DUI Lawyer in Racine: Expert Advice
Attorney Christopher Glinski is a DUI lawyer in Racine, Wisconsin. He was recognized as one of the “Top 40 Under 40 Criminal Defense Lawyers in Wisconsin” and one of the “Top 100 Trial Lawyers in Wisconsin.” Call (262) 632-1555 for a free consultation.
#1. DUI Lawyer Tip:
You Should Always Hire a DUI Lawyer, Even For a First-Offense DUI Charge
A first-offense Driving Under the Influence (DUI) charge is not a criminal offense. This means that incarceration (jail time) is not even a possibility for a first-offense DUI in Wisconsin.
Does that mean you don’t need a DUI lawyer? No. A first-offense DUI in Wisconsin has many negative consequences. A first-offense DUI in Wisconsin stays on your record forever. And a second offense DUI in Wisconsin is a misdemeanor and carries mandatory jail time of at least five days and up to six months, if it was within 10 years of the first offense. Thus, it is extremely important to avoid a conviction for a first-offense DUI in Wisconsin.
Second, a conviction for DUI will cause your car insurance rates to skyrocket and if your blood alcohol level was greater than .15 you will be required to pay for and install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) in your vehicle. An IID is a portable breathalyzer you must periodically breath into or your vehicle will shut off.
#2. DUI Lawyer Tip:
Take Action Within 10 Days To Avoid a Driver’s License Suspension
When you are arrested for DUI, the police will give you a pink piece of paper entitled “Notice of Intent to Suspend Operative Privileges.” This is what is known as an administrative suspension. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation, an administrative agency, will suspend your driving privileges if you do not request a hearing on the issue of suspending your driving privileges.
A DUI lawyer can request that the judge stay the suspension, meaning the suspension does not go into effect and you may continue driving without restriction until your case is over.
#3. DUI Lawyer Tip:
Challenge the Police Who Stopped You
Under Wisconsin law, police officers need “reasonable suspicion” to stop you in your vehicle. The police may not stop your vehicle simply because they have a hunch that you are DUI or driving under the influence. A DUI lawyer can request a hearing in front of a judge at which the arresting officers will have to appear in court to testify under oath about why they stopped you and arrested you for DUI. If the judge determines that the police did not have a legitimate reason to stop your vehicle the case will be dismissed.
#4. DUI Lawyer Tip:
Avoid the Ignition Interlock Device (IID) Requirement
For a first offense DUI in Wisconsin, an ignition interlock device is required only if your blood alcohol level (BAC) was .15 or more. Even if your blood alcohol level was .15 or more, a DUI lawyer can avoid the Ignition Interlock Device requirement by getting the prosecutor to agree that your blood alcohol level was under .15 at the time you were driving. Avoiding the Ignition Interlock Device requirement will save you a significant amount of money and hassle. More information about the Ignition Interlock Device in Wisconsin is available here.
#5. DUI Lawyer Tip:
Alcohol counseling does not make you look guilty and will help your case.
Alcohol counseling is always a good idea if you have been arrested for DUI in Wisconsin. Even before hiring a DUI Lawyer, start alcohol counseling because if you are convicted of DUI in Wisconsin, the fact that you have completed alcohol counseling will reduce the overall penalty. That means that for a second or third-offense DUI, completing alcohol counseling could save you from having to serve months in jail. Also, the fact that you are attending alcohol counseling would never be revealed at a trial, so the jury would never hear that you are attending alcohol counseling if your DUI case went to trial. This is why completing alcohol counseling can always help and never hurt you when you are charged with DUI.
Note: These tips apply specifically to Wisconsin and are for informational purposes only. You should always consult with a lawyer about your specific case.
For more on DUIs and OWIs, see these resources: