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Public Intoxication in Wisconsin

By Attorney Carlos Gamino

Public Intoxication in Wisconsin - Carlos Gamino

Is it illegal to be drunk in public? Kind-of. It’s not technically a crime listed in Wisconsin’s statutes, but you can be arrested for public intoxication – and you can face criminal charges. Here’s what you need to know.

Public Intoxication in Wisconsin

While no crime exists for public intoxication, the police can pick you up and take you into custody. If that happens, the police can hold on to you until they can transfer you to a treatment facility (either for medical treatment or rehabilitation). The state an also commit you to emergency treatment if you’ve threatened harm to yourself or others, or if you’re too incapacitated to enter voluntary treatment.

Municipal Ordinances About Public Intoxication

Some municipalities have ordinances that relate to public intoxication. Every municipality is different, though, which means there will be different penalties if you’re cited. You may have to pay fines, attend mandatory alcohol education, or complete counseling.

Disorderly Conduct and Public Intoxication

Although you won’t be in trouble for being intoxicated in public, you can face criminal charges for the things you do while you’re drunk in public. You can be charged with a crime if you do something like:

  • Fight
  • Cause a disturbance
  • Engage in loud, boisterous conduct

Disorderly conduct is a Class B misdemeanor, which means if you’re convicted, you’re looking at up to 90 days in jail and fines of up to $1,000. A judge can sentence you to jail time, fines or a combination of the two.

Can You Defend Against Public Intoxication Charges in Wisconsin?

If you’re arrested for something related to public intoxication in Wisconsin, you may be able to say that you weren’t drunk at the time of the arrest, you weren’t in public (or the police ordered you out of a private place), or that the police violated your constitutional rights. For most people, the best course of action is to talk to a criminal defense attorney.

Call us at 414-383-6700 to talk about your case. We’ll answer your questions and start putting together a defense that gets you the best possible outcome.

Carlos Gamino

By |2020-03-20T07:38:07-05:00April 1st, 2020|Criminal Law|0 Comments

What is a Probation Review Hearing in Wisconsin?

By Carlos Gamino

What is a Probation Review Hearing in Wisconsin - Carlos Gamino

If you’re on probation, you need to know that eventually, you may face a probation review hearing. In Wisconsin, these hearings are designed to ensure that a person who’s on probation deserves to stay out of jail. The most common reason for a probation review hearing in Wisconsin is simple probation violation. If you break one (or more) of the rules you’re supposed to follow while you’re on probation, the review hearing is where you’ll learn what happens next in your case.

What is a Probation Review Hearing in Wisconsin?

A probation review hearing is a formal process in which the court will hear testimony on what happened with your probation. If you were charged with a new crime, failed to go to treatment you were ordered to go to, or otherwise violated your probation, you can expect consequences. Those consequences can range from a slap on the wrist – more of a warning, really – to a reinstatement of your suspended sentence. That means if you were charged with a crime for which the punishment is up to a year in jail, but the judge put you on probation instead of sending you to jail, the court can say, “Well, you gave it a shot – but you violated your probation, so now you’re going to jail.”

What to Expect From a Probation Review Hearing

During your probation review hearing, the judge assigned to your case will listen to your side of the story and the state’s side of the story. At that time, he or she will decide whether to revoke your probation.

You need to know that the judge will rely heavily on your probation officer’s report. You may want to work with an attorney so you have someone in your corner during the hearing.

Related: Probation violations in Wisconsin

What Happens if You Violate Your Probation?

If you violate your probation, you could end up going to jail. The court will want to hear what caused you to violate your probation – and your circumstances will have a lot to do with the way it all works out. For example, if you missed an appointment with your probation officer because you were in a car accident on the way there (and if you can prove it), the judge will likely understand. However, if you failed to go to drug or alcohol counseling because you were high or drunk and forgot about it, the judge isn’t likely to feel very sorry for you. You should consult with your attorney about your circumstances before your probation review hearing.

Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney Before a Probation Review Hearing?

If you need to talk to a lawyer about your case before you attend a probation review hearing, we may be able to help you. Call us at 414-383-6700 for a free consultation now.

Attorney Carlos Gamino

By |2020-03-20T10:02:38-05:00March 31st, 2020|Criminal Law|0 Comments

What to Do if a Capias is Issued for You

What if You Have a Capias Issued - Carlos Gamino

By Carlos Gamino

If you have a capias issued against you, it’s a serious matter – and you may need to talk to an attorney as soon as possible. A capias is essentially the same thing as a warrant; it’s a court order that allows police to arrest you so that you’ll show up for a scheduled court appearance.

What to Do if a Capias is Issued in Your Case

When a judge issues a capias, which commonly happens when you’ve failed to show up for a court date, it’s serious. That’s because police will come arrest you and put you in jail so that the court knows where you are when your court date rolls around – and you won’t miss court, because the police will take you there.

A judge can issue a capias warrant after any type of charge (even a speeding ticket) if you fail to show up in court. It’s commonly called a “bench warrant,” both in Wisconsin and in other states. A judge can issue one of these warrants at any point during a case. That means even if you’ve made it to every other court appearance, if you miss one, the court can issue this type of warrant.

Any officer who finds you is required to arrest you and take you to jail. You’ll be held in jail until you can meet with the judge.

Should You Turn Yourself in Over a Capias Warrant?

Many people will tell you that you should turn yourself in if a capias has been issued against you. That’s because if police find you on their own, it doesn’t matter where you are or what you’re doing; they’ll haul you into jail. It’s not unheard of for police to arrest someone from a child’s birthday party, a romantic dinner with someone special, or from work or school.

Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About a Capias Issued for You?

You may want to talk to an attorney before you do anything related to a capias a judge has issued for you. Call us at 414-383-6700 now, or contact us online, to find out what the best course of action is for your case. We may be able to help.

Carlos Gamino

By |2020-02-16T12:46:35-06:00March 25th, 2020|Criminal Law|0 Comments

New Public Charge Rule

By Attorney Carlos Gamino

New Public Charge Rule - Carlos Gamino

The Department of Homeland Security’s new Public Charge Rule may have an impact on your green card eligibility or your citizenship application. It’s most likely going to decrease the number of people who are eligible for green cards – so here’s what you need to know.

2020 Changes to the Public Charge Rule

The Public Charge Rule is officially being implemented after several lengthy court battles. (The U.S. Supreme Court stayed the final injunction on it in March 2020.)

A “public charge” is a person who receives certain types of public benefits. If USCIS feels that a person is likely to become a public charge, which means that person would (or did) use certain benefits for more than 12 months out of any 36-month period, it can reject a green card application or a citizenship application.

Under the previous rule, USCIS would look at an applicant’s Affidavit of Support and make a determination – but now, it can use other factors to weigh its decision. These are the factors an individual USCIS officer can look at to make an independent decision (and all officers may have different criteria):

  • Age
  • Health
  • Family status
  • Education and skills
  • Assets, resources and financial status
  • Expected period of admission

What Public Benefits Count Against the Public Charge Rule?

The benefits that count against the rule include:

  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
  • Any federal, state, local or tribal cash benefit programs for income maintenance
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Section 8 Housing Assistance under the Housing Choice Voucher Program
  • Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance (including Moderate Rehabilitation)
  • Public Housing
  • Federally funded Medicaid (with some exclusions)

Benefits that won’t count include Medicaid benefits received for emergency treatment or in connection with the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act.

Will the 2020 Changes to the Public Charge Rule Affect You?

If you think the changes to the Public Charge Rule will affect your case, you may want to talk to a Milwaukee immigration attorney. Call us at 414-383-6700 now to schedule a consultation about your case.

Carlos Gamino

By |2020-03-20T09:06:18-05:00March 25th, 2020|Immigration Law|0 Comments

Road Rage Charges: A Type of Disorderly Conduct in Wisconsin

Disorderly Conduct and Road Rage Charges in Wisconsin - Carlos Gamino

By Carlos Gamino

A road rage incident can lead to disorderly conduct charges in Wisconsin – and it happens every day on our roadways, from Milwaukee and Waukesha to Madison, Green Bay and La Crosse. Typically, road rage is defined as a type of extreme, aggressive anger between drivers that leads to an incident.

So what happens if you get road rage charges? Here’s what you need to know.

Road Rage Charges: A Type of Disorderly Conduct in Wisconsin

Disorderly conduct is a crime in Wisconsin, and many people call it a “catch-all.” That’s because virtually anything a person does that disturbs the peace can count as disorderly conduct.

The law defines it this way: “Whoever, in a public or private place, engages in violent, abusive, indecent, profane, boisterous, unreasonably loud or otherwise disorderly conduct under circumstances in which the conduct tends to cause or provoke a disturbance is guilty of a Class B misdemeanor.”

Related: Can you be charged with disorderly conduct for fighting?

That means you don’t even have to get into a fight, cause any damage or harm, or get into a car accident to be charged with disorderly conduct as it relates to a road rage incident. Essentially, you can get road rage charges in Wisconsin for things like:

  • Yelling
  • Verbally insulting someone
  • Making rude or insulting gestures
  • Threatening violence
  • Trying to intimidate another driver
  • Having a physical confrontation with another driver
  • Performing aggressive driving maneuvers (like tailgating, swerving in and out of traffic, and blocking other drivers)

Keep in mind that if you get into a physical confrontation with another driver, you can be charged with a battery offense on top of disorderly conduct. Each comes with its own penalties

Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About Road Rage Charges?

Road rage charges can be serious, so it may be a good idea for you to call an attorney. We’re available at 414-383-6700 – just call now for your free consultation.

Carlos Gamino

By |2020-02-16T13:05:41-06:00March 22nd, 2020|Criminal Law, Traffic Offenses|Comments Off on Road Rage Charges: A Type of Disorderly Conduct in Wisconsin

What if You Violate a Restraining Order?

What if You Violate a Restraining Order - Carlos Gamino

By Carlos Gamino

What happens if you violate a restraining order in Wisconsin? It’s a serious crime – and you could end up going to jail and facing other consequences. Here’s what you need to know.

What if You Violate a Restraining Order in Wisconsin?

When the court issues a restraining order against you, it can be one of three types:

  • A 72-hour no-contact order
  • A temporary restraining order
  • An injunction

Here’s a closer look at each.

The 72-Hour No-Contact Order

Usually, courts issue 72-hour no-contact orders after domestic violence incidents. It’s typically automatic – nobody has to request one in order for the court to order it.

A Temporary Restraining Order

A judicial officer can issue a temporary restraining order that gives an alleged crime victim some time to gather evidence to present to court. The terms of this type of restraining order dictate what you can – and can’t – do during the three days for which it’s valid.

An Injunction

Courts issue injunctions, which are more permanent restraining orders, when a judge finds that the person requesting protection through a restraining order has a valid need for protection.

What Are the Penalties if You Violate a Restraining Order?

If you violate a restraining order, the court can sentence you to up to 9 months in jail. The judge in your case can also order you to pay up to $1,000 in fines. Typically, the penalty the judge issues depends on how you violated the order. For example, if the order says you can’t come within 1,000 feet of a person but you’re arrested on his or her front porch, it looks like you blatantly ignored the court’s order – and the judge may hand down a harsher punishment than he or she would if you were arrested 999 feet away from that person’s front porch in someone else’s house.

Do You Need Advice After Violating a Restraining Order?

If you need an attorney’s advice after being accused of violating a restraining order, call us at 414-383-6700 or contact us online. We may be able to help you, so call us today.

Carlos Gamino

By |2020-02-16T12:38:01-06:00March 22nd, 2020|Criminal Law|Comments Off on What if You Violate a Restraining Order?

How to Fight a Speeding Ticket in Wisconsin

How to Fight a Speeding Ticket in Wisconsin - Carlos Gamino

By Carlos Gamino

Can you fight a speeding ticket in Wisconsin? Of course you can – but for some people, pleading “not guilty” to an offense means working with a Milwaukee traffic ticket attorney. You may be able to get a ticket dismissed.

Related: Wisconsin speeding tickets: The basics

How to Fight a Speeding Ticket in Wisconsin

If you’re like many people, you can contest a speeding ticket. However, you do need to know that Wisconsin law treats speeding very seriously, and that the circumstances surrounding your ticket can affect the way a judge looks at it. For example, we have an “absolute speed limit” law. That means if you’re going even a few miles per hour over the speed limit, a police officer can pull you over and ticket you – and it can be really tough to fight that kind of ticket in court. (That’s why many people choose to work with an attorney.)

On the other hand, though, the police can ticket you for “imprudent speed,” and that’s more subjective.

What is Imprudent Speed, and How Can You Fight a Ticket for It?

In Wisconsin, you cannot “drive a vehicle at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions and having regard for the actual and potential hazards then existing.” That means if road conditions are less than perfect – such as when it’s raining or snowing – you have to slow down so you’re driving an “appropriate” speed. However, that can be subjective.

How Much Does a Speeding Ticket Cost in Wisconsin?

Speeding tickets can cost anywhere between $200 and $800, with some variation in both directions. When you pay for a ticket, which means you’re admitting guilt, you’re not just paying the fine. You’re also paying:

  • Court support services fees
  • Court costs
  • Crime lab and drug assessment fees (for most tickets)
  • Penalty assessment
  • Jail assessment
  • Justice information system fees

It’s about more than money, though. If you’re guilty of a speeding offense, you’ll get demerit points on your driver’s license – and if you get enough points, the state of Wisconsin can revoke your driver’s license.

Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About How to Fight a Speeding Ticket in Wisconsin?

If you’ve been hit with a speeding ticket, we may be able to help you. Call us at 414-383-6700 for a free case review now.

Carlos Gamino

By |2020-02-16T13:09:03-06:00March 16th, 2020|Traffic Offenses|Comments Off on How to Fight a Speeding Ticket in Wisconsin

What Happens When You’re on Probation in Wisconsin?

By Carlos Gamino

What Happens When You’re on Probation in Wisconsin - Carlos Gamino

Some people, after being convicted of certain crimes in Wisconsin, are sentenced to probation. Probation keeps you on the outside of a jail cell – but it also subjects you to certain rules that you must follow. If you violate your probation, the judge in your case can send you straight to jail.

Here’s what you need to know.

What Happens When You’re on Probation in Wisconsin?

Probation is a sentence, just like one you’d receive if the judge sentenced you to jail time. However, probation lets you stay in your community instead of requiring you to be locked away in jail or prison. Usually, probation comes with requirements that the judge sets forth. The terms of probation vary based on the crime and the judge, but typically, people on probation:

  • Cannot break any other laws or they can be sent directly to jail.
  • Must check in regularly with a probation officer
  • May have to take and pass regular drug tests
  • Could be sentenced to community service
  • Can’t leave the state without permission

If you complete your probation successfully – which means you didn’t violate any of the terms and you did all the things you were supposed to do (such as attending drug or alcohol counseling) – the court will say that you’ve served your full sentence.

What if You Violate Your Probation?

Judges only offer someone probation instead of jail when they believe that it’s safe to release the person back into his or her community. When someone violates probation, the state takes it very seriously.

The probation officer can put a “probation hold” on you if he or she believes you’ve violated the conditions of your probation. The police can take you to jail while the probation officer completes his or her investigation. If the probation officer determines that you violated your probation, he or she can revoke it – and then you’ll get a hearing in front of a judge. Usually, that hearing takes place within 15 days of your arrest; another hearing must occur within 50 days of the day you were first detained. The judge in your case will determine whether you violated your probation – and if he or she says you did, you may have to go back to jail and serve the sentence you would’ve gotten for the original crime.

Do You Need Legal Advice on Probation Violations?

If you’ve been accused of violating your probation, we may be able to help you. Contact us online or call us at 414-383-6700 for a free consultation. We’ll answer your questions and start building a strategy that gets you the best possible outcome.

Carlos Gamino

By |2020-02-16T11:48:12-06:00March 16th, 2020|Criminal Law|Comments Off on What Happens When You’re on Probation in Wisconsin?

What is H-4 EAD Removal?

H-4 EAD Removal - Carlos Gamino

By Carlos Gamino

Thousands of H-4 visa holders are living – and working – across Wisconsin. However, some H-4 dependent spouses are on the verge of losing work authorization in the U.S. Here’s what you need to know.

H-4 Employment Authorization

Some spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants qualify for employment authorization. This authorization allows the husband or wife of an H-1B visa holder to work anywhere, including as a self-employed businessperson, in the United States. But right now, that authorization hangs in the balance for many families.

The current presidential administration has been working overtime to roll back rules put in place during former President Obama. One of those rules provided H-4 visa holders the ability to work while residing in the U.S. The rule in question had been in place since 2015, and it allowed H-4 visa holders who were waiting for green cards to apply for an employment authorization document, or EAD. Two years later, the current administration unveiled its plan to discontinue these work permits – and it’s been battled in court since then.

Related: The challenges of legal immigration

Some companies, including Pepsi, American Airlines and Apple, are fighting to keep H-4 visa holders in the workforce. Their argument is that the highly skilled H-4 workers they employ will be forced to take their skills to other countries because they can’t work here. The consequences could be dire – especially in fields involving science, information technology, engineering and mathematics – where there are already significant shortages.

Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney About Your Immigration Status and EAD Removal?

If you’re married to an H-1B visa holder and you have H-4 status, you could still qualify for another type of business immigration if your EAD is removed. We may be able to help you find realistic alternatives, so call us at 414-383-6700 today or contact us online.

Carlos Gamino

By |2020-02-16T12:51:04-06:00March 14th, 2020|Immigration Law|Comments Off on What is H-4 EAD Removal?

When Could a Judge Order Alimony in a Wisconsin Divorce?

When Can You Get Alimony in a Wisconsin Divorce - Carlos Gamino

By Carlos Gamino

If you and your spouse are splitting up, you may be wondering when you can get alimony in a Wisconsin divorce. For many people, alimony – commonly called maintenance or spousal support – is a big deal… and it’s not common for couples to agree on how much money should change hands. Here’s what you know about when a judge can order alimony, how much it might be, and how long you or your spouse will receive it.

When Can You Get Alimony in a Wisconsin Divorce?

Alimony is support typically reserved for spouses who need some time to become self-sustaining after a divorce. It’s not a payment that the courts take lightly – and in order for a judge to award it, one party must let the court know that it’s necessary.  

Couples are free to agree on spousal maintenance on their own. However, if a couple can’t agree and one spouse feels he or she needs it, the courts will make a decision. Judges consider several factors in determining maintenance, including:

  • How long the couple was married
  • Both spouses’ ages and physical health, including emotional health
  • How the couple’s property was divided
  • How much education each spouse has
  • Each spouse’s earning capacity
  • Whether the spouse who wants maintenance can eventually become self-sustaining, and how long that will take
  • The tax consequences to both parties
  • One spouse’s contribution to the other’s career, education, training or increased earning power
  • Other relevant factors

Related: Wisconsin alimony calculator

How Long Does Maintenance Last?

Spousal maintenance can last as long as the judge says it will. Some court orders for alimony last only a short time – but some can last a lifetime. In some cases, support continues until one spouse dies or remarries.

Related: Are you entitled to alimony during your divorce?

Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About Alimony in a Wisconsin Divorce?

If you’re considering divorce and want to find out more about alimony, whether you’re going to be the one paying it or you’re likely to receive it, we can help. Call us at 414-383-6700 for a free consultation or contact us online. We’ll be happy to answer your questions about child custody, child support, alimony and other important aspects of divorce.

Carlos Gamino

By |2020-02-16T12:42:31-06:00March 12th, 2020|Family Law|Comments Off on When Could a Judge Order Alimony in a Wisconsin Divorce?