Being charged with an OWI offense is terrifying. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your arrest, you could be facing civil penalties (like the loss of your driver’s license), as well as criminal penalties (jail time, fines). If you are charged with a drunk driving offense in Wisconsin there are a few things you can do to help with your own defense. Here are 3 tips for dealing with an OWI charge.
- Don’t Help the Police Build a Case Against You. Let’s get one thing straight – if a police officer thinks you have been drunk driving, they are not on your side. Their primary objective (after getting you off the streets) is proving that you were indeed driving while intoxicated. They do this by gathering as much evidence as humanly possible against you. Evidence comes in the form of BAC tests, verbal cues, and physical signs of your intoxication. Do not help an officer build a case against you by running your mouth. Give the officer sufficient identification information, but do not answer any questions about where you’ve been or how much you’ve had to drink.
- Be Polite to the Arresting Officer. With the above in mind, do not be rude to the arresting officer. This will only aggravate them. Be polite, and give them your driver’s license and insurance when prompted. If they ask you any specific questions that could incriminate you, simply tell the officer that you do not wish to answer those questions.
- Call a Defense Attorney. As soon as possible after being arrested, ask the officer to call an attorney. Most criminal defense lawyers work 24/7 so even if you get arrested at 3 AM you will be able to reach someone. It’s important to talk to an attorney immediately to discuss exactly what steps to take next. The best news is that most OWI attorneys offer free initial consultations so you won’t have to pay a dime to just talk with them after being arrested.
No one plans on being arrested for OWI. But if you do see those dreaded flashing lights in your rearview mirror, these tips can help you deal with your charge in the best possible way.