Do I really need a Lawyer for a First Offense DUI?


If you are arrested for a repeat offense drunk driving or DUI in Wisconsin and convicted, there is no question that you are going to spend some time in jail as part of your sentence. Get convicted enough times, you are going to prison. On a first offense, the penalties are not as severe. In fact, there is no incarceration associated with a first offense conviction. So why invest in the services of an qualified attorney who is likely to cost more than a few bucks?

Wisconsin remains the last holdout in the criminalization of these offenses. In all likelihood this is because of the very strong lobby of the Tavern League in a state where drinking is a way of life. Drive into most unincorporated towns, you will see a convenience store, a church and two bars at the only four corners in town. While this is somewhat amusing, it is also a contributing factor to our significant problem with alcoholism and therefore drunk driving in Wisconsin.

So, first offense DUI’s a little more than a serious traffic ticket and I don’t need a lawyer for that, right? WRONG! A skilled advocate can accomplish a lot for you in one of these cases. First of all, traffic ticket or not, these are cases that require a lawyer whose practice focuses on this highly technical area of law. From constitutional challenges to scientific evidence, you need someone on your side with a strong understanding of all of the issues. In addition, even a first offense conviction can be devastating to employment in many occupations and in this economy no one needs to lose a job.

Most people arrested for DUI in Wisconsin are convicted so it’s not worth the expense, right? Once again WRONG! Even if you do not have a case that you might beat throughout pretrial motions or a jury trial, a skilled advocate is still essential. A lawyer can lessen penalties, like loss of license or fines and most importantly, might be able to help you with the issue of ignition interlock. In Wisconsin, if your blood alcohol level is found to be .15 or greater at the time of driving you are required to install an ignition interlock device in every vehicle you own. Imagine how happy your spouse who is already angry with you about the DUI will be when he or she has to blow into an IID in order to drive. Another issue many of my clients face is the shear embarrassment of driving with an IID if they drive clients around as part of their job.

I tell all of my clients that even if they hire an attorney the odds are generally against them. I’m honest. However, without a lawyer, a conviction and perhaps worse consequences at sentencing are practically guaranteed.

Call me with your me with your questions about drunk driving defense or any other criminal/traffic matters at 262.569.8300 or email me at etr@schoberlaw.com

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  1. September 29, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    Thanks for finally talking about >Do I really need a Lawyer for a First Offense DUI?
    | On Legal Ground <Loved it!

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