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Waukesha County family law firmMilwaukee, WI criminal defense and family law attorneysBy Attorney Max Stephenson and Family Law Paralegal Courtney Hess

If you are facing criminal charges, you are likely concerned about the potential penalties, including fines and imprisonment. However, the impact a conviction may have on your parental rights regarding your current and future children can be equally concerning. Convictions for violent and sensitive crimes, in particular, can impact your relationship with your children, so it is important that you hire a skilled attorney who can help you defend against false, exaggerated, or unfair allegations.

Criminal Records and Child Custody in Wisconsin

One way that a criminal record can affect your parental rights in Wisconsin is in legal proceedings involving child custody and placement, including after a divorce or separation. When determining whether to award a parent sole or joint custody of a child, the court will consider first and foremost whether the decision is in the child’s best interests. If a parent has a history of child abuse, interspousal abuse, other forms of domestic abuse, or alcohol and drug abuse, the court may rule that the parent poses a risk to the child’s well-being, and it may award full custody to the other parent as a result. Relevant criminal convictions may be used as evidence to establish a parent’s history of abuse.

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Milwaukee criminal law attorney plea bargainBy Attorney Cameron Weitzner

Whenever you have been arrested or charged with a crime, you have the right to a qualified attorney who can provide the best possible defense to ensure your fair treatment under the law. In a best-case scenario, your criminal defense attorney may be able to have your charges dismissed, or they may present a case that results in a verdict of not guilty. However, when this is not possible, your next best option may be for your attorney to negotiate a plea bargain.

What Is a Plea Bargain?

In a plea bargain, you, the defendant, accept a conviction in exchange for reduced charges or sentence. For example, you may be able to have your charges lowered to a different class of misdemeanor or felony, or you may avoid the maximum fine or prison sentence associated with the charges you are facing. Often, this involves agreeing to alternative sentencing, including court supervision, probation, community service, or education and treatment programs.

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Milwaukee drone privacy violation attorneyDrones have become popular in several industries and among personal users. As such, Wisconsin has passed laws prohibiting certain acts involving drones. This is an emerging area of law, and ignorance of the law is not a defense to criminal charges. If you use a drone or are considering using a drone, you should educate yourself on drone laws.

What Is a Drone? How Are They Used?

Under Wisconsin law, a drone is defined as an aircraft operated without the possibility of direct human intervention from within or on the aircraft. The number of drones purchased each year continues to increase as drone technology and utility improves. In January 2018, more than one million drones were registered with the Federal Aviation Administration.

Drones can be used in many ways, including:

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I Was Arrested and Charged with a Crime: What Happens Next?

Milwaukee, WI criminal charges defense attorneyThe criminal justice system in Wisconsin is complex, and those facing criminal charges may struggle to understand the processes that will be followed, the legal requirements that must be met, and the steps that should be taken. If you are arrested and charged with a crime, you should be aware of how your case will move through the courts and the proper measures you should take to protect your rights and achieve a positive outcome.

The Wisconsin Criminal Process

A criminal case in the state of Wisconsin will typically follow these steps:

  1. Arrest - If law enforcement officers have probable cause to believe you have committed a crime, they can arrest you and take you into custody. When arrested, you will be informed of your Miranda Rights, which state that you have the right to remain silent and the right to be represented by an attorney. In most cases, it is best to ask to speak to an attorney before answering any questions that police officers ask following an arrest.
  2. Initial court appearance - In your first court appearance, you will receive a copy of the criminal complaint against you, and a bail amount will be set by a judge. If you pay this amount, you will be released while the case continues to move forward through the courts. In misdemeanor cases, you can enter a plea during the initial appearance; however, in felony cases, a preliminary hearing must first be held.
  3. Preliminary hearing - During this hearing, the prosecution will present evidence to demonstrate that there is probable cause to charge you with the crime. If the judge determines that there is no probable cause, the case may be dismissed. You can waive your right to a preliminary hearing if you wish to proceed directly to arraignment.
  4. Arraignment - At this hearing, the criminal charges against you will be formally presented and you can enter a plea. If you plead guilty or no contest, the case will proceed to sentencing. If you plead not guilty, then the case will go to trial.
  5. Pre-trial hearings - Hearings may be held prior to the beginning of the trial in which the prosecution or defense may ask the judge to make decisions about a variety of issues, such as what evidence can be presented or what types of arguments can be made. 
  6. Trial - A trial will be held before a jury and both sides will present evidence, call witnesses, and make arguments. The jury will reach a verdict, deciding whether you are guilty or not guilty of the charges.
  7. Sentencing hearing - If you are found guilty, the judge may decide on a sentence immediately. However, in some cases, a separate hearing will be held to determine what sentence should be imposed. This hearing may include statements from victims, evidence regarding issues such as mental health or drug treatment, or testimony about your character from family members or friends. 
  8. Appeal - If you are found guilty, and you believe errors were committed during the trial that led to an incorrect verdict or sentence, you may file an appeal, asking a higher court to overturn the verdict or order a new trial.

Contact a Milwaukee, WI Criminal Defense Attorney

Understanding the criminal justice system is essential for determining the best defense strategy that will help you reach a favorable outcome to your case. At Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown, LLP our Milwaukee criminal defense lawyers are highly experienced in a wide variety of criminal cases, and we can provide you with the guidance and advocacy you need when you are facing criminal charges. Contact us at 414-271-1440 to arrange a personalized consultation. 

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Milwaukee fraud defense lawyers, criminal allegations of fraud, fraud charges, criminal offense, criminal chargesWhen a person deceives someone with the intent of causing him or her harm, this is considered fraud—a serious criminal offense. Fraud can take many forms, including writing bad checks, forging documents, making false insurance claims, identity theft, using another person’s credit card without his or her permission, or misrepresenting the value of property being sold. If you are accused of fraud, it is important to understand the nature of these crimes and the potential defenses against the charges.

What Constitutes Fraud?

For an act to be considered fraud, the act must meet the following requirements:

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wrongfully imprisoned, Milwaukee criminal defense lawyers, criminal charges, exoneree compensation, criminal defenseWhen a person is accused of a crime in the United States, he or she is presumed innocent until proven guilty—our legal system is meant to protect the innocent. However, all too often, miscarriages of justice occur, and people are convicted of crimes they did not commit.

When someone is wrongfully imprisoned and he or she is later exonerated, the individual deserves to be compensated for the time he or she was incarcerated. Unfortunately, the amount of compensation that exonerees are eligible to receive is often inadequate.

Compensation for Exonerees in Wisconsin

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Waukesha County criminal defense lawyer, criminal defense lawyer qualities, criminal charges, criminal defense strategy, skilled Wisconsin lawyerIf you have been arrested and charged with a crime, you may be unsure of your rights, the legal options available to you, and the next steps you should take. In these cases, it is essential to have a legal advocate on your side to protect your rights and advise you of your options for defense. However, not every criminal defense attorney will be right for you.

Before hiring an attorney, make sure that you are comfortable with the individual and that he or she can provide you with the best legal assistance for your situation.

Consider the following qualities to look for when choosing a defense lawyer:

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Milwaukee disorderly conduct defense attorneys, Wisconsin disorderly conductDisorderly conduct can refer to a wide-range of situations, and it is a common basis for an arrest or a citation in Wisconsin. If you or someone you know is facing criminal disorderly conduct charges, an attorney can review your case and assert a vigorous defense on your behalf in court.

Wisconsin Law on Disorderly Conduct

Wisconsin law describes what constitutes disorderly conduct. Under the law, disorderly conduct can take place in a public or private place.

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Milwaukee sensitive crimes attorneys, sex offender, restrictive supervised releaseThe 7th Circuit recently ruled that conditions of supervised release for a sex offender were not overly restrictive. Instead, the court determined that the terms of the supervised release, which included the requirement that he stay away from minors, were suitable considering the crime.

What Is Supervised Released?

After someone convicted of a federal crime finishes his or her prison sentence, there is typically a preliminary period in which a defendant is not housed in a prison but is still subject to numerous prohibitions. During this time, a probation officer will ensure that a defendant complies with the terms of supervised release, which are set by a judge.

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Wisconsin defense attorney, Wisconsin criminal lawyerThe majority of police officers are good and rational human beings. Nonetheless, police brutality, aggression, and confrontational behavior does exist. Knowing how to handle such situations should you ever experience one, is critical. In fact, in some situations, it could very well save your life. At the very least, an understanding of your Constitutional rights and thoughtful action can help reduce the risk of a wrongful arrest, wrongfully filed charges and wrongful conviction. The following explains further.

Understanding Your Risk

Anyone can experience police brutality or aggression. However, there are some groups who are at an increased risk. For example, African American males are three times more likely to be killed by an officer of the law than any other race. Further compounding this issue is that African-American men are far more likely to be stopped by a police officer than other racial groups. Whoever you are, it is critical that you understand how you can attempt to de-escalate a situation and protect your rights.

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