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What Can You Do if You’re Wrongfully Detained by Police?

By Carlos Gamino

Unfortunately, police arrest the wrong people every day – but even worse, sometimes police detain someone when they have no legal authority to do so. Law enforcement officers can’t just go around arresting anyone they want; they must have a warrant or probable cause to legally arrest someone. So what can you do if you’ve been wrongfully detained by the police? What if your arrest is lawful at first, but then becomes unlawful? This guide explains.

What if You’re Wrongfully Detained by Police?

If you’re detained by the police, it’s important that you cooperate as best you can. That’s true even if you are completely innocent and the police are unlawfully detaining you. The first thing you should do is let the police know you’d like to speak to an attorney. Then, make the call to a lawyer who can come to your location to help preserve your rights.

Related: What if there’s a warrant out for your arrest in Milwaukee?

What is False Arrest?

A false arrest is restraining someone without a legal reason to do so. For example, if a police officer detains you for no reason and tells you that you cannot leave but has no legal justification for withholding your freedom, it’s a false arrest. (It’s important to note that a police officer may have a reason for detaining you and has not shared that reason with you, though.)

What if an Arrest Starts Out Lawful but Becomes Unlawful?

Sometimes an arrest starts out as lawful and becomes unlawful. For example, if a police officer pulls you over because your headlight is out, writes you a ticket, and then tells you that you cannot leave the scene until a drug dog arrives without probable cause to believe that you have drugs in your vehicle, the arrest has become unlawful.

Unfortunately, that puts you in a bad position. You must still cooperate with the police officer, but you need to let the officer know that you want to speak to an attorney immediately.

Related: 3 common myths about arrests most people believe

Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney About Being Accused of a Crime?

If you’ve been accused of any type of crime, whether or not your arrest was lawful or unlawful, we may be able to help you. Call our office at 414-383-6700 or schedule your free consultation online now. You are entitled to legal representation, and we may be able to give you the advice you need to get the best possible outcome in your case.

Attorney Carlos Gamino

By |2022-05-20T20:49:42-05:00May 17th, 2022|Criminal Law|0 Comments

Should You Turn Yourself in if You Have a Warrant?

By Carlos Gamino

The state of Wisconsin issues thousands of arrest warrants every month, and in many cases, the police find the people they’re looking for. However, in some cases, the police are unable to find people for which they have an arrest warrant – and sometimes, those people turn themselves in. But is that something you should do? Is it ever advisable to turn yourself in to the police over an arrest warrant? This guide explains.

Should You Turn Yourself in if You Have a Warrant?

If you have a warrant for your arrest, you should consult with an attorney about when it’s appropriate to turn yourself in. You do need to know that turning yourself in will most likely lead to you being booked into jail. However, your attorney may be able to come up with alternative solutions. (That’s why it’s so important to speak to a lawyer if you have a warrant out for your arrest.)

Be aware that your attorney will advise you to turn yourself in. If you turn yourself in, your lawyer can take action to minimize the negative effects of the warrant. Your attorney can also help you deal with the circumstances that led to the issuance of the warrant in the first place.

Related: What you need to know about bail jumping in Wisconsin

What Happens if You Turn Yourself In?

If you turn yourself into the police because you have an active arrest warrant, you’ll most likely be booked into jail. The length of time you’ll have to remain in jail depends on several factors, including the reason the warrant was issued in the first place and whether you can bond yourself out.

Your attorney will be working to get you the best possible outcome during this time.

Related: Skipping bail in Wisconsin

Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney About Turning Yourself in for a Warrant?

If you know you have a warrant for your arrest, it’s a good idea for you to talk to an attorney about your options as soon as possible. Call our office at 414-383-6700 or schedule a free consultation online now – we may be able to help you.

Attorney Carlos Gamino

By |2022-05-20T20:50:42-05:00May 16th, 2022|Criminal Law|0 Comments

Can Police Question Your Child if You’re Not Present?

By Carlos Gamino

In the state of Wisconsin, police are allowed to question minors. In some cases, police have to get parental consent first; in others, the police may simply arrest or question a child without their parents knowledge. Regardless of the situation, children – like adults – are entitled to legal representation. If your child is in trouble, you have the right to contact an attorney who can represent them.

Can Police Question Your Child if You’re Not Present?

In some cases, it’s legal for the police to question a child without that child’s parents or legal guardians present. However, those circumstances are limited, and if the police do not follow the proper protocol, they can find themselves in trouble.

Related: Juvenile delinquency in Wisconsin

What Rights Do Children Have for Police Questioning?

Just like adults, children have the right to legal representation, as well as the right to avoid incriminating themselves. Additionally, children have the right to remain silent and to have parents or an attorney present when they’re being questioned by the police. If you have a minor child, you should let them know that they can, and should, request that their parents be notified immediately when the police attempt to question them. You should also let your minor child know that they may request an attorney before answering any questions.

Related: The most common juvenile crimes (and what to do if your child is in trouble)

Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney About a Juvenile Offense?

If your child has been accused of a crime, we may be able to help. Call our office now at 414-383-6700 or get in touch with us online to schedule a free juvenile criminal defense consultation. Whether or not the police have questioned your child, they have rights – and we may be able to help preserve them.

Attorney Carlos Gamino

By |2022-05-20T20:51:38-05:00May 12th, 2022|Criminal Law, Juvenile Law|0 Comments

How to Seek Asylum in the U.S.

By Carlos Gamino

If you’re like many people, you know that the United States admits many immigrants under the asylum process. But who qualifies for asylum in the U.S., how do you get it, and is it different from refugee status? This guide explains how to seek asylum in the United States and a few things you need to know before you apply.

How to Seek Asylum in the U.S.

Asylum is a form of protection that allows a foreigner to stay in the United States when necessary. In many cases, the United States grants asylum to people who fear persecution or harm in their home countries. However, asylum isn’t always easy to get, and if you want the U.S.’s protection, you must apply for it.

What Qualifies You for Asylum?

You may qualify for asylum in the United states if you have fled your home country because you fear persecution or harm based on your:

  • Race
  • Religion
  • Nationality
  • Membership in a particular social group
  • Political opinion

Related: Who’s eligible for asylum in the U.S.?

Can You Bring Your Children and Spouse if You’re Seeking Asylum in the U.S.?

If you have a spouse and children, They may also be eligible for asylum based on the same reasons you, yourself are eligible. Generally, you may include a child on your application if your child is under the age of 21 and is unmarried at the time you apply. Otherwise, your child must have their own application for asylum.

When Can You Seek Asylum in the United States?

You can seek asylum in the United States at a border crossing or port of entry, or within one year of your most recent arrival in the country. That means if you are already in the United States and wish to ask to stay, you can do so if your most recent entry was less than one year ago.

Is Asylum Different From Refugee Status?

Asylum is different from refugee status, but primarily only in one way: You apply for asylum when you are at a border crossing or port of entry, or when you are already present in the United States, and you apply for refugee status when you are located outside the United States.

Related: What to know about refugee status in the United States

Can You Work as an Asylee in the United States?

If you have a pending asylum application with the U.S. government, you can apply for work authorization. You can’t apply for permission to work at the same time you apply for asylum. If you’re not sure whether you qualify to apply for work authorization, you should consult with an attorney who can give you the guidance you need.

Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney About Asylum in the United States?

If you are considering filing an asylum application in the United States, you may wish to speak to an attorney about your situation. An attorney can help you fill out and file the appropriate paperwork, as well as explain work authorization and how to get it. Please feel free to call our office at 414-383-6700 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with an attorney. We may be able to help you obtain asylum in the United States.

Attorney Carlos Gamino

By |2022-05-20T20:52:56-05:00May 10th, 2022|Immigration Law|0 Comments

What Happens When Senior Pranks Lead to Criminal Charges?

By Carlos Gamino

The end of the school year is right around the corner, and that means many high school seniors are currently planning the pranks they’ll pull before they leave public school for good. Unfortunately, though, many senior pranks end up being actual crimes – even something as seemingly silly and lighthearted as pulling the fire alarm can lead to criminal charges. Here’s what you need to know about senior pranks leading to criminal charges, as well as how you can help your child (or yourself) in the event that this happens.

Can Senior Pranks Lead to Criminal Charges?

Some senior pranks are actually crimes, ranging from property destruction to disorderly conduct. Depending on the seriousness of the offense, a person who pulls a senior prank could end up paying fines or even spending time in jail.

Related: Disorderly conduct in Wisconsin

But Aren’t Most Senior Pranks Harmless?

The most common senior pranks are generally harmless, such as hiding notes in library books, skipping class to gather on the football field, hiring a mariachi band to follow the principal around for a day or wrapping a teacher’s desk in plastic wrap – but some, such as those that involve actual destruction of property or require emergency services to show up at the school, are criminal offenses in the state of Wisconsin.

Related: Can you beat a disorderly conduct charge?

Penalties for Some Senior Pranks

Minors who are 17 or older are typically charged as adults – and that means they face adult penalties that can stick with them for the rest of their lives. The penalties can vary, as well. For example, pulling the fire alarm when there’s no fire can result in a conviction for a Class A misdemeanor. A Class A misdemeanor is punishable by up to nine months in jail and a fine of up to $10,000. Criminal damage to property can be a felony, and it’s punishable by prison time (that’s prison, not jail) and hefty fines.

Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney About Senior Pranks and Criminal Charges?

If your child has been accused of a crime based on a senior prank, we may be able to help. Call our office right away at 414-383-6700 or schedule a free consultation with a criminal defense attorney online. Our team can give you the legal advice you need to help protect your child’s future and get the best possible outcome in their case.

Attorney Carlos Gamino

By |2022-05-20T20:54:46-05:00May 9th, 2022|Criminal Law, Juvenile Law|0 Comments

How to Terminate Your Ex’s Parental Rights in Wisconsin

By Carlos Gamino

In the state of Wisconsin, courts have the authority to terminate parental rights. However, that’s not an authority they take lightly – and it typically requires one of two things: A significant amount of proof that a parent is completely unfit or the parent’s consent to termination. In either case, it’s very difficult to terminate a person’s parental rights in Wisconsin. This guide explains.

When Will the Courts Consider Terminating a Person’s Parental Rights?

Courts in Wisconsin will only consider terminating a person’s parental rights in extreme circumstances. Even if the parent in question volunteers to give up their rights to a child, the courts don’t generally like to grant termination.

However, there are several grounds for involuntary termination of parental rights, including abandonment, child abuse, substance abuse or incarceration. If you are the parent requesting the termination, the burden of proving that the other parent is unfit lies with you.

Related: Termination of parental rights: The basics

How to Terminate Your Ex’s Parental Rights in Wisconsin

For most people, the simplest way to ask a court to terminate a parent’s rights to a child is to work through an attorney.

If you want to terminate your ex’s parental rights, your attorney will ask you several questions about why you’d like to do so – and what proof you have that supports the fact that your ex should lose rights to your child. You’ll need proof that demonstrates that the other party is unfit to parent your child. You also need to know that termination of parental rights is very rare, and the laws governing it are very specific.

In Wisconsin, every parent has fundamental rights to the care, control and custody of their children. When parental rights are terminated, those rights are destroyed; so is a child’s legal relationship with their biological parent. Termination of parental rights means that the child’s right to affiliate with extended family through that parent, such as grandparents, is also terminated because the legal connection to that family is dissolved.

Often, judges are also concerned with whether there is a fit stepparent who is willing to adopt the child if the court agrees to terminate a biological parents rights. Generally speaking, the state’s position is that it is better for children to grow up with two parents, even if one doesn’t qualify for a “Parent of the Year” award.

A Word on Abandonment

If your child’s other parent has effectively abandoned your child, you should discuss your situation with an attorney. Abandonment only occurs in very specific circumstances, and it’s often very complicated.

Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney About Termination of Parental Rights?

Now that you know it’s incredibly difficult to terminate another person’s parental rights, and that you must have significant proof in order for a court to even consider such a petition, you may wish to speak to a family law attorney who can give you the guidance you need. Please feel free to call our office at 414-383-6700 to schedule a consultation; if it’s easier, you can also request a consultation online.

Attorney Carlos Gamino

By |2022-05-20T20:55:04-05:00May 2nd, 2022|Family Law|Comments Off on How to Terminate Your Ex’s Parental Rights in Wisconsin

3 Things You Should Never Wear to Court in Wisconsin

By Carlos Gamino

Most people know that court is a very formal place, and that they’re required to act and dress a certain way during a criminal case. But what type of clothing is off-limits for court, and what would be considered inappropriate – or worse, get you thrown out? This guide explains the three things you should never wear to court in Wisconsin.

3 Things You Should Never Wear to Court in Wisconsin

Because court is a formal place, and because you are supposed to show respect to the judge, jury and other people in the courtroom, there are three things you should never wear:

  1. Sexy or risqué clothing
  2. T-shirts with slogans, band names or drug references on them
  3. Jeans with holes, cutoffs or shorts

Sexy or Risqué Clothing

If something is inappropriate for you to wear to church or a funeral, it’s inappropriate for you to wear in court. Avoid tight tops, short skirts, tight-fitting bottoms, toeless shoes, strappy tops or anything you’d wear to impress others on a night on the town.

T-Shirts

T-shirts are always inappropriate attire for court, but they’re even more inappropriate if they include slogans, graphics, band names or drug references. If a plain T-shirt is all you have, then it’s okay – but you should make every effort to avoid wearing a T-shirt to court.

Jeans With Holes, Cutoffs or Shorts

Jeans with holes in them, cut offs, or shorts are inappropriate for court. They are far too casual for a court’s formal setting.

Related: Criminal defense in Wisconsin

What Should You Wear to Court?

You should wear clothing that’s appropriate for a formal setting, such as church or a funeral. A good rule of thumb is that if you could wear it to a family gathering where the most conservative of your family members will be present (think about great-grandmothers here), it should be okay to wear to court. However, you should consult with your attorney if there is something you are not sure about.

Related: What to know about probable cause

Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney About What You’re Supposed to Wear to Court?

Your attorney can give you guidance on every aspect of your case, including what you should (or shouldn’t) wear to court. However, you should always use your best judgement. We’re here to help you navigate the criminal justice system in Wisconsin, so if you need legal help, call us at 414-383-6700 or get in touch with us online to schedule a free consultation about your criminal case.

Attorney Carlos Gamino

By |2022-05-20T20:56:06-05:00April 29th, 2022|Criminal Law|Comments Off on 3 Things You Should Never Wear to Court in Wisconsin

7 Things NOT to Do in Court in Wisconsin

By Carlos Gamino

Before you go to court for a criminal case in Wisconsin, your attorney will talk to you about courtroom etiquette – particularly if you’ve never been to court before or if you ask questions about the way you should act before the judge. There are seven things you should never do when you go to court, which this guide explains in detail.

7 Things You Should Never Do in Court in Wisconsin

Check out the seven things you should never do in court in Wisconsin:

  1. Show up late
  2. Use your phone
  3. Interrupt anyone
  4. Lie or exaggerate
  5. Volunteer extra information
  6. Become visibly angry
  7. Swear

Here’s a closer look at each.

#1. Show Up Late

It’s absolutely essential that you show up to court on time. Even if your attorney tells you to show up at 9 a.m. and that you’ll be waiting for your case to be heard, you need to be there on time. If you miss your hearing, you create a number of problems for yourself that you could have avoided by showing up when your attorney told you to.

#2. Use Your Phone

Never, ever use your phone during court. In fact, you should leave it in your car. That’s because using your phone in court is incredibly disrespectful and could get you thrown out. If you don’t have any other option but to bring your phone with you, turn it off or ensure that it is on silent, and if you must check it, step outside the courtroom to do so.

Related: What are your rights if the police stop you?

#3. Interrupt Anyone

Never interrupt anyone who is speaking in court, even if you are on the witness stand. Let your attorney make objections if necessary.

#4. Lie or Exaggerate

You only have one shot to prove your credibility to the judge, and if you lie or exaggerate anything, you’ve ruined it.

Related: Can you lie to the police?

#5. Volunteer Extra Information

Don’t volunteer any extra information when you’re being questioned. Give the simplest, shortest answer possible to any questions that anyone – including the judge – asks you.

#6. Become Visibly Angry

Hold your emotions in check while you’re in court. Even if you’re extremely angry, don’t let it show in the courtroom. Doing so could irreparably damage your case.

Related: What happens if you fail to appear in court in Wisconsin?

#7. Swear

Never, ever swear in the courtroom (unless you are asked to repeat something you heard word-for-word, and even then, it’s okay to avoid swearing).

Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney About How to Act in Court?

If you’re not sure how to act in court, or if you have questions about specific circumstances related to your own criminal case, you should talk to your attorney. If you’ve been accused of a crime, we may be able to help you and prepare you for your court appearance. Call our office at 414-383-6700 or get in touch with us online to schedule a free consultation today.

Attorney Carlos Gamino

By |2022-05-20T20:57:01-05:00April 27th, 2022|Criminal Law|Comments Off on 7 Things NOT to Do in Court in Wisconsin

Do You Have to Answer the Door for the Police?

By Carlos Gamino

Most people aren’t too excited about the police knocking on their doors – but what happens if you ignore them when they come by? Can you go to jail for ignoring the police? This guide explains.

Do You Have to Answer the Door for the Police?

The police can knock on your door all day and you can safely ignore them – unless they have a warrant. When the police have a warrant, you are legally required to answer the door. If you fail to open the door when the police tell you that they have a warrant, you run the risk of them breaking the door down and arresting you.

The Warrant: How it Works

Police can only enter your home without your permission if they have probable cause, there are “exigent circumstances,” or they have a warrant. Exigent circumstances are circumstances in which the police believe that someone inside the home needs emergency aid, they’re in “hot pursuit” of a suspect who’s on the run, or they want to prevent the destruction of evidence. If the police don’t have probable cause and at least one exigent circumstance, they need to get a warrant signed by a judge to gain the right to enter your home.

Related: What to do if you have a warrant out for your arrest in Wisconsin

How Do Police Get a Warrant?

In order to get a warrant, the police need to show a judge that they have a very good reason for wanting to enter your home. The judge has to agree; if the judge doesn’t agree, the police are limited to standing on your front porch and knocking, just like any other citizen would.

Related: What to do if a capias is issued for you

Will You Go to Jail if You Don’t Answer the Door for Police?

You won’t go to jail if you don’t answer when the police knock – it’s not a crime to ignore the police at your door when they don’t have a warrant. They can, however, arrest you for something else.

However, if you don’t answer the door when the police announce that they have a warrant to enter your home, there’s a good chance that they’ll kick in or break down your door. If they believe you’re going to be combative, they may come in aggressively. If you resist the police when they attempt to subdue you, you can be charged with a related crime – and, of course, you can be arrested for whatever crime got the police the warrant in the first place.

Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About Police Entering Your Home?

If the police entered your home unlawfully, or if they otherwise violated your rights, you should talk to an attorney. Call our office at 414-383-6700 to schedule a free consultation with an experienced professional now. We’ll give you the legal advice you need to start moving forward.

Attorney Carlos Gamino

By |2022-05-20T20:58:02-05:00April 19th, 2022|Criminal Law|Comments Off on Do You Have to Answer the Door for the Police?

What to Know About Field Sobriety Testing

By Carlos Gamino

When the police pull someone over for drunk driving in Wisconsin, they often ask the driver to take a field sobriety test. The field sobriety test gives the police a way to measure whether you appear to be drunk or under the influence of drugs – but it’s not as simple as walking in a straight line and getting back into your car. At the end of a sobriety test, you could find yourself in the back of a police cruiser. Here’s what you need to know.

Field Sobriety Testing: What You Need to Know

Before a police officer even asks you to take a field sobriety test, they’re watching and listening to you. When the officer asks for your license and registration, they’re keeping an eye on whether you’re fumbling, nervous, moving slowly or sloppily, and listening for signs of intoxication in your speech. If the officer suspects you’ve been drinking (after seeing your driving, that is), they’ll ask you to take a field sobriety test.

Police officers use field sobriety testing to determine whether you seem like you’re under the influence of alcohol or drugs. There are many things the police can do to gauge your sobriety, but some of the most common field sobriety tests include:

  • The nystagmus test
  • The one-leg test
  • The walk-and-turn test

Here’s a closer look at each.

The Nystagmus Test

The nystagmus test can signal that a person is intoxicated. During this test, the officer asks you to look at something (such as the tip of a pen or a small flashlight). The police officer will move the small object from side to side and asks you to watch it move. That’s because when a person is intoxicated, their gaze often becomes jerky. If yours is jerky, or if you can’t keep track of the object, the officer may think you’re drunk.

Related: Drunk driving charges

The One-Leg Test

Balancing on one leg can be tough when you’ve had too much to drink – and that’s exactly why police use this to gauge a person’s intoxication level. The police officer may ask you to stand on one leg for 30 seconds, and if you hop, flail your arms, or put your foot down once or twice, it may indicate that you’ve been drinking. (But just for the record, you’re not alone if you couldn’t balance for 30 seconds – especially if you’re nervous. Our team has a tough time balancing, too.)

Related: Felony drunk driving in Wisconsin

The Walk-and-Turn Test

Police officers know that intoxicated people tend to stumble, drag their feet or take choppy steps while walking regularly, so they put a twist on it for a field sobriety test: They often ask people to take a specific number of heel-to-toe steps, turn around in a specific way, and then take the same number of heel-to-toe steps on the way back. If you have a tough time balancing, lose count of the steps, pivot the wrong way or stumble, the officer may think you’ve had too many cocktails to drive.

Related: DUI causing injury or vehicular homicide

Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney About Field Sobriety Testing and OWI?

If you were arrested for OWI with or without a field sobriety test, we may be able to help you get the best possible outcome in your case. Call our office at 414-383-6700 to schedule your free consultation now – we can give you the advice (and peace of mind) you need.

Attorney Carlos Gamino

By |2022-05-20T21:00:45-05:00April 18th, 2022|Criminal Law, Traffic Offenses|Comments Off on What to Know About Field Sobriety Testing

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