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Strategies for Beating an OWI

Posted on in Criminal Defense

Wisconsin defense attorney, Wisconsin criminal lawyer, operating while intoxicatedOWIs can be serious charges that come with expensive penalties, especially for people who have prior OWIs on their records. Many people risk driving drunk because they think they will not get caught. Yet, there are tens of thousands of OWI convictions every year, according to statistics compiled by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Consequently, people should be aware of the different strategies Wisconsin OWI attorneys can use to fight an OWI conviction after the charges occur. These strategies include taking advantage of the burden of proof, fighting to exclude evidence, and contesting evidence that cannot be excluded.

The Burden of Proof

One key point to understand about the criminal justice system is that the burden of proof rests on the prosecution. This leads to the often recited line that people are innocent until proven guilty. In a practical sense, this means that it is the job of the prosecutor to prove the case, not the person's OWI defense attorney. This is an important strategic point. A person accused of an OWI does not need to prove they were sober. They merely need to knock out key portions of the case against them that would prove drunk driving.

Excluding the Evidence

One of the best ways to eliminate pillars of the prosecution's case is by excluding evidence. Not every piece of information that the police collect can be used in a legal proceeding. For instance, police need some sort of justification to perform a traffic stop. If the defense attorney can show that the police did not have any legal justification for stopping the defendant, then evidence found as a result of the traffic stop, such as a chemical blood alcohol test, may be able to be excluded from the trial.

Contesting the Evidence

Of course, not every piece of evidence can be excluded. That means that the best strategy for fighting an OWI may simply be contesting the prosecution's evidence during the trial. There are many ways to do this depending on the type of evidence in question. For example, the prosecution may try to introduce a chemical blood alcohol test that showed that the defendant blew a 0.09, which is slightly above the legal limit. However, these tests are not always perfectly accurate. An OWI attorney could introduce evidence that the police failed to properly calibrate the machine before testing, or that some condition of the defendant, such as diabetes, resulted in an inaccurate breath test.

The exact strategies an OWI defense attorney uses will depend on the specifics of your case. If you have recently been charged with an OWI, contact a skilled Milwaukee criminal defense attorney today for more information on the different options available for proving your innocence.

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