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Wisconsin Legislature Approves Marsy’s Law

What You Need to Know About Marsy’s Law – Carlos Gamino

By Carlos Gamino

In mid-May, the Wisconsin state legislature approved a constitutional amendment in favor of the rights of crime victims. Called Marsy’s Law, the amendment will appear on Wisconsin ballots in the April 2020 election – so just over a year from now.

What is Marsy’s Law?

Marsy’s Law basically duplicates all the victim protections that already exist in Wisconsin law. However, it adds other rights for victims, too, including:

  • The right to be heard at plea, parole and revocation proceedings
  • The right to refuse a defense attorney’s interview request, as well as deposition or discovery requests
  • The right to attend all proceedings related to their cases

Senator Mark Miller (D-Monona) argued against the amendment, saying, “I believe that this will actually delay a just and speedy trial.”

Marsy’s Law isn’t only specific to Wisconsin. Other states have enacted it, as well. It was part of a nationwide effort in the 1980s to expand victim rights – but many senators are arguing that it’s not really adding much by way of victim rights.

Opponents of the bill also argue that it’ll make it more difficult to defend people. The American Civil Liberties Union, which favors the bill, says that “Defendants’ rights are checks against government abuse. They prevent the government from arresting and imprisoning anyone, for any reason, and at any time.”

Wisconsin was actually the first state to adopt any type of crime victim bill of rights – ours dates back to 1980.

“The difference between our current constitution and the resolution before us is that the current language is not the language that is the result of a well-funded effort by a California billionaire to have his version of victims’ rights implemented to every state constitution like he did in California, said Sen. Miller.

What Does Marsy’s Law Mean for the Accused?

If you’ve been accused of a crime, Marsy’s Law – if passed on the ballot in April 2020 – will mean that victims will have a right to participate in all aspects of your trial.

What if You’ve Been Accused of a Crime?

If you’ve been accused of any crime – felony or misdemeanor – you have the right to an attorney. You can call us at 414-383-6700 at any time for a free case review with an experienced Milwaukee criminal defense attorney.

Carlos Gamino

By |2021-07-17T14:18:17-05:00November 27th, 2019|Criminal Law|Comments Off on Wisconsin Legislature Approves Marsy’s Law

Crime Victim Relief and Immigration to the U.S.

Crime Victim Relief and Immigration to the U.S. - Milwaukee Immigration Attorney

By Tedia Gamino

Victims of certain crimes may be eligible for what’s known as a U visa, which affords a measure of protection to people who have suffered mental or physical abuse. If you feel you may be eligible, it may be a good idea to talk to a Milwaukee immigration attorney who can evaluate your case and help you get the best possible outcome.

Who is Eligible for a U Visa?

You could be eligible for a U visa (which puts you on U nonimmigrant status) if you’re the victim of a qualifying criminal activity.

Qualifying criminal activities include:

  • Abduction
  • Abusive sexual contact
  • Blackmail
  • Domestic violence
  • Extortion
  • False imprisonment
  • Female genital mutilation
  • Felonious assault
  • Fraud in foreign labor contracting
  • Hostage
  • Incest
  • Involuntary servitude
  • Kidnapping
  • Manslaughter
  • Murder
  • Obstruction of justice
  • Peonage
  • Perjury
  • Prostitution
  • Rape
  • Sexual assault
  • Sexual exploitation
  • Slave trade
  • Stalking
  • Torture
  • Trafficking
  • Witness tampering
  • Unlawful criminal restraint

In addition to being the victim of one or more of these criminal activities, you must also:

  • Have suffered substantial mental or physical abuse as a result of the activity
  • Have information about the activity
  • Help (or be likely to help) law enforcement in the investigation or prosecution of the crime

The crime must have occurred in the U.S. or have violated U.S. laws, and you must also be admissible to the U.S. (If you’re not, you may be able to apply for a waiver.)

You can apply for a U visa if you’re outside the United States, as well. When the USCIS grants U nonimmigrant status, it’s valid for 4 years; sometimes, in select circumstances, it can be extended. For example, if law enforcement requests an extension or if you have exceptional circumstances, or if there are delays in consular processing, you may be able to extend. Your U visa is automatically extended if you apply for a Green Card.

Do You Qualify for a U Visa?

If you qualify for a U visa or another humanitarian aid program, call our team of Milwaukee immigration lawyers at 414-383-6700; you can also contact us online. We are familiar with the process and can help make the process as simple as possible.

By |2021-07-27T21:04:24-05:00November 21st, 2019|Immigration Law|Comments Off on Crime Victim Relief and Immigration to the U.S.

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