10 Key DUI Questions to Ask (and Answer) When Facing a DUI in Wisconsin

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When facing a DUI charge in Wisconsin, it is critical to ensure that you are making informed decisions. There is a lot you need to know; and, if you make uninformed decisions, you could find yourself facing unnecessary consequences.

Making informed decisions starts with understanding the questions you need to ask. With this in mind, here are 10 key DUI questions to ask (and answer) when facing a DUI charge in Wisconsin:

Question #1: Which Type of DUI Charge Are You Facing?

There are two types of drunk driving charges in Wisconsin. If you took the breathalyzer during your DUI stop and blew above the legal limit, you are most likely being charged with prohibited alcohol concentration (PAC). If you refused the breathalyzer, couldn’t generate a reading, or blew under the legal limit, you are most likely being charged with operating while intoxicated (OWI).

While PAC and OWI charges are similar in some respects, there are also several key differences. As a result, determining whether you are facing a PAC charge or an OWI charge is one of the first steps toward determining what defenses you have available.

Question #2: Are You Facing Any Other Charges?

Along with determining whether you are facing a PAC charge or an OWI charge, you also need to determine whether you are facing any other charges as a result of your drunk driving arrest. There are several possibilities, including (but not limited to):

  • An implied consent violation (chemical test refusal)
  • An open container violation
  • Reckless driving and/or other traffic violations
  • Causing injury while OWI
  • Causing great bodily harm while OWI
  • Homicide while OWI

Each of these charges carries different penalties, and some of these charges are far more serious than others. But, you need to take all of the charges against you seriously, as any type of conviction can lead to financial costs and other consequences.

Question #3: When Is Your First Court Date?

Another key piece of information you need after a DUI arrest is your first court date. You need to make plans to be there on time, as failing to do so can have consequences regardless of whether you were driving under the influence. If you don’t show up, you can be charged with failure to appear, and this can result in a bench warrant being issued for your arrest.

Question #4: What Penalties Are You Facing?

Understanding the penalties you are facing will also help you make informed decisions about your defense. At a minimum, you are facing several hundred dollars in fines and surcharges plus a six to nine-month driver’s license suspension. But, if you are a repeat offender, or if you are being charged with causing a serious accident while driving under the influence, the penalties you are facing could be far greater.

Question #5: What Additional Consequences Are You Facing?

Along with court-imposed penalties, a PAC or OWI conviction can lead to various other consequences as well. These include everything from increased auto insurance premiums to disciplinary action if you are a licensed professional. Between increased insurance premiums, consequences for your career, and other financial costs, the collateral consequences of a drunk driving conviction can far exceed the costs you face in court.

Question #6: What Defenses Can You Assert in Court?

Given all that you have at stake, you must fight your PAC or OWI charge by all means available. Once you know what charge (or charges) you are facing, then you can determine which defenses you can use to protect yourself. Here, too, there are lots of possibilities—and the key is to ensure that you put together the strongest defense strategy possible in light of all relevant facts and circumstances.

Question #7: Do You Have Other Options for Avoiding a DUI Conviction?

Let’s say you were driving under the influence and prosecutors have the evidence they need to prove it. In this scenario, fighting your PAC or OWI charge in court might not be your best option. Instead, it might be best to consider another option—such as negotiating a plea bargain or entering into one of Wisconsin’s pre-trial diversion programs. Negotiating a plea bargain typically means facing the reduced consequences of a “wet reckless,” while entering into a pre-trial diversion program allows eligible defendants to avoid a conviction entirely.

Question #8: What Is Your Best Option Based on the Available Evidence?

Examining all of the available evidence will allow you to make an informed decision about how best to approach your case. This is a critical decision that could impact your life for years to come, so you need to ensure that you make it wisely.

Question #9: What Can a DUI Defense Lawyer Do to Help You?

When you are facing a DUI charge in Wisconsin, hiring an experienced defense lawyer is the best way to ensure that you are making informed decisions about your case. There are lots of ways an experienced defense lawyer will be able to help you, and you should schedule a free consultation to learn more as soon as possible.

Question #10: How Much Will You Pay for Your Legal Representation?

When you schedule a free consultation with a DUI defense lawyer, you should be able to find out exactly how much your legal representation is going to cost you. There should be no hidden costs or fees, and you should be able to weigh the costs of your legal representation against the potential costs of trying to handle your Wisconsin drunk driving case on your own.

Contact Us for a Free and Confidential Consultation with a Madison DUI Lawyer

If you are facing a drunk driving (PAC or OWI) charge in Wisconsin and would like to know more about your case, we encourage you to get in touch. To schedule a free and confidential consultation with a Madison DUI lawyer at Mays Law Office, please call 608-257-0440 or request an appointment online today.