Misdemeanor OWIs Are High-Stakes:
People often think that misdemeanor convictions are low-stakes. That perception could not be further from the truth. In Wisconsin, both 2nd and 3rd offense OWIs are misdemeanor violations. A misdemeanor OWI conviction on your record has far ranging consequences that may follow you for the rest of your life.
Lifetime Consequences of Conviction:
The punishment that the Judge imposes in court is often not the main consequence to a 2nd or 3rd offense OWI, in the long run. The collateral, or hidden, consequences are often much worse than the sentence imposed. With the proliferation of the internet, criminal records are now widely available online. In Wisconsin, the records are available for free at the Wisconsin Circuit Court Access website. Employers and landlords will now access this information when previously it would have required a trip to the courthouse.
A misdemeanor conviction for drunk driving would appear on someone’s criminal record and may prevent that person from obtaining certain housing or employment opportunities. Furthermore, if your profession requires licensing, such as a doctor, nurse, attorney, or teacher a misdemeanor drunk driving conviction may cause complications with your licensing agency. This could lead to investigatory action, discipline or other consequences.
If you are an international traveler, criminal convictions can prevent entry into certain countries. For example, even a 1st offense OWI conviction, which is a civil violation in Wisconsin, would likely prevent you from receiving permission to enter Canada.
Finally, you can expect your auto insurance rates to increase significantly because insurance companies consider those with multiple drunk driving convictions as “high risk” drivers. There is even the potential that your insurance company may terminate your coverage.
You need a DUI Attorney to Fight Your Case:
The consequences listed above are not exhaustive. There are many more far reaching collateral consequences to a misdemeanor conviction. That’s why, if you’re charged with an OWI, you need the tough experienced attorneys at Vanden Heuvel & Dineen, S.C. on your side. Call us today at 262-250-1976 so that we can immediately begin defending your case.