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Appealing a Criminal Conviction

What does a criminal appeal entail?

I often receive calls from people that have retained other lawyers and have been sentenced in criminal matters and are unhappy with the results.  The first question asked by people is: can I appeal this?  The second question I am invariably asked is: how good do my chances look?  The first question is easy to answer because appeals are governed, for the most part, by the Wisconsin statutes.  If someone has been criminally convicted, they have the absolute right to appeal the decision as long as it is done in a timely manner.  At the end of every sentencing hearing, a judge will instruct the defense attorney to inform their client about their right to appeal and will have the client sign a document that indicates that if they wish to do so, a Notice of Intent to Pursue Post-Conviction Relief must be filed within 20 days of the sentencing date.  It is, at that point, when defendants then seem to get lost in the process. Because the original trial attorney’s representation ends after sentencing the  ball would fall in the defendant’s court.  If a defendant is eligible for a public defender, the State Public Defender’s office would appoint an appellate attorney and that attorney could represent the person.  Often, however, the person is not eligible for public defender representation or wishes to hire counsel of their own choosing.  What do they do next?

A blog post prepared by Attorney Greg Petit.  Read more here.

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How Do I Keep My Criminal Case Out of the Newspaper?

Criminal Case Newspaper | Criminal Charge Publicity

I am often asked how I can keep somebody’s case out of the newspaper.  Unfortunately, under the 1st Amendment to the United States Constitution, there is the freedom of the press.  Any criminal type charges, aside from  actions in juvenile court, are open to the public.  The documents themselves are open and available for inspection at the Clerk of Courts’ office, many people access the information from the Wisconsin Circuit Court Access Program and the hearings themselves (with rare exceptions) are open to the public.

When our office represents our clients, we have a very firm office policy concerning publicity. We actively try to minimize press coverage on a case.  A blog post by Attorney Greg Petit.  Read more here.

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Controlling Costs in a Divorce | Cost-Effective Divorce


When you’re stuck in an emotional battle with your soon-to-be ex-spouse and it feels like money is flying out the door and the fees are mounting faster than the results. These tips will help you understand how to better manage your divorce so costs don’t skyrocket out of control. The number one reason that divorce fees get out of control is leading the fight with your heart instead of your head. The more your emotions get away from you, the more you fight and the more expensive your divorce will be. While you cannot control your spouse and they may be the primary reason that your divorce is costing so much particularly if your spouse is mentally ill, unwilling to compromise or just vindictive; however, they cannot continue the battle by themselves. While you may be playing a much, much smaller role than your spouse, you can take control of yourself and your actions.

A blog post by Attorney Tajara Dommershausen. Here are some practical steps to decrease the cost of your divorce:

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