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Waukesha County criminal defense lawyerEvery state in the country has an implied consent law. Basically, this law means that by accepting the privilege drive a vehicle, a licensed driver automatically consents to chemical or blood testing if a police officer has probable cause to believe that driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Wisconsin’s implied consent law goes a step further. The state’s implied consent law contains a provision that stipulates that an incapacitated driver is “presumed not to have withdrawn” their consent of testing, even if they are not conscious.

This provision meant that police could conduct blood testing on a driver who was totally unconscious and unaware of what the police were doing. However, this will no longer be the case as the Wisconsin Supreme Court recently ruled that that provision is unconstitutional and violates the incapacitated driver’s Fourth Amendment protecting against unconstitutional search and seizure.

The Case

The unanimous decision was made by the justices in the case of State v. Prado. In December 2014, the defendant was severely injured in a car crash that killed the other driver. At the hospital, a police officer read the defendant, who was unconscious and intubated, the informing the accused script contained in the state’s implied consent law. Since she was unconscious, she did not answer the officer, however, because he thought he was within his rights under the law, he had a nurse obtain a blood sample without obtaining a warrant to do so first.

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Muskego drivers license reinstatement attorney

Like every other state in the country, there are multiple ways that you can be stripped of your driving privileges in Wisconsin. Major driving offenses that endanger the lives of others such as excessive speeding or reckless driving can end up costing you your driving privileges in some situations. However, the most common driving offense that leads to driver’s license suspensions and revocations is operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If your driver’s license has been suspended or revoked, you will have to take certain steps to reinstate it. A Wisconsin driver’s license reinstatement lawyer can help you make sure you are taking the proper steps to get yourself back on the road.

Checking Your Eligibility for Reinstatement

Checking your eligibility for reinstatement is the first step in the reinstatement process. The length of time between your revocation or suspension and when you become eligible to have your license reinstated largely depends on the offense you were charged with that triggered the suspension or revocation. The number of times you have committed that offense or similar offenses will also affect how long it will take for you to become eligible for reinstatement.

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Oconomowoc criminal defense attorney OWI

With temperatures dropping and snow beginning to fall, people across the country are getting their families and homes ready for the upcoming winter holidays. For many people, celebrating holidays often means going to social events where alcohol is present, but this can spell trouble for some. Drinking and driving is extremely dangerous and can even cause harm or death to others if you do not drink responsibly. This is why the state of Wisconsin, as well as all of the other 49 states,  have laws against consuming alcohol and then operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated (OWI). The holiday season is the most stressful time of year to be dealing with a drunk driving charge, so it is important that you avoid an arrest and criminal charge if you have been pulled over for OWI. 

Tips to Avoid an OWI Conviction in Wisconsin

Many people travel by car to visit family and friends over the Christmas holiday season and combined with increased alcohol use, this can (and has been shown to) produce a deadly situation. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), only about 29 percent of all traffic deaths typically involve alcohol, but during the Christmas Day period, approximately 37 percent of all traffic deaths can be attributed to alcohol involvement. When a death is involved in an OWI charge, consequences can become extremely serious, so avoiding an arrest is the best strategy to use. Here are a few tips if you are faced with this type of situation: 

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Waukesha County criminal defense attorney OWI

Nobody ever plans to get pulled over and arrested for drinking and driving, but it happens more often than you may think. There were nearly 29,000 people arrested for operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol in Wisconsin in 2015, according to the Department of Transportation (DoT). If you are arrested for OWI, chances are you will also be convicted as the DoT also stated that the drivers in 93 percent of the OWI cases that were charged were found guilty. If you are convicted of even a first-time OWI offense in Wisconsin, you could have your driver’s license suspended or revoked for six to nine months, making your life more difficult. Fortunately, you may be able to apply for an occupational license, which would alleviate some of the hardship.

Obtaining an Occupational License

The first question that is often on a person’s mind after being charged with OWI is, “Am I still able to drive?” The answer to that question usually depends on the circumstances surrounding the case. In Wisconsin, an occupational license can be requested to allow you to drive to and from work or school. To be eligible for an occupational license, you must have had a valid license prior to its suspension or revocation. You will not be eligible for an occupational license if you have two or more revocation or suspension cases from separate incidents in a one-year period or if you have not served all mandatory waiting periods before applying for the occupational license.

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Oconomowoc criminal defense attorney OWI with a minor passenger

The state of Wisconsin is one of the few states that still treat the first-time charge for operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OWI) as a moving violation rather than a crime. However, circumstances significantly change if a person has a minor who is under the age of 16 in the vehicle at the time the OWI is committed. In the past couple of years, Wisconsin lawmakers have made changes to some of the state’s drunk driving laws, with updated penalties for minor passengers being one of them. In many cases, offenders could see their criminal penalties as much as double if they were driving under the influence with a minor in the vehicle.

First and Second OWI With No Prior Offense

For a typical first or second OWI charge with no prior OWI charges in the preceding 10 years, an offender typically would face up to a $300 fine, up to a nine-month license suspension, and no jail time. However, if a minor was in the vehicle when the offense was committed, he or she could face between $350 and $1,100 in fines, a 12-18-month license suspension, and up to six months in jail.

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