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Will I go to jail for a DUI/OWI/Drunk Driving?

January 24, 2017 Leave a comment

I hear this question all the time. Unfortunately, like most questions people ask lawyers, the answer is, “It depends.” It depends on a great many variables. While you are waiting in police custody to be released to a responsible party or worse while you sit in jail waiting to appear in front of the intake court, you are probably not calmly and methodically working through the logic of the situation. The fact is, your mind is racing because ever since you saw the lights of the squad car in your review mirror you’ve asked yourself a great many questions you may not know the answer to. “Why was I pulled over?”  “Will I lose my job or my license?” and the subject of this post: “Am I going to jail?”

Regardless of whether this is a repeat offense, you may spend the night in jail, or at least 12 hours, if you have no one to pick you up. If you are accused of a repeat offense, you may be held for court if the court fast tracks these cases. Otherwise you will be given a date to return to the intake court and released. The intake court determines the conditions of your release which may include cash bail.

Let’s start with the guarantees. If you are ultimately acquitted by a judge or jury, if the case is dismissed because of successful motion practice or if your attorney is able to negotiate and amendment of the charge, you are definitely not going to jail. You will not be able to get any of these results without an attorney at your side.

In Wisconsin, a first offense is not criminal and you cannot be sentenced to serve time in jail on a first offense. If you fail to pay your fine, the court might issue a warrant for your arrest which could result in you serving an alternate jail sentence, so pay that fine on time.

If you are convicted of a repeat offense, Wisconsin law mandates a jail sentence some cases are classified as felonies (since January 1st 4th offenses and greater) and you may enjoy the hospitality of the Wisconsin Prison System.

Without question, regardless of the severity of the offense, an OWI conviction can be a life changing event. Even if you think you don’t have a chance, you should seek the advice of competent counsel. It is always wise to get as much information as possible before you make an important decision. Most lawyers who practice in this area will not charge you for a consultation and you are likely to get valuable insights.

Stay safe,

Eric

Cooky Case of the Day: Cooky Field Sobriety Tests


Follow this link for today’s Cooky Case a funny video of field sobriety testing. This is what it takes to pas folks…..almost.

Cooky Case of The Day: Man Gets DUI in Barbie Car

June 25, 2014 1 comment

Here’s proof that when they say “motorized vehicle” they mean any motorized vehicle. They have made cases stick for drunk garden tractor driving and farmers driving to and from the tavern for a beer and pickled egg between fields. The Telegraph reports that an intoxicated man was arrested and lost his license to drive for operating his daughter’s Barbie Car while under the influence. follow this link to read the article.

Cooky Case of the Day: Aussie is Ingenious Drunk Driver

June 23, 2014 1 comment

Here’s a link to a case about a guy who couldn’t wait until he got to the bar and invented his own “cooler car” powered by a 50cc motor.

New Feature: The Cooky Case of the Day


It occurred to me the readers of On Legal Ground might like a little levity. So in between blog articles, I will scour the web for some good legal humor. Here is today’s Cooky Case from Legal Juice

If you’re wondering “Is there a ‘right’ Mercedes to steal?” – the answer is a resounding “yes.” It would be a Mercedes that doesn’t have a lion in the back.. Per The Telegraph:

Caesar, Circus Probst’s ferocious five-year-old star, was being transported a Mercedes van when the vehicle was stolen.

The thief drove off, but abandoned the vehicle with the engine still running after crashing into a road sign. It was unclear whether the thief’s sudden awareness of the animal in the back of the van had inspired him or her to abort the mission.

Truck Overweight Tickets

November 27, 2012 Leave a comment

Anyone who has ridden on the interstate has driven by a roadside scale where tractor trailers are weighed to assure that they are in compliance with weight restrictions. Local municipalities have set limits on some roads generally because of the damage caused by these large vehicles. The fines for driving a large truck on these posted roads are astronomical. I have had four calls in the last two days where drivers received fines ranging from $3,500 to $6,000. This is definitively an area where an experienced lawyer can save a client a great deal of money. The savings can be in the thousands. Based on conversations I have had with drivers and their employers, the investment in legal fees here can mean the difference between keeping and losing a means of livelihood. Give our office a call for this and any issues related to commercial motor vehicles.

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

November 20, 2012 1 comment

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