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Attorney John Schiro

John S. Schiro

Criminal Defense Division FAQ Menu
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  • "Defending people charged with a crime is John's passion. He is a tireless and aggressive force in defending your liberties and rights."

John S. Schiro, Wisconsin Criminal Defense Attorney

Click on the questions below to expand the answer

What is a Blood Alcohol Level?

One's blood alcohol level is determined by a breath, blood, or urine test. These tests try to determine the amount of alcohol in our breath, blood, or urine within three hours of your arrest. In Wisconsin, the legal limit for alcohol is .079. If you are driving an automobile with a blood alcohol level of .08 or more, you can and will be charged with Operating While Under the Influence of Intoxicants and Operating With a Prohibited Alcohol Concentration.

Can I refuse a breathalyzer test?

Refusing a request for either a breathalyzer or a blood test, after arrest, is generally not a good idea. Wisconsin implied consent law imposes significant penalties on those who are arrested for drunken driving and refuse to submit to a test. For a first offense, your driving privileges will be revoked for one year, you will ordered to undergo an alcohol assessment, and that refusal finding acts as a prior offense for any subsequent arrest. This means that if you are found guilty of refusing to submit to a chemical test and are again charged with operating while under tha influence within ten years, you will be charged as a second-offender. If found guilty of this second offence, you will be subject to mandatory jail time.

How is the dollar amount on my ticket determined and what are all these fees?

By a schedule which is dependant upon a number of court and state fees, as well as a uniform bail schedule.

Are breath tests always accurate?

Chemical tests, and breath tests in particular, are subject to error, human and mechanical. Contacting an experienced trial lawyer will help you to find out how your individual case can be contested.

If I did not sign my ticket, does that mean it is invalid?';

No.

Should I hire an attorney?

Whether or not you decide to hire an attorney depends on the nature of the citation, your driving record, and the importance of your driving privileges for your profession and/or your life. Most lawyers will agree to discuss your citation for little or no cost. You can determine whether or not it is worth the expense of hiring an attorney.

Can a police officer issue me a citation if he or she is outside his or her jurisdiction?

Generally police officers cannot issue citations outside of their own jurisdiction unless they saw the violation within their jurisdiction and were in hot pursuit of you thereafter. Wisconsin allows police officers, however, to arrest persons outside of their jurisdiction if they are suspected of drunken driving.

What would happen if I just ignored the citation?

You will be found guilty by default judgment, assessed a fine, and points will be reported on your driving record. If the citation is for drunken driving, your license will be revoked and you will be court-ordered to undergo an alcohol assessment.

I was arrested for a DUI, but the officer never read me my rights. Does the case have to be dismissed?

No. Police officers generally do not read a person his or her rights on the scene after making an arrest. Law enforcement officers frequently ask questions of persons arrested for drunken driving after they have been taken to the police station. Then, the officer should read you your rights before asking you questions (other than asking you if you are willing to submit to a chemical test for intoxication).

What if I lose my license and continue to drive?

If you are caught driving while your license is suspended or revoked, you may be fined, jailed or have your license further revoked.

Will errors on a ticket result in the citation being dropped?

Generally, no. There are errors in certain areas of the citation that could cause the citation to be dismissed; however, that charge may be re-issued by the agency who originally issued the citation.