FAQ

If you have additional questions that were not addressed below, please contact us. We would be happy to answer any questions you may have.

How does the 2011 Wisconsin Act 285 affect felonies?
What do I do if I am pulled over by the police for a traffic violation?
I was asked to submit to Field Sobriety testing. What should I do?
The police stopped me for an investigatory stop. What is that and what should I do?
What do I do if the police stop me and begin asking me questions?
The police pulled me over and arrested me. What do I do?
How much will hiring you cost?
What if I cannot afford an attorney?
What if the Public Defender says I have too much money?
How do I get a bail bond or a bond reduction? 
How do I find a good Criminal Defense Attorney?
Is information I find on this website legally binding?

How does the 2011 Wisconsin Act 285 affect felonies?
This act makes it easier to charge felonies. It allows all layers of hearsay at preliminary hearings. The State is required to produce evidence sufficient to satisfy the Court that you might have committed a felony.  Now the evidence need only be testimony, typically by law enforcement, as to what they heard someone else say. The stated reason for this change was to make it easier on victims, though some say it had more to do with saving money and avoiding recants on domestic abuse cases. 
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What do I do if I am pulled over by the police for a traffic violation?
Turn off your cell phone and radio. Keep your hands on the wheel at the 10 and 2 positions until the officer requests you do otherwise. Do not attempt to retrieve your driver's license or registration until asked. Excessive movement not only makes the officer concerned about his or her own safety, but can provide a basis for a search. In low light conditions, try to park underneath a street lamp or turn on your dome light. Stay in the car and roll down your window. Do not exit the vehicle. Wait for the officer to approach the vehicle. When the officer approaches the vehicle, let him speak first. Learn more.
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I was asked to submit to Field Sobriety testing. What should I do?
The officer will ask you to complete a series of activities designed to test your balance and coordination. If you have any physical limitations that may prevent you from completing that test, calmly explain those limitations to the officer. If the officer decides the test indicates you may be under the influence of intoxicants, he may then request you submit to a Preliminary Breath Test or other chemical sobriety test. The officer will read you a statement. If you refuse to submit to a chemical sobriety test after the statement is read, then you can be issued a citation for refusal. The procedure that follows is very much like a prosecution for drunk driving. However, the penalties imposed for refusal tend to be maximum penalties that could be imposed on an OWI.
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The police stopped me for an "investigatory stop". What is that and what should I do?
An investigatory stop is when the police ask your permission to search your person, car, or house. Be polite and calm, control any excitement, and do not raise your voice or move around excessively. Keep your hands out of your pockets. If you believe the police are searching you or your property without authorization, you do not have a right to resist, though you may have other remedies at a later date. Rather, pay attention to who is doing what, the time, date, and circumstances. Write them down as soon as possible, and then contact us.
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What do I do if the police stop me and begin asking me questions?
It is always best to be polite. Do not speculate. Tell the truth or remain silent.
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The police pulled me over and arrested me. What do I do?
Be polite. Aggressive, loud, or argumentative behavior can provide a basis to further detain you. If you are issued a citation, your comments may be repeated to the Judge hearing your case. When asked, identify yourself and provide the officer with your driver's license and registration. Listen to the reasons given for stopping you. Afterwards, write down as much as possible. Be sure to include the time, date, and general traffic conditions. A traffic stop may provide a basis to search your vehicle. Even if you believe the officer is exceeding their authority, resisting the officer can lead to criminal charges.
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How much will hiring you cost?
No case is typical. The answer depends on many things including, but not limited to: 1) your charge(s); 2) the evidence against you; 3) your goal(s); 4) whether the services of an independent expert are required; and 5) your location, as well as your ability and willingness to assist. The usual practice is for us to to meet and assess your case. We then take an advance payment for Attorney Wingrove to represent you. Wingrove Law Offices will hold your money in a special trust account and send you a bill around the first of the month. You review the bill and call us if you have questions. After seven days, if you have made no inquiries, we transfer the money from your trust account to our business account. Once your case is closed, any remaining funds are returned to you.
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What if I cannot afford an attorney?
In life, if you're lucky, you get what you pay for.  With that said, if the State wants to prosecute you and you cannot afford a lawyer, the State must provide you with an attorney.  The first step is to contact the State Office of the Public Defender. The numbers are as follows: Sheboygan County at (920) 459-4026, Brown, Door and Kewaunee Counties at (920) 448-5433 and Manitowoc County at (920) 683-4690. They provide either a staff attorney or an assigned counsel to represent people with extremely limited means. 
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How do I find a good Criminal Defense Attorney?
One useful tip is to call three criminal defense attorneys and ask, “If I needed to hire an attorney other than you or your firm, who would you recommend”? Contact Wingrove Law Offices to find out more information on hiring a criminal defense attorney.
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What if the Public Defender says I have too much money?
The next step is to ask the Court to appoint an attorney to represent you.  In most counties, you do this by first going to the Clerk of Court's Office and requesting a Petition for Appointment of An Attorney, Affidavit of Indigency and Order. Fill it out as completely as you can and have it ready to give to the Judge at your next court appearance.
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How do I get a bail bond or a bond reduction? 
It is virtually always helpful to have an attorney when seeking a bond, or a modification of a bond, as it tells the Court you understand it is serious. The Wisconsin Constitution Article 1, 8(2) states: “All persons, before conviction, shall be eligible for release under reasonable conditions designed to assure their appearance in court, protect members of the community from serious bodily harm or prevent the intimidation of witnesses. Monetary conditions of release may be imposed at or after the initial appearance only upon a finding that there is a reasonable basis to believe that the conditions are necessary to assure appearance in court.”  This means that the Court  should look to the charges and the nature of the allegations, as well as your prior history with the Court and ties to the community. A skilled attorney can review these things with you and help you put your best foot forward when it counts.
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Is information I find on this website legally binding?
No website, including this one, is a substitute for legal representation. The information you find here is not intended and should not be regarded as legal advice. You should contact Wingrove Law Offices directly for a full consultation regarding the unique aspects of your situation.