OWI 1st / PAC .14 - Amended to Reckless Driving
Getting a first offense OWI in Wisconsin, especially if the case begins in municipal court, can provide the client great opportunities to fight the case.
Our client was charged in the Town of Beloit with OWI 1st and PAC after a police officer witnessed his vehicle travel almost completely into the wrong lane of traffic at about bar time.
The officer was able to capture the driving behavior on videotape and based on the field sobriety tests and the breath test, the client was charged with OWI and PAC. The client didn't believe that he was impaired at the time he was driving and he hired Chirafisi & Verhoff to attempt to deal with the situation.
Because the case was in municipal court, Attorney Chirafisi was able to conduct a trial in an effort to lay the groundwork for a trial at the circuit court level. At the municipal trial the officer testified in a way that Attorney Chirafisi knew would make it very difficult for the government if they choose to move forward with the case. The officer did the field sobriety tests completely incorrect, scored them incorrectly and did not know what clues he was looking for.
Further, the officer did not run the intoximeter machine properly and acknowledged that he did make mistakes in doing that test. After the client was convicted in municipal court he appealed the matter to circuit court.
Once the case was brought into circuit court, the prosecutor called Attorney Chirafisi and was told that the officer was concerned about having to testify again at the trial based on all of his previous errors in municipal court. Even though the test result was over the legal limit (by almost double) the prosecutor offered to amend the charge to Reckless Driving. The client saved his license, had no record of an OWI conviction, and was able to continue on with this job.