The Milwaukee DUI/OWI lawyers of [firm name] have years of experience representing clients facing criminal DUI/OWI charges. A DUI/OWI conviction can harm your life, resulting in jail time, hefty fines, higher insurance rates, and suspension of your driver’s license.
Wisconsin laws state that a person is over their legal limit when their blood alcohol content (BAC) reaches .08 or above. Driving under the influence may also affect your reputation, family, and career options. If police arrest or charge you with DUI/OWI, contact an experienced attorney immediately.
Why Choose Hart Powell, S.C.?
A DUI/OWI charge can interfere with your responsibility to support your family. At the minimum, you could lose your driver’s license, making commuting to work impossible. Moreover, a DUI/OWI conviction is a stain on your record that could affect future opportunities. Because the stakes are so high, you can’t rely on anything but the highest-quality representation if you face charges of DUI or OWI.
Don’t accept the help of a public defender. Even if you get a skilled lawyer, public defenders’ caseloads are enormous. They will not be able to give your case the attention it deserves. At Hart Powell, S.C., we have 50 years of experience defending clients in the Milwaukee area. Our DUI/OWI attorneys will do the legal legwork for you. We will analyze every detail of your case and use the findings to your advantage in court.
Facing a DUI/OWI charge can be an embarrassing and stressful experience, but it is essential to remember you still have rights. Our firm understands that your reputation, family, and finances are on the line. How you handle your DUI/OWI charges will affect the rest of your life, so do not leave it to amateurs. The Milwaukee criminal defense attorneys of Hart Powell, S.C. represent clients who face the following charges:
- Driving under the influence
- Transportation of open alcohol
- Leaving the scene of an accident
- Driving using a suspended or revoked license
When facing a criminal charge, it is crucial to speak with an attorney before you make any statements to law enforcement officials. Speaking without the guidance of an attorney will only help the prosecution to build a case against you. The police can use anything you say against you in a court of law, so it is imperative to contact an attorney immediately after your DUI/OWI charge occurs. Speak to a qualified legal advocate today! Set up a consultation on our website or contact our office at (414) 271-9595.
What Qualifies as Drunk Driving in Wisconsin?
Do you face charges of DUI or OWI in the Milwaukee area? At Hart Powell, S.C., our DUI/OWI defense attorneys have the experience and skill to fight the charges aggressively. A DUI/OWI conviction can affect your finances, reputation, and career options. Before you fight these charges, educating yourself on Wisconsin’s DUI/OWI laws is vital. Here are four ways that the state defines intoxication:
- Driving with a BAC of 0.08 or greater
- Driving while under the influence of an intoxicant, such as alcohol, legal prescription medication, illegal or controlled substances, or other chemical substances
- Operating a vehicle with a detectable amount of any restricted substance in the bloodstream
- Driving while under the influence of a controlled substance or any other drug
At Hart Powell, S.C., we understand how the courts use the law to cast a wide net. Lawmakers wrote the DUI/OWI laws to cover a variety of intoxicating substances. You could go to jail if the substance in the bloodstream is a valid prescription medication or an illegal drug. Consult with a qualified DUI/OWI defense attorney from Hart Powell, S.C. today. We can review the details of your case and help you make the correct next move forward.
With a combined 50 years of experience, the attorneys at Hart Powell, S.C. provide personalized service to clients in the Milwaukee area. We protect our clients’ rights and interests, especially when faced with severe consequences. Here are some of the penalties for a first-time DUI/OWI offense:
- Between a $150-$300 fine
- A $435 surcharge
- License suspension for three to six months
- Regular drug and alcohol assessments
- Ignition interlock device depending on the BAC level at the time of the arrest
The drug and alcohol assessment examines the driver’s drinking and drug habits to determine if a pattern of addiction exists. A trained counselor performs the test. Depending on the results, it could result in further educational or counseling programs.
Lawmakers have designed penalties for first-time DUI/OWI convictions focusing on education. However, additional DUI/OWI convictions do not carry such lenient penalties. Fines, license suspensions, and jail time all increase with each later conviction the offender receives. For this reason, you should seek a DUI/OWI defense attorney who will help you fight against these harsh punishments.
Defenses for a DUI/OWI Conviction
The DUI/OWI defense attorneys at Hart Powell, S.C. will work hard to build a convincing case on your behalf. With our help, you may be able to have the charges against you reduced or even dropped altogether.
Based on our experience, many DUI/OWI charges lack enough evidence for an arrest. For instance, a police officer’s observation of slurred speech or bloodshot eyes could result from fatigue or allergies. Our expert DUI/OWI attorneys will remind the court that these observations do not form enough evidence to call for an arrest. In addition, we can also argue that the officer did not have probable cause to pull you over in the first place.
Courts tend to believe that breathalyzer results are accurate. The prosecution will rely on those results to build their case against you. We can use this to our advantage. At Hart Powell, S.C., our DUI/OWI defense attorneys will dispute this evidence. Breathalyzers are often inaccurate devices in recording BAC levels. Some common problems related to breathalyzer tests include the following:
- Lack of adequate calibration
- The arresting officer did not correctly administer the test
- Other chemicals were present that skewed the results of the test
- The officer used a damaged machine to test
A gap between the time the officer pulled you over and administered the breathalyzer test could be a defense. Alcohol takes time to enter the bloodstream through the digestive tract. WHEN THE OFFICER PULLED YOU OVER, your BAC level may have been at the legal limit. But 20 or 30 minutes later, when the officer performed the test, you were above the legal BAC level. If this is the case, your BAC level would not be proof of drunk driving.
A DUI/OWI conviction can impair your personal and professional reputation. If you believe, for any reason, that the results of your breathalyzer test were inaccurate, contact Hart Powell, S.C. at once. Our seasoned DUI/OWI defense attorneys can dispute the breathalyzer results and tell you the best way to proceed with your case. With the proper representation, you may be able to get the charges dropped altogether.
What to Do If an Officer Pulls You Over for a DUI
Be thoughtful if an officer pulls you over for DUI or OWI in Milwaukee. Follow these steps:
- Pull Over In A Safe Place: Once you see flashing lights in your rearview mirror, turn on your blinker to acknowledge that you see the officer. Continue driving until there is a safe location to pull over. Remember that the police officer will need enough space to stand beside your car and away from traffic. For example, if you are on an interstate with a narrow shoulder, wait for the next exit before you pull over in a safe space.
- Place Your Hands On Top Of the Steering Wheel: As you wait for the officer to approach your vehicle, rest your hands in plain sight on top of the wheel. This is the best practice for any pullover, including a DUI. This signals to the officer that you do not present an immediate threat. It will help to begin your interaction without apprehension by the police officer.
- Tell the Officer What You Are Doing: Inevitably, the officer will ask for your license, insurance, and registration. If you need to reach into your wallet or glove compartment, inform the officer of what you will be doing and why. This may seem elementary, but this is for your protection as well as for the peace of mind of the officer. Do not leave anything to chance or misinterpretation.
- Be Polite: A DUI pullover is the time to exercise your manners. “Yes, ma’am,” or “yes, sir,” can go a long way. While this may not be an instant exoneration for a DUI stop, the court will consider how you treated the officer. Your demeanor can differ between an arrest and the freedom to leave.
- Tell the Truth Without Offering Extra Information: Be truthful, but only answer the officer’s questions. Refrain from volunteering extra information. Otherwise, you may incriminate yourself. Keep quiet, keep polite, and keep your answers short.
- Decline Field Sobriety Tests: Many people are unaware you are not required to complete field sobriety tests. People call these tests roadside gymnastics because even sober individuals can fail. Make sure to be polite with your refusal.
- Decline a Handheld Breathalyzer: You may have heard that the laws in Wisconsin require drivers to comply with DUI blood alcohol testing. While this is true, it only applies to chemical testing at the police station, not to handheld breathalyzers. A handheld breathalyzer test carried out by an officer can be inaccurate. You will be re-tested when you arrive at the station anyway, so waiting for the real deal is best.
- Know Your Rights: We’ve all heard the term Miranda rights. You probably know that it generally means you have the right to remain silent because the police can use your words against you in court. However, make sure that you fully understand your rights. Your Miranda rights are only helpful if you exercise them. You must tell the police that you do not want to speak to anyone unless you have an attorney present. Then, you must remain silent on your arrest, even if the police ask questions. Continue to state that you do not want to speak to anyone unless you have an attorney present.
- Upon Release, Record What You Remember: The police often release DUI offenders in the morning before an attorney arrives. This is fine. Record everything you can remember about your arrest while it is freshest in your mind. This will help your attorney best represent you and your case.
- Contact an Attorney as Soon as Possible: If you can call an attorney from the police station, definitely do so. Otherwise, contact an attorney as quickly as possible upon your release. You have limited time to take action on a DUI or OWI case, so do not procrastinate.
Hart Powell, S.C. is available to start on your case right away. We can give you the best chance to limit your punishment and have the charges dismissed altogether.
The DUI/OWI attorneys of Hart Powell, S.C. understand the legal issues surrounding these cases. We will carefully review the evidence to build a strategic defense on your behalf. Our attorneys will investigate and challenge any unclear information regarding your case. For instance, improper maintenance of breathalyzer machines can cause inaccurate readings. Challenging this kind of law enforcement error is vital to a successful defense. A skilled attorney can identify weaknesses in the prosecution’s claims and defend your rights.
Facing a DUI/OWI charge is an embarrassing and stressful experience, but it is essential to remember that you still have legal rights. Your decisions regarding your DUI/OWI case will affect the rest of your life. It is in your best interest to hire the best criminal defense lawyer possible. The Milwaukee DUI/OWI lawyers of Hart Powell, S.C. will fight for your rights and will work to ensure you receive a fair trial. To learn more about our exceptional legal services, contact the Milwaukee DUI/OWI lawyers today by calling (414) 271-9595.