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Defending Illinois Drivers Accused of OWI in Wisconsin

Why Illinois Drivers need a Wisconsin DUI Lawyer

Illinois Drunk Drivers

Talk to Wisconsin’s Leading Experts on Defending Illinois Drivers Accused of OWI in Wisconsin!

Wisconsin drunk driving laws are complex, and they become even more so when you cross the state line from Illinois.  Here is a scenario we often see: an Illinois driver is arrested for DUI (known as OWI in Wisconsin) and asks the police officer what will happen to his license.  Drivers like this are usually told two things:

  • Since he has an Illinois license, the Wisconsin case doesn’t matter.
  • He needs an Illinois lawyer to handle consequences at home.

Both of these are absolutely wrong. If this driver isn’t properly represented by a Wisconsin DUI lawyer, he will find himself in big trouble from the Illinois Secretary of State.  For an Illinois driver stopped in Wisconsin, the case is more serious than if he had been stopped in Illinois.  Why?

Illinois DUI vs. Wisconsin OWI

Even though an Illinois DUI is a very serious charge, the actual consequences for a person charged with first-offense DUI in Illinois are not as serious. Typically, in Illinois, they plea bargain and receive a reduced charge or “court supervision.” Under this type of negotiation, the Illinois driver’s license is suspended for a few months.

If he completes court-ordered classes, the case is dismissed, and there is no DUI on his record.

By the time an Illinois driver gets his first DUI conviction, he will have had at least one other DUI arrest.  So the penalties for a repeat offender in Illinois are quite severe and can include license revocation for an indefinite term of one year to life.

Plea-bargaining is strictly limited by law in Wisconsin OWI cases. So, if you are charged with a first-offense DUI,  a plea-bargain is not the rule, it is a rare exception.

If you win your case (as do many of our clients) you will have no conviction on your record.

If you lose or plead guilty, however, you will have an OWI conviction on your record and may receive the following penalties in Wisconsin:

  • License revocation for 6 to 9 months
  • Fines
  • “Assessment” or mandatory counseling
  • Mandatory Ignition Interlock (IID or BAIID)
  • A lifetime record.

But it is important to know that this penalty applies only within the borders of Wisconsin.

Wisconsin will report the conviction to Illinois. Typically, the State of Illinois will issue a reciprocal revocation order. This means that the Illinois license will also be revoked – for a long time.   A Wisconsin conviction will be treated as though it was a conviction in Illinois; so, has the same consequences as if it were the second or third arrest (because there is no eligibility for court supervision in Illinois for a Wisconsin conviction).

What happens? The Illinois license is revoked indefinitely for a term of one year to life.

Illinois Drivers Need a Wisconsin DUI Lawyer

Wisconsin lawyers who specialize in OWI DUI cases are familiar with the complex laws of Wisconsin, as well as how those laws affect drivers from neighboring states. A number of strategies can be employed to mitigate the damage of a Wisconsin OWI case for an out-of-state driver, including using Wisconsin refusal laws or changing residency to the State of Wisconsin.

Talk to the Lawyer Who Wrote the Book

Defense lawyer Andrew Mishlove is acknowledged as Wisconsin’s leading expert in handling OWI DUI cases for Illinois drivers. He, literally, “wrote the book” on the subject. Mishlove and Ramsell, Handling OWI Cases For Those Illinois Drivers, The Wisconsin Lawyer, March 2007.

At Mishlove and Stuckert Attorneys at Law, we know the complicated interstate issues surrounding drunk driving arrests. We work closely with the best Illinois lawyers to defend your case and get the best possible results.

Submit an Online Case Evaluation Request or Call us Today!