Go to Homepage
Blog
330 East Kilbourn Avenue, Suite 1170
Milwaukee, WI 53202
Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown, LLP

EmailEMAIL US

Phone414-271-1440

Se habla español
Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in OWI charges

Milwaukee criminal defense law firmMilwaukee, WI multiple OWI attorneyBy Attorney Cameron Weitzner and Paralegal Rachel Sweet

Operating while intoxicated (OWI) is a serious criminal offense, regardless of whether you have a prior history of convictions. Consequences of an OWI conviction include fines, driver’s license revocation, and a lasting criminal record, even for first-time offenders. However, the consequences can become much more severe if you are facing OWI charges a second, third, or subsequent time. If you are arrested for OWI with a previous conviction on your record, it is crucial that you hire an attorney who can help you avoid the full extent of the penalties you may face.

Second OWI Offense Penalties Depend on the Timeframe

In Wisconsin, if your second alleged OWI offense comes more than 10 years after your first conviction, the potential penalties will likely be the same as if you had no prior conviction. Namely, you may face a fine of up to $300, a $435 OWI surcharge, and revocation of your driver’s license for up to nine months, but you are unlikely to be sentenced to any period of confinement or imprisonment. However, if the second offense comes within 10 years of the first, the possible penalties become more substantial. Fines can increase to up to $1,100, the license revocation period can increase to up to 18 months, and the sentence can include up to six months in prison.

...

Milwaukee drunk driving defense attorney for felony OWI chargesBy Attorney Brianna Meyer

Drunk driving is a serious matter in Wisconsin. According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, more than 20,000 people are arrested for Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) in Wisconsin every year, and hundreds of these offenders are under the age of 18. If you have ever been arrested or charged with offenses related to drunk driving, you are aware of the stress, expenditures, and consequences that can result. An OWI arrest can be even more serious if it is charged as a felony, and these types of charges may result in long prison sentences, steep fines, and the loss of your driving privileges for multiple years.

Felony OWI Charges

Whether your OWI charge is considered a felony is dependent on two factors:

...

By Jason Luczak & Brianna Meyer

Milwaukee drunk driving defense attorneyMilwaukee drunk driving defense attorney

The Wisconsin Assembly passed two bills this summer which, if approved by the state Senate, would impose stiffer penalties on individuals convicted of operating while intoxicated (OWI). The first bill would establish a mandatory minimum prison sentence of at least five years for drivers convicted of an OWI that resulted in a fatality.  A driver facing such a charge under current law faces a considerable prison sentence, although a sentencing court has the discretion to impose jail time, probation or combination of the two. The new bill passed by the Assembly would take away all discretion and individual consideration of each defendant and lump them all together regardless of blood alcohol level, treatment needs and efforts, etc. The second bill would make it obligatory for drivers facing OWI charges, including all first-time offenders, to appear in court. Because a first-time OWI is currently not a criminal offense, the civil rules of procedure allowing an appearance by legal counsel for some court proceedings can occur. 

...

"Milwaukee

By Attorney Brianna Meyer

In Wisconsin, refusing a breathalyzer test after being arrested for suspected drunk driving can result in the suspension of your driver’s license. However, what many people do not know is that a roadside blood alcohol content (BAC) test is voluntary. Due to the danger of license suspension, many people submit to a breathalyzer test and live with the results that come from it. However, breathalyzer tests are not always 100 percent accurate, and there are ways to challenge the results in Wisconsin courts.

...

Wisconsin drunk driving charges defense lawyerDuring the holiday season, you will likely have many occasions to celebrate with friends and family. When you drink alcohol at these parties, it is best to avoid getting behind the wheel of a vehicle. You should do everything you can to ensure that you are not one of the many who will be arrested for OWI (Operating While Intoxicated, the official charge for drunk driving in Wisconsin) during the holidays.

Alcohol Consumption by Holiday

According to Alcohol.org, the average number of drinks consumed on Thanksgiving is 2.7. The average number of drinks consumed on other “winter holidays” is 3.1. New Year’s Eve is one of the booziest holidays for Americans, as the average number of drinks consumed on that day is 4.4. 

Tips to Avoid Driving Drunk

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, one of the organizations that make up the National Institutes of Health, offers the following tips:

...

Milwaukee marijuana dui defense lawyerMany people associate DUI, or driving under the influence, with the overconsumption of alcohol. However, one can be convicted of a DUI (also called Operating While Intoxicated or OWI) for driving while under the influence of illegal drugs or prescription medications.

Marijuana OWI

There are several reasons why marijuana OWI charges are on the rise in recent years. Marijuana has become legal for medical or recreational purposes in many states. Also, Canada recently legalized pot for recreational use nationwide. In addition, growing practices have yielded increasingly more potent marijuana crops. 

Wisconsin law states that “No person may drive or operate a motor vehicle while . . . [t]he person has a detectable amount of a restricted controlled substance in his or her blood.” This is different from how the law defines OWI for alcohol, which occurs when someone drinks to a point that “renders him or her incapable of safely driving.”

...

Milwaukee criminal defense lawyers, defending against OWI, OWI charges, field sobriety tests, OWI casesBy Ray Dall’Osto and Brianna Meyer

Being pulled over by a law enforcement officer for a traffic stop is stressful; however, the possibility of being arrested for OWI (Operating While Intoxicated, also called DUI) can make things much worse. If you are pulled over for a traffic stop or on suspicion of drunk driving, it is important for you to understand your rights. If you don’t know how to assert your rights, you have none.

The Right to Avoid Self-Incrimination

...

ridesharing, drunk-driving, milwaukee criminal defense lawyersA recent study has found no significant reduction in drunk driving fatalities due to the rollout of the ridesharing app Uber. This comes as a surprise to many as Uber has been viewed as an option to traditional taxis and public transportation and often gives rides to those who have been drinking. The ridesharing company began offering services in Milwaukee in 2014, and it has become a popular way for many to get around town safely.

Explaining the Study

Researchers explained the counterintuitive results by pointing to several factors: 

...

wisconsin owi penalties, milwaukee criminal defense lawyerA new law enacted by the Wisconsin Legislature and signed by Governor Walker in April 2016, became effective on January 1, 2017, sharply increases penalties on repeat drunk driving cases

2015 Wisconsin Act 371 makes a fourth drunk driving offense a felony for all purposes, regardless of when the previous OWI convictions occurred.  Under previous law, a fourth offense OWI would constitute a felony only if it was committed within five (5) years of a third offense drunk driving conviction.  Otherwise, it remained a misdemeanor. Act 371 eliminates this distinction.

A fourth offense OWI conviction is a Class H felony, carrying a maximum potential sentence of six (6) years in prison, a mandatory minimum period of incarceration and fines up to $10,000.

...

Wisconsin criminal attorney, Wisconsin drunk driving lawsGenerally, jail terms are reserved for Wisconsin’s repeat OWI offenders. However, there are circumstances under which even a first-time offender can face serious penalties. It is important to understand these circumstances. Moreover, it is essential that you understand how to protect yourself, should you come up against any one of these serious situations.

Multiple OWI Convictions

If you receive a second offense OWI within a ten-year period, you can face up to six months in jail. Each repeat offense can increase your penalties and, by the time you reach your fourth offense, you could face consequences for a Class H felony, including up to six years of imprisonment, suspension of your license for up to three years, mandatory Interlock Ignition Device (IID) for up to three years and fines of up to $20,000. Additional convictions can increase your penalties even further.

...
Back to Top