An OWI can happen to anyone but that doesn’t mean an OWI charge is a small matter.
While a first OWI is not a criminal matter, a conviction can lead to license suspension, a heavy fine, and an Ignition Interlock Device (IID). Insurance premiums are virtually guaranteed to skyrocket, and if the OWI charge came after a crash causing injuries, additional charges up to and including manslaughter could result. Upon a subsequent conviction, the fines shoot up, jail time becomes more likely, and insurance may only be available from special, costly providers. Even if you are able to make it to work, an OWI charge is disqualifying in many areas of employment.
It’s important to remember that even if the evidence seems overwhelming, there are still several defenses available to an OWI charge. First, the police must have had a legally valid reason for conducting the initial traffic stop, and if they did not, the charges must be dismissed. Second, blood alcohol or chemical testing used to determine the level of intoxication must be performed properly with properly calibrated equipment. Even a single misstep could open the door to a successful defense against an OWI allegation.
In cases where the evidence seems solid, there are still usually options available to plead guilty to a lesser charge or to negotiate a reduced sentence. Because of the serious nature of these charges and the long-term consequences, never take any action without consulting with an OWI defense attorney.
Have you been charged with OWI / DUI in Wisconsin? Contact Johnen Law Offices now to begin your defense.