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What Should I Do if I Was Arrested for OWI Over Thanksgiving?

 Posted on November 27, 2023 in DUI/OWI

Untitled---2023-11-27T105420.326.jpgFor many people, Thanksgiving is a time to gather together with loved ones and give thanks for their blessings. However, holiday celebrations can sometimes get out of hand, leading to poor decision-making and unfortunate consequences. One such consequence is being arrested for operating while intoxicated (OWI) during the holiday season. 

These situations are more common than many people may realize. Alcohol consumption often spikes during this holiday, and the day before Thanksgiving is commonly known as “Blackout Wednesday” or “Drinksgiving” due to the high level of drinking that occurs. Police officers are on the lookout for intoxicated drivers, and they may pull someone over and perform an arrest if there are any signs that they may have been drinking.

If you find yourself in this difficult situation, it is important to know what steps to take next. An experienced attorney can provide you with legal representation as you defend against OWI charges, helping you determine your best options for resolving your case successfully while minimizing the effects on your life, your driver’s license, and your finances.

The Immediate Aftermath of an OWI Arrest

After being arrested for OWI, it is natural to feel overwhelmed and unsure of what to do next. Here are some immediate steps you should follow:

  1. Contact an attorney: The first thing you should do is reach out to an experienced OWI defense lawyer who can provide you with representation as you address any charges you may face. Your attorney can assess your case and advise you on the best course of action.

  2. Exercise your right to remain silent: It is crucial to avoid incriminating yourself by speaking to police officers without legal representation present. Remember that anything you say can be used against you in court. If an officer asks a question like “How many drinks have you had?” you can decline to answer.

  3. Note details: Try your best to recall as many details about the arrest as possible while they are still fresh in your mind and provide this information to your attorney. What did you say to the officer? What was the reason they pulled you over? Did you take or decline a roadside breathalyzer test or field sobriety tests? This information may prove valuable when building a defense strategy later on.

  4. Gather evidence: If there were any witnesses present during your arrest, or if there is any other evidence that could cast doubt on the prosecution's claims that you were intoxicated while operating a vehicle, inform your attorney to ensure that it can be used correctly during your case.

  5. Take care of yourself: Dealing with an OWI arrest can be emotionally and mentally draining. It is important to prioritize self-care during this time. You may want to reach out to friends or family for support, consider seeking counseling if needed, and avoid turning to unhealthy coping mechanisms such as excessive alcohol consumption.

The Legal Process

Following an OWI arrest, there are a number of legal procedures that will be followed. Here is a general outline of what you can expect:

  1. Post-arrest BAC testing: After being arrested and taken to a police station, you will be asked to provide a breath, blood, or urine sample that will be used to calculate your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and determine whether you were over the legal limit while driving. You can refuse to take a test, but this will result in the automatic suspension of your driver’s license. Your attorney can advise you on whether you should take a BAC test and how you should respond to requests by police officers.

  2. Arraignment: If a BAC test showed that you were over the legal limit, or if there is other evidence indicating that you were driving while intoxicated, you will be formally charged with OWI at an arraignment hearing. During this hearing, you will enter a plea (guilty or not guilty), and bail may be set if necessary.

  3. Evidence review: Your attorney will review all evidence against you, including police reports, breathalyzer results, and any other relevant documentation. They will identify any weaknesses in the prosecution's case that could work in your favor.

  4. Motions hearing: Your attorney may file various motions on your behalf to challenge the admissibility of certain evidence or request additional information from the prosecution. This step aims to strengthen your defense strategy.

  5. Negotiations or trial preparation: Depending on the strength of the evidence against you and other factors specific to your case, negotiations with the prosecution may take place in an attempt to reach a plea agreement. If no agreement is reached, preparations for trial will begin.

  6. Trial: If your case goes to trial, the prosecutor and your attorney will present arguments and evidence before a judge or jury. Your lawyer will vigorously advocate for your rights and work to cast doubt on the prosecution's case.

  7. Sentencing: If you are found guilty or if you accept a plea agreement, sentencing will take place. The penalties for OWI in Wisconsin can include fines, the suspension of your driver’s license, mandatory participation in substance abuse treatment or education programs, probation, and even jail time.

Contact Our Milwaukee County OWI Defense Lawyer

If you have been arrested for OWI over Thanksgiving or at any other time of the year, it is crucial to seek legal representation as soon as possible. The experienced Dodge County OWI attorney at Bucher Law Group, LLC can guide you through the complex legal process and fight to protect your rights. To schedule a free consultation, please contact us at 262-303-4916. Do not face an OWI charge alone. Let us help you navigate this challenging time while working towards the best possible outcome for your case.

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