Wisconsin OWI Overview
Charles S. Blumenfield is a founding partner of Blumenfield & Shereff, LLP. Chuck is a litigator, handling criminal and traffic defense, including Driving Under the Influence cases, plaintiff's personal injury, professional discipline defense, and litigation involving intellectual property, business and other civil matters. He also serves as a mediator and arbitrator.
Chuck is Board Certified as both a Civil Trial Advocate and a Civil Pretrial Practice Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. He has achieved the highest rating from Martindale-Hubbell of AV® Pre-eminent™ (5.0 out of 5), and an AVVO rating of 10.0 (Superb). In 2010, Chuck was awarded the Martin Hanson Advocate Prize by the Wisconsin Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers for obtaining the acquittal of a client accused of 1st Degree Intentional Homicide. He is a past President of the Wisconsin Municipal Judges Association, served on the Board of Governors of the State Bar of Wisconsin, and is a coordinator of the annual Marquette Law/MBA seminar “Recent Developments in Criminal Law”.
Chuck served as a Municipal Court Judge and Reserve Judge for 19 years, and as a prosecutor for Milwaukee County. He has also served as Retained Counsel for the Wisconsin Supreme Court Office of Lawyer Regulation, and as a special prosecutor.
Chuck obtained his J.D. from UW-Madison in 1974, and his B.A. from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee in 1971. He is admitted to practice in Wisconsin and New York, and before the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Wisconsin, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court.
Chuck is a member of the Milwaukee and Ozaukee County Bar Associations, the Wisconsin Association for Justice, the Wisconsin Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the American Inns of Court, and is a founding member of the “No Strings Attached” legal string ensemble.
Do You Need an OWI Lawyer?
Every state has some sort of "drunk driving" statute. The term "drunk driving" is in quotes because none of these laws require that you be "drunk" or "intoxicated" to be guilty. All that is required is that your ability to operate a vehicle has been impaired to any extent at all or that your Blood alcohol level exceeds the state limit (which is now .08% in all states). Some states call it DWI (Driving While Intoxicated), but it refers to the same offense. The consequences of OWI differ drastically from state to state and are influenced by your age, blood alcohol limit (BAC), whether you have been arrested for OWI in the past, and whether you caused injury or death during the OWI.
An OWI Lawyer can help...
Assess your legal situation
An experienced OWI Defense lawyer can help you understand what you are up against and the fines you may be required to pay. An OWI lawyer mostly deals with OWI matters and knows the process inside and out.
Explain the consequences
The consequences of an OWI vary greatly from state to state and an OWI lawyer will be able to explain how those consequences in your state apply to you such as (1) harsher punishments for those arrested with BAC limits over .08, (2) special laws for underage drivers arrested for OWI, (3) possible community service or plea bargaining, (4) overlapping jurisdiction of Courts and your state's motor vehicle licensing department to suspend or revoke your license, and (5) contingent license programs that allow you to use your vehicle to get to and from work.
Manage the process
Dealing with the motor vehicle department can be frustrating and time consuming. An OWI Lawyer can manage the process for you by completing the required forms; making phone calls; scheduling and/or representing you at a Motor Vehicle Department suspension hearing, and making other necessary arrangements.
Represent you in court
An experienced OWI Lawyer knows the ins and outs of the courtroom and may be able to obtain a lesser sentence for you if your situation and state law allows for it.
Don't know if an OWI Lawyer is right for you? Here are some general guidelines:
Definitely hire an OWI Lawyer if you already have several OWI's and receive another; or if your OWI arrest was the result of an accident or if anyone was injured; or if you are a professional driver whose livelihood depends on keeping your license.
Seriously consider hiring an OWI Lawyer if you've been arrested for a second OWI (in the same or another state) or were arrested with a BAC limit over double the legal limit as harsher penalties may apply.
You might want to hire an OWI Lawyer if you don't understand your rights or OWI laws, what you need to do, or the consequences you face. You also might want legal representation if you are in a profession (or plan to be) that requires bonding or in which any criminal conviction might prevent you from getting or keeping a professional license. If you don't know the requirements, then you need expert advice before handling the case yourself.