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Asked in Grafton, WI Feb. 20, 2015 ,  10 answers Visitors: 176
What is the best defense for a 2nd offense OWi, in WI? I will be representing myself.
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10 Answers

Anonymous
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Posted on / Feb. 23, 2015 16:55:58

The best defense is probably that you were somewhere else and it must have been someone else driving. Even better if you can show who it was who was driving.

I'm sorry, but you question is nonsense, like asking which color is best. The best defense depends on the facts. An OWI, especially a second offense, is not a DIY proposition. Sometimes people think that because it isn’t a murder case, a drunk driving case is simple. Nothing could be further from the truth. These cases can be among the most complex a criminal defense lawyer handles. The government is willing to spend an incredible amount of money to convict you though. They will have expert witnesses available for consultation and trial. It is certainly not a do-it-yourself situation, nor a situation where you want someone getting on-the-job training.

That you have been charged or that some gizmo says your alcohol level was at a certain level does not mean that you are guilty. It certainly does not mean that you will be proven guilty using competent, valid evidence.

Field sobriety “tests” are designed to give police a reason to arrest. You cannot “pass” them. The police will admit that almost a third of healthy young adults who take these tests without any alcohol will be judged to be “under the influence” – and that assumes they are properly administered!

After even a first drunk driving conviction, you may face employment discrimination. You will certainly be charged higher for insurance. Having such a conviction will also make you a target for drunk driving arrest in future interactions with police. You will automatically become a suspect.

You will want a lawyer who is familiar with field sobriety “tests,” perhaps one who is certified to administer these tests. You will want a lawyer familiar with the weaknesses of the contraptions that are used to report alcohol or drug levels. You want an experienced trial lawyer, used to cross-examining police officers. Police officers are practiced, experienced witnesses.

That is, you want an experienced drunk driving defense lawyer, whether you call the offense DUI, OWI, DWI, OUI, or drugged driving.

If any answer on AVVO helps you, mine or someone else’s, please mark it as "helpful" or "best answer" to help AVVO know which answers to show others.
Thank you.

DISCLAIMER:

Confidential information should not be disclosed in this Internet forum.

I am an experienced Wisconsin drunk driving (DUI/OWI/DWI) defense lawyer practicing in Madison (Dane County) Wisconsin. The laws in each jurisdiction can be very different. I cannot give legal advice over the Internet nor can I establish an attorney client relationship with you.

If something I say disagrees with what your own lawyer is telling you, you should rely on your lawyer who is familiar with you, your entire case, the local courts and practices.

To deal with a legal problem, nothing is better than to consult with a lawyer who will give you some time and advice. If you cannot afford an attorney, there should be agencies in your area that can provide discounted, or even free, legal services.

This AVVO Answer is provided for general educational purposes only.

See “more” link below for more important information about this answer and AVVO.

Anonymous
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Posted on / Feb. 23, 2015 03:11:08

DUI defense is a very technical and complicated area of the law. If you needed surgery would you try to operate on yourself?? Your best defense is to contact and consult with an experienced drunk driving lawyer who has successfully handled your type of situation. You are entering an arena of skilled professionals and make no mistake you will be held to their standards including all procedural and substantive matters of the law.

Anonymous
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Posted on / Feb. 20, 2015 16:56:25

Even a lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client. The brightest defendant is no match for a prosecutor trained in the law, especially a highly technical area of the law that is skewed heavily against the defense. Anyone facing an OWI conviction owes themselves a consult with a lawyer. Good luck.

Anonymous
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Posted on / Feb. 20, 2015 16:30:15

Your best defense is the best defense attorney you can find.

A dedicated OWI defense lawyer will acquire all the relevant materials -- reports, squad video, dispatch recordings, maintenance records for the chemical testing machinery (whatever it was), and so on. More importantly, however, attorneys are trained to make sense of what they see and hear in those materials, and to spot legal issues that can aid in your defense.

Moreover, if your prior offense is an out-of-state criminal conviction (rather than a Wisconsin civil forfeiture), good OWI lawyers know to investigate the circumstances surrounding that conviction, and decide whether a "collateral attack" motion is appropriate. These motions invalidate the prior offense and turn your present charge into another first offense. Lawyers can't bring those in every OWI-2nd case, but will at least rule out the possibility, leaving no stone unturned in their efforts to get you the best possible resolution.

Finally, the clock has begun to run on your right to challenge the administrative suspension of your driving privileges. This is a related, but distinct issue from your criminal case. Conviction will result in jail. Do yourself a favor and call a lawyer for an initial consultation, at the very least. Many will do this for free. If you end up unable to afford that lawyer, he or she will refer you to someone else. This stuff is important, protect yourself. Take care and good luck.

Anonymous
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Posted on / Feb. 20, 2015 15:18:56

Look at filing a detailed motion challenging the basis for the traffic stop. Review all the case law that deals with community caretaker function of law enforcement, mistake of law stops and the standard of proof. This will easily include 50 to 100 case opinions. Then master the rules of evidence. You will want to understand the science behind blood alcohol levels and the dissipation of alcohol from the human body. Next, put in a couple of years practicing public speaking. Then, sit in the courtroom and observe jury trials from motions in limine and voir dire through individual polling of the jury after verdict. After all this, you probably won't be even close to the proficiency of a seasoned OWI defense attorney, but you might get through the process without being scolded by the judge in front of the jury.

Anonymous
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Posted on / Feb. 20, 2015 13:03:08

You might be better off sticking your hand in a fan than facing mandatory jail with a possible six months all alone. There is no one "best defense" which works in all cases, and not all cases are even worth fighting. Even in unwinnable cases, however, an experienced lawyer can help present you in the positive light necessary to land your sentence closer to the minimum than than the six month maximum jail sentence. Get a lawyer now rather than attempting an online "how to do it."

Do not assume that I am your attorney because of my response here, since I would not normally be taking any further action on your case. You can request further clarifications on AVVO or see my past answers here which might help you at http://www.avvo.com/attorneys/53401-wi-jay-nixon-1529181/answers.html?sort=recency http:// or at http://www.lawguru.com/answers/search/attorney/jknixon.

Anonymous
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Posted on / Feb. 20, 2015 01:04:40

Your question has the answer implicitly. Hire an experienced attorney to represent you.

Anonymous
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Posted on / Feb. 20, 2015 01:03:53

The prior answers are correct, and, I'm guessing, unfortunately not what you want to hear. But let's be honest: if you're on the Internet asking how to defend yourself in a criminal case, particularly one with the nuance and scientific elements of operating while intoxicated, every attorney is going to give you the same answer.

Anonymous
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Posted on / Feb. 20, 2015 00:46:46

Never go into a courtroom alone. Hire an experienced owi lawyer. You only get one shot to get it right.

Anonymous
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Posted on / Feb. 20, 2015 00:38:08

The best defense is that you hire an attorney, who is trained in working on these matters, to defend you.

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