Phones answered 24/7 414-383-6700

News

Home/News/

DUI Checkpoints in Wisconsin

DUI Checkpoints in Milwaukee - Carlos Gamino

By Carlos Gamino

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Carlos Gamino

By |2019-11-27T22:28:29-06:00November 27th, 2019|Criminal Law, Traffic Offenses|0 Comments

3 Stress-Busting Tips to Use During Divorce

3 Tips to Bust Stress During Divorce - Carlos Gamino

By Carlos Gamino

If you’re like most people contemplating or going through divorce, you already know how stressful it is. But there are three things you can do to help minimize your stress, keep your head clear, and make it through your divorce with as little collateral damage as possible:

  • Talk to a therapist
  • Get plenty of exercise
  • Keep a journal

Let’s take a closer look at each.

Talk to a Therapist

Talking to an impartial third party can be enormously helpful when you’re going through a divorce. Your therapist can teach you new coping strategies, listen to your issues and provide objective advice, and even help you come up with plans for your future. If you aren’t seeing a therapist or counselor right now, it’s an idea definitely worth exploring.

Get Plenty of Exercise

Everybody knows that exercise is good for your body, but it’s good for your mind, too. It provides tremendous benefits, like helping you think more clearly, rest better at night (as long as you’re not exercising heavily just before bed) and releasing brain chemicals that make you happier. Even parking at the far end of the lot at work can provide you with health benefits, especially if you make it a habit. You should definitely talk to your doctor before you start a new exercise program, though.

Keep a Journal

People have been journaling for ages, and that’s because it works. In addition to giving you an outlet for your feelings – the ones you can’t talk about with your family and friends – it pulls double-duty as a written record of the things you’re going through. For example, if your attorney needs a list of the dates and times your ex failed to pick up the kids for visitation, you have one ready-made at your fingertips.

Do You Need to Talk to a Milwaukee Divorce Lawyer?

If you’re contemplating divorce, or if your spouse has already filed, we may be able to help you. We’ll answer your questions and talk about possible outcomes during your free consultation – so call us at 414-383-6700 today.

Carlos Gamino

By |2019-11-27T22:25:09-06:00November 27th, 2019|Family Law|0 Comments

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

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

By Carlos Gamino

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Related: What’s considered sexual assault in Wisconsin?

Who to Call if You’re Charged With Sexual Assault

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

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

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

Carlos Gamino

By |2019-11-27T22:22:37-06:00November 27th, 2019|Criminal Law|0 Comments

Proposed Changes to the Public Charge Rule in Immigration

Proposed Changes to the Public Charge Rule in Immigration - Carlos Gamino

By Carlos Gamino

Ken Cuccinelli, the acting U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director recently claimed that the famous poetry on the Statue of Liberty – “The New Colossus” by Emma Lazarus – referred mostly to European immigrants. Cuccinelli also added his own twist in an interview with NPR, stating that it should say, “Give me your tired, your poor who can stand on their own two feet and who will not become a public charge.”

So what is a public charge, and what kinds of changes has the current administration proposed?

What is a Public Charge?

The term public charge refers to a person who is primarily dependent on the government for support. That could include using a form of welfare or public assistance that tax dollars pay for. The government currently determines who’s likely to become a public charge by having an immigration officer look at a person’s “totality of circumstances,” such as the person’s:

  • Age
  • Health
  • Family status
  • Financial status
  • Education and skills

Not all immigrants have to undergo this “public charge test.” Some immigrants who fall under humanitarian categories, like refugees and asylees, may not have to show that they won’t become a public charge; in some cases, certain immigrants qualify for a public charge waiver.

Related: 3 myths about Mexican immigration debunked

What Changes Could Occur?

If the proposed changes take effect:

  • More programs can be considered when determining whether someone is likely to become a public charge, like some healthcare, housing and food programs
  • Income levels may be considered
  • Other standards might fall under the “totality of circumstances,” such as a person’s ability to speak English, as well as physical and mental health conditions that could affect the person’s ability to work

The proposed changes have not yet taken effect, but if they do, they could cut down legal immigration as early as October 15 of this year.

Do You Need to Talk to an Immigration Attorney in Milwaukee?

If you’re considering immigrating to the United States, we may be able to help you. Call us at 414-383-6700 to set an appointment for a consultation to discuss your situation with a Milwaukee immigration attorney today.

Carlos Gamino

By |2019-11-27T22:18:20-06:00November 27th, 2019|Immigration Law|0 Comments

Credit Card Fraud Charges in Milwaukee

Credit Card Fraud Charges in Milwaukee - Carlos Gamino

By Carlos Gamino

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Do You Need a Credit Card Fraud Defense Attorney?

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

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

Carlos Gamino

By |2019-11-27T22:13:21-06:00November 27th, 2019|Criminal Law|0 Comments

What Does “Best Interest of the Child” Mean in Wisconsin?

What Does Best Interest of the Child Mean - Carlos Gamino

By Carlos Gamino

When you’re talking about child custody in Wisconsin, you’ll hear the term best interest of the child. Typically, when the courts have to decide who gets child custody, that’s the judge’s primary concern – what’s best for the child or children involved.

Here’s what the phrase means.

What Does “Best Interest of the Child” Mean?

Most divorcing parents in Wisconsin are able to reach child custody agreements on their own. Together, they decide things like legal custody and physical placement. When two parents agree, the judge is likely to sign off on the agreement – as long as it’s fair to everyone involved and has the child’s best interests at heart. However, there are some cases in which parents are unable to agree on child custody; that’s when the courts have to step in and determine what’s in the child’s best interests.

When the courts are looking at what’s best for the child, the judge will consider things like:

  • The child’s age
  • The child’s health
  • The connections between each parent and the child
  • The child’s ties to home, community and school
  • Whether there’s a history of family violence
  • Whether each parent is capable of caring for the child emotionally, physically and emotionally

Sometimes the courts decide to give both parents legal and physical custody of the child; in other cases, those types of custody are split up. Legal custody is a parent’s right to make important decisions about a child’s upbringing, medical care (non-emergency), religion and education. The term physical placement refers to how much time the child spends in each parent’s care.

Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About Child Custody and Your Child’s Best Interests?

If you’re a divorcing parent, you may need to talk to an attorney about child custody and how the courts determine the best interest of the child. We can help – call us at 414-383-6700 for a free consultation today.

Carlos Gamino

By |2019-11-27T22:09:53-06:00November 27th, 2019|Family Law|0 Comments

What is Petty Theft in Wisconsin?

What is Petty Theft in Wisconsin - Carlos Gamino

By Carlos Gamino

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

What is Petty Theft in Wisconsin?

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

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

Related: Misdemeanor theft charges in Milwaukee

The Legal Definition of Petty Theft in Wisconsin

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

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

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

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

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

Carlos Gamino

By |2019-11-27T22:07:27-06:00November 27th, 2019|Criminal Law|0 Comments

Exceptions to Naturalization Requirements in the U.S.

Exceptions to Naturalization Requirements in the U.S. - Carlos Gamino

By Carlos Gamino

When a person wants to become a naturalized U.S. citizen, he or she must meet several requirements – including a requirement to speak English, take a civics test, and recite the Oath of Allegiance. However, there are some exceptions available to people who qualify. Here’s what you need to know.

Exceptions to Naturalization Requirements in the U.S.

Some people qualify for exceptions to the U.S.’s naturalization requirements that involve speaking English and taking a civics test, as well as taking the Oath of Allegiance to the U.S.

English Language Exceptions

You could be exempt from the English language requirement if you are:

  • Age 50 or older, if you have been in the U.S. as a permanent resident with a green card for at least 20 years
  • Age 55 or older, if you have lived as a permanent resident with a green card for at least 15 years

If you’re exempt under these rules, you’ll still have to take the civics test – but you can take it in your native language, provided that you bring an interpreter with you to your interview.

English and Civics Exemptions for Medical Disabilities

If you can’t speak English or take the civics test because you have a physical or developmental disability (or a member of your family does), you could be exempt from both. You must bring in a form completed by a licensed medical doctor or psychologist to prove that you (or your family member) has a disability that would prevent you from doing either of these things.

Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney About Exceptions to Naturalization Requirements?

We may be able to help you file your paperwork for U.S. naturalization, as well as help you prove that you’re exempt from either the English language requirement or the civics test requirement – or both.

Call us at 414-383-6700 now to schedule a consultation with a Milwaukee immigration attorney who can help.

Carlos Gamino

By |2019-11-27T22:03:19-06:00November 27th, 2019|Immigration Law|0 Comments

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

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

By Carlos Gamino

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Carlos Gamino

By |2019-11-27T21:57:37-06:00November 27th, 2019|Criminal Law|0 Comments

What Are the Wisconsin Child Custody Laws on Moving Out of State?

Wisconsin Child Custody Laws on Moving Out of State - Carlos Gamino

By Carlos Gamino

As Milwaukee divorce attorneys, we deal with a lot of child custody issues. A common question that comes up is related to Wisconsin child custody laws and moving out of state. Are you allowed to move out of state if you have custody of your children? What if your ex-spouse wants to move out of state?

Here’s what you need to know.

Wisconsin Child Custody Laws: Moving Out of State

Under Wisconsin law, you have to go through a certain procedure to move out of state. If you intend to relocate and live more than 100 miles from your kids’ other parent, you’ll have to file a motion with the court to ask permission first. You can’t just pack up and go.

Your child custody attorney can file the motion that contains all the essential information, including a relocation plan that outlines:

  • The date you want to move
  • Where you’re moving
  • Why you’re moving
  • A new placement schedule
  • Who will be responsible for costs for transportation of the children for the new placement schedule

Your attorney can have a copy of the motion served on your children’s other parent, and you may have to attend a hearing within 30 days of the motion being filed with the court. You cannot relocate the children before the initial hearing.

What if the Other Parent Objects?

Under Wisconsin child custody laws, moving out of state requires the other parent to agree or for one parent to prove why the relocation is necessary. If the other parent objects, he or she must file an objection within 5 days.

The court will make a determination on whether the proposed move is in the kids’ best interests. In some cases, the judge will refer the parents to a mediator, appoint a guardian ad litem or schedule another hearing.

Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About Wisconsin Child Custody Laws and Moving Out of State?

If you need to talk to a custody lawyer about moving out of state, we may be able to help you. Call 414-383-6700 for your complimentary consultation with an experienced Milwaukee family law attorney now.

Carlos Gamino

By |2019-11-27T21:53:44-06:00November 27th, 2019|Family Law|0 Comments