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Is Burglary a Felony in Wisconsin?

Is Burglary a Felony in Wisconsin - Carlos Gamino

By Attorney Carlos Gamino

If you’ve been accused of burglary, you could be facing serious penalties – especially if your alleged offense involved a weapon. But what makes a crime a burglary, and is it a felony or misdemeanor? Here’s what you need to know.

Is Burglary a Felony in Wisconsin?

Burglary is a Class F felony in Wisconsin, and as you probably already know, felonies come with more serious punishments than misdemeanors do. If the state convicts you of burglary, you’re facing up to 7 years and 6 months in prison, plus an additional 5 years of extended supervision. The court could even order you to pay a fine of up to $25,000.

If you’re armed at the time of the offense, or if a battery occurs during the commission of the burglary, you’re facing a Class E felony. Class E felonies carry even more severe penalties. You could spend 10 years in prison with another 5 years on extended supervision, and you could have to pay up to $50,000 in fines.

What is Burglary?

Burglary is different from what many people think. The state can convict you of it if you:

  • Intentionally enter a building
  • When you enter the building, you do so without consent from the person in lawful possession of the building
  • You know full well that you’re entering without consent
  • You enter the building with intent to steal or commit another felony

You don’t have to steal something to be convicted of felony burglary. In fact, you don’t even have to intend to steal something. If you go into a building without consent and with the intent to commit any other felony (even if you don’t pull it off), the state can convict you of burglary.

What to Do if You’re Accused of Felony Burglary

If you’re arrested for burglary, you probably want to talk to an attorney as soon as you can. Your lawyer will answer your questions and help you move forward, toward the best possible outcome.

Call us at 414-383-6700 now or get in touch with us online for your free consultation. You’ll talk to someone who can give you the guidance you need.

Attorney Carlos Gamino

By |2020-07-17T11:33:38-05:00September 7th, 2020|Criminal Law|Comments Off on Is Burglary a Felony in Wisconsin?

What Happens if You Violate Probation in Wisconsin?

What Happens if You Violate Probation in Wisconsin - Carlos Gamino

By Attorney Carlos Gamino

If you’re like many people, you’re counting yourself lucky for being sentenced to probation instead of jail time after a criminal conviction. Probation is different from extended supervision or parole; it’s a form of community supervision that doesn’t involve time behind bars (unless you already served it prior to sentencing). Although probation is a “win” for most people, its conditions can be pretty serious – and if you violate them, you’ll face serious consequences. So what happens if you violate probation in Wisconsin?

Here’s what you need to know.

What Happens if You Violate Probation in Wisconsin?

Your probation will come with conditions attached. You’ll have to see a probation agent periodically during the term of your sentence, you might have to perform community service or attend counseling, and you’ll almost certainly have to pay fines and fees associated with your offense. If you violate the conditions of your probation, the court can place you on a probation hold.

What is a Probation Hold?

If you violate a condition of your probation, you can be placed on probation hold. That means you’ll be taken to jail, and that’s where you’ll stay until the matter is resolved. Typically, there are only three ways to resolve a probation hold:

  1. The police can release you, which they might do if your probation hold was just a mistake or you committed a minor violation that’s since been cleared up.
  2. The judge in your case can give you an alternative to revoking your probation entirely. That might be something like staying in jail for a while, attending counseling or performing additional community service.
  3. The judge can revoke your probation. If the judge revokes your probation, you’ll go to jail to serve out the rest of your sentence.

Related: What is the probation hold time limit in Wisconsin?

Did You Violate Probation?

If you’ve violated the conditions of your probation, we may be able to help you. Call us at 414-383-6700 to talk about your case – we’ll be happy to give you a free consultation and answer your questions.

Attorney Carlos Gamino

By |2020-07-17T10:18:46-05:00September 1st, 2020|Criminal Law|Comments Off on What Happens if You Violate Probation in Wisconsin?

Common Reasons to Appeal a Criminal Case

Common Reasons to Appeal a Criminal Case - Carlos Gamino

By Attorney Carlos Gamino

If you’re like many people who have been convicted of a crime, you’ve wondered whether you can get a second chance in court. For some people, that is entirely possible – but not for everyone. Here’s what you need to know about the most common reasons to appeal a criminal case in Wisconsin.

3 Reasons to Appeal a Criminal Case

When a court convicts someone, the defendant – the person convicted of the crime – may be able to file an appeal to a higher court. The higher court can look at the lower court’s decision, and if it finds that the defendant is in the right, it could reverse the lower court’s decision (in part or the whole thing).

Not everyone has an automatic right to appeal, though. If you pled guilty, you usually have to get permission to appeal from the appellate court (the court that reviews lower courts’ decisions). If you were convicted by a judge or jury during a trial, you do have the right to appeal your conviction.

The three most common reasons people appeal criminal cases include:

  • Legal error
  • Juror misconduct
  • Ineffective assistance of counsel

Here’s a closer look at each.

Legal Errors Can Lead to Appeals

Legal errors can refer to a number of things, such as improperly admitted evidence, lack of sufficient evidence to support a finding of guilt or incorrect jury instructions. If there have been legal errors made in your case, you may be able to appeal. If the errors wouldn’t have changed the verdict (like if the prosecution has your fingerprints and the evidence was not properly introduced, but the prosecutor also has video of you committing the crime that was introduced properly), you won’t be able to appeal.

Related: 10 common legal terms you need to know

Appealing a Case That Involved Juror Misconduct

Juror misconduct is serious – and if you reasonably believe that the jury conducted itself improperly during deliberations (or during the trial), you may be able to appeal. Jury misconduct occurs when jurors use drugs or alcohol during deliberations of the trial, improperly communicate with witnesses or other attorneys, or do any number of other things that negatively impact the fairness of your trial.

Ineffective Assistance of Counsel: You May Be Able to Appeal   

If you weren’t provided with adequate representation, and that lack of representation harmed your case, you could have the right to appeal.

Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About Appealing Your Case?

If you’re not sure whether you have grounds to appeal, or if you’re positive that something was wrong with your trial, give us a call at 414-383-6700 now. We’ll evaluate your situation and give you our professional opinions during a free consultation.  Attorney Carlos Gamino

By |2020-07-17T11:15:24-05:00August 31st, 2020|Criminal Law|Comments Off on Common Reasons to Appeal a Criminal Case

International Adoption FAQ

International Adoption FAQ - Carlos Gamino

By Carlos Gamino

International adoption is one way to complete a family – but if you’re like many people who have considered it, you want to do as much research as possible. Check out this international adoption FAQ to get answers, and if you don’t see what you’re looking for, call us at 414-383-6700. We’ll be happy to help.

International Adoption FAQ

When you’re considering international adoption, the answers to these questions may help you make the best possible decision for your family.

Related: Types of adoption processes

Should We Work With an Attorney for International Adoption?

For many families, the best – and simplest – course of action is to work with a family law and immigration attorney during the international adoption process. Your attorney can answer all your questions, ensure you file the appropriate paperwork with the government and the courts, and walk you through the process from start to finish.

What Are the Requirements for International Adoption?

Generally speaking, adoptive parents must be at least 25 years old, and at least one parent must be a U.S. citizen. Each person adopting the child must complete the appropriate government forms, have a home study, and be cleared by the FBI in a search for child abuse records. Other countries may have eligibility criteria, as well.

What Kinds of Immigration Forms Do We Need for an International Adoption?

Usually, you need Form I-600 or I-800 for an international adoption. Your attorney can also let you know if there are other forms you need to file, as well as supporting documentation that you must provide.

How Much Does International Adoption Cost?   

International adoption can cost between $15,000 and $35,000, but the fees vary based on the country from which you’re adopting. Those fees often include agency fees, travel expenses and U.S. government fees for filing the right immigration paperwork.  

Is it Hard to Adopt a Child From Another Country?

It can be difficult to adopt a child from another country, but it can also be difficult to adopt a child in the U.S. It depends on what country your adoptive child is coming from, what issues your current family is facing, and the requirements imposed by your adoptive child’s home country.

Do You Want to Speak With a Family Law Attorney About International Adoption?  

If you’re considering international adoption – or if you want to adopt a child from within the United States – we may be able to help you. Call us at 414-383-6700 now to schedule a consultation. We’ll be happy to answer your questions and help you start moving forward to grow your family.

Carlos Gamino

By |2020-07-17T11:09:34-05:00August 25th, 2020|Family Law, Immigration Law|Comments Off on International Adoption FAQ

What Does it Mean When You Win an Appeal in a Criminal Case?

What Does it Mean When You Win an Appeal in a Criminal Case - Carlos Gamino

By Attorney Carlos Gamino

What does it mean if you win an appeal in a criminal case? Usually, it’s great news – but just how much great news you get depends on what the higher court decides. Here’s what you need to know.

What Does it Mean if You Win an Appeal in a Criminal Case?

First things first: Not everyone qualifies to appeal a criminal case. You must have a good reason (called grounds) for filing an appeal – and not liking a judge’s ruling doesn’t count. If you think you have grounds to file an appeal, contact an appellate attorney as soon as you can.

When you appeal a case, you’re really asking a higher court to look at a lower court’s decision. The higher court, if it accepts your case, will see if any of the circumstances of your case affected its outcome. Sometimes things like the improper introduction of evidence, a lack of sufficient help from your attorney, or even jurors who behave improperly during the trial can have such an impact on your case that it would’ve had a different outcome under different circumstances.

If the higher court – called the appellate court – reviews the lower court’s decision and finds that you’re right, the higher court can do one of three things:

  • It can rule that even though you’re right, the facts presented wouldn’t have affected the outcome of your case
  • It can reverse part of your conviction
  • It can reverse all of your conviction

Sometimes the appellate court finds that your trial was fine, your jurors were fine, and the judge’s decision was fine, too. If that happens, you won’t win your appeal and the lower court’s ruling stays in place.

Do You Need to Talk to an Appellate Attorney?

If you think you have grounds to appeal your case, we may be able to help you. Call us at 414-383-6700 and get a free consultation – we’ll be glad to answer your questions and give you case-specific advice.

Attorney Carlos Gamino

By |2020-07-17T11:04:11-05:00August 24th, 2020|Criminal Law|Comments Off on What Does it Mean When You Win an Appeal in a Criminal Case?

What is Adjustment of Status in the U.S.?

What is Adjustment of Status - Carlos Gamino

By Carlos Gamino

If you’re like many people from abroad who are living and working in the United States, you’d like to become a lawful permanent resident – and to do that, you need to file an adjustment of status petition. But what is an adjustment of status petition, who can use it, and how does it work? Here’s what you need to know.

What is an Adjustment of Status?

Adjustment of status is the process people who are in the U.S. on a visa can use to become lawful permanent residents. You can only use this process while you’re present in the U.S., and it’s designed to help you get a green card, which signifies your lawful permanent resident status, without forcing you to return to your home country.

Are You Eligible for a Green Card?

Some types of visas don’t qualify you to adjust your status and get lawful permanent residency. For example, if you’re in the U.S. on a tourist visa, you can’t apply for residency based on that.

You can only apply for a green card if you’re in the U.S. in one of these immigration categories, and even then, you must still meet other requirements:

  • A relative or fiancé of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident
  • A worker in the U.S. for the purpose of employment
  • Asylees and refugees
  • Human trafficking and crime victims
  • Victims of abuse
  • Special categories, such as a diplomat who is unable to return home or a person selected for a diversity visa
  • People who have resided continuously in the U.S. since before January 1, 1972  

Do You Need to Talk to an Immigration Attorney About an Adjustment of Status Petition?

If you’re considering filing an adjustment of status petition, we may be able to help you. Call us at 414-383-6700 to set up your consultation with an immigration attorney now. Carlos Gamino

By |2020-08-21T09:40:53-05:00August 18th, 2020|Immigration Law|Comments Off on What is Adjustment of Status in the U.S.?

What Happens if You Escape From Police While They’re Chasing You?

What Happens if You Escape a Police Chase - Carlos Gamino

By Attorney Carlos Gamino

You’ve seen a dozen movies and Dukes of Hazzard reruns, and the outcome is the same: The suspects flee the police and drive off into the sunset, and the police never end up catching them. But is that really what happens in real life?

What Happens if You Escape a Police Chase?

There are so many safeguards in place that prevent a person from escaping the police that it’s almost impossible to evade them during a chase – and even if you are successful in getting away, there’s a good chance they already know who you are and where you live (thanks to your license plate and other identifying factors). The police will come knocking on your door after you think you’re home-free – and the consequences aren’t pretty.

Fleeing an officer is a felony.

If a police officer signals you to stop and you choose to speed up or turn off your lights in an attempt to elude the officer, the state can find you guilty and send you straight to prison.

The law says, “No operator of a vehicle, after having received a visual or audible signal from a traffic officer, or marked police vehicle, shall knowingly flee or attempt to elude any traffic officer by willful or wanton disregard of such signal so as to interfere with or endanger the operation of the police vehicle, or the traffic officer or other vehicles or pedestrians, nor shall the operator increase the speed of the operator’s vehicle or extinguish the lights of the vehicle in an attempt to elude or flee.”

You’ll end up facing a Class I felony, which means if the judge convicts you, you can go to prison for a year and a half. Once you’re out, you’re subject to up to 2 years of extended supervision – and that’s after you’ve paid fines of up to $10,000. Those penalties can be increased, too. For example:

  • If you cause someone bodily harm or damage property while you’re committing this crime, the state can find you guilty of a Class H felony (for which the penalty can be 3 years in prison and 3 years of extended supervision)
  • If you cause someone great bodily harm, the state can find you guilty of a Class F felony (that’s up to 7 years, 6 months in prison, 5 years of extended supervision, and $25,000 in fines)
  • If you cause someone else’s death, the state can find you guilty of a Class E felony (for which the penalty can be up to 10 years in prison, 5 years of extended supervision, and fines of up to $50,000)

Related: Criminal penalties in Wisconsin

Were You Busted After Escaping a Police Chase?

If you attempted to flee or successfully eluded a police officer but were later caught, we may be able to help you. Call us at 414-383-6700 now for a free consultation. We can answer your questions and give you the legal advice you need right now.

Attorney Carlos Gamino

By |2020-07-17T10:53:19-05:00August 17th, 2020|Criminal Law|Comments Off on What Happens if You Escape From Police While They’re Chasing You?

Municipal Tickets for Health Code Violations

Municipal Tickets for Health Code Violations - Carlos Gamino

By Attorney Carlos Gamino

If you’re like many restaurateurs and other small business owners, you’re always on the lookout for health code violations – but what should you do if you receive a ticket for one? Here’s what you need to know.

What is a Municipal Ticket for a Health Code Violation?

In some cases, restaurants and other small business owners receive municipal tickets for health code violations. The health code is designed to protect consumers, so the state takes violations pretty seriously. A municipal ticket, which is an alternative to a criminal offense, is one way that officials can ensure that businesses comply with the health code. These tickets tell you the specific violation charged against you.

What to Do if You Get a Municipal Ticket for a Health Code Violation?

If you receive a citation, you can answer the charge by entering a plea. Your citation will have a court date listed on it – but you don’t have to go to court if you pay your fine on or before your court date, or if you enter a plea online, by mail or by fax. You can plead guilty, not guilty or no contest to the charge against you. (Juvenile citations are different, and so are those that involve drunk driving charges. You must appear in court for those.)

As with anything else in the legal system, you can have an attorney represent you.

Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About a Municipal Ticket for a Health Code Violation?

If you’ve received a municipal ticket for a health code violation – or for any other reason – we may be able to help you. Call us at 414-383-6700 for a free consultation. We can answer your questions about the process and what to do next, as well as the consequences you may face for pleading guilty or no contest. We’ll also help you determine the best path forward.

Carlos Gamino

By |2020-07-17T10:33:55-05:00August 3rd, 2020|Criminal Law, Municipal Law|Comments Off on Municipal Tickets for Health Code Violations

Can a Lawyer Get You Off Probation in Wisconsin?

Can a Lawyer Get You Off Probation - Carlos Gamino

By Carlos Gamino

If you’re like many people, you figure that being on probation is better than being in jail – but not being on probation is better than being on probation, isn’t it? You may have even wondered if a lawyer can get you off probation so you can be done with it and move on with your life.

Here’s what you need to know.

Can a Lawyer Get You Off Probation?

Some people can get off probation early, before they’ve completed their entire sentence. In order to get off probation, you must have:

  • Completed at least half of your probation term. For example, if you were sentenced to a year of probation, you must have completed at least 6 months of it.
  • Satisfied all the conditions of probation set by both the court that sentenced you and the Department of Corrections. If you were ordered to attend counseling or complete community service, for example, you must have done those things.
  • Fulfilled all your financial obligations related to your case. That might include restitution to the victim, court costs and fees, fines, fees and other expenses.
  • No outstanding warrants. If you have a warrant out for your arrest, you’re not going to get off probation – even with an attorney’s help.

If you’ve satisfied all the conditions of your probation and completed at least half your sentence, you may want to call a criminal defense attorney who can help. In some cases, lawyers can file a motion to terminate a person’s probation.

It’s really important to remember that there’s no way to predict how a judge will rule, but you can do a few things to show the judge that you’re responsible enough to come off probation. Those things might include working toward educational milestones, such as the completion of a high school equivalency program or enrollment in college courses, performing volunteer work, getting and holding a job, or doing other things that show you’re investing in yourself and the community.

Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About Getting Off Probation?

If you’re working through probation and want to find out if there’s a way you can wrap up your sentence early, we may be able to help you. Call us at 414-383-6700 for a free consultation. We’ll be happy to talk to you about your options. Carlos Gamino

By |2020-07-17T10:13:30-05:00August 3rd, 2020|Criminal Law|Comments Off on Can a Lawyer Get You Off Probation in Wisconsin?

What Are the Most Common Juvenile Crimes in Wisconsin?

The Most Common Juvenile Crimes – Carlos Gamino

By Carlos Gamino

Like adults, kids can commit crimes – and sometimes they’re fairly serious. However, the vast majority of crimes that juveniles commit are “kid stuff.” But even then, those crimes can come with serious consequences that can follow a child well into adulthood.

What Are the Most Common Juvenile Crimes?

Across the board, the most common juvenile crimes include things like:

  • Vandalism
  • Shoplifting
  • Simple assault
  • Underage drinking
  • Joyriding

While most of these don’t sound terribly serious to us, as adults, the consequences can be really rough on kids’ futures. The problem is that although the juvenile justice system tries to focus on rehabilitating kids, some are still tried as adults – and they face adult penalties.

What Happens When Kids Are Tried as Juveniles?

Because the juvenile justice system tries to be more about intervention than about punishment, it’s common for judges to sentence kids to things like community service, educational courses and rehabilitation. These are generally used instead of jail or juvenile detention. However, some offenses – particularly the more serious ones – do sometimes result in confinement.

What if Kids Are Tried as Adults in Wisconsin?

Sometimes kids’ cases are transferred to an adult court. In that case, the accused minor faces the same penalties as an adult would in that situation. If the child is convicted, he or she will have an adult criminal record – and that can seriously limit his or her future opportunities in education and employment.

Has Your Child Been Accused of a Crime?

If your child has been accused of a crime, you have the right to retain an attorney. Call us right away so we can help. We’ll be happy to answer your questions, talk to you about what could happen to your child, and help your family get the best possible outcome.

Carlos Gamino

By |2020-07-17T09:58:40-05:00August 1st, 2020|Criminal Law, Juvenile Law|Comments Off on What Are the Most Common Juvenile Crimes in Wisconsin?