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Waukesha County OWI Defense Attorneys 

Milwaukee County OWI defense attorneys

Drunk Driving Criminal Lawyers in New Berlin, Oconomowoc and Muskego

Being accused of driving under the influence of alcohol, called "operating while intoxicated" or OWI, in Wisconsin, is a very serious criminal charge. You could face expensive fines, the loss of your ability to legally drive, and even jail time if you are convicted. The criminal penalties associated with OWI vary depending on the circumstances of the alleged crime and any past criminal convictions.

Bucher, Wolff & Sonderhouse, LLP offers strong legal defense against OWI charges. We understand that OWI charges often result from faulty breathalyzer equipment, improper field sobriety procedures, unsubstantiated police traffic stops, or simply a mistake made by an otherwise law-abiding citizen. Our goal is to help get your OWI charges reduced or dismissed entirely whenever possible and allow you to avoid a conviction. Our highly skilled criminal defense attorneys take a personalized approach to OWI cases and work to find unique solutions based on your particular circumstances.

Pewaukee OWI Lawyers Fighting To Keep You Out of Jail

In many states, the criminal offense associated with drunk driving is called "driving under the influence," or DUI. In Wisconsin, however, the offense is called "operating while intoxicated," or OWI. Compared to DUI laws in most states, OWI is a rather broad offense, and it can be charged even if you are in a vehicle that is not in motion. Wisconsin law provides that you can be charged with OWI if you are found to be driving or in control of a vehicle:

  • With a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or greater;
  • When your ability to drive is "materially" impaired; 
  • While under the influence of an illegal or controlled drug, including legal prescription medications and other chemical substances; and
  • With any detectable amount of a restricted controlled substance in the bloodstream.

It is also important to understand that a "vehicle" means more than a regular car or truck. OWI charges are also possible for operating a boat, snowmobile, or any other motorized device while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Penalties for an OWI Conviction

A person's first OWI offense in Wisconsin is generally handled as a non-criminal ordinance violation, which is a civil offense. As a result, many people assume that first-time OWI charges are not penalized severely. While repeat offenders are generally subject to increased penalties, you may be surprised to learn that even a first time OWI charge for someone with no criminal record results in serious consequences, including:

  • A fine of $150 to $300 plus an OWI surcharge and court costs;
  • Drug and alcohol use assessment and possible referral to an educational or counseling program; and
  • Potential requirement to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle.

In addition, your driver's license is likely to be revoked for six to nine months. The revocation period may be even longer if you refuse to submit to BAC testing following your arrest.

If you are convicted of an OWI and a passenger under age 16 was in your vehicle, you face harsher penalties including up to 6 months in jail. Second and subsequent OWI convictions carry substantially heavier fines, longer driver's license suspension periods, and longer jail sentences. A fourth or subsequent OWI conviction or a conviction for causing great bodily harm by OWI are felony offenses that can result in several years of confinement in prison.

Do Not Speak to Police Without an Attorney Present

The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution gives you the right to avoid self-incrimination. Often called "pleading the Fifth," criminal defendants may invoke their Constitutional rights against self-incrimination and say nothing to police until their lawyer is present. If you are facing criminal charges related to OWI, a qualified lawyer can help ensure that you are not tricked into saying something that could later be used against you. At our firm, our phones are answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so that you can get the representation you need when you need it. Bucher, Wolff & Sonderhouse, LLP is fully prepared to help you defend against a wide range of OWI charges and to protect your freedom.

Call Us for Help Today

For sound legal guidance regarding operating while intoxicated charges, contact our office. We will help you understand your legal options and then formulate a strong defense against the accusations levied against you. Schedule a cost-free, completely confidential consultation with an accomplished Waukesha criminal defense attorney by calling our office today at 262-232-6699. We serve clients in Waukesha County, Waukesha, Brookfield, Muskego, New Berlin, Pewaukee, Menomonee Falls, Oconomowoc, Delafield, Milwaukee, Milwaukee County, and the surrounding areas.

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