Wisconsin

What to Do if You’re Charged With Sexual Assault in Milwaukee

What to Do if You’re Charged With Sexual Assault in Milwaukee - Carlos Gamino

By Carlos Gamino

Being charged with sexual assault in Milwaukee or any of the surrounding communities is a huge deal – and it could end with you spending time behind bars. Here’s what you need to do if you’re charged with sexual assault anywhere in Wisconsin.

What to Do if You’re Charged With Sexual Assault in Milwaukee

First things first: If the police arrest you, you do not have to answer any questions investigators ask you. You have the right to remain silent, so you should let police know out loud that you wish to exercise that right. Simply saying something like “I’m not answering any questions until I’ve talked to my attorney” or “I’m invoking my right to remain silent” should be enough.

You are entitled to a phone call from jail. Do not talk about your case at all while you’re on that phone call unless you’re talking to your attorney. The police can and do listen in on phone calls you make to people other than your attorney (but they’re not allowed to listen in on calls to an attorney).

Related: Will your sexual assault lawyer still defend you if you’re guilty?

When you’re officially charged with sexual assault – that happens during an arraignment, which is your first court appearance after being arrested – your attorney can go to court with you.

The law categorizes sexual assault into degrees, with first degree being more serious (and carrying heavier penalties) than second degree, which is more serious than third and fourth degree sexual assault respectively. The circumstances that led the state of Wisconsin to charge you with sexual assault will determine the degree. For example, if you’re accused of having sexual contact or intercourse with someone who becomes pregnant, you’ll be charged with first degree sexual assault.

Related: What’s considered sexual assault in Wisconsin?

Who to Call if You’re Charged With Sexual Assault

For most people, the best plan of action is to talk to a Milwaukee sexual assault defense attorney immediately after being arrested. Your attorney can help preserve your rights and ensure you’re being treated fairly throughout the entire legal process.

Your lawyer will also answer all your questions, talk to you about possible outcomes for your case, and fight hard to get you the best results possible in your situation.

Call us right now at 414-383-6700 if you’ve been charged with sexual assault in Milwaukee, Waukesha or any community in Wisconsin. We’ll review your case for free, and together, we’ll decide how to move forward.

Carlos Gamino

By |2019-11-27T22:22:37-06:00November 27th, 2019|Criminal Law|Comments Off on What to Do if You’re Charged With Sexual Assault in Milwaukee

Credit Card Fraud Charges in Milwaukee

Credit Card Fraud Charges in Milwaukee - Carlos Gamino

By Carlos Gamino

Under Wisconsin law, “No person shall acquire a financial transaction card … without the cardholder’s consent or, with knowledge that it has been so acquired, receive the financial transaction card with intent to use it or sell it or to transfer it to a person other than the issuer.”

In plain English, that means if a credit card isn’t yours and you don’t have permission to use it, but you do so anyway, you’re breaking the law. You’re also breaking the law if you sell someone else’s card or give it to another person.

This is a form of credit card fraud, and you could end up going to jail over it if the court convicts you.

So what should you do if you’re accused of credit card theft, credit card fraud or any other type of financial transaction crime?

What to Do if You’re Charged With Credit Card Fraud in Milwaukee

If the state of Wisconsin wants to charge you with credit card fraud, you’ll be arrested by police. You may be released and told to come back on a certain day at a certain time, or you might have to wait in jail until your court date. You will definitely have to appear in court where a judge will formally charge you. The appearance where the judge reads your charges is called an arraignment.

For most people, the best course of action is to bring a credit card fraud defense attorney to court for the arraignment. If you choose to do so, your lawyer will tell the court whether you plead not guilty, guilty or no contest – you don’t have to say anything. Your case, if you plead not guilty, will most likely go to trial; your attorney will be there to defend you at that time, too.

Related: What you need to know about credit card fraud defense

Do You Need a Credit Card Fraud Defense Attorney?

If you’ve been charged with credit card fraud, or if you’ve been arrested for it and you believe the state will officially charge you with a financial crime, you might need an attorney. Everyone in the United States has the right to legal defense.

We may be able to help you. Call us at 414-383-6700 to talk to an experienced criminal defense attorney in Milwaukee right now. We’ll review your case for free, answer your questions, and talk about possible outcomes – and if we end up working together, we’ll fight hard to get you the best possible outcome on your case.

Carlos Gamino

By |2019-11-27T22:13:21-06:00November 27th, 2019|Criminal Law|Comments Off on Credit Card Fraud Charges in Milwaukee

What is Petty Theft in Wisconsin?

What is Petty Theft in Wisconsin - Carlos Gamino

By Carlos Gamino

If you’re like most people, you’ve heard the term petty theft – and in Wisconsin, while the law doesn’t specifically call it petty theft, it’s the act of taking something of value (usually a relatively low value) that doesn’t belong to you and getting caught.

What is Petty Theft in Wisconsin?

“Petty theft” typically refers to the theft of something of low value. Low value is definitely subjective when it comes to people, but the law is pretty clear – and typically, under Wisconsin law, it means Class A misdemeanor theft.

In order for a theft to be a Class A misdemeanor, the value of the property must be less than $2,500. (See what we mean about subjectivity? $2,500 is a lot of money.)

Related: Misdemeanor theft charges in Milwaukee

The Legal Definition of Petty Theft in Wisconsin

The legal definition of theft is when someone “intentionally takes and carries away, uses, transfers, conceals or retains possession of movable property of another without the other’s consent and with intent to deprive the owner permanently of possession of such property.” That really just means taking something that doesn’t belong to you when you’re not borrowing it and you don’t intend to give it back.

Wisconsin puts theft offenses into categories based on the value of the property involved. If the property is valued at $2,500 or less, it’s a misdemeanor; if it’s more, it’s felony theft. When it’s a felony, the value of the property determines the degree. Here’s how theft breaks down:

  • Class I felony: Property valued between $2,501 and $5,000
  • Class H felony: Property valued between $5,001 and $10,000
  • Class G felony: Property valued over $10,000

What to Do if You’re Charged With Petty Theft in Milwaukee

If you’re accused of petty theft in Milwaukee or any of its suburbs, we may be able to help you. Call us right away at 414-383-6700 for a free case review. You’ll talk to an experienced theft defense attorney who will answer your questions and talk about possible outcomes for your case.

Carlos Gamino

By |2019-11-27T22:07:27-06:00November 27th, 2019|Criminal Law|Comments Off on What is Petty Theft in Wisconsin?

What is the Armed Robbery Sentence if You’re Convicted?

What is the Armed Robbery Sentence if You’re Convicted - Carlos Gamino

By Carlos Gamino

If you’re charged with armed robbery in Milwaukee or a nearby city, you might need to talk to an attorney right away. The sentence can be incredibly harsh, resulting in prison time and serious fines.

What is the Armed Robbery Sentence if You’re Convicted in Wisconsin?

Armed robbery is the crime of taking property from a person or away from the property’s owner by using (or threatening to use) a dangerous weapon, a device or container or anything that could lead the victim to believe that it’s a dangerous weapon or device.

That means if you use a weapon or something that could be used as a weapon, or if you trick someone into thinking that you have a weapon, and you take away property with the intent to steal it, you could be charged with armed robbery.

Armed robbery is a Class C felony. That means the armed robbery sentence, if you’re convicted, is up to 40 years of imprisonment. You could spend up to 25 years behind bars and up to 15 years on extended supervision. The judge can also order you to pay fines totaling up to $100,000.

Related: What you need to know about Class C felonies in Wisconsin

What Does the Prosecutor Have to Prove to Get a Conviction?

The jury in your case – or the judge, if you’re not having a jury trial – can convict you of armed robbery if they believe:

  • You took and carried away someone else’s property
  • You took the property with the intent to steal it
  • You acted forcibly (by using force to overcome the victim or to prevent the victim from stopping you)
  • You used or threatened to use a dangerous weapon

Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About the Armed Robbery Sentence, or About Criminal Charges, in Wisconsin?

If you’re accused of armed robbery, we may be able to help you. Call us right away at 414-383-6700 for a free consultation with an experienced attorney. We’ll answer your questions and start building a defense that gets you the best possible outcome.

Carlos Gamino

By |2019-11-27T21:57:37-06:00November 27th, 2019|Criminal Law|Comments Off on What is the Armed Robbery Sentence if You’re Convicted?

Drinking and Boating in Wisconsin: What You Need to Know

Is Drinking and Boating Illegal in Wisconsin - Carlos Gamino

By Carlos Gamino

Is drinking and boating illegal in Wisconsin?

Absolutely – and the penalties if you’re caught and convicted can be extremely harsh. The state considers drinking and boating such a serious crime because of the potential for someone to get hurt. It’s not uncommon for inebriated boaters to crash into other boats, slam into swimmers or hurt themselves out on the water, so the state created a serious set of penalties.

Drinking and Boating in Wisconsin: What You Need to Know

Wisconsin law prohibits anyone from operating a motorboat or waterskiing (or using other, similar devices on the water) if they’re under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The bottom line is that if you’re caught – and many people are – you could end up spending time in prison.

Drinking and Boating: Implied Consent

Any time you operate, or even attempt to operate, a watercraft or other vessel on Wisconsin’s waterways, you’ve given your implied consent to an alcohol or drug test. What that means is that if you try to operate a watercraft, you’re telling the police that you’ll submit to testing if they think you’re under the influence.

If your blood alcohol concentration is 0.08 percent or greater, or if you’re under the influence of an intoxicant or controlled substance, it’s illegal for you to:

  • Operate a motorboat
  • Use waterskis
  • Use a surfboard
  • Use a tube
  • Use another type of device

If you’re caught drinking and boating, you can face the same penalties you would face if you were operating a motor vehicle in the same conditions. You could end up going to jail, paying fines, and having your boat impounded.

Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer in Milwaukee About Drinking and Boating Charges?

If you’ve been charged with BUI, which stands for boating under the influence, we may be able to help you. Call us right away at 414-383-6700 or get in touch with our BUI lawyers online. We’ll answer your questions and help you start moving forward.

Carlos Gamino

By |2019-11-27T21:50:13-06:00November 27th, 2019|Criminal Law, Traffic Offenses|Comments Off on Drinking and Boating in Wisconsin: What You Need to Know

Do You Have Rights When You’re Pulled Over by Police?

What Are Your Rights When Pulled Over by the Police - Carlos Gamino

By Carlos Gamino

Many people aren’t sure about their rights when they’re pulled over by police. However, you do have rights – and it’s up to you to decide whether to exercise them. If you believe police violated your rights and then charged you with a crime, you may want to talk to a criminal defense attorney in Milwaukee immediately.

 What Are Your Rights When Pulled Over by the Police?

When you’re pulled over by police, the U.S. Constitution guarantees you certain rights. That’s true whether you’re the driver or the passenger. You have these rights even if you’re not a U.S. citizen or you’re here without the proper documentation.

You have the right to remain silent, and if you’re a passenger, you have the right to ask if you’re free to leave.

Your Right to Remain Silent

Most traffic stops are pretty routine, though, and often result in a ticket or a warning. Police may pull you over because they suspect you’ve committed an actual crime (rather than a traffic violation, like failing to use your turn signal), or they may suspect you’ve committed a crime (or you’re in the process of committing a crime) after they stop you for something else.

You don’t have to say anything. However, if you do choose to exercise your right to remain silent, you do have to let police know verbally. You can say, “I want to use my right to remain silent.”

If you’re pulled over, your best bet is to:

  • Stay calm
  • Keep your hands on the steering wheel
  • Don’t reach for your ID or any of your documentation until the police officer says it’s okay to do so
  • Be respectful, even if you’re only telling the police that you want to use your right to remain silent

You can always answer the officer’s questions if you choose to, though. Just be careful not to admit guilt. For example, if the police officer asks, “Do you know why I pulled you over?” you can say, “Can you tell me?” If the police officer says, “I clocked you doing 50 in a 40 mile-per-hour zone,” you should say, “I see,” or “I understand.”

Your Right to Ask if You’re Free to Leave

If you’re the passenger in a vehicle and the driver is pulled over, you can ask the police if you’re free to leave. As long as police aren’t arresting you, you have the right to leave – and you should absolutely do so silently.

Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About a Violation of Your Rights or Being Charged With a Crime?

If you believe police pulled you over and illegally obtained evidence to charge you with a crime, we may be able to help you.

Call us at 414-383-6700 to tell us about your situation. We’ll ask you some questions (and answer yours), and if you’ve been charged with a crime, we can build a defense that gets you the best possible outcome.

Carlos Gamino

By |2019-11-27T21:35:32-06:00November 27th, 2019|Criminal Law, Traffic Offenses|Comments Off on Do You Have Rights When You’re Pulled Over by Police?

What if You’re Caught Illegally Carrying a Concealed Weapon in Milwaukee?

What if You’re Caught Illegally Carrying a Concealed Weapon in Milwaukee - Carlos Gamino

By Carlos Gamino

In the state of Wisconsin, you can’t conceal a weapon when you’re carrying it unless you have a valid concealed carry permit.

But many people carry concealed weapons illegally – and man are caught.

If that happens to you, what should you do? Here’s what you need to know.

What if You’re Caught Illegally Carrying a Concealed Weapon in Milwaukee?

Wisconsin is an open carry state, which means you can carry some types of weapons without having a license to do so. If you intend to have your weapon concealed, you have to have the right type of permit – otherwise, it has to be in the open, where people can see it.

You cannot have explosive devices or anything intended to disable people with substances other than oleoresin of capsicum (which is commonly called pepper spray). You also can’t have a machine gun (a weapon that will deliver more than one bullet with a single trigger squeeze), and you can’t weaponize a drone.

If you’re caught illegally carrying a concealed weapon in Milwaukee, Waukesha or any other community in Wisconsin, you could be facing a Class A misdemeanor.

What is a “Concealed” Weapon?

It’s important to distinguish what counts as “concealed” so you know exactly what you’re dealing with. Under Wisconsin law, a weapon can be considered concealed if your shirt covers the holster at your waist, if it’s in your purse or glove box, or if it’s not completely visible to the people around you but you can reach it.

What Are the Penalties for Illegally Carrying a Concealed Weapon?

If the court finds you guilty of illegally carrying a concealed weapon, you could spend up to 9 months in jail. The judge could also order you to pay fines up to $10,000. A weapons-related conviction can have a serious impact on your future ability to get a job or find a place to live, which is tough on your family, too.

Charged With Illegally Carrying a Concealed Weapon in Milwaukee?

If you’ve been charged with illegally carrying a concealed weapon in Milwaukee or in a nearby city, we may be able to help you.

Call us at 414-383-6700 right now or contact us online to schedule your free consultation with a criminal defense attorney. We’ll work hard to preserve your rights and help you get the best possible outcome.

Carlos Gamino

By |2019-11-27T21:29:50-06:00November 27th, 2019|Criminal Law|Comments Off on What if You’re Caught Illegally Carrying a Concealed Weapon in Milwaukee?

Drug Possession Charges in Milwaukee

Drug Possession Charges in Milwaukee - Carlos Gamino

By Carlos Gamino

If you’re like many people who are arrested for drug possession in Milwaukee – especially if this is the first time this has happened to you – you aren’t quite sure what will happen (or what you should do) next. Will you go to jail? Will you lose your job? You probably have several other questions, too.

For most people, the best choice is to call a Milwaukee drug possession defense lawyer as soon as possible. Your attorney can give you case-specific advice and tell you about possible outcomes for your case, as well answer all of your questions.

What Happens After You’re Arrested for Drug Possession?

After police arrest you for drug possession in Milwaukee or a suburb, they’ll most likely take you to jail to be “booked.” That’s where they gather information on you, like your name and date of birth, and they’ll take your fingerprints and a photo.

Related: Busted: I got caught with drugs

Police or other investigators might try to ask you questions during the time you spend in jail. They might even tell you that if you cooperate with them and tell them the truth about why you had the drugs, or what you were going to do with the drugs, that the judge will “go easy” on you – or that they’ll let you go.

Don’t fall into the trap. Do not try to explain yourself to the police at all. Simply let them know you need to talk to a lawyer before you can talk to them. That’s because our jails and prisons are filled with innocent people – people who thought they could explain themselves to the police and everything would be fine.

Wait until you get guidance from your attorney before you talk to police. We can’t stress this enough.

When the court can put you on its calendar, you’ll appear before a judge. At that hearing, which is called your arraignment, the judge will formally charge you with a crime. You’ll have the opportunity to plead guilty or not guilty to the crime at that time – and hopefully you will have contacted an attorney who is there with you during the hearing. Your attorney can tell the judge whether you’re pleading guilty or not guilty (after he or she has had a chance to evaluate your case and figure out the course of action likely to get you the best possible outcome).

If you end up going to trial, your lawyer will represent you there, too.

Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About Drug Possession Charges in Milwaukee?

If you’ve been arrested for possession of a Schedule I or Schedule II drug, illegal possession of prescription drugs or possession of controlled substances, we may be able to help you.

Call us right now at 414-383-6700 for a free consultation with an experienced lawyer today. We’ll do what it takes to get you the best possible outcome.

Carlos Gamino

By |2019-11-27T21:21:20-06:00November 27th, 2019|Criminal Law|Comments Off on Drug Possession Charges in Milwaukee

Schedule I Drug Offenses in Milwaukee Wisconsin

Schedule I Drug Offenses in Milwaukee - Carlos Gamino

By Carlos Gamino

In the state of Wisconsin, possession of a Schedule I drug is illegal. These drugs are considered narcotics, and they include:

  • Synthetic opiates
  • Hallucinogenic substances
  • Heroin
  • LSD
  • MDMA (Ecstasy)
  • Mescaline
  • Synthetic marijuana (such as Spice and K2)
  • Psilocybin
  • Methaqualone (Quaalude)
  • GHB
  • Khat
  • Bath salts

What if You’re Accused of a Schedule I Drug Offense?

If you’re accused of a Schedule I drug offense, you could be looking at a felony – and a mandatory driver’s license suspension, too. It’s important that you contact a Milwaukee drug crime defense attorney as soon as you can (preferably before you answer any questions the police ask you).

You can ask your attorney any questions you have, and he or she will explain what happens between your arrest and the final outcome through the courts.

Related: Charged with prescription drug offenses in Milwaukee?

Penalty Enhancers for Schedule I Drug Crimes

If you have ever been convicted of a narcotics offense before, you’re subject to “penalty enhancers.” These are supposed to be deterrents – punishments that stop people from committing the same crime twice. You’re subject to penalty enhancers if your crime has to do with distribution, delivery or possession with intent to deliver when the offense occurs in a housing project or within 1,000 feet of a:

  • Correctional facility
  • Jail
  • Park
  • Public swimming pool
  • School
  • School bus
  • Youth or community center

The penalty enhancers, if you’re convicted of the same crime two or more times, include a substantial increase in prison time. For a Class C or Class D felony, the judge could sentence you to up to 6 additional years imprisonment; for a Class E, F, G, H or I felony, the judge could sentence you to up to 4 additional years imprisonment.

If it’s a location-based penalty enhancer, the court can increase your term of imprisonment by up to 5 years. The court can order up to 100 hours of community service for certain offenses, too.

Related: Schedule II drug charges in Milwaukee

About the Required Driver’s License Suspension

The judge in your case – and in all drug cases – will be required by law to suspend your driver’s license if you’re convicted of a Schedule I drug offense. How long it lasts is up to the court, but the judge must suspend your license for at least 6 months (and he or she can suspend it for up to 5 years).

Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About Schedule I Drug Crimes?

If you’ve been accused of a Schedule I drug offense, we may be able to help you. Call us right away at 414-383-6700 for a free consultation with an experienced, knowledgeable and understanding attorney right now.

Carlos Gamino

By |2019-11-27T21:12:10-06:00November 27th, 2019|Criminal Law|Comments Off on Schedule I Drug Offenses in Milwaukee Wisconsin