Juvenile Law Attorneys in Milwaukee, Waukesha or SE Wisconsin

CHIPs/JIPs or Juvenile Delinquency Attorneys

Protecting the Rights of Children, Parents & Families

The Juvenile Law attorneys at Gamiño Law Offices, LLC represent parents and children in children's court matters in Milwaukee, Waukesha or anywhere in Southeastern Wisconsin.  We are experienced with CHIPs cases (Children In Need of Protection or Services), JIPs cases (Juveniles in Need of Protection or Services), and Juvenile Delinquency cases from misdemeanor criminal offenses through serious sexual assault and weapons offenses.  Our attorneys find that juvenile law cases are some of the most enjoyable for us to work on because we know that what we do truly makes a difference in the lives of children, parents and families.   We understand that crimes or circumstances do not define a who a child is, and that they can rise above the situation that brought them before the court if provided with the proper tools and good legal advice.  In juvenile law matters there is always room for growth and hope!
For a free initial consultation with dedicated attorneys doing their best to help with your juvenile law or children's court concerns in Wisconsin, 
contact Gamiño Law Offices, LLC juvenile court attorneys in Milwaukee or Waukesha, WI. We also have Milwaukee criminal defense attorneys to help with any of your other legal needs.
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1.  What is a CHIPs petition?
CHIPs is an acronym for petitions in children's court matters where a child is alleged to be in need of protection or services.  CHIPs petitions may be brought under Wisconsin Statutes § 48.13 in cases where it is alleged, for example, that 
  • the child is without a parent or guardian;
  • the child has been abandoned;
  • the child's parent has relinquished custody under Wisconsin Statutes §48.195(1);
  • the child is at substantial risk of becoming a victim of abuse;
  • the child's parent or guardian is unable or needs assistance to provide for the special needs of the child;
  • the parent neglects or is unable or unwilling to provide necessary care, food, clothing, medical or dental care or shelter which seriously endangers the physical health of the child;
  • the child is receiving inadequate care while a parent is missing, incarcerated, hospitalized or institutionalized.
A CHIPS petition may be filed by the district attorney; corporation counsel; a parent or guardian; sometimes by a child; a lawyer or guardian ad litem for a parent, guardian, or child; and are commonly sought by a social worker with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHFS).​  


2.  What is a JIPs petition?
​JIPs is an acronym for Juvenile in Need of Protection or Services.  JIPs cases may be brought against children under the age of 18 when parents are unable to control the juvenile, the child who is habitually truant from home or school, or the child dropped out of school.  JIPs actions are also brought in lieu of juvenile delinquency petitions when a criminal (delinquent) act has been committed by a child under age 10 or when a child alleged to have committed a delinquency has been found incompetent to proceed or is found not to be responsible for the criminal (delinquent) act by reason of mental disease or defect.

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3. What is the difference between being charged with a criminal misdemeanor or felony offense and a juvenile delinquency petition?
While our justice system seeks to protect the community from criminal activity, whether caused by the actions of juveniles or adults, the juvenile justice system was created with the vision that juveniles should not be defined by their mistakes and that children need to be equipped with the knowledge and skills to allow them to live successfully in the community as adults. One of the goals is to provide early intervention and treatment that will divert juvenile offenders from the juvenile justice system, and punitive sanctions or incarceration, by responding to the child's care and treatment needs in order to prevent future criminal behavior.  

Most charges for criminal offenses in Wisconsin brought against children under age 17 will be brought in children's court by way of a delinquency petition. On the other hand, jurisdiction for criminal charges filed against juveniles age 17 or over lies in the standard adult criminal courts of the State of Wisconsin. However, adult criminal courts in Wisconsin have jurisdiction over juvenile charged with the following offenses: assault or battery by prisoner after the juvenile has previously been found delinquent and placed in juvenile corrections, detention or secure residential care; any juvenile alleged to have committed an act of first degree intentional homicide; anyone aged 10 or over alleged to have committed an act of first degree reckless homicide or second degree intentional homicide; any criminal offense committed by a juvenile who has been convicted of, or has a matter pending, any offense after having been waived into adult court or for which original jurisdiction is in adult court.


4. What does it mean if the state has filed a waiver petition in a juvenile delinquency proceeding?
The prosecutor may seek to waive a juvenile into adult court if the child is age 14 or over and is charged with committing certain acts of felony murder; second degree reckless homicide; first degree sexual assault; taking a hostage; kidnapping; robbery; burglary; manufacturing, distribution or delivery of a controlled substance; or almost any felony as a result of gang involvement. Once a juvenile has reached the age of 15, a prosecutor may seek waiver to adult court based on any violation of Wisconsin criminal law. Juveniles are required to be represented by a lawyer at any hearing to waive them into adult court, as well as the right to testify, to cross-examine witnesses, and to present witnesses in his or her defense. If the judge decides it is in the juvenile's or the public's best interests that the case be moved to adult court then the juvenile court shall "waive jurisdiction" and the matter will be referred to the district attorney's office to file charges in adult criminal court.


5. What does it mean to file a reverse waiver petition?
If a criminal charge is filed against a juvenile in adult court, the child may request that the court send the case back to juvenile court to face the penalties and dispositions available to juvenile offenders instead of being charged as an adult subject to the adult penalties at sentencing.  


6. What penalties can be imposed on a juvenile charged with delinquency for a crime?
​Prior to disposition in a juvenile delinquency matter a child may be held in a secure detention facility, or in an adult jail under certain circumstances, if there is probable cause that the juvenile has committed a delinquent act and has a substantial risk of running away or causing physical harm to another. Juveniles can enter into deferred prosecution agreements for up to one year or consent decrees that provide for counseling, alcohol or drug abuse assessments or treatment, restitution, community service, supervision or probation. After a delinquency petition has been filed the court may order a juvenile to undergo physical, psychological, mental or developmental examination, or as an outpatient for drug or alcohol abuse, if the judge finds reasonable cause to do so. The judge may require the juvenile to submit to an HIV test, or a test for sexually transmitted diseases, under some circumstances. Dispositions available to juveniles adjudged delinquent include:
  • Aftercare Supervision
  • Alcohol or Drug Treatment or Education
  • Community Service or Supervised Work
  • Counseling
  • Day Treatment Programming
  • Driver's License Suspension or Restrictions
  • Drug Testing
  • Educational Programming
  • Electronic Monitoring
  • Experiential Education (Wilderness Challenge)
  • Fines or Forfeitures
  • Independent Living
  • Intensive Supervision
  • Juvenile Detention Facility or Juvenile Portion of a County
          Jail for up to 30 days​
  • Juvenile Offender Education Program
  • Legal Custody Transfer to a Relative, County Department, or
          a Licensed Child Welfare Agency​
  • Payment of a Victim Witness Surcharge of $20
  • Payment of Restitution
FAQ about CHIPs, JIPs and Juvenile Delinquency
Information about Wisconsin Children's Court & Juvenile Law
  • Placement in:
          -  A Correctional Facility
          -  Foster Care
          -  A Group Home​
          -  Home of a Parent or Relative
          -  Residential Care or Treatment Center
          -  Treatment Foster Care
  • Restrictions on:
          -  Body Armor
          -  Firearms
          -  Driver's Licenses
          -  Use of Computers
  • Serious Juvenile Offender Program
  • Sex Offender Reporting or Registration
  • Supervision
  • Teen Court
  • Victim-Offender Mediation
  • Vocational Training
  • Volunteers in Probation
  • Youth Report Center
​7. What rights do children have in court for when charged with juvenile delinquency?
​Under § 938 of the Wisconsin Statutes, Juveniles are entitled to have their parents notified if they are taken into custody, and juveniles have the same fair hearings and due process that attends to any criminal matter, recognizing all constitutional and other legal rights. However, juveniles do not have a right to a jury trial in delinquency proceedings. Rights required to be provided to juveniles include:
  • Recording of any custodial interrogations,
  • The right against self-incrimination, and to be told of the 5th Amendement right to remain silent,
  • The right to be represented by a lawyer,
  • To a hearing by the end of the day following the day a juvenile was taken into custody and not released, or to be released if a hearing is not held within 24 hours of the end of the day when the juvenile was detained.
  • To be given a copy of any delinquency petition.
  • To be given prior notice of any delinquency hearing.
  • To be informed of the allegations against him or her, the nature and consequence of the hearing or future hearings, the right to a lawyer, the right to remain silent, the fact that silence may not be used against the juvenile, the right to confront and cross-examine witnesses, and the right to present witnesses.
  • To have a petition or written statement filed by the time of the hearing for a juvenile in custody or be released, or, if an extension to file a petition s granted, to be released within 48 hours after the hearing if no petition has been filed.
  • To have a petition filed within 20 days of an intake worker's request that a petition be filed for a juvenile who is not held in custody, or of a notice a case has been closed, or of notice of a deferred prosecution agreement.
  • To have every effort made to be released from custody to a parent, guardian or legal custodian.


8. Do I need to hire a lawyer to defend CHIPs, JIPs or delinquency charges?
​CHIPs and JIPs cases can be serious juvenile court proceedings that may involve a child being removed from the parent's home, affect the child's welfare and parental rights, and can set the foundation for even more serious juvenile court action in the future such as termination of parental rights, or similar actions involving other children in the home. Both parents and children may have legal representation in CHIPs or JIPs matters and juveniles always have a right to be respresented in delinquency proceedings. It is important that you consult with an experienced juvenile law - CHIPS, JIPs or delinquency attorney if there are allegations of abuse or neglect by a parent or of criminal conduct by a child, or if a CHIPs, JIPs or delinquency case is pending in court. Our dedicated and compassionate attorneys can also assist with:
  • Aftercare services,
  • Consent decrees,
  • Deferred prosecution agreements,
  • Juvenile probation or supervision,
  • Permanency planning, 
  • Petitions for a change in placement, 
  • Petitions to extend dispositional orders, 
  • Petitions to revise dispositional orders,
  • Petitions for sanctions,
  • Termination of parental rights.
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