Frequently Asked Questions about DUIs in Wisconsin
Do I have to answer the officer’s questions when pulled over?
When law enforcement pulls someone over there are certain questions that person needs to answer and other questions that do not. Upon request you should answer and provide documents indicating your name, address, car insurance, license and registration. These are all common questions during a traffic stop. Outside of these common traffic stop questions, you are not legally required to answer any other questions. This is especially true for such questions as “have you been drinking” or “where are you coming from.” Although refusing to answer questions may delay the traffic stop, what you say may be used against you.
Read more “Top Wisconsin DUI Questions”
Wisconsin has two different types of criminal charges, misdemeanors and felonies. A criminal charge is one that is punishable by imprisonment. A felony in Wisconsin is a crime punishable by imprisonment in the Wisconsin state prisons. Every other crime is considered a misdemeanor and is punishable by a sentence to the county jail. Classifications of misdemeanors can be found here. Wisconsin has nine felony classifications A-I.
Read more “Felony Classifications in Wisconsin”
How can I get put on House Arrest in Wisconsin?
House arrest, otherwise known as electronic monitoring, is available to individuals who have been sentenced to the county jail. Whether or not you are placed on house arrest is up to the sheriff and the deputies who run the county jail. Under Wis. Stat § 302.425 the legislature gave the power to place someone on home detention to the local sheriff. A judge can only sentence you to jail. A judge cannot sentence you to home detention and a judge cannot prohibit you from being placed on home detention. However, there are things that you can do to help your chances.
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What is a Preliminary Breath Test?
A preliminary breath test (PBT) is a test used by law enforcement to determine whether or not an individual is intoxicated. For the most part, PBTs are used in OWI investigations. Knowing the purpose of this test and how it can be used against you is important.
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If you have been charged with a crime, a DUI, or any offense for which you are seeking representation, you likely have many questions you want to ask. You will want to make sure you ask the right questions to find the right defense attorney. Don’t worry about the charges you are facing, the attorney will likely inquire about the facts of your case. Instead, focus on the qualifications of the criminal defense attorney you are meeting with.
Read more “Top Questions To Ask A Criminal Defense Attorney”
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.
Read more “Classification of Misdemeanors in Wisconsin”
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.
Read more “Fighting Field Sobriety Tests in Wisconsin OWI Cases”
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.
Read more “How Long Does A DUI Stay On Your Record in Wisconsin”
Under Wisconsin Statute § 343.301 the court will require that you install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle as one of many OWI penalties upon conviction if any of the following apply:
- You improperly refused to submitted to a chemical test of your breath, blood, or urine;
- Your BAC was over .15; or
- You have a previous OWI related conviction.
Read more “Wisconsin Ignition Interlock Device Law”
Many people assume that just having your keys in the vehicle while being intoxicated is enough for an OWI charge. That is not true. In order to be convicted of an OWI the state must prove that you either “operated” your motor vehicle or you were driving. There is a difference, but both can result in a drunk driving charge.
Read more “Driving vs. Operating a Motor Vehicle in a Drunk Driving Case”