First Offense OWI in Wisconsin

Madison, WI

(608) 204-5807

Madison, WI First Offense OWI Defense Attorneys

Navigating Your First Offense OWI Arrest: Understanding and Reducing Your Stress

Facing an OWI arrest for the first time is undoubtedly overwhelming, marking many people’s first interaction with the legal system. It’s natural to be filled with questions and concerns during such a challenging period. Recognizing the stress and uncertainty you’re experiencing, we’re here to provide clarity and support. Our goal is to alleviate your worries by addressing common OWI questions and guiding you through the process.

In Wisconsin, a first offense OWI (Operating While Intoxicated) or DUI (Driving Under the Influence) is treated as a civil traffic citation, not a criminal charge. However, it’s important not to underestimate the gravity of the situation. Even as a civil matter, a drunk driving conviction carries significant repercussions, impacting various aspects of your life. Let us assist you in navigating these complexities, aiming to minimize the consequences you face.

First Offense OWI Attorney in Wisconsin

The Financial Impact of Your First OWI: Offering Value Through Aggressive Defense

The total financial impact of a first offense OWI in Wisconsin extends far beyond the initial fine. When you factor in court costs, the mandatory AODA (Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse) assessment, soaring insurance premiums, and the possible requirement of installing an Ignition Interlock Device (IID), the expenses can quickly surpass $5,000. At our firm, we’re acutely aware of the burdens these costs can impose, which is why we strive to offer our services at a reasonable rate. While keeping our rates affordable, we emphasize the value of a vigorous defense strategy as the most effective way to mitigate these substantial financial consequences. Investing in a strong defense not only can help reduce immediate outlays but also prevent the long-term financial fallout of an OWI conviction.

Quality First Offense OWI Defense

What To Do Immediately After Your First Offense OWI Arrest

Of course we are going to say contact an attorney! After all that is what we are here for. But seriously, an attorney who specializes in drunk driving defense can help guide you through the necessary steps of OWI Defense.

An important step in fighting your first offense OWI is knowing the deadlines for filing for certain hearings with the DMV and Court. For example, failing to request an administrative hearing within the ten day time limit will result in your license automatically being suspend for 6 months. This is not the end of the world or your case. But there are many benefits to holding this hearing. Other deadlines to be aware of include Refusal hearings and court dates.

Contact a Drunk Driving Attorney Today

Another benefit to contacting a drunk driving attorney immediately, or soon after, your OWI arrest is to relay any important facts about the arrest.It is best to share what you remember with your lawyer as soon as you can. While the memories are fresh is the best time. Furthermore, a good OWI/ DUI lawyer will like to get started on your defense right away. Often obtaining videos and records can take some time. Don’t hinder your defense, contact an attorney who specializes in drunk driving defense.

Representing Individuals Charged With 1st Offense OWI in Southern Wisconsin

Whether you live in Dane County, Rock CountySauk County or any other part of Wisconsin, we can help you fight your first offense OWI charge. Do not make the mistake of thinking it is only a citation and that you don’t need a defense attorney. There are many ways a drunk driving attorney can help you. Contact us today to find out what we can do.

Looking to speak with a Criminal Defense Attorney?
Contact DK Anderson, S.C. today for a free consultation.

First Offense Penalties in Wisconsin

Potential Drunk Driving Penalties for a First Offense OWI

We know the first thing that goes through your mind is what are the potential penalties for a first offense OWI – DUI conviction. Like we stated above, it is not a criminal offense, but rather more of a serious traffic citation. Generally the courts will sentence you based on Wisconsin’s OWI sentencing guidelines. However, for a first offense OWI your mandatory penalties upon conviction are as follows:

  • 6 – 9 months driver’s license revocation
  • $150 – $300 fine (don’t forget court costs…)
  • Mandatory AODA assessment

Some jurisdictions require you to attend a Victim Impact Panel. Additionally, if your Blood Alcohol Concentration is above a .15, you will be required to install an IID in your vehicle. Often, a good OWI lawyer will be able to negotiate with the prosecutor to have the IID order removed by stipulating to a lower BAC.

Is a first offense OWI a crime?

Wisconsin is the only state that does not criminalize a first offense conviction. Similarly, a second offense OWI committed ten or more years after a first offense is also not a crime. Despite that fact, Wisconsin does have serious penalties associated with repeat drunk driving convictions. Serious as in mandatory jail time for a second or greater OWI. Furthermore, the Wisconsin legislature has been increasing the penalties associated with driving under the influence convictions.

Recent change in first offense OWI laws

In early 2016, Wisconsin has made it easier for law enforcement to forcefully take your blood in first offense drunk driving cases. When an individual is arrested for an OWI and refuses to consent to a breath test or a blood draw, law enforcement may obtain a warrant to get that individual’s blood. Previously this was limited to second or greater offenses as a first offense is not a criminal act.

The fact that a first offense OWI is not a crime is what makes this law questionable. Prior to this change in law, a search warrant could only be issued when there was probable cause that “evidence of a crime” would be found.  Wisconsin has significantly broadened this to now include any violation of Wis. Stat. § 346.63, even first offense citations.

Our Practice Areas

Drunk Driving

Whether you are charged with a first offense, or a fifth offense, our Wisconsin OWI attorneys can help.

Violent Crimes

A conviction for any one of Wisconsin's violent crimes will have significant consequences.

Drug Charges

Our Wisconsin Drug charge attorneys know the law and how to apply that law in the court room.

Domestic Violence​

A conviction for a domestic violence charge in Wisconsin has additional consequences.

Property Crimes

Wisconsin property crimes include theft, forgery, and criminal damage to property.

Sex Offenses

Not much will change your life like a conviction for one of Wisconsin's sex offense charges.

Traffic Citations

Although less serious than a criminal charge, a traffic citation can effect your driver's license.