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Penalties of an OWI 1st

The penalties for your OWI case in Glendale or Whitefish Bay will vary depending on your blood alcohol concentration, or BAC. Those penalties would include a fine anywhere from $150 to $300, a driver’s license revocation anywhere from 6 to 9 months, and what is known as an alcohol and other drug abuse assessment, or AODA, along with follow-through treatment. If your blood alcohol concentration was over .15, you will also have to install an ignition interlock device (or IID) in your vehicle for one year. The fines are not the only costs that you will incur as part of the OWI conviction. There are driver safety surcharges as well as other court costs that generally total up to somewhere between $900 and $1000 in an OWI case. An OWI conviction will also come with 6 demerit points once your license has been reinstated.

Over the course of their lifetime, studies have shown that a driver convicted of operating while under the influence as a first offense gains roughly $20,000-$30,000 worth of additional expenses for various reasons. Those primary reasons involve increased insurance as well as additional licensure when suspended and/or revoked.

There are also penalties that come from an OWI that are not set by the court. The least known of these is a limitation on international travel. In countries like Canada, for example, an OWI conviction can prevent your entry into their country at the border. Canada is not the only country, however. There are some countries in the European Union as well as Asia that have similar travel restrictions.

Further, a first offense OWI can become a criminal charge in Glendale and Whitefish Bay if you have a minor under the age of 16 in the vehicle at the time of the offense or if there was an injury involved in the incident. One very important note is that this type of charge comes with a minimum amount of time in jail if you are convicted. This jail time ranges anywhere from 5 days to six months. Additionally, you would be facing both license revocation and an order for an ignition interlock device for a period of anywhere from 12 to 18 months. The fines, in this case, would range anywhere from $350.00 to $1100, plus those same court costs. One other heavy burden is that this is a criminal misdemeanor in Glendale and Whitefish Bay.

Both the occupational license and IID, if not used properly, can land you with criminal charges. If your license is revoked or suspended and you are outside your hours or do not have an occupational, you can get a criminal charge of Operating While Revoked, which is a criminal charge in Wisconsin. You can also be charged criminally if you are supposed to have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle and you are driving without one in Glendale or Whitefish Bay.

Were you arrested for operating while under the influence in Glendale or Whitefish Bay?

Operating while under the influence as a first offense is not a criminal offense, it is considered a civil forfeiture. Wisconsin is the only state where an OWI first offense is not criminal. However, those penalties can still have lifelong implications and can become criminal very quickly.

If you are pulled over and the officer suspects you may be under the influence, he or she will conduct a series of field sobriety tests and then have you do a breathalyzer (learn more about the consequences of refusing a breathalyzer test). There may be additional tests done if the officer believes that you are under the influence of something other than alcohol. If the tests confirm the officer’s suspicions. You will be taken to the police department and/or hospital to obtain a breath or blood sample. Depending on those results, or if you are convicted, your license can be suspended and then revoked.

At that time, you may be eligible for what is called an occupational license. An occupational license gives you the opportunity to drive to and from work, run household errands, pick up your kids, among other things. The occupational license limits your driving to 60 hours a week and up to 12 hours per day. In order to qualify for an occupational license, you will be required to get SR22 insurance.

How long do I need SR22 in Wisconsin? SR-22 is required up to 3 years after conviction and higher insurance premiums can be expected for up to 5 years.

How long does an OWI stay on your record in Wisconsin?

An OWI in Glendale or Whitefish Bay will stay on your record for your entire life. These cannot be expunged, and officers will use this information in future investigations for additional offenses.

How to beat an OWI 1st offense in Wisconsin

An OWI case comes with a number of phases, all of which give an officer the opportunity to do something wrong. It is very important that you contact one of our attorneys in Glendale or Whitefish Bay to help you out with your OWI case and review the evidence to see if your case can be reduced or dismissed. You are only guilty if you are convicted!

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Tom Grieve, the firm's managing attorney and founder, is a former state prosecutor and is not the only ex-prosecutor at the firm. We love hiring attorneys from both sides of the wall to bring as many perspectives to fight your case as aggressively as possible. The State of Wisconsin likes it when you choose the run-of-the-mill fee to plea™ lawyers who don't even know how to analyze and defend cases instead of experienced criminal attorneys:

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