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Bucher Law Group, LLC
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Racine County criminal defense attorney OWI

If you have been arrested and charged with operating while intoxicated in Wisconsin, you probably have several questions. You may be unsure of whether you will lose your driving privileges, be required to install a breath ignition interlock device (IID) on your vehicle, or face jail time for drunk driving. The answers to these questions depend on the circumstances of the offense, whether or not you avoid conviction, your past criminal history, and other factors.  

What Is an IID?

An ignition interlock device is a device used to measure the amount of alcohol in someone’s breath. This information is then used to determine the person’s blood alcohol content (BAC). Once an IID is installed in a vehicle, the ignition will only engage after the driver submits a passing breath sample into the device. If the driver’s breath does not contain alcohol, the car will start normally. If the driver’s breath does contain alcohol, the vehicle will not start. There are many myths surrounding how to “cheat” an IID. However, IIDs are carefully calibrated, sophisticated devices that cannot be tricked. Using breath mints, eating certain foods, and other strategies for cheating an IID do not work.

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Waukesha County criminal defense attorney weapons violations

Almost one out of every five adults in the United States are living with some form of mental illness. Depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), schizophrenia, and other mental illnesses can range in severity from mild to debilitating. If you have been diagnosed with a mental illness, you may wonder how this could affect your gun rights in Wisconsin. You may ask, “Are people with a mental illness prohibited from owning firearms?” or “Will I be forced to surrender my firearms if I am a patient in a mental health facility?” It is important to understand Wisconsin gun laws in order to avoid criminal charges. 

Wisconsin Law Regarding Firearm Possession and Mental Health

The right to possess a firearm is granted by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. However, there are some situations in which a person can lose his or her gun rights. Possession of a firearm is a Class G felony criminal offense in Wisconsin if the person possessing the gun:

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Milwaukee County criminal defense attorney sexual assault

The state of Wisconsin has instituted harsh punishments for individuals convicted of sexual assault. If you have been charged with sexually assaulting someone, do not take these charges lightly. Depending on the circumstances of the alleged crime, sexual assault is punishable by up to several decades in prison. If you are accused of sexually assaulting a child, you could face a prison sentence of 40-60 years or even life imprisonment. That is why it is imperative that you seek the legal guidance of a skilled criminal defense attorney who can protect your rights and help you avoid a conviction.

Do Not Submit to a Police Interrogation Without Your Attorney Present

Most people are familiar with the phrase “you have the right to remain silent,” but do not know how profound this right actually is. The U.S. Constitution gives you the right to avoid incriminating yourself. This means that you do not have to answer police questions after you have been arrested. Police may use several different tactics during an interrogation. They may even imply that only a guilty person would choose to remain silent and decline questioning. However, the best thing you can do to avoid saying something that will be used against you during future legal proceedings is to say nothing. Calmly ask for your lawyer and refuse to submit to police interrogations until he or she is present.

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Milwaukee County criminal defense attorney OWI

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), passengers account for nearly 30 percent of fatalities in accidents involving drunk driving. While an adult may knowingly make the decision to get in a car with an intoxicated driver, children often have little choice in the matter. For this reason, OWI with a passenger under the age of 16 is a very serious offense in Wisconsin, and you should be aware of the potential consequences if you or someone you know has been arrested for this crime.

Penalties for OWI With a Child in Wisconsin

In general, the possible penalties for an OWI conviction in Wisconsin vary depending on the number of prior convictions on the offender’s record and the harm the offense has caused to other people. For example, a first offense typically results in only a fine of $150 to $300 and a revoked driver’s license for 6-9 months, whereas a fourth or subsequent offense, or one resulting in great bodily harm or death, can result in serious felony charges, with penalties that can amount to up to $100,000 in fines, up to 40 years in prison, and a revoked license for 5 years beyond the confinement sentence in the most serious cases.

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Walworth County criminal defense attorney OWI

Drunk driving is a threat to everyone on Wisconsin’s roads, resulting in over 5,000 car accidents each year and over 30 percent of the state’s annual car accident fatalities. For this reason, Wisconsin treats operating while intoxicated (OWI) as a serious criminal offense, with possible penalties including 10 years or more in prison and thousands of dollars in fines. However, first-time offenders in Wisconsin usually do not face criminal charges, and are therefore unlikely to see the full extent of these penalties. With the help of a skilled criminal defense attorney, you can work to ensure a fair outcome for your case, allowing you to reform your behavior without an excessive negative impact on your life.

How Does Wisconsin Define Operating While Intoxicated?

A person over the age of 21 can be arrested for OWI if he or she is found to have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of at least 0.08 percent, as determined by a blood or breath test at the time of the traffic stop. However, even if your BAC is below 0.08, an officer may arrest you if he or she has reason to believe that alcohol or any other drug is impairing your ability to drive safely.

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