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Injury by intoxicated use of a vehicle charges are serious.  Contact us immediately.

Injury by intoxicated use of a vehicle charges carry significant penalties.  Even a first offense, while normally not a crime in Wisconsin, carries mandatory jail penalties.  Because of the gravity of this specific offense, felony penalties, and potential prison, are also a possibility.  Obviously facing this kind of a charge is scary.  Hiring a drunk driving attorney to defend you through this process is incredibly important.

At Meyer Van Severen, S.C. our drunk driving defense lawyers have defended thousands of individuals facing OWI charges.  We can help you defend your injury by intoxicated use of a vehicle charge.  We answer phone calls 24/7 at (414) 270-0202.  Give us a call now and let’s start fighting your case.

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The law – injury by intoxicated use of a vehicle

There are a few different crimes that apply when an intoxicated driver injures another individual.  Section 346.63(2)(a) governs simply injuring another person.  That is a misdemeanor offense called operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated and causing injury.

The topic in this article focuses on a felony level offense called injury by intoxicated use of a vehicle.  The main difference is the level of harm the driver causes the victim.  Causing great bodily harm by OWI is another way to refer to this crime.

Section 940.25(1) of the Wisconsin Statutes:

Section 940.25(1) of the Wisconsin Statutes prohibits injury by intoxicated use of a vehicle:

(1)  Any person who does any of the following is guilty of a Class F felony:
  • (a) Causes great bodily harm to another human being by the operation of a vehicle while under the influence of an intoxicant.
  • (am) Causes great bodily harm to another human being by the operation of a vehicle while the person has a detectable amount of a restricted controlled substance in his or her blood.
  • (b) Causes great bodily harm to another human being by the operation of a vehicle while the person has a prohibited alcohol concentration, as defined in s. 340.01 (46m).
  • (bm) Causes great bodily harm to another human being by the operation of a commercial motor vehicle while the person has an alcohol concentration of 0.04 or more but less than 0.08.
  • (c) Causes great bodily harm to an unborn child by the operation of a vehicle while under the influence of an intoxicant.
  • (cm) Causes great bodily harm to an unborn child by the operation of a vehicle while the person has a detectable amount of a restricted controlled substance in his or her blood.
  • (d) Causes great bodily harm to an unborn child by the operation of a vehicle while the person has a prohibited alcohol concentration, as defined in s. 340.01 (46m).
  • (e) Causes great bodily harm to an unborn child by the operation of a commercial motor vehicle while the person has an alcohol concentration of 0.04 or more but less than 0.08.

What is great bodily harm?  And the jury instructions?

Although there are various ways this crime occurs, they all focus on one phrase: great bodily harm.  Wisconsin Jury Instruction Criminal 1262 provides jury instructions for the offense, but also provides us important definitions.  The jury instructions require:

  1. The defendant operated a vehicle.
    1. “Operate” means the physical manipulation or activation of any of the controls of a vehicle necessary to put it in motion.
  2. The defendant’s operation of a vehicle caused great bodily harm to (name of victim) .
    1. “Cause” means that the defendant’s operation of a vehicle was a substantial factor in producing great bodily harm.
    2. “Great bodily harm” means serious bodily injury. [Injury which creates a substantial risk of death, or which causes serious permanent disfigurement, or which causes a permanent or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ, or other serious bodily injury is great bodily harm.]
  3. The defendant was under the influence of an intoxicant at the time the defendant operated a vehicle.

The jury instructions clarify any possible confusion regarding the law.  The defendant operated the vehicle.  His operation of that vehicle caused great bodily harm to the victim.  And he was intoxicated when he did it.

A man is stopped for injury by intoxicated use of a vehicle.
Injury by intoxicated use of a vehicle is a serious felony that could cause you to go to prison. Contact our drunk driving defense attorneys at (414) 270-0202 to start fighting your case.

How do we beat my drunk driving causing injury case?

From the start it’s important to remember that if you face a criminal charge in Wisconsin you always have a right to a jury trial.  In that trial, your drunk driving attorney will have the opportunity to argue on your behalf to a jury.  Our drunk driving attorneys have experience defending individuals facing cases just like yours.  We’ve won major, significant felony trials dozens of times.  Certainly our goal will be to win yours.

In other cases, a trial isn’t even required for victory.  Pre-trial motion practice could be the key to winning your case.  There are certainly a variety of issues individuals could face involving any OWI and police action.  Was there a stop of your vehicle?  Did police conduct field sobriety tests?  Were you, your home, and your vehicle searched?  While this is a short list of potential issues, they’re all important.  If the police acted improperly, those actions may lead to evidence in your case being suppressed.  And suppression, depending on the circumstances, could lead to a dismissal.

Even if neither of those scenarios applies to your situation, there’s plenty more work to be done.  Your character, actions in the community, substance abuse history and treatment, and job history are a few important factors to consider at sentencing.  Gathering character reference letters and ensuring you’re doing appropriate treatment while your case pends are important.  These things are all important for both the prosecutor and judge to know about.  They’ll all certainly impact your sentence, if the case goes that route.

Contact Meyer Van Severen, S.C.

Not all criminal defense attorneys possess the knowledge and skill required to fight drunk driving cases.  Every single criminal defense attorney at Meyer Van Severen, S.C. does.  We’ve all defended drunk driving cases.  And we’re prepared to defend yours.

Contact Meyer Van Severen, S.C. at (414) 270-0202.  We answer phones 24/7 and look forward to speaking with you regarding your case.

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