• Dan Skarie

OWI 2nd Offense Manitowoc County Amended to Disorderly Conduct

This case proved that good things come to those who wait. From the outset, it was clear that the prosecution would have difficulty with three aspects of this case: 1) that the client drove or operated and public highway, and 2) allegations of post driving consumption of alcohol, and 3) a blood test outside of the presumptive three hour time window required by statute. Despite these shortcomings, the State insisted that this case proceed to trial.


Prior to trial, there is often a balancing act between keeping your cards close to the vest to potentially surprise the State at trial or presenting the State with the weaknesses of their case in the hope that they will amend or dismiss. In this case, after consultation with the client, it was decided that we would inform the State of the weaknesses in their case in the weeks leading up to trial and hope for a dismissal or amendment.


At first, no luck. The State stuck to their guns and insisted on a plea to the OWI/PAC 2nd offense. To her credit, the client stuck to her guns and insisted on proceeding to trial. On the eve of trial, I had a final conversation with the prosecutor in an attempt to reach a resolution. Again, no luck.


The morning of trial, we showed up to court ready to win. The prosecutor pulled me into a conference room and indicated that if the client plead to disorderly conduct, the State would recommend to the Judge the case be amended. While the client still believed she would win outright at trial, she decided not to roll the dice and plead to the amended charge avoiding the uncertainty of trial, the driver's license revocation, the ignition interlock device, and the mandatory jail sentence that accompanies an OWI second. Great result and another happy client.

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