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How do I get house arrest instead of jail time for a second OWI in Wisconsin?

Mount Horeb, WI |

I was stopped and received my second owi. (My first one was in 2003.) I blew a .09, although the cop didn't want to arrest me he still felt obligated to do so. I have received a paper that wants me to spend 10 days in jail. My girlfriend and I share a car, so I would like to know how to get house arrest instead of jail time and still be able to work. What can I do to make that happen?

Attorney Answers 3


You can speak with the prosecutor to see if this is an option, but I'm not sure that this will be available to you. Your best chance is to hire an attorney or ask the court to appoint you one, so that he/she can work with the prosecutor to increase your chances of limiting the charges/penalties, or even having it dismissed.

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In order to get house arrest instead of jail time, you must first determine whether house arrest is offered in your county by the sheriff. If it is not, then you obviously will not be placed on house arrest. If it's possible to get house arrest instead of jail time, you will have to ask the court to place you on it. The court can decide to take no position, which means that the judge is leaving the decision to the discretion of the sheriff. I would recommend consulting an attorney to get these questions answered before you do anything else.

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Whether you can get house arrest instead of jail time is not up to either the Judge or the Prosecutor, it is up to the Sheriff, as s/he is the one in charge of the jail, and the Sheriff decides how to house prisoners. There is case law directly on point (Wisconsin determined that if a Judge were to deny it, it would violate the separation of powers as the Jail is the executive branch, and a Judge is Judicial . The Judge can not even mention it in the judgment of conviction.).

Your attorney should know how to get you house arrest instead of jail time, you should have him/her contact the jail and ask if electronic monitoring is available, and what are the requirements to obtain it. Also, check and see if your jail offers the option of day reporting. Some counties have turned to that of late.

Whenever you post something on AVVO, and it is answered by an attorney who is not licensed in your state, you should completely ignore the answer. He was so far off base with his answer, you would be better off asking the guy in the next holding cell as he probably has more knowledge then Mr. Wartko.

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