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Bucher Law Group, LLC
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Walworth County criminal defense attorney

If you made a mistake and are in trouble with the law, you may be feeling overwhelmed, scared, and worried. Depending on the type of crime you have been accused of committing, you may be facing expensive fines and even years behind bars in some cases. Having an attorney by your side throughout the criminal proceedings is important and crucial to a successful outcome. The importance of obtaining legal representation is even written in our constitution. We have a constitutional right to be appointed an attorney if we cannot afford a private lawyer. So how do criminal defense attorneys actually help defendants?

Benefits of Legal Counsel

When you are accused of committing a crime, representation by an attorney is extremely important. There are certain things that a lawyer knows how to do that could protect you if you have been accused of any offense. Lawyers also have extensive knowledge of the criminal justice system, which can help secure a favorable verdict. Here are a few ways that criminal defense attorneys help protect their clients’ rights:

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Milwaukee County OWI defense attorney

Being arrested for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated (OWI) is a serious offense. Although Wisconsin is known for having relatively lax OWI laws, you can still face significant consequences if you are convicted. Even if you do not face jail time, you can expect to pay a good amount in fines and surcharges, and you also face a six- to nine-month driver’s license revocation. In some cases, such as those involving multiple OWIs, penalties may include jail time, which could amount to months or even years behind bars. Hiring a skilled Wisconsin OWI defense attorney is one way you can increase your chances of obtaining a favorable outcome in your OWI case. Your attorney will look at your case as a whole and be able to tell you which defense strategy is the most appropriate for your situation. Below are a few common ways in which you can defend yourself against OWI charges.

You Were Pulled Over Unlawfully

One possible defense to an OWI charge is that you were not pulled over legally in the first place. Before law enforcement can initiate a traffic stop, they must have probable cause to do so. This means they must have reason to believe you were breaking the law before they stopped you. A police officer typically gains probable cause by witnessing a driver swerving or driving erratically, but if you did not do anything out of the ordinary, the officer may not have actually had a legitimate reason to pull you over.

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Milwaukee County criminal charges defense lawyer

Most of the time, the only contact people have with police are interactions that take place when police believe an individual has done something illegal. Because of this, people tend to have a somewhat fearful reaction to law enforcement. Even if you did not do anything wrong, being approached by a police officer can often elicit fear or anxiety. If you are stopped by police or arrested for a crime, there are certain things you should not do, and there are certain ways you should behave to avoid any further trouble. It is important that you understand your rights as a citizen if you are ever arrested for a crime. The following are a few things you should know if you are arrested in Wisconsin:

  1. You should never try to resist a police officer who is attempting to perform an arrest. If you do resist a police officer, you can actually be charged with a crime, and you may also end up having to pay fines. If you are detained by a police officer, you are permitted to ask if you are free to go. If the officer says you are not free to go, that means you are being arrested, and you must comply. Doing so can save you a lot of headaches and legal trouble in the future.

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Milwaukee County criminal defense attorney

Everyone knows that it is against the law to drive while you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Operating a vehicle while intoxicated in Wisconsin not only puts you at risk of being arrested for OWI, but it also puts everyone else on the road in danger. Statistics show that driving while impaired is not only dangerous but deadly. According to the latest data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were nearly 11,000 deaths due to drunk driving in 2017, accounting for almost 30 percent of all traffic deaths. If you are ever stopped for the criminal offense of OWI, it is important to know the process in order to make sure your rights are protected.

What Are the Steps in an OWI Stop?

Police officers are trained to spot impaired driving and will usually have a pretty good idea if a person is driving under the influence or not. Being pulled over by the police is nerve-wracking for anyone, but getting stopped by police because they suspect you of drunk driving can be even more anxiety-inducing. Here are a few things to expect if you are pulled over for suspicion of OWI:

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Milwaukee County drunk driving defense attorney

In recent years, the number of teenagers and underage young adults who drink and drive has decreased. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the total number of high school students who drink and drive has fallen by more than half since 1991. Though this number has gone down, in 2017, more than 16% of high school students reported that they had ridden with a driver who had been drinking alcohol. Underage drinking and driving is a serious issue, because teens are already three times more likely to get into a fatal accident than adults--and alcohol only exacerbates that statistic. In many states, underage drinking and driving penalties have become more strict, including in the state of Wisconsin, where it is referred to as operating while intoxicated (OWI).

Absolute Sobriety Law

Most states have a law stating that those who are under the age of 21 are not permitted to drive if they have alcohol in their systems. In Wisconsin, drivers who are under 21 years old are not permitted to have a BAC of more than 0.00 if they are operating a motor vehicle. This is called Wisconsin’s Absolute Sobriety or “Not a Drop” law. A violation of this law will result in a $200 fine, four demerit points on an individual’s driver’s license, and a three-month driver’s license suspension.

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