Walworth County DUI Lawyer Andrew Walter
When looking for a Walworth County DUI lawyer, you want a lawyer with knowledge of Wisconsin DUI and OWI law. About half of my cases are Walworth County DUI or OWI defense. In addition to defending clients in Walworth County Circuit Court and local municipal courts, I have argued and won several appeals in DUI and OWI cases. These DUI appeals have involved when police can stop or arrest you, when police can conduct DUI blood draws, and the number of prior OWI offenses. I am very proud that many local attorneys rely on me for their client’s DUI and OWI appeals. Appeals involve very intensive research into Wisconsin DUI law, and I apply that knowledge to every local drunk driving case that I handle.
If I am your attorney I will walk you through Wisconsin DUI and OWI laws. I will explain any Wisconsin drunk driving defenses that we can use in your case. I will explain the Walworth County DUI procedures and diversion programs such as Walworth County OWI Court. I will explain how we can help you keep your license and your ability to drive to work. If you refused a blood test I will explain how we can avoid the harsh penalties associated with a refusal.
Contact Elkhorn DUI lawyer Andrew Walter for a free consultation.
Walworth County DUI Experience
You'll want a DUI lawyer who knows the local DUI prosecutors and judges. I am a local attorney; I practice almost exclusively in Walworth County. I've argued and resolved many Walworth County DUI cases, and just as many first offense DUI and OWI cases in the municipal courts in Elkhorn, Lake Geneva, East Troy, Fontana, Delavan, Whitewater, and all other municipal DUI courts in and around Walworth County. I have come to know the local Walworth County DUI prosecuting attorneys and judges. I will walk you through what plea agreements are possible based on past experience with that prosecuting DUI lawyer. I will explain what we have done in similar Walworth County DUI or OWI cases.
Contact Elkhorn DUI lawyer Andrew Walter (262) 743-1290 for a no obligation case evaluation.
Walworth County DUI and OWI Diversion Programs
I will walk you through Walworth County diversion programs, explain what they require, and we will discuss whether you can and should utilize one of those programs. For example, if you are charged with a second, third, or fourth Walworth County OWI or PAC offense, the Walworth County OWI Court might be an option. This could dramatically reduce your DUI jail sentence and fines. I will walk you through the requirements and we will do a cost and benefit analysis. On criminal DUI cases in Walworth County, I will walk you through the Walworth County Jail Huber (work release) procedures for DUI and OWI cases. We will discuss the possibility of electronic monitoring (house arrest) as part of your Walworth County OWI sentence. There are a number of other programs that may also be available to you.
Walworth County DUI Lawyer-Municipal Court Experience
Most first offense OWI and DUI in Wisconsin will be handled in municipal courts. First offense OWI and DUI is usually not a criminal matter but there are still serious consequences. Whether you have an OWI in Lake Geneva, Elkhorn, Delavan, or any other local municipal court, I will walk you through your defenses and my past experiences with the prosecuting attorney and judge. I will show you how we can resolve your case in a way that ensures you will still be able to drive to work. I will also walk you through how you can get an occupational license even if you are convicted of an OWI or DUI.
Contact Elkhorn DUI lawyer Andrew R. Walter for a free case evaluation.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between Wisconsin drunk driving, DUI, DWI, and OWI?
DUI is the most common abbreviation for drunk driving violations, but these all refer to the same offense. The statutory term for Wisconsin drunk driving is Operating A Motor Vehicle While Under The Influence of An Intoxicant. Therefore the acronym used in court documents is OWI, and that is the term that your DUI lawyer will use in court. But most people use DUI, DWI, and OWI interchangeably.
Why am I charged with two crimes for the same drunk driving offense in Wisconsin?
If your blood or breath test reveals an alcohol content of 0.08 or more you will face an additional charge of Operating a Motor Vehicle with a Prohibited Alcohol Concentration (PAC). Wisconsin drunk driving law allows for charging both Operating While Under the Influence (OWI) and PAC but you can only face penalties for one of the two.
Contact Walworth County DUI lawyer Andrew Walter for a free evaluation of your DUI, OWI, or PAC charges.
What are the penalties for refusing to take a blood test after a Wisconsin drunk driving arrest?
If you are arrested for DUI or OWI in Wisconsin and you refuse a blood or breath test, the police will issue a Notice of Intent to Revoke. The Wisconsin DMV will revoke your license unless you or your DUI lawyer request a hearing within 10 days of your DUI, OWI, or PAC arrest. Given these time limits, it is imperative that you speak to a Walworth County DUI lawyer immediately to protect your rights.
Should I hire a DUI lawyer if I know I am guilty of DUI, OWI, or PAC, and I do not want a trial?
Drunk driving sentences are determined by a judge, who has broad discretion regarding jail time and whether to grant work release. For example, on a typical 2nd offense Walworth County DUI, the judge can sentence you to anywhere between 5 days and 6 months in the Walworth County Jail. An effective Walworth County DUI lawyer will recommend steps you can take to show the judge and District Attorney that you are a low risk DUI offender. A good Walworth County DUI attorney will also help you prepare a statement to make at sentencing as well as prepare an argument about your character, highlighting your positive qualities and contributions to your family and community. The goal is to minimize the jail time, ensure you have work release, and minimize the license revocation period.
Contact Walworth County OWI lawyer Andrew Walter for a free evaluation of your Walworth County, Elkhorn, Lake Geneva, Delavan, or Whitewater area DUI case.
What is your process for defending a DUI, OWI, or PAC charge?
If you hire me as your DUI lawyer, I start by making sure that the DMV does not suspend your license without holding a hearing first. I meet with you to get your description of the events leading to the DUI. I then review the circumstances of the traffic stop, DUI field sobriety tests, arrest, and blood or breath test to determine whether the police violated your rights against unreasonable search and seizure. Any constitutional violations I find may be a basis for a motion to suppress evidence, such as the blood test result. This is critical-suppression of the blood test result usually means the DUI case will be dismissed. I then analyze whether you were intoxicated, highlighting the signs that you were not intoxicated and looking for explanations of any signs that you were intoxicated. I analyze, with the help of a DUI expert when appropriate, whether the blood test result taken at the hospital is an accurate indication of your blood alcohol content (BAC) at the time of driving. Along the way, my office obtains any necessary evidence, such as police reports, squad video, blood testing equipment maintenance records, and dispatch tapes. We then meet to discuss your DUI case and possible defenses. At that time, we will evaluate the strength of the case and the chance of success at trial. Based on that evaluation, we will discuss whether you are interested in settling the case and if so, we will discuss the goals of plea negotiation with the District Attorney. It is important to remember that it is your case not your lawyer's, I will thoroughly advise you and argue for your rights, but the major decisions belong to you.
Does my lawyer need to know if I have a CDL. Does this make my DUI, OWI, or PAC case different?
A CDL makes your DUI case much different from a typical drunk driving case. Wisconsin OWI law places greater restrictions on CDL holders, including reduced BAC limits. Your attorney must be aware of federal law that could result in you losing your CDL and your job. Your license and your job may be at risk even before you get to court. You should consult with an experienced Walworth County DUI lawyer immediately.
Contact Walworth County DUI lawyer Andrew R. Walter for a free evaluation.
I have an Illinois driver’s license but I am charged with DUI in Wisconsin. How can a DUI attorney protect my driving privileges?
If you are charged with a Wisconsin DUI, OWI, or PAC, and have a license from any other state, you could face DUI penalties in both states. Upon conviction for any DUI, OWI, or PAC offense, Wisconsin will suspend or revoke your driving privileges in Wisconsin, but your home state will determine the DUI consequences for your license in that state. The resolution of your Wisconsin DUI case will have a great impact on your driving privileges in your home state. You should contact a DUI attorney in Wisconsin immediately to discuss your case. We often consult with Illinois attorney's to make sure we find a Wisconsin DUI resolution that will have the least impact on your Illinois driving privileges.
What are the maximum sentences for Walworth County DUI, OWI, or PAC offenses?
First Offense DUI -No jail unless a minor was in the car at the time.
Second OffenseDUI-Not less than 5 days nor more than 180 days jail.
Third Offense DUI-Not less than 45 days nor more than 1 year in jail.
Fourth Offense DUI-Not less than 60 days nor more than 1 year in jail.
Fourth Offense DUI With a Prior DUI Offense Within 5 Years-Class H Felony subject not less than 6 months nor more than 6 years imprisonment.
Fifth Offense DUI and Greater-These are automatically felonies in Wisconsin. The possible imprisonment for a 5th or 6th DUI offense is up to 6 years. For a 7th, 8th, or 9th DUI offense, the maximum imprisonment is 10 years. For 10th or greater DUI offenses, the maximum imprisonment is 12 and one half years.
The District Attorney and Walworth County judges typically use, or at least start with, the Walworth County OWI Sentencing Guidelines. Your DUI lawyer must understand these guidelines. A good local attorney knows how you can get substantial reductions from these guidelines. I will walk you through the Walworth County OWI sentencing guidelines during your free consultation. Typically in Walworth County DUI cases I am able to negotiate lower sentences than the minimums suggested by the Walworth County OWI sentencing guidelines. It may require some effort on your part, such as attending Victim Impact Panels or DUI counseling, but we can usually reduce the suggested jail sentence for a Walworth County OWI.
Contact Walworth County DUI lawyer Andrew Walter for a free evaluation of your Walworth County DUI, OWI, or PAC case.
What is Injury by Intoxicated Use of a Vehicle and how does this charge differ from a typical DUI, OWI, or PAC charge in Wisconsin?
If someone in your car, another car, or a pedestrian was injured because of your operation of a motor vehicle, and you were intoxicated at the time, the Walworth County District Attorney may charge you with Injury by Intoxicated Use. This criminal charge is different from a typical DUI in that it involves proof of injury to someone other than yourself. There are greater penalties for this kind of DUI offense. For temporary minor injuries, the penalty for Injury by Intoxicated Use is 30 days to 1 year in jail, a fine, and revocation of your license. If you have any prior DUI conviction, the offense is a Class H Felony. Any DUI resulting in great bodily harm is a Class F Felony. You may have a defense if the injury would have occurred even if you were not intoxicated and exercised due care. The penalties for these DUI cases are severe. You need to speak to a Walworth County DUI lawyer immediately to protect yourself from harsh prosecution and penalties.
Contact Elkhorn DUI lawyer Andrew R. Walter for a free consultation regarding your Walworth, Elkhorn, Lake Geneva, or Fontana area DUI case.
What is the blood alcohol curve and how can a drunk driving lawyer use it as a defense in Wisconsin DUI cases?
Wisconsin DUI law prohibits driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 in most cases. However, the police do not obtain a sample of your blood at the time you were driving, they take a blood sample at the hospital, usually an hour or so after you were driving. Therefore, an experienced lawyer knows that the blood test result is not necessarily an accurate reflection of your BAC at the time you were driving. When you drink alcohol, it slowly absorbs into your bloodstream. Your BAC slowly rises until reaching a peak, and then your BAC slowly drops as your body removes alcohol from your blood. Depending on your gender, size, when and how much alcohol you drank, and other factors, you may have had a BAC below 0.08 at the time of driving but above that level during blood testing. In appropriate DUI, OWI, or PAC cases, we use qualified DUI blood test experts to testify that your BAC was below the legal limit at the time of driving. An honest DUI lawyer should tell you that this DUI defense is most effective if your BAC is near the legal limit.
Do police in Wisconsin need a search warrant to draw my blood after a Wisconsin DUI or OWI arrest?
After a Wisconsin drunk driving arrest, police are required to read you a form entitled "Informing the Accused." After they read it, you will be asked if you will submit to a blood or breath test for alcohol. If you say yes then you are giving consent to the DUI blood draw and there is no need for a warrant. However, if you say no police now need to request and get a search warrant before they can draw your blood. This is due to the recent Supreme Court ruling in Missouri v. McNeely. Keep in mind, refusing a blood test will result in revocation of your Wisconsin driver's license unless there is an issue with the DUI traffic stop or with the arrest. Because of the recent changes in the law, you need a DUI lawyer with experience dealing with these issues.
Walworth County DUI Lawyer-Defenses in DUI, OWI, and PAC Cases
OWI defenses generally fall into two categories: pretrial challenges and trial defenses. Many, if not most, pretrial DUI and OWI defenses are based on violations of the Fourth Amendment. The Fourth Amendment prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures. Your DUI lawyer must be well versed in search and seizure law to adequately protect your rights.
To conduct a traffic stop, police need to have a reasonable suspicion that you have committed or are committing any crime or traffic violation. Your DUI lawyer must evaluate whether the police had enough information to stop you. If not, your DUI lawyer can file a motion to suppress the evidence obtained during the stop, which usually includes the blood test. We have had several Walworth County DUI cases dismissed or reduced because of invalid traffic stops.
Click here to contact Walworth County DUI Lawyer Andrew Walter
Once you are pulled over the police must not unreasonably extend the stop. For example, if you are pulled over for speeding or a tail light violation there must be some clues of intoxication before police ask you to perform field sobriety tests. The most common clues of intoxication are bloodshot and glassy eyes, slurred speech, and an odor of intoxicants. Without sufficient clues any demand that you perform field sobriety testing violates the Fourth Amendment. A Walworth County DUI lawyer can then move for suppression of all evidence.
The Fourth Amendment requires that police only make a DUI arrest if there is probable cause to believe you have operated while intoxicated. In many cases, the evidence of intoxication comes from DUI field sobriety testing. The standardized field sobriety tests are the horizontal gaze nystagmus, walk and turn, and the one leg stand. Other tests may be used but these are the three standard tests. A good DUI lawyer will evaluate whether police followed the proper procedures in administering the field sobriety testing. A DUI lawyer should also evaluate how the police scored the testing. Failure to properly administer and score the tests might be grounds for a Walworth County DUI lawyer to challenge your DUI or OWI arrest.
Trial defenses tend to dispute one of two things; either whether you were driving or whether you were intoxicated. Challenges to whether you were driving include the fairly obvious challenges where the police did not see you driving, but skilled lawyers know there are also defenses based on where you were driving. In Wisconsin, you should not be convicted of DUI if you were not driving on a public highway. We recently had a Walworth County OWI-Causing Injury charge dismissed because the car was in a private driveway rather than a public highway.
Click here to contact Walworth County DUI Attorney Andrew Walter
Your Walworth County DUI lawyer should also know how to challenge whether you were intoxicated at the time you were driving. A Walworth County DUI lawyer might challenge intoxication by challenging the blood or breath test result. For example, your DUI defense lawyer might argue that the blood or breath result is incorrect. DUI blood and breath tests are extremely complicated scientific tests whose validity depends upon adherence to strict maintenance and calibration protocols. Walworth County DUI attorney Andrew Walter regularly demands and reviews calibration and maintenance records of all breath and blood testing equipment. Any improper or missed maintenance will put the validity of the DUI blood or breath test in question. Good DUI and OWI defense lawyers know that defenses are often found in the boring details like calibration and maintenance records.
A lawyer might also challenge your drunk driving case using the blood alcohol curve. Wisconsin's PAC law prohibits driving with a BAC of .08 or greater, and the OWI law presumes intoxication at that level. But you're blood sample is not taking while you are driving, it is much later after your arrest and transportation to the station or hospital. If you drank shortly before getting in the car, you may have still been absorbing alcohol after you were stopped. In this scenario, your BAC will show up higher than it was at the time you were driving. The blood alcohol curve defense uses a scientific formula to determine what your blood alcohol level was at the time you last drove. If your BAC result was reasonably close to .08, a good DUI lawyer might use this defense to obtain a reduction of the charges against you. Or the DUI lawyer might present this defense at trial.
Click here to contact Walworth County DUI Lawyer Andrew Walter
Walter Law Offices
108 West Court Street
Elkhorn, WI 53121
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