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Tips for Working with Your DUI/OWI Attorney

How an experienced OWI attorney can help with your case.

Choose a Lawyer Who Cares About You

Choosing a lawyer is difficult. No one is happy to pay legal fees and many people struggle to find the money. You should be concerned that your lawyer cares about you as a person, cares about your case, is willing to devote the time necessary and has the skill to win.

How will you know if your lawyer cares? The answer is fairly simple: does the lawyer take the time to ask you about yourself and does the lawyer listen to the answers? 

If we had to sum it up into one sentence, it would be: Get a qualified attorney who cares about you as a person.

The consequences of a drunk driving charge can follow you for years. It not only will affect your right to drive, it will damage your most important possession: your good name.  At Mishlove and Stuckert, LLC,  we do everything legally possible to protect your career, your family, and your reputation.

Having the best possible defense lawyer on your side ensures that you are able to move on from a DUI/OWI charge.

Choose a Lawyer Who Knows Wisconsin OWI Laws

The drunk driving laws in Wisconsin are complex; many factors need to be present for you to be charged and found guilty.

The government has the burden to prove that you were driving on a highway in Wisconsin while your alcohol level was over the prescribed limit or your ability to drive was affected to a degree that you lost the steady hand and judgment necessary to operate your vehicle.

A Lawyer Who Takes the Time to Communicate With You

Good communication between you and your attorney is essential. We want to understand you as a person and how this case will affect your life, your family, your career and your relationships. Unlike most attorneys, we will have a long talk with you about those issues.

Information Your Lawyer Needs to Defend You

We start by getting to know you as a person, and understanding how the case impacts your life.  In order to help you preserve your freedom, your career, and your right to drive, we also need detailed information on the events leading to the arrest, as well as what happened when you were in contact with the primary officer.  These include but are not limited to the following:

  • What were you doing prior to arrest?
  • What alcoholic beverages did you consume – and how much?
  • What was the officer’s stated reason for stopping you?
  • Did the officer order you to take a roadside test?
  • Exactly which tests were administered, and how?
  • Did you comply with the test?  How did you perform?
  • What, if anything, did you say to the officer?
  • Were there witnesses to the events leading to the arrest or to the arrest itself?
  • Was there a breath test? Exactly what do you remember about that process and the events leading up to it at the police station?
  • Was there a blood test? What do you remember about the blood draw process?
  • Do you have a prior record? What do you remember about the prior legal procedures?
  • Do you have any health problems that might affect the reliability of roadside tests, breath tests or blood tests?

Your Wisconsin OWI DUI Case: What Next?

Defending your case successfully involves:

  • A deep understanding of how the case impacts your life.
  • A thorough understanding and investigation of the facts, including all police reports, audio recordings, video recordings, laboratory records, etc.
  • A sound understanding of legal and constitutional principles involved in your case.
  • The skill, training, experience and commitment to defend you at the very highest level.

The district attorney may not have all the witnesses he needs to prove his case; he may have evidence that could exonerate you; there may be evidentiary problems in proving your blood alcohol level.  There are lots of “maybes.”  Having a qualified lawyer by your side ensures that your rights are protected.

Pre-Trial Legal Procedures

Whether or not your case goes to trial, there are legal procedures that may need to be completed.  These can include:

  • Impeaching the arresting officer’s testimony by detecting inconsistent statements
  • Detecting a failure to properly administer the roadside tests.
  • Detecting flaws in the breath and blood test procedures
  • Emphasizing positive facts that are not in the police report.
  • Determining the validity of officer’s initial reasons for stopping you, his probable cause for making you take preliminary breath tests, and whether you were read your Miranda rights.
  • Determining if a plea bargain is the best resolution for your case when weighed against the possible consequences of a trial and the weight of the state’s case against you.

Wisconsin DUI Laws: Going to Trial

If your case is one where a trial is indicated, your attorney must be skilled and experienced in winning OWI DUI cases. Winning strategies include:

  • Filing, if appropriate, motions to suppress evidence on constitutional grounds, such as an unlawful stop, unlawful arrest,  or for failure to give Miranda warnings.
  • Challenging the failure of the government to preserve and disclose any favorable evidence.
  • Invoking your right to a jury trial (for a second or subsequent offense) or requesting a trial jury (for a first offense).

Most of all, a winning trial lawyer must have the ability to present your side of the story, present you as a human being and establish a fair and sympathetic relationship with the jury.