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What Are the Possible Penalties for Gas Theft in Wisconsin?

By Carlos Gamino

In the state of Wisconsin, driving off without paying for your gasoline is a crime of theft. Often, police catch people after gas drive-offs because many gas stations across the state have security cameras in place. But what will happen to you if you steal gas in Wisconsin? This guide explains.

What’s the Penalty for Stealing Gas in Wisconsin?

Whether you drive off at the pump, siphon gas from another person’s tank or otherwise steal it, you can be charged with a crime in Wisconsin. The law is very specific about gas theft, too. It says:

“The failure or refusal to pay a service station, garage, or other place where gasoline or diesel fuel is sold at retail or offered for sale at retail the established charge for gasoline or diesel fuel provided by the service station, garage, or other place constitutes prima facie evidence of an intent to abscond without payment.”

In the case of driving off at the pump or otherwise stealing gas is considered a Class A misdemeanor – unless you managed to get away with more than $2,500 in gasoline. In that case, it’s a Class I felony. Most people face Class A misdemeanor charges for this crime.

A Class A misdemeanor is the most serious of all misdemeanors. If a judge convicts you, you’re facing up to nine months in jail and fines of up to $10,000.

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

Can You Be Charged for Attempting to Steal Gas?

If you attempt to steal gas but don’t succeed, you could still face criminal penalties. In fact, in Wisconsin, the penalty for an attempted crime is half the penalty for a completed crime.

Related: Misdemeanor truancy in Wisconsin

Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney About Gas Theft?

if you were caught stealing gasoline, we may be able to help you get the best possible outcome in your case. Though there’s never any way to predict how a judge will rule, you may find it beneficial to work with a Wisconsin criminal defense attorney. Call our office at 414-383-6700 to schedule your consultation with a skilled and knowledgeable professional who may be able to give you the guidance you need.

Attorney Carlos Gamino

By |2022-09-02T11:07:56-05:00November 29th, 2022|Criminal Law|0 Comments

4 Things to Know About BAC and Driving Over the Limit in Wisconsin

By Tedia Gamino

Blood alcohol concentration, or BAC, measures the percentage of alcohol that’s in your bloodstream. Nationally it’s illegal to drive with a BAC that’s 0.08 percent or higher. In Wisconsin, however, BAC limits are different, and can vary based on your age and record of any  driving under the influence convictions. 

Operating While Intoxicated Rules in Wisconsin

If you’re 21 or over, with no history of driving under the influence (DUI), it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle:

  • With a Blood/Breath Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or greater;
  • While under the influence of an intoxicant;
  • With a detectable amount of a restricted controlled substance in your blood; or
  • While under the influence of a controlled substance or any other drug.​

For drivers with three or more prior Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) convictions, the limit is lower.  If you have 3 or more prior DUIs, you, cannot operate a motor vehicle if your BAC is greater than 0.02.

Drivers under 21 years of age are required by law to maintain absolute sobriety.  If you’re underage, operating a motor vehicle with any amount of alcohol in your system is illegal.

How much alcohol can you drink and still be legal to drive?

Research shows that your liver can process approximately 0.6 oz. of pure alcohol per hour—that’s typically the average drink. Aside from how much you drink, and how quickly your liver processes it, these four important factors affect your BAC:

  1. Body weight
  2. Gender
  3. How much you’ve had to eat
  4. If you’re on meds

Let’s take a closer look at each BAC influencer.

#1. Body Weight

The thinner you are, the less water that’s in your system—the less your body is able to dilute the effects of alcohol. Also, the less muscle tissue you have the less your body is able to dilute alcohol, because muscle also contains water. So you have a greater chance of feeling intoxicated than someone else who’s had the same amount to drink, but has a higher body weight and muscle mass.

#2. Gender

Gender can have a significant impact on one’s BAC. When it comes to muscle and body fat, men and women have different percentages of each and this impacts their BAC levels because muscle contains more water than fat. Women’s bodies are also different in that they produce less of an enzyme called dehydrogenase, which breaks down alcohol.

#3. How Much You’ve Had to Eat

How much you eat influences your BAC. Food slows down the amount of alcohol that’s absorbed in your bloodstream, so if you drink on an empty stomach your body will absorb the alcohol faster and cause you to feel intoxicated quicker.

#4. If You’re on Medication

It’s never wise to mix medications with alcohol. Studies show that antidepressants, cough medicines, and other meds can intensify your body’s reaction to alcohol and cause your BAC to be higher than it would normally be.

Other Variables

Other factors influence your BAC, including:

  • How fast you drink
  • Your alcohol tolerance
  • The kind of alcohol you consume

Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney About an OWI, DWI, or a DUI charge?

If you’ve been charged with an OWI, DWI, or a DUI, call our office at 414-383-6700 to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced defense attorneys who can provide the guidance you need.

By Attorney Tedia Gamino

By |2022-11-19T10:12:55-06:00November 26th, 2022|Criminal Law, Traffic Offenses|0 Comments

Can You Clear Your Criminal Record in Wisconsin?

By Carlos Gamino

In very limited circumstances, it’s possible to clear your criminal record in the state of Wisconsin. This process is known as expungement – but it’s not available to everyone. This guide explains.

What is Expungement in Wisconsin?

Criminal record expungement is the process of asking a judge to erase or seal your criminal record so it’s not available to the public. However, only a small number of people qualify to participate in the process and get a fresh start. You may qualify for expungement if:

  • You were arrested but never convicted of a crime
  • You were convicted, but under the age of 25 at the time you committed a crime
  • You committed a crime as someone who was trafficked

Here’s a closer look at each.

Expungement When You Were Arrested but Never Convicted: Removal of Arrest Information

If you were ever arrested and released without being charged, or if you were charged and the charges against you were dropped or dismissed, you may be eligible for removal of arrest information. That’s because the state of Wisconsin never convicted you of a crime, and because it’s entirely possible for the police to arrest an innocent person.

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

Expungement of Certain Criminal Convictions in Wisconsin

Not all criminal convictions qualify for expungement in Wisconsin. In fact, a judge will only agree to expunge your conviction record if:

  • You were under the age of 25 at the time you committed the crime
  • The maximum period of imprisonment for the crime you committed was six years or less
  • You successfully completed your sentence

If you were convicted of a crime that had a penalty of imprisonment for longer than six years, you’re not eligible for expungement. Additionally, if you were over the age of 25, you can’t ask a judge to clear your criminal record.

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

Expungement for Victims of Human Trafficking

If you were a victim of human trafficking and were convicted of a prostitution offense as a result, you may petition the court to expunge that conviction.

Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney About Expungement in Wisconsin?

Expunging your criminal record can be a complicated process, so it may make sense for you to work with an expungement attorney in Wisconsin. If you have a record that you believe is eligible, call our office at 414-383-6700 now to schedule a consultation with someone who may be able to help you.

Attorney Carlos Gamino

By |2022-09-02T11:43:56-05:00November 24th, 2022|Criminal Law|0 Comments

What is Resisting Arrest?

By Carlos Gamino

If you’re like many people, you’ve heard the term “resisting arrest.” But what does it mean, and what happens if you resist arrest in Wisconsin? This guide explains.

What is Resisting Arrest in Wisconsin?

In Wisconsin, it is a crime to intentionally obstruct or resist an officer while they are performing their official duties. This includes everything from actively fleeing or fighting with an officer to simply refusing to comply with their orders.

What are the Penalties for Resisting Arrest in Wisconsin?

The penalties for resisting arrest in Wisconsin depend on the specific circumstances of the case. If you resist arrest and the officer is not harmed, you will likely be charged with a misdemeanor. This is punishable by up to 9 months in jail and a fine of up to $10,000.

If your resistance causes injuries to the officer, you will be charged with a felony. The penalties for this crime include up to 3 years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000.

In some cases, you may also be charged with additional crimes, such as disorderly conduct or battery.

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

What Should You Do if Police Arrest You?

If the police arrest you, it is important to remain calm and comply with the officer. Don’t fight, run or even argue – doing so could result in serious criminal charges (on top of those that you’re already facing). If you’re unlawfully arrested, don’t worry; your attorney can help sort it out later.

Here are a few more tips for what to do if you’re being arrested:

  • Don’t try to reason with the police – they’re not interested in your side of the story.
  • Don’t argue with the police. They may try to get you to confess to a crime, and in the best-case scenario, they take you to jail despite your protests.
  • Don’t lie to the police. If they catch you in a lie, it will only make things worse for you.
  • Comply with the officer’s orders. If you don’t, you could be charged with resisting arrest.
  • Don’t say anything except “I’d like to speak to an attorney.” You have the right to remain silent, so use it. The things you say now – even if you’re innocent – can come back to haunt you later.

Related: Will you go to juvenile detention for theft in Wisconsin?

Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney About Resisting Arrest Charges?

If the police have accused you of resisting arrest in Wisconsin, we may be able to help you. Call our office at 414-383-6700 now to schedule your consultation.

Attorney Carlos Gamino

By |2022-09-02T10:58:50-05:00November 22nd, 2022|Criminal Law|0 Comments

5 Traffic Violations That Lead to Car Accidents

By Tedia Gamino

Each year more than 32,000 people are killed and 2 million are injured in motor vehicle crashes, according to the CDC. In fact, every day 29 Americans die at the hands of drivers who are charged for DUI.

Avoid these five traffic violations that typically lead to car accidents:

  1. Distracted driving
  2. Speeding
  3. Road rage
  4. Running a red light
  5. OWI, DWI, DUI

Here’s a closer look at each violation.

#1. Distracted Driving

When driving, you should give the road and surroundings your undivided attention. Distracted driving is considered one of the top causes of car accidents in the U.S. Engaging in activities like texting, talking on the phone, eating, and grooming while you’re driving takes your focus away from the highway, and can lead to serious accidents.

#2. Speeding

You may speed for many reasons. You might be late for work or an appointment, trying to keep up with traffic, or even experiencing a personal emergency. Whatever the reason, speeding not only endangers your life, but the lives of others on the road.

Speeding in Wisconsin is on the rise. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison saw an increase in speeding when pandemic shutdowns in early 2020 substantially reduced highway traffic. By mid-2021, though, road traffic had climbed back to levels before the pandemic—but the average vehicle speed did not throttle back.

#3. Road Rage

Road rage can involve criminal intimidation or violence on the highway. One’s anger toward another motorist might result in tailgating, weaving in and out of lanes and causing near-collisions, making rude gestures, or even competing for a space in a parking lot. Road rage only makes driving conditions more unsafe.

#4. Running a Red Light

Although you may be in a rush, or think you can zip through an intersection when the light has just turned red, running a red light can prove to be a fatal traffic violation. Many motorists are killed or maimed each year by drivers who don’t obey red lights. So whatever your reason, running the light just isn’t worth risking your life and those of other motorists and pedestrians.

#5. OWI, DWI, DUI

It’s always smart to avoid driving if you’ve been drinking. Even if you feel that you can get behind the wheel and safely drive home, or to another destination, driving after having even one drink is a bad idea because it can impair your judgement and ability to safely operate your vehicle. If a police officer stops you and determines that you’re impaired by alcohol, you could be arrested and prosecuted—no matter your blood alcohol content (BAC).

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

If you’ve been accused of OWI, DWI, or DUI, 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.

By Attorney Tedia Gamino

By |2022-11-19T09:58:01-06:00November 19th, 2022|Criminal Law, Traffic Offenses|0 Comments

Penalties for Buying Pot From a Friend in Wisconsin

By Carlos Gamino

Although marijuana is legal in many states, Wisconsin maintains that buying or possessing pot is against the law. But what happens if you buy pot from a friend? Will you end up going to jail? This guide explains.

Penalties for Buying Pot From a Friend in Wisconsin

Whether you buy marijuana from a friend or someone else, it’s against the law to possess pot in the state of Wisconsin. In fact, your first offensive possession is a misdemeanor that can result in up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. If you’re caught with it more than once, you could even end up spending time in prison.

It’s not just about marijuana, though. You can even get in trouble for possessing drug paraphernalia. That means if you have rolling papers, a bong or a pipe, or anything else associated with using marijuana, you could be charged with a misdemeanor and sentenced to up to 30 days in jail.

Related: Will you go to juvenile detention for theft in Wisconsin?

What Should You Do if You’re Caught With Marijuana?

If you’re caught possessing marijuana, the best thing you can do is avoid answering questions. If the police would like to question you about where you got it, what you intend to do with it or anything else, the safest thing to do is to politely say, “I’d like to speak to an attorney.”

When you let the police know that you want to talk to an attorney, they must stop questioning you and wait for your legal counsel to give you guidance.

Although it may be tempting to explain your side of the story to the police, particularly if they tell you that owning up to pot possession will make a judge go easier on you, you should avoid answering any questions until you’ve talked to a lawyer. Your lawyer will be there to preserve your rights and help ensure you don’t say anything that could jeopardize your case.

Related: What crimes are considered violent felonies in Wisconsin?

Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney About Pot Possession?

If you’re caught with marijuana, whether you purchased it from a friend or someone else, you could be in serious legal hot water. Call our office at 414-383-6700 to schedule a consultation with a Wisconsin criminal defense attorney who can give you the legal guidance you need.

Attorney Carlos Gamino

By |2022-09-02T10:56:28-05:00November 15th, 2022|Criminal Law|Comments Off on Penalties for Buying Pot From a Friend in Wisconsin

Is Missing a Probation Appointment a Violation in Wisconsin?

By Carlos Gamino

In the state of Wisconsin, many judges sentence people to probation. Probation is a form of supervision after a criminal conviction – and it comes with certain obligations. For example, you may have to meet with your probation officer at regular intervals, take drug tests and search for employment or attend school. As a condition of being sentenced to probation, you must complete all your obligations. If you don’t, you’ve violated your probation and there may be serious consequences.

What Happens if You Miss a Probation Appointment in Wisconsin?

If you miss a probation appointment, your probation officer may choose to tell the court that you have violated the terms of your probation. In some cases, judges send people to jail for violating probation – but will that happen to you?

Probation officers are allowed to decide whether to report missed appointments to the court. Often, probation officers give people a chance to explain why they missed an appointment – but in some cases, such as when you’ve missed several appointments without a valid reason, the probation officer may report you to the court.

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

There’s no way to predict how a judge will rule. However, judges typically consider all the circumstances when they’re dealing with a probation violation case. If you had a valid reason for missing your appointment and not letting your probation officer know you wouldn’t be there, the judge may understand and allow you to remain on probation. For example, if you were in a car accident on your way to your probation appointment, the judge may understand your circumstances. However, if you didn’t have a valid reason for missing your appointment (or for failing to let your probation officer know you wouldn’t be there), the judge has the option to send you to jail.

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

Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney About a Probation Violation?

If you’ve been accused of violating your probation, you may want to work with a Wisconsin criminal defense attorney. You have the right to legal representation, and working with an attorney may help you get the best possible outcome in your case. Call our office at 414-383-6700 to schedule your consultation with someone who can help you.

Attorney Carlos Gamino

By |2022-09-02T10:54:09-05:00November 10th, 2022|Criminal Law|Comments Off on Is Missing a Probation Appointment a Violation in Wisconsin?

What Happens if You Overstay Your Visa in the U.S.?

By Carlos Gamino

What happens if you overstay your visa in the United States? The consequences of overstaying a visa vary depending on how long you have overstayed and why.

Overstaying a Visa: The Basics

Many people enter the U.S. lawfully, on a valid visa, and end up staying past their authorized period. Though it may not seem like a big deal, it is – and it could result in deportation and a bar to reentry.

Related: What will happen to you if you commit immigration fraud?

Accidentally Overstaying a Visa

Your visa is a document that lets you enter the U.S., and it has an expiration date. However, that expiration date isn’t always the same date that you need to leave the United States. Instead, your Form I-94 says how long you can stay in the country. Unfortunately, that sometimes leads to some confusion about when you’re required to leave.

What Happens if You Overstay Your Visa for Fewer Than 180 Days?

If you accidentally overstay your visa for less than 180 days, you need to leave the country as soon as possible. The next time you return to the United States, the official at the border will be able to see your records – and they’re likely to ask you why you overstayed on your previous visit. You need to be prepared to answer that question truthfully. However, you need to know that the border official may exercise their discretion in deciding whether to let you into the United States at that time. They may deny you entry.

Related: How do you appeal an immigration decision?

What Happens if You Overstay Your Visa for More Than 180 Days?

If you overstay your visa by 180 days or more, but still less than a year, you’ll be barred from reentering the country for three years. That means you can’t come back, no matter what, until three years have passed. The government will not issue you a new visa during that time.

If you overstay your visa for more than a year, you’ll be barred from reentering the United States for 10 years.

Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney About Bars to Reentry?

If you’ve been barred from reentering the United States, or if you need a visa to come to the U.S., we can talk to you about your immigration options. Call our office at 414-383-6700 now to schedule your consultation with an experienced professional who can give you the guidance you need.

Attorney Carlos Gamino

By |2022-09-02T11:45:58-05:00November 8th, 2022|Immigration Law|Comments Off on What Happens if You Overstay Your Visa in the U.S.?

3 Things You Should Know Before You Talk to the Police

By Carlos Gamino

You’ve probably seen a number of television shows and movies where lawyers tell their clients, “Don’t answer that!” during a police interrogation. Though real life is rarely like shows and movies, those lawyers are right – you should be very careful when you’re talking to the police, even if you think you’re only having a casual conversation.

3 Things You Should Know About Talking to Police

If the police want to talk to you, you have to decide – based on the situation – whether that’s a good idea. For example, if you witnessed a car accident and the police want to know which driver came from where, you’re probably not in any danger of being arrested; in that case, it’s probably okay to talk to the police. However, if you know the police suspect you of a crime, you may want to exercise your right to remain silent.

With that in mind, here’s what you need to know:

  1. You have the right to ask if you’re being detained.
  2. You may leave if you’re not being detained.
  3. You shouldn’t say anything until you’ve talked to an attorney.

Here’s a closer look at each.

#1. You Have the Right to Ask if You’re Being Detained

When the police want to talk to you, you should ask them if you’re being detained. Police are required to tell you if they’re arresting you, and if they are, they must tell you why.

Related: Misdemeanor truancy in Wisconsin

#2. You May Leave if You’re Not Being Detained

If the police tell you you’re not being detained, you’re free to leave. At that point, you should leave. When you leave, go calmly and slowly; don’t run, and don’t say anything.

On the other hand, if the police tell you that you are being detained, that means you are not free to go. However, that doesn’t mean that you need to answer any questions that the police ask you at this point – but you may be legally required to identify yourself.

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

#3. You Shouldn’t Say Anything Until You’ve Talked to an Attorney

If the police arrest you and begin to ask you questions, calmly and politely let them know that you’d like to speak to an attorney. Don’t answer any questions, because the things that you say can later be used against you in court.

Remember, the police think you’re guilty; they wouldn’t have arrested you if they didn’t. Because they think you’re guilty, they’ll try to get you to confess to committing a crime. They may tell you that the judge will go easy on you if you admit your role in the crime, or that they have mountains of evidence against you. No matter what they say, you should consult with an attorney before you answer any questions.

Even if you’re innocent, you shouldn’t try to explain your side of the story. That can backfire on you, so hold off on talking to the police until you’ve spoken with an attorney.

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

Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney About Questions You’ve Answered?

If you’ve already spoken to police and are now facing criminal charges, we may be able to help you. Call our office at 414-383-6700 now to schedule your consultation with a Wisconsin criminal defense attorney.

Attorney Carlos Gamino

By |2022-09-02T11:47:54-05:00November 3rd, 2022|Criminal Law|Comments Off on 3 Things You Should Know Before You Talk to the Police

3 Negative Consequences of Violating Parole in Wisconsin

By Carlos Gamino

If you’re on parole, extended supervision or probation in the state of Wisconsin, it’s important that you understand you must meet certain obligations. If you fail to meet your obligations, the consequences can be serious – and you could end up in jail or prison. This guide explains three things to keep in mind when you’re on parole.

3 Things to Keep in Mind if You’re on Parole in Wisconsin

When you’re on parole, you have to be exceptionally careful about staying on the right side of the law. In fact, here are three things you need to remember:

  1. A parole violation could land you in prison.
  2. Your parole officer can put you in jail while investigating the case.
  3. You must pay supervision fees.

Here’s a closer look at each.

Parole Fact #1: A Parole Violation Could Land You in Prison

When you accept parole upon your release from incarceration, you agree to meet certain conditions. You may need to meet with a parole officer, pay restitution or complete other requirements. Failing to meet these conditions is a parole violation – and your parole officer may put you right back in the system by sending you to prison for not upholding your end of the bargain.

Related: Crimes considered violent felonies in Wisconsin

Parole Fact #2: Your Parole Officer Can Put You in Jail While Investigating Your Alleged Violation

Parole officers sometimes put people in jail while investigating alleged parole violations. The parole officer will look at all the facts and meet with you to talk about your alleged violation before making a decision – but at this point, you’re in danger of having your parole revoked.

Parole Fact #3: You Must Pay Supervision Fees

If you’re on community supervision (such as parole or probation), you’re responsible for paying a portion of its cost. However, you don’t pay for it until you’ve paid all your restitution fees (if you have them). The amount of your supervision fee may vary; it’s based on your monthly gross income (in conjunction with your spouse’s, if you have one). You must make your payments; if you don’t, it’s a violation of your parole agreement and could land you back in prison.

Related: How long will you go to prison for dog fighting in Wisconsin?

Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney About a Parole Violation?

If you’ve been accused of a parole violation, whether or not you were sent to jail over it, we may be able to help you get the best possible outcome. Call our office at 414-383-6700 as soon as you’re able; we’ll set up a consultation so you can talk to an experienced professional who can give you the guidance you need.

Attorney Carlos Gamino

By |2022-09-02T10:52:21-05:00November 1st, 2022|Criminal Law|Comments Off on 3 Negative Consequences of Violating Parole in Wisconsin

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