Appellate Lawyer Providing Criminal Defense and Appeals

Andrew R. Walter of Walter Law Offices LLC is a respected Wisconsin criminal appeals lawyer. His successful DUI and criminal defense cases have been featured throughout various Wisconsin media platforms, including:

  • The Janesville Gazette
  • The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
  • The Wisconsin Law Journal

Experience in Handling Criminal Appeals

He served as the lead appellate lawyer in several significant Wisconsin criminal appeals. His most notable accomplishment is a victory in the published appellate decision of State v. Sowatzke, 2009AP1990.

Representing Various Clients in Wisconsin

Wisconsin DUI and criminal defense lawyers regularly choose appellate attorney Andrew Walter to lead their client’s petitions because of his reputation, experience, and results in Wisconsin criminal appeals.

He regularly represents appellate clients in cases from the following:

  • Milwaukee
  • Waukesha
  • Racine
  • Kenosha
  • Madison
  • Walworth County
  • Rock County

Prominent Wisconsin Appellate Results

State v. Sowatzke, 2009AP1990 (Waukesha Appeal)

On appeal of our client's Waukesha County case, Attorney. Walter argued that the State violated the defendant's right to due process and to be free from ex post facto prosecution.

He also argued that the prohibited alcohol content (PAC) is based on the number of prior DUI offenses at the time of driving rather than at the time of trial. The Wisconsin Court of Appeals ruled for the defendant in a published appellate decision.

State v. Halverson, 2011AP240 (Walworth County Appeal)

Attorney. Walter represented a Walworth County defendant on appeal who was charged with an OWI based on evidence obtained by an officer who entered the defendant's home to take him into custody.

The State claimed that the officer had grounds to take the defendant into custody under the community caretaker doctrine to protect him from the dangers of intoxication.

He argued on appeal that there were insufficient grounds to justify the arrest under the community caretaker doctrine. The blood test evidence was also not sufficiently attenuated from the illegal arrest.

The Court of Appeals agreed with both of Attorney. Walter's arguments and ruled for the defense. The Walworth County OWI charges were then dismissed.

The Story in the Janesville Gazette State v. Steven W., 2012AP2405 and 2406 (Walworth County Appeal)

The State of Wisconsin appealed a Walworth County Circuit Court ruling dismissing the defendant's DUI charges based on an unconstitutional traffic stop.

The Wisconsin Attorney General filed an appellate brief arguing that the stop was justified because the officer had a good faith belief that the defendant was operating a motorcycle with an improper windshield.

Attorney. Walter then filed his appellate brief, and the Attorney General conceded the appeal, stating that it decided not to pursue the appeal after reviewing Attorney. Walter's appellate brief.

State v. Kelley, Jackson County 2009CF18

Attorney. Walter took over the case on appeal after the client had been sentenced to 10 years in prison for selling cocaine.

He filed a post-conviction motion in the circuit court alleging that the State breached the plea agreement at the sentencing hearing by having a police officer request a lengthy sentence when the District Attorney had agreed to remain silent.

The circuit court granted Attorney. Walter's post-conviction motion and ordered resentencing in front of a new judge. The client was then sentenced to two years in prison, eight years less than the original sentence.

Common Wisconsin Criminal Appeal Issues

  • Appeals From an Improper Decision on a Motion To Suppress Evidence
  • Breach of Plea Agreement
  • Ineffective Assistance of Counsel Appeals of Circuit Court Counting Prior OWI Offenses
  • Sufficiency of the Evidence Appeal of an Excessive Sentence

Frequently Asked Questions About Criminal Appeals

Yes, Wisconsin law allows a court to stay your jail sentence and release you on bond pending your appeal.

It is important that your appeals lawyer file a motion that gives the court enough information to see that there are legitimate appellate issues and that you are not likely to flee while the lawyer appeals your case.

We have obtained release-pending appeals for several felony and misdemeanor clients. Appellate review of the circuit court's bond decision is also available in the Wisconsin Court of Appeals.

Call or email Wisconsin’s criminal appeals lawyer Andrew Walter for a free consultation.

You may have waived your right to appeal your criminal conviction if you or your lawyer did not file a Notice of Intent to Seek Post-Conviction Relief within 20 days of the final judgment.


However, you or your appeals lawyer can request an extension of Wisconsin appellate time limits. You should speak with a knowledgeable criminal appeals lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your chances of receiving an extension of time to file your appeal.

An appeal begins with the appellate lawyer filing a Notice of Intent to Seek Post-Conviction Relief and requesting transcripts of all hearings. When Atty. Walter receives all transcripts, he reviews them and court records looking for possible issues to appeal.

Depending on the appellate issues in your case, you may have to seek relief in the trial court first. Otherwise, the appellate attorney files a Notice of Appeal and an appellate brief in the Wisconsin Court of Appeals.

The District Attorney or the Wisconsin Attorney General will also file an appellate brief. We then wait for the Court of Appeals to review the appellate attorney's briefs and issue a decision.

The Wisconsin criminal appeal process usually takes about 10 months in the Wisconsin Court of Appeals. Appeals cases that result in published appellate decisions or reviews in the Wisconsin Supreme Court can take significantly longer.

A good appeals lawyer should explore all options. Atty. Walter recently negotiated significantly reduced prison sentences for several of our appellate clients. In those cases, he drafted briefs or motions detailing all of the issues for appeal.

He then discussed the appellate issues with the prosecuting attorney. In those cases, the prosecuting attorney decided that the State was better served by avoiding an appeal.

This will not be possible in all appeal cases, but a Wisconsin appellate attorney should at least discuss this option with an appeals client.

Wisconsin Criminal Appeals and Appellate Law Updates (April 17, 2013)

United States Supreme Court Finds Search Warrants Required for DUI Blood Draws

In Missouri v. McNeely, the Supreme Court rejected warrantless blood draws in OWI cases unless the prosecution showed exigency. Previously, Wisconsin appellate courts have held that police may forcibly draw blood, without a warrant, from any defendant who has been lawfully arrested for OWI charges.

The justification has been that the rapid dissipation of alcohol from the blood combined with the length of time getting a warrant requires automatically constitutes an exigent circumstance.

The Supreme Court's McNeely decision rejects that approach; the Court found that technology has evolved to the point where obtaining a warrant will ordinarily take a very short time.

Therefore, a warrant will be required unless the State demonstrates that, based on the circumstances in a particular case, it would have taken too long or been impossible to get a warrant.

This requirement does not apply in cases where OWI arrestees consent to a blood draw. Whether this warrant requirement applies to blood draws and OWI arrests prior to April 17 is an issue that will have to be resolved in a future case.


Get in Touch With Andrew

Choose Walter Law Offices LLC's resident criminal defense lawyer to get the representation you need for your case. If you have any questions about his services, feel free to get in touch with his team today.