You were driving home after a particularly fun night home when you went out of your lane slightly. In this instance, an officer saw you swerve back into your lane and pulled you over. He asked you to take a breath test, and now you've been arrested for operating while intoxicated (OWI).
What is this OWI going to do to you? How will it affect your future? Here are three things to know if you have been arrested for a first offense OWI.
There are administrative penalties
One of the first things you're going to realize after a OWI arrest is that there are administrative penalties in addition to criminal penalties such as fines, probation and the loss of your driving privileges The most serious administrative penalty is losing your license for a year on a first offense if you refused the breath test. Sometimes, you can have the suspension limited, particularly if you need to drive to get to work or school. When it's time to reinstate your license, remember that you have to obtain insurance, and it may increase in price because you received an OWI.
You'll have to complete an alcohol assessment
One good thing Wisconsin does is require an alcohol assessment after an OWI. While this might be offensive if you only had one night out and got caught, the truth is that many people who receive OWIs struggle with alcohol abuse. Receiving treatment can help those individuals reduce the likelihood of being involved in an OWI-related accident or being caught for driving drunk again in the future.
It may be possible to seek the reduction of charges
This means that if you and your attorney work together, you may be able to have your charges reduced or altered, so you don't receive an OWI at all. You may be able to negotiate a plea deal that drops the charge if you serve the community or go to a substance abuse program. These are things to consider before you head to court.
Your attorney can help you decide on the right kind of defense or help you negotiate a plea deal.