A misdemeanor charge in Wisconsin is punishable by up to a year in the county jail. A felony on the other hand is a criminal charge that is punishable by imprisonment in a Wisconsin state prison. Every other crime is considered a misdemeanor. In addition to a potential jail sentence, misdemeanor charges have the potential for fines of $10,000. Misdemeanors are very common criminal charges in Wisconsin. Although they are not as serious as a felony charge they do have significant consequences.
OWI Defense Starts with Challenging the Standard Field Sobriety Tests in Wisconsin OWI Cases
Any OWI defense attorney will tell you that a big part of an officer’s decision to arrest you is the field sobriety tests they ask you to perform. So obviously, an aggressive OWI defense includes challenging those tests. Anyone who has had the pleasure of taking these tests knows the difficulty in “passing” them. Although the filed sobriety tests do not seem overly difficult, they are very subjective. That means your ability to properly complete the FSTs is open for interpretation.
A conviction for a DUI in Wisconsin stays on your record and will always be there. Specifically, any drunk driving offense after 1989 counts towards your lifetime total when it comes to DUI penalties. If you go ten years without a DUI, your next DUI will be counted as a first offense for penalty purposes. This is called a second first offense. However, that only applies for your second offense DUI. After two DUIs, no matter how long in-between convictions, your lifetime convictions are counted for penalty purposes.