If you’ve been charged with Operating While Intoxicated (OWI), also known as “drunk driving,” hiring an aggressive and experienced Milwaukee criminal defense attorney can make a world of difference.
A first OWI offense may not seem like a serious issue. However, even a first OWI conviction comes with hefty fines, potential loss of a driver’s license, and other serious consequences. Subsequent convictions carry heavier and heavier consequences, including jail or prison time.
If you’re facing drunk driving charges, you must retain a criminal defense attorney with experience fighting these types of cases. Drunk driving defense is different from other types of criminal defense. It involves going to municipal court, rather than circuit court, and involves different laws and regulations. You want the expertise of a Milwaukee criminal defense attorney with specific experience defending against OWI charges — and that’s just what Fenton Law Office can do for you. Contact us today.
In the state of Wisconsin, you can be arrested and charged with an OWI if you:
Have a Blood/Breath Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher.
Are under the influence of an intoxicant.
Have a detectable amount of a restricted controlled substance in your blood.
Are under the influence of a drug or other controlled substance.
A drunk driving charge can have a serious impact on your life. Penalties for drunk driving in Wisconsin range from a fine and license suspension for a first offense to jail time and significant fines for subsequent offenses. Additionally, if your actions cause great bodily harm or death, the consequences will be severe. If you are convicted of a DUI, you will also have a criminal record that can affect your ability to get a job, obtain housing, or obtain credit.
Wisconsin prosecutors take drunk driving very seriously, so it’s important that you retain the services of a lawyer who also takes your case very seriously. A criminal defense attorney can help you with your drunk driving charge by providing you with the necessary legal resources and strategies to defend your case. Hiring a lawyer who is experienced in handling these types of cases can be extremely beneficial, as they will know how to navigate the complex legal system and build a strong defense on your behalf. If you are facing a drunk driving charge, it is important to contact a qualified criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to discuss your case and begin preparing your defense.
Not all criminal defense attorneys specialize in drunk driving. Despite the fact that many criminal defense lawyers dislike to advertise it, defending people with OWI or PAC charges necessitates particular skill. At Fenton Law Office, Attorney Jay Fenton possesses the talent, expertise, and commitment to justice that you need on your side.
Attorney Fenton knows how to challenge evidence related to field sobriety tests and breathalyzers. He also understands how to negotiate with prosecutors for a more lenient sentence or lighter charges. If you have been arrested and charged with drunk driving in Milwaukee, you need a lawyer who will fight for you. Jay Fenton is that lawyer.
Don’t go through this process alone. If you have been charged with drunk driving, contact Fenton Law Office today to schedule a free consultation. Attorney Jay Fenton will review your case and help you understand your rights and options under the law. Call us at 414-858-6650 today.
Frequently Asked DUI / OWI Questions
What are the chances I will win my drunk driving defense case?
There is no magic answer when it comes to the chances of winning a drunk driving defense case. However, there are certain factors that can influence the outcome of such a case. The severity of the offense, the evidence against the defendant, and the skill of the attorney handling the case can all play a role in the ultimate decision. An experienced drunk driving defense attorney like Jay Fenton of Fenton Law Office in Milwaukee can help to ensure that your rights are protected and that you have the best chance possible of winning your case.
Why should I work with Fenton Law Office for my drunk driving case?
Fenton Law Office has a proven track record of success when it comes to defending clients against drunk driving charges. Our attorneys have the experience and knowledge necessary to aggressively defend your rights, and we will work tirelessly to help you obtain the best possible outcome in your case.
We understand the serious nature of drunk driving charges, and we will work diligently to ensure that your case is handled with the utmost care and attention. We will also work with you to help you understand the legal process, and we will keep you informed of all developments in your case.
If you have been charged with drunk driving, contact Fenton Law Office today to schedule a consultation. We will review your case and advise you of your legal options. Let us help you fight for the best possible outcome in your case.
What are the penalties for a drunk driving conviction in Wisconsin?
The penalties for a drunk driving conviction in Wisconsin depend on the offense level. For a first offense, the penalties may include a fine of up to $500, license suspension for up to nine months, and mandatory alcohol assessment and treatment.
For a second offense without a prior OWI within the past 10 years, the penalties are the same as a first offense.
For a second offense that occurs within 10 years of the first offense and/or an incident that causes great bodily harm or death, penalties include a fine up to $1,100 and up to 6 months of jail time plus nine months of license suspension.
For a third or subsequent offense, fines continue to get steeper and confinement time lengthens. No matter how many offenses you have on your record, it’s crucial to obtain the expertise of a licensed criminal defense attorney.
Can I go to jail for a drunk driving arrest?
Yes, you can go to jail for a drunk driving arrest. If you are convicted of OWI, depending on your driving history and whether you caused harm or death, you may face jail time, fines, loss of license, and other penalties. The best way to avoid these consequences is not to drink and drive in the first place. The second best option is to retain the services of an experienced Milwaukee OWI defense attorney like Jay Fenton of Fenton Law. Contact us today.
What’s the difference between OWI and DUI in Milwaukee?
If you’ve heard about an “OWI” or a “DUI,” then you may have been left wondering: what is the difference between the two? While they are both serious charges that can result in hefty fines, jail time, and more, there are some important distinctions between the two. Let’s take a closer look at the differences between OWI and DUI in Wisconsin.
In Wisconsin, an OWI (Operating While Intoxicated) is a criminal offense that occurs when someone operates any type of motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. It is illegal to operate a car, truck, motorcycle, ATV, boat, or snowmobile while impaired by alcohol or drugs. An OWI charge can carry up to 6 months in jail and $600+ in fines.
A DUI (Driving Under the Influence) charge also occurs when someone operates any type of motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. However, unlike an OWI charge which applies to all forms of motor vehicles, a DUI charge only applies to cars and trucks. A first-time offense can carry up to 6 months in jail and $1,000+ in fines.
The penalties for both OWI and DUI offenses increase with each additional conviction. Additionally, both charges may involve mandatory driver’s license revocation for up to 3 years as well as court fees, ignition interlock device installation fees, license reinstatement fees and other costs associated with related programs such as treatment centers and/or Alcohol Assessment Tests.
It is important to note that even though OWI and DUI are similar offenses that both involve operating a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol or drugs; they are not the same thing. In Wisconsin specifically it is illegal to operate any type of motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol or drugs—including boats & ATVs—which would result in an OWI offense being charged. Operating a car/truck while impaired would result in a DUI being charged instead. No matter which one you’re facing it’s important to understand your rights so be sure to seek legal advice if you find yourself arrested for either one!
What is the penalty for a first-time drunk driving/OWI conviction in Wisconsin?
When you’re facing an OWI or drunk driving charge in Wisconsin, it’s important to remember that a typical first-time offense will likely result in a ticket instead of jail time. Even if the case goes to circuit or municipal court, the charge will still not be considered criminal, and so won’t incur criminal penalties such as jail sentences. However, our defense attorneys still recommend speaking with an attorney to navigate these types of charges.
Is the penalty different for a first-time drunk driving charge if there was a person under 16 years old in the vehicle?
When a passenger under 16 years old is in the vehicle for a first offense OWI, lawmakers recognize the additional potential danger and have moved the penalty from simply a citation to a criminal misdemeanor. This includes mandatory jail time, driver’s license suspension, and an ignition interlock device placed on your vehicle.
Future drunk driving offenses involving a minor under 16 result in a doubled minimum and maximum fines, as well as a lengthier imprisonment. This aggravation of penalties is significant compared to the already-steep escalation for regular OWI offenses.
What is the penalty for a second drunk driving conviction?
A 2nd OWI in Wisconsin is a serious offense. Unlike the first offense which is only a ticket, it is considered a misdemeanor and comes with mandatory incarceration, hefty fines, license revocation, an interlock device placed on your vehicle, and mandatory alcohol treatment if convicted. Second offense drunk driving charges, due to their criminal nature, will appear on CCAP. This is not the case for certain first offense OWI charges charged in municipal court. We understand that a CCAP listing is deeply embarrassing and can impact your ability to rent an apartment, get a job, and a host of other consequences. That’s why Attorney Jay Fenton at Fenton Law takes drunk driving/OWI cases so seriously and works tirelessly to help his clients receive an outcome that is just and fair.
What happens for a second drunk driving/OWI conviction when a person under 16 is present in the vehicle?
Operating while intoxicated with a child under 16 years of age in the vehicle carries harsher penalties. The defendant could face a jail sentence ranging from 10 days to 12 months, fines between $700 and $2,200, and revocation of their driver license and ignition interlock device for up to three years. Though it is tempting to focus on the minimum penalty involved here, prosecutors and judges take into account the presence of a child when sentencing.
What are the penalties for a third drunk driving/OWI offense?
OWI 3rd charges are serious and carry far greater consequences than the second offense. For instance, where the minimum punishment for OWI 2nd is 5 days in jail, a third offense carries a minimum 45-day jail sentence. Penalties also include up to three years license revocation, up to three years with an ignition interlock device, a $600+ fine, and mandatory alcohol treatment. We understand that these penalties can be life-changing, and our drunk driving attorneys are ready to defend you.
Attorney Jay Fenton approaches each drunk driving case differently. It could include filing pre-trial motions to challenge illegal police action, proceeding to a jury or court trial, or simply negotiating the best plea offer. No matter which route you choose for your case, Fenton Law is here to help.
What if a minor under 16 was in the car for my third drunk driving offense?
Sometimes, there are passengers in the car involved in drunk driving offenses. This could lead to aggravated circumstances and result in serious felony charges, like reckless endangerment. Especially if the passenger is under 16 years of age, the presence alone would be enough to increase the penalty in your drunk driving case.
Jail sentences in this situation can be incredibly severe, ranging from 90 days to 2 years of imprisonment and a hefty fine between $1,200.00 and $4,000.00. Not only will the offender be stripped of their license, they must also install an ignition interlock device for 4-6 years — penalties that can have a devastating and lasting impact on someone’s life.
What are the penalties for a fourth, fifth, or sixth drunk driving conviction?
The more drunk driving convictions you rack up, the more severe the penalties become. If you are in this situation, it’s extremely important that you consult with a Milwaukee criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Contact Fenton Law today.
What if I injured someone while driving under the influence?
Even though a first offense OWI is not typically considered a crime and does not involve jail time in Wisconsin, causing injury while OWI comes with aggressive mandatory minimum penalties. For a first offense, this carries a minimum 30 days of jail time. A second offense is classified as a Class H felony which can result in up to 6 years of imprisonment.
Importantly, this charge relates to causing a basic injury. For more serious harm known as great bodily harm, there is a separate offense under the name of “injury by intoxicated use of a vehicle,” which is classified as a Class F felony, regardless of prior offense count.
What is the penalty for homicide as a result of drunk driving?
Homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle is the most severe outcome of a drunk driving situation. This charge specifically relates to cases where someone is killed while the perpetrator was operating their vehicle under the influence of alcohol.
It is important to know that there is a presumptive minimum penalty associated with this charge. The law provides the suggestion to judges that they should impose a term of initial confinement of at least 5 years in most cases, unless they find a compelling reason not to do so.
If you are in this situation, it is important that you call a qualified criminal defense attorney right away.