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What is Juvenile Delinquency in Wisconsin?

By Carlos Gamino

What is Juvenile Delinquency in Wisconsin - Carlos Gamino

Juvenile delinquency is “the habitual committing of criminal acts or offenses by a young person, especially one below the age at which ordinary criminal prosecution is possible.” That means when someone who’s not old enough or mature enough to be tried as an adult repeatedly commits crimes, they’re considered a juvenile delinquent.

Being arrested as a juvenile in Wisconsin is serious – and it can come with serious consequences. Check out these three things you need to know, whether you’re the one who was arrested and charged with a crime or you’re reading this because your child has gotten into some trouble.

Related: Juvenile delinquency in Wisconsin

3 Things to Know About Juvenile Delinquency

Juvenile delinquency can come with serious consequences. Here are three things you need to know:

1. The district attorney can petition the juvenile court and ask for a juvenile aged 14 or older to be tried as an adult. This can only happen under certain circumstances, such as when a child who is at least 14 years old and is alleged to have committed:

  • Aggravated burglary
  • Armed robbery
  • Felony murder
  • Hostage-taking
  • Kidnapping
  • Manufacturing or distribution of a controlled substance
  • Participation in gang activity
  • Reckless homicide
  • Sexual assault

2. Some offenses are subject to adult court supervision, such as when a juvenile who’s at least 10 years old who allegedly attempted or committed first-degree or second-degree murder, or reckless homicide. Likewise, a juvenile who has allegedly committed assault or battery while in a juvenile correctional facility (or residential center), or who has previously been considered delinquent, can be subjected to adult court supervision.

3. All 17-year-olds are automatically treated as adults in the Wisconsin criminal justice system. This is unfortunate, because people’s brains don’t even finish developing until they’re about 25 years old.

Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About Juvenile Delinquency?

If your child has been accused of a crime – even one that wouldn’t require an adult trial – we may be able to help you. Call us right away at 414-383-6700 for a free consultation with an experienced juvenile defense lawyer.

Carlos Gamino

By |2020-05-16T17:19:20-05:00May 29th, 2020|Juvenile Law|0 Comments

Can I Send My Child to Juvenile Detention?

By Carlos Gamino

Can I Send My Child to Juvenile Detention - Carlos Gamino

Juvenile detention centers – which are a bit like jail for minors, where children are supervised and kept in a regulated environment – are part of the Wisconsin criminal justice system. In Wisconsin, there are Type 1 and Type 2 juvenile correctional facilities. Each has its own purpose, and they’re designed to be used in sentencing. In other words, minors who commit crimes and move through the criminal justice system can be sentenced to spend time at one of Wisconsin’s juvenile detention centers.

Can I Send My Child to Juvenile Detention?

Parents cannot voluntarily send a child to a state juvenile detention facility. They’re only used through the court systems. However, some desperate parents use “scared straight” programs and “boot camps” to try to rehabilitate their kids. These programs exist, but they’re not the types of things that judges really order.

Related: When can minors be tried as adults in Wisconsin?

These types of programs have been subject to numerous studies, and usually, the results aren’t flattering. The arrest rate after official Scared Straight programs is actually higher than it is for teens who never participate in these programs. Many studies show that these types of interventions are ineffective – and worse, many of them are harmful for children who engage in delinquent behaviors.

Really, experts believe that these types of programs fail for the reason they’re supposed to succeed. Teens who are exposed to the structure they discover exists in prisons and boot camps actually crave it.

Related: Wisconsin CHIPS, JIPS and juvenile delinquency attorneys

What Are Wisconsin’s Juvenile Detention Facilities?

Wisconsin has Type 1 and Type 2 juvenile detention facilities.

Type 1 facilities uses physical security mechanisms, like fences and locked doors. The Type 1 juvenile correctional facilities here are:

  • Lincoln Hills School (boys)
  • Copper Lake School (girls)
  • Mendota Juvenile Treatment Center

Type 2 facilities are those considered “institutions without walls.” They’re still correctional facilities, but they’re less like jails and are reserved for different types of offenses or youth who have displayed good behavior in Type 1 facilities.

Related: Help! My child was arrested!

Do You Need a Juvenile Criminal Defense Attorney?

If your child has gotten into trouble, it’s important that he or she has caring, compassionate representation. Your child’s attorney can help ensure that your child gets a fair trial – and, if necessary, the treatment he or she needs. Call us to tell us what happened. We’re available at 414-383-6700, and we’ll be happy to provide you with a free consultation today.

Attorney Carlos Gamino

By |2020-03-20T09:24:42-05:00May 25th, 2020|Juvenile Law|0 Comments

What is the Probation Hold Time Limit in Wisconsin?

By Carlos Gamino

What is the Probation Hold Time Limit in Wisconsin - Carlos Gamino

The probation hold time limit in Wisconsin is supposed to be five business days, but that time period can be extended… and sometimes it can extend for months.

Here’s what you need to know.

What is the Probation Hold Time Limit in Wisconsin?

Probation holds – sometimes called VOP holds or PO holds – are a “time-out.” If a probation officer believes you have violated the conditions of your probation, or if you’re suspected of violating federal, state, county or municipal laws or ordinances, you can go to jail on a probation hold. During this time, the agent of the court is supposed to review the case and investigate alleged violations.

Related: Wisconsin probation rules

However, although Wisconsin has administrative rules that say people are only supposed to be detained for five working days, extensions are available.

Usually, the Department of Corrections makes a decision whether to revoke a person’s probation within a couple of weeks. However, that’s not always the case. Because the division administrator can hold someone on a VOP hold for “any additional time” necessary, sometimes these holds stretch out over weeks or months. Also, if an agent serves someone with official revocation notices, no time limits apply – and that can mean a person is sitting in jail for an extended period of time without any new information.

Related: Probation revocation in Wisconsin

What to Do if Your Loved One is in Jail for a Probation Hold

If someone you care about is in jail for a probation hold, you may want to talk to a Wisconsin criminal defense attorney who can help. Call us at 414-383-6700 to schedule your free consultation with an experienced lawyer who will take the time to learn about the case – and who can provide the specific legal guidance you need right now.

Attorney Carlos Gamino

By |2020-03-20T09:00:27-05:00May 25th, 2020|Criminal Law|0 Comments

Wisconsin Child Support Laws for Fathers

By Attorney Carlos Gamino

Wisconsin Child Support Laws for Fathers - Carlos Gamino

Wisconsin child support laws – for fathers, mothers and children – require parents to contribute financially to a child’s upbringing. Once paternity has been established, a man is a child’s legal parent. That means he has obligations to that child, including those revolving around child support, custody and visitation.

Wisconsin Child Support Laws for Fathers

A parent who doesn’t have primary physical placement is typically the one who pays child support to the other parent. (Technically, both parents are responsible for providing child support – it’s just that the court presumes that the parent living with the children already bears most of the expenses.)

If the father is the parent who lives with the children most of the time, he’ll most likely be the one receiving child support from the other parent. However, if the mother is the parent who lives with the children most of the time, she’ll probably be the one who receives child support.

Related: Father’s rights in a Wisconsin divorce

How Do Wisconsin Child Support Laws Work?

In Wisconsin, a father’s rights aren’t any more important than a mother’s rights are – and even more importantly, they’re not more important than a child’s rights are.

Child support is a two-parent responsibility, and the child is the beneficiary. The courts can order one or both parents to pay reasonable child support.

The courts determine how much child support should change hands by gauging each parent’s income and a few other factors (such as which parent has primary physical custody of the child). There are actually several different guidelines judges use to determine how much child support a person has to pay – but the standard guideline typically follows this formula (although yours will likely be at least a little different):

  • 17 percent for one child
  • 25 percent for two children
  • 29 percent for three children
  • 31 percent for four children
  • 34 percent for five or more children

The above guideline is for parents that don’t fall into one of these categories:

  • High-income payers
  • Low-income payers
  • Serial family parents who support more than one family
  • Split-placement parents
  • Shared-placement parents in which each parent has the child at least 25 percent of the time
  • Shared-placement and split-placement combination parents

Your best bet is to talk to a lawyer about Wisconsin child support laws for fathers if you’re not sure how your case will work out.

Related: Can I get out of paying child support?

Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About Wisconsin Child Support Laws for Fathers?

If you’d like to talk to an attorney about how Wisconsin child support laws will affect your case, call us at 414-383-6700 now. We’ll be happy to answer your questions and help you figure out the best path moving forward.

Carlos Gamino

By |2020-03-20T08:43:38-05:00May 18th, 2020|Family Law|Comments Off on Wisconsin Child Support Laws for Fathers

Active Community Supervision in Wisconsin

By Carlos Gamino

Active Community Supervision in Wisconsin - Carlos Gamino

When you perform an offender search through the Wisconsin Department of Corrections, you may see the term “active community supervision.”

Active community supervision, in Wisconsin, means that the offender has been released from jail or prison. However, the offender is still under supervision – it’s just taking place while he or she lives in the community instead of in jail or prison.

Active Community Supervision in Wisconsin

While a person is on active community supervision in Wisconsin, he or she will have to follow certain rules and conditions. For example, the court may require that person to:

  • Attend drug or alcohol counseling
  • Take part in a job program or take steps to complete a high school education
  • Perform community service work
  • Pay restitution to the victim
  • Pay supervision fees, which are required by law

Related: Wisconsin probation rules

Meeting a Probation Officer

A person who’s on community supervision will have to meet with a probation officer. The probation officer will let you know how often you have to meet. It’s incredibly important that you keep all your appointments with your probation officer. If you miss an appointment, you will have violated the conditions of your probation – and you can lose the privilege of being on active community supervision. The judge in your case can take you off probation and put you in jail to complete the sentence you would’ve gotten if you weren’t on probation.

Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About Community Supervision?

If the state finds you guilty of a crime, you could be sentenced to probation, or community supervision. While there’s no way to predict how a judge will rule, your attorney may be able to ask that the judge in your case sentences you to community supervision rather than jail. If you have questions about an upcoming legal case, we may be able to help you. Call us at 414-383-6700 for a free consultation today.

Attorney Carlos Gamino

By |2020-03-20T08:37:09-05:00May 11th, 2020|Criminal Law|Comments Off on Active Community Supervision in Wisconsin

Truth in Sentencing in Wisconsin

By Carlos Gamino

Truth in Sentencing in Wisconsin - Carlos Gamino

Truth in sentencing in Wisconsin is a way to ensure that convicted offenders serve a minimum amount of time in jail or prison. In the early 1990s (and before), Wisconsin laws allowed judges to impose a sentence on a convicted offender, who could later get out of prison early and serve the rest of his or her sentence on parole.

Today, truth in sentencing laws prevent that from happening. The courts can impose sentences with “parole” built right in (but under the name “extended supervision” instead).

Truth in Sentencing in Wisconsin

Inmates who committed offenses before the year 2000 are typically eligible for discretionary release on parole after they serve 25 percent of their sentence – but under Wisconsin’s truth in sentencing laws, most inmates automatically receive a bifurcated sentence.

Related: What is extended supervision in Wisconsin?

What is a Bifurcated Sentence?

A bifurcated sentence is a sentence that requires a person to serve time behind bars as well as time on extended supervision.

The part of a bifurcated sentence that imposes confinement in prison can’t be less than a year. In fact, here are the limits on confinement in prison:

  • Class B felony: 40 years
  • Class C felony: 25 years
  • Class D felony: 15 years
  • Class E felony: 10 years
  • Class F felony: 7 years, 6 months
  • Class G felony: 5 years
  • Class H felony: 3 years
  • Class I felony: 1 year, 6 months

Related: What can happen if you violate the terms of your extended supervision?

What Happens on Extended Supervision Based on Truth in Sentencing in Wisconsin?

During the extended supervision period, the person must meet with a court-appointed official periodically. The court can require a person to do other things, too, such as attend drug or alcohol counseling.

Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About Possible Sentencing for a Crime?

If you’ve been accused of a crime – any crime – we may be able to help you. Call us right now at 414-383-6700 to talk about your case. We’ll answer your questions, tell you about possible outcomes (including supervision), and start building a strategy that gets you the best possible outcome.

Attorney Carlos Gamino

By |2020-03-20T08:29:41-05:00May 10th, 2020|Criminal Law|Comments Off on Truth in Sentencing in Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Paternity Statutes

By Attorney Carlos Gamino

Wisconsin Paternity Statutes - Carlos Gamino

Paternity is the established, legal relationship between a father and child – and Wisconsin’s paternity statutes recognize that relationship in a way that allows a father to assert his rights to custody and visitation. Paternity also plays a big role in a father’s legal obligations to a child when it comes to support.

What to Know About Wisconsin Paternity Statutes

Wisconsin presumes paternity when two parents are married and have a child. That means the mother’s spouse at the time of the child’s birth is considered to be the child’s father.

If the parents aren’t married, the parents can agree and sign paperwork saying that the father is the child’s biological parent. This is called acknowledging paternity, and it’s a simple, straightforward process.

If one or both parents aren’t sure about paternity, a court can decide.

Acknowledging Paternity

Parents can sign a statement that affirms a man is a child’s biological father. Then, the parents can file that statement with the Wisconsin state registrar. Once that’s done, either parent can file a case in the county circuit court to ask a judge to rule on things related to child custody and child support.

Related: Voluntary acknowledgement of paternity in Wisconsin

What if You Change Your Mind?

If new information comes to light – or if you want to “take back” your statement – you have 60 days to do so. (You can still rescind it if more than 60 days have passed, but you have to prove that you signed it because you were under duress, someone committed fraud, or there was a mistake of fact.)

Who Can File a Petition With the Court to Establish Paternity?

Any of these people can file a petition with the court to establish paternity:

  • The child
  • The child’s biological mother
  • A man who claims to be the child’s father
  • A person who has legal or physical custody of the child
  • The state of Wisconsin
  • A guardian ad litem who’s been appointed to represent the child
  • A grandparent, provided the parent is dependent on that grandparent

Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About Wisconsin Paternity Statutes?

If you need to talk to an attorney about how Wisconsin paternity statutes will affect your case, we’re here to help. Call us at 414-383-6700 now.

Carlos Gamino

By |2020-03-20T09:55:41-05:00May 4th, 2020|Family Law|Comments Off on The Wisconsin Paternity Statutes

Wisconsin Drinking Laws for Minors

By Attorney Carlos Gamino

Wisconsin Drinking Laws for Minors - Carlos Gamino

Wisconsin drinking laws for minors can be a little bit confusing – but if your child has been caught drinking, here’s what you need to know about what happens next.

Wisconsin Drinking Laws for Minors

In Wisconsin – just like in the rest of the U.S. – minors under the age of 21 aren’t allowed to drink alcohol. But there’s a slight change from the norm in Wisconsin, and it’s a little-known and often-misunderstood law that says if teens are in a public establishment with their parents, and if their parents consent, it’s legal to serve them alcohol.

A lot of bars have more stringent restrictions, though. For example, Mike McNerney, who owns Green Bay Distillery, says, “Even if you’re with your parents, it’s our discretion that you have to be 21 to drink in our establishment.” The main reasoning behind it is liability. “We can’t control those people as they leave our restaurant and what they do after the restaurant and we want to make sure we limit our liability for what we do here at Green Bay Distillery,” McNerney said.

If drinkers are over the age of 21, bars aren’t responsible for “mayhem” caused by the people they serve – but when drinkers are under the age of 18, the people serving them can be held liable and convicted of felonies.

What About Minor in Possession Laws?

Minors can’t drink without parents in Wisconsin – and when a minor is in possession of alcohol (or consumes alcohol), he or she can be charged with a crime. If you’re charged with an MIP, the state can fine you, revoke or suspend your driver’s license, or require you to complete community service.

Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About Wisconsin Drinking Laws for Minors?

If you’ve been accused of a crime related to drinking, or if you’re a parent seeking help for your child, we’re here. Call us at 414-383-6700 to schedule a free consultation today.

Carlos Gamino

By |2020-03-20T08:08:48-05:00May 1st, 2020|Criminal Law|Comments Off on Wisconsin Drinking Laws for Minors

Wisconsin Alcohol Laws

By Carlos Gamino

Wisconsin Alcohol Laws - Carlos Gamino

In Wisconsin, the possession and use of alcohol is heavily regulated – and everyone in the state is subject to Wisconsin alcohol laws. Here’s what you need to know.

How Old Do You Have to Be to Drink in Wisconsin?

Like every other state in the U.S., Wisconsin requires you to be at least 21 years old in order to drink alcohol. You can’t possess alcohol, either, unless you fall into one of a few exceptions (such as an 18-year-old server at a bar, who is permitted to bring alcohol from the bar to customers).

What About Drinking With Your Parents?

In Wisconsin, minors are permitted to drink with their parents’ consent. (Legal guardians count, too.) However, some establishments won’t serve to people under the age of 21 – even if their parents are there and say that it’s okay.

Wisconsin Alcohol Laws on Drunk Driving

Drunk driving is a crime in Wisconsin. If you’re charged with operating while intoxicated, or OWI, the state can convict you if you:

  • Drove or operated a motor vehicle on a public highway
  • Were under the influence of an intoxicant (or a controlled substance) at the time that you drove or operated the motor vehicle
  • Had a prohibited alcohol concentration at the time you drove or operated the vehicle

In Wisconsin, you can’t have an alcohol concentration over 0.08 if you have two or fewer prior OWIs. If you have an ignition interlock device – a device that won’t allow your car to start without checking your alcohol concentration first – or if you’ve had three or more prior OWIs, your alcohol concentration must be lower than 0.02 to legally get behind the wheel.

Public Intoxication and Wisconsin Alcohol Laws

Public intoxication isn’t a crime in Wisconsin, but some municipalities have ordinances against it. Additionally, the things you do while you’re intoxicated in public can have legal consequences. For example, if you get into a fight or otherwise engage in disorderly conduct, the state can charge you with that crime. Disorderly conduct is a Class B misdemeanor, and if you’re convicted, the judge can send you to jail for up to 90 days and hit you with fines of up to $1,000.

Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney Because You Violated Wisconsin Alcohol Laws?

If you’ve found yourself in trouble because you’re accused of breaking Wisconsin alcohol laws, we may be able to help you. Call us at 414-383-6700 to schedule your free consultation with an attorney today.

Attorney Carlos Gamino

By |2020-03-20T08:04:44-05:00April 27th, 2020|Criminal Law|Comments Off on Wisconsin Alcohol Laws

Providing Alcohol to Minors in Wisconsin

By Attorney Carlos Gamino

Providing Alcohol to Minors in Wisconsin - Carlos Gamino

If you’re like many people, you know there are laws against providing alcohol to minors in Wisconsin. But what if you’re a bartender serving a family where the parents consent? What if you’re a parent whose child is hosting a party?

Here’s what you need to know.

Providing Alcohol to Minors in Wisconsin

Wisconsin law prohibits bars and restaurants from serving alcohol to minors, but it also says that people under the age of 21 can “possess and consume” alcoholic beverages if they’re with their parents, guardians or spouses of legal drinking age.

That doesn’t mean bars have to serve a minor in those circumstances, though. The bar can decline to serve minors for any reason.

However, if the minor is not with a parent, guardian or spouse who consents, you cannot provide that person with any alcohol. The minor might get an underage drinking ticket, but the person who provides the alcohol is in violation of the law. In fact, here’s what the law says:

“No person may procure for, sell, dispense or give away any alcohol beverages to any underage person not accompanied by his or her parent, guardian or spouse who has attained the legal drinking age. No licensee or permitee may sell, vend, deal or traffic in alcohol beverage to or with any underage person not accompanied by his or her parent, guardian or spouse who has attained the legal drinking age. No adult may knowingly permit or fail to take action to prevent the illegal consumption of alcohol beverages by an underage person on premises owned by the adult or under the adult’s control.” (There’s an exception for alcoholic beverages used exclusively as part of a religious service, such as communion wine.)

Related: Underage drinking in Wisconsin

If you provide alcohol to an underage person, and that person gets into an accident and injures another person, you could be facing a Class H felony. A Class H felony is serious – the punishment can include up to 3 years in prison with 3 years of extended supervision, as well as fines of up to $10,000.

Related: What are the penalties for underage drinking in Wisconsin?

Have You Been Accused of Providing Alcohol to a Minor?

If you’ve been accused of providing alcohol to a minor in Wisconsin, we may be able to help you. Call us at 414-383-6700 today to schedule your free consultation with an attorney – we’ll answer your questions and develop a strategy that gets you the best possible outcome.

Carlos Gamino

By |2020-03-20T08:00:43-05:00April 25th, 2020|Criminal Law|Comments Off on Providing Alcohol to Minors in Wisconsin