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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|0 Comments

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|0 Comments

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|0 Comments

Can You Fight Drug Charges in Wisconsin?

Can You Fight Drug Charges in Wisconsin - Carlos Gamino

By Carlos Gamino

Possession of a controlled substance – the official name for drug charges in Wisconsin – is a serious offense. If you’re convicted, you could be looking at time in jail or prison. But is there a way to fight drug charges? Here’s what you need to know.

Can You Fight Drug Charges in Wisconsin?

You are entitled to disagree with any criminal charges the state has levied against you, which means you absolutely can fight drug charges in Wisconsin. Most people choose to work with a Wisconsin drug crime defense attorney to get the best possible outcome. There are a handful of possible defenses, with the most common being:

  • The police committed unlawful search and seizure
  • The drugs weren’t yours
  • You were forced to hold or transport the drugs for someone else

Here’s a closer look at each.

#1. The Police Committed Unlawful Search and Seizure

If the police illegally obtain evidence against you, it’s not admissible in court. That means if the police conducted an unlawful search of your property and found drugs, the court can (and will) refuse to accept it as evidence.

#2. The Drugs Weren’t Yours

Sometimes people are arrested on suspicion of drug crimes when the drugs aren’t even theirs. For example, if you gave your cousin and her friend a ride to school, and her friend dropped a joint in your car without your knowledge, and you’re later arrested for possessing that joint, your attorney may be able to show the court that the drugs weren’t yours and that you didn’t know they were in your car.

#3. You Were Forced to Hold or Transport Drugs for Someone Else

When someone threatens you and forces to hold or transport drugs for them, you may have a valid defense against drug charges. Your attorney will have to show the court that you had the drugs against your will and that you were only holding or transporting them because you were afraid of what would happen if you refused.

Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About How to Fight Drug Charges?

If you’ve been accused of a drug crime, we may be able to help you fight your charges. Call us at 414-383-6700 now to schedule a free consultation with an attorney.Carlos Gamino

By |2020-09-19T14:02:56-05:00October 12th, 2020|Criminal Law|Comments Off on Can You Fight Drug Charges in Wisconsin?

What Should You Wear to Court in Wisconsin?

What Should You Wear to Court in Wisconsin - Carlos Gamino

By Carlos Gamino

If you’re like many people, you’ve never been through the legal system before – so what are you supposed to wear to court? Your criminal defense attorney will be happy to help you make the right choices, but here’s a quick run-down so you know what you can (and can’t) wear in the courtroom.

What Should You Wear to Court in Wisconsin?

When you’re going to court for a criminal case, it’s important that you show the judge in your case that you respect the court. That means you should wear clothing that shows you care about your situation. You don’t have to wear a formal suit or a fancy dress, but you do have to present yourself respectably. Think about wearing something you could wear to a job interview and you’re on the right track.

Let’s start with what you can’t wear. Many courts have a dress code, but even if the court you’re going to doesn’t have one, don’t wear:

  • A hat
  • Shorts
  • Tank tops or revealing shirts
  • Sandals or exposed bare feet
  • T-shirts (especially those with drug or criminal references)

Generally, you can wear:

  • A suit (including pantsuits for women)
  • Slacks
  • Khakis
  • Jeans, if they’re all you have
  • A work uniform, if it is the nicest clothing you have
  • A dress you could wear to a job interview
  • A collared shirt
  • A shirt with no collar but long sleeves, if it’s all you have
  • A button-down shirt with a tie
  • A skirt and conservatively styled top
  • A blouse, sweater or casual dress shirt

Loungewear and gym clothes aren’t acceptable for court. Generally, you should try to dress as if you are going to see someone you want to impress – like a prospective employer, your significant other’s parents whom you haven’t met yet, or your pastor. If you don’t have formal clothing, semi-formal or even casual clothing is okay, as long as it’s clean and wrinkle-free.

Related: Should you talk about your case before you go to court?

Are You Due for a Court Appearance?

When you go to court, you’re entitled to go with a lawyer by your side. If you’ve been charged with a crime, whether it’s a misdemeanor or a felony, we may be able to help you. Call us at 414-383-6700 now to schedule your free consultation with an experienced attorney now.

Carlos Gamino

By |2020-09-19T14:04:45-05:00October 5th, 2020|Criminal Law|Comments Off on What Should You Wear to Court in Wisconsin?

How Serious is a Burglary Charge in Wisconsin?

How Serious is a Burglary Charge in Wisconsin - Carlos Gamino

By Attorney Carlos Gamino

Just how serious is a burglary charge in Wisconsin? Is it something you can brush off and go about your business?

The crime of burglary is always a felony in Wisconsin, unlike some other states (such as California, where it can be a misdemeanor or felony). It’s generally a Class F felony in Wisconsin, although it can be a Class E felony. Here’s what you need to know.

How Serious is a Burglary Charge in Wisconsin?

When you’re accused of burglary – or any crime, for that matter – it’s really important that you take your charges seriously. That’s because in Wisconsin, there are serious punishments in place for people who break the law. Even worse: Once the state convicts you of a crime, it goes on your permanent criminal record. There are some remedies for some people (such as expungement, which can clear your criminal record), but those options aren’t available to everyone.

When you have a criminal record, it’s going to come up in background checks. That means prospective employers and landlords will be able to see it – and so can the general public if someone runs a background check on you. You’ll also have to tell employers you’ve been convicted of a crime.

What Happens if You’re Convicted of Burglary?

Burglary charges are serious. If the state convicts you of burglary as a Class F felony, you could go to prison for up to 7 years and 6 months, and then serve an additional 5 years on extended supervision. The court can fine you up to $25,000, too. If you’re convicted of burglary as a Class E felony, you could spend up to 10 years in prison and do an additional 5 years on extended supervision, plus pay fines of up to $50,000.

Related: List of criminal penalties in Wisconsin

What Should You Do if You Pick Up Burglary Charges?

You have the right to legal counsel, no matter what crime the state accuses you of committing. For many people accused of burglary, the best course of action is to call an attorney who can help. We’re available at 414-383-6700 whenever you need us. We’ll be happy to answer your questions during a free case review – and if we can help you, we’ll start building your defense right away.

Attorney Carlos Gamino

By |2020-07-17T11:24:22-05:00September 21st, 2020|Criminal Law|Comments Off on How Serious is a Burglary Charge in Wisconsin?

Is it Possible to Get Off Probation Early in Wisconsin?

Can You Get Off Probation Early in Wisconsin - Carlos Gamino

By Carlos Gamino

In Wisconsin, judges often have the option to sentence a person to probation rather than jail time. If you’re on probation, which is also called community supervision, you’ll have to meet with a probation agent on a regular basis, and you might have to meet other conditions, too. But can you get off probation early in Wisconsin? Here’s what you need to know.

Can You Get Off Probation Early in Wisconsin?

 Not everyone can get off probation early. However, you might qualify if you:

  • Serve at least half your probation term
  • Have satisfied all the conditions of your probation that the judge ordered for you
  • Have satisfied all rules and conditions of your probation that the Department of Corrections has set forth
  • Fulfilled all your obligations to the victims, court and department of corrections – and that includes paying all fines, forfeitures, fees or surcharges, as well as any order of restitution
  • Do not have any outstanding warrants

What Kinds of Conditions Will You Have to Meet?

Every case is different, but you may have to do things like community service, attend a treatment or education group, or pay restitution. Your probation officer can answer questions about what you’re required to do if you’re not clear.

How Do You Get Off Probation Early in Wisconsin?    

Talk to your probation agent about your situation. He or she will discuss all the requirements for getting off probation early and let you know where you stand. Not everyone can get off probation early.

Have You Been Accused of a Crime?

If you’ve been accused of committing a crime, you have the right to consult with an attorney. Your attorney can talk to you about possible penalties if you’re convicted, including jail time, probation and prison time, as well as answer all your questions about your specific case. He or she can also represent you in court and help ensure that you get the best possible outcome.

Call us at 414-383-6700 if you’ve been accused of a crime. We may be able to help you, regardless of whether you’re facing a misdemeanor, a municipal ticket or a felony.

Carlos Gamino

By |2020-07-17T10:27:46-05:00September 21st, 2020|Criminal Law|Comments Off on Is it Possible to Get Off Probation Early in Wisconsin?

What Are Examples of Delinquent Acts in Wisconsin?

What Are Examples of Delinquent Acts in Wisconsin - Carlos Gamino

By Attorney Carlos Gamino

Kids under the age of 17 are considered juveniles in Wisconsin, but that doesn’t mean they’re always tried as juveniles. In fact, some kids in Wisconsin are tried as adults long before they reach the age of majority. But what are some examples of delinquent acts that could get a minor into trouble in Wisconsin?

Examples of Delinquent Acts in Wisconsin

Under Wisconsin law, nobody is allowed to contribute to the delinquency of a child – it’s a crime. The adult in that case can be charged with a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the circumstances.

But kids can, and do, commit crimes without an adult’s help. Some of the most common delinquent acts kids in Wisconsin commit include:

  • Truancy
  • Shoplifting
  • Simple battery

Here’s a closer look at each.

Truancy as a Delinquent Act

A lot of kids skip school from time to time – but the state can step in if skipping school becomes a habit rather than an isolated incident or two. (In fact, the state can even charge parents with a misdemeanor if a child is habitually truant.)

Shoplifting as a Delinquent Act

Juveniles sometimes shoplift for the thrill of it, because they’re pressured into doing so by their friends, or because they feel they need something that they or their family cannot afford. Regardless of the reason, shoplifting is one of the most common delinquent acts tried in courtrooms all across Wisconsin.

Simple Battery as a Delinquent Act

When juveniles fight, police can charge them with simple battery. That’s true even if nobody’s seriously (or even slightly) hurt.

There are a number of other delinquent acts, too, and many of them involve things like destruction of property, possession of marijuana and other violations of the law that seem to pale in comparison with the crimes that adults commit.

However, the problem isn’t just that the child can face long-lasting consequences. Parents in Wisconsin can be held liable, as well.

What if Your Child Gets Into Trouble?

If your child is accused of a crime, we may be able to help. Call us at 414-383-6700 to talk about your situation during a free consultation. We’ll answer all your questions and provide you with a path forward that gets your whole family the best possible outcome.

Attorney Carlos Gamino

By |2020-07-17T10:08:41-05:00September 15th, 2020|Criminal Law, Juvenile Law|Comments Off on What Are Examples of Delinquent Acts in Wisconsin?

Is Burglary a Felony in Wisconsin?

Is Burglary a Felony in Wisconsin - Carlos Gamino

By Attorney Carlos Gamino

If you’ve been accused of burglary, you could be facing serious penalties – especially if your alleged offense involved a weapon. But what makes a crime a burglary, and is it a felony or misdemeanor? Here’s what you need to know.

Is Burglary a Felony in Wisconsin?

Burglary is a Class F felony in Wisconsin, and as you probably already know, felonies come with more serious punishments than misdemeanors do. If the state convicts you of burglary, you’re facing up to 7 years and 6 months in prison, plus an additional 5 years of extended supervision. The court could even order you to pay a fine of up to $25,000.

If you’re armed at the time of the offense, or if a battery occurs during the commission of the burglary, you’re facing a Class E felony. Class E felonies carry even more severe penalties. You could spend 10 years in prison with another 5 years on extended supervision, and you could have to pay up to $50,000 in fines.

What is Burglary?

Burglary is different from what many people think. The state can convict you of it if you:

  • Intentionally enter a building
  • When you enter the building, you do so without consent from the person in lawful possession of the building
  • You know full well that you’re entering without consent
  • You enter the building with intent to steal or commit another felony

You don’t have to steal something to be convicted of felony burglary. In fact, you don’t even have to intend to steal something. If you go into a building without consent and with the intent to commit any other felony (even if you don’t pull it off), the state can convict you of burglary.

What to Do if You’re Accused of Felony Burglary

If you’re arrested for burglary, you probably want to talk to an attorney as soon as you can. Your lawyer will answer your questions and help you move forward, toward the best possible outcome.

Call us at 414-383-6700 now or get in touch with us online for your free consultation. You’ll talk to someone who can give you the guidance you need.

Attorney Carlos Gamino

By |2020-07-17T11:33:38-05:00September 7th, 2020|Criminal Law|Comments Off on Is Burglary a Felony in Wisconsin?

What Happens if You Violate Probation in Wisconsin?

What Happens if You Violate Probation in Wisconsin - Carlos Gamino

By Attorney Carlos Gamino

If you’re like many people, you’re counting yourself lucky for being sentenced to probation instead of jail time after a criminal conviction. Probation is different from extended supervision or parole; it’s a form of community supervision that doesn’t involve time behind bars (unless you already served it prior to sentencing). Although probation is a “win” for most people, its conditions can be pretty serious – and if you violate them, you’ll face serious consequences. So what happens if you violate probation in Wisconsin?

Here’s what you need to know.

What Happens if You Violate Probation in Wisconsin?

Your probation will come with conditions attached. You’ll have to see a probation agent periodically during the term of your sentence, you might have to perform community service or attend counseling, and you’ll almost certainly have to pay fines and fees associated with your offense. If you violate the conditions of your probation, the court can place you on a probation hold.

What is a Probation Hold?

If you violate a condition of your probation, you can be placed on probation hold. That means you’ll be taken to jail, and that’s where you’ll stay until the matter is resolved. Typically, there are only three ways to resolve a probation hold:

  1. The police can release you, which they might do if your probation hold was just a mistake or you committed a minor violation that’s since been cleared up.
  2. The judge in your case can give you an alternative to revoking your probation entirely. That might be something like staying in jail for a while, attending counseling or performing additional community service.
  3. The judge can revoke your probation. If the judge revokes your probation, you’ll go to jail to serve out the rest of your sentence.

Related: What is the probation hold time limit in Wisconsin?

Did You Violate Probation?

If you’ve violated the conditions of your probation, we may be able to help you. Call us at 414-383-6700 to talk about your case – we’ll be happy to give you a free consultation and answer your questions.

Attorney Carlos Gamino

By |2020-07-17T10:18:46-05:00September 1st, 2020|Criminal Law|Comments Off on What Happens if You Violate Probation in Wisconsin?