Rock County OWI Attorney
In Wisconsin, drunk driving is a civil offense. However, that does not mean you should treat it like any other ticket. While first-timers may escape criminal charges, a conviction follows you forever.
Because drunk driving carries criminal charges everywhere else in the country, anyone outside of Wisconsin who runs a background check will assume you were convicted of a crime. That is why it is so important to contact an experienced drunk driving attorney as soon as you get a ticket.
Drunk Driving Charges in Rock County
You can be charged with Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) if there is any detectable amount of restricted controlled substance in your blood or if you are under the influence of an intoxicant, controlled substance, or any other drug. In other words, you do not have to be legally drunk with a 0.08 BAC to be charged with DUI or OWI.
OWI Penalties & Sentencing Guidelines in Rock County
The consequences of an OWI or DUI depend on the grounds for the charge. Courts follow OWI Sentencing Guidelines to determine fine amounts, suspensions, and other penalties.
The sentencing guidelines consider several factors: prohibited alcohol concentration (PAC), whether it is a first offense or repeat offender, and mitigating or aggravating factors. Having a good driving record, cooperating with the officer during any field sobriety test, or proactively seeking substance abuse counseling can help mitigate the penalty for an OWI. However, operating without a valid driver’s license, refusal to participate in sobriety tests, having a minor in the vehicle, or being involved in an accident are examples of aggravating factors resulting in tougher penalties.
While the penalties vary from case to case, here are some of the basics:
- Fines ranging from $150 to $300 for first offenses up to $2,000 for aggravated charges or repeat offenders, plus a 26% penalty surcharge and more than $500 in court costs
- Suspended license for between six and nine months for first offenses; up to thirty-six months for aggravated charges or repeat offenders
- Ignition interlock (IID) requirement for repeat offenders or aggravated charges
- Jail time or probation for repeat offenders or aggravated charges
The ability to obtain an occupational license for work transportation is also determined by these sentencing guidelines. For more specifics, you can read the OWI Sentencing guidelines here.
Defending Drunk Driving Charges in Rock County
An experienced attorney will evaluate the constitutionality of the traffic stop, ensure there was probable cause, verify the accuracy of the field sobriety test, and consider any physical conditions other than intoxication that may have caused an error in any sobriety tests. Hiring an attorney to help you navigate your case will not only save you from overlooking any available defenses, but it could also help you mitigate sentencing in the event you are found guilty.
What is the Rock County OWI Treatment Court Program?
Rock County’s OWI Treatment Court Program is a voluntary, four-phase program designed to improve public safety by producing sober drivers and reducing recidivism. Participants complete treatment, counseling, and group support programs. They are also monitored through random drug tests, home visits, and electronic monitoring. Participation in the program may help mitigate OWI penalties.
Hiring a Janesville DUI Attorney: Protect Your Reputation with the Help of an Expert.
If you are charged with DUI or OWI in Janesville, Whitewater, Evansville, Milton or Beloit, contact an experienced Janesville criminal defense attorney to help you defend your case. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you navigate the legal proceedings stemming from your charge.