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3 Reasons You Should Have a Lawyer Present During Questioning

By Attorney Carlos Gamino

When police question you, you have the right to have an attorney present. It’s not mandatory, though, and many people answer police officers’ questions without consulting with a lawyer first. That can cause serious problems, so here are three reasons you should have a lawyer present during questioning for any criminal case in Wisconsin.

3 Reasons You Should Have a Lawyer Present During Questioning

The three biggest reasons you should have a lawyer present during questioning are:

  1. Your attorney will help protect your rights
  2. Your attorney can prevent you from saying something the state can use against you in court
  3. Your attorney can determine what type of evidence the police have against you

Here’s a closer look at each.

Reason #1 to Have a Lawyer Present During Questioning: Your Attorney Can Help Protect Your Rights

When you’re in police custody, you have several rights that the police aren’t allowed to violate. You have the right to remain silent and not say anything at all, which is one of the most important rights you can exercise during questioning. You should not say anything about your situation to the police until after you’ve discussed your case with an attorney.

You have other rights while you’re in police custody, too, including the right to a phone call to inform someone you’ve been arrested; to medical help if you are sick or injured; and to be treated humanely and provided with food and shelter.

Related: What to do if police violate your rights

Reason #2 to Have a Lawyer Present During Questioning: Your Attorney Can Prevent You From Saying Things the State May Use Against You in Court

The police know what they’re doing when they interrogate a criminal suspect. Their questions are designed to get you to admit to committing a crime (even if you didn’t commit it, in some cases). The good news is that attorneys know what they’re doing, too – and they can prevent you from saying things that the police can (and almost certainly will) use against you in court.

Reason #3 to Have a Lawyer Present During Questioning: Your Attorney Can Determine What Type of Evidence the Police Have Against You

Part of your attorney’s job is finding out what type of evidence the police and the state of Wisconsin have against you. When your attorney discovers this evidence, he or she can create a legal strategy that helps you get the best possible outcome in your case.

Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney About a Criminal Case in Wisconsin?

If you have a pending criminal case in Wisconsin, even if you’ve already spoken with police, we may be able to help you. Call us at 414-383-6700 to schedule your free consultation now.

Attorney Carlos Gamino

By |2021-07-17T08:50:27-05:00September 6th, 2021|Criminal Law|Comments Off on 3 Reasons You Should Have a Lawyer Present During Questioning

When Can Police Search Your Body?

By Attorney Carlos Gamino

Sometimes the police are allowed to search your car, your bag, your home and even your body – but when is that okay? Do the police need a warrant to frisk you or search your body? Are some police searches illegal? Here’s what you need to know.

Related: What to do if police knock on your door

When Can Police Search Your Body?

The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects you against unreasonable searches and seizures – but not against reasonable searches. Police officers can briefly detain you if they suspect you’re guilty of criminal activity, and if they think that you’re armed and dangerous, they can frisk you. Frisking is patting down your outer clothing to look for weapons, and if police can identify something illegal that you have on your person (such as a bag of pills or drug paraphernalia), they can take it from you.

If the police officially arrest you, they’re allowed to fully search you. They can even go through your pockets to look for anything you’re not supposed to have, as well as through your personal effects that are within your reach (such as your wallet, backpack, purse or planner).

Related: Your rights if you’re stopped by police

Do Police Need a Warrant to Search You?

Usually police do need a warrant to search you or your property – but the exceptions are:

  • Stop and frisk pat-downs
  • Searches of your person and personal effects after an arrest
  • When something illegal is in the officer’s plain view
  • When you consent to a search
  • During emergencies, such as to prevent the destruction of evidence or to protect people
  • When police have probable cause, which means they have reason to believe you’re engaged in (or were engaged in) the commission of a crime or that there’s evidence of a crime on your person or in your area

Do You Need to Talk to a Criminal Defense Attorney in Wisconsin?

If you’ve been searched and charged with a crime as a result, we may be able to help you. Call our office at 414-383-6700 to schedule a free consultation – we’re here to answer your questions, explore your options and explain the possible outcomes of your case.

Attorney Carlos Gamino

By |2021-07-17T08:59:10-05:00August 16th, 2021|Criminal Law|Comments Off on When Can Police Search Your Body?

What Are Your Rights if You’re Stopped by Police?

Your Rights if You’re Stopped by Police - Carlos Gamino

By Carlos Gamino

If you’re like many people, you know that you have some rights when you’re stopped by the police – but what are they, and where do your rights end? Here’s what you need to know.

Your Rights if You’re Stopped by Police on the Street

Being stopped by the police is scary, especially when you know that things can go badly quickly. The last thing you want to do is escalate a situation with the police, but no matter what happens, you do have rights. You have these rights regardless of your legal status in the United States, whether or not you’re guilty of a crime, and in every location where you may encounter police.

You may be stopped by police in public, such as when you’re walking down the street, or when you’re pulled over in a car. Police can even come to your door. One thing remains the same: You have rights, and it’s okay for you to assert them. And while it’s never your responsibility to deescalate a situation with the police (that is their responsibility), you should avoid doing anything that could cause police to react in an unfavorable way. So what are your rights if the police stop you while you’re walking down the street?

You always have the right to remain silent when you encounter police. The police have the right to demand that you identify yourself, though – and if you choose not to, they may choose to search you. If you refuse to identify yourself, the police might think you’re up to something. Your right to remain silent means that you don’t have to answer questions about where you’re going or coming from, where you live or what you’re doing.

If you choose to use your right to remain silent, you should say so out loud. That can be as simple as saying, “I would like to use my right to remain silent.”

Related: What to do if police violate your rights

You don’t have to consent to a search, either of yourself or your belongings – but the police are allowed to pat you down if they believe you have a weapon. Remember, too, that even if you don’t consent to a search, the police might still choose to search you or your belongings against your will.

What to Do if Police Stop You

If the police stop you, keep your hands in plain view and don’t make any sudden movements. You can assert your right to remain silent, but know that if you do so, the police might think that you’re guilty of something – and they may arrest you. Don’t talk about where you were going, what you were doing or where you were; let the police know you’d like to speak to an attorney before you have any kind of conversation with them.

Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer Because You’ve Encountered Police?

If you’ve been arrested for any crime, we may be able to help you. Call us at 414-383-6700 now to talk to a caring, knowledgeable and experienced professional who can point you in the right direction.

Carlos Gamino

By |2021-07-17T10:03:01-05:00November 30th, 2020|Criminal Law, Traffic Offenses|Comments Off on What Are Your Rights if You’re Stopped by Police?

Do You Have Rights When You’re Pulled Over by Police?

What Are Your Rights When Pulled Over by the Police - Carlos Gamino

By Carlos Gamino

Many people aren’t sure about their rights when they’re pulled over by police. However, you do have rights – and it’s up to you to decide whether to exercise them. If you believe police violated your rights and then charged you with a crime, you may want to talk to a criminal defense attorney in Milwaukee immediately.

 What Are Your Rights When Pulled Over by the Police?

When you’re pulled over by police, the U.S. Constitution guarantees you certain rights. That’s true whether you’re the driver or the passenger. You have these rights even if you’re not a U.S. citizen or you’re here without the proper documentation.

You have the right to remain silent, and if you’re a passenger, you have the right to ask if you’re free to leave.

Your Right to Remain Silent

Most traffic stops are pretty routine, though, and often result in a ticket or a warning. Police may pull you over because they suspect you’ve committed an actual crime (rather than a traffic violation, like failing to use your turn signal), or they may suspect you’ve committed a crime (or you’re in the process of committing a crime) after they stop you for something else.

You don’t have to say anything. However, if you do choose to exercise your right to remain silent, you do have to let police know verbally. You can say, “I want to use my right to remain silent.”

If you’re pulled over, your best bet is to:

  • Stay calm
  • Keep your hands on the steering wheel
  • Don’t reach for your ID or any of your documentation until the police officer says it’s okay to do so
  • Be respectful, even if you’re only telling the police that you want to use your right to remain silent

You can always answer the officer’s questions if you choose to, though. Just be careful not to admit guilt. For example, if the police officer asks, “Do you know why I pulled you over?” you can say, “Can you tell me?” If the police officer says, “I clocked you doing 50 in a 40 mile-per-hour zone,” you should say, “I see,” or “I understand.”

Your Right to Ask if You’re Free to Leave

If you’re the passenger in a vehicle and the driver is pulled over, you can ask the police if you’re free to leave. As long as police aren’t arresting you, you have the right to leave – and you should absolutely do so silently.

Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About a Violation of Your Rights or Being Charged With a Crime?

If you believe police pulled you over and illegally obtained evidence to charge you with a crime, we may be able to help you.

Call us at 414-383-6700 to tell us about your situation. We’ll ask you some questions (and answer yours), and if you’ve been charged with a crime, we can build a defense that gets you the best possible outcome.

Carlos Gamino

By |2021-07-17T13:50:03-05:00November 27th, 2019|Criminal Law, Traffic Offenses|Comments Off on Do You Have Rights When You’re Pulled Over by Police?

What to Do if Police Violate Your Rights

What to Do if Police Violate Your Rights - Gamino Law Offices, LLC

What to Do if Police Violate Your Rights

When police stop and interrogate you, it’s not usually a pleasant experience. Whether you witnessed a crime, committed one or are being falsely accused of committing one, most people don’t want to answer investigators’ questions – especially when the police are being a little less-than-friendly about it.

Most of us just have a natural inclination to obey authority; we learn it when we’re kids. Unfortunately, that means it can be tough to tell if police are overstepping their bounds and violating your constitutional rights.

Many people don’t even question whether the police violated their rights until after the incident.

Your Most Important Right

Police don’t necessarily have to arrest you to violate your rights. However, in many cases, police violate citizens’ rights during and after an arrest – and some police, although they should know better, don’t realize that they’re doing so.

Always remember that you have the right to remain silent, and you need to exercise that right. That doesn’t mean denying what they’re accusing you of; it simply means that you don’t have to answer any questions before you’ve talked to your Milwaukee criminal defense lawyer. Even if you’re completely innocent, it’s usually a good idea to keep quiet. When they say, “Anything you say can and will be used against you,” they’re serious.

Reply to only the questions that you need to answer, such as your name and address, and ask to speak to an attorney.

Know Your Rights

If you suspect the police violated your rights, you could be correct. The Fourth Amendment, for instance, protects us from unreasonable searches and seizure of property… but do you know how to discern what is “reasonable”? Police may be counting on the fact that you don’t.

Document Everything if Police Violate Your Rights

It’s difficult to prove that police violated your rights if you can’t remember exactly what happened. If the police have overstepped their bounds, write down exactly what they said or did, as soon and as clearly as possible. It’s important that you record the details before your memory of the incident fades. If pictures would be helpful (such as pictures of injuries the police may have caused you) take them as soon as possible.  

A Milwaukee Lawyer Can Help Sort This Out

For the most part, it’s a good idea to talk to a Milwaukee criminal defense lawyer if you believe police have violated your rights. Your attorney can protect your rights moving forward and help sort through the details of the case to determine whether police overstepped their bounds and caused you harm in the process.

By |2021-07-31T14:39:15-05:00November 20th, 2019|Criminal Law|Comments Off on What to Do if Police Violate Your Rights

Do You Have to Talk to Police if They Question You?

Do You Have to Talk to Police - Carlos Gamino

By Carlos Gamino

It might surprise you to know that you don’t have to talk to police – your right to remain silent is pretty much absolute. In many cases, talking to the police, even if you’re innocent, is the worst thing you can do. Here’s what you need to know.

Do You Have to Talk to Police?

When the police approach you and start asking you questions, you don’t have to answer them. Remember, though, that police do have the right to temporarily question people without arresting them. Under Wisconsin law, when a police officer identifies him- or herself as a law enforcement officer, he or she can stop you on suspicion that you’re committing, about to commit, or have recently committed a crime. The officer has the right to demand your name and address, as well as an explanation of your conduct – but you don’t have to provide any of that information.

However, if you choose not to provide any of that information, you may make the officer suspicious. It may appear as if you’re hiding something.

You can ask the officer if you’re free to leave. If he or she says yes, you can walk away – but you definitely have to do so calmly and slowly while keeping your hands in sight. You should be respectful at all times for your own safety.

If the officer says you’re not free to go, it means he or she believes there is a reasonable suspicion about you. (And again, sometimes refusing to say who you are or what you’re doing in the area can make the police officer suspect that you’re hiding something.) When an officer has a reasonable suspicion, he or she can pat you down or frisk you to search you. You should never physically resist a police officer; instead, say out loud (but politely) that you do not consent to a search.

Keep in mind that police are trained to keep suspects talking while they’re searching them. You can simply say, “I don’t want to talk.”

If the police end up arresting you, you still don’t have to talk to them. You can simply let them know that you won’t be answering any questions until you’ve had the chance to talk to your attorney.

Were You Arrested in Wisconsin?

If you’ve been arrested, remember that it’s better to say nothing at all – even if you’re completely innocent. Never, ever confess to the police, no matter what they promise you; they have no authority to make things easier on you or get a judge to pass a lighter sentence, regardless of what they say.

Instead of talking to police, you have every right to talk to a lawyer. Call us at 414-383-6700 if you’ve been arrested for any reason – we may be able to help you.

Carlos Gamino

By |2021-08-08T13:11:02-05:00November 16th, 2019|Criminal Law|Comments Off on Do You Have to Talk to Police if They Question You?

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