challenging prior owi convictions
When a person is arrested on alleged drunk driving charges, the number (and timing) of prior operating under the influence convictions will determine the level of the current charge, and if you are convicted, the sentence that can be imposed (including fines and jail or prison time). A successful challenge to those prior OWI convictions will reduce the level of the current charge, and subsequently, if convicted, the types and level of punishment that be imposed by the court on the current OWI.
a legal process
The process of challenging prior operating under the influence convictions is called a collateral attack. It is not an appeal of the prior convictions, but rather a legal strategy employed by OWI defense attorneys, and its single purpose is to reduce penalties available for the current charge. For example, if you are charged with a fifth drunk driving offense (a felony in Wisconsin) and you were not represented by an attorney, or waived your rights to an attorney when you were tried for the fourth OWI offense, a successful challenge would prevent the court from counting the 4th OWI conviction during sentencing if you are convicted on the subsequent charge.
legal counsel on attack
When you hire Attorney Wood to represent you against a subsequent operating under the influence (OWI) charge, she will represent you zealously.
Challenges to prior convictions is not limited to only those convictions which occurred in Wisconsin. Challenges to prior convictions in other states can also be successful. If a person is convicted of drunk driving in another state, Wisconsin courts cannot count that conviction if the laws under which the conviction was adjudicated were not very similar to Wisconsin laws at the time of the conviction. For example, if a person was convicted of operating under the influence in Illinois, and the Illinois laws at the time of that conviction were not similar to the current laws in Wisconsin under which a conviction is being sought, then challenging those priors successfully prevents the court from using them in the current charge. In some cases, that can mean that the current charge is reduced to a lesser misdemeanor, but it can also mean that the current charge is reduced to a non-criminal charge (a first operating under the influence offense in Wisconsin). In many instances, attorneys who do not frequently litigate drunk driving cases may not realize that they need not agree to priors. By refusing to stipulate to the prior convictions, an attorney forces the prosecution to produce certified evidence for the prior convictions.
challenging criminal convictions
Challenges to prior convictions is also not limited to drunk driving offense. Drug convictions, for example, can also be challenged in the same manner, and with the same results. For example, if a person is charged with a second offense of operating under the influence and a second offense of possession of a controlled substance, the prior convictions of both charges can be challenged in the same manner as explained above.
Additionally, there are other grounds upon which challenges to prior convictions can be made such as a violation of a person’s Sixth Amendment rights.
owi-dui.com can help
If you have been charged with a subsequent operating under the influence offense - commonly referred to as a DUI in many states, and OWI under Wisconsin law - there is hope for having the charge reduced, possibly even dismissed. While there are no guarantees, you will find some of the most experienced and knowledgeable criminal and drunk driving defense attorneys available in the state of Wisconsin listed on this website.
Contact an OWI-DUI Attorney
Attorney, who authored the original mastery on Challenging Prior Operating Under The Influence Convictions, provides the article above to demonstrate her legal expertise in the area of OWI defense. Attorney Wood is well regarded as Wisconsin's leading authority on drunk driving laws, and her trial and appeals records concur.
Important notation: The judicial system may seem to work very slowly, but the wheels of justice have a way of speedily hurrying towards anyone charged with a drunk driving offense. You should seek the advice of one of the highly qualified OWI defense attorney as soon as possible. We highly recommend the OWI defense attorneys listed here; they are broadly regarded as Wisconsin's top OWI lawyers.
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