We’ve all seen the commercials, the online ads, the digital signs floating above the highway reading: “Don’t drink and drive.” But sometimes, things happen.
If you’ve been arrested or charged with driving under the influence or operating while intoxicated (DUI/OWI), you need the help of an experienced attorney. Having a DUI/OWI on your record can have devastating consequences for your future. The attorneys at Hart Powell, S.C. have experience in helping clients fight DUI/OWI charges. Call (414) 271-9595 today to schedule a consultation.
Consequences of a DUI/OWI Charge in Wisconsin
A driving or operating a vehicle while under the influence charge or arrest is a serious matter. The consequences of this charge can be cumbersome, expensive, and detrimental to both your quality of life and liberty. A DUI charge (called OWI in Wisconsin’s laws, but also called DWI) can damage your personal and professional reputation, your ability to obtain employment, and even your ability to drive if your license gets suspended. This type of charge can even, in specific instances, affect your ability to have custody or visitation with your child or children.
The consequences of a DUI have a cumulative effect. Some people may be charged once with a DUI and exercise extreme caution in order to prevent it from happening again. But because of the issue of addiction to alcohol and other substances, some people get multiple DUI charges. Since the risk of harm to others and damage to property is high, the law provides increasing penalties for those who are charged with multiple, successive DUIs.
In Wisconsin, there are varying penalties for OWI (or DUI/DWI) charges based on the accused’s history of OWI charges. Here are a few penalty guidelines for OWIs:
- For a 1st offense, 2nd offense with no OWI charge in the previous ten years, and no history of an OWI charge causing bodily harm or death, the penalty is a fine of $585-$735 and license suspension for 6-9 months.
- For a 2nd offense within ten years of the previous offense, penalties include five days to six months in jail, license revocation of 12-18 months, and fines of $350 to $1100. The fines can be increased, depending on the BAC of the driver. After 45 days, a hardship license can be issued, along with an ignition interlock device.
- For a 3rd offense, the penalty is a fine of $1050-$2,435, 45 days to a year of confinement plus an additional 2-3 of license suspension, and be required to use an ignition interlocking device or participate in a sobriety program for 1-4 years.
- A 10th OWI charge is a Class E felony, for which the fine may be up to $50,435 and 4-15 years in prison.
Because of the serious and life-altering consequences, you need an experienced attorney to help you fight your DUI charge. Hart Powell, S.C. is here to help.
How You Can Beat a DUI/OWI Charge
The attorneys at Hart Powell, S.C. have successfully defended clients who have been charged with DUIs/OWIs. We will devise a legal strategy based on the facts of your individual case. We will conduct our own thorough investigation and examine the evidence and look for certain aspects of your case that may raise doubt as to the validity of your DUI charge and/or prove your innocence. These factors could include the following:
- Accuracy of breath analyzers or blood results – Breath analyzers are used to determine your blood alcohol concentration level at the time of use. However, breath analyzers can be inaccurate. There can be issues with the machine and its calibration, the officer may have used it improperly when they tested you, or the machine could have detected other substances on your breath that have the same molecular structure as alcohol. Likewise, if the blood test was improperly handled or the results were contaminated, doubts can be raised about the test’s validity.
- Timing – If there is any delay in the blood test being administered, it can raise questions as to the validity of the test. This is because your BAC could have risen from the time you were pulled over and when you took the test. A DUI is based on your BAC at the time you were driving.
- Legality of the Stop – Law enforcement must follow the law when it comes to traffic stops. For example, if you were subjected to an illegal search and seizure when you were stopped for a DUI for marijuana or other controlled substances, we will fight to suppress any evidence found in that search. We will review the officer’s arrest report of the stop to find any holes or any evidence that the officer may have misstepped.
Call Hart Powell, S.C. Today
The Wisconsin DUI/OWI attorneys at Hart Powell, S.C. are skilled and experienced in crafting strong defenses for DUI charges. We’ve worked for decades providing outstanding criminal defense for our clients. If you’ve been charged with a DUI, you need an attorney that can fight for you. Call (414) 271-9595 to schedule a consultation or contact us online.