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Milwaukee, WI 53202
Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown, LLP

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Milwaukee, WI pardon application attorneyThe news that pardons will once again be granted in Wisconsin has gotten out, and pardon applications have begun rolling in. It is expected that once the Pardon Advisory Board is fully filled, even more pardon requests will be received by the state. 

The Pardon Advisory Board reviews pardon applications and makes recommendations to the Governor. Some of those seeking pardons ask for commutation of a sentence, while others have served their sentences and want to receive a pardon in order to be able to move on with their lives. Pardons typically restore all civil rights that were affected by the conviction, such as the right to vote, serve on a jury, possess a firearm, hold certain professional licenses, and run for office. 

Why Are Pardons Now an Option?

The new Wisconsin governor, Tony Evers, has recently announced that his office will entertain pardon requests. The prior governor, Scott Walker, had placed a moratorium on considering any pardons. 

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Milwaukee expungement attorneyBy Brianna Meyer and Raymond Dall'Osto

Expungement is a powerful tool to help provide a second chance for those convicted of criminal charges. For that reason, it is highly sought by many who wish to clear their criminal records. The Wisconsin Legislature has before it and is currently considering a bill that would make more people eligible to have their records expunged and provide some necessary reforms to overcome obstacles to expungement that have been imposed by a series of court of appeals decisions over the past several years. 

What Is Expungement?

Expungement is the removal of certain criminal convictions or juvenile court records from official state records, which include the official court record, possibly the state’s online court record system (CCAP), and the arrest records kept by the Dept. of Justice Crime Information Bureau in Madison.  Under Wisconsin law, to expunge is “to strike or obliterate from the record all references to the defendant’s name and identity.”  Expungement of a criminal record allows someone arrested on criminal charges or convicted of a crime to have a clean start with regard to that case.  

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Milwaukee WI domestic abuse charges defense laywerFalse accusations of domestic violence are more common than one might think. They can be devastating to someone’s personal reputation and professional life. It is important to take these types of sensitive criminal charges seriously by hiring an experienced attorney who has defended clients against such accusations and understands the best way to proceed with a case. 

How Does the Law Define Domestic Violence?

While you may have an idea about what acts are commonly considered to be domestic violence by the general public, Wisconsin law specifies exactly what must transpire for a charge to be properly labeled as “domestic violence.”

Wisconsin State Statute 968.075(1) defines “domestic abuse" as any of the following engaged in by an adult person against his or her spouse or former spouse, against an adult with whom the person resides or formerly resided, or against an adult with whom the person has a child in common:

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Milwaukee WI sex offense attorneyIn Wisconsin, persons who have been convicted of felony sex offenses are required to register as sex offenders for either fifteen (15) years or, for some types of convictions, lifetime registration. Sex offenses requiring registration are listed at Wis. Stat. §301.45(1d)(b). Some offenses, which are designated as “level 1” or “level 2” sex offenses against minors; persons who are placed on lifetime supervision for a “serious sex offenses” pursuant to Wis. Stats §939.615; and persons who are deemed Special Bulletin Notification (SBN) offenders under Wis. Stat. §301.46(2m)(am), are subject to lifetime sex offender reporting (SOR) and GPS monitoring.  

In June 1997, the Sex offender Registration and Community Notification Law went into effect in Wisconsin and gave law enforcement agencies the authority to disseminate information about certain sex offenders to the community, and it established the SBN process. Until September 2018, the Wisconsin Department of Corrections interpreted the SOR and SBN laws so that persons convicted of sex offenses on “2 or more separate occasions” was defined to mean persons who were convicted of sex offenses in two or more separate cases. On September 1, 2017, Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel issued formal opinion OAG-02-17, in which he concluded that "separate occasions" could mean separate counts within just one case, as well as in separate cases. The DOC adopted Schimel’s opinion in 2018 and has applied it retroactively for many convicted sex offenders, regardless of the fact that this was not the law at the time of their sentencing. AG Schimel’s opinion is at https://www.doj.state.wi.us/sites/default/files/dls/ag-opinion-archive/2017/OAG-02-17.pdf.

Under the 2018 DOC interpretation, many individuals who were not subject to “Special Bulletin Notification” and lifetime GPS monitoring (and were never told they would face such by the sentencing judge) are now unexpectedly finding that they are, and that their future includes the wearing of a GPS bracelet for the rest of their lives. These surprise retroactive restrictions raise significant legal and constitutional concerns, including ex post facto, Fourth Amendment liberty and privacy, as well as due process and the right to adequate notice. It also could call into question the validity of many past plea bargains, which were based on the criminal law that defendants were advised of and as it existed at that time.

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Milwaukee criminal defense lawyer appealsAfter you have been convicted of a crime, you may feel like you have no options. In Wisconsin, if you have been convicted of a crime, you have the right to an appeal. If you believe that errors were made during your case, you should explore all of your legal options with an attorney.

The Wisconsin Appeals Process

The first crucial step in appealing a conviction or sentence is to file a notice of intent to pursue post-conviction relief within twenty days of sentencing. Failing to do this means that you could lose your right to an appeal.

Next, you must determine your grounds for appeal. When you appeal a criminal conviction or sentence, you must argue with great specificity what mistakes occurred during your trial. Some errors commonly alleged in appeals include:

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