Wisconsin Criminal Defense Attorney
Defending Clients Facing Criminal Charges in Madison, Wisconsin Dells, Manitowoc, Milwaukee, and the Surrounding Areas
Being arrested and charged with a criminal offense is a frightening experience, especially if you know that you have done nothing wrong.
If you are facing criminal charges in Wisconsin, having experienced and dedicated legal representation is crucial.
With years of legal experience and a track record of success, our lawyers are committed to protecting your rights and vigorously defending your case.
What Does a Defense Attorney Do?
A defense attorney is a legal professional who works to defend individuals or organizations charged with criminal offenses.
Their primary role is representing their clients and protecting their rights throughout the legal process.
Some of the tasks a defense attorney performs are evaluating the criminal case, providing legal advice, building a strong defense strategy, negotiating with prosecutors, and representing clients in a Wisconsin court.
Ultimately, a criminal defense attorney works to protect their client's legal rights, defend their interests, and acquire the best possible outcome for their case.
At our law firm, we do just that. No matter the severity of the charges you are facing, our lawyers are ready to fight for you. Our Team at West & Dunn brings a vast amount of experience to the table. We have assisted hundreds of individuals charged in criminal cases in state and federal courts.
Our litigators are extensively familiar with how to handle criminal traffic matters, DUI offenses, and more.
Many of our defense attorneys also serve as members of the Critical Response Team for the U.S. Concealed Carry Association, so do not hesitate to reach out when you've been criminally charged after acting in self-defense.
Our Wisconsin criminal defense lawyers know what's at stake in these matters and how to effectively represent you both in and out of the WI courtroom.
“Driving under the influence” is a particularly serious offense that is aggressively prosecuted in Wisconsin. You can be charged with DUI if your driving ability is impaired by a controlled substance and/or your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) meets or exceeds 0.08%.
Even if your BAC is below the legal limit, a law enforcement officer can still arrest you for DUI if they determine your driving has been compromised by drugs or alcohol.
Is a DUI a Felony in Wisconsin?
Whether a DUI is classified as a felony or a misdemeanor in Wisconsin depends on the specific circumstances of the offense and the defendant's criminal history.
- First Offense: A first-offense OWI/DUI in Wisconsin is typically charged as a misdemeanor.
- Second Offense: A second offense OWI/DUI in Wisconsin within ten years of the first offense is also typically charged as a misdemeanor. However, the penalties can be more severe, including longer jail time and a longer license suspension.
- Third and Subsequent Offenses: A third or subsequent OWI/DUI offense in Wisconsin is typically charged as a felony.
It's important to note that certain aggravating factors, such as causing injury or death while driving under the influence, can also lead to felony charges and more severe penalties.
Defenses Against DUI Charges
If you are facing DUI charges in Wisconsin, there are several defenses that your attorney may consider to challenge the prosecution's case. Here are some common defenses against DUI charges:
- Lack of Probable Cause: The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution requires that police have a valid reason for pulling over a vehicle or making an arrest. If the police lacked probable cause to stop your vehicle or arrest you, your attorney may be able to challenge the validity of the charges.
- Breathalyzer/Test Refusal Issues: Breathalyzer tests are a common method law enforcement uses to measure blood alcohol content (BAC) levels in suspected drunk drivers. However, these tests are only sometimes accurate and can be affected by various factors, such as calibration issues or operator errors. Additionally, in Wisconsin, refusing a chemical test can result in a separate charge of Test Refusal. Your attorney may be able to challenge the validity of the breathalyzer results or the test refusal charge.
- Field Sobriety Test (FST) Issues: Field sobriety tests are physical tests that police officers use to evaluate a driver's level of impairment. However, these tests can also be influenced by medical conditions, weather conditions, or footwear, leading to inaccurate results. Your attorney may be able to challenge the validity of the FST results.
- Rising Blood Alcohol Level: It takes time for alcohol to be absorbed into the bloodstream, and it's possible that your BAC was below the legal limit at the time of the traffic stop but rose to an illegal level by the time of the breathalyzer test. Your attorney may be able to argue that your BAC was rising at the time of the traffic stop and that you were not intoxicated while driving.
- Violation of Miranda Rights: If you were not informed of your Miranda rights (the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney) before being questioned by the police, your attorney may be able to argue that any statements you made to the police should be excluded from the evidence.
These are just a few examples of the defenses that may be used to challenge DUI charges in Wisconsin. It's essential to consult with an experienced DUI defense attorney to discuss the specific circumstances of your case and determine the best defense strategy.
Criminal Charges While Acting in Self-Defense
If you were charged with criminal charges after acting in self-defense, we could help. The U.S. Constitution guarantees your right to own and possess firearms. If you fear for your safety and are forced to use a firearm or another weapon to defend yourself or your family, you should not worry about criminal prosecution.
Unfortunately, individuals acting in self-defense can still be arrested and face criminal charges. Our criminal defense attorneys at West & Dunn are members of the Critical Response Team for the U.S. Concealed Carry Association. This important organization provides timely and compassionate guidance to individuals who lawfully act in self-defense and are justifiably concerned about possible legal consequences.
Do not hesitate to contact our firm immediately after a self-defense incident involving firearms or any other weapons. Our Wisconsin criminal defense lawyers are committed to protecting your constitutional rights and can work closely with you to help you navigate these delicate and stressful scenarios. We can also represent you in cases involving other firearm offenses, including illegal possession.
Again, defending yourself or your family is not a crime. Contact our experienced criminal defense lawyers in Wisconsin to learn more about how we can protect your rights as a United States citizen protected under the Constitution.
Traffic Crimes in Wisconsin
Traffic crimes in Wisconsin are taken seriously and can result in fines, license suspension, and jail time. Here are some common traffic crimes in Wisconsin:
- Reckless Driving: Reckless driving is a serious traffic offense in Wisconsin, and it's defined as driving with a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of others. Penalties for reckless driving include fines, license suspensions, and even imprisonment.
- Driving Under the Influence (DWI): DWI is another serious traffic offense in Wisconsin. The penalties for DWI can include fines, license suspension or revocation, and even imprisonment. The penalties increase with each subsequent offense.
- Hit-and-Run: Hit-and-run accidents can have severe consequences, including fines, license suspension, and imprisonment. Drivers involved in a hit-and-run accident must stop and exchange information with the other driver or leave a note with their contact information.
- Speeding: Speeding is a common traffic offense in Wisconsin, and the penalties vary depending on the severity of the offense. Penalties for speeding can include fines, license suspension, and even imprisonment in some cases.
- Driving with a Suspended or Revoked License: Driving with a suspended or revoked license is a serious traffic offense in Wisconsin, and it can result in fines, license suspension, and even imprisonment in some cases.
It's important to note that the penalties for traffic crimes in Wisconsin can vary depending on the specific circumstances of the offense and the defendant's criminal history. It's essential to consult with an experienced traffic defense attorney if you are facing traffic charges in Wisconsin.
Not once but twice in two separate cases in two separate counties did Attorney Prangburn successfully represent me resulting in a not guilty verdict.- Steven Melchior
Without them, I cannot say for certain how a simple misunderstanding of a confusing and controversial law would have changed my life.- Samuel Olsen
I had confidence in his process and was happy with the end result.- Anonymous