Drunk driving and hit-and-run are two separate crimes in the state of Wisconsin. Unfortunately, sometimes the two go hand-in-hand, resulting in severe penalties that can include huge fines and even incarceration. So what should you do if you’re charged with either – or both?
Charged with DUI and Hit-and-Run: First Things First
Before you talk to investigators or call a family member or friend, call a Milwaukee DUI/OWI lawyer. Your attorney will probably advise you to stay quiet and avoid answering any questions until he or she can get there to protect your rights.
Don’t make the mistake of assuming that police’s failure to read you your Miranda rights means that you can say anything, either. Anything you tell investigators could be used against you, so it’s best to stay quiet until your attorney gives you case-specific advice.
The Penalties for DUI and Hit-and-Run Accidents
Because DUI/OWI and hit-and-run are two separate crimes, you face separate penalties. Depending on whether you’ve been convicted of DUI or OWI before, your penalties could range from fines and mandatory alcohol counseling to up to 40 years of incarceration.
Hit-and-run is also a serious crime that can result in heavy fines and confinement. If your accident doesn’t hurt anyone, you can be fined a minimum of $300 and put in jail for up to 6 months; if it’s more serious, you could be facing a felony charge.
If someone is severely injured or killed, you will likely be charged differently. You could be charged with injury by intoxicated use of a vehicle under Wisconsin law, which is classified as great bodily harm to another person or to an unborn child. You could also be charged with homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle. These are both felonies, so it’s essential that you talk to an attorney who’s experienced in Wisconsin law and who can represent your side of the story in court.