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OWI/DUI lawyer in Milwaukee, Wisconsin Criminal defense law firm serving Milwaukee County

 Grieve Law provides Milwaukee, Wisconsin and the surrounding communities with award-winning OWI criminal defense. OWI charges in Milwaukee can be costly and often come with penalties that affect you for the rest of your life. Whether it be your 1st or 5th OWI charge, we have you covered and will work closely with you, keeping you informed and knowledgeable about the legal process.

Julia Westley

OWI & Criminal Defense Attorney

OWI & your record How to beat OWI Payment plans Free consult

Free consultation with a Milwaukee defense attorney

Grieve Law offers free legal consultations in Milwaukee for anyone facing drunk driving charges. Our Milwaukee OWI criminal defense lawyers listen to you, analyze your case, and discuss your options. We help you dissect your charges and present all possible outcomes/penalties. You are only guilty if you’re convicted. Contact our law office as soon as possible. 

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Common defenses for OWI in Wisconsin

Criminal defense can involve many different strategies. Grieve Law analyzes your case and uses the best defense methods to get you the best possible outcome. Many of the best defenses used to beat an OWI/DUI in Wisconsin include: 

  • No probable cause
  • Improper sobriety test protocol
  • Miranda rights not read
  • Invalid chemical test
  • Medical condition
  • Testimony of a witness 

What to do when pulled over for an OWI in Milwaukee WI

  1. Pull your car over to a safe area. 
    If you do not pull over you can be charged with elusion of police and may be fined up to $100.
  2. Get your license and insurance information ready.
  3. Put your hands on the wheel to let the officer know you are not a threat.
  4. Be respectful but mindful of what you say.
    The officer can and will use what you say against you. Remember you do not have to talk if you think it would incriminate you.
  5. You do not legally have to take a field sobriety test or submit to a handheld breathalyzer.
    You have the right to refuse these tests and may want to because FSTs are subjective and often inaccurate. The handheld breathalyzers are often inaccurate and can hurt you more than they help you.
  6. If you refuse the FST and handheld breathalyzer tests be prepared to go to the station and take a urine or blood test.
    The police will probably have you tested at the station after they arrest you anyway. These tests are more accurate and so if you believe you are below 0.08 BAC you may want to be tested at the station.
  7. Once released from the station, contact a Milwaukee OWI defense attorney as soon as possible.

 Milwaukee County OWI arrests

In 2020 there were 2,438 OWI arrests in Milwaukee County with almost 25% of the arrests occurring in the city of Milwaukee. 

Most OWI arrests in Milwaukee County (2020)

 City OWI Arrests
 Milwaukee 617
West Allis 384
Franklin 127
Oak Creek 122
Greenfield 91
Cudahy 86
Whitefish Bay 65
Glendale 65
Brown Deer 64
Wauwatosa 53

 What constitutes an OWI in Milwaukee?

In Milwaukee, Wisconsin an OWI consists of the operation of any motor vehicle while

  • Having a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of 0.08 or greater
  • Being under the influence of any kind of intoxicant
  • Possessing any kind of a restricted/ illegal substance in your bloodstream
  • Under the influence of any controlled substance or mind-altering drug

How long does an OWI stay on my record in Milwaukee?

OWI charges stay on your record for your entire life. Throughout the history of Wisconsin, less than 10 OWI charges have ever been expunged. OWI charges also result in many penalties which you may deal with for your entire life including

  • A travel ban to Canada and other countries
  • A breathalyzer car lock costing up to $1000 in installation fees
  • Higher insurance premiums
  • Loss of driver’s license
  • Loss of job and reputation for airline pilots and commercial drivers

How to beat an OWI in Milwaukee

  1. Act immediately to avoid further issues. 
    After your arrest, you will receive an Administrative Notice of Intent to Suspend from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. If you fail to file a response within ten days the WDOT may suspend your license for up to 9 months. Call us and our Milwaukee defense lawyers will handle it properly.
  2. Contact Grieve Law’s Milwaukee OWI defense attorneys.
    Your court date could be anywhere from a few days to a few weeks after the incident. Contact us as soon as possible and we will navigate you through this process with ease.
  3. Attend our free legal consultation
    Your first meeting with us is very important. We will learn about your case and begin to build a defense strategy best suited for your situation. Do this before any further talking with authorities so we can give you the best legal advice and how to proceed. 
  4. Build a powerful defense. 
    Our award-winning Milwaukee criminal defense attorneys will work for you to create the best defense case possible. Many of our criminal defense attorneys formerly worked as prosecution lawyers so they know both sides of the case. They will use their experience to target any weakness in the prosecution’s case and pinpoint any mistakes made during the arrest process to protect your case.
  5. Attend your scheduled court date.
    You must show up for your court date. This is one of the most important things you can do as the defendant. We understand most people are not used to being in court so we will walk you through how to present yourself and what to say. On this day our award-winning attorneys will present the best possible defense case to get your charges reduced or dismissed.


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We know
because we were prosecutors.

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: