Law Offices of Jeffrey W. Jensen 735 W. Wisconsin Ave., Twelfth Floor Milwaukee, WI 53233
Jeffrey W. Jensen is a criminal defense lawyer in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He is also a criminal appeals lawyer in Wisconsin.
Today on The Jensen Defense
The holidays are here!
And law enforcement is waiting for you.
The holidays are here; and that means holiday parties. Many people in Milwaukee will be spreading the holiday cheer for the next eight weeks. This also means that the Milwaukee County freeway system will be crawling with sheriff's deputies. The suburban police departments will have additional officers patrolling during "bar time." These law enforcement officers would like nothing better than to arrest you for operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance.
Because law enforcement agencies receive federal grant money for increased enforcement of OWI laws during certain times of the year, officers have a special incentive to arrest you for operating under the influence of alcohol. The flow of federal money depends upon the "success" of the program. Many lawyers believe that officers make arrests during such special patrols that they might not make under ordinary circumstances.
The best advice, of course, is to designate a driver, or use the Milwaukee County bus system to shuttle you from your holidays parties to various Park-n-Ride locations
If the solution were as simple as that, though, the public service announcements would have long ago solved the problem of intoxicated drivers on the roadway. The problem is that the consumption of alcohol impairs one's judgment. A person with impaired judgment tends to make poor decisions. The more alcohol that one consumes, the poorer the decision making. There is the rub. This is what results in normally law-abiding citizens finding themselves in handcuffs at the side of the road.
Even more difficult is the problem of operating a motor vehicle with any detectable amount on controlled substance in your system. Let's face it, music and marijuana have a long history together. But, under Wisconsin law, if you drive a car with any detectable amount of marijuana in your system, you are breaking the law. In other words, even though it has been hours since you have smoked, and even though you are no longer "high", there is a very good chance that you are not legal to drive.
So, what can you do about it?
Practice the field sobriety tests. Even though you are perfectly sober, if the deputy smells alcohol on your breath, you are going to be removed from your car and subjected to the field sobriety tests. It goes without saying that if this happens to you, you are going to be terrified. In that frame of mind, there is a good chance that you will fail the field sobriety tests even though you are not impaired by the alcohol. These tests, though, are like any other skill. They may be improved with practice.
Do not refuse the blood test. Since the United States Supreme Court decided the McNeely case several months ago, there has been a rumor circulating that everyone should refuse the blood test. McNeely holds that the dissipation of alcohol in one's system does not ordinarily constitute a sufficiency exigency to force a warrantless blood draw. Thus, according to the urban myth, if you refuse the blood test, there is nothing the deputy can do. This could not be further from the truth. Milwaukee County has duty judges who are available twenty-four hours a day to issue warrants for a blood draw. The application can be made by telephone. Additionally, if you refuse the blood draw, you will be charged with a refusal under the Implied Consent Law, which carries with it a minimum of a one year revocation of your driver's license. Finally, a refusal makes the OWI case very difficult to win. The jury will receive an instruction from the judge that they may draw an inference of guilt from the fact that the defendant refused the test.
Do not try to handle the situation yourself. here is no doubt about it, lawyers are expensive. No one likes to have to hire a lawyer. But the consequences of an OWI conviction-- even a first offense-- are so significant that it may be far more expensive to not hire a lawyer. If, on a first offense, your blood alcohol content is greater that .15, the court will order that you place an ignition interlock device on your car. This will cost hundreds, and perhaps thousands, of dollars during the time the device is installed. For second and subsequent offenses, there is signficant jail time involved. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can many times avoid some of the consequences and, if you are not guilty, he may even recommend a jury trial. Despite what you may have heard, there are ways to win an OWI trial.
Go to that office party. Enjoy yourself. But don't drink and drive. Law officement would love nothing better than to arrest you. Don't give them that opportunity.
Here's How . . . To Pass the Field Sobriety Tests: Nothing is more frightening than seeing the red and blue lights in your rear-view mirror. This article shows you how give your best performance on the field sobriety tests. ________________________________
Download a free copy of the Wisconsin Criminal Appeals Handbook. This authoritative booklet , authored by Milwaukee criminal defense attorney Jeffrey W. Jensen, will expertly guide you through the appeals process in Wisconsin.
Milwaukee criminal defense attorney Jeffrey W. Jensen, of the Law Offices of Jeffrey W. Jensen, a Milwaukee law firm with offices located at 735 W. Wisconsin Avenue, Twelfth Floor, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, has represented persons throughout the State of Wisconsin. If you will face felony charges in either state court or in federal court you should call 414.224.9484. Attorney Jensen regularly appears in Milwaukee County (Milwaukee criminal defense lawyer), Waukesha County (Waukesha criminal defense lawyer, Brookfield criminal defense lawyer), Washington County (West Bend and Germantown criminal defense lawyer), Racine County (Racine criminal defense lawyer), Kenosha County (Kenosha criminal defense lawyer), Brown County (Green Bay criminal defense lawyer), Fond du Lac County (Fond du Lac criminal defense lawyer), and Winnebago County (Oshkosh criminal defense lawyer)
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