Milwaukee Criminal Defense Attorney
Offering 24/7 Legal Advice, Guidance, & Support 414.882.8382
Experienced Legal Professional

First-Time OWI Lawyer Serving Milwaukee

Defending the Accused for 20+ Years

It is not uncommon for a charge of operating while intoxicated (OWI) to be a person’s first run-in with the law. While a first offense OWI charge is not a criminal offense in the state of Wisconsin, it is still a serious matter and can expose a person to a number of harsh consequences. If you have been arrested for a first-time OWI, it is important you retain the services of a knowledgeable Milwaukee OWI lawyer from the Law Offices of Christopher J. Cherella as soon as possible to maximize your chances of securing a desirable outcome for your situation.

Countless clients have trusted our firm for the following reasons:

  • More than 1,000 criminal cases successfully handled
  • Avvo Client’s Choice Award winner
  • Invaluable experience as a former prosecutor
  • Powerful courtroom presence

Contact our office today to get started towards building your defense.

What Are the Penalties for a First-Time OWI in WI?

Even though a first-time OWI is not considered a crime, it can still bring a number of serious consequences that can follow you around for the rest of your life. Wisconsin is the only state in the nation that does not treat a first drunk driving offense as a crime. As such, if you were to attempt to apply for a job in a different state, travel, or work for a nationwide company, employers and other public agencies would still see a drunk driving conviction on your record and think you have served jail time, irreparably damaging your reputation. When considering the costs of fines and increased insurance rates, it is estimated that an OWI can cost a driver up to $30,000 throughout the course of a lifetime.

A first offense OWI can bring the following immediate consequences:

  • Up to $300 in fines
  • License suspension up to 9 months
  • 6 demerit points on your license
  • Mandatory alcohol assessment

While an ordinary first-offense OWI does not carry jail time, this does not mean you cannot go to jail. You may still face jail time if you caused someone injury or if you had a passenger under age 16 in your vehicle at the time of your arrest. In addition, you may be required to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle at your expense.

Protect Your Future – Call (414) 882-8382

If you are facing OWI charges, your future and reputation may be in jeopardy. At the Law Offices of Christopher J. Cherella, our skilled Milwaukee criminal defense lawyer can examine the circumstances of your situation and advocate for a reduction or dismissal of your charges on your behalf. Depending on your specific situation, we may also be able to use our vast legal knowledge to help you apply for a hardship license and maintain your driving privileges. Nobody should have to face the consequences of an OWI alone. Let us put our skills to work for you so you can face your future with peace of mind.

Request a free consultation today to review your legal options with a skilled attorney from our firm.

See What Past Clients Are Saying

  • “A Real No-Nonsense Guy”


  • “"At one point, I felt sorry for [the plaintiff's] lawyer"”

    A Criminal Defense Client

  • “Chris Is a Hard Worker and Won't Take You for Granted”

    Former Client

  • “You Can Tell That the Judges... and the Other Lawyers Respect Him”