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Fighting OWI Charges in Wisconsin

Posted on in Criminal Defense

Wisconsin defense attorney, Wisconsin criminal lawyer, Milwaukee drunk driving attorneyGetting charged and convicted with operating while intoxicated (OWI) can have devastating consequences on your life. If you are found guilty, your driver’s license could be revoked, your insurance will increase and you might be looking at significant fines and jail time.

Wisconsin, like many states, passed laws to combat drunk driving. According to the law, no person is permitted to operate a motor vehicle under the influence of drug or alcohol.

Therefore, in order for you to be found guilty, the prosecution must prove that you were 1) operating an automobile 2) while under the influence of drug or alcohol.

Implied Consent

Wisconsin has adopted a law known as implied consent. This ultimately means that if you are lawfully arrested by a police officer who believes that you were operating an automobile under the influence, you are required to take a blood, urine or breathalyzer exam. This law applies even if you are not operating the automobile. For example, if you pulled the car over to sleep, turned the engine off and took a nap, and the police find you, you will be required to take an exam to determine if there are drugs or alcohol in your system and you may be charged with an OWI.

Challenging an OWI

An OWI can be challenged in numerous ways but there are three common areas where most challenges have been successful. These areas include the lack of probable cause, the officer’s testimony, and accuracy of the tests performed.

In order for a police officer to arrest or detain you, he or she needs probable cause that a crime occurred or reasonable suspicion that criminal activity is afoot. Here, the police officer must have probable cause, prior to arresting you for an OWI, to believe that you were impaired while operating the vehicle.

Challenging the testimony of the police officer will be the next objective. Although your conviction will rest on whether the prosecution can prove you had alcohol in your blood, breath or urine, a great way to weaken the prosecution’s case is to poke holes in the testimony of the officer. If there is no physical evidence of alcohol in your system, then this will be the most important step to defending against your OWI charges.

Finally, the reliability of test used to determine the amount of alcohol in your system can also be challenged. Additionally, if the person taking your blood is not qualified or the prosecution fails to establish a proper chain of custody, the evidence could be thrown out.

Contact an Attorney

If you are charged with an OWI, you should contact an experienced Milwaukee criminal defense attorney who will advise you of the best strategy for your case and aggressively hold the prosecution to its burden of proving each and every element beyond a reasonable doubt.
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