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Can You Challenge Field Sobriety Testing?

By Carlos Gamino

Field sobriety tests are extremely common during drunk driving stops. It’s not unusual for a police officer to say, “Could you step out of the car, please?” when he or she suspects a person of driving under the influence – but how accurate are field sobriety tests, and is it possible to challenge them in court?

Related: OWI vs. DUI in Wisconsin

Can You Challenge Field Sobriety Testing?

You and your attorney can absolutely challenge field sobriety testing. Your attorney may challenge based on your physical condition, age, weight or even your driving experience; he or she might also discuss the conditions on the roadside, the police officer’s experience in conducting these types of tests, and whether you were ill or wearing contact lenses at the time of your field sobriety test.

The bottom line is that these types of tests contain questionable methods – methods that may not tell a police officer whether you’re drunk or sober. For example, people pulled over for drunk driving may be asked to:

  • Stand on one foot while counting
  • Walk along an imaginary line
  • Touch one finger to the tip of their nose slowly
  • Recite the alphabet or count backward
  • Follow a pen or a light that a police officer holds in front of their face (this is called a nystagmus test)

How many of those things can you do under normal circumstances? How many of them can you do if you’re under a tremendous amount of pressure because you know that if you mess up, you’re going to jail – even if you haven’t had a drop to drink? The reality is that there are many reasons people struggle with each of these “tests.”

Related: First offense OWI in Wisconsin

Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About Challenging a Field Sobriety Test?

Many attorneys look for ways to challenge field sobriety tests because they don’t accurately predict how “drunk” a person is. If you were arrested for drinking and driving after taking a field sobriety test, we may be able to help you. Call our office at 414-383-6700 now – we will be happy to answer your questions about OWI charges and develop a strategy that gets you the best possible outcome.

Attorney Carlos Gamino

By |2021-07-17T09:24:39-05:00April 11th, 2021|Criminal Law, Traffic Offenses|Comments Off on Can You Challenge Field Sobriety Testing?

Will You Go to Jail for OWI, 2nd Offense?

OWI Second Offense - Carlos Gamino

By Carlos Gamino

An OWI (second offense) is a serious crime in Wisconsin, and if the state convicts you, you’re facing serious penalties. Each OWI you get here stays on your record, too, because the state wants to know if you’re a habitual offender. The penalties for your second OWI are tougher than your first, and if you get more OWIs in the future, the penalties continue to increase in severity.

Will You Go to Jail for OWI, 2nd Offense?

You might go to jail for your second OWI. It depends on how long it’s been since your last OWI and whether anyone was hurt when you committed your first offense.

OWI Second Offense With No Prior OWI Within 10 Years

If it’s been 10 years or more since your first OWI, you most likely won’t go to jail for your second OWI – unless someone’s hurt or you had a minor under the age of 16 in the vehicle with you. You will, however, lose your driver’s license for 6 to 9 months. You’ll also have to pay a fine between $150 and $300, and pay an OWI surcharge of $435. You’ll also have to put an ignition interlock device on your vehicle (at your own expense) or attend a 24/7 sobriety program for a year.

Related: Criminal traffic offenses in Wisconsin

The consequences change if you have a minor under the age of 16 in the car with you at the time of the offense. You’ll face all the same penalties as you would for a standard OWI second offense, but you could spend between 5 days and 6 months in jail.

If someone is hurt or killed as a result of your OWI, you’ll face more serious consequences:

  • Causing injury: Fines of up to $10,000, up to 6 years in prison, and license revocation for 1 to 2 years plus the time of your confinement
  • Causing great bodily harm: Fines of up to $25,000, up to 12 years and 6 months in prison, and license revocation for 2 years plus the time of your confinement
  • Homicide: Fines of up to $100,000, up to 40 years in prison (it would be 25 if this was your first offense), and license revocation for 5 years plus the time of your confinement

OWI Second Offense With a Prior OWI Within 10 Years, or Great Bodily Harm or Homicide at Any Point in Your Past

If your last OWI was within the past 10 years, if your first OWI caused someone great bodily harm, or if you were convicted of homicide related to your OWI, you’ll pay fines between $350 and $1,100. You’ll have to pay the $435 OWI surcharge, too. You’ll lose your license for 12 to 18 months, and you’ll have to have an ignition interlock device put on your vehicle. You could spend between 5 days and 6 months in jail. In some cases, judges offer the Safe Streets option, but that’s something you’ll have to talk to your OWI attorney about.

Related: 5 things you need to know about drunk driving causing injury

Do You Need to Talk to an OWI Attorney in Wisconsin?

If you’re accused of OWI, whether it’s your first, second or subsequent offense, we may be able to help you. Call us as soon as you can at 414-383-6700 to schedule your free consultation with an OWI attorney now.

Carlos Gamino

By |2021-07-17T11:41:48-05:00July 20th, 2020|Criminal Law, Traffic Offenses|Comments Off on Will You Go to Jail for OWI, 2nd Offense?

Wisconsin Alcohol Laws

By Carlos Gamino

Wisconsin Alcohol Laws - Carlos Gamino

In Wisconsin, the possession and use of alcohol is heavily regulated – and everyone in the state is subject to Wisconsin alcohol laws. Here’s what you need to know.

How Old Do You Have to Be to Drink in Wisconsin?

Like every other state in the U.S., Wisconsin requires you to be at least 21 years old in order to drink alcohol. You can’t possess alcohol, either, unless you fall into one of a few exceptions (such as an 18-year-old server at a bar, who is permitted to bring alcohol from the bar to customers).

What About Drinking With Your Parents?

In Wisconsin, minors are permitted to drink with their parents’ consent. (Legal guardians count, too.) However, some establishments won’t serve to people under the age of 21 – even if their parents are there and say that it’s okay.

Wisconsin Alcohol Laws on Drunk Driving

Drunk driving is a crime in Wisconsin. If you’re charged with operating while intoxicated, or OWI, the state can convict you if you:

  • Drove or operated a motor vehicle on a public highway
  • Were under the influence of an intoxicant (or a controlled substance) at the time that you drove or operated the motor vehicle
  • Had a prohibited alcohol concentration at the time you drove or operated the vehicle

In Wisconsin, you can’t have an alcohol concentration over 0.08 if you have two or fewer prior OWIs. If you have an ignition interlock device – a device that won’t allow your car to start without checking your alcohol concentration first – or if you’ve had three or more prior OWIs, your alcohol concentration must be lower than 0.02 to legally get behind the wheel.

Public Intoxication and Wisconsin Alcohol Laws

Public intoxication isn’t a crime in Wisconsin, but some municipalities have ordinances against it. Additionally, the things you do while you’re intoxicated in public can have legal consequences. For example, if you get into a fight or otherwise engage in disorderly conduct, the state can charge you with that crime. Disorderly conduct is a Class B misdemeanor, and if you’re convicted, the judge can send you to jail for up to 90 days and hit you with fines of up to $1,000.

Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney Because You Violated Wisconsin Alcohol Laws?

If you’ve found yourself in trouble because you’re accused of breaking Wisconsin alcohol laws, we may be able to help you. Call us at 414-383-6700 to schedule your free consultation with an attorney today.

Attorney Carlos Gamino

By |2021-07-17T12:08:29-05:00April 27th, 2020|Criminal Law|Comments Off on Wisconsin Alcohol Laws

DUI Checkpoints in Wisconsin

DUI Checkpoints in Milwaukee - Carlos Gamino

By Carlos Gamino

Some states allow DUI checkpoints – even neighboring Illinois has plenty of them set up in and around Chicago, where they catch drunk drivers and process them through the state’s criminal justice systems. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that sobriety checkpoints are constitutional, which means they’re perfectly legal for police to set up and use.

But in Wisconsin, police have to have probable cause to believe that you’re breaking a law to pull you over – and that means we don’t have DUI checkpoints. The police have to see you weaving between lines, failing to use a turn signal, or exhibiting other behaviors on the road that make them suspect you’ve been drinking and driving before they can pull you over and check to see if you’re sober.

Instead of DUI checkpoints, police create task forces staffed with police who actively look for drunk drivers. The task forces watch for people operating while intoxicated during times that people are more likely to drive drunk, such as late weekend nights, in areas where there are frequent OWI arrests (like in areas that have a lot of bars and restaurants).

Here’s what to do if you’re nabbed by a Milwaukee OWI task force:

  • Remain calm. Don’t give the police any reason to say you’re not being cooperative.
  • Be polite and respectful.
  • Be very careful about what you say, because the police can (and will) use anything you say against you in court.
  • Be prepared to be arrested if you refuse to take a field sobriety test. If you’re arrested, you will still be required to submit to chemical testing to see if you have alcohol in your system. Chemical testing can include a breath test, blood test, or in rarer cases, a urine test.

Were You Arrested for OWI by a Drunk Driving Task Force?

If police arrested you for drunk driving, regardless of what your blood alcohol content was at the time you were tested, we may be able to help you.

Call our experienced Milwaukee OWI attorneys right now at 414-383-6700 for a free consultation. We’ll ask you some questions and answer all your questions, and we can begin building a defense strategy that gets you the best possible outcome.

Carlos Gamino

By |2021-07-17T13:24:59-05:00November 27th, 2019|Criminal Law, Traffic Offenses|Comments Off on DUI Checkpoints in Wisconsin

Drinking and Boating in Wisconsin: What You Need to Know

Is Drinking and Boating Illegal in Wisconsin - Carlos Gamino

By Carlos Gamino

Is drinking and boating illegal in Wisconsin?

Absolutely – and the penalties if you’re caught and convicted can be extremely harsh. The state considers drinking and boating such a serious crime because of the potential for someone to get hurt. It’s not uncommon for inebriated boaters to crash into other boats, slam into swimmers or hurt themselves out on the water, so the state created a serious set of penalties.

Drinking and Boating in Wisconsin: What You Need to Know

Wisconsin law prohibits anyone from operating a motorboat or waterskiing (or using other, similar devices on the water) if they’re under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The bottom line is that if you’re caught – and many people are – you could end up spending time in prison.

Drinking and Boating: Implied Consent

Any time you operate, or even attempt to operate, a watercraft or other vessel on Wisconsin’s waterways, you’ve given your implied consent to an alcohol or drug test. What that means is that if you try to operate a watercraft, you’re telling the police that you’ll submit to testing if they think you’re under the influence.

If your blood alcohol concentration is 0.08 percent or greater, or if you’re under the influence of an intoxicant or controlled substance, it’s illegal for you to:

  • Operate a motorboat
  • Use waterskis
  • Use a surfboard
  • Use a tube
  • Use another type of device

If you’re caught drinking and boating, you can face the same penalties you would face if you were operating a motor vehicle in the same conditions. You could end up going to jail, paying fines, and having your boat impounded.

Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer in Milwaukee About Drinking and Boating Charges?

If you’ve been charged with BUI, which stands for boating under the influence, we may be able to help you. Call us right away at 414-383-6700 or get in touch with our BUI lawyers online. We’ll answer your questions and help you start moving forward.

Carlos Gamino

By |2021-07-17T13:45:35-05:00November 27th, 2019|Criminal Law, Traffic Offenses|Comments Off on Drinking and Boating in Wisconsin: What You Need to Know

Is Wisconsin on the Way to Tougher Drunk Driving Laws?

Is Wisconsin on the Way to Tougher Drunk Driving Laws – Carlos Gamino

By Carlos Gamino

Wisconsin state legislators are trying to change a pair of laws that affect people who are pulled over for drunk driving across the state. Currently, a few bills are making their way through the legislature to toughen up the penalties for drinking and driving – including one that would criminalize a first OWI rather than treating it as a traffic violation.

What Are the Drunk Driving Laws Now?

Currently, if you’re pulled over for OWI and have no prior offenses, police can treat it as a traffic violation. After an arrest for OWI, the police can take you into custody for 12 hours or release you to a “responsible adult.”

What Legislators Want to See for Wisconsin Drunk Driving Laws in the Future

The bills working their way through legislative committees right now would turn a first OWI offense into a Class C misdemeanor, which is punishable by a $500 fine, 30 days in jail, or a combination of the two penalties. They also call for people to be held in jail until their BAC is 0.04 – half the legal limit of 0.08 – and requiring offenders to appear in court if they’re accused of first-time OWI.

These types of laws have been proposed before, but now several lawmakers are supporting the change – including Rep. Jim Ott (R-Mequon), Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills), and democratic Gov. Tony Evers.

“I think we have to do something different and I’m looking forward to (Ott’s) bill,” Evers said at a Milwaukee Press Club event last month. “We can’t afford to lose lives because of drunk driving in Wisconsin. I’m committed to doing something. Rep. Ott seems to be moving in the right direction to get the support he needs. I support his honest work on this issue and I hope to be able to help him out.”

Wisconsin is alone in the fact that it doesn’t criminalize a first-offense OWI.

What if You’re Accused of OWI?

If you’re accused of drinking and driving, call us at 414-383-6700. Our experienced Milwaukee OWI lawyers may be able to help you, and we’ll answer all your questions during your free OWI case review.

Carlos Gamino

By |2021-07-17T14:21:06-05:00November 27th, 2019|Criminal Law, Traffic Offenses|Comments Off on Is Wisconsin on the Way to Tougher Drunk Driving Laws?

What is the Penalty for a Second DUI in Wisconsin?

What is the Penalty for a Second DUI in Wisconsin - Carlos Gamino

By Carlos Gamino

If you’re facing a second DUI charge in Milwaukee or Waukesha, you could be facing more severe penalties than you would if it was your first offense.

But what are the penalties for a second DUI in Wisconsin?

Penalties for Second DUIs in Wisconsin

If you’ve previously been charged with and found guilty of DUI in Milwaukee, Waukesha or any other Wisconsin city, you’ll lose your driving privileges. You’re also facing hefty fines, which can range from $350 to over $1,100.

You’ll most likely be placed on probation and you could spend up to 6 months in jail, as well. The judge has to order you to attend an alcohol treatment program – it’s in the law, so there’s no getting around it – and you can be ordered to install (and pay for) an ignition interlock device for 12 to 18 months.

When the court is deciding on your sentence, the judge has to look at your driving record for the past 10 years. He or she will also evaluate whether:

  • There was a child under the age of 16 in your vehicle at the time
  • You were in an accident
  • Someone was seriously injured or killed

If you received your second DUI while your driver’s license was already suspended, you’re guilty of another crime: operating while suspended or operating while revoked.

Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About a Second DUI Charge in Milwaukee?

The penalties for a second (or subsequent) DUI in Milwaukee, Waukesha and elsewhere in Wisconsin are serious, so for many people, it makes sense to talk to a local DUI lawyer for help.

Call us at 414-383-6700 for a free DUI case review. We may be able to help you through this difficult time.

Carlos Gamino

By |2021-07-23T19:04:08-05:00November 24th, 2019|Criminal Law|Comments Off on What is the Penalty for a Second DUI in Wisconsin?

Wisconsin’s Driving Under the Influence of Drugs Laws

Can You Get in Trouble for Driving on Prescription Drugs - DUID Lawyer Wisconsin

By Carlos Gamino

Ambien has been in the news a lot lately because it’s caused people to get out of bed and commit crimes during the night—and the people accused of those crimes have no recollection of committing them at all. One woman ran over two young girls and their mother with her car, leaving one child with severe brain damage; she claims not to remember anything about the incident until she woke up in jail the next morning.

But what about other prescription drugs, like hydrocodone (Vicodin), meperidine (Demerol), oxycodone (OxyContin), and hydromorphone (Dilaudid), that don’t cause you to forget what you’re doing?

Are You Allowed to Drive on Prescription Drugs?

In the state of Wisconsin, you’re not allowed to drive when you’re impaired. While determining impairment from a drug isn’t as simple as it is with alcohol—police can administer a breath or blood test to find out whether you’re driving drunk—you can still get into serious hot water if you’re caught driving under the influence of drugs.

Wisconsin law says that you can’t drive or operate a motor vehicle while you’re under the influence of an intoxicant, a controlled substance, or a mixture of any of them. That’s true even if you’re using the drug as a prescription and you’re taking it as your doctor intended.

What Happens if You’re Convicted of Driving on Prescription Drugs?

You can still be held accountable for your actions while you’re taking prescription medications. Whether you’re taking a sedative or another type of drug, you’re not allowed to drive while impaired.

If you’re accused of driving under the influence of drugs, it may be in your best interest to get in touch with a Wisconsin criminal defense attorney who will take the time to understand your situation and explain how the laws apply to you.

Call us at 414-383-6700. If it’s easier, get in touch with us online for a free case evaluation.

Carlos Gamino

By |2019-11-24T09:24:35-06:00November 24th, 2019|Criminal Law, Traffic Offenses|Comments Off on Wisconsin’s Driving Under the Influence of Drugs Laws

What if You Got a DUI on St. Patrick’s Day?

DUI on St. Patrick's Day - Wisconsin DUI Lawyer

By Carlos Gamino

St. Patrick’s Day is one of the biggest—well, maybe the biggest—drinking days of the year.

As a result, people all over Milwaukee are slapped with drunk driving charges; it seems like when St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Friday (like it did in 2017), police arrest and charge even more people.

So what if you got a DUI on St. Patrick’s Day in Wisconsin, whether in Milwaukee, Waukesha, or any of the surrounding communities?

DUI on St. Patrick’s Day: What Next?

Your first call, whether you were simply pulled over for drinking and driving or you’re being accused of DUI resulting in injury or death, should probably be to a Wisconsin drunk driving attorney.

The state of Wisconsin takes drinking and driving very seriously—and the penalties the courts impose reflect that.

Your lawyer will examine the evidence the prosecution has against you, determine whether your arrest was legal, and find out whether the breath or blood test administered to you was flawed. Every case is different, so it’s important that you explain the situation to your lawyer so he or she can develop the best possible strategy.

Is DUI a Felony in Wisconsin?

No matter when you get a DUI in Milwaukee, Waukesha, or elsewhere in Wisconsin, the circumstances of your case will determine whether you’re facing felony drunk driving charges.

Drunk driving is a felony if it is your:

  • Third or subsequent offense and there is a passenger under the age of 16 in the car
  • Fourth offense within five years of a prior offense
  • Fifth or subsequent offense

It’s also a felony if you cause injury or commit homicide by the intoxicated use of a motor vehicle.

Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney About a St. Patrick’s Day DUI?

Call us as soon as you can. We’re available at 414-383-6700 24/7. You can also get in touch with us online for a free DUI case evaluation.

Carlos Gamino

By |2019-11-24T08:08:55-06:00November 24th, 2019|Criminal Law|Comments Off on What if You Got a DUI on St. Patrick’s Day?

DUI and the Holidays in Wisconsin

DUI in Wisconsin – Gamino Law Offices, LLC

By Carlos Gamino

If you’re like many people in Waukesha and Milwaukee, or around Wisconsin, you know that the police will be out in full force during the holidays watching for drunk drivers, drugged drivers, and other impaired driving situations.

DUI is no less serious during the holidays than it is during any other time of year, so let’s take a look at how a drunk driving charge could affect you.

Consequences for DUI in Waukesha and Milwaukee

If you’re accused of drinking and driving, the first thing you need to do is get in touch with a Wisconsin DUI lawyer who will carefully listen to the circumstances surrounding your case—and who will begin formulating a plan for your defense right away.

If you’re convicted of DUI, the consequences depend on how many prior convictions you have.

  • First offense: You could lose your driver’s license for up to 9 months and pay costly fines.
  • Second offense: You could spend between five days and six months in jail, lose your driver’s license for 12 to 18 months, and pay fines of up to $1,100. You’ll also be required to use an ignition interlock device at your own expense.
  • Third offense: You could spend between 30 days and one year in jail, lose your license for two to three years, and pay fines of up to $2,000. You’ll also be required to use an ignition interlock device at your own expense. You’ll also be required to use an ignition interlock device at your own expense.
  • Fourth offense: You could spend between 60 days and one year in jail, lose your license for two to three years, and pay fines of up to $2,000. You’ll also be required to use an ignition interlock device at your own expense. You’ll also be required to use an ignition interlock device at your own expense.
  • Fifth or sixth offense: You could spend between six months and six years in jail, lose your license for two to three years, and pay fines of up to $10,000. You’ll also be required to use an ignition interlock device at your own expense. You’ll also be required to use an ignition interlock device at your own expense.

As you can see, the consequences are serious—and that’s why it’s so important to get in touch with a Wisconsin drunk driving lawyer who will take the time to get you the best possible outcome.

Do You Need to Talk to a Waukesha Drunk Driving Lawyer?

If you’ve been accused of drinking and driving, call us immediately at 414-383-6700. If it’s easier, contact us online. We answer the phones 24 hours a day, so don’t wait to get the help you deserve.

Carlos Gamino

By |2019-11-23T19:06:13-06:00November 23rd, 2019|Criminal Law|Comments Off on DUI and the Holidays in Wisconsin