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Trial Court Had No Authority To Impose Nine Year Driving Ban There Can Only Be One Best DUI Law Firm

Trial court had no authority to impose nine-year driving ban

In State v. Hobbe, the Wisconsin Supreme Court overturned an extended driving ban; by statute, driving privileges can be revoked only for 2 to 3 years.

As reported by Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Wisconsin is alone among the states where the first drunk driving wrongdoing is a traffic ticket-not a crime. In 2012 there were over 33,000 arrests in Wisconsin for operating while intoxicated and over 26,000 convictions for OWI. All in all, there had been over 46,500 three-time OWI offenders and over 8,000 five-time offenders.

However, while MADD may be disappointed with Wisconsin OWI laws, it is important that the laws be enforced fairly and to the letter.

State v. Hoppe

The 2014 Wisconsin Supreme Court decision of State v. Hoppe illustrates, perhaps, an overzealous enforcement of the Wisconsin sentencing of the OWI statutes. In Hoppe, the defendant was convicted of a seventh-level OWI. The defendant was sentenced to nine years of imprisonment, divided equally between the initial 4.5 year period of confinement and 4.5 years of extended supervision. However, since the OWI sentence was ordered to be served consecutive to prior sentences, the defendant could actually be serving a sentence until June 2017 and under supervision until June 2026.

At sentencing, the trial court granted the state's request to revoke the defendant's right to operate a motor vehicle for three years as permitted by statute, which period is tacked on after the end of the extended supervision period. The court also added a condition onto extended supervision which prohibited driving. Thus, the defendant was effectively barred from driving until 2026.

Laudable intent in conflict with statute

The defendant brought a postconviction motion, arguing that the trial court lacked authority to prohibit him from driving during his supervision period. The Wisconsin Supreme Court noted that courts have, generally, undefined, broad discretion to impose conditions during the extended supervision period, and that the driving prohibition was appropriate, reasonable, and was for the protection of the general public. However, this restriction was in conflict with the statutory direction that a license not be revoked or suspended beyond three years.

While the Supreme Court applauded the trial court's intent to protect the public, the trial court's decision conflicted with the legislature's directions as contained in the statutes, which were controlling.

If you find yourself facing an OWI, you should contact an attorney experienced with impaired driving laws in order to best protect your rights and your reputation.

Contact the lawyers at Melowski & Singh, in Sheboygan, to schedule an appointment by calling 920-294-1414.

Not Just Representation, But Results

We Always Pursue the Best Possible Outcome for Our Clients
  • First OWI Offense Charge Reduced
  • Second OWI Offense Not Guilty
  • First OWI Offense Charge Reduced
  • First OWI Offense Charge Reduced
  • OWI Driving in Bike Lane Charge Reduced
  • Second OWI Offense Charge Reduced
  • OWI - Homicide (Second Offense) Charge Reduced
  • First OWI Offense Charge Reduced
  • First OWI Offense Charge Reduced
  • First OWI Offense Charge Reduced
  • Second OWI Offense Charge Reduced
  • First OWI Offense Charge Reduced
  • First OWI With .126 Blood Test Result Charges Reduced
  • First OWI With .09 Blood Test Result Case Dismissed
  • OWI Reduced to Operating Left of Center Charges Reduced
  • First OWI Chemical Test Refusal Charge Reduced
  • First OWI Offense Charge Reduced
  • First OWI Offense Charge Reduced
  • First OWI With .18 Blood Test Result Charge Reduced
  • Headline-Making Victory Not Guilty
  • Criminal Hit and Run Charges Reduced
  • CDL Refuses Chemical Test Charges Reduced
  • Seventh OWI Probation
  • First OWI With .125 Blood Test Result Charge Reduced
  • Complete Dismissal of OWI-2nd/PAC-2nd Case Dismissed
  • OWI Prescription Drugs First Offense Charge Reduced
  • Possession of THC Case Charges Dismissed
  • First OWI Offense Charge Reduced
  • Third OWI With .185 Blood Test Result Charge Reduced
  • First OWI Offense Charge Reduced
  • Dennis Melowski Dominates Trial Not Guilty
  • First OWI Chemical Test Refusal Case Dismissed
  • First OWI With .22 Blood Test Result Not Guilty
  • OWI - Homicide Charges Reduced
  • First OWI With .166 Blood Test Result Charge Reduced
  • Operating With a Restricted Controlled Substance Charge Reduced
  • Third OWI Offense Charges Reduced
  • First OWI Offense Case Dismissed
  • OWI-5TH Reduced to OWI-1ST Charge Reduced
  • Complete Acquittal in Milwaukee County
  • OWI With .17 Breath Test Result Charges Reduced
  • First OWI With .11 Blood Test Result Case Dismissed
  • Dismissal of all Charges
  • Second OWI With .085 Blood Test Charge Reduced
  • Third OWI Offense Case Dismissed
  • Second OWI Offense Charge Reduced
  • First OWI Offense Charge Reduced
  • First OWI Offense Charge Reduced
  • CDL Client's Career is Saved Charge Reduced
  • First OWI With .145 Blood Test Result Charge Reduced
  • CDL Client With .246 BAC First Offense Charge Reduced
  • Operating Vehicle With a Controlled Substance Not Guilty
  • Boating While Intoxicated Reduced to a Minor Boating Citation
  • First OWI With .11 Breath Test Result Not Guilty
  • First OWI With .158 Blood Test Result Charge Reduced
  • First OWI With .12 Blood Test Result Charges Reduced
  • CDL OWI Reduced to Traffic Ticket Charge Reduced
  • First OWI With .108 Blood Test Result Charge Reduced
  • Third OWI Offense Charge Reduced
  • OWI Could Damage Career Goals Charge Reduced
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