Thursday, February 5, 2009

OWI Initial Appearance Hearing

Appearance Not Required

I’ve been charged with a misdemeanor, and my initial hearing is coming up. Will I need to appear in court? By the way, it was a drunk driving third offense.

Under Wisconsin law, an attorney can appear on behalf of his or her client on a misdemeanor charge at the initial hearing if the client gives written permission. An OWI 3rd offense is a misdemeanor although there is now-pending legislation that would make a third OWI a felony in Wisconsin.

At Van Wagner & Wood, our attorneys always appear on behalf of our clients at the initial hearing in misdemeanor cases.

Attorneys cannot appear at the initial hearing in the place of a person who has been charged with a felony offense. A person charged with a felony must appear in court for all hearings unless specifically excused by the court.

Helpful information:
Wisconsin Drunk Driving Defense
Criminal Trial Procedures
Misdemeanor Offenses
Felony Offenses