With any criminal charge, it’s up to the prosecution to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt; however, there are a number of potential defenses that can be used in operating while intoxicated (OWI) cases to get your charges reduced, dismissed or even acquitted. An experienced Wisconsin OWI lawyer can thoroughly review the facts in your case to formulate an appropriate defense strategy against your charges.
To ensure your protections against illegal search, seizure and detainment are upheld, law enforcement agents are required to follow certain protocol throughout the OWI investigation and arrest process. This first applies during the traffic stop—in order to even pull you over on suspicion of drunk driving, the officer must have probable cause to believe that a traffic violation is being committed or reasonable suspicion to believe a crime is being committed. Without this level of suspicion or probable cause, the traffic stop may be deemed invalid and the charges may be thrown out.
The officer must also have probable cause to make an arrest for OWI. For example, he or she must observe signs of intoxication, which include the smell of alcohol, bloodshot eyes, and slurred speech. However, these signs can also indicate conditions other than alcohol impairment, such as extreme fatigue, allergies, or ketosis.
Often, the officer will ask you to perform a series of field sobriety tests to establish if you are intoxicated. However, if these tests are administered incorrectly, or the officer does not give you a fair score, the results of these tests may be thrown out and the evidence against you could be suppressed. Your attorney can review the video from the patrol car’s dashboard camera (if available) or interview any eyewitnesses to determine if the field sobriety tests were flawed.
If your attorney can prove that the evidence collected during the OWI investigation was faulty, the entire arrest itself could be invalidated. In this situation, the court could throw out your case.
At Tracey Wood & Associates, our attorneys don’t just prepare defense strategies to beat their clients’ OWI charges—they also teach other lawyers how to do the same. Because our firm is dedicated solely to OWI, we have the experience and training necessary to contest any flawed evidence in your case.
To learn more about potential defenses against your OWI charge, please complete our online form now to set up an analysis of your case.