Milwaukee DUI/OWI Appeals Lawyer

Man pulled over for DUIIf you were convicted of an OWI in Milwaukee, you might be able to appeal the conviction. The appeals process in Milwaukee can be complex and intimidating, and it is important to understand your rights and options if you want to pursue an appeal. An experienced Milwaukee criminal appeals attorney can help you understand the legal process, determine the best approach for your case, provide the support and guidance you need, and protect your rights. To learn more about how Hart Powell, S.C. can help you with an OWI appeal, call us today at (414) 271-9595 for a confidential legal consultation.

What Is an OWI?

An OWI, or Operating While Intoxicated charge, is the legal term for a drunk driving charge in Wisconsin. Operating any vehicle, including a car, boat, ATV, or snowmobile while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a criminal offense in Wisconsin. The state has set a legal limit for the amount of alcohol that can be in a person’s system while operating a motor vehicle. That legal limit is .08 percent Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) or higher. If someone has a BAC of .08 percent or higher, they can be charged with an OWI.

Penalties for an OWI

If you are convicted of Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) in Milwaukee, you could face both criminal and civil penalties. Criminal penalties may include jail time, fines, license suspension or revocation, and court-ordered alcohol assessment and treatment. Civil penalties may include increased insurance premiums and higher repair costs for any damaged property.

The consequences of an OWI will vary. The penalties for a first-time offense will be lighter than those for a person with prior offenses. Generally, first-time offenders will face fines, license suspension, and even jail time. Repeat offenders will face much more severe penalties. If an individual is charged with an OWI, they have the right to appeal their conviction if certain conditions are met.

The Appeal Process

An appeal is a formal legal request to a higher court, asking that a lower court’s decision be reversed or modified. The appellate court’s decision does not determine guilt or innocence, but it does decide whether the trial was fair and the law was applied correctly.

To appeal a criminal conviction in Milwaukee, you must file a Notice of Intent to Appeal within 20 days of sentencing to preserve your right to appeal. Additionally, you can explore other forms of relief, such as motions to withdraw a guilty plea or modify or overturn a sentence.

From there, your OWI appeals attorney will file an official Notice of Appeal and prepare an appellant brief. An appellant brief is a document that explains the errors of law or fact that occurred during the trial. Your attorney will thoroughly research potential errors to make a strong argument for your appeal.

The District Court of Appeals will review your Notice of Appeal and appellant brief and either accept or reject your case. If your case is accepted, the court will schedule a hearing. During the hearing, both parties will present their arguments, and the court will make a determination on the appeal. The District Court of Appeals has no time restraints on how quickly they must review an appeal, so some cases may take months or years before a decision is made.

Person given a breathalyzerGrounds for an Appeal

When it comes to appealing a DUI/OWI conviction in Milwaukee, there are specific legal grounds on which you may be able to challenge your conviction. The three most common grounds for an appeal are:

  • Insufficient Evidence: This is an argument about the original OWI charge that claims the prosecution did not present enough evidence to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. It’s often based on the reliability of the evidence presented, whether it was collected and handled correctly, or if any evidence was excluded from trial unfairly.
  • Improper Judicial Action: This is an allegation that the judge made a ruling contrary to the law or disregarded procedures or instructions outlined in the law.
  • Prosecutorial Misconduct: An appeals attorney could use these grounds to argue that the prosecutor acted inappropriately during the trial or withheld critical evidence that would have been favorable to the defendant.

These are the three most common grounds for an appeal in an OWI case, but they are not the only ones. Depending on the specific circumstances of your case, there may be other grounds for appeal available to you. It is important to discuss your case with a qualified DUI/OWI attorney to determine what legal options you may have.

How a Criminal Appeals Lawyer Can Help

Having an experienced criminal appeals lawyer can make all the difference in getting your OWI conviction overturned or reduced. Your lawyer can help by thoroughly reviewing all of the facts and evidence of your case, looking for any mistakes or oversights by the court or arresting officers that can be used to challenge the conviction. They can also guide you through the appeals process and help you understand the legal arguments needed to win your appeal. Additionally, they can provide expert advice on how to proceed with the case and file the necessary paperwork on your behalf. With the right criminal appeals lawyer, you might be able to challenge your OWI conviction successfully.

Speak with a Milwaukee DUI/OWI Appeals Lawyer

If you were charged with an OWI in the Milwaukee area, it is crucial to understand your rights and legal options. The experienced Milwaukee criminal defense attorneys of Hart Powell, S.C. understand the complex nature of OWI cases and are prepared to provide you with the aggressive defense you need. If you have already been convicted and want to appeal your conviction, our knowledgeable attorneys can help you evaluate the strength of your case and provide effective legal guidance throughout the appeals process.

A qualified Milwaukee OWI appeals lawyer can increase your chances of a successful appeal. Contact Hart Powell, S.C. today at (414) 271-9595 or contact us online to learn more about how we can help you through a confidential legal case review.

Written by Michael Hart & Craig Powell

Last Updated : April 27, 2023