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Waukesha County Attorneys for underage OWI

We can all remember the times when we were teenagers. Finally being able to drive meant finally being able to have more independence from your parents, but it also meant taking on more responsibility than ever before. Operating a vehicle while you are under the influence (OWI) of drugs or alcohol is not only highly irresponsible, but it is also highly illegal. In Wisconsin, underage offenders who are caught driving while they are intoxicated face a variety of penalties that could potentially become serious. Being charged with a crime does not necessarily mean you will be convicted of one, but a Wisconsin criminal defense lawyer can help make sure you are not.

Wisconsin’s “Not a Drop” Law

One of the most important pieces of evidence in any OWI case is the driver’s BAC or blood-alcohol concentration. For drivers who are over the age of 21, the legal BAC limit is 0.08. In most states, the legal BAC limit for drivers under the age of 21 is set at a much lower threshold and Wisconsin is no exception. Wisconsin’s underage OWI law, also known as their “Not a Drop” law, states that the legal BAC limit for those under the age of 21 is 0.00, or no amount of alcohol. 

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New Berlin criminal defense attorney juvenile crime

As a parent, one of the worst phone calls you could receive is one from your child stating that he or she has gotten into trouble with the law. Being arrested and charged with a criminal offense is a serious situation, regardless of whether or not you are an adult or a child. If your minor has been arrested or has had a run-in with the law, you may be wondering if he or she will be tried as an adult or as a child. In many cases, a juvenile will be tried and sentenced through the juvenile justice system, which functions slightly differently than the adult criminal justice system. In some cases, however, a juvenile may be tried in adult court for certain crimes in Wisconsin.

17-Year-Olds Are Considered Adults

Wisconsin is still among the few states that always consider juveniles who are at least 17 years old to be “adults.” This means that if a 17-year-old is arrested and charged with a crime, his or her case automatically is sent to adult court, not juvenile court. However, those who were 15 or 16 at the time of the offense may be tried either as a juvenile or an adult. This decision is up to the court’s discretion and mainly depends on the nature of the offense and the possibility for rehabilitation.

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