In Wisconsin, a good portion of the OWI / DUI criminal arrests are young drivers under the legal drinking age. As you know, these charges are very serious. But too often these drivers are not aware that OWI operating under the influence or DUI driving under the influence punishments are much more severe when the driver is under 21. Should you or a younger family member face juvenile OWI charges in Chippewa Falls, Chippewa County, Eau Claire, Eau Claire, County, Menomonie, Dunn County, Rice Lake or Barron County, Wisconsin, the very first thing to do is contact an expert juvenile OWI lawyer immediately.
A FIRST OFFENSE DOES NOT MEAN A DRIVER IS EXCUSED FROM PUNISHMENT
Newer drivers are already considered an at-risk group in general. The DWI law in Wisconsin for minors incorporates a zero tolerance policy for juvenile drunk drivers. That means that even just one drink can equal stricter penalties for juvenile drunk drivers.
It’s important to note that under 21 drivers can be charged for the equivalent OWI crimes if they’re caught driving with any unlawful, impairing substance such as weed or prescription drugs in their body system. As a reference point, individuals who are 21 and over with a .08 BAC or below do not receive an OWI charge consequently. Any BAC reading above 0.00% is counted as a juvenile OWI crime.
When juveniles are convicted of OWI in Wisconsin – especially for individuals with more than one offense, car insurance rates will become incredibly expensive. Receiving a juvenile DUI conviction means huge, long-term financial damage like paying an additional premium each month or, even worse, no insurance since the company may drop your policy without warning.
A DEFENSE LAWYER WHO SPECIALIZES IN JUVENILE OWI IS VITAL
Drunk driving charges or OWI/DUI (operating while intoxicated or driving under the influence) charges are very complex so it is crucial that you hire a skilled defense lawyer who specializes in juvenile OWI and DUI cases. For example, there are many detailed processes involved in bodily specimen tests.
A DUI defense attorney may find mistakes like incorrect readings when it comes to proof of alcohol, marijuana or even prescription drugs that come with warnings about operating heavy machinery while taking. A seasoned juvenile criminal defense attorney with expertise in this area can scrutinize the process of how the blood was examined and whether the equipment used to evaluate the results was functioning properly.
If this is your first OWI defense, you can expect a suspended driver’s license for up to 9 months and a fine for up to $300. While this penalty is the same as for an adult, a driver will be assigned more serious penalties if additional convictions occur.
If another OWI conviction happens within 10 years of the first conviction, fines start at $300 and can go up to $1000, including a year in prison, and a suspended driver’s license for at least one year or more. While this can have an immediate financial and social impact, that’s just the beginning.
There can also be many other defenses such as constitutional violations and defenses relating to a juvenile OWI charge, which an unpracticed individual will not be able to understand. All the more reason that these complicated DWI cases require someone who has the skill and knowledge in defending them.
If you or someone you know has been charged with juvenile OWI in Wisconsin, it’s crucial to hire the best juvenile OWI attorney in Wisconsin to defend your case. Contact the attorneys at Mullen Schlough & Associates S.C. today for a free consultation.