Saturday, November 1, 2008

Do I Get A Jury Trial If It's My 1st OWI Offense

You do not necessarily have a right to a jury trial in Wisconsin for an OWI 1st offense because it is not a criminal matter. However, you will generally get a jury trial if you request one in writing and pay a jury fee. Remember, though, you must request a jury trial and pay the fee within 10 days of your initial plea being entered, otherwise you will have your matter tried to the judge, which is generally not a good idea. Strategically, I would rather have a jury trial because motions will be heard prior to the day of trial, because it's too expensive and a waste to bring in a jury to if the motion to dismiss is successful. But, often times, in court trial cases, the judge will take up the motion the same day of the trial. And, if you lose on the motion, you will most likely lose at the trial.

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