A charge of operating a vehicle while intoxicated is a pivotal moment. The steps you take in the immediate aftermath will affect the rest of your life. With these stakes, it pays to know the consequences of a Wisconsin OWI conviction and the rights you have when charged.

How Long Does a Wisconsin OWI Stay on Your Record?

A Wisconsin OWI conviction stays on your record for life. State law explicitly prohibits expungement, and not even decades of responsible driving can wipe the slate clean. The only way to remove an OWI infraction from your record is by having the verdict thrown out on appeal, an expensive, time-consuming and rarely successful legal process. Because our state treats a first OWI infraction as a civil matter, many persons charged with this offense handle the incident like a speeding ticket. Irrevocable lifetime consequences make that attitude an enormous mistake.

Why Do You Need an Attorney for Your First OWI Charge?

When charged with an OWI offense, you need to retain an attorney at the earliest possible moment. Wisconsin law imposes tight and unforgiving deadlines, and only an experienced attorney can act with the necessary quickness to preserve your rights. Occupational license filings highlight this need for speed.

If an OWI verdict suspends your operator’s license, an occupational license will allow you to drive to work and handle tasks like grocery trips and medical appointments. An administrative review is a required stepping-stone to an occupational license. From the time of your arrest, you may have as few as 10 days to request the hearing. Failure to file this request means an automatic six-month license revocation.

Waukesha Criminal Defense is a law practice dedicated to protecting the rights of persons charged with OWI infractions. We bring three decades of experience to your defense. If you live in the Waukesha area and face an OWI charge, we urge you to contact us immediately.