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5 Ways an OWI Will Change Your Life

By Carlos Gamino

In the state of Wisconsin, drunk driving is a very serious crime. So is driving under the influence of drugs. Because these two crimes are very serious, convictions carry heavy penalties. In fact, some people have a tough time bouncing back after a DUI or OWI conviction; here are five ways a conviction may change your life.

5 Ways an OWI Will Change Your Life

These are some of the biggest changes you’ll experience if you’re convicted of DUI or OWI:

  1. You’ll have a permanent criminal record
  2. You’ll lose your driver’s license
  3. You may go to jail
  4. You may have to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle
  5. You could lose your commercial driver’s license

Here’s a closer look at each.

#1. You’ll Have a Permanent Criminal Record

When you’re convicted of a crime in the state of Wisconsin, it generally stays on your criminal record forever. In fact, only a small number of convictions are eligible for expungement (The process by which a court clears your record and gives you a fresh start). when you have a criminal record hanging over your head, you may find it difficult to find a job or a place to live, or even to obtain credit.

Related: What happens if you sell your prescription drugs in Wisconsin?

#2. You’ll Lose Your Driver’s License

Even with a first offense DUI or OWI, you lose your driving privileges in the state of Wisconsin. The length of time the state withholds your driving privileges depends on the circumstances of your case, including how many DUIs or OWIs you’ve had in the past and other factors.

#3. You May Go to Jail

The judge in your case may send you to jail or prison, depending on the circumstances of your DUI or OWI case. For example, if you’re involved in a drunk driving crash that hurts someone, you can expect to be sentenced to prison time upon conviction.

Related: Can body cam footage be used against you in court?

#4. You May Have to Install an Ignition Interlock Device on Your Vehicle

In many cases, Wisconsin judges order people to put ignition interlock devices on their vehicles. These devices require you to blow into a gauge that determines how much you’ve had to drink. Your vehicle won’t start if the device determines you’ve been drinking. If a judge orders you to put an ignition interlock device on your vehicle, you’re responsible for the cost of the installation and, when the time comes, removal.

#5. You Could Lose Your Commercial Driver’s License

If you hold the commercial driver’s license (CDL), there’s a good chance you’ll lose it if you’re convicted of DUI or OWI. if your commercial driving privileges are revoked or suspended, you can’t work and you’ll need to find alternate employment.

Related: What happens if you leave a grocery store without paying?

How Do You Avoid DUI/OWI Penalties?

The only way to avoid the penalties associated with DUIs and OWIs in the state of Wisconsin is to avoid a conviction. But there’s no way to predict how a judge will rule in any case. For many people, the smartest choice is hiring a drunk driving lawyer – an attorney may be able to help you get the best possible outcome.

Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney About DUI or OWI?

If you’ve been accused of DUI or OWI, our team may be able to help you. Call our office at 414-383-6700 to schedule a consultation with an experienced Wisconsin drunk driving lawyer. We can answer your questions and give you the guidance you need.

Attorney Carlos Gamino

By |2022-09-02T10:50:12-05:00October 27th, 2022|Criminal Law, Traffic Offenses|Comments Off on 5 Ways an OWI Will Change Your Life

Will You Go to Prison in Wisconsin for Having an Underage Girlfriend?

By Carlos Gamino

In the state of Wisconsin, a person must be 18 years old or older to lawfully give consent – and that means if your girlfriend is underage, you may be facing criminal charges. In fact, if you engage in sexual intercourse with a minor who is 17 or younger, you could be charged with statutory rape or sexual assault of a child.

What is Statutory Rape in Wisconsin?

Statutory rape is the crime of an adult having sexual intercourse with a person who is under the age of 18, even if the sex is completely consensual.

What is Sexual Assault of a Child?

Sexual contact involving a minor younger than the age of 13, regardless of your age, is considered first degree sexual assault of a child. This crime is a Class B felony, and it can result in up to 60 years imprisonment.

Sexual contact involving a minor between the ages of 13 and 15, regardless of your age, is considered second degree sexual assault of a child. This is a Class C felony, and you could be sentenced to up to 40 years imprisonment.

Related: Misdemeanor truancy in Wisconsin

Other Wisconsin Crimes Related to Having an Underage Girlfriend

When sexual contact doesn’t meet the definitions of statutory rape or sexual assault of a child, there are two other crimes that may apply:

  • Sexual intercourse with a child 16 or older is the crime of having intercourse with a minor who is 16 or 17 years old when the defendant is 19 or older. (This isn’t a crime if both parties are married to each other.) This crime is a Class A misdemeanor, which can result in up to nine months in jail.
  • Underage sexual activity is sexual contact between a 15 year old and a defendant who’s younger than 19, or sexual intercourse between a minor who is 15, 16 or 17 and a defendant who’s younger than 19. This Is a Class A misdemeanor, which can result in up to nine months in jail.

Related: Can you refuse to let the police search your car?

Will You Have to Register as a Sex Offender?

in some cases, people found guilty of any of the crimes listed here may be required to register as sex offenders. However, in the state of Wisconsin, there’s an exception to the registration requirement when two people are close in age and no violence or force was used.

Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney About Statutory Rape Charges?

If you’ve been accused of statutory rape or sexual assault of a child, or another crime related to one of these, you have the right to retain legal counsel. Call our office at 414-383-6700 to schedule a consultation with an experienced professional who may be able to help you get the best possible outcome in your case.

Attorney Carlos Gamino

By |2022-09-02T10:48:09-05:00October 18th, 2022|Criminal Law|Comments Off on Will You Go to Prison in Wisconsin for Having an Underage Girlfriend?

Will You Go to Prison for Welfare Fraud in Wisconsin?

By Carlos Gamino

Commonly called public assistance fraud, welfare fraud is the crime of obtaining welfare or other social benefits by misrepresentation or failing to report changes in circumstances. A welfare fraud conviction could lead to jail time. Here’s what you need to know about this white-collar crime.

Welfare Fraud in Real Life

Wisconsin law says that anyone who intentionally makes false statements or misrepresents facts in an application for public assistance is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor. Additionally, the law says that if you fail to report changes in facts (such as getting a job or earning more money), you can be charged with welfare fraud.

In order to convict you, the state of Wisconsin must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you:

  • Intentionally made a false statement or representation of a fact when you applied
  • The statement or representation was false
  • You knew that the statement or representation was false

If the state can’t prove all those things, it can’t convict you.

Related: Can you refuse to let the police search your car in Wisconsin?

What Are the Penalties for Welfare Fraud in Wisconsin?

The penalty for welfare fraud on an application is generally a Class A misdemeanor. The penalty for a Class A misdemeanor is up to nine months in jail and up to $10,000 in fines. However, failing to report a change in facts may be a felony. Often, the degree of the crime depends on the amount of benefits you obtained through fraudulent means.

Related: Can you drive to work if you have a suspended license?

What Kind of Evidence Will Prosecutors Have?

Prosecutors in your case will most likely use your benefit application as evidence in your case. They may also use financial documents, such as pay stubs or bank statements, witness testimony and a number of other pieces of evidence.

If the police want to question you about your involvement in welfare fraud, the best thing you can do is exercise your right to remain silent. Remember: If police arrest you for a crime, they already think you’re guilty. Officers will try to get you to confess, even if you’re actually innocent.

Calmly let the police know that you’d like to speak to an attorney before proceeding. At that time, they must stop asking you questions. Wait until you consult with an attorney before you decide how to proceed. Your attorney can be present with you during police questioning to prevent you from saying anything that would incriminate you in your case.

Related: What happens when someone commits arson for insurance money?

Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney About Welfare Fraud?

If the state of Wisconsin has accused you of welfare fraud, we may be able to help you. Call our office at 414-383-6700 to schedule a consultation with an experienced professional who can give you the guidance you need. We’ll work hard to help you get the best possible outcome in your case.

Attorney Carlos Gamino

By |2022-09-02T10:44:25-05:00October 11th, 2022|Criminal Law|Comments Off on Will You Go to Prison for Welfare Fraud in Wisconsin?

What Happens if You Appeal a Conviction in Wisconsin?

By Carlos Gamino

If you’ve been convicted of a crime in Wisconsin and are not happy with the outcome, you may have the option to appeal the decision. This guide will explain what an appeal is, how it works, and what may happen after everything’s said and done.

What is an Appeal?

An appeal is when a higher court reviews the decision of a lower court to see if its finding was incorrect. If you think that you should appeal a criminal conviction, it’s in your best interest to talk to a Wisconsin criminal defense attorney about your case. Your lawyer will let you know whether you can appeal and what the process will look like in your situation.

How Does a Criminal Conviction Appeal Work in Wisconsin?

Appeals are usually based on errors in the original trial, either in procedure or in the judge’s interpretation of the law. If you want to appeal a conviction, it may be in your best interest to work with an attorney. Your attorney will likely file what’s called a “notice of appeal” with the court, which starts the appeals process. After that, your attorney will work on filing briefs explaining to the higher court why they think the lower court made a mistake. In some cases, you may need to appear in front of the appeals court for oral arguments.

Related: 3 things you need to do if you’re charged with employee theft

What Happens if I Win an Appeal?

If the appeals court decides in your favor, there are a few different things that could happen. The court may order a new trial, they may throw out your conviction entirely, or they may reduce your sentence. In some cases, the appeals court may decide that you don’t need a new trial and will just overturn the conviction.

Related: Can you drive to work if you have a suspended license?

What Happens if I Lose an Appeal?

If you lose an appeal, you will still be convicted of the crime and will have to serve your original sentence. In some cases, you may be able to file what’s called a “petition for review” with the Wisconsin Supreme Court. This is basically asking the Supreme Court to look at your case and decide whether the appeals court made the right decision. However, the Supreme Court doesn’t have to hear your case and may just let the appeals court’s decision stand.

After an Appeal

Once an appeal has been decided, that usually means that the case is over and you will have to serve your sentence. However, in some cases, you may be able to file what’s called a “post-conviction motion.” This is basically a request for the court to look at your case again and decide whether there were any errors that warrant overturning the conviction or reducing the sentence. If you’re thinking about filing a post-conviction motion, it’s in your best interest to talk to a Wisconsin criminal defense attorney about your case.

Related: Can you get an occupational license after an OWI in Wisconsin?

Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney About Filing an Appeal?

If you’re thinking about filing an appeal, we may be able to help you. Call our office at 414-383-6700 to schedule your consultation with a Wisconsin criminal defense attorney today.

Attorney Carlos Gamino

By |2022-09-02T10:42:09-05:00October 6th, 2022|Criminal Law|Comments Off on What Happens if You Appeal a Conviction in Wisconsin?

What Will Happen to You if You Violate a Restraining Order?

By Carlos Gamino

In Wisconsin, it’s possible for one person to get a restraining order against another person. A restraining order is a legal document that prohibits one party from contacting or seeing the other. But what happens if you violate a restraining order? This guide explains.

What Happens if You Violate a Restraining Order in Wisconsin?

A person can only get a restraining order by filing a petition with a court. A judge must agree with the petition to issue a restraining order. After a judge issues a restraining order against you, you’re legally obligated to abide by it. That means you cannot contact the other person or do anything that the restraining order prohibits.

There are two types of restraining orders in Wisconsin:

  • Temporary restraining orders last up to 14 days (or until the final hearing). Courts can extend these temporary orders in some cases.
  • Injunctions may last up to four years, and they may be extended in certain circumstances.

If you violate a restraining order, you commit a Class A misdemeanor. You could spend up to nine months in jail and pay up to $10,000 in fines.

Related: Crimes considered violent felonies in Wisconsin

However, in order to convict you of violating a restraining order, the state of Wisconsin must prove that you knew there was a restraining order against you and that you engaged in a behavior that was prohibited by the order. Naturally, if you accidentally end up in the same place as the person who has a restraining order against you – such as the grocery store – you didn’t intentionally violate the terms of your restraining order (though you do need to leave immediately). If you purposely went to the person’s job and waited outside for them, knowing they had a restraining order against you, it’s another story.

Note: When it comes to proving that you violated a restraining order, it doesn’t matter whether it was a temporary restraining order or an injunction. The state can convict you either way.

Related: 3 things you need to do if you’re charged with employee theft

Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney About Violating a Restraining Order?

Have you been accused of violating a restraining order, your best bet may be contacting a Wisconsin criminal defense attorney. Call our office at 414-383-6700 to schedule a consultation with an experienced professional who can answer your questions and give you the legal guidance you need.

Attorney Carlos Gamino

By |2022-09-02T10:46:18-05:00October 4th, 2022|Criminal Law|Comments Off on What Will Happen to You if You Violate a Restraining Order?

Will You Go to Prison if You’re a Felon in Possession of a Firearm in Wisconsin?

By Carlos Gamino

If you’re like many people, your past isn’t squeaky clean. And if you have a felony on your record, you’re not supposed to possess a firearm. But will you go to prison if you’re a felon in possession of a firearm in Wisconsin? This guide explains.

Is it Legal for Felons to Have Firearms in Wisconsin?

Felons are not allowed to possess firearms in Wisconsin. But there are others who aren’t permitted to have firearms, either, including people who:

  • Have been involuntarily committed for mental health reasons.
  • Have been convicted of a domestic violence crime.
  • Are subject to a domestic abuse restraining order.
  • Are prohibited from possessing firearms under federal law.

Related: Exactly who can carry a gun in Wisconsin

Will You Go to Prison if You’re a Felon in Possession of a Firearm in Wisconsin?

If you’re a felon in possession of a firearm in Wisconsin, you could face up to 10 years imprisonment and a $10,000 fine. If you have been convicted of a violent crime, you could face up to 20 years imprisonment and a $20,000 fine. There are also enhanced penalties if you are a felon in possession of a firearm and you use the weapon to commit a crime.

What Counts as a Firearm in Wisconsin – Especially As it Pertains to Felons in Possession?

In Wisconsin, a firearm is defined as “any weapon which is designed to or may readily be converted to expel any projectile by the action of an explosive.” This includes both guns and ammunition. It also includes devices that are not typically thought of as firearms, such as stun guns and tasers.

However, there are some exceptions to this definition. For example, antique firearms are not considered to be firearms under Wisconsin law. This is because they are not designed to be readily convertible to expel a projectile.

Another exception is for certain types of air guns. These include BB guns, pellet guns, and paintball guns. These are not considered to be firearms because they do not use an explosive to expel a projectile.

Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney About Being a Felon in Possession?

If you’ve been accused of possessing a firearm and you have felony convictions in your past, you may need to speak with an attorney who can help. Call our office at 414-383-6700 now to schedule a free consultation with an experienced professional who can give you the guidance you need.

Attorney Carlos Gamino

By |2022-07-19T13:52:35-05:00September 29th, 2022|Criminal Law|Comments Off on Will You Go to Prison if You’re a Felon in Possession of a Firearm in Wisconsin?

Will You Go to Jail for Traffic Crimes in Wisconsin?

By Carlos Gamino

For the most part, traffic tickets aren’t criminal offenses – and that means you’re unlikely to spend time in jail over them. However, there are some crimes that overlap with traffic offenses; for those, the state of Wisconsin could put you behind bars. This guide explains.

Can You Go to Jail Over Traffic Offenses in Wisconsin?

The most common traffic tickets in Wisconsin involve speeding, failing to make a complete stop at a stop sign or traffic light, and failing to wear a seatbelt. Usually when the police catch someone violating traffic laws, they pull the person over and issue them a citation (ticket). You can pay the fine for the traffic offense and accept demerit points on your license, or you can dispute the ticket in court. If you choose to dispute the ticket, you may defend yourself or work with an attorney.

Related: What happens if you fight while being arrested?

In most traffic cases, jail isn’t even on the table. Though a violation of the law led to your ticket, you can typically resolve it by paying a fine and accepting points on your license. (When you earn too many points on your license, the state will suspend your driving privileges.)

But in some cases, traffic offenses are tied into crimes that do lead to jail or prison time, such as:

  • Drunk driving
  • Reckless driving
  • Driving on a suspended or revoked license
  • Being a habitual traffic offender
  • Fleeing or eluding an officer
  • Driving or operating a vehicle without the owner’s consent
  • Vehicular homicide

If you’re convicted of a misdemeanor or felony traffic offense, you could be facing time behind bars.

Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney About Traffic Offenses?

If you’ve been accused of any traffic offense – whether you received a citation or you’re facing misdemeanor or felony charges – we may be able to help you. Our experienced and committed attorneys are well-versed in traffic and criminal laws in the state of Wisconsin, and we know what it takes to help your clients get the best possible outcome. Call our office right now at 414-383-6700 to schedule a free consultation; we’ll be happy to get you on the right path.

Attorney Carlos Gamino

By |2022-07-19T13:50:58-05:00September 27th, 2022|Criminal Law, Traffic Offenses|Comments Off on Will You Go to Jail for Traffic Crimes in Wisconsin?

Can Police Enter Your Home Without a Reason?

By Carlos Gamino

It happens on TV and in movies all the time – police kick in someone’s door, enter the living room and start shouting. But don’t the police need a reason to enter your home (especially without your consent)? This guide explains when and why the police are allowed to enter someone’s home.

Can the Police Barge Into Your Home With No Reason?

Before you read any further, know that the police must have a reason for entering your home. They don’t necessarily need a warrant, but they do need a reason.

When Do Police Need a Warrant?

Often, police need a warrant with a judge’s signature to enter your home. To get a warrant, they must explain to a judge that they have a valid need to get into your space – and the judge must agree with them.

Here’s an example that would most likely get a judge to sign off on a warrant: If the police haven’t seen you commit a crime, but they watched you carry mysterious duffel bags into your home just hours before known drug dealers start visiting you and leaving with smaller duffel bags, they may be able to convince a judge that you probably have loads of drugs inside your home. The judge may give them the green light to enter your home and look for those drugs.

But here’s an example that a judge may not agree with: The police haven’t seen you commit a crime, but they saw you talking to a drug dealer outside your local Walmart earlier that day. You gave the drug dealer a slip of paper, got into your car and left. In a case like this, the judge would probably want the police to provide a better reason for entering your home.

Related: What will happen to you if you fight with police?

When Can Police Enter Your Home Without a Warrant?

Sometimes police don’t need a warrant at all, and they’re allowed to enter your home without your (or a judge’s) permission. If the police enter your home to arrest you, they’re allowed to search the immediate area of the arrest. Additionally, if the police can see criminal evidence in plain sight, they’re allowed to seize it – and the evidence may give them probable cause to search more.

If the police believe you have a dangerous weapon and that you may use it against them, or if they suspect that you have evidence but will move it from your home before they can get a warrant, they’re allowed to search your home without a warrant. Likewise, if the police think someone in your home is in danger or if they follow someone into a home because that person has committed a crime, they’re allowed to search.

Related: What is disorderly conduct in Wisconsin?

Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney About a Police Search?

If the police have searched your home and found evidence of a crime, we may be able to help you with your criminal charges. We’ll take a deep-dive into whether the police obtained the evidence legally, and if they didn’t, we may be able to prevent it from being shown in court.

Call our office at 414-383-6700 now to schedule a free consultation with a Wisconsin criminal defense attorney. We’ll answer your questions about search and seizure as it pertains to your case, and we can give you the peace-of-mind you need.

Attorney Carlos Gamino

By |2022-07-19T13:48:17-05:00September 22nd, 2022|Criminal Law|Comments Off on Can Police Enter Your Home Without a Reason?

When Does Self-Defense Turn Into Battery?

By Carlos Gamino

If you’re like many people, you’re well aware that you’re allowed to defend yourself when someone is attempting to harm you. Self-defense, at least in this arena, is about defending yourself through the use of physical force. For example, you probably already know that it’s okay to push someone off you if they’re attempting to punch you. You probably also know that it’s okay to fight back if someone is swinging on you.

But what you may not know is where the line between self-defense and battery lies.

The Line Between Self-Defense and Battery

It’s one thing to fight back when someone is hitting you – but it’s another matter to beat the daylights out of someone who punched you once. The former is self-defense, but the state of Wisconsin would most likely consider the latter a form of battery.

Battery is the act of causing bodily harm, substantial bodily harm or great bodily harm to another person:

  • Bodily harm is physical pain or injury, an impairment of a physical condition, or an illness.
  • Substantial bodily harm is an injury that causes a cut so severe that it requires tissue adhesive, stitches or staples. An injury involving a broken bone, burn, ruptured blood vessel or capillary, or temporary loss of consciousness, hearing or sight is also considered substantial bodily harm. So is one that involves a concussion or a tooth fracture or loss.
  • Great bodily harm is an injury that creates a substantial risk of death or causes serious disfigurement. It’s also an injury that causes a prolonged or permanent loss or impairment of any part of the body (including organs), as well as any other serious bodily injury.

But here’s where things get tricky: Any of these levels of bodily harm may be necessary to stop someone from harming you – but some are “overdoing” it. It all depends on the level of force necessary to stop someone from harming you (or someone else).

Related: What is disorderly conduct in Wisconsin?

If you’re a 6-foot-tall, 190-pound MMA fighter and a 4-foot-tall, 90-pound person punches you in the arm, kicking them in the head is probably going to get you into trouble. But if you’re a 4-foot-tall, 90-pound person and a 6-foot-tall, 190-pound MMA fighter attempts to punch you, the circumstances change; it would most likely take more to stop that person from hitting you.

That means self-defense is very subjective – and most people who are accused of battery can benefit from talking to an attorney about their situations.

Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney About Self-Defense and Battery Charges?

If you’ve been accused of battery for defending yourself, we may be able to help you explain your side of the story in court. Though we can’t predict how a judge will rule, we can give you the guidance and legal advice you need to get the best possible outcome. Call our office at 414-383-6700 now for a free consultation – we’d love the opportunity to help.

Attorney Carlos Gamino

By |2022-07-19T13:46:41-05:00September 20th, 2022|Criminal Law|Comments Off on When Does Self-Defense Turn Into Battery?

Everything You Need to Know About Parole (Extended Supervision) Violations in Wisconsin

By Carlos Gamino

If your parole (extended supervision) agent believes that you violated a condition of your supervision, they may issue a warrant against you. That warrant authorizes your arrest, and when the police pick you up, you’ll be held in jail until the situation is resolved. The first thing you need to know about parole / extended supervision violations is that you have the right to legal counsel; that means you may hire an attorney to represent you.

With that said, you still have rights – even if your parole or extended supervision officer believes you violated the conditions of your parole.

Everything You Need to Know About Parole Violations in Wisconsin

In the state of Wisconsin, parole may also be called extended supervision. The Wisconsin Department of Corrections overseas extended supervision, which allows convicted offenders to live in their communities while checking in with an official from time to time and completing certain tasks. If you are on extended supervision, you only complete your sentence (the sentence a judge gave you after the state convicted you of a crime) after you have completed your extended supervision, as well As any jail time or prison time you were sentenced to serve.

While you’re on extended supervision, you may be required to meet certain conditions, such as attending alcohol or substance abuse treatment programs, staying away from certain people, Or performing a specific amount of community service. Make no mistake: if you fail to meet these conditions, your parole officer may find that you have violated parole.

Related: What is disorderly conduct?

What Happens if You Violate Parole or Extended Supervision?

If you violate the conditions of your parole, your parole officer can have a warrant issued for your arrest. In that case, you may lose your parole – and that means you go back to prison.

Generally speaking, it’s best to have an attorney’s guidance if you’re accused of violating your probation, parole, or extended supervision. Your attorney can help preserve your rights and may be able to help you avoid revocation of your parole, probation, or extended supervision. Though no attorney can guarantee a specific result in any case, many people find that working with an attorney helps them get the best possible outcome.

Related: What crimes are considered violent felonies in Wisconsin?

Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney About Parole Violations?

If your parole officer has accused you of violating your probation, parole, or extended supervision, we may be able to help you avoid revocation period call our office at 414-383-6700 now to schedule a free consultation with an experienced attorney who can give you the legal guidance you need.

Attorney Carlos Gamino

By |2022-07-19T13:44:48-05:00September 15th, 2022|Criminal Law|Comments Off on Everything You Need to Know About Parole (Extended Supervision) Violations in Wisconsin

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