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Appeals with Petit & Dommershausen

“What to Expect When You File a Criminal Case Appeal: A Bird’s Eye View” Part 2

Process and Analysis

Every attorney who handles criminal appeals has a different preference as to when they meet with their client — some prefer right away, others after receiving the court file, others not until after they have received some or all of the transcripts.  Regardless, your appellate attorney will ask you the reasons that you were not satisfied with the outcome of your case and what specific issues you think exist.  Appellate attorneys often look for things that “don’t feel right” when reviewing a case, so if something seemed off to you it is worth bringing to their attention because it could be a good starting point for their analysis.

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Appeals with Petit & Dommershausen-Part 1

“What to Expect When You File a Criminal Case Appeal: A Bird’s Eye View”


Part 1: Getting Started

If you have been convicted of a crime and you feel that there was an error in the legal process, you may want to appeal.  The grounds for appeal are extremely varied and not every case has appealable issues.  This post is not intended to help you decide whether your case has appellate issues, but to help clarify a process that can be confusing.

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Divorce Residency Rules

You must be a resident to file for Divorce in Wisconsin

30 days hath September, April, June and…the residency requirement for Divorce filing!

If you are filing for divorce or legal separation in the State of Wisconsin, you or your future ex-spouse must be a resident of the county where you file your action for at least 30 days before you file. One of you must also have lived in the State of Wisconsin for 6 months before filing; however, you may be able to file a legal separation after 30 days. This is important to keep in mind if you are planning to file for divorce or legal separation and both spouses are moving out of the marital residence. If both of you move to a new county, neither of you can file the divorce until you’ve resided in your new county for at least 30 days.

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Reconciliation | Can a Divorce be stopped or paused?!? YES

Attempting Reconciliation? We don’t want to get divorced anymore! Or maybe we do?
Did you know that you and your spouse can agree to suspend your divorce proceeding or put it on hold while you try to work out your problems? Or get counseling? It is not uncommon for clients and their spouse to attempt a reconciliation. The divorce process can be very emotionally trying, and it can be even more difficult if you are attempting a reconciliation when you have court deadlines staring you down.

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Consequences of a Criminal Conviction in Wisconsin

Anyone charged with a criminal offense faces the possibility of incarceration, fines, and lifelong consequences. You should consult a lawyer to fully understand the consequences of a criminal conviction.

Anyone charged with a criminal offense, as opposed to a civil offense, faces the possibility of incarceration. Many times, potential clients call to ask whether or not they need an attorney. Our standard response is that anyone facing the possibility of incarceration and the large fines that are available to be levied against defendants in a criminal case certainly should get legal counsel if they can afford it. When someone’s liberty is at stake, experienced, skilled and aggressive representation can make the difference between time behind bars and time spent with loved ones and in a productive capacity.

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Great Outcomes Don't Just Happen

From the Appleton Post-Crescent. Jill Zettel. Great Outcomes Don’t Just Happen.

MENASHA – Three local teachers were honored with the “Great Outcomes Don’t Just Happen” award by Petit and Dommershausen Law Firm.

Christa Knepfel, a kindergarten teacher at Janet Berry Elementary School, received the award for Appleton at the elementary level.

Ryan Marx, a science teacher at Appleton East High School, was honored for Appleton at the secondary level.

Kristin Treml, a kindergarten teacher at Clovis Grove Elementary School, received the elementary level award for Menasha educators.

The award honors the hard work, dedication and care educators provide to students, said Greg Petit, in an email to USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin. Nominees can include administrators, teachers, school staff, coaches and volunteers.

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Selecting the RIGHT Divorce Attorney

Assisting you to ensure you protect yourself and your family while dealing with a divorce.

Choosing the Right Divorce Attorney

Many times, potential clients call to ask whether or not they need an attorney. Our standard response is that while that is your decision, divorce can have many ramifications for your financial and emotional well-being including dividing assets, bills and personal property; the awarding of maintenance (i.e. spousal support or alimony), child custody and child placement that a skilled attorney or mediator can help resolve. Although friends and relatives may have good intentions, their advice is without proper training and is likely to be inaccurate even when based upon their personal experiences. Circumstances in their cases may have been far different from those in your case or the laws may have changed since their divorce. It is like using another’s eyeglasses–they rarely fit properly. Make sure you are comfortable with the attorney you chose as they will help guide you thru one of the hardest times of your life.

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Technology and the Law | Drug Defense

Drug Defense: Does Technology Affect The Law?

Technology changes every single day. These changes have impacts on crimes and investigations. Smart phones have recently introduced pressure-sensitive technology. What can one do with pressure-sensitive technology? Weigh items directly on their smart phone device. What kind of items? Anything. What if any impact does this technological advancement have on search warrants and police investigations?

When people are arrested for drug related offenses, investigators look to the amount of drugs in the person’s possession and any other items that could indicate dealing activity. A common item indicating drug dealing activity is a scale, used to measure and ultimately package drugs for sale. Cell phones are also often used as the primary source of communication between buyers and sellers so those are often the subject of investigation as well.

Given the Supreme Court ruling in Riley v. California, officers must obtain a search warrant for a person’s cell phone—in order to search through the content located on the phone. 134 S. Ct. 2473, 2482 (2014). Sure text messages and call logs show a lot if buyers and sellers are communicating that way, but in the future, as technology evolves, officers may also seek other information. Specifically, law enforcement may seek to look into the phone data to determine what has been weighed, how much did the substance or material weigh, when it was weighed, and even GPS coordinates could show the location where the substance or material was weighed—making it easier for law enforcement to track the dealers.

Our legal team is here to help you. We serve the Wisconsin Fox Valley area and beyond including Appleton, Oshkosh, Green Bay, Waupaca, Chilton, Fond du Lac, Shawano and beyond. Consult us for Drug Defense.

Call Petit & Dommershausen at 920-739-9900.

Great outcomes don’t “just happen”.

Drug Defense

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Cutting Through the “He Said She Said”: What Hearsay Really Means

I often have clients tell me that a statement in a criminal complaint, a police narrative, or something said in a videotaped interrogation is bogus evidence because it is “just hearsay.”  That may well be the case, but such a statement is an oversimplification.

Before diving deeper it is important to understand what hearsay is, or at least as it is understood by the legal community.  “Hearsay” is generally understood by lawyers to be any out-of-court-statement offered for the truth of the matter asserted.  More simply, hearsay is a statement that is being offered in court to prove that the contents of the statement are true.  That last word is key.

Whether or not a statement is hearsay depends on the purpose for which it is being introduced in court.  For example, if at a trial to determine whether Zane committed theft, Andy testifies that Brandy told him that she was the one who committed theft, whether or not this statement is admissible depends (in part) on the purpose this testimony is being introduced.

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Subpoenas | Help I've been subpoenaed to court!

If I’m not on Trial, do I need a Lawyer?

So you’ve been subpoenaed. Maybe this is for a case where you called the police in the first place because you were a victim or a witness. Maybe this is for a case you where you were a witness months and months ago. You’re not even sure you can remember anything! Maybe this is for a case where your friend is on trial, and you’re afraid of what you know, both for your friends’ sake and your own.

In almost all cases, you are given very little direction: a phone call to dial the night (or, if you’re lucky, the weekend) before the trial date, maybe a chance to talk to the State if you were the victim. However, that’s very little preparation ahead of time. Especially considering how big of a deal trials are! You’ll probably have to take the day off of work, the trial will probably run late (hint: it almost always does), you might not be able to remember everything now, you get nervous talking in public, the court reporter is going to be writing down everything you say, and the judge and the jury will be, well, judging you.

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