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A DUI and OWI Attorney Licensed in Illinois and Wisconsin Explains the Consequences of an Illinois DUI to a Wisconsin Driver

Posted by Richard Albanese | Jan 31, 2020 | 0 Comments



A DUI and OWI Attorney licensed in Illinois and Wisconsin Explains the Illinois DUI laws and Consequences for Wisconsin Drivers charged with DUI in Cook and Lake County, Illinois


Illinois DUI vs. Wisconsin OWI, what's the difference?

Wisconsin OWI First Offense = Non-Criminal Charge  Vs. Illinois DUI First Offense = Criminal Misdemeanor

DUI is the term used in Illinois while OWI is the term used in Wisconsin to refer to driving while under the influence of alcohol or other substances, but the way these offenses are treated in Illinois vs. Wisconsin differs greatly. A first offense OWI is a non-criminal civil forfeiture in Wisconsin. Wisconsin remains the only state in the United States where a first offense OWI is treated as a non criminal offense as discussed in further detail here: Wisconsin remains the only state where first offense impaired driving is a non-criminal offense. Penalties for OWI offenses are outlined in this chart in greater detail: Wisconsin OWI penalties. A first offense DUI in Illinois is a criminal Class A misdemeanor punishable by 1-364 days in jail or supervision, probation or conditional discharge as other alternative sentences. Fines and court costs are also not standardized as a fine alone can reach $2,500 on a first offense. Court costs are also often double or triple for a Wisconsin driver with an Illinois DUI compared to a Wisconsin OWI first offense. Penalties for Illinois DUI are discussed in much greater detail here: Illinois DUI Fact Book. A 

Attorney Representation not required for Wisconsin OWI First Offense Vs. Attorney Representation required for Illinois DUI First Offense.

Although representation by an attorney in a OWI or DUI case is recommended as the stakes and penalties can be very high in Wisconsin a first offense driver generally faces no jail time in Wisconsin unless a child under 16 was in the car at the time of the offense or the OWI involves a personal injury collision and thus legal representation is not required by the Wisconsin court. In Illinois and every other state in the United States a DUI is a criminal offense where a Defendant faces the possibility of jail time and thus is required to have legal representation as their liberty is at stake. In addition to potential jail time a Wisconsin driver charged with first time DUI in Illinois faces the possibility of a criminal conviction on their record that could affect present and future employment and educational opportunities. 

Why a Wisconsin Driver Charged with DUI in Illinois needs a DUI or OWI attorney licensed in Illinois and Wisconsin

A Wisconsin driver charged with DUI in Illinois needs an attorney licensed in Illinois and Wisconsin to best defend their rights in court as well as their driving privileges in both Illinois and Wisconsin. It is especially valuable to have one attorney who can explain and counsel you on the impact of your Illinois DUI to your Wisconsin license and criminal background than paying for a unnecessary consultation with a second attorney in Wisconsin. Additionally, if a Illinois only licensed attorney is not well versed in Wisconsin law it will be difficult for them to properly advise you on how to proceed with your case considering the consequences they don't know about that you, the driver, will face in Wisconsin down the road once the illinois DUI case in included. A wholistic, global approach that considers all of the Illinois and Wisconsin ramifications is the best advised course of action. 

Wisconsin License Revocation Vs. Illinois Statutory Summary Suspension or Revocation for First Offense DUI

A Statutory Summary Suspension for a Wiscosnin driver charged with an Illinois DUI offense takes effect 46 days after the initial arrest and can be challenged in court from the inception of the case unlike an OWI revocation that is generally challenged administratively and separate from the OWI. At the conclusion of an Illinois DUI case that ends with a court Supervision or Conviction the Wisconsin Department of Transportation will be notified of the Wisconsin driver's DUI in Illinois. After the Illinois DUI case is done the Wisconsin DOT will revoke the Wisconsin driver's license for a period of 6-9 months. 

A routine first offender in Wisconsin can obtain immediate relief for driving to work through an occupational license through the Wisconsin DOT as explained here: Obtaining a Occupational License after OWI Revocation. These occupational licenses generally do not require a BAIID or IID breath interlock ignition device to be installed unless there is a refusal or BAC over .15. Illinois makes no distinctions so when a Wisconsin driver is charged with DUI in Illinois a Statutory Summary Suspension will require a Wisconsin driver to install a costly BAID device to their car on a first offense if they wish to drive in Illinois. If a Wisconsin driver does not need to drive in Illinois for 6 months to a year after the DUI charge in Illinois they can ride out the Illinois suspension and pay a reinstatement fee at the expiration of the suspension allowing them to drive again in Illinois. A Wisconsin driver who gets revoked in Illinois for a DUI conviction instead of court supervision faces a more difficult road to reinstatement that may require an additional attorney in Illinois as outlined here: Illinois Secretary of State Road to Reinstatement. Once a Wisconsin driver serves their revocation in Wisconsin they have a easier and more direct path to reinstatment of their Wisconsin driving privileges outlined here: Wisconsin guide to reinstatement after DUI/OWI license revocation

Attorney Richard Albanese is licensed in Illinois and Wisconsin and is ready to help the WIsconsin driver charged with DUI in Illinois 

Richard Albanese is licensed in both Illinois and Wisconsin and the sole focus of his practice is handling Criminal and Traffic offenses across the States of Illinois and Wisconsin. Richard routinely represents drivers and other clients in both Illinois and Wisconsin in the courts of both states and has been published in the Lake County Illinois Bar Journal on the topic of interstate consequences of Illinois and Wisconsin DUI/WI and other traffic laws. Richard has handled thousands of DUI and OWI cases combining his time as both a Prosecutor for over a decade and now as a defense attorney. Richard has tried Felony and Misdemeanor DUI cases and handled expert witnesses and complex defenses at motions, bench and jury trials. Richard Albanese possesses the knowledge and experience to put you at ease in understanding the consequences of what you are facing in Illinois and Wisconsin as well with your DUI, traffic or criminal case. Please contact the Richard Albanese Law Office for a free consultation concerning your case today at (312) 882-1973 or on the web at


About the Author

Richard Albanese

The Law Office of Richard Albanese Criminal Defense Attorney Richard Albanese is an experienced criminal defense attorney in the fields of Criminal Law, DUI & OWL, Traffic & CDL, Suspended Drivers Licenses and more. [email protected] 312 882 1973 We stand for expertise and y...


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