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Criminal defense

5/09/2024

What to Do If You Are Facing an OWI Charge

An OWI (Operating While Intoxicated) charge in Wisconsin can be a stressful and confusing experience. There are so many factors to consider in OWI cases. You are likely worried about potential fines, jail time, and the impact on your driver's license. 

There continues to be this unnecessary shroud of mystery surrounding OWI arrests and penalties. Here at Schiro Criminal Defense, we believe that every person deserves to understand potential OWI penalties in Wisconsin and the importance of seeking legal guidance from an experienced criminal defense attorney. Join us as we carefully consider your option following an OWI charge. 

Understanding OWI Penalties in Wisconsin

An OWI arrest can be a life-altering event, leaving you confused and unsure of the next steps.  The potential consequences can feel daunting, with fines, jail time, and the impact on your driving privileges causing significant stress. 

Understanding the tiered system of OWI penalties in Wisconsin is crucial, but it's important to remember that these are just the starting points.  Several factors significantly influence the severity of your sentence, making legal representation from an experienced OWI defense attorney essential.

The severity of OWI penalties depends on several factors, including:

  • Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) level at the time of arrest
  • Whether there were any injuries or property damage caused by the incident
  • Number of prior OWI offenses on your record

Wisconsin uses a tiered system for OWI penalties, with harsher consequences for repeat offenders. Here is a brief breakdown of what that can look like:

  • First Offense: Typically involves fines ranging from $150 to $300 (plus court costs), potential jail time of up to 6 months, and driver's license revocation for 6-9 months. You may also be required to install an ignition interlock device (IID) on your vehicle if your BAC was 0.15 or higher.
  • Second Offense: Fines increase to $350-$1,100, with jail time of 5 days to 6 months a possibility. License revocation extends to 1 year, and an IID is mandatory for one year.
  • Third or Subsequent Offenses: Penalties become increasingly severe, with significant fines (up to $25,000 or more), potential prison sentences (up to 12.5 years or more), and lengthy license revocations (2 years or lifetime). IID installation becomes mandatory.

Factors That Affect Your Case

The nuances of your specific case can significantly impact your penalties. An experienced OWI defense attorney can analyze the details of your arrest, including police reports, witness statements, and BAC test results. By meticulously examining the evidence, they may be able to identify weaknesses in the prosecution's case and explore potential defense strategies. This could involve challenging the accuracy of the BAC test, negotiating reduced charges, or arguing for a more lenient sentence in court.  

Don't navigate the complex legal system alone. Contact Schiro Criminal Defense today to speak with a knowledgeable attorney who can fight aggressively to protect your rights and minimize the potential consequences of your OWI charge.

Beyond the Fines and Jail Time

While fines and jail time are significant concerns, an OWI conviction can have lasting consequences:

  • Increased Insurance Rates: OWI convictions can lead to dramatic increases in car insurance premiums for several years.
  • Employment Issues: Depending on your profession, an OWI on your record could affect your job security or limit your career advancement.
  • Security Clearances: An OWI conviction can make it difficult to obtain or maintain a security clearance, which can be a barrier to certain employment opportunities.

The Importance of Legal Representation

Facing an OWI charge can be overwhelming. An experienced OWI defense attorney can make all the difference in your case. An experienced attorney can help you to properly review the details of your arrest, for example, and meticulously examine the police report, witness statements, and any other evidence to identify potential weaknesses in the prosecution's case.

If you do not have experience in this field, it can be difficult to navigate the complexities of an OWI case. Depending on the circumstances, an attorney may be able to negotiate reduced charges, challenge the accuracy of the BAC test, or argue for a more lenient sentence.

The legal system can be difficult. Having a top-notch attorney by your side can be extremely helpful in explaining your options, answering your questions, and providing strong representation in court.

Schiro Criminal Defense: Protecting Your Rights

At Schiro Criminal Defense, we understand the serious consequences of an OWI charge. Our experienced attorneys have a proven track record of success in defending clients facing OWI accusations. We will fight aggressively to protect your rights and minimize the potential penalties.

If you have been charged with OWI in Wisconsin, don't hesitate to contact Schiro Criminal Defense. Contact us today to speak with a knowledgeable attorney who can guide you through this challenging situation.

In your time of need, count on us for legal guidance. Call (414) 277-9696 today, and let’s discuss the right way forward together.

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Share This Story

Like what you’ve read? Share this article to help enlighten others on securing their freedom and navigating the complexities of criminal defense.
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