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Kenosha DUI Lawyer

Wisconsin DUI Laws

Driving under the influence (DUI, also sometimes called DWI or OUI) is one of the most commonly committed crimes in the United States. Unfortunately, because this crime is so common, many people make the mistake of taking their DUI arrests lightly instead of seeking appropriate legal representation. If you’ve been charged with DUI in Kenosha, WI, your first step should be to discuss your charges with a DUI lawyer like the Law Office of John Anthony Ward.

Sometimes good people make mistakes. However, if you’re convicted of DUI, you could end up facing tough penalties such as jail time, loss of driving privileges, fines, or community service. Additionally, your insurance rates can be increased, and you may even be shut out from some job opportunities due to your conviction. With the stakes being so high, it’s a wise idea to enlist the help of an attorney who can review the charges against you, determine all your available legal options, figure out if law enforcement officials violated your constitutional rights, and help you get the best possible outcome in your case.

Types of DUI Charges

Our firm handles the following types of DUI cases in Kenosha, WI:

  • First-time DUI
  • Driving while intoxicated
  • DUI on a revoked license
  • Vehicle impoundment
  • Repeat offense
  • Felony DUI
  • Underage driver
  • Commercial DUI
  • Homicide by intoxicated use of a motor vehicle

Facing DUI charges in Kenosha, WI? Contact us today at (262) 205-6599 and schedule a free consultation to learn how we can fight for you.

What are the Penalties for DUI?

Law enforcement agencies throughout Wisconsin will be very aggressive when patrolling for drunk drivers during the holiday season. Many motorists may think that they are under the state's 0.08 percent legal limit after having a few drinks when in fact their blood-alcohol content (BAC) may be much higher than what is considered safe to drive.

If these motorists are arrested for OWI/DUI, they could be facing some rather serious consequences. The charges and penalties that will be handed down if convicted will depend upon the driver's BAC, as well as any other drunk-driving convictions that may have occurred within a certain time period.

First DUI Offense

For a first-time offender, a conviction of OWI/DUI will result in a license suspension that could run anywhere from six to nine months. Provisional driving privileges may be available in certain circumstances, but these motorists will have to comply with several requirements in order to keep driving. Drivers licensed in Illinois who are arrested for DUI in Wisconsin could face an even longer license suspension, and comply with other requirements before being able to drive again.

BAC Greater than 0.15

If the offender's BAC was 0.15 percent or higher, the motorist will be required to install an ignition interlock device on all of the vehicles that the motorist drives, unless the individual petition's the court for an exception. Additional DUI offenses increase the period of license suspension, and it is possible that some motorists will receive jail time.

Multiple DUI

The courts will look at the driver's record, and see how many DUI/OWI offenses the motorist has had within the last ten years. If a person receives a fourth DUI conviction, and has had at least one within the past five years, he or she may be charged with a felony, under the current laws.

The legislature is considering a new proposal that would remove this five-year restriction and instead allow felony charges for any fourth offense, no matter how old the previous convictions. The bill has passed the Assembly, and is awaiting review by the Senate. The new bill also changes some of the penalties that would be handed down for two-time DUI offenders, and increases the likelihood that these individuals would receive jail time.

Every DUI/OWI arrest will involve different facts, and it is important to review these situations carefully to determine the defenses that may be available. If you have been charged with drinking and driving, you should discuss your case with an experienced criminal defense attorney in your area as soon as possible.

An experienced criminal defense attorney will be able to help you understand the charges that have been filed, and also the penalties that may result if you are convicted. You and your attorney will be able to work together to design an approach to that allows you to protect the things that are most important to you. If you plead guilty without contesting these allegations, you will be facing much more serious consequences if you are convicted of other drunk-driving related offenses.

Field Sobriety Tests

The Standardized Field Sobriety Test (SFST) is made of up 3 individual tests:

  • Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) test - In this test the officer will observe the eyes of the person in question as they slowly move a pen or small object back and forth to look for indicators in each eye that the person is impaired.
  • Walk-and-turn test - In this test, the officer directs the person to take around nine steps, touching heel-to-toe in a straight line and the return back. The officer is looking for signs that the person is impaired such as not being able to keep their balance, starting before the instructions are finished or not following the instructions properly.
  • One-leg stand test - In this test, the officer tells the person to stand with one foot off the ground and hold it for about 30 seconds. The officer looks for signs of impairment such as swaying, hoping or using their arms to balance.

Can a DUI Be Dismissed in Wisconsin?

Yes, a DUI can be dismissed in Wisconsin. There are many possible grounds for dismissal, including:

  • Lack of probable cause for the traffic stop: If the police officer did not have a valid reason to stop the driver, then the evidence obtained from the stop, including any breathalyzer results, may be inadmissible in court.
  • Improper administration of the breathalyzer test: Breathalyzer tests must be administered and maintained by strict standards. The results may be unreliable if the test was not administered properly or the machine was incorrectly calibrated.
  • Medical conditions that can affect breathalyzer results: Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes or acid reflux, can cause false positives on breathalyzer tests. This may be a valid defense if the defendant has a medical condition that could have affected their results.

Suppose you are facing a DUI charge in Wisconsin. In that case, it is essential to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney to discuss your case and potential defenses. An attorney can help you understand your rights and options and develop a strong defense strategy to protect your interests.

Ready to Protect Your Rights & Freedom Today

When you are facing a DUI or DWI you will need to act quickly. Often, you only have a short window of time to deal with the charge before losing any chance of getting your license back. You can count on our qualified and results-driven team to do all we can to help with the charges.

The Law Office of John Anthony Ward provides skilled and aggressive DUI defense in Kenosha County and southeast Wisconsin, as well as nearby counties of northern Illinois. We also handle other traffic offenses. The earlier we are involved, the more we can do to minimize the impact of a drunk driving arrest or traffic ticket.

Whether this is your only DUI charge or your third, call our firm today at (262) 205-6599 to let us provide the support, advice, and representation you need to fight your DUI charge. Your future depends on it!

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