Wisconsin drunk driving lawyers are not miracle workers, but they can assist you in navigating your criminal charges. In some cases, when your criminal defense counsel can identify holes in the prosecution's case, they may be able to get your charges dropped or dismissed. In other cases, your lawyer might be able to reach a plea deal in order to get your punishments reduced.
The criminal, career, social and financial consequences of an operating while intoxicated (OWI) conviction are serious. Nevertheless, 3.1 percent of Wisconsin drivers still admit to driving after having too much to drink. As a warning to all drivers, let's look at a few possible scenarios that drunk driving defendants commonly face:
- First-time offenders with OWI charges: A first-time OWI charge is usually a non-criminal offense, which doesn't result in jail time. Those convicted of this crime will usually face a large fine, a nine-month maximum license suspension, a 12-month maximum ignition interlock device (IID), an alcohol assessment exam, and at least six points on their drivers' licenses. Additional penalties unrelated to the criminal aspects of this conviction could include an increase in insurance premiums and professional consequences. Incidentally, if your OWI charge was also connected to injuries, you might have to spend 30 days in jail.
- Second offense OWI charges: These charges are much more serious. A conviction could result in up to $2,000 in fines, six months in jail, eight months of license revocation and a required IID.
- Fourth and subsequent OWI charges: These charges are the severest and could be treated as felonies and result in lengthened jail time if a conviction occurs.
Individuals accused of OWI crimes want to do everything they can to defend themselves. Accused individuals should explore legal strategies to lessen the severity of their punishments.