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Bucher Law Group, LLC
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Jefferson County criminal defense attorney OWI

Drunk driving is taken seriously in the United States, with harsh penalties for a conviction. A conviction for operating while intoxicated (OWI) can result in serious consequences with long-term implications, especially if you already have a prior conviction. In Wisconsin, second-time offenders can face up to six months in jail, over $1,000 in fines, and a revoked driver’s license for up to 18 months, and the penalties only grow for additional offenses. However, even if you are convicted for a repeat offense, you may be able to reduce your sentence through Wisconsin’s Safe Streets option.

What Is Wisconsin’s Safe Streets Option?

The Safe Streets option is available in several Wisconsin counties, including Waukesha, Milwaukee, Jefferson, Walworth, Dodge, and Racine. Its purpose is to help non-violent offenders with alcohol and drug issues achieve sobriety by offering reduced jail sentences for those who successfully complete an alcohol or drug treatment program as part of their probation. The Safe Streets option can only be used once in a person’s lifetime, but it can make a significant difference if you are facing conviction for one of the following offenses:

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Waukesha County OWI homicide defense attorney

When it comes to drunk driving laws, Wisconsin is relatively lenient compared to other states. In fact, Wisconsin is the only state in the country in which a first-time DUI offense is merely a ticket, rather than a criminal charge. Even when a person reaches his or her second, third, or even fourth conviction of Operating While Intoxicated (OWI), the sentence typically does not involve jail time. Rather, probation is usually given to those offenders, even if their driving privileges were revoked. Jail time can be expected, however, if there are certain aggravating factors present in the situation to warrant a need for incarceration. Aggravating factors in a Wisconsin OWI case can include causing bodily harm or injury to another person, committing OWI with a child in the vehicle, or one of the most serious charges: homicide while committing OWI.

Charges for Homicide While Driving Under the Influence

In all 50 states, operating a vehicle while you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol is illegal. Adding an aggravating factor to OWI, such as killing another person, makes the charges even more serious. In Wisconsin, a person commits the offense of homicide by intoxicated use of vehicle when he or she causes the death of another person due to the handling of the vehicle while he or she was under the influence of alcohol or any type of drug, had a BAC of 0.08 or more, or if he or she had a BAC of 0.04 or more and was driving a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). 

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