DUI charges are a serious offense. If you or a loved one have been charged for driving under the influence, it can be difficult to navigate the repercussions of those charges. However, by having an understanding of Wisconsin laws and the right team of attorneys on your side, you can recover from DUI charges.
What are DUI charges?
Having a clear understanding of the Wisconsin DUI/OWI laws and charges is imperative if you are charged with driving under the influence. A DUI (driving under the influence) is the most common term used. However, in Wisconsin, the charge against you will be an OWI (driving while intoxicated). These terms are interchangeable, so don’t be confused if you are charged with one or the other. For anyone under the age of 21, it is illegal to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs, no matter the amount. The State of Wisconsin Department of Transportation outlines what is illegal in Wisconsin for those over the age of 21.
You will be arrested for an OWI if you have:
- A Blood/Breath Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or greater
- While under the influence of an intoxicant
- A detectable amount of a restricted controlled substance in your blood
- While under the influence of a controlled substance or any other drug
You can be arrested for driving while intoxicated even if your breath or blood concentration is lower than the legal amount. If an officer thinks you were driving in unsafe conditions because of alcohol or drugs, you can be arrested and prosecuted.
What happens after I am charged?
After you are charged with an OWI, the following procedure will depend on if this is a first or second offense.
DUI charges: First Offense
If this is your first offense, you will not be charged with a misdemeanor but rather a civil offense. There are three types of tickets you could receive from an officer:
- A ticket/ Operating Under the Influence (OWI)
- B ticket/Operating with a Prohibited Alcohol Concentration (PAC)
- AM ticket/ Found with a restricted controlled substance in your blood
After you are given any of these tickets, you will receive a notice to suspend in-person or by mail. This will depend on when your blood test results are received by law enforcement. If you refused the chemical test when you were arrested, you will receive a notice to revoke. This will take away your driving privileges for one year after 30 days from receiving this notice. You can appear in court after your charges. The court will either find you not guilty and dismiss the charges or find you guilty and convict you. If found guilty, you will pay a fine. Your driver’s license will also be revoked for a period of time.
DUI Charges: Second and Beyond Offenses
After your first offense, any other OWI offense will be charged as a misdemeanor and have more serious repercussions. The penalties of the OWI charge will depend on the type of offense, the circumstances around it and the number of offenses you’ve had in the past. After your third OWI, the limit of the breath/blood alcohol concentration is lowered to .02. This means that it is illegal to operate a vehicle with .02 levels of alcohol in your system even if you are not impaired.
What are my best options when defending against a DUI/OWI?
The best thing you can do after being charged with an OWI is to contact an attorney. Having someone on your side who understands Wisconsin’s laws and regulations is critical for obtaining the best possible outcome for your case. At Dahlberg Law Group, our attorneys have over 30 years of experience in criminal defense cases. Our team is equipped to give you the best defense for your situation. Here are some of our most common and effective strategies for dealing with OWI charges:
- Suppressing evidence: While police officers usually have good intentions, they sometimes don’t follow all necessary procedures. If you were pulled over for an invalid reason or given a PBT without probable cause, the evidence isn’t valid in court.
- Challenging terms: DUI charges are founded on the claim that the driver was “under the influence,” but that can be a difficult thing to prove without a concrete blood alcohol reading. We work to show you were capable of safe driving.
- Dismissing motions: If your case doesn’t have a solid claim or complaint, it can be dismissed entirely.
Hire Criminal Defense Attorney King Tse for Your Defense
We understand the seriousness of DUI charges and the impact it can have on you and your loved ones. Hiring criminal defense attorney King Tse will give you a greater chance of a lesser sentence. With experience in conducting jury trials for OWI charges and handling over 100 cases a year as a public defender, King has the experience and skill to represent you. Contact King today to set up a consultation.