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Wisconsin OWI case has an unlikely defendant

Even if you’ve never had a run-in with law enforcement, you nonetheless have a vested interest in making sure that the criminal justice system is fair and unbiased. We all do, because any of us could find ourselves facing criminal charges someday.

One example is a Wisconsin man facing drunk driving charges in Racine County. What makes this operating-while-intoxicated case particularly noteworthy is the fact that the defendant happens to be the district attorney.

According to news sources and the man’s own public statements, he “was coming home from a birthday party and had a few drinks” last weekend. He struck a traffic signal and a tree with his vehicle in a single-car accident. He then left the scene, apparently on foot. Police went to his home after checking the registration information on his crashed car.

While most of us tend to be conscientious drinkers and even more conscientious drivers, the scenario described in this case seems like a mistake most anyone could make. The fact that it happened to a Wisconsin district attorney is relevant only in that it represents a role reversal for a prosecutor to suddenly become a defendant.

To his credit, the man was apparently fully cooperative with police and issued a public statement owning up to the incident and apologizing for his actions. It is unclear if he plans to contest either of the charges, which include OWI and hit-and-run.

Facing criminal charges can make a person feel frightened, embarrassed and uncertain about the future. That’s why you want to make sure you have a strong legal advocate working for you. Contacting an experienced criminal defense attorney is perhaps the best way to make sure that you receive a fair trial and that you understand your rights and options.

Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Racine County DA cited for drunken driving, hit and run," Bruce Vielmetti, April 5, 2014

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